World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2022-05-19 10:14 AM

Free Character Transfers Available from Firemaw (EU)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Over the last few weeks, we’ve observed an unprecedented event in World of Warcraft: an unserviceable number of Burning Crusade Classic players have continuously attempted to play on a single realm.

This has always been possible, of course. At any time over the last 17 years, players in a region could have collectively decided to create characters on a single realm and then all attempted to play on that realm. All realms have a cap on concurrent players (this is configured to be the same number on all realms), and if that many players are in-game on the realm, additional players who come along are placed into a queue. The queue itself also has a cap, and if even more players than that attempt to log into the realm, they are denied access entirely.

By the measurement of its daily total number of players logged-in, Firemaw is the largest realm in the world. To give that some context, the 24th largest realm in the world (Benediction-US) has about 67% as many daily players as Firemaw does.

The reason we’ve never seen such a large population on a realm for more than a few days is something we call “queue pressure”. The game is much more fun if you’re actually playing it, even on a smaller realm, so in the past, players have always eventually chosen to move to other realms. For quite some time, free character transfers have been available from the Firemaw realm. Any player with characters on Firemaw can move to the following realms for free:

  • Amnennar
  • Ashbringer
  • Earthshaker
  • Golemagg
  • Mandokir
  • Mograine
  • Patchwerk
  • Razorgore
  • Sulfuron
  • Transcendence
  • Venoxis

As always, we encourage players on Firemaw to alleviate the population issue by transferring to one of those realms.

It’s worth mentioning that the subject of layering is not related to this issue. Layers are automatically created or collapsed based on the number of players who are outside of instanced content, and the layering configuration is exactly the same on all WoW Classic realms. Lately, Firemaw has consistently needed 4 layers to accommodate all players who are not in instanced content. Smaller realms have fewer layers, but this is related to the number of players congregating outside instances, not the total number of concurrent players the realm can serve. Adding more layers would not increase the total number of players allowed on a realm at the same time. That maximum is bounded by the limitations of hardware.

We’re currently evaluating all realms’ populations and the necessity for more or different free character transfers. We’ll let you know as soon as we determine whether we need to take additional steps there.

Thank you!

New Marvel Game Announcement
Marvel Entertainment is going to announce a new game today at 10 AM PT. The teaser shows the logos for Nuverse (a Hong Kong based publisher) and Second Dinner, a video game studio co-founded by Ben Brode, the former Game Director for Hearthstone.

Untitled Dragonflight Prequel
A new untitled Dragonflight book has appeared on Amazon. The prequel story to World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is set to release on November 22, 2022.

Purchases through this link support the site.
by Published on 2022-05-17 11:54 PM

Patch 9.2.5 PTR - Build 43741
A new build is on the way!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The Season 4 Mythic+ Affix is now available for testing on the PTR.

  • Mythic+
    • New Seasonal Affix: Shrouded – Nathrezim infiltrators have disguised themselves among the enemies throughout the dungeon. Cartel Ta will reward you handsomely for assisting in their capture.
    • New Dungeon Rotation
      • Tazavesh: Streets of Wonder
      • Tazavesh: So’leah’s Gambit
      • Operation Mechagon: Junkyard
      • Operation Mechagon: Workshop
      • Return to Karazhan: Lower
      • Return to Karazhan: Upper
      • Iron Docks
      • Grimrail Depot

Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Feats of Strength

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Item Effects
  • Add Keystone Affix: Shrouded Name changed from "Add Keystone Affix: Encrypted" to "Add Keystone Affix: Shrouded". Add the Tormented Shrouded affix to a Mythic Keystone. Instant.
  • Decrypting Ancient Cyphers Combine 20 Confounding Antique Cyphers to create the Cosmic Creation Impetus, which can be used to improve Fated raid items to Heroic quality. 2 sec cast.Reagents: Confounding Antique Cypher x 20.
  • Decrypting Ancient Cyphers Combine 20 Confounding Ancient Cyphers to create the Sacred Creation Impetus, which can be used to improve Fated raid items to Mythic quality. 2 sec cast.Reagents: Confounding Ancient Cypher x 20.
  • Set Keystone Map: Grimrail Depot (New) Set the dungeon map of a Mythic Keystone to Grimrail Depot. Instant.
  • Set Keystone Map: Iron Docks (New) Set the dungeon map of a Mythic Keystone to Iron Docks. Instant.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Arc Lightning Volatile Energy shoots lightning at a random enemy, inflicting 6 3 Arcane damage. This damage increases every time the Volatile Energy casts Arc Lightning. Unlimited range. Instant.
  • Blackrock Bomb Lobs a bomb towards an enemy that inflicts 30 25 Fire damage to all targets within 4 yards of the impact. 150 yd range. Instant.
  • Curse of Doom Inflicts 168 Shadow damage to the target after 10 sec. Limited to 1 target. 100 yd range. 1 sec cast. 1.5 sec cast.
  • Dash The caster surges forward trampling over anything in his path inflicting 14 10 Physical damage and knocking enemies back. 300 yd range. Instant.
  • Disintegrate Inflicts 95 Fire damage to all enemies in front of the caster, knocking the target back. 200 yd range. 1 sec cast. 2.5 sec cast.
  • Flashlight Creates a blinding flash around the caster, inflicting Holy damage and disorienting all enemies facing the caster. 15 yd range. 3 sec cast. 4 sec cast.
  • Gleeful Immolation The caster summons a Gleeful Immoliator at a random location that will burn enemies caught in its flames. Getting caught in the flames burns the victim for 56 20 Fire damage every 1 sec. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • Heartbreaker Breaks the hearts of all nearby enemies affected by Flirt, inflicting 112 Shadow damage. 1 sec cast. 1.5 sec cast.
  • Hemorrhaging Wounds Increases the damage of Double Slash by 15%. 15 yd range. Instant. 10%. 15 yd range. Instant.
  • Leech Life Periodically drains the victim of 34 health, healing the caster in the process. 30 yd range (40 for friends). 1 sec cast. 1.5 sec cast.
  • Mad Dash Borka the Brute charges forward trampling over anything in his path inflicting 150 400 Physical damage and interrupting spell casts for 3 sec. 500 yd range. Instant.
  • Mana Drain Drains 30 Drains 0 mana and inflicts 15 Arcane damage every 3 sec to the current target in addition to stunning them for 6 sec. 100 yd range. 2.5 sec cast.
  • Meteor Cleave The Jailer swings his flail in a huge arc, inflicting 1,650 1,500 Physical damage split evenly between all players in front of him. All players hit are knocked back. The main target takes 500% increased Physical damage for 50 sec. Unlimited range. 2 sec cast.
  • New Plan! Fires a volley of missiles inflicting 5 11 Fire damage. 50 yd range. Instant.
  • New Plan! Fires a volley of missiles inflicting 5 11 Fire damage. 50 yd range. Instant.
  • New Plan! Railmaster Rocketspark quickly devises a new plan when Borka the Brute is slain and begins launching missiles that inflict 5 11 Fire damage every 0.5 sec. In addition, Rocketspark starts Locking On!. Instant.
  • Shadow Bolt Volley Hurls missiles of dark magic, inflicting 39 Shadow damage to nearby enemies. 40 yd range. 2.5 sec cast. 3 sec cast.
  • Shared Suffering The caster swings their sword in a great arc, inflicting 5,000,000 560 Shadow damage evenly divided amongst all targets in the sword's path. 20 yd range. 3.8 sec cast. 3 sec cooldown.
  • Shimmer Guardian's Image radiates with Arcane energy, inflicting 8 Arcane damage every 3 sec. In addition, this effect increase damage taken from Shimmer by 5% 2% for 15 sec. This effect stacks. Instant.
  • Shrapnel Blast Blasts enemies in a 13 yard frontal cone, inflicting 8 6 Fire damage every half-second to enemies. 15 yd range. Instant.
  • Shrapnel Cannon Blasts enemies in a frontal cone, inflicting 21 35 Fire damage every second to nearby enemies. 35 yd range. Instant.
  • Slam Inflicts 13 Inflicts 28 Physical damage to all players and interrupts casting for 1.5 sec. 1.5 sec cast.
  • Unstable Mana Power surges through the targets body, inflicting 34 11 Arcane damage every 3 sec and increasing all damage done by 5% Instant. 10% Instant.
  • Uppercut Strikes the target with an uppercut, inflicting Physical damage and knocking them down. Melee range. 0.4 sec cast. 1.5 sec cast.
  • VX18-B Target Eliminator Launches missiles at up to 2 enemy targets. Each missile inflicts 35 42 Fire damage to all targets within 3 yards of the impact. 3 sec cast.
  • VX18-B Target Eliminator Launches missiles at up to 2 enemy targets. Each missile inflicts 35 42 Fire damage to all targets within 3 yards of the impact. 300 yd range. Instant.
  • Web Flings a sticky Web at the target, dealing rooting the victim in place. While Webbed, the victim takes 22 Nature damage every 2 sec. Limited to 1 target. 100 Energy. 30 yd range (40 for friends). 1 sec cast. 1.5 sec cast.
  • Will Breaker Lord Crispin Ference swings his weapon, inflicting 49 Holy damage to targets in a line in front of the caster. 100 yd range. 3.4 sec cast. 3 sec cast.
  • X21-01A Missile Barrage Fires volleys of missiles inflicting 6 8 Fire damage to two targets every 1 second for 20 sec. 100 yd range. Instant.
  • X21-01A Missile Barrage Fires volleys of missiles inflicting 6 8 Fire damage to two targets every 1 second for 20 sec. 100 yd range. Instant.

Strings Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_LICENSE_ACK_TEXT_GEL (New) - By clicking Pay Now, you agree to the |HurlIndex:16|h|cff71d5ffTerms of Sale|r|h, and to the immediate delivery of your order. You will lose the right to withdraw your order once the delivery process has started.
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_LICENSE_ACK_TEXT_KZT (New) - By clicking Pay Now, you agree to the |HurlIndex:16|h|cff71d5ffTerms of Sale|r|h, and to the immediate delivery of your order. You will lose the right to withdraw your order once the delivery process has started.
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_LICENSE_ACK_TEXT_TRY (New) - By clicking Pay Now, you agree to the |HurlIndex:16|h|cff71d5ffTerms of Sale|r|h, and to the immediate delivery of your order. You will lose the right to withdraw your order once the delivery process has started.
  • BLIZZARD_STORE_LICENSE_ACK_TEXT_UAH (New) - By clicking Pay Now, you agree to the |HurlIndex:16|h|cff71d5ffTerms of Sale|r|h, and to the immediate delivery of your order. You will lose the right to withdraw your order once the delivery process has started.
by Published on 2022-05-17 08:08 PM

Sepulcher of the First One Tuning - May 17, 2022
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With scheduled maintenance in each region (earlier today in this region), we’ve made the following tuning adjustments to the Sepulcher of the First Ones Raid:

  • Anduin Wyrnn
    • Blasphemy duration increased to 12 seconds in all difficulties.
    • Lost Soul duration increased to 40 seconds in all difficulties (was 35 seconds).
    • Wicked Star now targets one player at a time in Mythic difficulty.
    • Players are now invalid targets for Blasphemy for 20 seconds after the effects of Lost Soul expire (was 10 seconds).
    • Reduced the health of Grim Reflections by 15% in Mythic difficulty.
  • Rygelon
    • Rygelon’s health has been reduced by 5% in Mythic difficulty.
    • Collapsing Quasar Fields now last 8 seconds (was 6 seconds) in Mythic difficulty.
    • Dark Collapse damage has been reduced by 25% in Mythic difficulty.
    • Unstable Quasar radius reduced by 25%, and damage reduced by 20% in Mythic difficulty.
    • Cosmic Ejection damage-over-time reduced by 33% in Mythic difficulty.
  • The Jailer, Zovaal
    • Azerite Radiation increased Arcane damage is now 80% (was 100%) in Mythic difficulty.
    • Meteor Cleave damage decreased 10% in Mythic difficulty
    • Torment initial explosion damage decreased by 10% in all difficulties.
    • Shattering Blast damage over time decreased by 33% in Mythic difficulty.
    • Chain Breaker damage decreased by 10% in all difficulties.
by Published on 2022-05-16 10:49 PM

CurseForge Official API & Standalone Client Now Live
Today, in a blog post shared on Medium, Overwolf has announced their new CurseForge Official API, as well as a new standalone client to manage addons without the Overwolf app - something the community has requested for a long time.

To download the standalone windows client from the CurseForge website, simply click the drop-down from "Download" and choose the CurseForge Standalone application.

Originally Posted by Overwolf
The Road to Releasing The Official CurseForge API

We are excited to announce that the official CurseForge API is now available. Docs can be found here. In October 2020, prompted by community feedback, we explored offering an official well-documented API for CurseForge mods and we addressed three core concerns in a Medium post. The three areas where we needed to find sustainable solutions in order to move forward with the API were:

  • Authors’ consent when it comes to third party distribution of their creations
  • How to address the impact on Authors’ earnings
  • How to lessen the impact on CurseForge’s servers and CDN

We’re excited to be giving back the control of project distribution to the authors through the new API. Authors’ consent and the impact on earnings were solved by releasing a toggle that enables creators to choose whether or not they want to allow distribution of their mods outside of the CurseForge ecosystem.

Downloads originated from 3rd party services rely on CurseForge servers and CDN, incurring substantial costs and bypassing monetization which is used to fuel the Authors Rewards Points system. As a workaround, along with the official API, we created a Terms of Service (TOS) agreement with the goal of providing stabilization and allowing us to scale. The TOS enables essential community projects, like Discord bots, mod managers, updates, news and stats to access the API in order to grow and support gamers.

So far we had a total of 170 approved applications including:

  • 62 Mod managers
  • 35 Bots
  • 23 Analytics tools
  • 30 Server related tools
  • 9 General modding tools
  • 11 Modpack creation tools

Standalone Version of CurseForge App is Available

We take community feedback seriously. Many of the community members voiced their preference for a leaner approach to managing mods. We’ve taken this into consideration and developed a standalone version of the CurseForge app on Windows, based on Electron, which you can download here.

As with the Linux version, it currently supports World of Warcraft only. We plan to keep this version in feature parity with the Overwolf version in the future. Please note, this is fresh from the oven and currently on Alpha.

If you have any questions or feedback about this, please join our Discord and let us know.

We want to thank the community for helping us push this through and improving the CurseForge experience for everyone! The API is, at heart, a service that empowers the community to create more tools and expand the modding workspace. As always, we would love to hear if there are any issues encountered with the new API that require our attention. Please let us know via a support ticket or in our Discord.
by Published on 2022-05-16 02:12 PM

King's Diversity Space Tool: A Leap Forward for Inclusion in Gaming
A few days ago, Activision Blizzard published a new article titled King's Diversity Space Tool: A Leap Forward for Inclusion in Gaming. In this post, it was found out that King and the MIT Game Lab have been working together to make software in order to "create and monitor guidelines for character conception and creation".

The original post included a header called "Diversity Space Method", featuring different attributes of Zarya, Lucio and Torbjörn in a radar chart.

The Diversity Space Tool also showed a detailed breakdown of Ana and other characters from Overwatch. Ana received a score of 7 out of 10 for culture and race, and 0 out of 10 for body type, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background.

The Diversity Space Tool has been criticized online by the community, after all how is it even possible to "rate" the race and sexual orientation of a character by giving it a score from 0 to 10? Blizzard employees have also criticized the tool, mentioning that Overwatch doesn't even use this "creepy dystopian chart".

In light of the controversy, the original post was updated with an editor's note which clarifies that the tool is not being used in active game development.
Originally Posted by Activision Blizzard
EDITOR’S NOTE (7:42pm PT - May 13, 2022): There has been conversation online regarding the Diversity Space Tool, particularly concerning its intent and our commitment to diversity. We’ve edited this blog post to clarify that this prototype is not being used in active game development. We would like to add the following comment for additional context:

Started in 2016, the Diversity Space Tool–currently in beta–was designed as an optional supplement to the hard work and focus our teams already place on telling diverse stories with diverse characters, but decisions regarding in-game content have been and will always be driven by development teams. The tool was developed at King, and has been beta tested by several developers across the company, all of whom have provided valuable input.

The objective of using the tool is to uncover unconscious bias by identifying existing norms in representation and acknowledging opportunities for growth in inclusion. It is not a substitute for any other essential effort by our teams in this regard, nor will it alter our company’s diversity hiring goals. Over the past several years, the development of the tool was done with the support of all our employee DE&I networks, and we collaborated with external partners to create an even more robust tool.

The tool isn’t meant to be used in isolation; teams would sit down with company DE&I staff to identify existing norms and then discuss, educate, consult, and collaborate on how a character’s representation is expressed beyond those norms. This process is intended to create a conversation where our developers, assisted by the tool, challenge assumptions, assess choices, and find opportunities for authentic representation to be fostered in our games.

Activision Blizzard is committed to reflecting the diversity of its millions of players around the world through representation and inclusion in its games as well as its employees. Our intent with this blog entry was to share an in-progress piece of our journey in this endeavor. We recognize and respect that all people may be on their own, unique point in their journey with DE&I. The Diversity Space Tool is not a definitive evaluation of diversity in game content; rather, it is a bridge in opening previously unspoken conversations into how thoughtful inclusion can happen – and thrive - in games.

We want to see ourselves represented in games, we want the barriers to access lowered, and we want games to be a welcoming environment for all. Just look at the 2019 International Game Developers Association (IGDA) “Developer Satisfaction Survey,” which asked developers what they considered to be the most important factor in the growth of the gaming industry. The most common response? “More diversity in content.” It’s not even a question anymore.

However, the question that does remain is this: How do we convert this feedback from collective desire into tangible reality? As expected, the people at King are already thinking a few moves ahead.

In 2016, King began developing a method for guarding against unconscious bias and exclusion when it came to the creation of their games and characters. At the time, this idea existed as an intangible philosophy, but the potential was obvious.

Enter the MIT Game Lab. Alongside King, the MIT techs helped turn a mission statement into tangible software that would create and monitor guidelines for character conception and creation, looking into all the ways basic elements such as gender, body type, roles (“heroes” vs. “villains”) and even such granular factors such as pose, or body movement, can suggest powerful things about a character one way or another. According to King Globalization Project Manager Jacqueline Chomatas, once MIT handed over the basic software, the team at King spent the last few years honing and developing it, mostly as a volunteer effort. People were spending their off-hours working on the tool, simply because they believed in its potential so much.

“An important principle for us at King is that all players should feel welcome,” says Chomatas. “The intention is to inspire game teams not just at King, but throughout the Activision Blizzard King network, to think outside the box and challenge pre-conceived notions around how characters should look and act. As a result, hopefully we will create more characters that break the mold, and better represent women, non-binaries and other under-represented minorities in the industry.”

How It Works

The idea of a “tool” to make characters more diverse and inclusive may seem a little hard to wrap your head around. In practice, it has to be more than just, say, a pop-up reminder that between 2017 and 2021 nearly 80% of the highest selling games in the world featured white, male protagonists (according to a study conducted by Diamond Lobby). It needs to become a part of the incubation process from the start, baked into the pipeline as an unmissable and consistent step - which is exactly what this tool was designed to be.

“The Diversity Space Tool is a measurement device, to help identify how diverse a set of character traits are and in turn how diverse that character and casts are when compared to the ‘norm’,” explains Chomatas. Once it establishes a baseline for typical character traits (which is done by the creative team working closely with DE&I experts), it can then weigh new character designs against it to measure their diversity. During this process, the tool can also uncover unconscious bias, such as why certain traits are seen as “male” vs. “female,” or why characters from certain ethnic backgrounds are given similar personalities or behaviors.

In this effort, the Diversity Space Tool can clearly delineate between token characters and true representation. “[The tool] identifies what stereotypical characters in different genres look like, which are not always the most conducive or representative of diversity,” says Chomatas. “It helps identify those stereotypes, while also helping creatives look closer at their designs, so they can dissect their own assumptions and presets. It also helps identify opportunities for more diverse character narratives, to ensure that we are not only creating diverse characters in appearance alone.”

By starting at the character conception stage, the tool allows King and others, to ask these important questions at the earliest possible moment, to promote more thoughtful creative choices from the ground up – which, in turn, leads to games that are more representative of their player base.

Sharing and Caring

Over the past few months, King has let developer teams at Activision and Blizzard “beta test” the Diversity Space Tool, and the results have been immediate and enthusiastic. The plan is to further test the tool internally for preliminary feedback across Activision Blizzard starting this summer. “We strongly believe in the tool’s potential to change the gaming landscape,” says Chomatas.

Beyond Gaming

While the Diversity Space Tool was designed for use in game character conception, Chomatas also sees it as having broader applications across all entertainment and media platforms. “The traits and measures are applicable to wider entertainment verticals including TV, film, and literature. The only change required if used in these verticals would be the baseline traits, which would need to be calibrated to be relevant to the genre and universe each character exists in.” Chomatas admits that the application is still evolving – and, in fact, is designed to continuously evolve as “norms” shift and platforms change. In the end, you get out of it what you put into it, and what you choose to take from it.

“Like anything, this is simply a tool that provides insights,” says Chomatas. “It’s up to the teams that create the characters and games to apply them.”

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