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by Published on 2016-09-15 05:00 PM

Chris Metzen Retirement, Meta Update - Top 10 S7 Builds

Top 10 Chinese Decks From the Hearthstone China Autumn Championships

Alarak & Braxis Holdout Release, Machines of War Showdown, Rotation & Sales Sep 13

Patch Notes for September 13th

Legion Class Balance Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Since the expansion launched, aside from fixing bugs, our class and systems teams have been keeping an eye on qualitative class feedback, looking for things that can be addressed via hotfix. We recently increased the default number of Warlock Soul Shards to 3 to decrease their ramp-up time; we also reduced the base cooldown of Arms Warrior Colossus Smash to 30 seconds, to mitigate the worst-case scenario when Tactician failed to reset its cooldown.

In the Developer Q&A last week, we touched on the general topic of class balance so far in Legion, and suggested that we were looking at making tuning changes via hotfix towards the end of this week. However, after further consideration of available data and the current state of the game, we feel that it’s still premature for a broad tuning pass.

World of Warcraft’s endgame consists of a range of activities, including varied raid encounters at different difficulty levels, random matchmade dungeons, Mythic dungeons (both baseline and Keystone-modified), outdoor questing, and of course arenas and battlegrounds (though I’ll be focusing on other gameplay modes in this post, since we can now handle PvP tuning separately). That’s the game that was available in beta, and it’s what our classes are designed and balanced around. But right now, everyone at max level is playing a very narrow slice of that diverse endgame: we are running dungeons, and we’re specifically running them with a focus on efficiency rather than success. Many players have learned the various dungeon encounters, and now zone in with their Heroic or Mythic groups not wondering whether they’ll be able to prevail over the challenges within, but rather how quickly. Unsurprisingly, that places an inordinate value on sustained AoE/cleave damage, and especially on-demand burst against the groups of four or five targets that comprise most enemy packs in dungeons, and so those specs that excel in those areas seem elevated above the rest.

But in a couple of weeks, when we talk about balance, major considerations will include things like meeting the single-target DPS check on Ursoc or handling the spread-out tentacles of Il’gynoth in the Emerald Nightmare, or making sure that your group can reliably interrupt Odyn’s Stormforged Obliterator in Halls of Valor, while running away from Radiant Tempest, so that he doesn’t derail your Mythic Keystone run entirely. Until we can see data from the endgame in its entirety, we can’t make informed decisions about which numbers need adjusting, and by how much. Therefore, at this point we’re aiming to hold off on a broad pass of tuning hotfixes until the end of the first week of raiding and Mythic Keystone dungeons.

In the meantime, we are looking at a couple of targeted changes to address some clear outliers: in the near future, we’re planning on deploying hotfixes that reduce tank damage output across the board (tanks should be very sturdy and effective at killing things, but too often their damage output rivals that of pure damage dealers), as well as reducing the AoE burst damage capabilities of Windwalker monks (mainly Strike of the Windlord’s area component) and Havoc Demon Hunters (mainly Fel Barrage). Those specializations will still excel in that area, but will not be so clearly dominant over their peers.

In the long run, our tuning goal is simply for everyone to feel that they can play the class and specialization they prefer. There will of course be areas of strength and weakness, and some specs will thrive in certain situations while lagging behind in others, but those gaps should not preclude viability. We’ll continue to look at available data and player feedback and make adjustments until that is the case, but that process will not begin until next week. Thank you for your patience.

Patch 7.1 - Honor Talents no Longer Reset for Prestige
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I'm very happy with this change, but now there is no downside to resetting your Honor level. What's the point in the Prestige system now? To make you manually reset your level upon hitting 50 every time?
The original vision for the Prestige system was to create an extended progression system with a high cost that was purely optional and felt special. We wanted you to see someone with a Prestige badge and think, "Wow, that guy or gal did a crazy difficult grind to get that badge." To make that progression feel good, we added a lot of rewards along the way including artifact power, artifact appearances, mounts, toys, titles, etc. We did receive feedback, both internally and externally, that losing your honor talents didn't feel good and would be a significant impediment to particpating in Prestige. We were willing to live with that downside in order for Prestige to feel more exclusive and special. We try to get everyone honor talents quickly so they can feel competitive. But this also means you can work through the honor system quickly, arriving at level 50 with no where to go. So, we realize that more people will have more fun if they can continue to get rewards from PvP, even if Prestige loses a bit of its luster.

Thank you all for your feedback on this issue. We hope you continue to enjoy Legion and PvP!

Patch 7.0 Hotfixes - September 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Hati will now reset appearance to the default blue wolf form the first time summoned.
    • Developers’ Notes: Due to a bug, some hunters had Hati transform with the Essence Swapper into appearances that are unintended. A fix has been made for this to prevent future issues, but to get rid of any unintended appearances that players may already have, Hati’s appearance will be reverted to the default blue wolf when first summoned, and should retain any appearance changes thereafter. The Essence Swapper will continue to allow you to change Hati’s appearance to match that of your currently active hunter pet.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Judgment's damage on secondary targets should correctly match its damage on the primary target.

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Clarity of Will's maximum shield size will be correctly increased by Versatility.

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • (Enhancement) Feral Lunge will no longer threaten enemies when cast. Feral Lunge now only causes threat when it lands and deals damage.

Class Halls
  • The amount of follower experience granted by missions has been increased.
  • Lower-level followers should have access to more missions, even when the player has very high level followers active.
  • Players who failed to be rewarded Hymdall during the resolution of the quest "Jorhuttam" are properly granted him as a follower after entering their class hall.

  • Players should no longer be able to apply for Premade Group Finder parties for Arcway or Court of Stars if they have not gained access to those dungeons.
  • Eye of Azsharah
    • For the quest “Cleansing the Dreamway”, Rarefied Water should now drop from every boss. Other enemies no longer drop the item for the quest.

  • Level 110 legendary rings and amulets, which all previously had no sockets, should now have 1 Prismatic socket per item.

  • Blingtron 6000 should no longer transport some players underneath the world.

  • The alchemy spell Transmute: Fish to Gems should now take Cursed Queenfish, not Ghostly Queenfish.

  • Operation Murloc Freedom now only rewards Timeworn Artifacts while the World Quest is active.
  • The Nightbourne Loupe for the quest "A Personal Touch" is now carried by both male and female nightborne.
  • The quest object "The Black Tome" for the quest "The Black Tome" now spawns in a location that is accessible without having to jump onto the altar.
  • On “Cry Thunder!”, players can no longer interact with Vethir to start the bombing run if they’re in a raid group.
  • Elothir should consistently offer "Reading the Leaves" and "Given to Corruption" when a player is eligible for the quests.
  • Adjustments to spawn rate and credit for the Fishing World Quest “Buoy Fishing” have been made to streamline the quest.

  • Players should no longer experience phasing issues when re-visiting Dalaran over Karazhan for the Legion pre-launch quests.

Preview - Mythic Keystones
Blizzard shared a preview of the Mythic+ dungeon system, with a few noteworthy things:

  • New keystone modifiers appear at Levels 4, 7, and 10.
  • Rewards come from a chest at the end of the run, ranging from item level 845 at Mythic 2 to 865 at Mythic 10.
  • This chest contains two pieces of loot for the group, which is a change from beta.
  • The max item level will be capped at 850 for the first week. (More info)
  • You also get a weekly chest with loot based on your best run for the week, scaling up to item level 880 at Mythic 10.
  • The only lockout on Mythic is the availability of keystones, you can keep doing them as long as someone has an active keystone.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
A new level of difficulty and rewards is coming soon to Legion’s dungeons, and we’ve got a quick primer for you.

As in Warlords of Draenor, Legion dungeons come in three primary levels of difficulty and rewards: Normal, Heroic, and Mythic. Both Heroic and Mythic difficulties are only available to players at level 110, and you aren’t able to queue for Mythic difficulty via the Dungeon Finder.

Keys of Stone
Starting on September 20, the first time you complete a Mythic dungeon each week, you’ll be rewarded with a Mythic Keystone for a specific dungeon, chosen randomly from among all Mythic dungeons to which you have access. Your very first Keystone will enable access to Mythic Level 2, offering both increased difficulty and rewards.

We Move Swiftly
To activate your Mythic Keystone, assemble a team of five stalwart heroes, venture to the specified Mythic dungeon, and place the Keystone into the Font of Power just inside. If you don’t interact with the Font, the dungeon will operate in its default Mythic state.

When players activate a Mythic Keystone, a timer begins counting down, and the group has a fixed amount of time to defeat the dungeon’s bosses and a majority of the other enemy forces within the dungeon. Players who are familiar with Challenge Mode dungeons will find that this timer is quite forgiving—its purpose is not to encourage speed runs, but rather to provide a gauge for a well-executed run. Whether or not you beat the time, a chest containing a couple of pieces of loot awaits you at the end of your run.

If you successfully beat the time, your Keystone will be upgraded to a higher level and attuned to a new random dungeon. If you don’t beat the time, your Mythic Keystone is “depleted.” A depleted Keystone can be used to try to beat the timer in the hopes of getting a fresh upgraded Keystone, but runs started with a depleted Keystone will not award loot.

Increasing Challenges
With each increasing level of Mythic difficulty, the health and damage of enemies will increase. In addition, at Levels 4, 7, and 10, new modifiers are introduced that will require players to adapt and evolve to succeed.

Example Keystone modifiers include:

  • Raging—Non-boss enemies enrage at 30% health remaining, dealing 100% increased damage until defeated.
  • Bolstering—When any non-boss enemy dies, its death cry empowers nearby allies, increasing their maximum health and damage by 20%.
  • Skittish—Enemies pay far less attention to threat generated by tanks.
  • Volcanic—While in combat, enemies periodically cause gouts of flame to erupt beneath the feet of distant players.

These modifiers are visible on each Mythic Keystone, and all Keystones of the appropriate level will have the same modifiers during a given week.

Mythic Keystone Rewards
While creatures do not drop loot normally during a Mythic Keystone run, upon completion of the run, players will find a chest containing two high-quality items for the party. The base item level of these rewards starts at item level 845 for Mythic Level 2, and goes all the way up to item level 865 for a Mythic Level 10.

Please note: the end-of-dungeon reward quality will be capped at a base item level of 850 during the first week of the feature’s availability, with the full range of rewards unlocking once Mythic raids have opened the following week.

Like most end-game loot in Legion, these items also have a chance to be Warforged or Titanforged, allowing them to potentially scale all the way up to item level 895.

After completing any Mythic Keystone dungeon within the time limit (whether using your own Keystone or someone else’s), a reward chest will be available in your Class Hall the following week. That chest contains a guaranteed piece of gear with a power level reflecting the highest Mythic level you completed during the prior week, up to a maximum of item level 880 for a successful Mythic Level 10 clear. It will also contain a new Mythic Keystone for you, which allows you to jump right back into your weekly Mythic dungeon adventures.

Get Ready
Mythic Keystones will start dropping on September 20. Are you prepared?

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Decay - All players lose 1% of their max health every 2 sec while the challenge is active.
  • Skittish - Enemies pay far less attention to threat generated by tanks.
  • Volcanic - While in combat, enemies periodically cause gouts of flame to erupt beneath the feet of distant players.
  • Necrotic - All enemies' melee attacks apply a stacking blight that inflicts damage over time and reduces healing received.
  • Teeming - Additional non-boss enemies are present throughout the dungeon.
  • Raging - Non-boss enemies enrage at 30% health remaining, dealing 100% increased damage until defeated.
  • Bolstering - When any non-boss enemy dies, its death cry empowers nearby allies, increasing their maximum health and damage by 20%.
  • Tyrannical - Boss enemies have 50% more health and inflict up to 30% increased damage.
by Published on 2016-09-14 12:55 PM

Update: Legendary rings and necks were hotfixed to have a socket.

Chris Metzen Retirement, Meta Update - Top 10 S7 Builds

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Alarak & Braxis Holdout Release, Machines of War Showdown, Rotation & Sales Sep 13

Patch Notes for September 13th

Kosumoth the Hungering Orbs Hotfixed
In addition to the hotfixes below, players are reporting that the orbs for Kosumoth the Hungering are now clickable by multiple people.

Patch 7.0.3 Hotfixes - September 13
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Shifting into Bear Form will no longer freeze resource decay for non-Guardian druids.

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Barrage range will now correctly match the range of the Hunter’s other abilities.
    • Developers’ Notes: During the recent updates to Barrage, we discovered it extended approximately 2 yards beyond the range of autoshot and other abilities. We’re changing it to more closely match.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Hammer of the Righteous will no longer show its impact visual on dead targets.

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Ghostly Strike debuff application and removal are now correctly posted to the combat log.

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Soul Shards now regenerate to 3, while out of combat (up from 1).
    • Developers' Notes: As discussed in last week’s Developer Q&A, warlocks (and Demonology especially) needed to go through several spellcasts in order to generate the Soul Shards required to cast the spells needed for them to operate at peak efficiency. In outdoor gameplay and against packs of enemies in dungeons, this often meant that combat was ending just as the warlock was getting warmed up. Allowing warlocks to begin combat with 3 Soul Shards instead of 1 should let them bring more of their arsenal to bear in shorter encounters.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Mannoroth's Bloodletting Manacles now heals the warrior based on base Rage spent, rather than actual rage spent, to account for Rage cost reduction effects.
  • (Arms) Colossus Smash's cooldown reduced to 30s.
    • Developers' Notes: The cooldown on Colossus Smash serves as bad luck protection against long streaks of Tactician not activating. At 45 seconds, the worst case scenario of actually waiting for the full cooldown to elapse was a rare occurrence that was particularly noticeable (and frustrating) when it happened. At 30 seconds, the majority of the time Colossus Smash will still reset before its cooldown elapses, but those unlucky streaks should feel a little better.

  • (Arms) Focused Rage's damage bonus reduced to 40% per stack.

  • Luck of the Draw now properly increases pet and guardian damage.
  • Assault on Violet Hold
    • Sael'orn will no long aggro players immediately when she spawns.
    • Fel Prison will no longer target healers in Heroic and Mythic difficulty.
  • Maw of Souls
    • Resolved an issue where Nether Rip didn’t appear on lower graphics settings.

  • (Hotfix work in progress) Emissary bags from completing World Quests now contain equippable items for your class.
  • The Derelict Skyhorn Kite now has a 15 minute cooldown.

  • The Imperial Arcanist and the Imperial Spellbreaker that spawn in front of Lothrius Mooncaller’s room in Suramar – The Athenaeum no longer drop loot or grant experience when killed by the Moonfall Manafiend summoned by a player or by Lothrius Mooncaller.
  • Regular creatures at Warden Towers should spawn more rapidly when attacked by many players.
  • Brimstone Destroyers in Azsuna can no longer be enslaved.

  • Mother's Skinning Knife is now only usable by players who know Skinning.
  • Several Alchemy quests which required Heroic Dungeon kills can now be completed in Mythic.
  • Engineering
    • Players should no longer be able to skill up Engineering in Legion by making Gearspring Parts. It should now be slightly easier to skill up to 800 by making goggles or Trigger.
    • The Arcanic Compressor is now multi-drop and can be looted several engineers in a group for completion of “Revamping the Recoil”.

  • Several followers have had the effectiveness of their abilities reduced against players.
  • Fixed an issue causing some PvP World Quests to have invalid rewards for Honor level 50 players.
  • Flickering Shadows will no longer activate if the Rogue is capturing a point in Domination maps such as Arathi Basin.
  • The time between Wintergrasp and Tol Barad battles has been increased to 1 hour.
  • Skirmish victories now award 100 honor (was 50).
  • The first random battleground win of the day now rewards a Soldier's Splendor (250 Artifact Power).

  • In the Warrior Class Campaign Ulduar Scenario, the door after Brood Queen Morvaniss should now always open when you kill her.
  • On the World Quest “Ley Race”, ley line nodes should now spawn more quickly as you go.
  • Death Knights should no longer become stuck on “Steeds of the Damned”.
  • Druids should no longer be stuck on “Gathering the Dreamweavers”.
  • Players that manage to find themselves in the "Champions of Elune" scenario without a vehicle will now be teleported out after 30 seconds.
  • Bind on Equip items have been removed as possible rewards from World Quests.
    • Developers’ Notes: As a player’s own item level increases, the quality of many World Quest item rewards rises as well. However, when these items can circulate throughout the economy, they can overshadow other sources of loot, and crafted items especially. World Quests should feel rewarding, but we want that to be because of a direct value to your character.
  • The Warden Tower World Quests are now on 6 hour rotations (was 3 hours).
  • Withered in the Withered Army Training scenario should now be able to throw rocks from point blank range. Ow!

Buy WARCRAFT™ on Blu-Ray and DVD, Get Three Epic Digital Loot Drops
You can purchase a physical copy of the movie on Amazon.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
From Legendary and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, WARCRAFT is preparing to invade homes worldwide, and it’s bringing a trio of movie-inspired digital extras from Blizzard Entertainment into battle!

Inside select physical editions of WARCRAFT on Blu-ray™ and DVD, movie fans will find digital keys that unlock the following extras for a trio of Blizzard games:

  • Medivh Hero in Hearthstone – Unleash your favorite Mage deck as the Guardian of Tirisfal.
  • Gul’dan Hero in Heroes of the Storm – Rain fel fire down upon the Nexus as this twisted orc Assassin.
  • Digital copy of World of Warcraft – Start your own adventure in Azeroth—or ask a friend to join you on your journey. Includes 30 days of game time for new players.

These goodies are available inside select physical WARCRAFT Blu-ray™ and DVD editions only while supplies last. Be sure to pick up your copy wherever Blu-ray™ and DVDs are sold.

WARCRAFT is available September 27 in the U.S. and Canada, and throughout September and October worldwide. Check product and promotion availability with your local retailers, as extras may differ outside the U.S. and Canada.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Hidden Artifact Appearances
We can confirm that the processes for obtaining these alternate appearances are all in the game and functioning properly. Once you’ve met all the appropriate requirements – some of which involve content that hasn’t yet been released, or will take some time to complete – the appearance will be granted to your character. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warden Tower Hotfix
do you dislike people getting honor via towers or was the nerf to prevent people from feeling the need to do em every 3 hours?
We like how rewarding the towers are for the time spent, but don't want them to be the primary source of Honor. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Druid Armor Set Legs
Good news to share here - this should be fixed in patch 7.1.

The issue stemmed from the chest piece of the Druid set not having the bottom half of the robe set correctly. I also noticed that a similar issue affected the Mage Order Hall Leggings, which were using the Druid set skin, so those have been fixed as well.

Cheers! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
What design decision do you regret the most, from all games?
I have a lot of regrets about Raid Finder for WoW. I am sure I worked on features that were much, much worse, but that's the first one that came to mind.

To be clear, the goal of getting more players into raiding is a good one. But the way Raid Finder turned out removed, IMO anyway, a lot of the epicness of what made raiding raiding. I also haven't played WoW in a few years, so it's entirely possible they have solved the problem by now. (Source)

You've explained before that back in the days in WoW you wanted to nerf frost mages. How come frost mages were pretty much left untouched for such a long long time? What's the process behind getting something nerfed/buffed like and who has the final word when something gets nerfed/buffed (at Blizzard and Riot Games)?
The less diplomatic answer is that there were a lot of WoW devs who played Frost mages, even though I wasn't one of them, so there were always a lot of people to point out your potential mistakes when you try to make a change.

But above and beyond that, it was a tricky design space, because Frost mages were supposed to be good at both tankiness (emergency buttons that cover you in ice) and burst (ice lance combos). When you are good at defense and offense (especially burst), you are walking a razor's edge all the time. (Source)

One of your former colleagues, Chris Metzen, just announced that he was retiring at 42. I know Chris as the legendary creator of Diablo, Starcraft and Warcraft, my childhood, but can you tell me what Chris was like in the office and how you feel about him
Chris was a rockstar. That guy you saw on stage at Blizzard? That's 100% legit Metzen. He'd call us brothers and sisters. He'd call us cats. I think once he called me baby. I can't get away with talking like that, but he didn't fake it. That's who he was. He bleeds for his story, his characters, Blizzard, and most importantly, the players.

I first met him at a party, a few years before I went to work at Blizzard. He yelled at the top of his voice in a Scottish (dwarvish?) accent the entire time.

Sometimes in meetings he would get a far off stare, and you'd know something was bubbling up inside his mind and something great was about to come out.

Once at Blizzcon, he hugged me for like a really long time in the middle of a busy men's room. We blocked the doorway and made a lot of people wait in line that much longer.

A possibly apocryphal story: when Kaplan was new to Blizzard, Metzen came into his office, crashed on the couch for like an hour nap, woke up, asked "Do you know why they won't let us drink at work any longer?" Got up and left. (P.S. Blizzard let us drink at work all the time, so I'm not sure what that was all about.)

And maybe my favorite story. At a Blizzcon party we were all at, there was inexplicably a bowl of powdered donuts with the snacks. Chris took a donut, rubbed it under his nose (so that there's this light dusting of white powder) and then left it there all night as he bearhugged and did the Top Gun high-five to everyone at the party.

He's one of the top 5 or so most authentic and yet almost supernatural forces I've ever met. I am lucky to know him. (Source)

Corrupted Blood Anniversary
September 13 was the anniversary of the Corrupted Blood plague!

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