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by Published on 2020-08-04 08:27 PM

Activision Blizzard Q2 2020 Earnings Call
The Activision Blizzard earnings call is this afternoon. We've highlighted some of the written results below.


  • Activision had 125 million MAUs in the second quarter, up from 102 million in Q1 and still down from 128 million in Q4 2019.
  • Blizzard had 32 million MAUs in the second quarter. This is the same as Q1 and Q4 2019.
  • World of Warcraft reach and engagement once again increased sequentially, as shelter-at-home conditions further boosted the franchise’s strong trajectory.
  • The Shadowlands expansion saw an enthusiastic response from players in its public testing, with pre-sales accelerating even further ahead of its release in the fourth quarter.
  • World of Warcraft engagement is the highest in a decade at this point ahead of an expansion.
  • Building on the success of Battlegrounds and recent live operations, the Hearthstone pipeline includes expansions, new engagement features and a new game mode planned for the coming quarters.
  • Overwatch engagement grew year-over-year, including among returning players.
  • Diablo Immortal, developed for mobile in partnership with NetEase, is due to expand internal testing with a company playtest in the coming weeks.
by Published on 2020-08-04 07:11 PM

Feedback - Priest Class Changes in Shadowlands
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Greetings,

We’ve heard your feedback on Shadow Priests and spent some time performing more extensive changes to the spec – including changes to baseline skills and talents. Most importantly, we’ve taken a deeper look at Voidform.

Voidform
Along with Insanity, Voidform was introduced in Legion as a central component of a Shadow Priest redesign that explored the fantasy of tapping into dark, mind-twisting void magic for temporary power. From a gameplay standpoint, this was expressed as building up Insanity, entering Voidform, then battling against decaying Insanity to prolong your time in this powerful state. This design has not been a clear winner for several players as we often receive feedback that people do not enjoy fighting the resource decay in order to inflict reasonable damage. On the other hand, we also hear from people who enjoy Voidform but feel it is not transformative enough. Over time, the design has proved problematic and Voidform uptime has dominated the spec, going far beyond our original intention. Now, any talents, items, legendaries, etc. that do not feed into Voidform are considered undesirable. We want time in Voidform to feel more impactful and as a result, we are limiting the time you can undergo the transformation by applying a cooldown. By default, the ability will no longer have the decaying resource mechanic, but that gameplay will be more appropriately placed in the redesigned talent, Legacy of the Void, so that players can have the option to choose the “legacy” feel of Voidform.

Devouring Plague
Feedback suggested the duration of Devouring Plague was too long. While we reduced the duration from its historic 21 second duration to 12 seconds, we agree this still feels too long so we’re reducing it further to 6 seconds. We’ve also fixed bugs that prevented Devouring Plague from scaling with Haste or Critical Strike and we’ve also increased its damage.

General Gameplay
We’re introducing a new passive called Dark Thoughts that adds a baseline proc in the rotation which we feel spices up the general rotation. We want damage over time effects to matter to Shadow Priests, so we’ve made it so Dark Thoughts and other mechanics interact with that core theme.

Talents
We’ve gone through a number of talents and made adjustments in an effort to make choices a bit more competitive in a variety of situations. Unfurling Darkness and Psychic Link support Shadow Priests multi-dotting strength, while Damnation and Surrender to Madness provide tools for Shadow Priests to quickly burst targets down when the encounter demands it.

Lastly, we want to spotlight the new talent, Searing Nightmare. Searing Nightmare can assist Shadow Priests in situations like Mythic+ where higher sustained AOE could be useful.

Thanks everyone for your feedback and your unending passion.

Baseline Changes
  • Void Eruption’s cast time is reduced by 40%.
  • Mind Blast (Rank 2) reduces cooldown of Mind Blast by 7.5 seconds (was 7 seconds).
  • Shadow Word: Death no longer generates Insanity.
  • Shadowy Apparitions re-designed – When you use Mind Blast, Devouring Plague or Void Bolt you also create a shadowy version of yourself that floats towards all targets afflicted by your Vampiric Touch dealing Shadow damage. Critical Strikes will cause two Shadowy Apparitions to be created.
  • Voidform
    • Now has a 90 second cooldown and now increases damage by 20% and lasts for 15 seconds.
    • Voidform no longer reduces the cooldown of Mind Blast, but now refreshes the cooldown of Mind Blast and you gain 2 charges while in Voidform.
    • You no longer gain Haste every 0.5 seconds while in Voidform.
  • Devouring Plague
    • Devouring Plague’s duration reduced to 6 seconds and damage increased by 50%.
      • Developers’ note: Lowering the duration of the damage over time effect to make it punchier so that sequential Devouring Plague’s don’t overlap (accounting for potential overflow).
    • Devouring Plague will now properly critically strike.
    • Devouring Plague is now a level 20 spell.
  • New Spell
    • Dark Thoughts (Passive) (Level 16) – For each of your damage over time effects on the target, your Mind Flay and Mind Sear have a 2% chance to instantly add a charge of Mind Blast, causing it to be instantly cast, and allowing it to be cast while channeling Mind Flay or Mind Sear within 6 seconds.
      • Dark Thoughts can stack up to 5 times for situations where the Shadow Priest will proc many in a short time.

Talents
  • Tier 15
    • Shadowy Insight has been removed.
    • Shadow Word: Void has been removed.
    • Death and Madness is now available on this tier.
    • New Talent: Unfurling Darkness – After casting Vampiric Touch on a target, your next Vampiric Touch is instant cast and deals 155% SP Shadow damage instantly. This effect cannot occur more than once every 15 seconds.
  • Tier 40
    • New Talent: Psychic Link – Mind Blast deals 60% of its damage to all targets afflicted by your Vampiric Touch within 40 yards.
  • Tier 45
    • Lingering Insanity has been removed.
    • Dark Void has been removed.
    • New Talent: Searing Nightmare – Instantly deals Shadow damage to all enemies around the target and afflicts them with Shadow Word: Pain. If the enemy is already afflicted by your Shadow Word: Pain, Searing Nightmare deals double damage. Only usable while channeling Mind Sear.
    • New Talent: Damnation – Instantly afflicts the target with Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Touch and Devouring Plague free of cost. 45 seconds cooldown.
    • Void Torrent – No longer pauses your Insanity while used, but now refreshes the duration of your Shadow damage over time effects on the target while its channeling.
  • Tier 50
    • Dark Ascension has been removed.
    • Legacy of the Void re-designed – Voidform no longer has a duration. However, during Voidform your Insanity will drain increasingly fast until it reaches 0 and Voidform ends. Voidform increases spell damage by an additional 5%.
    • Surrender to Madness – Reduced to a 90 second cooldown.
    • New Talent: Ancient Madness – Entering Voidform increases your critical strike chance by 30% for 15 seconds, reducing its effect by 2% per second.

PvP Talents
  • New Talent: Lasting Plague – Increases the duration of Devouring Plague by 6 seconds.

Notice: Test Character Wipe Incoming
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
During Beta maintenance tomorrow morning (August 5), we intend to delete all test characters in the Shadowlands Beta.

Once the Beta realms are live with the new build of the Shadowlands Beta, please copy your test character(s) over and start with the quest “A Chilling Summons”.

All of the means by which content can be skipped (flaskataurs) will also be removed.

Thank you!

WoW Classic - Gong Ringing Soon on Some Realms
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hello!
Since the Ahn’Qiraj content went live with the last weekly reset, we’ve been closely following the progress made by players on every realm. In particular, we’re looking forward to the ringing of the gong on the five realms in this region that have completed their War Effort and will see supplies delivered to Silithus by 11:00 a.m. PDT tomorrow:

  • Sulfuras
  • Skeram
  • Incendius
  • Netherwind
  • Earthfury

They are listed above in the order that they completed turn-ins, which began the 120-hour-long process of transporting supplies.
We expect that players will begin ringing the gong on those realms soon after the weekly reset tomorrow, and that will begin the 10 Hour War, during which additional players who meet the requirements to do so may also ring the gong. At the end of the 10 Hour War, the 20- and 40-person raids will open on those realms.

We also expect that Silithus is going to be a packed house on those realms, and players who are below level 60 will be the first to be ported out. We’ll be looking for streamers who are participating on each of them, so please feel free to reply here if you spot a good stream for everyone to watch.
Good luck to everyone who’s trying to be the first to Bang A Gong!
by Published on 2020-08-04 07:00 PM

Temple of Ahn'Qiraj and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj - Official Preview
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
With the completion of the War Effort and the ringing of the gong, the 20-player Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj and 40-player Temple of Ahn’Qiraj become available, luring adventurers into their depths to face the Qiraji—and ultimately, the Old God C’Thun.

Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj

The Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj is an outdoor 20-player raid dungeon located in Silithus, and players can traverse much of it while mounted.

Raid Bosses: 6
Level: 60
Location: Kalimdor – Silithus
Players: 20
Raid Reset: 3 Days

No attunement is required to enter this raid dungeon, but your realm must have completed the War Effort and the quest “Bang a Gong!” for players to gain access. The entrance to this dungeon is located to the left of the main gate.

Bosses:

Kurinnaxx is the first of the six bosses you will encounter in the ruins. This fight requires a great deal of mobility, and raid members must keep an eye on shifting sands beneath their feet to avoid taking extra damage.

General Rajaxx is the commander of the Qiraji armies, and the second boss encounter in the ruins. You’ll find this towering monstrosity on the General’s Terrace; speak to Lieutenant General Andorov to begin the encounter, but make sure your raid team is ready first.

Moam (Optional) is located in the Reservoir. Having some players capable of draining the mana from[/url] this mighty magic user can be crucial to overcoming his mana-stealing ways.

Buru the Gorger (Optional) can be found in the Hatchery below. The eggs around him are his greatest weakness, and you’ll need to carefully maneuver him over to them to succeed.

Ayamiss the Hunter (Optional) is located in the Comb. She begins the fight airborne, and will need to be damaged with ranged attacks until she’s forced to face you on the ground.[/url]

Ossirian the Unscarred is located within the Watchers’ Terrace and is the final boss within the ruins. You’ll need to use the crystals around the room to help weaken his damage output.

Completing this dungeon will earn you reputation with the Cenarion Circle which aids in ultimately collecting a ring, cloak, and weapon three-piece set through a variety of turn-ins.

Learn more about the strategies within the Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj on Wowhead or on Barrens Chat.

Temple of Ahn'Qiraj

Dark whispers ride on the winds of Silithus desert. An old god stirs in his wretched lair, and the entire world shall soon be the target of his wrath. After thousands of years of slumber, the Old God, C’Thun has awakened and is quickly regenerating his power. Once he has reached full potential nothing will be able to stop him. The dragons that so humbly sacrificed themselves long ago to imprison C’Thun are weakened or enslaved in the temple, so the charge of protecting the land falls to other heroes.

Heroes must enter Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, challenge C’Thun’s most wicked servants, and slay a god. The road will not be easy, and it is wrought with peril at every turn. Will the heroes turn back now or face C’Thun in his mighty lair and put an end to him once and for all?

Raid Bosses: 9
Level: 60
Location: Kalimdor- Silithus
Players: 40
Raid Reset: 7 Days

No attunement is necessary for this raid dungeon, but your realm must have completed the War Effort and the quest “Bang a Gong!” for players to gain access. The entrance for this dungeon is located to the right of the main gate.

Bosses:

The Prophet Skeram is located within the Temple Gates. An important religious leader in Ahn'Qiraj and author of The Prophecy of C'Thun, he is the first boss found in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj.

Silithid Royalty (Optional) is located in the Hive Undergrounds[/url] and is an optional boss encounter in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. In this encounter, three silithid must be fought all at the same time to be defeated.

Battleguard Sartura, the second boss in the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, is located in the Hive Undergrounds and is the apparent leader of the Qiraji battleguards.

Fankriss the Unyielding is is a sand reaver and the third boss in the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, located in the Hive Undergounds.

Viscidus (Optional) is located in the Hive Undergrounds; this giant slime that can be accessed after the death of Fankriss the Unyielding.

Princess Huhuran is a silithid wasp and the fourth boss of the temple. She is located in the heart of the Hive Undergrounds.

The Twin Emperors Little is known about the Twin Emperors, except the fact that they created a powerful entity, Moam, to serve as a commander of their armies. They are located in The Hive Underground.

Ouro (Optional) is an ancient sandworm rumored to have been created by the Old God C’Thun as a mockery of life.

C’Thun is located in the underbelly of the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj within the Vault of C’Thun. You’ll need to hone your team’s coordination in order to defeat this final boss and reap your rewards.

Collecting the Eye of C’Thun will begin a quest that can be completed for a choice of an epic amulet, cloak, or ring; you'll also need to earn reputation with the Brood of Nozdormu and the Cenarion Circle.

Earning Brood of Nozdormu reputation and collecting a variety of turn-ins will ultimately reward you with feet, shoulders, head, legs, and chest armor pieces.

Druid: Genesis Raiment
Hunter: Striker’s Garb
Mage: Enigma Vestments
Priest: Garments of the Oracle
Rogue: Deathdealer’s Embrace
Shaman: Stormcaller’s Garb
Warlock: Doomcaller’s Attire
Warrior: Conqueror’s Battlegear

Players can also collect Qiraji mounts, which can be used exclusively within the halls of the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj.

Learn more about the strategies within the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj on Wowhead or on Barrens Chat.
by Published on 2020-08-04 02:41 AM

Actions Taken Against Gallywix And Gold Selling
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
After performing a thorough investigation, we’ve identified that the Gallywix boosting organization has been taking part in gold selling for real money. Real money trading – also known as RMT – is a serious violation of our End-User License Agreement and is not tolerated, therefore we’ve begun taking action and have banned accounts in North America and Europe that were associated with this group and taking part in the real money trading transactions.

These actions have primarily targeted the Gallywix organization so far, but our investigations are ongoing and additional accounts involved with running this organization may be banned in the future.

Going forward, accounts may receive actions if they are found to be involved in future transactions with Gallywix or are actively advertising it.

Thank you for your understanding.

Hotfixes - August 3, 2020
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
WoW Classic
  • Lefty within Blackrock Depths should now inflict damage with his Five Fat Finger Exploding Heart Technique.
by Published on 2020-08-03 09:19 PM

Ectoplasmic Distiller Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
A hotfix was applied last week that made it so the Ectoplasmic Distiller quest item would no longer generate threat. We made this change because in patch 1.12, dropping this item applied a buff to everybody in range of the item, and since buffs generate threat by default, it could be used to trivialize the threat mechanics in many encounters. We don’t believe this was an intended effect and this was a case where the impact was extreme enough to warrant the change.

Another notable reason for the change is that this item is not a quest reward, but item used as part of the mechanics to complete a quest, which is then removed when the quest is complete. We want quest completion to be a rewarding experience, and not feel like a mistake.

Dark Legacy Comics #736
DLC #736 has been released.


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