World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2016-02-03 07:45 AM

Feb 2nd Minor Patch, Frost Marauder DH Guide

Hearthstone Season 23 Begins, Popular January 2016 Constructed Decks - Budget Friendly, Firebat Leaves Team Archon

Li Ming Now Available & Feb 2th Patch Notes

Legion - Restoration Shaman Artifact Intro
The Restoration Shaman intro rewards you with the Caduceus of Azshara. You can see the the trail the effect leaves in the last few minutes of the video. The start of this intro is the same as the other Shaman intros, so skip to 4:10 to see the Restoration specific part.

Patch 6.2.3 Hotfixes - February 2
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
  • Windwalker
    • Fixed an issue where elemental spirits summoned by Storm, Earth, and Fire mirroring Rising Sun Kick in PvP combat dealt less damage than intended.

Legion - Subtlety Rogue Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The point of alpha testing has always been to test and get feedback. That's especially valuable and needed on ideas that are hard to test internally, and ones that need to be experienced to judge.

As such, we sometimes will go forward with testing something that people respond negatively to on paper, to see if that response remains the same once it's actually been tried. That can be concerning, and feel like we're not listening or caring about your feedback, but it couldn't be any further from the truth. We hear you, loud and clear.

The idea of a Rogue that got to do the full Opener-Builder-Finisher-Vanish cycle repeatedly was an extremely compelling fantasy to us. But it also was a scary one, from a balance point of view. Because of that, we were quite timid about it, reducing the stealth to not be actual stealth, taking away more CC to compensate for the potential of many Cheap Shots, initially taking away Shadowstep to compensate for incredible mobility potential of Shadowstrike, and felt tentatively OK with the reduced flexibility of the new Shadow Dance due to its sheer uptime. Additionally, there were some bugs and tuning issues in the currently live alpha build that make Subtlety seem worse than it is, such as Nightblade doing less damage than Eviscerate, which we'll get fixed.

Feedback has been clear. The core issue is that the Opener-Builder-Finisher-Vanish cycle doesn't feel distinct or special; Shadowstrike feels remarkably like Backstab and it's easy to not even feel a difference. The upside isn't there, and the downsides are many and strong. And, the gameplay is not engaging enough overall.

So, a future alpha build (not sure yet if it'll be the next one, or the one after that) will have significant changes to Subtlety. It'll include things like Shadow Dance returning to being an active ability, the addition of a new opener, and the return of some more CC. Stay tuned for full details when the build is ready.

Thanks for all your constructive feedback, and we look forward to reading more of it when you are able to try the next version.

Yeah. Angsty moments aside, this feels like a pretty nice victory for the alpha testing process as a whole. This was the right time to test a major spec-gameplay change like this, and the quality of player feedback in this forum (as well as a couple of threads in other public venues) was high. Personally I much prefer having had a chance to playtest a different Sub design in this sandbox over only seeing and reacting theoretical changes on paper. And I think it's helpful that everybody, both playtesters and onlookers alike, got to see that testing and feedback play out.
I think this is a great sentiment, and I hope it spreads. Pre-release (alpha/beta/PTR) is the perfect place for us to experiment with uncertain changes, and it works best when players trust in that process. This should be seen as an example of a successful testing process, not a 'victory of rogues over designers'. We *all* win by trying out new things, even if those tests produce less than favorable results. If we never try out wild or scary changes, the game never evolves into something much greater or more exciting. I hope this helps players see that there is wisdom in responding to concerning-sounding changes, not with vitriol and doomsaying, but rather with testing, evaluating, and giving constructive feedback. Thanks to all who have done so.

Multistrike in PvP
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
So, we’ve been looking into this issue, and there appears to be some confusion. Here’s some clarification:

First off, Multistrike grants two entirely separate chances in PvE, and only one chance in PvP. It sounds like you understand that already, but it’s important to keep in mind when you’re working out the math. Two separate 68% chances could result in 0 Multistrikes. If you simply multiply that 68% by 2, you get one single 136% chance, which is not how the system works. Obviously, this doesn’t apply in PvP where you would only have that single 68% chance, but it seemed worth clarifying.

Secondly, the extra Multistrike effect on Lava Burst is a third, additional roll based on your Crit chance, NOT an additive increase to your other Multistrike chances. So, if you have 68% Multistrike and 13% Crit, casting Lava Burst at a target dummy would give you two 68% chances, and one 13% chance. It would not give you two 81% chances. (Similarly, in PvP, you would have one 68% chance and one 13% chance.)

All that said, we still figured it was worth investigating to make sure there wasn’t anything screwy going on. So, we set up an Orc Elemental Shaman with 100% Multistrike and 12% Crit, and had him cast 3221 Lava Bursts at a Dwarf Monk. Those casts resulted in 3589 Multistrikes, which is extremely close (only about half a percent off) the projected mathematical average of 3608.

Based on that, as well as a few other cursory spot checks, it looks like Multistrike is working properly in PvP. I suspect that what you’re seeing is just due to the small sample size – it’s certainly well within the expected variance for that number of casts with that level of Multistrike. Hopefully this helps clear things up.

Whatever did the poor dwarf do to deserve so many lava bursts...
He knows what he did.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Please say removal of knockback on Thunderstorm for Ele is a tooltip error.
It is just a tooltip bug! Knockback is still there. (Celestalon)

Do you plan to keep Timewalking in Legion? ie. can we still obtain those cool mounts in Legion?
Timewalking is a permanent addition to the game, and we look forward to continuing to expand it going forward. (WarcraftDevs)

Hearthstone - A New Way to Play
Big changes are coming to Hearthstone! Card changes, more deck slots, new game modes, and more!

Heroes of the Storm - Lunar Festival
Blizzard released a nice video for Lunar Festival in Heroes of the Storm.

by Published on 2016-02-02 06:35 AM

Season 5 Gearing Cheat Sheet

Hearthstone Season 23 Begins, Popular January 2016 Constructed Decks - Budget Friendly, Firebat Leaves Team Archon

Li Ming Confirmed Tomorrow, Weekly Rotation and Sales, Johanna's Price Reduction

Legion - Rogue Tier 19
Today we are taking a look at the Rogue Tier 19 sets.

Lunar Festival
There haven't been any changes to Lunar Festival since last year.

Healing Design in Legion
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thanks for all the feedback. A few things:

1) It's definitely still intended that you consider mana costs in choosing heals. I wouldn't agree with the characterization that any changes (recent or otherwise) reflect an abandonment of this. It's widely accepted among players that mana became overly abundant at high ilvls in past expansions, which did in some cases undermine the resource management aspect. But the spell selections of each class are still made with the intention of mana being an important factor. They are in Legion just as they have been in the past, with the main change being to avoid having mana grow excessively generously throughout the expansion. Jumping ahead, trinkets are indeed one place where we may provide opporunities to invest in more mana. But mana regen will not be passively increasing by a large amount simply due to gear advancement, largely for these reasons.

6) Tranquility and Divine Hymn should still deliver significantly more healing than those players would typically do in 8 seconds. Having these sorts of spells (both the channeled and instant varieties) do "significantly more" than usual, as opposed to the overwhelming strength they have on live, might take some getting used to. But there is no reason they won't be strong and helpful spells to use either at specific high-damage encounter moments or simply because the player needs to catch up in a bad healing situation. In both of these cases, the intention is that the cooldowns don't completely supplant the normal healing gameplay, but give a boost to output at a key moment. On Tranquility and Divine Hymn in particular, the 8-second channel causes the biggest problem in the dungeon context, and both of these spells will do increased healing outside of raids to account for that.

The Aura talent row, Aura mastery spell, and corresponding artifact trait are all reworked in an upcoming patch. Among other things, we agree the trait giving Aura Mastery the effect of all three Auras eliminates too much of the significance of the talent choice.

7) We understand the importance of utility. I want to point out that on live, the dominance of Disc Priest and Paladin in the highest-level raiding is primarily due to their core healing function and not to unique non-healing utility (exception in some cases for Hand of Protection, but the removal of Clemency from all specs in Legion reduces that problem significantly). Avoiding a repeat situation where some healers feel left out of the most optimized Mythic healing groups is likely a question of balancing the actual heals, not of more incidental utility buttons such as Wind Rush, Tiger's Lust, Innervate and so on.

The artifact trait granting a 5% haste aura will also be changed before Holy Paladin is playable on alpha.

To illustrate with numbers: if 100 DPS is incoming and you have to choose between spending a little bit of mana to do 50 HPS, a medium amount of mana to do 125 HPS, or a large amount of mana to do 200 HPS, the correct choice is 125 HPS, but then every 5th second there's nothing to heal. All I am saying is that healers should be able to do something meaningful in this 5th second.
Note that even in your example, you could instead spend every 3rd second on your 50 HPS heal, and save a little mana over your solution (that never uses that heal and instead fills every 5th second with DPS). In any situation where healing and mana are a significant challenge, that gameplay is still present, and toolkits with different spells of varying efficiency provide opportunity for more skilled healers to know when and how much to use the cheaper options.

On 7) While I agree that HFC's healer composition issues stemmed largely from actual healing issues, I still think that more effort can be put towards ensuring that every healer has things they can do that are useful and "cool" beyond filling health bars. Similar to the above, it is less about power and more that it feels bad to be asked to justify why your spec should be brought when another spec brings X ability and not have an answer. Currently I think that HPriest/Druid/MW all have difficulty answering that question and while it may not matter much to people that have a good understanding of the entire healing picture, this topic holds a lot of sway when it comes to the general community's opinions on balance.
Again, nobody's denying the value of utility abilities that are fun to use (defined as you did in the OP as things other than healing output or equivalent shielding/damage-reduction). Merely trying to avoid conflating it with major healer balance concerns. To your point, even the Disc Priest in Warlords didn't justify being brought by some X factor that raid leaders had to have, other than their sheer volume of healing/shielding. Their extras like Body and Soul were comparatively minor. Similarly, something like Wind Rush isn't intended to dominate the importance of actual healing when deciding what classes or individuals to bring to a raid, and we'll examine it closely if it does. It likely won't, as it's somewhat weaker than the live spell Stampeding Roar (which hasn't had such an effect)--much smaller radius and no snare break (also a 2min cooldown which I believe you haven't seen yet).

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Any plans for something like the Lorewalker quests in Legion? One of my favorite parts of Pandaria
Thank you! We loved those. There's lots of custom storytelling for artifacts this time around, but no 'Lorewalker' equivalent (DaveKosak)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Glyph if stars is why Im a moonkin. And glyph if shadows is why my priest wears a bikini.>_>
The Glyph of Stars visual effect (along with a matching Solar variant) is used for the Blessing of the Ancients talent. (WarcraftDevs)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
but Light of the Martyr? At 12.5% of total mana, seems expensive for such a small net gain in healing. Will have to wait and see.
In addition to being a no-cooldown instant spell, the healing of LotM is increased by Crit and Mastery (while the damage is not). (WarcraftDevs)
However, one change that didn't make it into this build's data is that LotM will no longer flow through Beacon of Light. (WarcraftDevs)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Forums have a tendency toward negativity, so I always take feedback with salt and pepper. But this level of uniformity is unusual.
Where is this feedback? I'm seeing virtually none so far. (Celestalon)
This thread in particular gets off to a poor start, but has some helpful posts in it:
.Oh. Reminder: Please post Alpha feedback in the Alpha forums. (Celestalon)
Yeah, w/ rogue stuff at least, I've seen a tendency for people to vent where they feel comfortable. (And less moderated, maybe.)
Venting is fine, but we do also want to get good, useful feedback. Another reminder: Tuning hasn't happened. Ignore numbers. (Celestalon)
this issue is far far from a tuning issue. The spec has been gutted and simplified to be utter garbage
Then I look forward to reading your good feedback! (Celestalon)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
I hope your empathy improved since the "WoW Dungeons are Hard" article. ⊙︿⊙
That's why I wrote that article! Players were frustrated and confused about our intentions. (OccupyGStreet)
I thought (& still do) that using more of your class abilities and coordinating with your party was more fun and memorable. (OccupyGStreet)
But that didn't resonate with some players coming off of overgearing LK dungeons for valor runs. So we pivoted. (OccupyGStreet)
Was that the right choice? Players have been debating that topic ever since. ) (OccupyGStreet)
I do think I have become more empathetic over time though. (OccupyGStreet)

Warcraft Movie - UK Release Date
The UK release date of the Warcraft movie seems to have been pushed a little earlier.

Dark Legacy Comics #524
DLC #524 has been released.

by Published on 2016-02-01 01:33 AM

Console Patch Being Deployed, Annoying Urshi, Kripp's Thornsader & Season 5 Review

Ben Brode on LOE Legendary Creation, The Makings of a 3D Printed Hearthstone Card, Value Town #59

Blue Posts, Replay File Improvements

Legion - Artifact Weapon Previews
Recent Legion builds added even more Artifact Weapon variations, so we have compiled all of the new ones for you. Class preview videos will be updated after all variations are added to the game.

Legion - Turtle Mount
A recent Legion build added a Turtle mount!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
whats with all the minor glyph removals?
The glyph system is being updated, so a lot of data is changing. Many of those effects will still be available. (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
Do you still play World of Warcraft?
I don't, but I am always hesitant that when I say that, for fear players will somehow try to use it to argue for their own agenda.

Here are my reasons:

1) As a player, I needed a break. I had played WoW for nearly a decade without a break, with a lot of heavy raiding. I fully expect I will go back at some point.

2) As a developer, I needed a little distance. WoW was part of my DNA for many years. Jumping back into the game felt like cruising by the house of my ex all the time and asking her how her current BF was treating her, and maybe giving him some pointers on how to handle her. It just felt weird. It has been two years, so that has mostly dried up.

3) As a designer, I needed more broad exposure. When I played WoW, it was harder to find time to play other games. (Blizzard now has so many games, that they make it really hard to play non-Blizzard games too!) When I interviewed at Riot, I struggled with answering some questions because I hadn't played all of the games I should have. I vowed to keep more abreast of the industry and not make WoW (or LoL!) my only game.

Poll - Artifact Weapons
Which class has your favorite Artifact Weapon model so far?

Legion - Fishing Artifact
A recent build also added several versions of the fishing artifact used out in the world for display purposes.

Final Boss - Guardian Druid Spec Preview
Final Boss is back with another spec preview! You can see all of their weapon models here.

by Published on 2016-01-30 09:39 PM

Console Patch Being Deployed, Annoying Urshi, Kripp's Thornsader & Season 5 Review

Ben Brode on LOE Legendary Creation, The Makings of a 3D Printed Hearthstone Card, Value Town #59

Blue Posts, Replay File Improvements

Legion - Dalaran Portals
In Legion, Dalaran has a large assortment of portals. The old portals from Wrath of the Lich King are back, along with some new ones!

Horde have portals to Orgrimmar, Undercity, Thunder Bluff, Silvermoon, and Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Alliance have portals to Stormwind, Ironforge, Darnassus, Exodar, and Vale of the Eternal Blossoms.

Both factions have access to portals in the new structure in the center of Dalaran. These are currently used for Artifact intro quest teleports, leading to Caverns of Time, Shattrath, Wyrmrest Temple, Dalaran Crater, and Karazhan.

Legion - Neltharion's Lair
Neltharion's Lair is one of the new dungeons being added in Legion.

Patch 6.2.3 Hotfixes - January 29
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Dungeons and Raids
End Time
  • Fixed an issue during the Murozond encounter that could affect Death Knights and cause their Anti-Magic Shell ability to go on a slightly longer than intended 12-day cooldown.
The Vortex Pinnacle
  • [Requires a realm restart] Asaad's Static Cling ability now only targets 2 players (down from 5), and has a preference to for characters in a ranged Specialization.

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
In your opinion, is a huge beta like the one in MoP better than the a relatively smaller one like in Cata?(number of testers)
Depends on the goal: quality of feedback? Relationship with the testers? Stress testing? Build I got media hype? (OccupyGStreet)

Warcraft Movie - Robert Kazinsky
Robert Kazinsky was on Conan Thursday night and talked about Warcraft.

Final Boss - Marksmanship Hunter Spec Preview
Final Boss is back with another spec preview! You can watch the Marksmanship Artifact intro here and see all of their weapon models here.

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