Raid and Dungeon Live Q&A
A recap can be found below:

  • Heroic dungeons could use some improvement, but the current problems with them aren't all new in Warlords. In previous expansions there would be catch-up content that rewarded better gear than the heroic dungeons. Even in Mists of Pandaria, Timeless Isle removed any need to step inside Heroic dungeons.
  • Heroic dungeons aren't very useful right now in terms of gearing up.
  • Valor or badges were a reason to run dungeons in the past, but that wasn't a satisfying use of the dungeons. You would run a dungeon that you were far too strong for, which doesn't always feel great.
  • Challenge modes are now a timed run, but can also be used as challenging content for gear progression. Patch 6.1 updated the rewards to item level 660 to keep them relevant. You can't queue for them randomly and can only do one a day, but it is something.
  • A Mythic version of dungeons is something that has been talked about internally, but nothing to announce right now. It would be nice for dungeons to remain relevant later in the expansion. Would increased numbers and item levels be enough, or would the dungeon need new mechanics to really be Mythic?

  • Getting one random item from a garrison mission every two weeks from a difficulty higher than the one you are doing now is fine.
  • Older Raid Finder content had another color variation of the gear to add some differentiation between difficulties. It wasn't reasonable to expect players to know which color variation was from which difficulty when looking at people around town. In Warlords the Raid Finder set has different art and this is likely to continue going forward.
  • Raid Finder being easier than heroic dungeons and giving better loot is partially due to it having a weekly lockout. You can run heroic dungeons repeatedly to quickly gear up. Raid Finder is a way for players to experience the content and story, as well as a way to earn some meaningful upgrades. If Raid Finder gave worse loot than Heroic dungeons, participation would be lower, players would only run it a few times, and queue times would go up.
  • There is no reason to not use personal loot right now, but players may not want to trust a seemingly random system, even if it is mathematically the same.
  • The way personal loot feels will be improved in future patches, avoiding situations where everyone wins loot or no one wins loot.
  • The raid leader chooses the loot system and they have an incentive to choose Master Loot to be the master looter. If you don't like Master Loot, find another group or make your own that uses personal loot.
  • Personal loot has worked out very well. The short period of time when personal loot was disabled at the start of Warlords showed the benefits of personal loot. Competing with players in the group for loot wasn't fun, it was nicer to work together to kill bosses.
  • Warforged gear was initially used to make the larger raid size more attractive. It is now used as another bonus property to give players a little bit of excitement when killing a boss repeatedly. It also gives groups a power increase over time, even when clearing content on farm.
  • Raid Finder will be better itemized in the future.
  • Spirit could be changed in the future to also do something like increase your spellpower. Items that are Best in Slot for half the raid due to itemization aren't ideal.

  • Normal and Heroic difficulty tank representation is currently fairly balanced across the different classes. The goal was to make sure all tanks are in the same ballpark in terms of their overall ability to perform in a raid zone as a whole, which was achieved.
  • Some of the perceived tank representation imbalance at the highest end is due to how tank mechanics interact with specific fights and the availability of alts to switch to. Brewmaster being popular in Mythic BRF is partially due to how their mechanics interact with the fights. They can Stagger a lot of the physical damage spikes, giving them an advantage on some of the fights.
  • Raid cooldowns aren't too strong right now, especially those available to non healers. Guilds aren't stacking classes for things like more Smoke Bombs. Some of the healer cooldowns could use a little balancing. Using a big healer cooldown to stabilize the raid after something happens is important for teamwork and cooperation, giving an organized group an advantage over a random PuG where there is no coordination.

  • Watcher enjoyed Operator Thogar, but in general most fights were well received. Trains make everything cooler, raid bosses included!
  • Itemization in terms of which stats are available don't really affect a group's performance as a whole. It can affect the relative power of specs, as some specs got stronger when Blackrock Foundry came out and gear starved specs got better gear. That situation is something the team will try to minimize going forward, but that affects the individual. In terms of the entire raid group it will average out.
  • Normal and Heroic Blackrock Foundry are no longer too hard for smaller raid sizes. The team has made some changes and is keeping an eye on it though.
  • Raids shouldn't get harder as you add more players, such as they did with the breakpoints in Siege of Orgrimmar. You shouldn't ever have to tell someone they can't come to the raid because it would make the encounter too hard.
  • The Patch 6.0 raids had a smooth progression curve. There weren't any huge brick walls that guilds ran in to. Almost everyone who finished or got through most of Normal Highmaul started on Heroic and people were able to continue progressing there.
  • Having multiple difficulties also has worked out pretty well, as most players and guilds aren't feeling obligated to go back and keep doing easier difficulties.
  • Mythic Kromog originally had pillars spawn far from the boss, but a hotfix moved them closer to Kromog so that melee DPS could damage them too. The encounter is back in a good place now, with a healthy number of melee DPS being in many kills now.
  • The team is keeping an eye on success rates in BRF, with tweaks to the earlier bosses to make them a better entry point. BRF is a continuation of Highmaul so it is tuned around you having normal Highmaul gear or BRF Raid Finder gear. BRF should be accessible if your group is going in in the 650s.

Raid Design
  • Two tanks will be the baseline for raids, with maybe occasional slots for a third. Going over two would make it necessary for guilds to find another tank to continue raiding. Tanks can generally find groups fairly easily or make their own groups.
  • Sometimes needing a third tank is by design, especially in Mythic, but it is sometimes emergent.
  • When designing raid bosses, the team starts with designing a Heroic fight and then changes it to make it harder and different for Mythic and easier for Normal.
  • Sometimes the team designs a fight and was aiming for Heroic, but after testing they realize it is really a Mythic fight. Some abilities are then removed to create the Heroic fight.
  • Over 90% of guilds that raid have a roster of people that normally raid with them. They don't have a ton of players on the bench or lots of alts to swap out.
  • Mythic progression guilds that are pushing hard will likely take advantage of situations where a certain spec or class is better, but the vast majority of guilds aren't doing that and don't need to. The goal is for everyone to have a situation where they can feel awesome.
  • Elevators are a convenient way of going up and down, but the team can explore other means of conveyance. Throne of the Tides was a dungeon where movement force would have been more fun than an elevator.
  • The goal isn't for everyone to have exactly the same capabilities and performance on every fight. The goal is to have different fights where different classes or specs will shine. Some classes or specs will do better on some fights than others and it will average out for the overall majority of players.
  • If a fight can't be completed with a reasonably balanced group and stacking of a class or spec is almost necessary, that is a problem and it will be fixed by tweaking mechanics or narrowing the gap with class and spec niches.

  • Realm first titles like Obsidian Slayer aren't likely to return.
  • Some of these titles just were awarded to whichever guild leveled to the cap fastest or what players in the guild got to participate in the kill. Realm first guild achievements work better, as they reflect that the entire guild worked towards the achievement.
  • Titles like Death's Demise weren't earned by any guild with just 25 people involved. There were players that were involved in many wipes who may have been swapped out on that particular attempt or day who didn't get the title, which wasn't ideal.
  • Personal titles for defeating bosses on the hardest difficulty become more attainable over time, but they retain prestige in the moment.

  • There is no Troll dungeon in the next patch because there are no Trolls in Draenor.
  • The shortcuts in challenge modes were a bug that got fixed in Patch 6.1. Normally it would be a bug that should have been fixed, but in this case it will affect challenge mode leaderboards and could have gone without being fixed. The team could bring back the old terrain with a client patch or wipe the leaderboards, which is the direction they are leaning.
  • The internal bug tracking system has 400,000+ bugs that have been fixed over time.
  • The Group Finder tool has worked out really well. Filtering options and the UI will continue to be improved. Initially the filtering was limited as the usage of the group finder grew, but now that it is very popular more filtering might be helpful.
  • The rules for kicking people could use another pass and it is something the team is looking at very closely. Most of the rules are from Patch 3.3 and the game is very different today. Now that loot is personal and guaranteed to be sent to you even if you are kicked from the group, there isn't any reason for players to kick other players to abuse loot rolls. Some of the restrictions could be removed.
  • The team's focus is on reducing the gap between the final content patch and the next expansion. Siege of Orgrimmar was way way too long. This expansion will have whatever number of raid tiers is necessary to avoid that long gap. Six or seven months is long enough for most big raid tiers. Thirteen months is way too long.
  • Timewalker is still something being worked on and maybe there will be something to talk about in the near future.
  • The current way the World First race works (community driven) is fine. There are too many variables to ensure perfect fairness for an official World First.
  • Community created raids aren't likely to happen, but the team takes into account feedback when designing raids.

New Cindermane Charger Rides into Recruit-A-Friend
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve just added a new reward to the Recruit-A-Friend (RAF) reward stables—the incendiary Cindermane Charger. Found on the remote fragmented islands of the Firelands, these smoldering steeds run with the fury of Ragnaros—perfect for blazing a trail across Azeroth and Draenor.

The Cindermane Charger is only available through the RAF program, so get to recruiting now to earn your new mount!

Learn more about the Recruit-A-Friend program here.

Blue Tweets
A nice tweet from the official World of Warcraft account today:

This article was originally published in forum thread: Raid and Dungeon Q&A, New Cindermane Charger Recruit-A-Friend Mount started by chaud View original post
Comments 61 Comments
  1. Novaflare's Avatar
    When designing raid bosses, the team starts with designing a Heroic fight and then changes it to make it harder and different for Mythic and easier for Normal.
    I don't understand why this is the case. The whole point of mythic difficulty was so they could design encounters with 20 player / all class rosters in mind. So starting with a flexible difficulty mode as the base just seems weird to me. It's not really any different than designing an encounter for 10 man and then making it "harder and different" for 25 man other than a difference in scale. To me it would seem like the better approach would be to design Mythic encounters and then scale back mechanics to fit heroic/normal and flexible raids. Otherwise Mythic really is just a glorified "25 man" heroic mode.

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