World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2014-03-30 10:53 PM

World First Hardcore Torment 6 Malthael Kill, Level 70 Builds For All Classes: Part 3, Curse Weekly Roundup

Armory Stats - Battleground Win Ratios
Today we are taking a look at the win percentage for each faction and battleground that took place in the last month. To find these numbers, we compared the number of battles and victories a character had in a February snapshot of data to a March snapshot of data.

These numbers come from a character's statistics pane, so any bugs with character statistics will have skewed the results. This means that there isn't any way for us to verify how accurate these numbers are, so do not take them as fact.

Percentages came fairly close to 100% in most cases, so we normalized the data to 100%. Unfortunately it seems that most Eye of the Storm wins are still not recorded in your statistics most of the time. This bug has been around for five or more years now, but we normalized the data we had (~7.5% and ~9.7% win ratios for each faction) for the chart.

The data used today is a sample made up of ~8.6 million level 90 characters and ~10 million battles. The sample is slightly biased, as players who are not in a guild are less likely to appear in our sample.

You can see the data from the last time we did this back in January.

The major change to note this time is the increase of Horde wins Alterac Valley. You may recall that Patch 5.4.7 changed some things around the Horde base.

  • December 2013 to January 2014 - Horde won 21.8% of Alterac Valley games.
  • January to February 2014 - Horde won 20.6% of Alterac Valley games.
  • February to March 2014 - Horde won 27% of Alterac Valley games.
  • February to March 2014 - ~10% of players took part in at least 1 Alterac Valley game.

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Battleground Queue Times
Holinka also shared something interesting about blacklisting recently, mentioning that the majority of people aren't using the blacklist function.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
I really want to play and gear my Horde alt, but every time I see a 17 min random BG queue I die a little inside. Any plans to fix?
Yes we have some things we're working on. More to come soon. (holinka)

"what would it take for Horde PvP players to switch to Alliance?" having faction change be FREE would be a mandatory start.
We certainly agree that removing that barrier in certain cases would help. (holinka)

Should give low level battle ground queues satchels of armor (and maybe gold) like dungeons
That's the plan for warlords because @nite_moogle is awesome (holinka)

Hey - I wrote you something for lazy friday afternoon reading.
cool, I'll give it a read when I find some time. (holinka)
thanks for putting a lot of effort into the article. (holinka)
My primary critique is the fixation on mathematical balance, at the expense of anything else, including the very soul of a game. This is a dangerous and common mistake that often sacrifices a game's flavor to balance a spreadsheet. Our primary concern is long queue times. We should strive to solve the problem & preserve what makes WoW unique and special. (holinka)
I am not suggesting that you try not to fix it, but rather that by choosing factions, you implicitly accept some imbalance.
Absolutely. It is a tradeoff every game has to make and there is a wide spectrum of implementations as a result. (holinka)
Compare Call of Duty (which values short queues and visible balancing) to Titanfall (which wants more narrative in MP) (holinka)

quick question, do best players often play at a level above or below the "cap" you designed them with? meaning that does players often find better rotations than the optimal rotation you had in mind when designing?
Not often, but it has happened occasionally. Scorchweaving, Masterfrost, and Festerblight are the 3 cases I can think of...-- (Celestalon)
Why did you accept DW masterfrost but kill scorchweav? Curious re thought process. B/c 2H frost exists as altern?
2H Frost existing as an alternate helps. As does it being a complication to the rotation, rather than trivializer. (Celestalon)

You (Bliz) think changing the game keeps it "fresh". Players outside the elite find it tiresome.
Change just for the sake of change is a mistake and a trap. We only act if confident we're making a real improvement. (WatcherDev)

Why is there a system for Mining/Herbalism/Blacksmithing to fast-level in MoP but not the other professions?
It was something we started small with, to try out. We're considering doing more of that in the future. (Celestalon)

Pets and Pet Battles
Pet cap staying at 25 for new expansion? would love to have Epic quality pets!
Cap staying at L25, didn't want you to have to level all of your old pets, lots of new pets to level and new trainer challenges (Muffinus)

Character / Items
Any updates for Toybox regarding items with charges and pure fun trinkets?
Investigating how we can split these up so that the fun effect is in your toybox, may not be possible for everything. (Muffinus)

Warlords of Draenor Flying
Sounds like developers already made up their minds not alowing flying the entire wod expansion.
If that were the case, we'd say so. Our plan is no Draenor flying in 6.0 and player feedback is important to us. (WatcherDev)

Are you happy with how Mists of Pandaria panned out?
Overall, yes, especially from a raiding POV. There are of course regrets and lessons learned, though. (WatcherDev)
Within your realm of responsibility, what do you regard as your biggest success in Mists of Pandaria?
Flexible raiding. (WatcherDev)

You seem like the nerdiest Blizzard employee. Either you or Kosak, I cant decide. Hes a lore nerd and you're a numbers nerd.
There are some REALLY nerdy people at Blizzard. (Celestalon)
(Which is awesome, BTW. We love to geek out about all manner of nerdy topics.) (Celestalon)

Dark Legacy Comics - #434
DLC #434 has been released.

by Published on 2014-03-29 08:12 AM

Level 70 Builds Collection, Part 2

Fight Night S5E5 Finals Decklists, Jotto's Tournament Review, NESL $500 Cup Sunday + Decklists

Game Systems Blues: Hero Quest, Queue Time Boredom, Ping Interface

Warlords of Draenor - Hydra Pets Tameable
It appears one of the new Hunter pet families in Warlords of Draenor will be hydras!

Upcoming Siege of Niuzao Temple Hotfix
You asked, and Watcher delivered! Siege of Niuzao Temple is going to be hotfixed to let you start the waves on Vo'jak faster.

Warlords of Draenor - Upcoming PvP Blog Post
Holinka mentioned that we will get a blog post about PvP gear changes in April.

Patch 5.4.7 - Arena Rating Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We recently implemented a hotfix to address a bug that allowed Personal Ratings to exceed Matchmaking Rating. As a result, some players may notice that they do not gain or lose Personal Rating in the wake of a match. As more matches are played, these ratings will normalize and converge to the correct rating, and Personal Rating will then rise or drop accordingly.

In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation and make further adjustments if necessary.

Make-A-Wish® Charity Pet: Thank You!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thanks to the epic outpouring of generosity from World of Warcraft players around the world who purchased an Alterac Brew Pup pet, we’ve raised $1 million to benefit Make-A-Wish in their continuing efforts to grant the wishes of children throughout the world with life-threatening medical conditions.

Last November, we announced that 50% of the Alterac Brew Pup’s $10 purchase price would be donated to Make-A-Wish, and the WoW community rushed in to lend their support. Thanks again for helping to make a difference in the lives of children.

Learn more about Make-A-Wish America at and Make-A-Wish International at

EU Connected Realms Update - 28/03
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The following realms are due to be connected next week:

English Realms
  • (PvP) Shattered Hand and Kor’gall/Bloodfeather/Executus/Burning Steppes
  • (PvE) Aggramar and Hellscream

French Realms
  • (PvP) Illidan and Naxxramas/Arathi/Temple Noir

German Realms
  • (PvE) Ulduar and Gilneas

The following realms are scheduled to be connected after the realms above:

English Realms
  • (RP) Darkmoon Faire and Earthen Ring

German Realms

  • (PvE) Rexxar and Alleria

Hello, can you please answer one question? Are you done with our group Darksorrow/Genjuros/Neptulon or you are planning to add more realms?
Yes we're done with that group for now.

Was wondering if the Darkmoon Faire/Earthen Ring connection means we will have a 2 way and a 3 way connection of the smaller 5 RP realms (as opposed to the 5 way most were expecting).
Still waiting to see how things pan out, but we're not currently planning to add more realms to the Darkmoon Faire/Earthen Ring connection.

Ok, I have to ask because the wait is driving me crazy; Will Steamwheedle Cartel ever get connected?
Current plans are to connect it, yes. But as I always stress, nothing is set in stone; we have to carefully analyse how things go as we proceed

Thats a shame really.. I seen server be merged into fives.. that would help the 5 minor Role Play servers if they became one. Seems a lot are hoping for this to happen.
Connecting all five of the EN RP realms would result in mild queues at quiet times for players on those realms, and hours of waiting to log on at busy times

Would it really be the case if all except AD were connected, it'd make queues? I always thought all except AD were suffering in a minor way.
You're right, apologies, I edited my post to clarify I was talking about the low/medium population realms. Argent Dawn often has queues by itself so it won't be connected to any others. But yeah as I said, the others aren't as small as, say, some of the PvP ones we've been connecting.

US Connected Realms - Update 3/28
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Future Connections
We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, April 3 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PDT through approximately 1:00 p.m. PDT. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Borean Tundra and Shadowsong
  • Dath'Remar and Khaz'goroth

We will be connecting the realms listed below on Thursday, April 10 during a scheduled maintenance beginning at 5 a.m. PDT through approximately 1:00 p.m. PDT. Once maintenance is finished, these realm connections will be complete.

  • Drenden and Arathor
  • Nagrand and Caelestrasz

We do not have a date for the following realm connections, but will update this post when we do.

  • Blackwater Raiders and Shadow Council

Postponed Until a Future Time

  • Alterac Mountains and Balnazzar/Gorgonnash/The Forgotten Coast/ Warsong
  • Elune and Gilneas
  • Sisters of Elune and Cenarion Circle

*Plans for these connections may change at any time, but we’ll provide additional updates on specific dates for future connections here as we can. Please note that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

New World of Warcraft Short Story: The Untamed Valley
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In Pandaria’s Valley of the Four Winds, modest farmers have worked the land for generations. They are the true backbone of Pandaren society, feeding an empire with an honest day’s work...scant preparation for war.

Though Garrosh Hellscream has been defeated, the flames of his hatred still rage in the hearts of his followers. When the worst of these descend on Pandaria, closely followed by Alliance heroes Maraad and Lyalia, the humble Tillers find their farms transformed into battlefields.
The Tillers are committed to their homes and the earth they cultivate, but will they give up their lives to protect them? Worse, will they give up their lives for nothing?

The answer is in the 7th Pandaria faction story, “The Untamed Valley,” written by Robert Brooks. It’s available now on the Destination: Pandaria site as a free download. Enjoy!
by Published on 2014-03-28 07:12 AM

Patch 2.0.3 Hotfixes

iPad Release Media Event, Fight Night S5E3 Decklists

Dustin Browder on Team Experience and Leveling

WowCraft - Episode 1
Carbot showed off their first WoWCraft video today.

WoW Source Returns! Have Questions?
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Another WoW Source is on its way, and once again we’re looking for your questions. This time around we’re planning to feature Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut, Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, and Senior Game Designer Brian Holinka, along with host Morgan Webb. This time the interview will be geared towards discussing class and PvP changes coming in Warlords of Draenor. Just like last time, post questions you have for the developers in this thread, and feel free to use the “thumbs-up” Like button to let us know if you’d like to see someone else’s question answered.

Your post may be featured on the next episode!

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
What is the diff between glyphs and talents? They seem to accomplish the same thing (mod spells) on a different UI panel.
Talents are more transformative and strictly increase your power. Glyphs offer lateral customization and cosmetics (Minors). (WatcherDev)

There needs to be a feature to be able to blacklist 1-2 random dungeons just like blacklisting random bg's
Which ones would you blacklist? (WatcherDev)

Make fire/acid/void zones really punish DPS by debuffing their damage output. Healers would love if you did this.
In LFR, that'd punish everyone by making the fight longer if DPS were unaware; healers can at least compensate currently. (WatcherDev)

I'm not sure if you have answered this, but I was curious how many healers a mythic group should expect to have on hand for WoD?
Likely 5 on average. Aiming to avoid some of the under/overhealing extremes we saw in the last portion of SoO. (WatcherDev)

Is there a magic number for tanks in mythic raids? 2 or 3? Would like to know cause of planning our roster
Generally 2. You'll probably be well served by having a third player who has a tank spec, but doesn't expect to always tank. (WatcherDev)
Is that for fights that have 3 hard-hitting targets, or so you can swap to a "more ideal" tank class/spec for a fight?
The former. We're not going out of our way to make 3-tank fights, but we're less constrained when it'd add to the design. (WatcherDev)

This is a big issue. Going from 7-8 healers to 4-5 and vice versa is hard. Would like more consistency.
I'd say 4-6, 5 average for Mythic. We're going to try to avoid 3 or 7 ever feeling like the right answer. (WatcherDev)

When you design a fight, what comes first, the boss or the mechanics? Like was the "miasma fight" always going to be Malkorok?
Usually the boss; occasionally the mechanic. With Malkorok we just knew he was a Y'Shaarj-corrupted orc soldier and went from there (WatcherDev)

No spoilers cap'n PVP but how's Ashran going? Looking good on the pvp front?
We are iterating on the design a lot. Really trying to nail a rewarding, persistent sandbox zone focused on PvP. (holinka)

do you consider making pvp gems(esp.resilience)a more viable option? would love being able to change that more situational #scaling
Don't feel like gemming is the right medium for situational choices. Glyphs and talents fit that niche better. (holinka)

in all the other regions th PvP action is 90% horde,15m queue times are ruining the game for most casual
The worst region has 55% horde queuing for bgs vs 45% alliance. This is queue data not realm data. (holinka)
funny how that doesnt match players experience with queue times, including mine, ohh well :P
or that's the amount of imbalance that's causes these queue times. Not denying queue time problem. (holinka)

pvp scene in EU is 90% alliance. You're heavily nerfing horde racials and buffing ally racials. How do you think that'll pan out?
EU BG queues have a very close ratio. Not concerned. (holinka)
The high end scene is going to pick one side or the other and flock there. Mostly concerned with battle ground queue times. (holinka)

Are the embodied spirits in the Fallen Protectors fight dead, or just memories of the bosses' allies?
The sha unleashed when Garrosh ruined the Vale claimed many victims, including those charged with protecting the Vale. (WatcherDev)
But some of the Embodied adds in that fight are still alive, like Ren Firetongue.
Ah, I didn't catch that you meant the ones summoned by Desperate Measures. Those are projections of negative emotion. (WatcherDev)

Warlords of Draenor
When MoP challenge modes are gone, will those reward skins ever be obtainable again?
People who got 9 Golds will be able to re-purchase from the vendor if needed. Otherwise, not planning on it. (WatcherDev)

Poll - Dungeon Blacklist
This set of Blue Tweets had Watcher asking which dungeon you would blacklist if you could. A similar poll popped up on the forum recently, where people also shared the reason why they would blacklist certain dungeons.

Fan Art - Warcraft Wedding
Today we are looking at a different kind of fan art, weapons and other items created for a Warcraft themed wedding! You can see the full set of pictures and read about the creation of the weapons.

by Published on 2014-03-27 04:29 AM

Deck Spotlight: Tidesoftime's Modern Control Shaman, Fight Night S5E3 Decklists, S4 Rankings

New Wave of Alpha Invites, Designer Insights: Giving Tyrael Justice

Warlords of Draenor Developer Interviews
There were a few developer interviews at the recent press events, so today we are taking a look at an interview with Alex Afrasiabi from

  • There is no guarantee that all character models will be done by release, but they hope to have most ready.
  • The biggest thing stopping players from coming back is leveling.
  • As the game got older, more and more content was added, which makes it harder for people to catch up when they return.
  • Having to deal with all of the other things that are a part of coming back to the game along with leveling is too much for some people.
  • When you come back to the game and use a boost, your bars are cleared, talents unlearned,
  • The team also looked at significantly increasing experience rates rather than offering a boost, but it didn't feel great and the boost was the better option.

Warlords of Draenor - New Blingtron
It looks like Engineers will be getting a new Blingtron in Warlords of Draenor, but not a new mount.

Official Class Roles Forums Closing (EU)
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hello everyone,

So that player discussions remain concentrated in existing forums where they receive more attention from other players, we have made the decision to retire the following forums. These forums will be deactivated next week:

Damage Dealing

In preparation for their final closure, these forums will remain accessible in Read Only mode, but will be removed permanently on 8 April 2014. If you wish to save any relevant information, please do so before then.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Will New Veng buff self heals? Dev team's goal for value of Bonus Armor vs other stats (situational or always good)?
Yes, it'll buff self heals. Bonus Armor is always good, except the extremely rare case where you're taking no physical damage. (Celestalon)
Or the damage bypasses armor.
I think having physical-flagged damage that bypasses armour is a silly design. Just use magic to do it.
Not at all. Bleeds, sonic spells, etc... All totally make sense as non-magic but not reduced by armor. (Celestalon)
OK I'll give you those! But what about things like Malkorok's Blood Rage. It is an obvious physical weapon attack.
Balance. We don't want to hit clothies harder than plate/shield wearers for that. (Celestalon)

haste, that you'd get the 84 damage in exactly 14 seconds, with the partial tick appearing 14.0s after cast (6 DPS).
Yes, duration never changes. You'll get the partial tick at 14sec after cast. DPS won't have breakpoints. (Celestalon)
Are you still planning to give everyone a Pandemic mechanic?
Yes, but 130% duration max, not 150%. (Celestalon)
So if you recast way before the first partial tick, will you end up with "queued" partials?
No, partial ticks are only when the dot falls off before its' next scheduled tick. (Celestalon)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
do you know how current dodge/parry stats on items will be changing in 6.0? Should I stockpile them "just in case"?
They'll be replaced with other useful stats. (Celestalon)

I knew that Cleave got dropped. I thought socket/multistrike/readiness were all rare 'bonus tertiaries' in WoD. Got a source?
No, Multistrike and Readiness are full, legitimate secondary stats, like Haste/Crit/Mastery. Socket is a bonus tertiary. (Celestalon)
still wondering how you're gonna make Multistrike appeal to tanks.
Been working on that recently. Nothing to announce yet, but it'll be spec-specific passives that interact with multistrike. (Celestalon)
so things like grand crusader, revenge, Crimson scourge?
Yeah, that style of ability (though different effects). (Celestalon)

Does everyone have a baseline level of Multistrike / Readiness, like Crit & Mastery, or is it possible to have 0, like Haste?
Zero baseline. (Celestalon)

How were Large Anima Golems supposed to be used in the Dark Animus encounter, especially on heroic?
To buy you more time on the enrage. But they ended up being too dangerous/disruptive to make it worth the benefit. (WatcherDev)

Could some indication that a spell is armor ignoring physical be added to the DJ? It is occasionally unclear.
It's certainly something we can do a better job of calling out when it comes to tank mechanics. (WatcherDev)

Will we see any balance changesonce the new PvP Gear shows its full effect ?
Perhaps. At this point we will only be able to do hotfixes which limits our options. (holinka)

Any chance we could see TB and WG put in as 40v40 BGs so they are full?
More focused on building Ashran. WG and TB had their time to shine. It would take a lot of work to restore them properly. (holinka)

Hard to get conquest losing in flag cap RBGs compared to losing in an AB-style RBG. Intended? Flag cap = so black and white.
It's the nature of CTF. You're comparing a map with a score of 3 to a map with a score of 1600. (holinka)

Warlords of Draenor
Any plans on making Thorim soloable for everyone?
Changed in 6.0: Thorim won't trigger the deathball/reset when his arena is empty. (WatcherDev)
Valithria is soloable, not sure what is wrong.
By, say, a warrior? Probably just going to make her skippable. (WatcherDev)
Yeah, that was a joke (coming from a healer), but great to hear Ulduar/ICC are getting a look - how about Vezax?
What's the concern with Vezax? (WatcherDev)
Yeah, Vezax and the trash leading up to him won't be there. Need to soft reset.
Fixed that also (in 6.0). Thanks. Could happen if you killed one of the Keepers very quickly. (WatcherDev)

TCG Art Update
Blizzard has updated the art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

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