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by Published on 2022-01-24 09:40 PM

Blizzard on Weapons Loot Table in Sepulcher of the First Ones
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hi! Enhancement currently has 3 weapons on the first bosses of the raid, but no higher ilvl weapon on the last bosses. We are the only melee dps spec alongside rogues to not have a higher ilvl weapon. We also didn’t have one in SoD. Considering our melee weapons have a decent impact on our damage as a melee dps, is it possible to get an additional higher ilvl weapon on the last bosses? A nice solution would be to change the higher ilvl warglaives on the 9th boss to a 1h axe or even remake the weapon tokens from Nathria. It just feels bad to not have access to the same power as the other classes. Or at least can we get an explanation for this situation. Thanks!

Hey there! This feedback’s come up in a few places, so I wanted to drop by and give an update on what we’re doing to address it, why we’re addressing it in this case specifically, and then go into a deeper dive behind some of the motivations and current thoughts about end-boss weapons, raid loot in general, and weapon tokens ala Castle Nathria.

First off, the what and why - we’re going to be adding an Agility Dagger to Rygelon (Boss 10) & removing the Agility Fist Weapon from Skolex and moving it to The Jailer (Boss 11). This represents +1 additional weapon overall for the raid, and leaves only some healers without a weapon from those final 3 bosses - we’re not likely to make a change to that, as there’s a unique Healer Mace that we anticipate will be a pretty powerful option for those specs earlier in the raid. As to why we’re making this change - Sepulcher of the First Ones has the highest amount of bosses with increased item levels (3 bosses over the traditional 1 or 2), which we felt was appropriate to support both Rygelon & Lords of Dread feeling like high-level encounters you could tackle in any order, as well as the cement a clear jump after Anduin, the raid’s first-week hurdle. However, even one extra boss at the +7 threshold created a level of imbalance that felt less textured in the ‘some have one, some don’t’ way, and more like a small few being excluded - exclusion to this degree wasn’t intentional, and that’s why we’re acting on it.

However, this has led to some legitimate questions - why don’t all classes have a ‘stronger’ weapon in each raid, and furthermore, why not use Weapon Tokens like Castle Nathria did? These may not answer all of those perfectly, but I’d like to share some thoughts on the subject and shed light on the kinds of things we think about when designing items & loot tables that may help push the conversation forward.

Philosophically speaking, we think there’s a lot more to items than just the stats they provide on a mechanical level. We put so much time into naming and placing them appropriately because they’re a way to flesh out the stories of the enemies and environments they come from. As you suggest in your post - we certainly could have included an Axe over a Warglaive on the Lords of Dread fight if our goal was purely covering every spec; but let’s look at it from a different angle. Lords of Dread has you fighting Mal’Ganis, debateably the most well-known Demon in all of Warcraft Lore, and the only demon in any of Shadowlands’ 3 raids. From that perspective, it might be weirder if we didn’t drop Demon Hunter-specific weapons from that fight.

Every loot table on any boss should help tell a story, which adds to the excitement of receiving the drops themselves. There’s layers to this of course; harder or more iconic encounters often deserve more unique or powerful rewards - but they’re a tool we use for our game to feel more immersive. Another example from Sepulcher is Artificer Xymox’s return - there are a pair of swords that use the same model, where one is a relic the Cartel’s stolen from the raid, and the other is a replica of the same blade they’ve made with the intent to auction it off at Tazavesh. Compare this to 9.0’s tokens - while there was a higher level of equality among drops in the raid, the excitement was often lower in a relative sense; this is in part due to the delayed gratification tokens provide (you had to zone out in 9.0’s case to get the appearances from your sanctum), and in part due to the disconnect in what you actually got out of them. Despite having some very cool covenant appearances, they didn’t feel grounded in the story of the raid or the content you got the token from, which led to the specific drops feeling less memorable overall.

Another goal of ours is to have loot evenly distributed throughout a raid such that there’s a variety of things groups value differently across bosses and even entire wings. This helps groups who are struggling to progress on a specific difficulty still get useful loot while reclearing, while also serving as a nice incentive for groups to push ever-so-slightly into a higher difficulty and gain a foothold. This idea is what led us back to making certain unique weapons (internally we call these Cantrips) in Sanctum of Domination like Jotungeirr from The Nine, or Cruciform Veinripper from Painsmith - their unique effects were on par with a higher item level bump, but we were also able to let them drop earlier, and enhance the experience of defeating those important characters within our setting. Weapons aren’t the only way we can create memorable and equitable raid loot (jewelry and trinkets also tend to help fill in these gaps as well), but they’re a very potent tool in our toolbox for making all parts of the raid feel rewarding and meaningful to revisit rather than making the final bosses be the only ones that matter.

To be clear: 9.0’s weapon tokens did solve a problem for some players, and there’s a lesson to be had in the response to them. While a 7 item level disparity is rarely ever a barrier to class viability, the feeling that everyone was on an even playing field along at least one axis is clearly an idea that resonated strongly among some of you. I don’t want all of the above speak to sound like we’re never going to iterate on weapons, or that people who liked how 9.0 played out were flat Wrong - just that Tokens clearly solve only one slice of the problem while denying us (or at least hindering) the ability to achieve our other goals for raid itemization as a whole.

There’s a lot more we could get into about the place of Cantrip weapons/items, but I’d like to save that discussion for a future post later on when we’ve got a greater appreciation for how the Sepulcher plays out. I hope this helps communicate a bit more about where we’re coming from and why things end up the way they do, even among players who value the mechanical & numbers side of WoW for whom some of this may not be satisfying. Lastly, I want to thank you for taking the time to write this post & make suggestions! We can’t respond to every single one, but they help shape our discussions and iterations internally.
by Published on 2022-01-24 09:33 PM

PvP with the Blues in the Solo Shuffle Brawl - Friday, January 28
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Friday, January 28, starting at 2:00 p.m. PST, come join members of the World of Warcraft development team on the Broxigar PTR realm as we playtest the new Solo Shuffle Brawl that’s being added in the 9.2 Eternity’s End update!

The Solo Shuffle brawl pits six players (two healers or tanks, four damage dealers) against each other in exciting 3v3 Arena matches. As the name implies, you can only queue for this brawl solo and players will go through 6 rounds of arena matches as they are shuffled between teams. For more design insight on Solo Shuffle, please check out our Solo Shuffle article: Eternity’s End Preview: Solo Shuffle

For this PTR playtest specifically, we will be placing all arena participants in the new 9.2 Arena – Maldraxxus Coliseum. This setup is only for PTR testing; the Solo Shuffle Brawl will pick a random arena map when it is active in 9.2 Eternity’s End.

January 28 at 2:00 p.m. PST

We’ll be queueing for Solo Shuffle: Maldraxxus Coliseum starting at 2:00 p.m until 4:00 p.m.

To playtest with us, log into the PTR and open Group Finder (default hotkey: i), click on the Players vs. Player tab, select the Solo Shuffle: Maldraxxus Coliseum and click Join Battle.

After playtesting with us, please submit any bugs and feedback in the following thread: Solo Shuffle Brawl Feedback

We look forward to seeing you on the Broxigar PTR realm on Friday, and we appreciate all of your testing and feedback!
by Published on 2022-01-24 07:53 PM

Blizzard Responds to Patch 9.2 Affix Feedback - Adjustments Coming
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thanks everyone for the feedback so far! We’re hoping to have a pretty substantial update to the affix in this week’s upcoming PTR build. Mostly changes to how the buffs work, including significant improvements to the two weaker effects, and some more love for healers.

Specific effects, power level and duration for each buff are still open to changing, but our overall goal is to make it feel like each option can be a meaningful choice in different situations, and that there’s room for both pre-planning and adaptation depending on what your group needs at the time.

Also since I’m seeing some mixed feedback here around the haste buff, I wanted to share some insight on why we didn’t make it “highest secondary”:

As a player, it’s very difficult to notice a temporary buff to something like damage or versatility unless it’s extremely large. Haste directly changes how your character feels, so it makes the effect more noticeable even at lower tuning values.

There are other ways to accomplish this as well, such as increasing character size or changing movement speed. The important thing to avoid is players never noticing that they were buffed (or only noticing it on the damage meter =P).

For now we’re still leaning toward using a haste buff here, but I believe have some adjustments in the next build that we’d love to get feedback on.
by Published on 2022-01-22 07:35 PM

Team Liquid Limit Acquisition and Merger
Team Liquid has announced that they are acquiring and merging Limit into their roster for both WoW and Final Fantasy XIV. They are expanding into the MMO genre and the Limit name will now be Liquid. They will be competing in the Patch 9.2 Race to World First as Liquid and are holding a contest!

Team Liquid Statement
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
MMO fans, prepare yourselves—the worlds of Azeroth and Eorzea are squarely in our sights.

We’ve spent many months preparing for this journey, setting ambitious goals and searching for experienced adventurers to join our party. In order to go where we’ve never gone before, limits MUST be surpassed, or in the case of this announcement, acquired.

Have you guessed it by now? It is our absolute pleasure to announce that Limit Guild has become one with Team Liquid!

Limit Guild is comprised of absolute legends and are the world’s #1 raiding World of Warcraft guild. If anyone can lead us to victory in the MMO space, it’s these folks, and we’re prepared to support them in every way possible. This announcement is part acquisition and part merger, as guild leader Max “Maximum” Smith has also become a co-owner of Team Liquid. From here moving forward, the Limit name shall graciously evolve into Liquid.

The plans we have coming down the pipeline are quite exciting and many of them will unfold right before your eyes in multiple quests throughout this Experience.

First, get to know our new team by watching them stream. Max himself will have an announcement stream on twitch.tv/limit_maximum, with giveaways and info on plans for the guild moving forward. The guild will also be streaming their play sessions. From speedruns to raid days, practice makes perfect and this hard work is the foundation to setting records.

Then, the guild will be expanding past PvE and assembling their inaugural PvP Arena team! Who will make the roster? Check back next week and follow all the Liquid Guild channels to stay up to date.

And for the grand finale, we’re participating in the Race to World First in WoW Patch 9.2! Any serious raiding team worth their salt has ambition to claim the genre’s greatest honor, and we’ll be streaming our attempt live on twitch.tv/teamliquid.

As for the future? Now that we’ve joined forces with the best raiding guild around, we’re eager to make the MMO ecosystem a place infused with diversity, equity, belonging and inclusion. Liquid MMO General Manager Azorea will be spearheading the creation of an advisory council of women in the space, aimed at developing resources and strategies that enable more women to grow as expert players. Final Fantasy XIV content will also be in the works and who knows, we might be planning competitive dominion over Riot MMO worlds that have yet to be born…

So are you ready to join Liquid for this new MMO chapter?

Adventure is guaranteed, and a chance at rare Liquid loot is within your grasp if you manage to complete all the quests.


P.S. This Experience and its quests extend through our points reset. Any points earned from completing quests prior to January 31 at 9 a.m. PST WILL NOT carry over into Season 2, so plan accordingly.
by Published on 2022-01-22 01:38 AM

Patch 9.2 PTR - Blizzard Updates on Double Legendary Timeframe
Originally Posted by blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hello all,

Thanks for everyone’s feedback on the Enlightened Legendary belts and memories, and on the issue of when you can obtain them and what activities they require. We have some changes coming to a future PTR build that I’d like to talk about a bit.

First, what are we doing? The Belt of Unity is moving from the Enlightened reputation and into the campaign quest for Zereth Mortis. You’ll be able to obtain it at the end of Chapter 7 of the Zereth Mortis campaign, which we hope will feel like a nice crowning accomplishment. The Memory of Unity is remaining on the Enlightened reputation vendor, and will remain an account-wide unlock like other Legendary Memories from Shadowlands, but will now additionally require that you’ve completed Chapter 7 in order to purchase it. This Memory means that when your second, third, or tenth character is ready to start Eternity’s End that they’ll be able to craft an Enlightened Legendary right away. The new questing requirement is being added to head off any feeling of needing to rush ahead to Revered for progression on your main character. We’re also still debating some other possible changes to the overall structure of Zereth Mortis rewards, but I don’t have concrete details to share on those yet.

Some folks have asked why there’s a delay in acquiring a second legendary at all. The answer there is that we have goals for your characters to grow over the course of the patch, allowing them to overcome challenges they couldn’t initially overcome. One specific example here is the difficulty of Sepulcher of the First Ones: by keeping the Enlightened Legendary a little bit in The Future from the raid’s launch, we can tune the raid at a difficulty that allows early progression to be bolstered by additional power once players start hitting stumbling blocks. If this power was instead available to your characters on the first day, tuning would have to take that into account for people who expect the first few weeks to be challenging, and that would in turn deprive many raids of what we think will be a fun and enjoyable boost in power after striving as far as they can without it.

It’s important to us that there’s a pretty level playing field with the Enlightened Legendary in terms of when different players obtain it. We want it to be an impactful moment of growth for your characters, getting to change the rules of how they play the game for the rest of Eternity’s End. Our initial plans of putting it on the Enlightened reputation had this intent, in that we were planning to distribute most of the reputation gains on campaign quests and on quests that players would do once or twice a week, but we hear you that this structure still felt unsatisfying for players whose free time lends itself more to periodic long sessions than for frequent shorter ones. We feel that moving the Enlightened Legendary into the quest campaign will be even more egalitarian while still providing a very satisfying growth moment.

As always, we’re still open to and listening to feedback here, so once the changes go up, please do continue to tell us how you feel about them.
Originally Posted by blizzard (Blue Tracker)
So what week is Chapter 7 released on? A timeline would be helpful <3
Good point, yeah, sorry about that. Chapter 7 will be available on the third week after the Mythic raid opens. So there will be two full weeks of Mythic raiding during which nobody can have two legendaries, after which they should be available to everyone.
Originally Posted by blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Having done the questline, I have to ask: Why make the legendary item a belt? We just forged the Crown of Wills, would that not have been a better legendary than some random belt?
Totally fair question. We looked at what slots players have crafted legendaries in, and tried to pick the slot we thought would disrupt as few people as possible. Also, given that tier sets are back in Eternity’s End, we want to avoid putting this new Unity legendary in any slot that conflicts with tier gear. As with many things in design, there’s not an objective right or wrong choice here, but that was the thinking behind picking the Waist slot.

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