World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2016-11-15 04:50 PM

New Mage Card Reveal: Kabal Lackey

World Boss - Humongris
Pocket Wizard is up this week, so you can head to Val'sharah to kill Humongris for a chance at item level 860 items and a Iron Relic.

Trial of Valor
Mythic and Raid Finder Trial of Valor open today! Check out the boss pages, short guides, and some lore behind the instance.

BlizzCon 2016 - Celestalon and Hamlet Interview
Slootbag had the opportunity to talk to Celestalon and Hamlet at BlizzCon.

  • Patch 7.0 made lots of changes to classes and the team knew it wouldn't all be perfect. Iteration is required to make things better.
  • Hibernate is one of the spells that may return.
  • Demonology and Survival are almost new specs in Legion after all of the changes.
  • This level of iteration on classes probably won't continue throughout the expansion. Things will smooth out over time.
  • Emerald Nightmare was not intended to be soul crushingly hard. Xavius was on the easy side, especially with Surrender to Madness.
  • The team hasn't made huge changes to Surrender to Madness because it is really good class fantasy and a lot of people love the gameplay.
  • For the most part, the team will be buffing the under performing talents. This might just be number tweaks, tweaks to the design, or even replacements. Number tweaks will be the most common, as they are the easiest.
  • Fire is on the very strong side, so they nerfed it a little bit. It is still a little strong, but there is no way to get it exactly in line with the other specs.
  • The team tries to avoid making class tuning changes for a few weeks after Mythic opens.
  • The first week that a raid is open provides lots of data used to adjust tuning.
  • Surrender to Madness is probably too strong. The team wants to find a way to fix it that doesn't negatively impact the average or high end player.
  • The team doesn't want to make underpowered specs more powerful than the other specs. The team wouldn't want to buff Arcane or Frost so much that players feel like they have to switch to Frost or Arcane. They would bring them up to just a few percent under Fire. This doesn't mean that if you look at logs you will see Fire and Frost equal. Most players already put most of their Artifact Power in Fire and have been gearing for Fire, so they aren't going to switch.
  • Survival was a new spec that started off on the weak side, so it didn't attract much attention or playtime. Groups also aren't sure why they would bring a Survival Hunter over the other two specs.
  • Traps are something you set out and then lure the target into. One idea is having traps that aren't triggered after a few seconds become empowered, so that when they are next triggered they are much stronger.
  • Elemental Shaman should have more balanced talents, allowing them to be more versatile.
  • Mages will get some new talents as some are going baseline.
  • Brewmasters are the most skill rewarding tank.
  • Balance Druids are on the weaker side, but aren't terrible. The gameplay is pretty solid, they just need some number tweaking.
  • Mythic+ dungeons are now an important part of class tuning. Previously tuning mostly focused on raids or PvP, with dungeons not getting much focus.
  • Tank damage is too high in dungeons but solving that is a challenge, as that is tied to their AoE damage.
  • There haven't been many changes to healers since Legion went live as the team is mostly happy with the balance.
  • Healer representation in dungeons and raids is good.
  • Discipline Priest is the hardest healing spec to play in high level dungeons. You really have to know the dungeon well and what is going to happen next. There is a community of players that finds it rewarding and really enjoys it.
  • The team would like to make Discipline easier to perform well with for players that aren't at the high end of the skill level, if it can be done without undermining the cool interactions that make the spec fun to play.
  • For the most part the team is happy with the diversity of tools that healers bring to dungeon groups.
  • People who are progressing at the edge of Mythic+ generally don't have the healer focusing much on DPS, as healing high end Mythic+ is hard and you need to spend all of your time healing. People have noticed that Holy Paladins can get pretty bursty because they can drop their damage in two GCDs with Judge and Shock. The team looked at this in beta and removed damage from Holy Paladin wings, as they don't want a healing spec to focus too much on contributing DPS at the expense of what healer gameplay is supposed to be. Healers doing DPS is intended for when you are doing content you can handle well and you have excess capacity.
  • Legion tried to help players that have been attached to a healing spec for a long time and doesn't want to feel forced to switch to another spec to quest or level. They won't kill things as fast as a DPS spec, but they will do it reasonably well.
  • Desperate Prayer will become baseline and a survivability talent will replace it.
  • Shadow Covenant didn't work out, so they will be trying a design that doesn't replace Power Word: Radiance.
  • There hasn't been a lot of stacking of healer specs in raid comps, there is lots of diversity.
  • There is a trend away from non-healers having healer strength cooldowns. If you look back to Mists of Pandaria, everyone in the raid had a strong raid cooldown, which drowned out the gameplay that the healers were supposed to be having.
  • Tranquility is intentionally weaker than it used to be in previous expansions. It isn't the reset button it used to be. The big healer cooldowns are there to help you catch up, not to do your job for you.
  • The team didn't want to change talents in the first month so that players could get used to the new playstyle before even more changes happened.
  • How much perception affects reality is one of the ongoing challenges. The goal you are trying to achieve is players looking at their options and seeing a compelling choice. Often players are undervaluing a talent, spec, or stat, so they make a small change in order to re-evaluate it.
  • The changes that happened to Outlaw in the first balancing pass on live were very minimal, mostly changes to two Artifact Traits. Nothing that could have caused a huge change to the DPS output. The changes caused players that were heavily fixating on Outlaw to start looking at Assassination.
  • Frost mage tuning was off at launch, but looking at logs and saying that it is 35% behind another spec is almost never actually the case. It is just a bias in perception that is driving what spec players play.
  • Marksmanship Hunters may get some talents moved to baseline skills in Patch 7.1.5. The goal is to avoid upending how you play the spec. The Patient Sniper row is a problem, as everyone feels like they need this talent for the spec to be viable and fun. The baseline gameplay may be changed to be inspired by Patient Sniper so that you don't need that talent for the same feeling.
  • There are some changes coming to Warlock talents for all specs in Patch 7.1.5. There are some new talents coming.
  • Affliction is tough, as the pace of combat in the game has gotten faster. Many years ago the focus of the spec was to put DoTs on multiple targets, but it has gotten harder for this to work in the modern game.
  • Drain Soul is going baseline, with a new single target focused talent that will replace it.
  • Frost and Arcane Mage have some talents that have been moved around and maybe some new talents.

Patch 7.1 Hotfixes - November 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Blood) The Hungering Maw now increases the player's Armor by 10%, then increases by 1% for every additional point put into the Infinite Progression Artifact Trait.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Restoration) The legendary item Aman'Thul's Wisdom should now work correctly with Rejuvenation and Germination when cast on other players.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Beast Mastery) Spiritbound now increases the player's damage, Hati's damage, and the player's pet damage by 5%, then increases by 0.5% for every additional point put into the Infinite Progression Artifact Trait.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • The damage from Greater Blessing of Might will no longer be increased twice by some debuffs on the target.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Discipline) Forbidden Flame now increases the player's damage and healing by 4%, then increases by 0.4% for every additional point into the Infinite Progression Artifact Trait.
  • Shadow: Voidform’s Insanity drain now begins at 8 Insanity per second (down from 9), but will increase at a 10% faster rate
    • Developers’ Notes: We want to reduce the maximum amount of time that Surrender to Madness can be maintained, without significantly impacting Shadow otherwise. Our intent in this hotfix is that it’s still effective to use Surrender similarly to how it is currently used, but that its maximum potential in ideal situations is slightly less extreme.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Sweet Souls should no longer completely heal the Warlock when an ally uses a healthstone.

  • Hellfire Citadel
    • LFR Queuing for Archimonde’s Fall at the Black Gate now has Anetheron, Azgalor, Kaz’rogal, and Archimonde spawned once the queue pops.
  • Return to Karazhan
    • Fixed an issue which could cause Galindre to not reset properly on a failed attempt.
  • Trial of Valor
    • Helya
    • Anchor Slam should now inflict less damage to secondary targets on Normal difficulty.
    • Resolved an issue where Fury of the Maw would do drastically more damage than intended on targets recently wounded by an Orb of Corrosion.

  • All Legion Legendary items have had their item level increased by 15. This change will be applied retroactively.
  • All items from the Trial of Valor have had their base item level increased by 5. This change will be applied retroactively.
  • The damage from the equip effect of Choker of Barbed Reins should scale down in Timewalking dungeons.

Player versus Player
The following PvP adjustments will take place with the next realm maintenance.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Frost) Strength reduced by 10%.
  • (Blood) Blood Boil now deals full damage in PvP (was reduced).
    • Developers’ Notes: Frost Death Knight damage continues to be higher than we’d like following the changes in Patch 7.1. For Blood, we no longer feel the damage reduction on Blood Boil is necessary. We plan to make a broader set of changes for them (and other tanks) in Patch 7.1.5.

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Feral) Rake now deals 20% less damage to players.
    • Developers’ Notes: We like that Feral Druids can apply a lot of spread pressure through their bleeds, but Rake’s damage feels out of line.

Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Fire) Intellect increased by 10%.
    • Developers’ Notes: Fire Mages have simply fallen behind in terms of damage output, and we felt they needed an increase.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Holy) Mana regeneration has been reduced.
  • (Holy) Avenging Crusader now costs 110,000 mana.
    • Developers’ Notes: Holy Paladins are too mana efficient in current PvP gameplay. We’re reducing their overall regeneration, as well as adding a mana cost to Avenging Crusader, since it was essentially mana-free healing.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Feint reduces damage taken from player cast area-of-effect spells by 30% (was 50%).
  • (All specs) Stamina has been increased by 5%.
    • Developers’ Notes: Feint’s AoE damage reduction is intended to protect Rogues during dungeon and raid encounters, but many class abilities that feel like single target spells in PvP are treated as AoE effects (e.g. Lunar Strike, Ice Nova). This makes Rogues unintentionally resistant to those abilities. We’re reducing Feint’s AoE damage reduction in PvP, but increasing Stamina to compensate.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Elemental) Stormkeeper now increases damage of Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and Lava Beam by 100% against players (was 200%)
  • (Elemental) Intellect increased by 5%.
    • Developers' Notes: Stormkeeper is at the center of a combination of cooldowns and procs that can cause extraordinarily high damage in a very short time. We're reducing its impact but increasing Elemental's damage overall to compensate.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Affliction) Unstable Affliction's dispel damage has been doubled.
  • (Destruction) Chaos Bolt now deal an additional 35% damage against players (was 20%).
    • Developers’ Notes: Patch 7.1 changed the design of Unstable Affliction, and our initial tuning on the dispel damage was simply too low. For Destruction, we want spending Soul Shards on Chaos Bolt to feel rewarding when weighed against the alternatives.

  • The weekly event quest “The Very Best” should no longer be cleared from the quest log when logging in on a low-level character.
  • Kirin Tor world quests can now appear when the Kirin Tor emissary is not active.

  • Players no longer receive any sound following the Quick Join notifications when friends or guild members queue.

Weekly Event - Arena Skirmishes
Head over to Archmage Timear in Dalaran to pick up The Arena Calls, which rewards Artifact Power, Badge of Honor, and Champion's Strongbox.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Pet Battle World Quests
World Quests are aimed to provide a variety of content for a variety playstyles. This can range from your standard kill/collect quests, to more PvP orientated ones right through to Pet Battles or even the absolutely nuts one with squirrels in Val'Sharah...

If you don't enjoy doing a certain type of World Quest you can just leave them, focus on the ones you do enjoy and eventually the ones you've ignored will de-pop and new ones will cycle in.

Is the word "eventually" being adopted as blizzards new version of soon™ just with a more vague timeframe?

Until there are a decent amount of dailies the game can pull from a list people are being pushed into the ones they don't enjoy as much if they want to get the chest of RNG'd junk. Or for folk like myself who tend to skip the ones that give gold as a reward because we don't need more gold put into in an overinflated economy.

I used the word "eventually" because World Quests have variable durations. In most cases an Emissary Cache can be obtained without touching the PvP or Pet Battle World Quests.

What the map really needs is a filter so we can simply hide the PVP or pet ones that we have zero interest in. Although that seems a solution thats a bit too close to being soon™ over eventually™
The map lets you filter by reward types? PvP and Pet Battle World Quests also have different icons, so it's immediately obvious what type of World Quests they are. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
You know... since Baine has been afk for a very long time?
Baine will have his day in the sun. Eventually. (Alex_Afrasiabi)

Pets and Pet Battles
Ion clarified Battle Pet Dungeons a bit today by likening them to the Celestial Tourney. What would you want to see changed/improved? (Muffinus)

Making Murloc Costumes for BlizzCon 2016
Tested worked on building two Murlocs for the new Hearthstone expansion at BlizzCon.

by Published on 2016-11-14 02:26 AM

New Card Reveal: Madam Goya

BlizzCon Developer Interview
Vanion had the chance to talk to Matt Goss, a Lead Game Designer on WoW.

  • There is no cap on the number of legendary items you can obtain.
  • You can repeat the legendary item quest line to upgrade multiple legendary items.
  • Ahn'qiraj Remembrance Day lets your faction fly a flag in Silithus. It is region wide so it will be their first attempt to do a race between the two factions.
  • The team tries to make sure everyone can do all of the Brawler's Guild bosses. There aren't any bosses that require a healing or tank spec, as everyone can fall back to a DPS spec.
  • There won't be a new bonus roll currency for Nighthold.
  • Mythic+ dungeons will have the max item level rewarded increased when Nighthold comes out, similar to what was done for Trial of Valor.
  • The team is always looking for new Keystone affixes, but they are mostly happy with how they have turned out so far. Everyone has one that they hate!
  • The team isn't sure if you will need to get all 20 points in the final Artifact Trait before you can progress towards the new golden trait in Patch 7.2. Anyone who plays Legion shouldn't feel any regret on how they spent Artifact Power in Patch 7.2.
  • There are no plans to make it easier to switch specs and Artifact Weapons. Artifact Knowledge allows you to catch up fairly quickly.
  • The team doesn't just look at damage numbers when balancing tanks. They also have to look at utility, how much damage they take, how much healing they need to be viable, and more.
  • The choice in Patch 7.2 on what to build for the new base is region wide. The team will see how it works in playtesting. The world should feel cohesive.
  • New World Bosses will be added in the upcoming patches.
  • The team doesn't want to maintain multiple caps on how high items can randomly upgrade. When Patch 7.2 is released, everything will be able to upgrade to the new max item level.
  • Patch 7.2 will add better crafted gear, but they haven't decided if it will be through more Obliterum or a new system. Professions should stay relevant.
  • The team wanted to try the new Karazhan experience before they added a version you can queue for. There are still a lot of players that don't want to do Mythic dungeons or don't want to find the group to do it. These players should be able to experience Karazhan too.

BlizzCon 2016 - Blizzard Engineering Panel
Along with the WoW Engineering panel, there was also a Blizzard Engineering panel not on the stream on Day 1.

Heroes of the Storm
  • Heroes is a fun game to work on because the team likes to do the impossible.
  • The team was working on Cho'gall and someone came up with the idea for him to carry his horse.
  • Mounting assumes that you have a horse under you that is playing a running animation and the character model plays an animation in sync with that. This was very hard to change, especially with a week left before the BlizzCon build had to be finalized.
  • He ended up riding an invisible horse, playing a running animation, and had an added horse on his shoulder.
  • The team eventually went back and improved the mount code.
  • You can see this with Ragnaros, his trails are a custom special mount.

Legion Launch
  • About a year before Legion launch, a designer came to the team and pitched Khadgar casting a spell in Dalaran that would teleport everyone to the Broken Isles at the same time.
  • Teleporting the entire population of WoW at the same moment was a bit farfetched.
  • The team used the new Automation team to determine what they actually could do.
  • How many people could they teleport? What is the rate they could teleport people at? Could they really teleport everyone all at once?
  • After a lot of testing they determined how many people could be teleported at once and went back to design with the current implementation.
  • Players got a quest between 11:45 and midnight that allowed them to teleport over.
  • Historically there was a lot of lag and latency during the first couple days of an expansion launch.
  • An engineer suggested splitting up the world in a way that left it populated but also smooth, which was dynamic sharding.
  • It measures the population of players and creates a new shard when the population approaches a target that the team set.
  • This way you always feel like you are in a full world but don't have the bad experience that comes with an overpopulated world.
  • This tech was first seen during the Demon Invasions during the pre-expansion event.
  • During launch day everyone went to Dalaran and the sharding split up the population. All of the new Dalaran shards were spun up ahead of release so that everything was smooth.

Overwatch Play of the Game
  • The first implementation of Play of the Game in Overwatch Beta just looked at how well you were performing in regards to kills.
  • If you got a lot of kills in an eight second period you would win the Play of the Game.
  • The team originally also considered showing each player their own Play of the Game, but it felt cooler to watch the best Play of the Game.
  • The second iteration on this looked at actions players took that were not kills, such as saving another player's life or shutting down someone's ultimate.
  • Now the game also keeps track of interruptions to someone who is going to do something to your team.
  • For example, it will track how many people McCree has in his sight for the ultimate, so if you stop him from getting the kills the game knows and assigns a score based on the number of people you saved.
  • Each of the categories are weighted and the Play of the Game can now be something that isn't just a lot of kills.
  • The team is still iterating on the system and has plans for improvements, such as camera improvements and tweaking of existing categories.

  • Hearthstone went with Unity as their engine in the interest of speed. The server is a custom C++ program.
  • Designers script a card using their custom scripting system and all of that happens on the server side.
  • The server is where all of the rules exist, it just tells the client what happened.
  • With Yogg, secrets didn't work, choice cards didn't work, but they got far enough to get a feel for it. It then was tasked to a gameplay programmer to fix secrets. Fixing the rest of the things resulted in moving the card implementation into the C++ code rather than the scripting language used by designers.

  • The team looks for people that have actually finished a project, everyone can have a cool idea and start on it, but actually finishing is something special.
  • The other thing they look for is passion and how you demonstrate that passion. People that don't just do work for school, but instead work on something outside of that.
  • You can also target your projects towards the company or team you want to work for. This helps to show your passion and ability to complete things, as well as bringing your work to the attention of people actually working on the product.
  • One of the Hearthstone gameplay engineers applied to Blizzard with lots of Unity projects under his belt. He also played a lot of TCG games.

WoW Realms
  • Originally the realm itself would be responsible for running the instance servers.
  • Some realms are very populated and some are less populated, so when hardware was allocated in that way the high population realms were utilizing all of the hardware while lower population realms were sitting almost idle.
  • The team then took all of the instance servers and put them into a pool. This allowed the higher population realms to use more resources and the lower population realms weren't so idle. This took a lot of engineering effort.

Overwatch QA
  • The Overwatch has a QA team that sits on the same floor as the developers and all of the different engineering disciplines leverage that team.
  • The QA team will attend all of the meetings and design discussions so that they are aware of all of the changes coming.
  • When the team is implementing features, ideally the QA team is already ready with a test plan to make sure the feature is pretty close to bug free.
  • Occasionally there are some larger features that are too big for the internal QA team to test, so the team will ask if there are any QA people on other game teams that want to spend some time testing the new feature. One example of when this was done is the Halloween event.

Mobile Development
  • Originally there was a mobile team at Blizzard, separate from the Hearthstone team. They were working on things like the mobile armory. The Hearthstone team borrowed people to help get Hearthstone shippable and then kept them.
  • Eventually the mobile team got absorbed into Team 5.
  • The Legion Companion app was developed by some engineers on the WoW team using Unity. They consulted with the Hearthstone team a lot.
  • They abstracted out Battle.Net management code for Hearthstone so that it can be reused across multiple projects that are being worked on.

Open Source
  • Blizzard makes use of hundreds of open source projects.
  • They don't contribute as much as they probably could and that is something they are looking into.
  • You can find some things on their Github.

Hearthstone State
  • Hearthstone sends what happened in the game to the client, but it doesn't actually save this data anywhere, so the server can't replay what happened when you temporarily lose your network connection.
  • They could also do a better job of chunking up assets.
  • The team has spent time optimizing things on mobile, such as loading of XML files or the art assets. The server side doesn't do a great job of saving state.
  • There is just a current state that gets sent to the client when you reconnect.

  • The team pushed hard from the beginning of Overwatch to have automation be a big part of testing.
  • The team wanted to be able to reliably do things like stress testing things before they go live.
  • What happens when half a million players suddenly start playing? What happens when the servers are overloaded? What happens to game stability when new features are added?
  • It is hard to keep track of things that break that no one really tests. Automation was seen as the solution to many of these problems.
  • It has been really successful so far, allowing the team to stress test servers before they went live and test every single build.
  • The team uses headless clients to automate gameplay and ensure that a build is okay.
  • For WoW, the team has functional testing. People do black box testing that catches problems without automation.
  • WoW does have build verification testing.
  • If the client has performance problems, having a bot teleport around to measure framerate and find hot spots is helpful.
  • The team also did a full scale test for Legion launch, having lots of clients connecting to test things for launch.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PSA: Underwater-only mounts should now move faster! (Muffinus)
As fast as Azure Water Striders? Because right now thats pretty much all anyone who isnt a DK is using. No alternatives. =/
they're not meant to be used as surface mounts (Muffinus)
I bought water walking potions just so I could not use my water strider
The idea that the water strider is so good that you can't use anything else is noted, no update tho. (Muffinus)

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BlizzCon Cosplay - Ragnaros
There was lots of great cosplay at BlizzCon, including this Ragnaros by Danielle Beaulieu. Ragnaros is coming to Heroes of the Storm along with Varian!

Dark Legacy Comics #559
DLC #559 has been released!

by Published on 2016-11-11 07:00 PM

BlizzCon 2016 - Engineering Panel, WoW Account Actions, Quick Join Toasts, Q&A Time

Post-BlizzCon Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
Today WatcherDev answered questions about Patch 7.1.5 and Patch 7.2. The next Q&A will be coming in the first few weeks of December.

You can watch Part 1 and Part 2 of the Q&A on Twitch.

Upcoming Content
  • Patch 7.1.5 is coming to the PTR soon, hopefully early next week.
  • On Tuesday the item level of Trial of Valor gear will be increased by 5 item levels.
  • This Tuesday all legendary items will have their item level increased by 15, so they will all be item level 910.

Patch 7.3
  • Argus is part of Patch 7.3.
  • Argus will not be a leveling experience, it isn't an expansion.
  • Patch 7.3 will take us to Argus. Outdoor zone, quests, raid.
  • It will be the capstone of Legion story. We take the fight to them to get more than just a temporary peace.

Patch 7.2 and Nighthold
  • Nighthold is targeted to open in mid to late January.
  • Patch 7.2 and the Tomb of Sargeras will come later.
  • When Patch 7.2 comes out players will still be progressing through Nighthold, but probably ready for all of the other new outdoor content.
  • Tomb of Sargeras will not open when Patch 7.2 goes live. Part of the story leads you to the Tomb of Sargeras.
  • Hellfire Citadel was released too soon.

  • The team is happy with how Karazhan has worked out so far. A blend of nostalgia and some very cool new stuff.
  • There were around 300,000 premade group finder groups for Karazhan globally last week.
  • The team looks at how long it takes from releasing to running back to your corpse, with 90 seconds at the high end being okay.

Trial of Valor
  • The team is happy with Trial of Valor overall. They see it as bosses 8, 9, and 10 of this tier, mostly for people who are done with Emerald Nightmare.
  • There have been some things that needed to be hotfixed in Trial of Valor, but the team is mostly happy with the difficulty.
  • The gear rewarded from Trial of Valor is probably not as strong as it should have been.

Secondary Stats
  • The team is looking at classes and specs with extreme secondary stat discrepancies. Secondary stats beating primary stats, such as for Fire Mage, is a problem.
  • The team would rather try to solve the ring and neck stat problem rather than just going back to primary stats on them. Secondary stats on them can make them more meaningful than they used to be.
  • Some specs aren't fun to play with low crit or haste, so secondary stats started higher than they have in the past without reaching very high levels at the end of the expansion. This worked on most gear, but on jewelry it did not. In Patch 7.1.5 the rate at which secondary stats grow on jewelry will be increased.
  • The power of secondary stats may be brought down a bit.
  • A 15 item level upgrade should always be worth equipping. Less than that item level should usually win, but not always.
  • Hit and Expertise made reforging pretty awful. They are gone now, which helps, but reforging is still not the best.
  • You can look at an item, see that you would want it if you could reforge it, and think that would solve it. It isn't an intuitive decision, you needed to do a lot of math to ensure it was really an upgrade. It would allow some items to become upgrades, but that doesn't solve the underlying problem.

Patch 7.1.5 Class Changes
  • "Reworking" a class is more expansion level changes. The team is focusing on talent choices, restoring utility, secondary stat weights, and small mechanic changes.
  • There is still ongoing work for Patch 7.1.5, so all of the changes won't be in the initial PTR build. This is an ongoing project that the team will work on over the entire expansion.
  • Class changes fit well in the 7.X.5 patches planned, so expect to see more of them in the future.

Artifact Appearances
  • Artifact appearances won't be removed at the end of the expansion. You will be able to see them and unlock them still.
  • You will be able to earn the appearances so you can transmog other weapons to look like the Artifacts after Legion is over in some time limited way.
  • The team will figure out a solution to making the Artifact cat and bear forms available after Legion.

Model Updates
  • A ghoul model update is coming in a future patch, maybe Patch 7.2.
  • Water elemental is on the list for an update in the future as well.

  • There aren't any new battlegrounds planned for the upcoming patches that have been announced, effort went into PvP brawls there.
  • The team definitely wants to make more battlegrounds, they just need to find something that fits thematically. It isn't a big Alliance vs Horde moment right now.
  • There are a lot of existing battlegrounds. As the pool of battlegrounds gets larger, the team also has to consider if they move to a map rotation or some kind of focused pool.

Legendary Items
  • Legendary items will never all be equal. You won't be as excited to get your last choice as you would for your first choice. The team is looking at the last choices that don't feel like using at all. Fixes for these are coming in Patch 7.1.5.
  • There are few nerfs coming to the high end of legendary items, such as Fire Mage wrists and Unholy Death Knight wrists.
  • Some new legendary items will also be added to the pool.
  • You never feel good about equipping an item that is a throughput downgrade, even if it gives you more utility.
  • When Nighthold comes out you will be able to upgrade your existing legendary item. New legendary items that drop will already be upgraded.
  • There are no plans to allow you to equip more legendary items in Patch 7.2.

Quick Join
  • A hotfix is coming to disable the sound of the toasts from Quick Join.
  • Quick Join is just trying to make it easier for friends to play with each other. Players in the same guild were solo queuing for things in parallel.

Hidden Things
  • The team has learned that the hidden puzzles and mysteries are fun.
  • Kosumoth was the most successful in how it was discovered. It was a very cool experience.
  • The hidden artifact appearances were more of a mixed bag. The Ashbringer or Sheep staff were fun, some were a little more frustrating.
  • The team would like to minimize frustration, lessen the extent that people would need to use macros and datamining to find things. The team would like to do more in the future, maybe not more difficult, but more fun and intuitive. It isn't something they want to overdo, this isn't a scavenger hunt game. Not being sure if a surprise is lurking keeps the game exciting.
  • There are still a few small hidden things that haven't been discovered.
  • There is some bad luck protection for the hidden artifact appearances coming in a future patch. Hidden appearances from world bosses were changed to be a guaranteed drop rather than random.

Dungeon Changes
  • The item level rewarded by normal dungeons will probably be bumped up to 825 with the Heroic and Mythic dungeon retuning in a future patch.
  • The Mythic dungeon achievements won't be changed to a seasonal system. The difficulty going up resets the difficulty of the achievements. There may be some new achievements or affixes added.

Pet Battles
  • Pet Battles are something that the team continues to update, with World Quests and achievements to go with them.
  • Pet Battle dungeon will be talked about more in the future.

Class Mounts
  • Differing class mount appearances only applies to certain classes. This was done where it wouldn't make sense to not do it, such as the priest mount, where Shadow and Holy would need to use different mounts.
  • The Mage mounts change trailing effects based on your spec.
  • All Hunters will ride the same mount, as that feels appropriate, as the specs don't diverge a lot.

Kirin Tor Quests
  • Kirin Tor quests were adjusted to be slightly less common. They just haven't popped recently.
  • They were popping up twice in a given week, which felt too frequent.
  • These are quirky non-traditional content.
  • If they continue to not appear the team will bump back up the rate. The goal is twice every three weeks or so.

Auction House
  • There are more Auction House improvements coming, the only question is when. It shouldn't be necessary to use an addon to use the auction house, but right now it significantly improves the experience.
  • The team would like to move towards a commodity like treatment of many stackable items, such as allowing people to buy part of a stack.

Bonus Rolls
  • Gold from the world boss is just there to indicate that you successfully killed the boss. The world quest that goes with the boss is the baseline reward.
  • The current system is designed to reward currency on a failed bonus roll, but the team is working towards allowing you to get Artifact Power instead.

Class Trials
  • The Class Trial tutorial was focused on damage dealing specs, allowing returning players to catch up on the basics of the spec so they can go and level.
  • There is just one spec to remove any extra choice and confusion.
  • If you finish the tutorial you can try the other specs.
  • The one exception is classes with different DPS specs, as Balance and Feral are very different playstyles.

Challenge Mode Teleports
  • The Challenge Mode teleports were very helpful. The reward system in previous expansions gave cosmetics, prestige and achievements. In Warlords you got a teleport for each dungeon. In Legion the Mythic+ dungeons give you power rewards.

Underpowered Specs
  • Elemental Shaman concerns are on the radar. Single target can use a bump, increased Lava Burst damage. One of the challenges is the overall feel of the spec. There are three big payoff moments, Earth Shock, Lava Burst (cooldown, single target), and Stormkeeper. They all compete to be part of the big moment, so other spells feel watered down. The team is discussing things and doesn't have a final plan at the moment. There is a lot of burst that can be done in some dungeon and raid scenarios. There isn't enough diversity in raid encounters in Emerald Nightmare, no real AoE encounter for Elemental Shaman to shine. You shouldn't be good at dungeons and bad at raids, but good at a certain type of fight and not as great at another. There should be variety in both dungeons and raids.
  • Brewmaster Monks have a community perspective problem. People aren't as familiar with your spec, so they go with someone else rather than "taking a risk". Brewmaster is very strong right now, they just feel different than other tanks. Brewmasters smooth out incoming damage so much, so even if they take a little more damage, it is taken in a way that is predictable. They have incredibly high survival. Healers feel like they can't top off Brewmasters, but they aren't actually dying. Not dying is what tanking is all about. They have great mobility, solid control, good cooldowns, can survive things that no other tank can survive. There may be a high skill cap to playing Brewmaster correctly and no one wants to take a risk. It is the same situation when players decline players with adequate gear for a dungeon in favor of someone with even better gear. People want a smooth run and it is only natural to form a group that has the highest likelihood of success. You should take that risk on Brewmasters.
  • Should the team buff something to brokenly good levels just to get the community to take a look at it?
  • Assuming there is a spec that is great and is just not played much, no one wants it in their group, what is the solution?

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