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by Published on 2021-07-30 01:38 AM

Patch 9.1 Hotfixes - July 29, 2021
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

  • Druid
    • Fixed an issue where Lone Spirit (Kyrian Ability) was not providing Kindred Affinity (Runecarving Power).
  • Hunter
    • The silence effect from Rae'shalare, Death's Whisper will now show an enemy nameplate UI debuff when an enemy is silenced by the ability.
    • Using Tar Trap on an enemy will no longer break the effects of Camouflage.
  • Shaman
    • Fixed an issue where Hearthstone and several PvP talents were usable while under the effects of Hex.

Covenants

  • Soulbinds
    • Necrolord
      • Fixed an issue where Undulating Maneuvers (Plague Deviser Marileth) would break crowd-control effects.
    • Night Fae
      • Fixed an issue where Dream Delver (Dreamweaver) would not increase the player’s pet damage.
      • Fixed an issue where Field of Blossoms (Dreamweaver) had an inaccurate duration for Mages.

Dungeons and Raids

  • Sanctum of Domination
    • Sylvanas Windrunner
      • Fixed an issue where players could get stuck in the Stage 1 arena when releasing after she’s been defeated.
  • Mythic+
    • Tormented Affix
      • The spawn location of the 2nd Tormented Affix lieutenant in The Necrotic Wake has been adjusted.
      • Anima Orbs dropped by Tormented Lieutenants should now be easier to interact with when they’re near other players or NPCs.
      • Resolved issues where several spells cast by Lieutenants could target and damage pets.
      • Biting Cold can now be defended against with Spell Reflection.
      • Carnage can now be dodged and parried.
      • Resolved and issue that caused the pre-cast effect of Scorching Blast to not appear on specific graphic settings.
  • The Necrotic Wake
    • Fixed an issue where player immunity effects could cancel the effects of Discharged Anima.

Items and Rewards

  • Shards of Domination
    • Earlier this week, a change to the power of Shards of Domination set bonuses (e.g. Chaos Bane) was briefly applied to the live game. We are no longer planning to proceed with that change at all. We may make further adjustments in the coming days, but we will not reduce the power of Shards now that many players have earned and upgraded them.

Torghast, Tower of the Damned

  • An anvil to repair your gear is now available at the start of each combat and boss floor.
  • Anima Powers
    • Hunter
      • Fixed an issue where the Deathdealer's Scope anima power was not correctly enabling the use of Kill Shot when Flayed Shot (Venthyr Ability) was applied to and removed from your target.
by Published on 2021-07-29 09:10 PM

Burning Crusade Classic: Overlords of Outland Now Live on the PTR
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Bring down Illidan Stormrage’s lieutenants in the upcoming patch, Overlords of Outland! Starting now, you’ll be able to test all the patch has to offer on the PTR. Simply copy your character over and explore what awaits before the patch goes out later this year.

Serpentshrine Cavern

Slay the twisted Lady Vashj and her vicious fiends in her watery lair—Serpentshrine Cavern.

Raid bosses: 6
Level: 70
Location:Coilfang Reservoir, Zangramarsh

The Eye

Infiltrate the heart of a crystalline fortress to end the madness of the corrupted Kael’thas Sunstrider and his warped loyalists.

Raid bosses: 4
Level: 70
Location:Tempest Keep, Netherstorm

Arena Season 2

Brutalize your faction’s enemies on the battlefield with the advent of Arena Season 2! Victorious players will earn Arena Points to exchange for better gear so they can fight against other similar-skilled opponents.

Ogri’la and Sha’tari Skyguard Daily Content

Make new allies in Outland with the Ogri’la and Shatari Skyguard factions. Complete daily quests to earn these factions’ favor and in turn receive lucrative rewards.

Guild Banks

Share raid and dungeons spoils amongst your guildmates with the Guild Bank! This in-game storage allows guild members to withdraw and deposit items and currency, making it easier to determine at glance what consumables you have available (or need to make!) for your next group activity.

Group Browser Tool

Find like-minded players and make new friends with the Group Browser Tool. Simply list your class and specialization so group leaders on your realm can invite you to their party or raid.

All of this content is now live on the PTR so you can explore first-hand what awaits you in Overlords of Outland.
by Published on 2021-07-28 09:23 PM

Update: Added some more information from Ghostcrawler about the Cosby Suite.

Employee Response to Bobby Kotick's Statement
The Verge has posted an employee response to Bobby Kotick's letter.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
On the evening before our employee walkout, Activision Blizzard leadership released a statement apologizing for their harmful responses to last week’s DFEH lawsuit. While we are pleased to see that our collective voices — including an open letter with thousands of signatures from current employees — have convinced leadership to change the tone of their communications, this response fails to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns.

Activision Blizzard’s response did not address the following:

  • The end of forced arbitration for all employees.
  • Worker participation in oversight of hiring and promotion policies.
  • The need for greater pay transparency to ensure equality.
  • Employee selection of a third party to audit HR and other company processes.

Today’s walkout will demonstrate that this is not a one-time event that our leaders can ignore. We will not return to silence; we will not be placated by the same processes that led us to this point.

This is the beginning of an enduring movement in favor of better labor conditions for all employees, especially women, in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups.

We expect a prompt response and a commitment to action from leadership on the points enumerated above, and look forward to maintaining a constructive dialogue on how to build a better Activision Blizzard for all employees.

Today, we stand up for change. Tomorrow and beyond, we will be the change.



Additional Information on Cosby Suite
Kotaku published some additional information about the Cosby Suite. It also confirms that Afrasiabi was terminated for his misconduct in 2020.

Reddit users have also posted about related tweets that aren't in the article.

An employee brought these 2013 events to our attention in June 2020," a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard told Kotaku when asked about the “Cosby Suite” images and allegations against Afrasiabi. “We immediately conducted our own investigation and took corrective action. At the time of the report, we had already conducted a separate investigation of Alex Afrasiabi and terminated him for his misconduct in his treatment of other employees.



Ghostcrawler's Reply to the Cosby Suite
Ghostcrawler issued a statement about the Cosby Suite.


Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Re: the group chat. Dave was talking about his own wife and a friend. It was a joke, not intended for a broad audience. But the chat is gross and I completely understand how it looks. I should have said something. (Source)
I am seriously questioning your leadership ability if you think "it was a joke" is the right thing to say here. Jokes like that are never harmless. They normalize the behavior that led to more abuse towards women.
I understand that and can't excuse it. I'll own the tasteless group chat that I was in. I wanted to correct the narrative about the Cosby room or that women were creepily being recruited for it. (Source)

"created a lot of discussion that risks overshadowing the work you're doing" seems to be your go to response. Something comes out that portrays you in a negative light, and so it's a "distraction" from the real issue...

There are hundreds of people working at Riot who had nothing to do with this and it's unfair to them that they are having to deal with something that happened at a former employer. (Source)

Do you think people actually buy this or are you just doing it to make yourself feel better now
Do you think it makes more sense that I would tweet about it to however many followers I had at the time if I thought there was something inappropriate and hope nobody noticed? (Source)

I looked up to you for many years as a designer & leader, as many have, and this response lets everyone down. you weren't 18. you were in charge of hundreds, thousands of people, and did nothing. you didn't trip and fall into this photo frame. take the L. the rest of us sure are.
At Blizzard? I was in charge of the systems design team - maybe 30 people. I would have loved a director or VP title but they never gave me one. If you know me like you say you do, ask yourself: does this seem like Greg?
Does it sound like the Greg I’ve had personal conversations with? Maybe not. But I also didn’t think you’d have been silent on that panel, or silent around Afrasiabi, or any of the other guys, open-secret or otherwise, many have known you to be close to.

I am not out to end your career or anything. I don’t have that power. But I do have the ability to tell you how this response and your part in all this deeply affects so many of us, and how it doesn’t feel like it addresses the real issues and harm at play.

Because I’ll tell you what it does sound like. Greg Street, the chill, wise, reserved dude who’s very accepting of people - even when he shouldn’t be - not realizing his role, the power of his voice, the weight of his implied approval? That does sound like you & thats not unique.

Yeah I wish I had said something on the panel or in the chat. I regret that. I can't take it back. It was 10 years ago, and I was junior to a bunch of those dudes. I have more confidence and fewer Fs to give now. There's a reason you don't hear stories like this about me at Riot. (Source)

What I don't understand is why you can't even say "yep, I should have seen that and didn't. my tragic bad, but I do try to be better these days."
I have tried to say that over and over. I didn’t see it. I should have. I am sorry. (Source)
by Published on 2021-07-28 01:36 AM

A Letter From CEO Bobby Kotick to All Employees
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
This has been a difficult and upsetting week.

I want to recognize and thank all those who have come forward in the past and in recent days. I so appreciate your courage. Every voice matters - and we will do a better job of listening now, and in the future.

Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf.

It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding.

Many of you have told us that active outreach comes from caring so deeply for the Company. That so many people have reached out and shared thoughts, suggestions, and highlighted opportunities for improvement is a powerful reflection of how you care for our communities of colleagues and players – and for each other. Ensuring that we have a safe and welcoming work environment is my highest priority. The leadership team has heard you loud and clear.

We are taking swift action to be the compassionate, caring company you came to work for and to ensure a safe environment. There is no place anywhere at our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. We will do everything possible to make sure that together, we improve and build the kind of inclusive workplace that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration.

I have asked the law firm WilmerHale to conduct a review of our policies and procedures to ensure that we have and maintain best practices to promote a respectful and inclusive workplace. This work will begin immediately. The WilmerHale team will be led by Stephanie Avakian, who is a member of the management team at WilmerHale and was most recently the Director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.

We encourage anyone with an experience you believe violates our policies or in any way made you uncomfortable in the workplace to use any of our many existing channels for reporting or to reach out to Stephanie. She and her team at WilmerHale will be available to speak with you on a confidential basis and can be reached at ATVI@wilmerhale.com or 202-247-2725. Your outreach will be kept confidential. Of course, NO retaliation will be tolerated.

We are committed to long-lasting change. Effective immediately, we will be taking the following actions:

  • Employee Support. We will continue to investigate each and every claim and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team.
  • Listening Sessions. We know many of you have inspired ideas on how to improve our culture. We will be creating safe spaces, moderated by third parties, for you to speak out and share areas for improvement.
  • Personnel Changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the Company. Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.
  • Hiring Practices. Earlier this year I sent an email requiring all hiring managers to ensure they have diverse candidate slates for all open positions. We will be adding compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers are in fact adhering to this directive.
  • In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.
  • Your well-being remains my priority and I will spare no company resource ensuring that our company has the most welcoming, comfortable, and safe culture possible.

You have my unwavering commitment that we will improve our company together, and we will be the most inspiring, inclusive entertainment company
in the world.

Yours sincerely,

Bobby

Blizzard Offers Paid Time Off For Employees Participating in Walk-Out
Jason Schreier tweeted today that Blizzard has offered paid time off to any employee participating in tomorrow's walk-out.


by Published on 2021-07-27 10:45 PM

Patch 9.1 Hotfixes - July 27, 2021
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

  • Druid
    • Fixed an issue where Kindred Affinity (Runecarving Power) would persist even after the Legendary was removed.
  • Monk
    • Fixed an issue that could cause Touch of Death to be unable to be used on targets at the correct health threshold.

Creatures and NPCs

  • Towering Exterminator and Konthrogz the Obliterator will now re-appear in a central part of Korthia if they manage to fall off the side of the world.

Dungeons and Raids

  • Sanctum of Domination
    • Remnant of Ner'zhul
      • Adjusted the recast of Orb of Torment to ensure it is cast more consistently on Mythic difficulty.
      • Orbs of Torment have had their health reduced by 66% on Mythic difficulty.
      • Adjusted the recast of Malevolence to ensure it is cast more consistently on Mythic difficulty.
    • Kel'Thuzad
      • No longer maintains his mana between phases, and now resets to 100 mana when he exits the Phylactery Phase.
        • Developers’ note: This should alleviate issues where pushing into a new phase at various mana levels was causing bad timings.

Items and Rewards

  • Broker Ko'tul in the Great Vault room will now exchange excess Anima for caches of tradeskill goods, including Korthite Crystals.
    • Developers’ note: As players have traversed the more Anima-rich lands of Korthia, some players are finding that they no longer have new unlocks to spend it on. We do not intend to add significant new one-time Anima sinks in Chains of Domination, and want to provide an outlet for players who are content with their choice of Covenant but have purchased everything that is offered.
  • The re-purchase price of the Covenant armor set granted as quest rewards from the Shadowland campaign have been increased to reflect the greater abundance of Anima.

Quests

  • Players will now receive credit for “To the Vault” if they ride the flayedwing from Keeper's Respite to the Vault of Secrets.

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