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by Published on 2014-05-27 04:30 AM

The Guiding Palm Support Build, Projax's 2.0.5 WD Fetishes Build, Updated Gambling and Caches Drop Rate Summaries

Early Map Preview: Plants, Zombies, and the Groundskeeper

Warlords of Draenor - Tier 17 Paladin Armor Sets
Today we are taking a look at the Tier 17 Paladin armor sets.

Warlords of Draenor changes things up slightly by using one set of art for Raid Finder, one set of art for Normal and Heroic, and one set of art for Mythic difficulty. You can find the plate Raid Finder armor set in our Raid Finder armor sets preview.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Will Touch of the Grave have its output adjusted for WoD? Most other racials scale up with gear, TotG is less than 0.5% atm
Yes, tuning is likely to be adjusted. However, that's a common misconception. Other stats don't scale like you think. (Celestalon)
They do increase in value, but not like most people think. 1% crit is nearly half as valuable at 75% crit than at 5%. (Celestalon)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Why is the duration increase of Conductivity scaling negatively with haste not something that's been fixed yet?
It doesn't scale negatively, it just doesn't scale positively. (Celestalon)
No - at 0% haste, it extends 4 seconds - at ~33% haste that drops to a 3 second extension
It's X ticks that it adds. That stays constant. (Celestalon)

With the 4/4 upgrades I just hit 100.06% mastery on my elemental shaman - Is everything above 100% just wasted now?
Yes, 100% Elemental Overload is the hard cap. (WatcherDev)

In WoD, if I decide to gear through Heroic Dungeons, will I be able to skip LFR and go straight to Normals?
Yes. Gear from other sources may of course make it easier, but Normal Highmaul will be tuned for Heroic dungeon gear. (WatcherDev)
I forget. Is Highmaul or Blackrock Foundry the entry raid like Mogu'shan Vaults?
Highmaul is the first raid. (WatcherDev)

Can we get a deserter thing for Kicked Tanks from LFR? Tired of them running around acting like jerks and screaming Insta Queue.
Now imagine a new tank who queues for LFR and gets kicked for not knowing a fight, and how Deserter on top of that would feel. (WatcherDev)
Definitely not a good solution, but something should be done about people who just hide behind Instant Queue to torture a group.
No argument from me there. Social issues like that are something we discuss a lot. (WatcherDev)

Why not just increase the damage taken by tank specs to 100%? Guardians will still be required by high rating teams.
This isn't a roundabout way to exclude tanks from RBGs. Just felt their tuning hurt gameplay, so reigned it in a bit. (holinka)

Will tank specs have a place in arenas in 6.0? I missed being a protadin in 2's back in early cata. Hoping for a return!
We'll be experimenting with some ideas in alpha. It may be necessary to say that tanks take extra damage in PvP. (holinka)

I asked this way late last night but will Draenor be Cross Realmed like the world or will it be by itself like SW/Org/Pandaria?
Like Pandaria works today, though you'll likely see some cross-server players that are in manually-formed groups. (WatcherDev)

Show Your Faction Pride – Azeroth Choppers Gear Available
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Celebrate all things Azeroth Choppers with a slick oil black tee, available now in both men’s and women’s sizes in the Blizzard Gear Store.

Whether you’re Horde or Alliance, you can also show your pride —chopper style—by donning a button-up PJD Horde or Alliance work shirt and Cap just like the ones worn in the show. Rev up your browser and head over to Paul Jr. Designs Store to make your choice!

Shipping Note: Orders will be shipped from the United States, so international shipping rates may apply.

Challenge Mode Speedrun - Scarlet Halls
If you need some more motivation to try out challenge modes, take a look at this impressive and fun Scarlet Halls run that was done under in under three minutes!

by Published on 2014-05-25 11:11 PM

Fire Crusader Guide For 2.0.5, Elemental Damage Extension Now For Firefox, 25-Sec T6 Uber Ghom and Rakanoth Kill, Fan Made Music

This Week's Decks, News, and Videos, Noxious' Card Talk: Rebirth

Founder's Pack - Ride Into the Beta Test on a Wolf Made of Solid Gold

Warlords of Draenor - Tier 17 Rogue Armor Sets
Today we are taking a look at the Rogue Tier 17 armor sets. Unfortunately the Mythic set is missing shoulders, but the other two sets are complete.

Free Faction Changes for Select Realms
It looks like Blizzard is ready to try something new to address long battleground queues, starting with a test on US-Barthilas.

As it stands, Barthilas has roughly 18.6k players with a Level 90 character on the realm. Around 14.7k of those characters are Horde and 3.9k are Alliance, resulting in a population that is 21% Alliance and 79% Horde.

Looking at characters rather than players, there are ~41.7k Level 90 characters on Barthilas now, with 34.3k Horde and 7.4k Alliance, for a 17.8% Alliance and 82.2% Horde population.

Holinka also answered some common questions about the transfers on Twitter, noting that this isn't intended to solve the faction imbalance problem on many realms.

Originally Posted by Holinka
Something to keep in mind about free faction transfers: The primary objective is to balance faction populations at the region level. (holinka)
Nice little attempt to give players corrective abilities to balance their own realms. Good luck on Mal'Ganis...
Again, the intention isn't to correct realm imbalances, but region imbalance. It's unlikely Tichondrius would become 50/50. (holinka)
Do you think starting with smaller realms to balance the regional overflow (not wanting ques) would work?
We're starting with one server to ensure we can be responsive if anything unexpected occurs. (holinka)
What if you don't get good results? Will you try another server? And thank you for listening to us
if things go well we will expand to other realms and regions. (holinka)
My question was if they don't go as expected on that one server, will you still try another?
We started with one server to evaluate the process not player response. If the process works properly we will expand it. (holinka)

what is the incentive though? why would anyone at this time choose to go to the side that lower pop, and lesser racial abilities?
We're trying to remove barriers first. People faction transfer all the time. They may not need added incentive. (holinka)

So horde->alliance is probably all we are going to see initially?
Yes (holinka)

but what about when all the alliance go horde like they've slowly been doing since faction change was implemented
We aren't offering alliance to horde transfers for free. (holinka)
how is that helping to solve the alliance dominance on my server then? Horde is dead on my server ..
it isn't meant to fix that problem (holinka)

I wonder why they started with Barth? are we the guinea pig server? but I am excited. Ashran!!
It was a good size and had a horde/alliance ratio we thought might attract faction changes. (holinka)

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We consistently watch queue times for all areas of the game to try to identify problem areas where we can step in and make an improvement. Battleground queue times specifically tend to be a direct result of how many people are entering the queue at any given time from both the Horde and Alliance, within an entire region. While a number of factors can lead to longer queue times, faction interest in queuing for PvP tends to be the primary influence. For that reason we're going to be trying something new. For a limited time, and only for select realms (for this first test just a single realm), we'll be opening faction changes for Horde characters to change to Alliance for free.

These changes will be provided on a limited basis to realms where we see the greatest potential for changes to occur. Guild leaders who want to Faction Change their guild for free will first need to pay for the initial transaction, but will be granted a refund* if they change to the eligible faction within the free change time frame.

This first test of free faction changes will only initially be available to players on Barthilas. Eligible characters will be able to faction change from Horde to Alliance for approximately** one week beginning on Tuesday, May 27. If you're looking to faction change--and especially for any Guild leaders looking to initiate a Guild Master Faction Change--we highly recommend taking advantage of this offer as soon as possible to avoid leaving anyone behind. For more information on Faction Change eligibility and limitations, please visit the support site here.

We'll be providing updates on availability--as well as if this offer is extended to additional realms--here on the front page, so keep checking back. We look forward to your feedback on these faction changes, and ensuring you spend less time in a queue and more time slaughtering your enemies in glorious team-combat.

* Eligible Guild Master Faction Change refunds will be automatically processed within 72 hours.
**Faction Change availability may either be shortened or extended depending on ongoing evaluation during the faction change period.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Isn't a talent that denies another talent bad design?
The problem is when one talent mandates another. It's OK if *occasionally* two talents are incompatible. Still a choice. (Celestalon)
How is that a choice? I have the choice to pick a incompatible talent? ... not a choice at all
I think you may have misread. The point is that you do still have a choice, between the other two talents. (Celestalon)
what if 2 or all 3 talents are penalized/incompatible/defeat the purpose? You have only 1 remaining.. or none
Then that's a problem, as I said. We try to never do that. (Celestalon)
and 75 talents, if you are not a BM hunter, you dont want any of that as its tuned around BM mastery.
That's... not actually true, you realize? It doesn't matter if a row is stronger for one spec; row is still balanced. (Celestalon)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
So Army is losing its Defensive properties then with it being instant or will blood gain a small defensive boost for short time?
No; the 4sec of damage reduction is remaining. Yes, that's a buff, since it's no longer in lieu of being able to dodge/parry. (Celestalon)

BT Is the only option now in that tier and that is also passive as most people just macro it. That tier is illusion of choice.
Are you a PvP-oriented Unholy DK? For every other combo that tier has some of the most talent diversity. (WatcherDev)
I'm a PvE raider. Every DW DK runs BT, 2H runs RE and so on. No choice there for PvE. Sorry I'm just not seeing choice there
Of Frost DKs who killed a boss in N/H SoO last week, here is the T5 talent breakdown: 43.93%, 29.81%, 26.26%. Guess which is which? (WatcherDev)
The point here is that different people can view choice differently. Sometimes each might think theirs is the only "right" answer. (WatcherDev)
I agree. The 43% is obviously BT, the other two are way low meaning they need help. Just spice them up so aren't so boring.
The 43.93% is actually Runic Empowerment. Go figure, right? (BT pulls ahead if you look at Heroic exclusively, but it's still close.) (WatcherDev)
Can you see whats chose for raids or just "who killed a boss" & "what they have now" independently? I switch for raids
The former - can look at it boss-by-boss, or for BGs, or arenas, etc. As you say, it wouldn't be accurate otherwise. (WatcherDev)

Will AMZ stay a talent for dks, when all other minor raid cooldowns are given to classes baseline?
There are many talented forms of raid utility. It's actually a benefit to the class to be able to trade it for something... (Celestalon)
...else in the situation that it's not particularly useful. There are several talented raid utility abilities. Examples: ... (Celestalon)
Nature's Vigil, Heart of the Wild, Ancestral Guidance, Hand of Purity, Clemency, Sacred Shield, Safeguard, Vigilance, etc. (Celestalon)
But then blood gets it, I thought you were removing all raid cds from tanks.
A very fair question. We've not reduced tanks to zero, just as much as we can without hitting talents. (Celestalon)
AMZ is more a raid CD than those types of utility though
It's no more of a raid CD than Nature's Vigil or Chi Burst or Ancestral Guidance, etc. (Celestalon)
Er, you might not have intended it that way but it's very much viewed (and assessed) as a raid CD by DKs today.
Er, I'm agreeing that it's a raid CD. And pointing out that there are many talented raid CDs; it's not unique in that regard. (Celestalon)

...Blood DKs feel that Purgatory is a must since it acts as a cheat death. That's huge for a spec like Blood.
And AMZ isn't valuable during progression? It depends upon the fight; in many cases AMZ is better. Lichborne too (Celestalon)
If you're seeing any DPS/Tank DKs take Lichborne widely in PvE, I'd be very interested in hearing about it.
I was referring to the 6.0 version of Lichborne. (Celestalon)
One quick question- is 6.0 Lichborne still a CD, or does the Leech have a passive component?
Still 2min CD. I believe it's 15% Leech, offhand. (Celestalon)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
As a feral druid, I don't want to have to be healing people. I want to do damage. Not every druid wants to be a hybrid healer.
That's totally fine; we're providing options to do just that playstyle. (Celestalon)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Hunters also have no stackable raid utility, will we be getting one in WoD?
Yes. We're working on solving that problem. (Celestalon)

Would it ever be possible for hunters to have a version of Xuen to tame? Have pined for one since model reveal...
Feels like it would be taking away from monk's summon. (Muffinus)

Can you make Bombardment dmg modifier baked in and not a proc? sometimes you don't have time for another Multi-Shot
That's the challenge and skill-check involved in doing well at AoE with Marksmanship. (Celestalon)

Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Thanks for forcing RoP on us for some progression fights. I'm so excited to hate playing my class.
No idea where this is suddenly coming from, but you can help spread the word that it's not the case. (Celestalon)
If RoP is superior to MI or IF, we have to use it. Just like LB > NT for single target now, even if I hate LB I have to use it.
Extremely different situations. LB was fully intended to be better than NT for single target. RoP is not in that situation. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Will Crane Stance see new/unique attack animations, or just use Serpent Stance's?
Crane Stance will use the same animations as Tiger Stance. (Celestalon)

Chi Explotion replaces Blackout Kick? Do Chi Explotion do damage in crane stance then? Worried about my solo abilities.
Yes. (Celestalon)

would it be possible to have Storm, Earth, and Fire, put a debuff on the mobs they are focused to prevent attacking the same one
Yep. (Celestalon)

Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Can Glyph of Holy Nova become Shadow Nova for Spriests? Shadow has no AoE before 75 while leveling, it would help a lot!
I believe we're removing the glyph. We may rebuild the levels you get spells at; Mind Sear could prolly be lower level. (Celestalon)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Hello. For Assassination it's seemingly better to spread Rupture around than using Crimson Tempest. Will this change in WoD?
Yeah, this is a problem we're working on solving. Not sure if we've gone far enough yet, but already significant buff via Perks. (Celestalon)
Will "Death from Above" profit from Sub Mastery and Revealing Strike? How will it be balanced for Mut against Envenom?
We're working on a tweak to it to solve that concern, actually. Looking like we'll have it do an Envenom/Eviscerate on land. (Celestalon)
(instead of the weapon strike) (Celestalon)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
any plans to add a ranged component to lava lash during ascendance? It's a serious quality of life issue for enhancement shamans
No; it's intentional that you do "nearly 100%" of your damage from ranged, not "fully 100%", with Ascendance. That's so... (Celestalon)
...that you care more about how it fits into your rotation, and more importantly, so that you still prefer to be in melee. (Celestalon)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
whats the reasoning for the warrior talent change: Storm Bolt replacing Blade Storm in the line up? is it just for pvp balance?
We feel the talent grouping makes more sense. It puts DPS cooldowns together and CC abilities together. (holinka)

Glyph of Unending Rage is very powerful for all War Specs and near mandatory. Happy with req Glyph or chance of making baseline?
Worth considering, but how mandatory it is may significantly change in WoD; waiting to see. Regardless "Mandatory->Baseline"... (Celestalon) generally a thought process that glosses over the fact that that's a net buff to the class. Easy mistake to make. (Celestalon)
Wtb hints on arms changes
Hint: Less complexity. More depth. (Celestalon)
I call foul, you gave us that hint already a few days ago. Give us a new hint!
Wouldn't it be cool if you had a Mastery that accentuated your spec's flavor, instead of fought against it? (Celestalon)

Will prot mastery benefit gladiator stance at all?
Yes; mastery grants +%AP for tanks. (Celestalon)
About this, will Mastery's AP scaling for tanks be tuned differently for each tank?
If needbe. So far, no, but we haven't fine-tuned performance yet. (Celestalon)

Do you think we can have full spell effects out in the world and only diminish them in raid environments?
That's the plan (other than in large concentrations of players even outdoors, such as Ashran). (Celestalon)

Character / Items
What was the reasoning behind necks, rings, and cloaks not changing stats in 6.0? I get how weapons and trinkets have a ...
It's good for loot distribution, competition, variety, and interest, for different items to be valuable to different people. (Celestalon)
Had they changed stats, a given ring would be useful to everyone of a role. Rings that 2/3 of the raid rolls on... CC: @olandgren (Celestalon)

Is there any intention to help alts with upgrades? Will take 4 months to upgrade a full gearset with a weekly 1k valor cap.
The increase is mainly to let already-capped players continue progressing. If your gear is unupgraded you don't have that issue. (WatcherDev)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
With the upcoming stat squish, will we feel weaker when soloing old raid content compared to how it is now?
No, not at all. (Celestalon)

You mentioned that necks, ring etc with spirit will be useless for dps in 6.0. Same for mail gear? Will be super annoying as ele
Nope. Mail gear will not have Spirit on it. (Celestalon)

will secondary stats weigh equally for each spec so we can stack what we think is more fun, not which is "more dps"?
We don't aim for perfect equality (and that that's not even feasible most of the time). But, we are aiming for much closer. (Celestalon)

Can trinket procs or weapon enchants multi-strike? Or is multi-strike focused on player abilties.
If you're referring to ones that do damage, such as Elemental Force, yes, the damage can Multistrike. (Celestalon)
However something like Jade Spirit cannot. (Celestalon)

Is the new recharging rez system for flexible difficulties only or mythic too?
For all difficulties - a Mythic raid will be treated the same as a 20-player Normal/Heroic raid. (WatcherDev)

Kind of puzzled at the LFR Garrosh timer increase as opposed to a health reduction. 18+ minute LFR fight is a little long, no?
Vast majority of LFR Garrosh kills are well short of that, but if you made it that far, a sub-10% zerk wipe is the worst thing. (WatcherDev)

Thoughts about honor from bgs after the buff? It still feels like it's WAY too little honor for how much you need on a new toon.
Dunno, just geared up a toon and felt really fast (holinka)
Sounds like you have alot of toons Holinka, trying all classes?
yup (holinka)

Are there any plans to change fear in WoD? I'm tired of it not breaking and I die in it
they're 2 seconds shorter (holinka)

Thoughts on Flex RBGs? Would help my guild, but I can understand balance concerns.
Flex is a great idea for PvE content. Fixed size is pretty necessary for PvP. (holinka)

What's your opinion on "Prideful Conquest" being account-wide. The catch up is brutal for most people.
I've done the catchup myself through pugs several times. I think it works great. (holinka)
And then you're still behind on gear.
The intention isn't to catch all the way up. Playing consistently should have an advantage. (holinka)
I guess you're right. I guess I'm just the minority that feels rated PvP shouldn't be an uneven playing field.
there others with that opinion. I think WoW strikes a good balance. There is progression but fairly easy to get to full gear. (holinka)

UI / Addons
Random question, but is there a particular reason that there is no cooldown text on action bar buttons by default?
It's an option in 6.0. (Celestalon)

Warlords of Draenor
Will we ever see better in game testing tools? Even better/more target dummy options would be REALLY nice.
We're working on some options for alpha/beta, but nothing I can promise. (Celestalon)

Fan Art Update
Blizzard featured some new fan art by AJ Nazzaro recently.

by Published on 2014-05-23 06:52 PM

Challenge Mode Items and Tier 17 Armor Sets

Warlords of Draenor Alpha Patch Notes Update - May 23
You can find a full version of the notes with more context on the Blue Post Tracker.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Welcome to an early look at patch notes for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion: Warlords of Draenor. The new expansion introduces a wealth of new content and changes. There's also a new patch note format, which we hope will help better convey the reasoning for many of the changes being made and what they mean for you, while providing more background into issues we're trying to solve.

Please be aware that the Alpha patch notes are preliminary and not final. Details may change before retail release and new information will be added for additional features as development continues on the Warlords of Draenor expansion. Note: Not all the content listed may be available for immediate testing or may only be available during a limited testing window during the Alpha.

  • New secondary stats: Bonus Armor, Multistrike, and Readiness.

Primary Character Stats and Attack Power
  • Weapon Damage values on all weapons have been reduced by 50%.

Itemization Changes
  • New secondary stats added:
    • Multistrike: Grants a chance for spells and abilities to fire up to 2 additional times, at 30% effectiveness (both damage and healing).
    • Readiness: Reduces the cooldown on several abilities with long-cooldowns for the class. The tooltip for Readiness displays a list of affected abilities.

Ability Pruning
What abilities and spells got cut is a very, very difficult question to answer. Every ability is vital to someone, so we don't take this process lightly. We hope that even if we cut your favorite ability, you can see it in the context of our larger goals. It's important to remember that the point of these changes is to increase players' ability to understand the game, not to reduce depth of gameplay.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)

Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
  • Pounce has been removed. Abilities which modified Pounce now modify Rake instead.
    • Rake now also stuns the target for 4 seconds when used while stealthed.
  • Ravage has been removed.
  • Shred is now available to all Druid specializations and now deals an additional 35% damage while stealthed.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
  • Art of War has been removed.
    • Exorcism cooldown now naturally has a chance to be reset on auto attacks.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)

Crowd Control and Diminishing Returns
Another big takeaway from Mists of Pandaria is that there was simply too much crowd control (CC) in the game. To solve that, we knew that we needed an across-the-board disarmament. Here's a summary of the player-cast CC changes:

  • Paladin
    • Repentance cast time has been increased to 1.7 seconds.
    • Turn Evil cast time has been increased to 1.7 seconds and now has a 6-second duration in PvP (down from 8 seconds).

Buffs and Debuffs
Weakened Armor and Physical Vulnerability were effectively redundant, both filling the role of increasing Physical damage taken by the target. We removed Weakened Armor and widened the availability of Physical Vulnerability and increased its effectiveness slightly.

  • Weakened Armor and Physical Vulnerability
    • Physical Vulnerability increases physical damage taken by 5% (up from 4%).
    • The following abilities no longer apply the Weakened Armor effect.
      • Druid: Faerie Fire now applies Physical Vulnerability, increasing Physical damage taken by 5% for 30 seconds.

Raid Utility Balance
  • Hunter
    • A minor Raid utility ability (to-be-determined) will be added for Hunters.
  • Mage
    • Amplify Magic is a new spell available to Mages.
      • Amplify Magic amplifies the effects of helpful magic, increasing all healing received by 12% for all party and raid members within 100 yards, and lasts 6 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown.

Tank Vengeance and Resolve
To keep tank DPS meaningful, we'll be raising their damage, since it would be meager with no Vengeance Attack Power (Vengeance accounted for 70-90% of a tank's damage on high-tank-damage fights in Mists). To do that, we're increasing the damage of several prominent tank abilities, as well as having tanks also gain increased Attack Power from Mastery and Bonus Armor, in addition to the stat’s existing benefits. For plate-wearing Tank specializations, Riposte has been redesigned to convert Critical Strike into Parry, a defensive stat. That also helps keep secondary stats balanced in offensive value for them.

  • General
    • Riposte is a passive ability for Blood Death Knights, Protection Paladins, and Protection warriors.
      • Riposte now gives the character Parry equal to their Critical Strike bonus from gear.

Class Changes

Death Knight
  • Heart Strike damage has been increased by 30%, but no longer deals additional damage for each disease present on the target.
  • Heart Strike has been removed. Blood Death Knights should use Pestilence in its place.

The maximum number of charges that can be accumulated for Savage Defense has been reduced to make its uptime more consistent between short and long periods of tanking.

  • Ursa Major is a new passive ability for Guardian Druids.
    • Ursa Major: Multistrikes from auto attacks, Lacerate periodic damage, and Mangle grants the Druid the Ursa Major effect. Ursa Major increases maximum health by 2% for 30 seconds. When the effect is refreshed, the remaining portion is added to the new effect.
  • Lacerate now generates 5 Rage, has no cooldown (down from a 3-second cooldown), and the periodic bleed effect triggers every 1 second (down from 3 seconds). but no longer has a chance to reset Mangle cooldown.
  • Savage Defense can now accumulate 2 charges (down from 3 charges).
  • Glyph of Savagery has been renamed Glyph of Savage Roar, and now grants a free 5 Combo Point Savage Roar when leaving Prowl, instead of allowing Savage Roar to be used with 0 Combo Points.

We have some extensive changes for Balance Druids. One of our guiding principles with game design is that things should be "easy to learn, hard to master". We're not particularly happy with the Moonkin rotation because it was actually hard to learn, and easy to master (especially with regards to periodic damage effects no longer snapshotting). Energy and Eclipse mechanics were not intuitive for many newer players. Once you became accustomed to the rotation, there wasn’t much additional depth to mastering it; maintain two DoTs, hit these other two buttons whenever they light up, and spam one of two buttons in between. In order to try to make it easier to learn, but also add some gameplay depth and challenge we're making a significant revision to the rotation. The list of changes is quite dense, so here’s a summary of the changes.

Summary of changes to Balance:
  • Balance Energy is a bar that automatically cycles back and forth between Lunar and Solar sides, like night and day. The closer to one end that the bar is, the more damage that side's spells do.
  • Balance Druids now have four rotational spells.
    • Starfire: Lunar direct damage spell
      • Cast when the Lunar side is stronger
    • Wrath: Solar direct damage spell
      • Cast when the Solar side is stronger
    • Moonfire: Lunar periodic damage spell. While closer to Solar, this button is replaced with Sunfire, a Solar periodic damage spell.
      • Maintain both effects where possible
    • Starsurge: Direct damage spell that benefits from whichever side is stronger. Has up to 3 charges, and buffs the damage of the next few Wrath or Starfire.

That's the basics of the new Moonkin rotation. There’s room for improvement beyond that, learning to optimally maintain both periodic damage effects with the strongest Eclipse effect, timing Starsurges to optimize the benefit of its buff, make use of Starfall and Hurricane for area damage, and taking advantage of the strengths of each side (such as Moonfire and Sunfire having significant differences now). Here are the full details of the changes.

  • Balance Energy system has been redesigned. Balance Energy is a bar that cycles back and forth between Lunar and Solar sides, like night and day, with a 30 second cycle time (from Lunar to Solar and back to Lunar).
    • Balance Energy is no longer generated through spells, talents, or other effects anymore.
  • Eclipse has been redesigned.
    • Eclipse inspires the Druid with the power of the moon and the sun, causing the damage of Lunar and Solar spells to be increased by up to 30% based on how close Balance Energy levels are to the appropriate side.
      • Example: With 0 Balance Energy, the damage bonus is evenly split between Lunar and Solar, and the Druid receives a 15% increase to damage for both spell types. With 80 Solar Energy, the Druid receives a 27% damage increase to Solar spells and a 3% damage increase to Lunar spells.
    • Mastery: Total Eclipse now increases the maximum damage bonus of Eclipse by 12% (increasing with Mastery).
  • Starfire now has a 3 second cast time (up from 2.7 seconds).
  • Moonfire now has a 16 second base duration (up from 14 seconds), but is no longer extended by Starfire and Starsurge critical strikes.
  • Sunfire now has a 16 second duration (up from 14 seconds), but is no longer extended by Wrath and Starsurge critical strikes. Additionally, Sunfire is no longer its own spell. Sunfire replaces Moonfire on the action bar whenever Balance Energy is on the Solar side. Enemies may still suffer from both Moonfire and Sunfire’s periodic damage components simultaneously.
  • Lunar Shower has been redesigned and renamed Astral Showers.
    • Astral Showers calls upon greater Lunar and Solar energy to permanently empower the Druid's Moonfire and Sunfire spells.
      • Moonfire initial damage is increased by 100%, and the duration of its periodic damage effect is increased by 100%.
      • Sunfire initial damage is increased by 100%, and its periodic damage effect is now applied to all enemies within 5 yards of the target.
  • Starsurge now has 3 charges and a 30 second recharge time (instead of a 15 second cooldown). Starsurge now also grants Lunar or Solar Empowerment.
    • Lunar Empowerment causes the next 2 Starfire to deal 30% more damage.
    • Solar Empowerment causes the next 3 Wrath to deal 30% more damage.
  • Starfall now shares charges with Starsurge, and has no cooldown of its own. It also now hits all nearby enemies (up from 2 nearby enemies).
  • Shooting Stars now adds 1 full charge of Starsurge and Starfall when it triggers, and now has a 2.5% chance to trigger on Moonfire and Sunfire periodic damage. This chance is doubled on critical strikes.
  • Hurricane range has been increased to 35 yards (up from 30 yards).
  • Astral Storm has been removed.
  • Wild Mushroom (Balance) now begins snaring enemies immediately when summoned, lasts 20 seconds, and can no longer be detonated to deal damage.
  • Celestial Alignment has been redesigned.
    • Celestial Alignment causes the Druid to enter Celestial Alignment, a state where Balance Energy cycle is paused, and all Lunar and Solar spells benefit from the maximum Eclipse bonus. Lasts 15 seconds with a 3 minute cooldown.
  • Astral Communion now increases the rate that Balance Energy cycles by 300% while channeled.
  • Euphoria has been removed.
  • Insect Swarm has been redesigned and renamed Stellar Flare.
    • Stellar Flare is a powerful spell benefitting from both Lunar and Solar Eclipse, dealing the most damage when they are equal. Burns the target for Spellstorm damage and cause additional damage over 15 seconds. The ability has a cast time of 1.5 seconds.
  • Soul of the Forest (Balance) has been redesigned.
    • Soul of the Forest (Balance) now increases the damage bonus from Lunar and Solar Empowerment by an additional 30%.
  • Equinox has been replaced with a new talent, Balance of Power.
  • Sunfall has been replaced with a new talent, Euphoria.
    • Euphoria grants the Druid a deeper connection to the stars, causing Balance Energy to cycle 50% faster. Additionally, Starsurge also grants 20% Haste for 6 seconds.
  • Several Glyphs and Draenor Perks will be redesigned in a future build, and so are currently TBD.
    • Glyph of Omens
    • Glyph of Sudden Eclipse
    • Empowered Starfall
    • Enhanced Mushrooms
    • Enhanced Starsurge
    • Enhanced Storms

Omen of Clarity got changed to not trigger more often with Tree of Life; it was too strong in our new healing model. Soul of the Forest was also redesigned for Restoration and Genesis to fit better with the new design for periodic effects.

The level 90-Talent row for Druids was designed to encourage hybrid gameplay. We decided that, while you shouldn't have to give up a significant amount of your primary role throughput in order to gain the off-role benefit, you also don't need to gain an actual benefit to your primary role throughput benefit either. We've reduced the power of their primary role benefit, making them roughly neutral in their effect on your primary role. Note that the increase to off-role healing from Nature's Vigil is not actually a buff (see Healing and Player Health above).

Each Hunter specialization received a revision to the burst-damage-cooldowns they have access to. All specializations now have one burst-damage-cooldown available baseline, and can add to that through talent choices.

Beast Mastery Hunters retain Bestial Wrath. Rapid Fire is a good fit for Marksmanship, and we improved it. For Survival, we wanted to both increase the prominence of their traps, and give them a new damage cooldown. So, a new trap called Bear Trap has been created to fit that role. Note that Bear Trap's base cooldown can be reduced by other passive abilities and perks, such that it has roughly a 2 minute-cooldown afterwards.

  • Bear Trap is a new ability for Survival Hunters.
    • Bear Trap places a trap with duration of 1 minute that immobilizes the first enemy that triggers it for 8 seconds and deals heavy bleed damage over 20 seconds. Damage from other sources may break the immobilization effect. The ability has a 4 minute cooldown.
  • Careful Aim now also provides its effect against all targets when Rapid Fire is active.

There were also a few other changes, primarily for quality of life and rotational consistency.
  • Aimed Shot now deals 20% more damage, no longer interrupts Auto Attacks, and can be cast while moving.

We decided to merge the 3 current Bomb Talents into one that changes based on spec. That allows us to reintroduce spec-specific perks to each Bomb, and makes room for some non-DoT alternatives.

  • Nether Tempest can now only be on 1 target at a time (down from unlimited), but its secondary damage now hits all targets in range (up from only 1), deals 100% of the primary damage (up from 50%), and its damage is now increased by Arcane Charge.
  • Unstable Magic is a new Talent available at level 75, in the middle Talent slot.
    • Unstable Magic: Arcane Blast, Fireball, and Frostbolt have a 25% chance to explode on impact, dealing an additional 50% damage to the target, and all other enemies within 8 yards.

Frost Mages enjoyed newfound PvE viability in Mists of Pandaria, and we intend to continue that into the future. However, we do want to clean up some rough spots, especially around their valuing of secondary stats, and the amount of instant-cast spells in their rotation. The Frost Armor and Shatter changes increase the amount of Haste/Critical chance that they can acquire on gear before they start hitting soft caps. The Shatter change also lowers the value of Critical Strike for a bit. The changes to the level-75 Talent row meant that having a Bomb spell is no longer guaranteed, so we changed the way that Brain Freeze is triggered. We also changed Brain Freeze's effect, in order to give Frost mages another cast-time spell in their rotation.

  • Frost Armor now grants an 8% chance to Multistrike instead of 7% Haste.
  • The Brain Freeze effect now increases no longer makes Frostfire Bolt damage by 25%, and instant, but it can now stack up to 2 times. It also no longer triggers from the Bomb Talents, and instead has a 10% chance to trigger from Frostbolt casts. Each Multistrike of Frostbolt increases that cast's chance by an additional 45%. (Total of 100% on double-Multistrikes).
  • Glyph of Icy Veins now causes Icy Veins to provide 35% chance to Multistrike, instead of 20% Haste.

Rotation for Fire Mage is looking solid with the new Draenor Perks. However, their cooldown strength could use a buff.


To better balance the damage of Brewmaster versus Windwalker where both share many of the same abilities, we removed the damage increase provided by Tiger Stance, and increased the damage of melee abilities to compensate.

  • Stance of the Fierce Tiger no longer increases damage dealt.
  • Tiger Strikes is now available to all Monk specializations, and has a chance to trigger on successful auto attacks and their Multistrikes. It has an 8% chance to trigger while using a two-handed weapon, and a 5% chance to trigger while dual wielding.
    • When triggered, Tiger Strikes now grants a 25% increase to Multistrike for 8 seconds instead of a 50% increase to attack speed and double attacks for 4 attacks.

For Brewmasters, Gift of the Ox has been modified to allow it to scale defensively with the new Multistrike stat. The Black Ox Statue has been modified to aid Monks in establishing aggro on new enemies instead of shielding allies. We also removed the Misfire effect, as it did not live up to its original idea, and was unnecessary.
  • Black Ox Statue no longer casts Guard on allies and now has a 10-second cooldown (down from 30 seconds). Black Ox Statue now passively attracts the attention of all enemies within 30 yards, causing a minor amount of threat each second.
  • Dizzying Haze no longer causes the target's melee attacks to sometimes misfire.

  • Avenging Wrath now also increases all of the Paladin’s healing by 20% for its duration.

We wanted to improve Seal gameplay for Protection and Retribution, so have made a few changes in that regard. Protection had three Seals, but only used Insight due to its defensive value. We’ve moved that defensive value into a passive for Protection Paladins, and expect them to primarily use a mixture of Seal of Truth and Seal of Righteousness now. To provide better gameplay between Seal of Truth and Seal of Righteousness, and effectively remove a button, we made Seal of Righteousness transform Crusader Strike into Hammer of the Righteous.

For Holy Priests, our biggest concern is with the Chakras. We think that Chakras are the defining abilities of Holy Priests, but that they haven't lived up to their potential. We decided to move more of their effectiveness from their raw throughput buff (which felt like a penalty for being in the wrong chakra, rather than a bonus for being in the right Chakra) into their bonus effects, and the Holy Word spells that they grant. Please note that all Priest healing spells have been retuned to account for the loss of throughput increases from Chakras. We also returned Renew to a normal 1.5-second global cooldown (GCD), so that Renew blanketing is still possible, but less ideal without Haste. Finally, the ability for Power Word: Shield to critically strike or Multistrike is now baseline for all Priest specializations instead of just Disciplins so that it continues to be a viable choice for Holy at higher gear levels.

  • Cascade no longer refreshes the duration of Renew for Chakra: Serenity.
  • Circle of Healing cooldown is now 12 seconds (up from 10 seconds).
  • Chakra: Sanctuary no longer now increases healing of area-of-effect spells. It now causes healing spell casts to reduce the remaining cooldown on Circle of Healing by 1 second instead of always reducing the cooldown by 2 seconds. by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Chakra: Serenity no longer now increases healing of single-target spells. by 10% (down from 25%).
  • Divine Aegis no longer grants Power Word: Shield a chance to critically strike.
  • Power Word: Shield now has a chance for a critical effect based on critical strike chance and can Multistrike based on Multistrike chance for all specializations.

Several talents got split into different versions by specialization. We revised the effectiveness of some of these talents to better balance talent choices on their rows.
  • From Darkness, Comes Light has been split into Surge of Light for Discipline and Holy, and Surge of Darkness for Shadow for Shadow.
  • Solace and Insanity has been split into Power Word: Solace for Discipline and Holy, and Insanity for Shadow.
  • Surge of Light's activation chance has been reduced to 10% (down from 15%).

There are a few other miscellaneous changes.
  • Angelic Feather now increases movement speed by 60% (down from 80%). If cast on players, will always prefer the casting Priest over others, then pick the player closest to the targeted location. If there are no players where it is targeted, it will still create a feather that can be picked up, as before. Additionally, when collecting multiple feathers, the duration will be extended instead of replaced; up to a maximum of 130% of base duration.

In our efforts to reduce cooldown stacking across the game, we chose to remove the damage increase from Tricks of the Trade. And second, we decided to loosen the weapon requirements on Assassination. It's important to note that we still intend for daggers to be the optimal choice for Assassination Rogues, but this change will help Rogues who want to try out Assassination but don't have two daggers.

  • Assassin’s Resolve no longer requires daggers to function.
  • Dispatch can now be used with fist weapons or one-handed swords, dealing 331% weapon damage (instead of 480%) when used with those weapons instead of a dagger.
  • Mutilate can now be used with fist weapons or one-handed swords, dealing 137% weapon damage (instead of 200%) when used with those weapons instead of a dagger.
  • Sinister Strike now deals 188% weapon damage when used with a dagger (instead of 130%).
  • Tricks of the Trade now has no energy cost and no longer increases damage caused by the target by 15%.

Worth noting here is the removal of Ambidexterity. This was done to reduce the amount of damage coming from auto attacks for Combat Rogues. We’ve increased the damage of their active abilities to compensate and make them more rewarding.

To better balance the scaling rates and value of secondary stats for Subtlety, we reduced the power of their Sinister Calling passive ability.


For Affliction, we're happy with their rotation. But, Drain Soul was causing them to be too strong in situations where they had a steady supply of small creatures to kill. We reduced the effectiveness of its on-kill effect in order to solve this.

Kil'jaeden's Cunning was a problematic talent. We've reduced the ability for ranged damage dealers to deal damage while moving in Warlords. Kil'jaeden's Cunning became much stronger relative to other casters. We redesigned how the ability works to be more powerful in bursts instead of always affecting only some spells.

  • Kil’jaeden’s Cunning has been redesigned. Kil'jaeden's Cunning calls upon the cunning of Kil'jaeden to permit movement while casting Warlock spells. This spell may be cast while casting other spells and lasts 15 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown.

We wanted to fix a few problems with Warriors. Prominently, we still weren't happy with Arms' rotation (and neither were many players), so we've made some more changes. The goal is to remove needless complexity while simultaneously adding more depth. As mentioned in the above section on Ability Pruning, Overpower and Heroic Strike have been removed for Arms Warriors. In their place, Slam now costs less Rage, and Execute has been revised to provide more dynamic gameplay throughout the whole fight while still retaining its identity of a low-health finisher.

In addition, we weren’t satisfied with the Mastery for Arms. The intended flavor for Arms is about hitting with few, big, and heavy weapon strikes. Strikes of Opportunity actually went opposite of that, adding frequent little hits. We’ve replaced Strikes of Opportunity with a new Mastery which accentuates their intended design.

  • Mastery: Strikes of Opportunity has been removed, and replaced with a new ability, Mastery: Weapons Master.
    • Mastery: Weapons Master increases the damage of Colossus Smash, Slam, and Execute abilities by 20% (increasing with Mastery).
  • Executioner is a new passive ability for Arms Warriors.
    • Executioner causes the Warrior's auto attack hits to generate an additional 40 Rage against targets with less than 20% health remaining. Additionally, the Execute ability no longer requires the target to be below 20% health to use, but its Rage cost is increased by 100%.
  • Colossus Smash no longer increases the damage of Slam.
  • Mortal Strike now generates 20 Rage (up from 10 Rage).
  • Slam now costs 15 Rage (down from 25 Rage) and no longer has additional effects when Sweeping Strikes is active.

Fury Warriors received a few additional changes. We made a revision to the critical strike chance of Bloodthirst to make them less crit-dependant. A new glyph has been added which gives Fury Warriors a choice for a notably different playstyle. Auto attack damage had become too high, so we also moved some damage from that into Execute (which has been changed to deal damage based on Weapon Damage, instead of just Attack Power). Plus, we've updated some to spell alerts to improve usability.

  • Bloodthirst now has 30% additional Critical Strike chance (instead of double the normal Critical Strike chance).
  • Crazed Berserker no longer increases auto attack damage. Instead, it also causes Execute to hit with the off-hand weapon.
  • Glyph of Colossus Smash is a new glyph available to Fury Warriors. The glyph increases the duration of Colossus Smash effect to 20 seconds, but reduces its effectiveness.
by Published on 2014-05-23 08:19 AM

Expected 2.1 Changes Compilation, Suggestions For In-Game Events, "Electro-Stun God" Wizard, Unnecessary Censorship - D3 Parody

Hearthstone World Championships: $250,000 Prize Pool - Qualifier Information

Alpha Patch 30414 - Murky, New Skins, Interface Updates, Shop Bundles, Hero Changes

Warlords of Draenor - Build 18297 Challenge Mode Items
Warlords of Draenor will reward players with nice animated challenge mode weapons and shields. Several new items were added in the latest Alpha build.

Warlords of Draenor - Build 18297 Tier 17 Armor Sets
The latest Alpha build added many new Tier 17 Armor sets. Higher quality previews are coming soon!

Paladin Tier 17 - Mythic

Warrior Tier 17

Rogue Tier 17

Shaman Tier 17

Monk Tier 17

Mage Tier 17

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Asking again b/c you said it's okay: Is the goal of Resolve to keep defensive & healing abilities exactly as strong as now?
I wouldn't say the same as 'now' (meaning live). Tank AM *gameplay* is awesome, but its *effectiveness* is too strong on live. (Celestalon)
And yes, those things are quite connected. We just want to skew toward tanks needing more external healing than they do today. (Celestalon)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Shame about no Dread Raven, because those are the coolest birds I've seen in WoW. At least we know Chimeras maybe? How come maybe?
Lots of new stuff in Draenor (ravager, bat, boar, etc.), some things might warrant a cool quest/drop (like dinomancy/rhok'delar) (Muffinus)

Since you're talking about hunter pets a bit, PLEASE tell me we can tame talbuks! You'll make my day! Week even!
Not at the moment, open to the idea but it's a snowball of ungulates. Ungulate is an awful name for a family too. (Muffinus)

Will MM Hunters be losing Master Marksman? If not, how will it interact with Focusing Shot?
No, Master Marksman stays, and does interact with Focusing Shot. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Second: Why not allow Surging Mist to generate 1 Chi for Windwalker? Serious question. I understand why not for Brewmaster.
It's definitely less clear for WW than BM, as you say. It's something we're considering, but not sure. Generating 1 may be OK, ... (Celestalon)
...because that's still a significant loss compared to the 2 chi from Jab. We're still evaluating that. (Celestalon)

Finally: Will Fists of Fury's AP snapshotting stay? It doesn't snapshot TeB, which makes it weird, so that's why I'm asking.
Don't think so; I think it's going to be totally dynamic. (Celestalon)

Why do Healing Spheres still exist as an object? Mobility is being tuned down in WoD making picking them up even more punitive.
You still get the healing even if they're not picked up, making them not punitive. (Celestalon)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Holy Shield Update? When i saw it in vanilla, as a d2 fan i was so happy! Can't wait for its glorious (and useful) return!
We actually were running the numbers and found that at 10%, it's not really that far off of our targets. (Celestalon)
So then is gladiator stance over tuned? 10% block=3% phys damage reduction. How does that compare vs 5% total damage reduction?
10% block is >3% damage reduction. (Not that we necessarily balance Pally talents vs Warrior talents, but these should be similar.) (Celestalon)

Character / Items
will 4/4 upgraded legendary cloaks proc more often?
Nope. Lots of stats though. (WatcherDev)

why was the choice made to display tooltips for CDR trinks as 'cooldown recovery rate'? very unintuitive for the players.
We actually show both forms of it in 6.0, for that reason. (Celestalon)

why not have multi gear equip slots for multi specs(resto/dps/tank) that is going to save a lot of bag space?
We're making changes to make most gear sharable between specs, including cross-primarystat. Check out the patch notes. (Celestalon)
I'm not sure if this was shared anywhere, but is it intended that tier gear still remains unique and spec specific?
No, tier gear is shared across specs too. (Celestalon)

Since valor is being removed. How is the system going to adjust so very unlucky people get gear? coins don't help very unlucky
Just because there's no "valor" doesn't mean there won't be alternate sources of gear, including vendors. (WatcherDev)

So much for Bigger Bag not being able to be account wide eh?No seriously. THANK YOU.
There were technical hurdles, but they were worth clearing to solve a major point of frustration for players. (WatcherDev)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
Will the MS stat work on bleeds the same way it works on dot ticks/ignite ticks, double the tick but not the whole dot debuff?
Yes. (Celestalon)

Patch 5.4.8 Hotfixes - May 21
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Resolved an issue where the Rated Battleground flag carrier debuff functioned incorrectly. Characters in a Tanking specialization should now correctly take 50% additional damage while carrying a flag in a Rated Battleground.


Bug Fixes
  • Resolved an issue where Feats of Strength for Collector's Edition: Dread Raven and Collector’s Edition: Dread Hatchling were not being correctly awarded to players.
  • Resolved an issue where players transitioning from Eastern Plaguelands into Ghostlands while on certain flying mounts would be unable to resummon the mount until the they relog back in.

Rated Battleground Flag Carrier Hotfixes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve recently identified an issue that was causing the Rated Battleground flag carrier debuff to function incorrectly. Under normal circumstances, non-tank flag carriers in Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks should take 20% additional damage, and tank-specced flag carriers should take 50% additional damage. Currently, that debuff is only increasing damage to tank-specced players by 20%. We’re in the process of applying a hotfix that will, once again, cause tank-specced players to take 50% increased damage when carrying the flag. This hotfix will be applied as soon as possible, and will not require realm restarts to activate.

In addition, we’re working on expanding that functionality to orb carriers in Rated Temple of Kotmogu, and cart carriers in Rated Deepwind Gorge. In Temple of Kotmogu, we’ll be increasing the extra damage taken while carrying the orb to 50% if the player has chosen a tank specialization. In Deepwind Gorge, we’ll be applying the same debuff used in Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks. Cart carriers who have chosen a DPS or healing specialization will take 20% increased damage, while cart carriers who have chosen a tank specialization will take 50% increased damage. These changes will not be applied until next week’s realm maintenance.

These mechanics and changes are exclusive to Rated Battlegrounds. They will not be applied to non-Rated BGs.

One addition: why not EOTS? We can still hold flags there with no debuff.
We don't think the same debuff is the best solution for Eye of the Storm, but we are considering some other potential options. We agree that turtling with the flag doesn't result in the best gameplay.

Azeroth Choppers Episode 6—Now Live!
Episode 6 of Azeroth Choppers has been released, and voting starts next week!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
This week on Azeroth Choppers, the Blizzard teams have seen their bikes, so it’s time for paint and finishing touches! Meanwhile, back at Blizzard HQ, the teams meet with the art department to see what it’ll take to put the winning bike into the world of Azeroth.

The polls open May 29, so prepare to cast your votes at, and let your faction’s war cry be heard with #AzerothChoppers.

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