World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2016-01-19 03:43 PM

DH & Crusader Builds Highlight, Flash Fire T10 Wizard

Hearthstone Developers on the History of Discover, Become a Tavern Hero

Heroes Spring Global Championship 2016, Rotation for Jan. 19, Monday Melee Ep. 13

Legion - Death Knight Tier 19
Keep in mind that some of these colors will be used for PvP gear and the others for raid gear.

Legion - Ursoc Preview
Ursoc is one of the bosses in The Emerald Nightmare raid. Be sure to read the chat for some bear puns.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Overview - Rawr, imma bear.
  • Overwhelm - Ursoc overwhelms a player's defenses, inflicting 1,680,000 Physical damage. This reduces armor by 20% and increases damage taken by Rend Flesh by 100% for 12 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Rend Flesh - Ursoc viciously rends a player, inflicting 1,350,000 Physical damage and an additional 790,000 Physical damage every 2 sec for 12 sec.
  • Focused Gaze - Ursoc focuses his gaze upon a player, charging them after 6 sec and striking them with Crushing Impact. Upon reaching his destination, Ursoc strikes all players with Barreling Impact.
    • Barreling Momentum - Ursoc charges through any players to his target, inflicting 435,000 Physical damage to all targets in his path and knocking them back.
      • Unbalanced - Players in Ursoc's path struck by Barreling Momentum, suffer 500% increased damage from Barreling Momentum for 50 sec.
    • Barreling Impact - When Ursoc reaches his marked target, he inflicts 1,290,000 Physical damage to all players. This effect is reduced by each player Ursoc has charged through.
    • Crushing Impact - Ursoc inflicts 714,000 Physical damage to the target. This damage is reduced the further away the target is from Ursoc.
  • Roaring Cacophony - Releases a mighty roar, inflicting 3,670,000 Physical damage divided evenly among all players within 20 yds.
    • Nightmarish Cacophony - Whenever Ursoc roars, he leaves behind a Nightmare Image. On subsequent Ursoc roars, the Nightmare Image also releases a mighty roar, inflicting 500,000 Shadow damage divided evenly among all players within 20 yds. This effect causes players to run in fear for 6 sec.
    • Miasma - Nightmare Images project a zone of miasma 20 yds around themselves, inflicting 120,000 Shadow damage every 1 sec to players caught within.
    • Echoing Cacophony - Echoes increase the damage done by Roaring Cacophony by 10%. This effect stacks.
  • Blood Frenzy - Ursoc enters a mighty rage at 30% health remaining, increasing attack speed by 20% and damage done by 20%.

Blue Tweets
One of the tweets notes the change to remove Strength, Agility, and Int from the few Legion necks, rings, and cloaks that have been added so far.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
With all the mobility in Legion for other casses some additional gap closer for DKs would be great.
Not every class should be highly mobile. That being said, check out the "Death's Flight" talent for Unholy! (WarcraftDevs)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Can you clarify if Prot Paladins still hit 5 targets with Avenger's Shield in Legion?
Avenger's Shield will hit 3 targets baseline, but there may be ways to increase that number. (WarcraftDevs)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Its currently better to not cast lava burst at all on alpha, lightning bolt trumps it in every way.
This isn't something we are seeing, and it is certainly not intended. Can you share any details? (WarcraftDevs)

Character / Items
On the alpha, why do rings and necks not have int, strength, or agility on them?
We’re experimenting with different designs for how rings, necklaces, and cloaks are itemized. Hang tight for details! (WarcraftDevs)

Will there be any customization with stats in PvP left? (e.g. able to spend some of the template on a certain stat)
What type of customization did you do in the past that you liked? Picking a secondary stat to stack? (holinka)

Will the new Pvp system in legion be introduce to all levels in the pvp range (starting at level 10)
There will be a chance to win items at the completion of a battleground; similar to dungeons while leveling. (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
how important would you say math is to game design? or is it all done by computers now?
Math is very important to systems design. Most designers I work with are reasonably skilled at math, and some are experts. (OccupyGStreet)
If you are building levels, narrative or maybe UI, math is less essential. Anything that involves combat is inherently numbers. (OccupyGStreet)
I'd add that you're gonna need good, solid, time-tested vector math if you want anything moving on screen.
It depends how your studio divides design work and engineering work. Math is part of almost all engineering. (OccupyGStreet)
If you're making UI and you want stuff moving around and feeling interactive, math looms ahead!
That may be. I designed a lot of UI for AoE and WoW and never used a calculator. I did for classes and items. (OccupyGStreet)

Songs of Azeroth - Act 4
AFK Players is back with a PvP themed song this time.

by Published on 2016-01-18 01:24 AM

Furious Charge Animation Cancel, Inspect on 2.4, Mercy Wings, Minor 2.4 Patch and Hotfixes, Starter Builds

Popular Constructed Decks of the Week, Deck Spotlight: Coin Malygos Rogue, Diablo 3 Season 5 Begins

Heroes Rising Winners, Statistics and Replay Pack

Legion - Druid Tier 19
The latest Legion build added Druid Tier 19 sets!

Elemental Shaman Artifact Intro
Elemental Shaman will finally run into Li Li and Chen again!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Somewhat concerned that you're hitting tank AM instead of healer passives like Beacon of Light.
Passive healing is a huge contributor to the problem as well, and we plan to shift their healing to be more direct. (WarcraftDevs)

Can you clarify "more survivability than a non-tank [...] don’t necessarily need to be [...] more sturdy."
Currently tanks are up to 50x as sturdy as a non-tank. We don't think there needs to be that stark of a difference. (WarcraftDevs)

Was really hoping we'd move more towards mop style tanking, i.e. good tanks are self sufficient with passive heals
That ends up taking gameplay away from healers. It’s possible to have good tanks be better, and for healers to <1/2> (WarcraftDevs)
still have tank-healing gameplay. <2/2> (WarcraftDevs)

the tank changes appear to make tanking more passive and more boring as a result. Disappointing
Passive is definitely not the goal. We think that going from 90% to 60% AM uptime increases skill/impact of choices. (WarcraftDevs)
How does increased, focused "tank healer" dependency possibly jive with the new Disc PR spec, most notably in a 5-man PUG?
Tried it? Have Shadow Mend and the new Mind Blast not handled tank healing well enough for you? (Celestalon)

RE: Tank change post, please make sure AM tweaks are accounted for in old fights with mechs that ref AM directly
We plan to! We welcome any bug reports and feedback on this. (WarcraftDevs)

it doesn't. it really really does not. it just makes clunky, slow combat. choice = having more abilities to choose from.
We are definitely open to feedback on this! Make sure to read this post for more details: (WarcraftDevs)

Hey boss the colors on these resemble mounts but I see no saddles. Are these tameable mechs by chance?
Yep! (Muffinus)

Character / Items
Does the Artifact Talent to increase PW:Radiance's healing also apply to shadow covenant? (since it replaces PW:R)
Yep! Talents that replace base spells receive the same bonuses from their respective Artifact Traits. (WarcraftDevs)

What's up with Magni?
He's been having a hard time of it recently, but he's stone-cold, that Magni. Still rockin' it. (craig_amai)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
What is the value in actively making something only 1% of your playerbase gets to enjoy? Also, more people own Thoridal and the Warglaives than Shadowmourne, Fangs, Valanyr or Dragonwrath. Can't just be age
From a player point of view, there can be a lot of prestige in having something that few players get. You certainly used to see this with the original WoW legendary weapons when players would hang out in IF/Org just so other players could come fawn over them. I did it with my tier 2 tank armor and Quel'Serrar.

To achieve that as a player, you have to a) be able to acquire something that b) other players can't easily (if ever) get. Having very low drop rates really hurts A because you can't just set your sights on a goal. The RNG will trump whatever commitment you throw at the game. It is however very good at B because it has the same effect on other players.

Long time commitments delay acquisition, but they don't really keep the items rare. The Long Strange Trip Protodrake was "hard" to get in that you had to be very dedicated for a long period of time (and IIRC there was some luck thrown in there as well) but when they were first available, many players had them and more got them over time, and in fact, the existence of that mount pushed us to just make very fast mounts something everyone could acquire.

As more and more players were able to achieve things that used to be rare, say a legendary or High Warlord's PvP gear, the bragging rights diminished. I worked on WoW for 6 years and played it for maybe 8 and even I couldn't tell you who were the elite raiders or gladiators in Mists just by seeing their armor.

What I'm arguing is that maybe that's inevitable. Maybe the time of "Check out that tauren's armor!" passed. Maybe there isn't a way to keep rare things really rare in ways that don't feel shitty to players. However, *if* you decide as a developer that it's important to have rare rewards, I believe the only way to keep them rare is low drop rates. Making them require massive skill or time investment just aren't sufficient any longer.

Final Boss - Elemental Shaman
Final Boss took a look at Elemental Shaman this week.

by Published on 2016-01-16 06:09 AM

Furious Charge Animation Cancel, Inspect on 2.4, Mercy Wings, Minor 2.4 Patch and Hotfixes, Starter Builds

Hearthstone on ESPN Esports, HS Community Communications, CDC 3.02 - Kindred Keywords, Card Design Competition Winner

Dustin Tweet Round-Up, Hottest Plays of the Week #58

Legion - Shaman Tier 19 Armor Sets
The latest Legion build added most of the Shaman Tier 19 sets. There is a normal Fel color variant that is currently not included here.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tank & Healer Ability Tuning
Are encounters going to be tuned to have longer time-to-kill for tanks as well?

I ask because in a world where tanks need to be actively healed, dying so quickly that they must be spammed all of the time (read: less than 3 or 4 seconds for 100-0) just leads to a WotLK situation where one person gets to spam the tank forever and everyone else ignores it and nothing is really any different.

Absolutely, yes. It's very important that this is the case.

I'd like to note that "use Active Mitigation to avoid X ability" isn't usually engaging gameplay. How about I use AM because it helps me survive a powerful attack, not because I get a debuff if I don't.
Binary AM checks like you mention will continue to be extremely rare. They're still an interesting mechanic to see everyone once in a while, but will not be common. Sorry if what I said gave the impression otherwise. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Logging Feature: COMBATANT_INFO
Cool, yeah most bonus IDs should be relatively easy to determine from the item level. The only bonuses that would be tricky are things like stat variations on e.g. crafted or baleful items, and bonus minor stats on items. Using the stats you could determine that they have e.g. ~3 items with movement speed... but you wouldn't really know how much and on which items.

You shouldn't need any guessing. Random tertiaries and sockets are a great point about being missing; I'll follow up on that. You really should have everything you need to reconstruct their gear. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Classic Realms
Tom Chilton (Game Director for World of Warcraft) answered a question about classic servers during the BlizzCon 2015 World of Warcraft Q&A.

While we realise there is a desire for servers running previous versions of the game, we do not have any plans to setup classic servers. The old code is designed to run on the old hardware. The old code brings with it the old data, which includes the old bugs. The natural expectation from players would be that we would fix these bugs to ensure a smooth gameplay experience (along with the need for Customer Support and other dedicated support teams for such realms).

We feel it is not feasible to support multiple versions of World of Warcraft concurrently, and instead believe that our resources would be better placed continuing to build upon the current live game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
the lovely folk at @BlizzardCS tell me that you are the ones to talk to for getting a tabard locker for my 50+ tabards?
Tabards are included in the #Legion Transmog improvements, so you have a lot of free closet space in your future! (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
What's your opinion on limited-access forums readable to public? Example: Master+ and Devs only, readable by public.
It greatly helps to problem of player to dev ratio being so skewed. Just have to avoid whiff of elitism. (OccupyGStreet)

Legion - Kobolds
You will encounter the Kobolds again in Legion and learn a little bit about their history!
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Kobolds live here long time. Make home in nooks.
Catch rats. Sometimes eat them.
Dig for treasure. Trade with harpies.
They like shinies, we like wax. Fresh from ears is best.
One day drogbar come in. Say cave is theirs.
They smash and scare. We take candles and hide.
Drogbar big and stupid. They have cave, but no have candle.
Darkness finds them. Darkness follows them.
Darkness swallows them whole!
We come back. We have candles.
Cave ours again. Candles keep us safe.

Final Boss - Enhancement Shaman
Final Boss is back with an Enhancement Shaman spec preview!

by Published on 2016-01-15 03:47 PM

Patch 2.4 Roundup

Hearthstone on ESPN Esports, HS Community Communications, CDC 3.02 - Kindred Keywords, Card Design Competition Winner

Dustin Tweet Round-Up, Hottest Plays of the Week #58

Enhancement Shaman Artifact Intro
The latest Legion build finally enabled Shaman, allowing us to see how players obtain Doomhammer.

Shaman Class Hall
The Shaman class hall is located right outside of the Maelstrom.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tank & Healer Ability Tuning
What about healer damage and how it feels to play a healer, it looks like, again, we are getting lots of stuff done for tanks but little for healers.
Healer damage is being raised substantially, but that's not related to the topic of this thread, so please start a new thread to discuss it. Thanks!

We agree that passive healing from healers (most prominently Beacon) is a huge contributor to the problem, and will be adjusted as well.

EDIT: Edited that into the original post as well.

A lot of great discussion here, and we share a lot of the concerns (even the cynical ones), and will be doing our best to actually meet the stated goals.

Tanks will indeed have much more health than DPS; apologies if that was unclear. It's just that their total effective health can safely be in the 5-15x of a DPS range, doesn't need to be 50x. 50x is kinda silly. Raid bosses will still 1-shot DPS, and that's fine.

Healers are being adjusted with tank healing in mind.

The comments about tanks spending less time waiting for their turn to tank isn't an indication that they'll be expected to run around more, just that they'll have more engaging encounter gameplay.

We especially look forward to more feedback based on playtesting; thanks for what you've given so far! This is going to be an iterative process, and we'll keep adjusting based on it. It surely isn't perfect yet, but we'll keep reading, responding, and tweaking! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Logging Feature: COMBATANT_INFO
Any permanent output increase buff from another player such as Mark of the Wild, Blessing of.., etc
Forgot to say that, but yes, that's planned as well. Edited that in to the above post. Thanks!

There are a lot of great questions being asked in here, but please put questions not about COMBATANT_INFO in new threads. Thanks!

With just the item IDs, enchant, and gems... you really can't recreate a person's gear. For the most part this gear data can only be used to do things like figure out which special trinket a person used, or if they have a set bonus active, which gear-related procs they have, etc. It would be awesome if we could have the full information needed to recreate a person's gear (basically what an item link in-game has):

- item ID
- bonus IDs
- suffix ID (only necessary on legacy items)
- upgrade ID
- gem IDs
- enchant ID

Regarding enchant ID... the format above mentions 3 enchant IDs... usually all that we need is the enchant ID as you would see it in the Armory (which I'm assuming is the permanent enchant ID). I'm more familiar with a static gear perspective... what kind of things are the other two enchants used for that are common?

The Item level is included in there as well, which shortcuts the bonus/upgrade (and suffix will continue to be inconsequential). You should have everything you need to reconstruct their gear. On Use enchants are for things like the Nitro Boost belt attachment from engineering. Temporary enchants are for things like Rogue Poisons.

Also, we would probably want to know which slot the items are equipped in. This isn't a huge deal with artifact weapons... but for a future-proof design, being able to consistently tell which weapon is in the main hand vs. off hand is important information. The slot could be implied by the order that the items are listed for brevity, but that would require a blank entry for a blank slot.
I don't believe we're currently including blanks, but the order would be consistent.

With the full gear data, the stats section becomes a bit redundant I think. You can calculate the stats from the state of the player. Also, I'm not sure how much value we'll get out of a snapshot of stats at fight start... stats will move around as buffs come and go during a fight. Having the full picture of the character's gear will go much further towards doing stat-related analysis of log data.
True, but the stats shortcut a ton of work for developers that don't already have (or want to build) that huge process. It also provides validation, of course.

If you look at that list... it actually includes most of the auras that a player would have on the pull. It almost seems like it would be easier and require far less maintenance to just include every aura.
Everything you listed, we would flag, and more (such as set bonuses, and legendary effects). Including all auras is not feasible; there are tons and tons and tons of aura, some visible, some not visible.

When I get to thinking about using those stats... I run into problems. If the snapshot happens with a pre-potion active, well now I need to adjust for that or it will seem like everyone has way too much of their primary stat. Or what if a person hits an on-use trinket just before the pull accidentally and jacks up a stat?
We're not currently planning for potions to be stat-based right now, but it's still a valid point due to Use trinkets, if nothing else. The trinket aura would be flagged as interesting, and you'd have to factor it out. Not ideal, I know, but that's a technical limitation at the moment. Those of you who are fully reconstructing the character can likely ignore the stats and use your reconstructed values. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Testing Schedule - January 15
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Friday, January 15, we will begin our Legion Alpha raid testing with one Heroic encounter from the Emerald Nightmare.

Remember that Heroic difficulty scales for any group size between 10 and 30 players, so feel free to assemble and bring a group of any size within that range. Our general plan is to test every encounter on Heroic difficulty first, and then test sections of the raid on Normal and Raid Finder, alongside targeted Mythic tests.

As this is the very first raid test of this alpha cycle, one of the main purposes of this test is to stress our servers and the Legion codebase, so instability is not only possible, but almost a certainty. And yes, class design (let alone balance) is far from final, many specs are not available, artifacts will not be fully unlocked yet, and we'll certainly be revisiting this boss in the future for true tuning data. If you've read all of that and have a masochistic streak and still want to help us out with this first raid test, here are the details:

Friday, January 15

Ursoc - Heroic Emerald Nightmare
14:00 PST (17:00 EST, 23:00 CET)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of an alpha environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Q: How do I get into the raid zone?

A: In Dalaran, Orgrimmar, or Stormwind, you may speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade Sr. in order to teleport into the raid zone while it is open for testing. (The option to teleport into a zone will not be available when the zone is not open for testing.)

Q: What character should I use to test the raid?

A: Whichever you prefer. We will be scaling players' effective level to 110 for raid testing, and their item level to an appropriate threshold for the encounter(s) being tested.

Q: How long does testing last?

A: The primary purpose of testing is to give us the information we need to balance the encounters, evaluate how mechanics are playing out in practice, and identify bugs. Once we're satisfied that we've received that information for a given boss, we'll be shutting down testing. Usually this takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, but there are no guarantees.

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
If you could start over from scratch on MMO endgame design, what would you change?
Off the top of my head, more paths to rewards instead of one path with multiple difficulty levels. (OccupyGStreet)

Legion Alpha - Obliterum
We found some interesting references to Obliterum in Legion conversations. Keep in mind that this is just a reference in an alpha build of Legion, not something final or officially announced. This forge was in Dalaran in a previous build, but is gone in the current build. Remember that Obliterum is created by destroying crafted items you don't want, allowing you to increase the power of your crafted items.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Simply brilliant, Ildine! How much obliterum did we get?

We'll need permission from the ruling council of Dalaran before we can build a forge big enough to create obliterum en masse.
You seem to be on good terms with Khadgar - maybe you should ask him, $n.

We've discovered an exciting new way to extract demonic essence from our crafted armor, but to do so, we need your permission to build a forge.

I agree. Our artisans lack the skills to build such a forge. The dangers of toying with demonic powers are simply too great.
I agree. You of all people should know that dealing with this type of power carries great danger, demon hunter. I cannot allow it in my city. (used if character is demon hunter class)
I'm sorry, but your request has been den--
Actually, Khadgar, I believe I may know someone that can build this forge. An expert.
Really? Who?
Perhaps better you didn't know, sir.
How mysterious. Very well! Archmage Karlain will assist you, $n.

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