April 11 Balance Update, Developer Interviews, Comic

Overwatch Retribution Skins and Cosmetics

Hearthstone - The Witchwood Expansion Live!
The Witchwood Hearhstone expansion went live today!



SpartySmallwood Interview with Lead Encounter Designer Morgan Day
Spartysmallwood sat down with lead encounter designer Morgan Day. Here are the highlights:


  • The exact duration of controlling a Warfront location is up to how fast the opposing faction takes to contribute resources.
  • There are multiple ways to contribute to Warfronts. Morgan mentioned professions being a possible way.
  • The opposing faction team's tactics in Island Expeditions will often require your team to create different strategies that best allow you to deal with them.
  • The amount of raid tiers in this expansion is dependent on where the story in Battle for Azeroth goes.
  • Mists of Pandaria scenarios were heavily story driven, but static every time. Islands Expeditions are about exploration and dynamic experiences.
  • Island Expeditions are mean to last about 15-30 minutes. This time will fluctuate based on your experiences with the different events that can happen during expeditions and the best ways to deal with them.
  • The team is planning on 6 different island aesthetics. There is currently only one type that has been seen in Alpha.
  • NPC teams in Island Expeditions don't necessarily follow specific class designs. An example would be Gazlowe using a flamethrower.
  • There is a fog that covers the map in Island Expeditions. This fog limits how much of the map you can see and depends heavily on where your teammates are on the map. Over time, the fog will begin to display different azerite options on the map.
  • There are no plans for Mythic + Island Expeditions at launch, but it is possible in the future.
  • The team realized the advanced AI wasn't as believable because they didn't jump. They can now jump and certain NPCs will jump more than others.
  • The war campaign will take you into the enemy faction's zone.
  • The team likes class abilities interacting with trinkets, but know it causes friction with personal loot when trinkets are better for certain classes. They plan to address this.
  • Class stacking in raids is an issue of communication between the team. The team likes allowing classes to show their strengths in different encounters, but in retrospect know they could do things better to avoid situations like Coven of Shivara's Aman'thul phase favoring AoE.

FinalBossTV Interview with Morgan Day and Daniel Stahl
FinalBossTV sat down with Battle for Azeroth Devs Morgan Day and Daniel Stahl at PAX East 2018. Here are the highlights:

  • Abilities like interrupts are off the global cooldown because they are abilities that you are asked to use as a reaction to a mechanic in game. Reaction time could be key to not wiping.
  • Encounter designers give you time to prepare for moments that require damage or healing cooldowns and so these cooldowns don't necessarily have to be off the global cooldown.
  • The team is constantly looking at encounters and whether or not they need nerfs over time. They try to establish a system in which a raid will nerf itself over time through titanforging or artifact power.
  • The encounter designers will make changes to Mythic fights when they see specific problems that require a certain strategy that is not ideal, such as sitting as many healers as possible. These changes sometimes buff or nerf a fight, but they try to tweak things so that it is relatively the same difficulty as prior to the change.
  • Every single variable of Island Expeditions is random, meaning that events, opposing teams, inhabitants, etc. are not linked to each other when you zone into an island.
  • When creating encounters the team doesn't necessarily focus on balancing around having every unique buff, but when a group is created, the assumption is that the group will build around what each person applying can bring instead of just pure dps/heals/tanking and will work itself out. Having all these buffs isn't needed for encounters, but if a specific group is wiping at 2% they have the option to find a missing buff or just fine tune their performance.
  • The decision to bring class buffs back was made because these buffs were iconic to the game and made players feel special to bring something unique to groups.
  • The team is looking into possibly making changes to how trinkets interact with character abilities so that situations where personal loot and trinket acquisition isn't such a big deal (such as in Legion with the Draught of Souls not being good for some DPS but amazing for warriors)
  • On the same hand, finding solutions to situations where lower item level trinkets/gear are better than item level upgrades will also help address the pitfalls of personal loot.
  • Feedback about weapon restrictions and artifact appearance transmog has been heard loud and clear but it is still uncertain what the rules will be when BfA launches. Issues like this are why the Alpha/Beta is so valuable for feedback.



Swifty Interviews Morgan Day and Daniel Stahl
Swifty also interviews Morgan Day and Daniel Stahl!

  • The team is creating many different Azerite armor pieces from many different sources to give players a variety of options to choose from.
  • As the technology of the game advances, the team likes to revisit different aspects of the game and see if there is a way to improve it. War mode (world pvp toggle) came about because of the new server technology that has come over the past couple expansions.
  • The team is discussing different rewards for having War Mode active at max level.
  • The goal for Warfronts is to have as many units as possible to give the players the feeling of being on the front line of a war.
  • Beta is actually soon, not TBD soon.
  • Raids will require some CC again like in the past to allow unique class abilities to shine.
  • The encounter design team used Antorus to start introducing the idea of unique class abilities and CC being able to shine. An example of this is the Aggramar encounter.
  • One off style legendaries are still a possibility in BfA, but no more of the Legion style.



Shacknews Interviews Daniel Stahl
Shacknews sat down with Daniel Stahl for an interview. Here are some highlights:

  • Advanced AI will get out of AoE.
  • During a conversation about Azerite's affects on the different races of Azeroth, the Mogu were mentioned in the same breath as the dark iron dwarves. This does not in any way mean they are a planned Allied Race, but the conversation was stirred from a question about Allied Races.
  • You are going to see the impacts of the war on the world.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Remote Auction House Shutdown
The most logical explanation is that costs to keep it updated are not worth the relatively small number who use it.
Basically this. The Web/Mobile Auction had a lot more issues with keeping it up than it was really worth for the small amount of players that actually used it. Trying to tackle and fix those issues (for transparency the majority were just exploits) just takes dev time away from working on new content. While it may change in the future, we currently at this time aren't planning to bring this back.

Because they need to show investors that people are still logging into the game.
If you really, truly believe us deprecating the mobile Auction House, which was used by the tiniest fraction of a single percent of the community, has anything to do with the health of the game, then I don't think we're ever going to be able to see eye to eye on much. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Titles
Already opened a ticket, but the GM referred me to here and then you refer me back to the GM, are you guys serious?
There's a lack of information here to really go off of. However the other person I replied to had it pointed out when he posted his armory link that he didn't have enough wins. This is almost always the number one cause for not receiving your title. You must have at least 50 wins in order to receive your titles, however for Gladiator and Rank 1 Gladiator you need at least 150 wins.

GM's can see whether or not you should receive a title and give you the title if you should've received it. Outside of that its pretty black and white on what they can do with it because its an earned ladder reward. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)

Holy Paladin - Awakening
Is the tier 90 talent Awakening intended to put Avenging Wrath on cd for the full 2 minutes or even at all? Seems underwhelming to randomly grant it for less than half the duration and put it on full cooldown just for a slight chance of it being granted while still on cooldown then putting it back on full cooldown. Is this intended or accidental for the talent?
This should be fixed in an upcoming alpha build. Possibly not the next one. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Protection Paladin and Magic Damage
A known change going into BFA is that SOTR will increase your armor as a % of your Strength stat. This orients SOTR to be strong against physical damage while losing any value vs. Magic attacks. This change is fine. I'm ok with this change.

A lesser known change is how armor interacts with Block. Currently on alpha, the amount of damage you block reduces as you get more armor. For example, on my 117 Paladin in Alpha quest gear, I have 33% baseline block DR. When I hit SOTR, it drops to 14% DR.

Now if you consider Holy Shield, a Protection Paladin talent, I gain the ability to roll a block on magic attacks. This has been a tool since WOD for Paladins to counter consistent magic bosses like Krosus. With the changes to SOTR, Holy Shield will be the only way to reduce magic damage for Protection Paladins in BFA.

However, when you put both changes together, pressing SOTR reduces the amount of magic damage I could reduce via Holy Shield. In a fight like Krosus, it would be better to spec Seraphim and sit on SOTR charges (or use macros to cancel the aura) than spend them and take more damage.

This is problematic and counter-intuitive. Pressing an active mitigation button shouldn't cause me to take more damage than I would have if I didn't press that button. No other tank has to deal with an interaction like this. It will lead to /cancelaura macros where am I pressing SOTR for damage then canceling it right away to maximize the damage reduction from Holy Shield. Imagine having to do Krosus but having to /cancelaura SOTR constantly as to not take more damage than we should be and maximizing damage/threat.

There will be points during Mythic bosses where, I'll be thinking, "Here comes the magic hit, let me click off my SOTR so I can increase my damage reduction vs Magic." Tanking shouldn't work that way.

/cancelaura macros for Active Mitigation Buffs against spell damage is not good gameplay and changes should made to avoid this situation.

Holy Shield doesn't actually work like this on the alpha. Not that you're wrong for asking--it's pretty confusing since it hasn't been updated thoroughly for the new block system. At the moment, it still does what it does on live and reduces a magic attack by 40%.

It might be more consistent in 8.0 if it blocked an amount based on the block value of your shield. But in any case, the magic portion of the talent shouldn't be affected by your armor in any way.

A few things about tank mitigation that came up in this discussion:

Magic mitigation, outside of major cooldowns like Shield Wall, is generally much lower this expansion. This is intended: the distinction between physical and magical damage is less "these are two parallel things that sometimes require different buttons" and more "this damage is different because it pierces many of your defenses." While tanks can still have some variance in the anti-magic tools, those tools are fewer than in the past and cap out at smaller amounts of mitigation.

Related to this, active mitigation is also making use of armor as a mechanic more often. There are a few reasons for this:
--It makes primary stat more important on tanks. So far in alpha, every tank except Brewmaster has an active or passive effect that turns primary stat into armor. This brings more consistency to the value of ilvl upgrades and other effects that increase primary stat. (TBD exactly how to handle this on Brewmaster)
--It allows us to make use of the fact that more difficult enemies (for example, endgame content later in the expansion) can demand more armor to reach a par level of mitigation (for theorycraft types--the "armor constant" can increase). This again allows for gear progression while keeping armor-related effects balanced at different tiers of content.

Block works similarly to armor. Its effectiveness now increases as you equip higher-ilvl shields with higher block value. Its effectiveness (as a %) decreases as you fight enemies that are meant for stronger gear. In particular, this makes a shield a more significant upgrade than it used to be, for the specs that use them.

In both of the above cases (armor and block), the plan is for the % mitigation they provide to remain roughly constant over the expansion, when in par gear for the content you are doing. Your % will be higher anytime your gear is ahead of the curve, and lower if your gear is behind. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

FinalBossTV 1st Impressions of Priests in Battle for Azeroth
FinalBossTV made a few videos recently on his first impressions for Priests in Battle for Azeroth!



This article was originally published in forum thread: Battle for Azeroth - Developer Interviews, Blue Posts, FinalBossTV - Priests started by chaud View original post
Comments 28 Comments
  1. Rylalai's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hablion View Post
    Interesting that the AI will understand oh they are AOEing us lets get out of the aoe should be interesting
    if (standingInAoE) {
    moveOutOfAoE();
    }
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Appelgren View Post
    No thanks! Unless there is one for pvp too. I hate being forced into pve just to get the loot i need to perform my best in pvp.
    Shitty system!

    - - - Updated - - -



    Cool story bro!
    I meant without being forced into PvP like the ring did. Although also without being forced into the mission table rubbish as well.

    And I don't see an issue with a separate PvP specific legendary either.
  1. Appelgren's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eleccybubb View Post
    I meant without being forced into PvP like the ring did. Although also without being forced into the mission table rubbish as well.

    And I don't see an issue with a separate PvP specific legendary either.
    Aslong as its as powerful as the one from pve then im fine with it
  1. Softbottom's Avatar
    Can you guys make a Hearthstone MMO Champ page too now please
  1. Duridi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eleccybubb View Post
    Just give us the cape or ring style quests back.
    Think I must be the only person who would hate that. I didn't like any of those chains. I never completed any of them. Could not be bothered. I love the Legion legendary system though, and sad to see it go.
  1. furydeath's Avatar
    "Raids will require some CC again"

    never heard that before.
  1. manelinho's Avatar
    It seems to me that expenditions will be some sort of small tactital fun dungeon. The worst part of it is the queue up part.
    So you just suddendly appear in a island of 6 other?

    Please tell them its something lacking behind. In the first month people see it as a good stuff, after a while not that so...
    Why Wow insist just on skillfull gameplay? Fun is also Battlefield kind of style. Make use of communities for using vessels , attack helis,tanks...
  1. Tupolew519's Avatar
    those abillity effects looks cool.

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