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by Published on 2014-09-15 05:03 PM

Patch 6.0 Reminders, Warlords of Draenor Healing, Blue Tweets, DLC #457

Release the Names! Character Name Reclamation Coming
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the upcoming Warlords of Draenor pre-patch (6.0.2), we will be releasing sidelined characters’ names back into the wild.

Any characters that have not logged into the game since November 13, 2008 will have their names freed up, making them available to anyone creating a new character or using the paid Character Name Change service.

How Do I Preserve My Names?
You will need to log in to World of Warcraft and enter the game using each character whose name you wish to retain before patch 6.0.2 goes live. While it is possible no one will claim your recently released name and you might be able to snag it again, it is probably not worth the risk if you want to keep your names intact long-term.

Our goal with this great name liberation is to make sure new and returning players have a large and varied pool of names available to choose from—so log in now if you wish preserve your unused characters’ names for your journey intro Draenor.
by Published on 2014-09-14 11:22 PM

The Waypoint, Developer Comments on Major Issues, Uber Diablo and Maghda Bug, INVIS Versus GR 50

This Week in Hearthstone: News, Popular Decks, Videos; Versus Series, Community Spotlight: Deathknight Card Backs

Skin Spotlight: Master Tychus

Warlords of Draenor - Patch 6.0 Reminders
With a little over a month to go before Patch 6.0, it is time to take a look at the things you may want to do before it is too late. Our friends over at OpenRaid have lots of groups to help you cross things off of your list.

Challenge Modes
All of the challenge mode achievements are becoming Legacy and Feat of Strength achievements, with all of the rewards other than the armor sets and teleport spells becoming account wide.

  • Bronze - The Undaunted title will be unobtainable and account-wide.
  • Silver - The mounts will be unobtainable and account-wide. If you have at least one of the mounts, all four of the mounts will be unlocked.
  • Gold - The transmog armor sets and teleport spells will be unobtainable and remain character specific. The Gold guild achievement that rewards a pet will be unobtainable.

Siege of Orgrimmar
Along with the difficulty changes coming in Patch 6.0, some rewards are also going away.

  • The Ahead of the Curve 10 and 25 achievements for killing Normal Garrosh will no longer be obtainable. These reward the Kor'kron War Wolf mount.
  • The Cutting Edge 10 and 25 achievements for killing Heroic Garrosh will also no longer be obtainable. These achievement have no reward.
  • The Kor'kron Juggernaut mount that drops from Heroic Garrosh isn't going away, but after Warlords is live it will be a rare drop instead of guaranteed.
  • If you are still trying for some Siege of Orgrimmar loot, the Warforged Seal will no longer have a weekly cap.

Heirloom items cost gold instead of Justice Points in the Warlords of Draenor beta, but will not be available until a later patch on live. The prices are currently 500 to 1500 and another 500 to 1000 to upgrade them. Also keep in mind that the Heirlooms collection tab was delayed.



Warlords of Draenor Healing
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Our target for both healing and dungeon tuning is something of a middle ground between Mists and Cataclysm. It's important to note that healer balance is not yet final, and damage output in our dungeons (especially pure melee damage on tanks, in light of recent mitigation changes) is still being adjusted. So in terms of the raw numbers, we're not quite there yet. The most helpful thing testers can provide is actionable feedback with regard to specific encounters (also specifying difficulty and which spec you were playing). We're listening and making changes on a daily basis.

That said, I'd like to help clarify our goals with respect to both healer gameplay and dungeon tuning. Healing in Mists, especially in raids and especially later in the expansion, suffered from three major problems: 1) the power of healing relative to player health pools meant that injured players could be topped off almost instantly; 2) mana became increasingly irrelevant as a constraint, with many healers actively reforging out of Spirit; and 3) "smart heals" accounted for a very large portion of healing done, meaning that for some healers their targeting decisions were almost meaningless.

Now, some might be thinking, "so you're saying healers were really strong - that sounds great to me!" The problem is that when healing was in that state, the only way we could kill someone in a raid or dungeon was with massive damage, fatal if the healer didn't react instantly; it led to sudden spike deaths, punished latency, and made healing more like whack-a-mole and less like a series of tactical decisions. And in raids, as soon as maximizing throughput becomes all that matters, healing risks turning into a rotation performed irrespective of the encounter or the incoming damage.

Our goal is not to make healing more difficult. Note that nowhere in the above did I say that a problem with Mists healing is that it was too "easy." We want to slow down the pace a bit, and for the challenge in healing to lie more in making decisions about spell usage and targeting, and less in twitch-reaction and sustaining a DPS-style rotation. This also means that the cost of a mistake is not a dead player, but rather a more injured one, giving you a chance to fix your error.

In Cataclysm, fresh 85s had very little mana regen, and if they attempted to heal a dungeon the way they'd been accustomed in late Wrath (e.g. lots of Flash Heals), they'd quickly run out of mana. In Warlords, players have significantly higher base regen, and less available Spirit from items, so that you'll start off with a much deeper mana pool than is usually the case as a new max-level healer, while avoiding the problem of mana becoming irrelevant once in endgame epics.

In Cataclysm, nearly your only efficient heal was also your smallest, and it was easy to run yourself out of mana and feel helpless as you watched your group die; in Warlords even if you are running on fumes mana-wise, you can still sustain a steady stream of Greater Heal or Healing Touch or the equivalent. You aren't helpless.

Now, as for dungeon difficulty, one of the challenges in adapting to new dungeons at the start of an expansion has been the contrast between players' habits at the end of the last expansion when they massively outgear every dungeon, and the different approach required when undergeared and running a dungeon for actual loot drops instead of currency. The ability to recklessly pull multiple packs of mobs at once and cleave everything down is something that you earn and grow into as your gear and knowledge of the content increases - that's never been the intended dungeon gameplay when the content was brand new, even for our "easy" dungeons in Wrath or Mists.

Normal dungeons should be pretty easy. Some of them aren't quite there yet. But you should feel confident that you can push the "Dungeon Finder" queue button and land in a random group with a high chance of success. If you don't feel that way about a given Normal dungeon (especially a level-up dungeon), please let us know why not. We have a solid chunk of level 100 Normal dungeon content that everyone should be able to jump into when they hit max level, and Normal dungeon loot will be sufficient to qualify you for Highmaul LFR when that unlocks.

Heroic dungeons will be somewhat more challenging, which is the reason for the Silver Proving Grounds requirement to random-queue for them. We're not looking to recreate Heroic Stonecore or Grim Batol or The Arcatraz, but there's a middle ground where mechanics can still matter.

Finally, it's also worth noting that in beta, we're scaling players down to pretty much the lowest possible level and item level at which you could be running a given dungeon. Nearly all groups in the live game will be better-equipped, but we need to make sure the content is viable at the minimum threshold.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
theres a reason that you arent seeing wht the players are.Dont dismiss the input of players just bc we arent devs.
Reconciling player results with internal results is something we have to do constantly. 95% of the time, they... (Celestalon)
...line up. The other 5% of the time, they don't, we investigate why, and solve the problem. The beta process. (Celestalon)

Are dps attunements a hard rule for what should be our best stat? Is another secondary stat 'beating' the attunement stat ok?
Soft rule. Not hard rule. (Celestalon)

I agree. If raid CDs were a problem, why not remove from all DPS (stackable) vs. from tanks (static)?
Simple: It's not feasible to remove *all* raid CDs from DPS, just lessen them. Whereas it *is*... (Celestalon)
...feasible to remove almost all raid CDs from tanks (but still not quite all). (Celestalon)
Do you mean it's impossible to remove almost all CDs from DPS vs tanks or do you mean it's harder to?
Well, nothing's truly impossible. But it'd be much much harder. (Celestalon)

but what about the passive talents? Is it bloat to nerf and make them baseline?
Yes, it still would be. Passives can be bloat too. (Celestalon)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Do you think there's any chance that in the future Death Knights will start at level 1? It's weird them being the odd ones out.
Not likely, the experience is intended to be special. Might revisit the hero class concept again at some point. (Muffinus)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
tier 17, 4 piece for survival is the buff going to stack or are we going back to explosive shot weaving? thanks for looking
When it procs, you gain 3sec of the buff. Extends existing buff by 3sec if you already have the buff. (Celestalon)

Will Marksmanship be tuned as a stand-still caster or a mobile dps? Curious since right now it is sort of both.
Somewhere in between. (Celestalon)
Will Marksmanship have a higher DPS than SV and BM when standing still? If not, what's the point?
Slightly, yes. (Celestalon)

What was the design philosophy for Challenge Modes in WoD? What went behind the decision to exclude sets?
The audience for Warlords CM golds probably already has their Mists armor sets. Weapons complement, rather than compete with, that. (WatcherDev)

Reputation / Questing
quests that make that involve critical thinking or memory games are good for the game overall IMO
WoW has flirted with puzzles, but it's not really a puzzle game. We are always experimenting with new mechanics, though! (_DonAdams)
It's tough. Some ppl loved the simon game, others just used an addon or chat to trivialize it. (_DonAdams)
Sometimes our experiments fail and the quest isn't what we hoped. Sometimes we really like it and make more (bombing runs!) (_DonAdams)
A big part of quest design is trying new interactions and mechanics without overwhelming the player and interrupting flow. (_DonAdams)
interrupting what flow? the leveling? you have scenarios now that you're incorporating in the leveling.
By interrupting the flow I mean making you do a quest with new mechanics that you hate. Scenarios tend to be basic combat. (_DonAdams)
new mechanics that you hate? people tend to despise something at first because they're not used to it. Take Vehicle quests e.g.
Vehicles are a good example, they can be great or a hassle depending on several factors. They're high risk/reward. (_DonAdams)
If we keep them simple (1-2 buttons) and make it obvious what you're doing, vehicle quests are usually fine. (_DonAdams)
But most of the time we don't want to teach you complex mechanics for a single quest and never use them again. (_DonAdams)
you could make a puzzle scenario that rewards bonus XP but set aside from the leveling flow (if thats what you mean by that)
The Thunder King's treasure room is a good example of this! Opt-in, good rewards, and very unique gameplay. We liked it. (_DonAdams)

World Events
Can you please give us a bit more insight on new holiday stuff in WoD, is it a facelift like the Cata one (would be really nice)
Lots and lots of new things to purchase/obtain this year, but not a total overhaul. Would like to tackle that eventually though. (Muffinus)
Thanks for a fast response! Is the only new Hallow's End thing the Lich King costume or are there more additions?
And I think 5? New wands? And two new pets, and I'm sure some other stuff I'm forgetting. (Muffinus)

Do followers stationed at garrison buildings count as active? He only mentions missions.
Yes (Muffinus)

Not sure why needs 250g to activate. Just don't let it send another NPC past 20. Why does everything have to cost gold?
It's a pretty low cost, all things considered, the cost needs to be nonzero, what feels right for you? (Muffinus)
I thought there would be something else. Is that the idea, for people to be making their gold from the AH?
Most recipes now require cross - profession resources, so I'd imagine AH trading will be more important. (Muffinus)

How long do work orders take, and are extra work orders intended to just be "do 5 dailies on alt and come back in a week"?
Each will eventually resolve in about a day I believe, letting you queue more so you don't need to log in daily. (Muffinus)

Will the tannery tents be free on retail? Theyre so awesome for RP! Please don't give them a gold cost
I love them! They will have some cost, so you can't have unlimited all the time. What feels fair? (Muffinus)

Any thoughts of maybe allowing us to get the other race guards from the town hall instead of barracks? Feels too mandatory
You can swap your guards, then remove the barracks and get something else and they stay swapped. (Muffinus)

Can this lv3 Gladiator's Sanctum perk (reduce 50% damage when below 35% life) effective in Ashran PVP zone?
It should be, though we'll be looking at feedback closely about this too. (Muffinus)

Dark Legacy Comics #457
DLC #457 takes a look at the state of questing.

by Published on 2014-09-12 09:09 PM

Lords of War Part Three - Durotan

Update (7:30 PM EDT): Added tonight's PTR notes update.

Patch 6.0.2 PTR Notes Update - September 12
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Itemization Changes
New Secondary Stats Added
  • Stats that are not useful to the current class specialization will be grayed out in the tooltip rather than green, and will not be counted on the character stat sheet.
    • These stats include:
      • Spirit for non-healing specializations
      • Bonus Armor for non-tanking specializations
      • Strength for Agility/Intellect-users
      • Agility for Strength/Intellect-users
      • Intellect for Strength/Agility-users
    • For example, Intellect on a cloak will be greyed out for all Warrior specializations and they will not receive an increase to Intellect if the cloak is equipped. However, if the same cloak is equipped by a Mage; Intellect will show up in green and they’ll receive the increase to their Intellect.

In an effort to reduce the physical mitigation of some classes, we've modified the amount of Armor provided by some armor types.
  • Plate, Mail, and Shields now have less Armor relative to Cloth and Leather armor.

Player Health and Resilience
Doubling player health gave us room to reduce Resilience and Battle Fatigue, but our goal was to be able to remove them entirely. In order to achieve that, we’re also reducing PvP spike damage across the board by lowering Critical Damage and Critical Heals against players in PvP to 150% of their normal effect (down from 200%). The changes have allowed us to reduce base Resilience to 0%, and Battle Fatigue to 20%. Our hope is that these changes allow us to reduce Base Resilience and Battle Fatigue to 0%. It’s possible that we’ll still find a need for some minor amount of Base Resilience and/or Battle Fatigue, and we’ll be testing these changes extensively and adjusting as needed.

Changes to PvP
  • Battle Fatigue has been reduced to 20% (down from 60%). removed. PvP combat no longer reduces the amount of healing received by participants.

Racial Traits
  • Dwarf
    • Stoneform now also removes magic and curse effects in addition to poison, disease, bleed effects, and reduces physical along with reducing damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds (down from all damage taken). It remains unusable while the Dwarf is under the effects of crowd control.

Tank Vengeance, Resolve, and PvP
  • General
    • Vengeance has been removed and replaced with a new passive ability, Resolve.
      • Resolve: Increases self-healing and absorption based on Stamina and damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 seconds. Without Resolve, Tanks now deal significantly less self-healing and absorption. Resolve has been made much stronger to counteract this, and it increases the amount of self-healing and absorption as appropriate for the fight.


Class Changes

Death Knight
Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Blood Changes
  • Blood Presence now increases Stamina by 20% (down from 25%), and armor by 30% (down from 55%).
  • Bone Shield charges can now be consumed at a rate of once per second (up from once every 2 seconds).
  • Rune Tap has been redesigned. It now reduces all damage taken by 40% 50% for 3 seconds. It also now has 2 charges, with a 40-second recharge time.
  • Veteran of the Third War now increases Multistrike chance, and haste, and Stamina by 10% (instead of up from 9% to Stamina), reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%, increases the damage of Death Strike by 100%, and grants 1 Runic Power per second while in combat.

Ability Pruning
  • Might of Ursoc has been removed. no longer automatically activates Bear Form and is now available only to Guardian Druids.

Ability Consolidation and Refinement
For consolidation of abilities, we merged several passive abilities. One notable change is the merging of the Ravage into Shred, and Pounce into Rake; saving a couple keybinds that were only used in conjunction with Prowl. The loss of Symbiosis primarily impacted Druid survivability, as many of the abilities received through Symbiosis were defensive cooldowns. To compensate for that, we improved Barkskin (for non-Feral Druids) and Survival Instincts (for Feral and Guardian Druids).
  • Barkskin cooldown has been reduced to 30 seconds.
  • Survival Instincts no longer requires or forces the Druid into Cat or Bear Form, and now lasts 6 seconds (up from 12 seconds) reduces damage taken by 70% (up from 50%) with a 2-minute cooldown (down from 3 minutes), and can have up to 2 charges (up from 1 charge).
  • Thick Hide has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Bear Form.
    • Bear Form now increases armor by 180% 330% for all Druid specializations (down from 330% for Guardian Druids, but up from 120% for non-Guardian Druids), no longer increases Haste and Critical Strike from items by 50%, but instead causes Haste to reduce the global cooldown, increases Stamina by 20% (down from 40%), and reduces magic damage taken by 10% (down from 25%).

Guardian Changes
  • Ursa Major is a new passive ability for Guardian Druids.
    • Ursa Major causes Multistrikes from auto attacks, Lacerate periodic damage, and Mangle to grant the Druid the Ursa Major effect. Ursa Major increases maximum health by 2% for 25 30 seconds. When the effect is refreshed, the remaining portion is added to the new effect.
  • Primal Fury now generates 5 Rage (down from 15 Rage) from when you dodge or non-periodic critical strikes (up from only Auto Attacks and Mangle).
  • Savage Defense can now accumulate 2 charges (down from 3 charges), and regenerates a charge every 12 seconds (up from 9 seconds).

Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Healing Sphere

Brewmaster Changes
  • Stance of the Sturdy Ox now increases Stamina by 25% 40% (up from 20%), reduces magic damage taken by 10% (down from all damage taken by 25%), and grants a 50% increase to Armor, but no longer increases Energy regeneration.
  • Shuffle now increases Stagger and Parry by 10% (down from 20%).

Ability Consolidation and Refinement
  • Divine Protection now lasts 8 seconds (down from 10 seconds).
  • Guardian of Ancient Kings now lasts 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds).
  • Judgment is now naturally free for Holy Paladins, and naturally generates 1 Holy Power for Protection and Retribution Paladins.

Protection Changes
  • Mastery: Divine Bulwark now increases damage reduction from Shield of the Righteous by 6% (scaling with Mastery, down from starting at 8%), and causes Bastion of Glory to increase healing received from Word of Glory by 6% (scaling with Mastery, down from starting at 8%).
  • Sanctuary now reduces damage taken by 10% (down from 15), and no longer increases Armor.
  • Guarded by the Light now increases Stamina by 15% (down from 25%), and increases Block chance by 5% (down from 10%).
  • Shield of the Righteous now reduces physical damage taken by 20% (down from 25%).
  • Bastion of Glory now increases Word of Glory’s healing by 6% per stack (down from 10% per stack).

Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Ability Consolidation and Refinement

Stance Changes

Protection Changes
  • Mastery: Critical Block now increases critical Block chance by 12% (down from 17.6%).
  • Shield Block now regenerates a new charge every 12 seconds (up from every 9 seconds).
  • Unwavering Sentinel no longer increases Armor, but now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%. (See also: Hit and Expertise Removal.)

Patch 6.0.2 Preview - User Interface
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As players testing Patch 6.0.2 on our Public Test Realm (PTR) have already seen, we’re making a number of changes to the WoW user interface—changes that are designed to eliminate clutter, free up more of your inventory space, help you find your stuff more easily, and improve your quality of life in-game.

Map & Quest Log
In Patch 6.0.2, we’ve made a brand-new UI to bring together the Map and the Quest Log with everything you need to manage multiple ongoing adventures. Now when you browse by zone in the Map & Quest Log, you’ll find all of the associated quests you’re on, your progress, and relevant cartography.

In addition to intelligently ordering your quests, the new window (default hotkeys: M or L) gives you more information about your objectives right on the map. It also features scroll-wheel zooming, click-and-hold panning, and a handy View All Quests button—plus, if you leave it open while you’re moving, it fades so that you can see both the map and the landscape you’re venturing into.

Toy Box
All of the fun “toy” items that you’ve accumulated over the course of your travels now have a new home in the Toy Box. As with mounts and pets, you’ll right-click on eligible toy items in your inventory to send them to your Toy Box. Once learned, the toy will be accessible by all characters on your account.

If you want to expand and complete your collection of toys (or mounts or pets!), you can see each of the ones that you have not yet unlocked, along with information on how they can be obtained. As you might expect, any toy that you’ve learned can be dragged from the Toy Box and placed on a toolbar for fast access.

How to Randomize Your Dragon
There is now a Summon Random Favorite Mount button at the top-right of your Mounts collection (default hotkey: Shift-P). This smart button selects randomly from among the mounts that you’ve marked as favorites, and chooses a mount that is suitable for your current zone and situation. For example:
  • In a zone where you can’t fly, it will choose from among your favorite ground mounts.
  • If you’re swimming on the surface of a body of water and you have a Water Strider favorited, it will be chosen.
  • If you’re submerged and you’ve favorited your Sea Turtle, the button will summon it.

Right-click and select Set Favorite on your favorite mounts to get started.

Bags, Bags, Bags
In Patch 6.0.2, bags can be given designations for particular types of items. These include:
  • Equipment – Your armor and weapons
  • Consumables – Food and drink, potions, etc.
  • Trade Goods – Items that are used in professions (herbs, cloth, ore, skins, etc.)

When you go to your main backpack and click the Clean Up Bags button in the top-right, your belongings are sorted into your bags based on the designation you assigned to each bag, with overflow going into the backpack. Furthermore, there are now borders around the icons of all items that are colored to indicate item quality; recently looted items glow so that you can quickly spot them; and gray (junk) items have a gold coin icon when you visit a vendor.

Reagent Bank
You now have additional storage space in your bank! The new 98-slot Reagent Bank tab offers up extra slots for your profession materials, and an option to deposit every reagent that you’re currently carrying in your bags. We’ve also increased the maximum stack size for many materials and reagents, and when you craft anything—from anywhere—you’ll now use materials that are stored back in the bank.

But Wait, There’s More!
  • We’ve added a new tab to the Void Storage system. That’s an extra 80 slots for your long-term storage needs.
  • The dropdown menus you access when you right-click on a player portrait have been improved.
  • You can now manage your add-ons without having to log out.
  • The Dungeon Journal (default hotkey: Shift-J) has been updated with Warlords of Draenor entries.

To get a closer first look at all of the changes coming in Patch 6.0.2, please join us on the Public Test Realm (now live).
by Published on 2014-09-12 05:51 PM

Garrison Upgrade Prices, Blue Posts, EU Connected Realms, Brew Pup Sale, FinalBoss

Lords of War Part Three - Durotan
Make sure to check out Episode 1 and Episode 2 if you missed them!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Before you can harbor any hope of defeating the Iron Horde, you must first understand what—and whom—you’re up against. Our five-part series Lords of War introduces you to some of the major players in the campaign on Draenor, continuing today with the tale of Durotan, son of Garad and father of Thrall.

The unforgiving land of the Frostwolf clan does not reward sentiment. When young Durotan’s mother fell deathly ill, he had a choice: Allow her life to come to a natural end, or pay a heavy price to save her.

Once you’ve watched his story, visit our newly posted Durotan character page to read more about his legacy and his role in the events to come.

Visit our Lords of War page to watch earlier installments in the series featuring the sadistic Kargath Bladefist and the mighty Grommash Hellscream.

Visit in the weeks to come for more episodes of Lords of War, and arm yourself with the knowledge you need to survive the battle ahead.

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