World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2015-01-09 02:12 AM

Patch 2.1.2 Next Tuesday, Seasonal Items, D3 Chainsaw Carving

Deck Spotlight: Tesla's Midrange Warlock, The Little Chugga That Could

Thrall, New Battleground, and New Skins to Launch with Closed Beta, Brawl with the Blues

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes - January 8
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts
  • Garrison Buildings
    • Barn
      • [Requires a realm restart] Increased the spawn rate and number of spawn points for Direfang Alpha, Ironhide Bull, and Wetland Trampler. This hotfix will be deployed in combination with the hotfix from January 7 to increase spawn rates slightly.

  • Abilities that heal based on a percentage of total/maximum health should now be able to be correctly modified by healing debuff modifiers.

  • Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • General
      • [Currently in testing] Freezing Trap now has a trigger radius of 3 yards (down from 5 yards).
  • Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Armor Sets
      • Hotfix to change the PvP 4-piece set bonus for Retribution Paladins announced from January 5 has been deployed.
  • Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Glyphs
      • Glyph of Reflective Shield should now correctly only reflect damage on self-cast Power Word: Shields and not when it's cast on other players.

  • Gorgrond
    • Reagents from Rakthoth: This quest can now be completed if another quest, Plant Pruning has already been completed.
    • Seeking the Scout: This quest can now be completed if another quest, Plant Pruning has already been completed.
    • [Requires a realm restart] The Giant Cauldron: Players should now be able to reacquire or complete the quest if they disconnect or log out during the flight after speaking with Choluna.

Raids and Dungeons
  • Highmaul
    • Kargath Bladefist: Defeating Iron Grunts before the start of the encounter no longer grants favor with Roar of the Crowd on Mythic difficulty.
    • The Butcher: Pale Vitriol should now correctly be reapplied to Hunters under the effects of Deterrence on Mythic difficulty.

  • Ashran
    • Bonus Objectives in Ashran now restart every 30-40 minutes after completion (up from 20-30 minutes).

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Capturing a point in Arathi Basin, The Battle for Gilneas City, and the Rated Battlegrounds version for Eye of the Storm should now take 7 seconds (down from 8 seconds). This change restores time to capture a point back to what it was for these Battlegrounds in pre-6.0.2.

  • All Follower contracts are now bind-on-pickup.

Tier 18 Armor Set Art
We got our first look at what could be Tier 18 armor set art when some textures slipped in to a Warlords of Draenor beta build.

Keep in mind that this is missing textures and models, things can change, this could be used for another set, or scrapped altogether.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Now, honestly? I've not been super crazy about many of the Armor-sets since Wrath of the Lich King.
I'm really interested to see how people react to T18. To me it's kind of a big change in direction. Our focus for quite a while has been to look at the bosses and materials of a raid environment, or iconic expansion imagery, and play off those. It's going to be a big departure, where the artists are taking a step back and really looking at the classes themselves, and looking at more classical fantasy materials--as well as just pushing the detail and quality level. I think it's kind of a cool new direction, even though it's almost like going back to a more classic look.

Patch 6.1 Daily Quests
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We don't think dailies are innately evil or anything, and we don't think most people think they're evil either, there are obviously some in the game now, and they CAN be a force for good. Like anything it's really just about using them as one of many tools in our toolbox. We can do lots of things in lots of different ways, and it's just about trying to be smart about how to best use each piece of content or type of mechanic in the best ways possible.

Lots of people play WoW, and there are lots of different types of players, with different amounts of time to play, and different tastes for the content and difficulty and time commitment they want to give to any of those pieces of content. The person that plays for an hour or so a few times a week is playing the same game as the person that plays five hours every night, and so that requires a lot of different types of content with lots of different types of players in-mind, and really trying to make sure we're giving everyone something they enjoy. It's hard!

Reminds me of a quote from a recent interview with Neil Peart--certainly one of the greatest living drummers, if not of all time--and his mom wondering why he doesn't smile more while he plays drums, and his answer: "It's hard!" Being talented, or even being the best, doesn't save anyone from the requirement of determination and a herculean effort to get it done well.

Anyway, in 6.1 (as announced) we have a new series of quests--tasks, if you will--that will be daily, and also be randomized among you and your friends. So people will be able to coordinate, and visit each others Garrisons, and get these tasks. There's a variety of quest types, and then multiple missions within each type, and so you can just do yours, or really make sure you do all of the types each day by coordinating with friends/guild mates. Rewards vary but they're all very opt-in in nature. There are a bunch of achievements, some fun rewards, and some interactions with professions and crafting materials.

We think it'll be a fun addition that is daily but not... OH NO IT'S DAILY, and as always we'll be looking for feedback and testing once the PTR spins up.

I don't think it sounds very fun having to visit 10 other ppl's garrisons to pick up quests I want to do. Stop developing this horrible sounding system now Blizzard. It'll only end in many complaints.
You don't have to, you can just do the one you got if you like. It's a social game, so encouraging social experiences is sort of a goal, even if it's as small as "Anyone have an enchanting building that can invite me?" Those small interactions have the possibility to become much bigger ones, so they're still important.

And that's especially true if/when these daily tasks require more than one player to complete.

"Interactions with professions and crafting materials" though makes it sound like it'll be like "I need x hexweave" or something like that, which I pray isn't.
Probably more as a way to put those stacks of mats to better use, and speed up some of the crafting cooldowns. Still in-development of course.

Haunted Memento Change in Warlords of Draenor
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
For those of you who haven't noticed, didn't know about the change, or never owned one in the first place...
The item used to cause an untargettable black wraith to follow the owner around constantly, with a buff placed on them. NOW, the item randomly gives the player this same buff, but for only 15 seconds at a time.

It was the #1 source of creature spawns within the game, which was causing server performance degradation, and during launch we changed its behavior as one of many tweaks to help recoup some server headroom. Due to the ongoing demand on the game service (and likelihood of similar demands in future expansion launches) we're not currently planning to revert it to its old behavior.

Riot Building Network to Improve LoL Network Performance
Riot recently announced a fairly large project to build out a network and create peering agreements with ISPs to improve League of Legends network performance in North America.
Originally Posted by Riot Ahab (Source)


Riot Ahab here again to share more updates on what we're doing to address East Coast ping problems. By now, you may be familiar with the NA Server Roadmap, which outlines our approach to addressing ping disparity across the US and Canada. You can check it out here.

Today, I want to introduce Riot WizardOTL (formerly Riot WizardoftheLake), who has been busy leading the charge on Phase 2 of the Roadmap: building a dedicated network for League of Legends traffic.

Why are we doing this? Currently, ISPs focus primarily on moving large volumes of data in seconds or minutes, which is good for buffered applications like YouTube or Netflix but not so good for real-time games, which need to move very small amounts of data in milliseconds. On top of that, your internet connection might bounce all over the country instead of running directly to where it needs to go, which can impact your network quality and ping whether the game server is across the country or right down the street.

This is why we’re in the process of creating our own direct network for League traffic and working with ISPs across the US and Canada to connect players to this network.

I suppose I'll ask: "If this all gets done in the most ideal way possible, what will this make gameplay like? Will ping improve? Will gameplay improve even if ping doesn't with the "less data faster" approach? Will people on the west coast notice a change?"
Many players should see improvements in network quality as our new North American network rolls out. These improvements could be less ping time, less network packet loss, and more stable connections (less disconnects). Ping, packet loss, and stability may not all move in the same direction for all players depending on location within North America, their ISP (how their ISP connects to Riot's network).

Ping, packet loss, and stability are not always tied together and can be affected by many things. When it comes to network quality we prioritize stability, reduced packet loss, and ping time pretty much in this order. You can't play the game if you are not connected, you will see more lag with more packet loss, and ping can become a problem when it gets significantly high or is unstable (shooting up and down all the time in the middle of the game).

The game client only reports ping time to players but it also tracks stability and packet loss to Riot (and in client log files) on a near real time basis (though it can take us a day to crunch all the data from all the game clients before we see a troubling trend developing so we are not yet at real time detection of some network problems). Sometimes packet loss will show up in your ping time, usually you will see it jump up and down quickly which often indicates packet loss is happening or if severe packet loss will show up as lag in the game.

Faster ping time is often reported by players to "feel" better and is often something that is reported to be more meaningful the better you are at playing a game. How fast ping is before you feel the difference is likely dependent on the individual but it is generally thought the lower the better (diminishing returns apply, going from 160 ping to 90 ping is more impactful than going from 110 ping to 40). Lower ping time can also help mitigate packet loss since the game can recover missing packets faster. Because the Internet is a loose collection of various private and public networks, ping time is something that will constantly change for players. Some players could see slight increases in ping times while others can see significant reductions as our new network comes online. Our goal is benefit the most players and then troubleshoot ISPs that still have players with poor network quality.

Based on their other posts this is exactly what they are doing. It won't be going across a congested line if it's a line that Riot owns dedicated to League traffic.
Correct, we are going to have dedicated Internet links for just Riot running through the biggest metro areas of the LoL North America region. Key benefits are the elimination of congestion and optimize the distance packets travel (instead of random hops around the Internet). Some of these links are already online in some of the metro areas but players won't see most of the benefit until we also hook up dedicated links in the metro areas to the ISPs players use. We expect a few hiccups along the way, its a lot of network configuration changes being planned. (Doing the same thing in Europe pretty much at the same time, though we have to deal with lot of country issues versus just companies so some things move a bit slower in Europe).

When will this be finished by?
The full network is slated to be built by the end of March this year.

Does this mean that it will be up and fully functional, or just that the network itself will be ready?
The hardware will be functional -- the agreements may take a little extra time (since contracts always do), and there will be extra work hammering out individual hiccups and making sure as many players as possible have their connections pathing correctly to this network.

So basically, the hardware itself is on schedule, but we'll still have to wait a bit while the ISP negotiations go on. So it mostly depends on the ISPs?
The March goal should include getting the agreements done (and we are currently on schedule in that regard), but the back-and-forth on contracts never fails to amaze me on how long it can take!

Am I reading this correctly in that you are setting up what is your own Tier 2 or 1 network?
Exactly, we're focused on peering directly -- technically we may not meet the classification of a Tier 1 network, but you've got the idea.

How do you see what you're doing impacting gaming as a whole? By the sound of it, what you're working on sounds mostly LoL exclusive...but the same principles would hold true for all/most online games. Is this the sort of thing you could then sell/rent to other game companies? Or would this pave the way with ISPs for other companies to get similar systems in place? Is none of that really being considered yet because just getting this in place is more than enough work?
Great question - and the honest answer is, "we don't know." Every game's architecture is different, however we are working with other gaming companies to try and improve stability and make playing games more fun. I hope that helps.

Can you explain why NA servers have not be moved to a more centralized location? More importantly, you recently upgraded your servers, why not take that opportunity to move the servers to central US?
Network quality is the foundational thing in any online service (online being the key word). Once we have a handle on being able to firmly control the quality of the Internet between player ISPs and LoL data centers we can tackle the issue of what is the best location for the servers. With the big changes in the Internet business model going on since 2013 (net neutrality, rise in huge DDoS attacks, popularity of online video exploding which has created unprecedented Internet congestion, etc.) we have had to take a step back and really think about the foundation first. Network first is the right long term strategy for players throughout North America.

Is there a list of ISP's you have gotten confirmation of their assistance in this current course of action?
We now peer with Comcast, Charter, Shaw, Telus, and we are in negotiations with Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Cox Communications, CenturyLink, and many other ISPs. We're targeting those that carry most of our players, so odds are your ISP is already on the list of folks we are talking to!

What exactly does "peering" with an ISP accomplish? Specifically, what does the ISP do for you, and vice-versa?
Peering is when you connect directly to each ISP instead of just throwing packets out from one location. This allows us to make sure player traffic takes the best path to the game servers and allows us better control the connection quality for players. So your connection gets faster and you have less packet loss and disconnects.

Are you having trouble finding T1/T2 lines in various parts of the country? Do you use an ISPs internal T1/T2 network to transport the data around the country, or are you financing your own and asking the ISPs to forward the data through that?
No, we have our own all optical network and we are asking the ISPs to send League traffic through that.

(This kind of links to 1.) Will you manage the network yourselves or let an outside company do that? Although on-site maintenance for each line presumably would be handled by the provider, how about overall network management? I know as a company you're constantly hiring, but do you think you'll have the manpower to handle it alone?
We manage it internally. We have a great core team and we are actively recruiting to grow that group.

How did you as a company react when an employee suggested doing this? It's a pretty crazy thing to do and I can't imagine you (as a company) agreed immediately. What made you decide that this was indeed the way to go? (I agree, for what that is worth!)
Honestly, it took us a while to digest and wrap our heads around it. We had to meet with outside groups, and recruit people that have dealt with "service provider" networks versus data center networks. And then we ran some tests and found that this was the right path.

How long do you think it will take for the investment this will require to pay off?
We don't really look at it that way, this is the best for the players, so it is just something we need to do.

I saw in another comment you mentioned how you hope to work with other games companies so that this isn't such a one of thing. A followup question I have to that is why do you think no one has done this already?
I think there was a huge gap for software developers and data center network engineers to get over to understand this problem, and most games don't have the requirements that LoL has. So it really didn't manifest until now. As more games need this type of performance, you may see more companies doing this now.

Reddit Q&A
What does "building a dedicated network" even mean? You can't expect me to believe Riot is going to run dedicated lines across the continent, so what are they going to do? Build a giant VPN? Not to mention that phase three of this plan seems pretty familiar, since Riot said they were relocating the servers before and ended moving them further up the coast. Is the new phase three going to move them to Alaska?
So building a network is exactly what we are doing. We have leased circuits from Level3, Zayo, and CenturyLink, we have bought Routers from Juniper and Alcatel-Lucent, and we built and are operating POPs (Point of Presence) Equinix and Zayo locations across the country. The backbone is up in New York, Chicago, Seattle and San Jose. And we are bringing on LAX, Dallas, Atlanta and DC in the next month or two.

The Backbone is actually up, the hard part is the peering with the ISPs and route balancing. We now peer with Comcast, Charter, Shaw, Telus, and we are in negotiations with Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Cox Communications, CenturyLink, and many other ISPs.

The holidays have slowed us down a bit, but we are working to have the whole infrastructure finished by March 31st of this year.

The take away is that this is real, and we are moving as fast as we can.

Just to let you guys know, we are building a Tier 1 network. Just to give you some context, we have data that shows that some players in the bay area are getting 90ms ping, and they live less than 15ms from the servers! This is because some ISPs are sending the bay area traffic to LA, then to Denver, and then to Seattle and then to the servers. Putting a network in and peering is the only way to fix that. In another instance, Charter ended its contract with Zayo and that made Michigan players take a much longer path to the servers. None of this can be fixed unless we have the network in place.

This is a big project with a ton of people working on it and we are Really excited to see it come on line and see it be a huge win for the players.

Is what you're doing something Blizzard didn't have to do or is different than what Blizzard had to do to stabilize WoW at it's height?
I can't talk to what other game companies are doing, but I can say this is the first venture of this size and scope I have ever heard of.

What I'm afraid of is the ISPs charging a premium to the customer in order to have their traffic routed to Riots Private Network.
Blaaki - we are working with them, and the services that we getting from them do not allow them to do that. We are very aware of this concern and will work as hard as we can to make sure this is not something that can happen.
by Published on 2015-01-08 02:39 AM

Ancient Items Purpose, Future D3 Servers, Deadset Sanctuary Talk

Mekkatorque's Workshop #9 - Paladin Secrets, Deck Spotlight: Spark's Tempo Miracle Rogue

Thrall, New Battleground, and New Skins to Launch with Closed Beta, Brawl with the Blues

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes - January 7
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts
  • Garrison Buildings
    • Barn
      • Deadly Iron Trap now only traps an elite creature (Direfang Alpha, Ironhide Bull, and Wetland Trampler) that the player or party has tap credit on.
      • [Require a realm restart] Spawn rates for Direfang Alpha, Ironhide Bull, and Wetland Trampler has increased slightly.


  • Ashran
    • Players should now receive advanced notification when the Bonus Objective: Brute's Rise will become active.
    • Fangraal no longer uses the Soul of the Forest ability.
    • Alliance PvP vendors Bregg Coppercast and Ingrid Blackingot now have collision boxes.
    • Horde PvP vendors Lieutenant Axelash and Lieutenant Brokefist have moved closer to the road leading into Ashran, and now have collision boxes.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Hand of Protection should now interrupt players that are in the process of capturing a point in the Battlegrounds.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Trap Hotfix
Alright. I'm forwarding info from a designer with more information on what we're working on to increase the amount of elite creatures available for trapping.

The hotfix that will require a realm restart to take effect to increase the availability of elite creatures by splitting the elites off into its own population group. Previously, the elites and their regular versions shared the same population pool. Splitting the elites off into their own population pool will help them repopulate more quickly.

However, because the spawn regions for the elites are so wide, players fighting on one end may not see elite creatures repopulating on the other end of the spawn area. To address that, another hotfix is being worked on to greatly increase the number of spawn points with a further increase to the spawn rates. This other hotfix will also require a realm restart so we're holding off until both hotfixes are ready so the issue can be addressed thoroughly in one go. (You don't want two separate rolling restarts.)

With regards to concerns over the change to require tap credit to trap, we think is in part to due the scarcity of elite creatures. With the hotfixes above in place, there should be ample supply and it'll address those concerns.

We are looking at making possible further improvements beyond the scope of what hotfixes can allow to the Barn and trapping mechanic to encourage group play and reduce the need to engage in unusual behaviors. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Follower Limits and Accessibility
25 with a level 3 barracks. Anyhow, you can collect them all but you can only have a maximum of 25 active at any one time.
What Doraine said (with the caveat that you may have to switch up certain Garrison buildings and/or Outposts to gain access to certain followers).

All of this feedback is great so thank you!

We have some really cool changes coming to Garrisons in the future and a lot of them are based on what you've shared with us in recent weeks. Also, I've relayed many of the ideas you've posted here, too.

One specific change I can share is in the next patch we're planning to add a new NPC to tier 3 Garrisons who will sell followers you might not have access to based upon which buildings and Outposts you've chosen. Definitely keep an eye out for that on the next PTR, test it out, and let us know what you think.

Ohhh, what about for followers that came from quests that give you a choice of three but you can only choose 1. Gotta catch'em all you know
Yup! You'll be able to browse for followers you did not choose from quests and any you might have missed from failed missions. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warlock Class Balance
I give you credit for replying to this thread. Id love to hear your thoughts on shamans BTW...

But according to simcraft (Im sure you are aware of the website/tool), warlocks are only ~2k above tanks, and 5k from the top. Big gap.

Sims can be helpful from time to time, but far more helpful are actual log parses from humans playing those classes, and that tends to be what we look at; as well as just reading feedback, and our own play experience. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Model Changes and Feedback
We pay attention to the feedback on all articles, as well as all your comments here on the forums. We're making additional adjustments to some of the new models for the other races, including the Night Elf running animation, thanks to player feedback.

That's not to say it'll be possible to implement every suggestion that was made regarding the Blood Elf models of course, but we're keen to make sure you love the new models as much as we do. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character / Items
Please stop making "Spiky thing with a doorhandle"-style fist weapons. They'd spin out of control first hit.
WoW weapons have never really been about realism, per se. (Muffinus)

Any plans for alchemical catalysts? Seems like a pretty weak reagent and we don't have much to use it for other than greater flask
Yeah, I'm an alchemist myself and found the same, the feedback's been sent off, I feel you. In the meantime, engineering owns. (Muffinus)

So, is there any good reason why the blueprints for level 2 large buildings cost more than Level 3 blueprints?
Level 3 blueprints require a pretty hefty achievement, topping that with a huge cost felt bad. (Muffinus)
That does make a lot of sense, but a 500g discount for time investment doesn't seem all that much, no?
Some guy was complaining earlier that they didn't cost enough! (Muffinus)

Green Tweets
The developer formerly known as Ghostcrawler has managed to outweet all of the other devs we are tracking combined in the past few days, and had some interesting things to say. Keep in mind he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
in retrospect, was it really worth diluting gameplay quality so that more could participate?
I still struggle with that question. Is it better to have a good experience for few classes or viability for all of them?
giving melee+range comps less DR category overlap is another way.
You can get more class representation by letting multiple classes bring X but then you risk losing class distinction. At the end of the day, supporting multiple diverse classes as equals is almost impossible. My suggestion for any aspiring RPG designers out there is have only a few classes if balance is a goal. (OccupyGStreet)

Must all new classes in WoW be hybrids? Is it bad for the game (LFG queues) to add another pure dps class?
I think the game can support pures, so long as the hybrids are satisfied doing less DPS, which is a hot button topic.
Do you think it's possible to add a 4th role? Could it be done by adding it to the next new class, and only to that class?
You would make that class mandatory for every raid group. If you could live with that decision, then sure. (OccupyGStreet)

I think I transmogged one item, and I was largely the designer of the system. And I found a bug with that one item... I think it was a fan. (OccupyGStreet)

what was wow's biggest problem/headache that you can recall during WotLK?
I don't know if this is the biggest problem, but creating a niche and need for the DK was a challenge.
interesting. not what i expected.
There were more. Naxx being easy followed by Ulduar being hard was challenging.
I got the feeling Ulduar was not as well received at the time as some portray. The next tier seemed rushed out.
Ulduar was popular for the tiny percent of players who saw it. Flex mode normal would have helped it a ton. (OccupyGStreet)

Game Design
No idea how to solve a fundamental game design problem: optional content must be interesting but not so interesting that you're compelled. I see this is a lot in DA:I and WoW. If optional content is too boring, nobody will do it. Too interesting and it feels no longer optional. (OccupyGStreet)

A lot of the optional-turned-mandatory content feels that way because of the presence of overly compelling rewards.
I agree, but it's not just rewards though. AC and DA:I offer a lot of low reward content that is still hard to skip over.
At some point (was it achievements?) we became programmed to hate skipping over optional activities (frequently collections). (OccupyGStreet)

I would say it all depends on your definition of 'interesting'
There is a ton of collection in the new Dragon Age, but many clearly feel bad about not doing it (which is the entire point!). (OccupyGStreet)

Being compelled because it is interesting is awesome. Being compelled to do something optional strictly for reward is no fun
I agree, but there is also a trend of optional never feeling optional no matter how lame or non-rewarding it really is. I am *not* an achievement-focused player, but I still picked up a lot of freaking feathers and posters in Assassins Creed games (OccupyGStreet)

It can be frustrating if it's presented as optional but is important. It isn't optional at that point.
Right. Devs are clearly trying to present bonus content for completionists, but then we feel bad skipping it. (OccupyGStreet)

I can make a game with 1000 quests that feel mandatory. That's easy (but a lot of work). Having 100 mandatory and 900 optional is harder. (OccupyGStreet)

there's a bigger issue - artists want their art to be seen.
That's always a concern (and using art = craft) but in this case I believe the devs *want* the content to be optional. (OccupyGStreet)

I will never play DA:I again because of this and I really wanted to
Exactly. Bioware wanted shards and other collections to feel optional for folks who wanted a 200h game. But I think it backfired. You hear complaints of too much content, even from crazy gamers like us. (OccupyGStreet)

But what if you want to offer 100h to one type of player and 40h to another? How to make *some* content feel optional? (OccupyGStreet)

WoW had TONS of working optional content. you could do pet battles. or start doing dailies to get the squirre pony from TotC
WoW pets are a great example. They went from rare rewards for a few to something many had the expectation they were going to get. (OccupyGStreet)

I'd prefer if games were made directed at a specific audience. People would enjoy them more. Even if it was less people
Budgets can be a challenge there. Unless your specific audience will pay a premium for the game, you have to make it smaller. (OccupyGStreet)

IMO, if you make content interesting, people will feel compelled to complete it, "optional" or no.
But what if it is not? What if it is an awful grind? I assert many will still do it (and be mad). (OccupyGStreet)

devs seem to think "it's optional but we'd still like EVERYONE to do it". "Optional" means many ppl WONT do it- AND THAT'S OK
Yes, that is my point. It is good to have optional content. Keeping it optional is surprisingly hard to design. You almost find yourself trying to design somewhat shitty content for fear that everyone will do it (meaning now non-optional). (OccupyGStreet)

Isn't this solved via multiple possible paths? You get one option, and you have to play again to explore other options?
I like that the best, though it is strictly more work/content than the main+optional model. (OccupyGStreet)

But is that not the purpose of all gaming companies. To hook the gamer in and keep them coming in.
Ultimately, but you do risk driving players away if they are overwhelmed. It's a big ask to say "Trust me. The 100 hours you are about to spend will be worth it." (OccupyGStreet)

that's the problem with you people. You have to always overcomplicate things. I bet none of this was important on vanilla WoW
Leveling to 60 was the entire game for most players and they didn't rush through it. Player behavior changes in 10 years. (OccupyGStreet)
by Published on 2015-01-07 01:50 AM

Why Players Quit D3, Patch Soon?, GR 45 DH on 2.1.2

Kripparrian: How Good is Gazlowe?, Versus Series: Spiffy vs Zeptinn

Hero Rotation for January 6th, Euro Shop Price Updates

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes - January 6
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Dungeons, Raids, and Scenarios
  • Raids
    • Highmaul
      • Ko'ragh's Expel Magic: Arcane ability should no longer incorrectly damage players that are under an effect that grants immunity to damage.
  • Dungeons
    • Shadowmoon Burian Grounds
      • Ner'zhul: Credit for Souls of the Lost achievement should no longer incorrectly reset between waves of Ritual of Bones.

Bug Fixes

Warlock Class Balance
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Into the fel flame I go...

Warlocks look pretty good at the moment. There are probably some tweaks that can and might be made to bring some things up a bit. The issue is probably more that there aren't any fights where warlocks really shine, and they're just consistently good. It's a stark contrast to Mists where warlocks shined in everything... everywhere... all the time. Neither situation is ideal, and it's something we're keeping an eye on.

Faction Balance in PvP
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
There are only 15 horde characters in the top 500 in the pvp bracket.. Fix it, fix it now.
Because Arena can have the same faction facing each other in a match, all of the high end players tend to gravitate to one faction or the other so they can play with each other. Last season pretty much everyone in NA was Horde, and EU was Alliance. Regardless of if a race or faction is considered to have superior racials the ladders would still show an all-in approach on one or the other. You could completely remove racials and still see the same coordinated division. Feedback on Racials is welcome and considered, but for the outlined reasons showing the best players coordinating toward a single faction isn't by itself a good indicator of anything except for the nature of the top competitors looking to play and practice with each other. It's going to happen regardless of pretty much anything else.

Does that mean that people who want to play with better players, should pay for a faction switch to Alliance then?
Anyone can level a new character any time they want. It's pretty quick, too!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Trap Stealing
We've been observing feedback on the topic and wanted to give a heads up on two hotfixes that are currently undergoing testing (not ready yet) to address these concerns.

  • Increasing the spawn rates of elite creatures used for trapping.
  • Deadly Iron Trap will require players to have tap credit on the creature being trapped.
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Why Does Raid Finder Exist?
I don't even care about doing it on alts anymore, it's just boring.
Oh, well then probably don't do it! That's what the different difficulties are for after all. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Finder Wing 3 Unlock Time
We're expecting to continue following a new-ish 10 a.m. PST unlock "rule" from here on for the opening of new raid content. You can expect Blackrock Foundry wings to open at around the same 10 a.m. PST time as well. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
ok 244 followers at the inn 1 per week we will be into the next xp by the time we get them all over sight or what ?
Not reeeaaally intended to be a collection-y system. If you really want them all it could take a while. Okay with that. Highest achievement for collecting them is for 40 Followers, so, yeah. Collect 'em if you want to.
then why put so many in ?
Kind of a legacy of how the system functioned pre-beta. (Bashiok)
by Published on 2015-01-06 02:15 AM

Update: Rogue hotfix notes have been changed.

10th Anniversary Event Extended One Week
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The WoW Anniversary event ended a bit earlier than intended, so to make up for that lost time and any inconvenience we’re going to be re-enabling it for an additional week. The event--including the level 100 Molten Core raid--will be available again from January 6 at 10:00 a.m. PST until January 13 at 10:00 a.m. PST, for North American realms (13 January at 10:00 a.m. CET, for European realms). You can see the updated event dates and times in the in-game calendar.

Look for this and other hotfixes in the 6.0.3 Hotfixes blog as it’s updated.

Patch 6.0.3 Hotfixes - January 5
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
WoW's 10th Anniversary
  • [Requires a realm restart] WoW's 10th Anniversary event has received an extension! The event will begin again at 10AM PST on Tuesday, January 6 and ends at 10AM PST on Tuesday, January 13.

Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts
  • Garrison Buildings
    • Dwarven Bunker/War Mill: Players can now accrue as much Iron Horde Scraps as they want.
    • Lumber Mill: Players can now accrue as much Timber as they want.

  • Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talent
      • Conversion now costs 15 Runic Power per second for Frost Death Knights (up from 10 Runic Power).
  • Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Armor Sets
      • PvP 2-piece set bonus for Hunters should no longer incorrectly trigger its effect when Freezing Trap activates on a target that is immune.
  • Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Talents
      • Empowered Seals (Protection, Retribution) should no longer incorrectly be providing a 30% increase to attack speed on top of its intended benefits.
    • Armor Sets
      • [Currently in testing] PvP 4-piece set bonus for Retribution Paladins now increases damage and healing by 2% per Holy Power spent (down from 3%) for 4 seconds (down from 8 seconds).
  • Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
    • Assassination
      • Assassin's Resolve now increases damage by 17% (up from 10%).
    • Combat
      • Vitality now grants 50% additional Attack Power (up from 40%).
    • Subtlety
      • Sanguinary Vein now increases damage dealt by 25% (up from 20%).

World Environment
  • Nagrand
    • Resolved an issue where players that die in the areas around Highmaul may be unable to resurrect at their corpse.

Dungeons, Raids, and Scenarios
  • Dungeons
    • Grimrail Depot
      • [Requires a realm restart] Nitrogg Thundertower: Assault Cannon's Suppressive Fire now deals less damage.
      • [Requires a realm restart] Nitrogg Thundertower: Grom'kar Gunner's Shrapnel Blast now deals less damage.
      • [Requires a realm restart] Nitrogg Thundertower: Iron Infantry now has less health.

  • Ashran
    • [Requires a realm restart] Players now have 60 seconds to accept the prompt to enter Ashran (up from 20 seconds).

Bug Fixes
  • Resolved an issue that could cause Quest achievements for Draenor zones to not be awarded correctly to characters below level 100.

Garrisons and Alts
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Would have been awesome if it was account wide.. now it feels more like a pain to gather all recources and level all the followers.. again.. and again.. and...
We're looking into ways to make Garrisons a bit more friendly in future patches for those of you who enjoy alts. We see that Garrisons are a bit too much for you guys right now.

Highmaul in 60 Seconds
Our friends at FatBoss have done it again with a guide to Highmaul in 60 seconds! No need to read long guides or watch long videos, just follow their short and simple advice.

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