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by Published on 2018-01-30 08:00 PM

Battle for Azeroth Pre-Purchase Now Available
Battle for Azeroth is expected to release on or before September 21, 2018 and is live to purchase in game or on the shop.



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Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Declare Your Allegiance
Azeroth paid a terrible price to end the apocalyptic march of the Legion's crusade—but even as the world's wounds are tended, it is the shattered trust between the Alliance and Horde that may prove the hardest to mend. In Battle for Azeroth, the fall of the Burning Legion sets off a series of disastrous incidents that reignites the conflict at the heart of the Warcraft saga. As a new age of warfare begins, Azeroth's heroes must set out on a journey to recruit new allies, race to claim the world's mightiest resources, and fight on several fronts to determine whether the Horde or Alliance will lead Azeroth into its uncertain future.

  • Pre-purchase: Battle for Azeroth will be released on or before September 21, 2018.
  • Pre-purchase of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth makes available the questlines which enable players to access the Highmountain tauren, Lightforged draenei, Nightborne, and Void elves. To unlock Allied Races quest lines, players must have a level 110 character and have met specific questing and reputation requirements on the factions that each Allied Race is aligned with.
  • Digital Deluxe items will be available on or before the release date of the game.
  • Internet connection, Battle.net® registration, and Blizzard Battle.net desktop application required to play.
  • Requires World of Warcraft and Legion.

Early access to Allied Races
Pre-purchase Battle for Azeroth and begin your quest to recruit four new playable Allied Races. Heroes of the Horde can enlist the Highmountain Tauren and Nightborne, and champions of the Alliance can add the Lightforged Draenei and Void Elves to their ranks.

Explore two fabled kingdoms
As a champion of the Horde, travel to the empire of Zandalar to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might. As a defender of the Alliance, venture to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause. Quest through 10 new levels to the new level cap of 120—then continue to grow in power through new World Quests, raids, dungeons, and more.

Plunder the islands of the Great Sea
Set out on Island Expeditions and conquer an ever-changing array of enemies, environments, and objectives. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect each island’s resources and fuel the war effort.

Charge into a Warfront
Fight on the battlefields of a large-scale, 20-player cooperative Warfront to claim a key strategic location. Capture resources to build your faction’s forces, lead the charge as your troops lay siege to objectives, and fight the enemy commander to claim victory in this new PvE mode inspired by classic Warcraft RTS battles.

Infuse your armor with titanic might
Seek out Azerite, an invaluable new resource that has emerged in the Legion’s wake. Imbue the Heart of Azeroth—a legendary neck piece entrusted to each hero by Magni Bronzebeard—with Azerite to customize your armor with new powers and traits.

Boost to level 110
Enter the raging conflict between the Horde and the Alliance prepared to survive on the front lines of a vicious new war.

Digital Deluxe Edition

World of Warcraft Mounts
Ride proudly astride the Seabraid Stallion mount as you fight for the Alliance, or prove your allegiance to the Horde with the Gilded Ravasaur mount. No matter the battle or adventure, you'll be ready.

World of Warcraft Baby Tortollan Pet
Whether you're fiercely battling other pets or simply want to put your feet up on its sturdy shell, Tottle the baby Tortollan pet's got you covered.

Overwatch goodies
Show your faction pride on the battlefields of tomorrow with Horde- and Alliance-themed voice lines for Torbjorn; emotes for Tracer; Anduin, Jaina, Sylvanas, and Saurfang sprays; and Kul Tiran and Zandalari player icons.

Hearthstone card back
The Azeroth is Burning card back will add firey style to your favorite Hearthstone decks. Just be sure not to set the whole board alight!

StarCraft II sprays
With new Horde and Alliance sprays, you can cover the map as you conquer your foes.

Heroes of the Storm mount
Prowl into the Nexus with your new Primal Flamesaber mount. With three color variants (Green, White, and Toast) you'll ride into battle in style.
by Published on 2018-01-30 07:58 PM

Battle for Azeroth Developer Q&A
There was Dev Q&A today covering Battle for Azeorth. Our first draft of notes is below, but watch the full thing for context.




Allied Races
  • The team is is working to get 4 extra character slots out to everyone in the next few days, regardless of if pre-purchase or not.
  • Allied Race unlocks and requirements are account wide.
  • You need a Level 110 on the faction you want to unlock an Allied Race on, but requirements for that unlock are account wide.
  • The team has tried to pull back on the raw power of racial abilities in the past few expansions.
  • Other than Arcane Torrent, most racials aren't overly powerful now.
  • The Void Elf racial is not a copy of Mage blink. It isn't an instant teleport, it requires pre-planning to use. You need to know you are going to teleport a few seconds ahead of time.
  • The team wanted players to experience why these new races joined the Horde or Alliance, which is done through reputation or achievement requirements.
  • The team will look at the requirements as time goes on, we move to other expansions and have more Allied Races, but for now they make sense.
  • You will be able to work on unlocking other Allied Races (such as Draenor Orcs) as the expansion unfolds. You gain the Zandalari as allies in Battle for Azeroth.

PvP
  • Solo Queue is unlikely to be in Battle for Azeroth.
  • If you could solo queue, it would blur the distinction between ranked PvP and regular PvP.
  • In other games that have solo queue, there is a lot more flexibility to change your composition. WoW isn't nearly as flexible.
  • Solo queue would produce a frustrating experience.
  • Playing with partners adds a lot of depth and social interaction.
  • The team would like to make it easier and more accessible to get into these rated PvP formats.
  • With Rated Battlegrounds, the team might move the size to 6v6, as it has worked out well in Brawls.
  • The team also wants to add more tools to make it easier to find partners to play with. Hopefully the Communities tool helps here.
  • The arena spectator mode is in. It's a thing. You can use it. The team can build upon this in the future.
  • Adding additional Prestige tiers forever isn't the right solution. Existing players have spent a lot of time earning the rewards they have now though.
  • The team wants to keep the existing Prestige ranks, continue to add new ranks, but those new ranks would just give you a box or some kind of repeatable reward again. This makes Prestige a measure of how much you have PvPed rather than a grind for rewards.
  • There are Honor Talents that aren't competitive in their rows. Honor Talents also feel like a barrier to entry rather than a reward.
  • You may get to pick three Honor Talents out of a pool of many talents, with a fourth slot reserved for a trinket customization. This should give you more flexibility. Honor Talents will be unlocked by player level, so as soon as you hit the level cap they will all be unlocked.
  • Seething Shore is coming before Battle of Azeroth.
  • The team wants gear to matter in PvP, but not to the point where you have no chance because someone has played more than you.
  • When you enable PvP mode on an RP realm, you still will follow RP rules and won't automatically put you on a shard with other realm players.
  • Going forward, there will just be Normal and RP realms. You can opt-in to PvP if you want.
  • Except in cases of extreme load, RP realms don't split or pull in players from other realms. During something like an expansion launch, some sharding does take place to avoid server crashes. You can still voluntarily group with players from other realms.

Islands
  • Islands will be a lucrative source of Azerite.
  • A PvP mode may reward honor.

Warfronts
  • These are very heavily inspired by RTS elements from Warcraft II and III.
  • You don't get to train grunts and footmen, controlling them literally with RTS style.
  • Imagine a Warcraft III map where you got to play as a hero on that map.

Class Changes
  • Sometimes you should bring the class, not the player.
  • The goal here is to encourage a wide diversity of class and spec representation.
  • When multiple people are bringing an AoE stun, one of them will be the best, so you will just want to bring that one.
  • If you are forming a smaller group, you can't have all the classes and specs, so your gameplay changes there a little bit based on the abilities that you have.
  • Encounter Design will create situations that make all of those tools valuable.
  • "Bring the Player, not the Class" is one of the misinterpreted things of all time. It was a response to a completely degenerate situation, back when there were no raid wide buffs, they were all party based.
  • When classes have unique tools, it should be easier to find a spot in a group because your ability will be valued, rather than leaders picking whoever is at the top of sims today.
  • The team overprioritized spec identity over class identity in Legion development. There should be more class wide strengths. There are some limits, such as perks for specs on hybrid classes.
  • In Legion, classes were redesigned and Artifacts were layered on top of that.
  • There is a core set of abilities and tools that a class has, then there are some you get from other sources, such as Racials, Artifacts, Set Bonuses, and more. Azerite Armor is where this is going to live in Battle for Azeroth, as it will add depth, complexity, and customization.
  • If a spec's rotation only works well due to an Artifact ability, that is a gap that will need to be filled.
  • With Azerite Armor, you will have more frequent changes and customization than you do with Artifacts.
  • Survival Hunter is one of the specs that is getting significant reworks in Battle for Azeroth. It is an example of where spec fantasy was put before class fantasy. Suddenly you hit Level 110 and forgot how to use a bow.
  • The Titanforge system averages out in the long run. A player that only runs LFR may end up with one powerful item, but the rest of their slots are LFR gear. Weapon slots matter more though, so the current thinking is to not let weapons Titanforge, only Warforge.
  • The Azerite Armor slots won't be able to Titanforge or Warforge at all.
by Published on 2018-01-30 07:09 PM

Battle for Azeroth Collector's Edition Mounts and Pets Unlocked

Allied Race and Level Scaling Interview
We recently had a chance to talk to Shani Edwards (Art Producer) and Paul Kubit (Senior Game Designer) about Allied Races and Level Scaling.

Venturebeat
  • Pre-purchasing Battle of Azeroth will grant access to Allied Races and a Level 110 boost.
  • Battle of Azeroth will cost $50 and the Digital Deluxe edition will be $70

Allied Races
  • If you pre-purchase Battle for Azeroth, you will be able to begin your journey to recruit these Allied Races:
    • Lightforged Draenei, Highmountain Tauren, Void Elves, and the Nightborne.
  • The details and timing for release of other Allied Races are still being figured out.
  • The team listed to a lot of player feedback to decide what Allied Races to do. Players really wanted to be able to play Nightborne. All of the races really tied to the Legion story.
  • The team wanted the Allied Races to feel different and unique compared to the races that they are based off of, which is why the class restrictions for the Allied Races are the way they are.
  • The Heritage Armor sets also make them unique. The team put a lot of time into making them unique. They aren't material specific, so you can wear the Lightforged plate looking set on a Mage.
  • Heritage Armor for the old races is something the team has talked about and is thinking about, but they don't have anything to announce yet.
  • There aren't plans to add any more classes to the Allied races, but they will keep an eye on feedback provided by players. If there is a lot of feedback that a specific race and class combination was missed and makes sense then maybe they could add it.
  • The team is happy with how unlocking more classes over time for the existing races has worked out. As the game has grown, restrictions that were in place in the past didn't make as much sense anymore.
  • The team wanted Allied Races to feel prestigious. Throughout Legion players experienced storylines for Allied Races and earned their trust.
  • With Battle for Azeroth there is conflict between the Horde and Alliance, each faction needs to find and recruit allies, so the recruiting process could be built into the gameplay of unlocking these races.
  • Allied Races will be using the dance of their base race. There may be some dance updates in the future.
  • There was a giant list of races that were considered for Allied Races. These four tied into the Legion story well, which is why they were selected. Pretty much anything with two legs was considered.
  • The team considered starting Allied Races at Level 1, but ended up settling on 20. It's a natural starting point, as starting zones are complete by then. It didn't feel natural for an Allied Race who has already gone through an introduction to go through the Human starting experience in Elwynn Forest.
  • Allied Races are going to be played by players that are already familiar with WoW, so the new player starting experience where you slowly unlock skills isn't necessary.
  • Every sub-team on the art team worked on Allied Races. Totems, armor, loading screens, character models, and other things needed to be worked on.
  • Thousands of hours went into creating the Allied Races.
  • The entire team had to sit down and decide what color Void Elves should be. What does it mean to be Void?
  • Initially the team had colors like pink and purple involved in the void. The effect, dungeon, prop, character, and other teams all sat down together to decide how to differentiate what it means to be Void from what it means to be Shadow.
  • The pink involved in Void Elves was just hints of pink on the outside of the blackness on their Heritage Armor.
  • The Seething Shore loading screen was added to the build before it was finished. It was still a work in progress and wasn't meant to be seen yet.
  • There are no plans to give the Allied Race customizations to the base races

Level Scaling
  • The team iterated a lot on zone level scaling ranges. The initial version just bumped up and down the maximum and minimum level for each zone by 5-10 levels.
  • The team also wanted to make sure that players that were currently leveling in a zone to suddenly be too low or high level to quest in that zone.
  • The team wanted to make sure you had some zones that you could look forward to, so zones didn't scale for all levels. You shouldn't be able to head to Icecrown and kill things at Level 1, as that was a scary zone you worked towards.
  • There are zones that you could level past and it would be annoying to be chased by Level 110 wolves when you came back to Elwynn Forest.
  • There are a few zones that don't have scaling applied, such as the Cataclysm PvP areas.
  • It made sense for raids and Heroic dungeons to not scale and stay at a fixed level.
  • Both leveling through dungeons and questing should be valid ways to level a character. The game isn't better off if either one is obviously the right choice, so the team will continue to look at those numbers and iterate as they see fit.
  • For players that have already played through the game and want to level an alt, is there a good method and reasoning to make leveling faster for that type of character? That is something the team has talked about but has nothing to announce at this point.
  • The team hasn't talked a lot about allowing players to blacklist a dungeon when queuing for a random dungeon.
  • When you queue at Level 55 for a random dungeon, you have a pool of maybe 30 dungeons you are eligible for at that point. The system attempts to put you in a dungeon that is close to the normal level band you are in. You can get sent to Deadmines or Wailing Caverns, and will have to be if you are grouped with someone that is Level 15.
  • Scaling required a lot of data work.
  • When looking at Normal and Heroic Burning Crusade bosses on a Level 110 character, players noticed that Normal bosses had more health than Heroic. This happened because Heroic Burning Crusade bosses are Level 70, but Normal bosses scale to 83 when you are Level 110. This is why Normal bosses ended up having more health than Heroic bosses. An additional bug made the Normal bosses have even more health than intended at Level 110. This bug didn't affect any players that were leveling, as everything was scaled properly.

Misc
  • Worgen and Goblin model updates are still planned for sometime during the Battle for Azeroth expansion.
by Published on 2018-01-30 05:46 PM

Battle for Azeroth Collector's Edition Mounts and Pets Unlocked
The Battle for Azeroth Collector's edition mounts and pets are now listed in game!











Overwatch - Battle for Azeroth Rewards
Overwatch was patched today to add the rewards for the Battle for Azeroth Collector's Edition.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
When you pre-purchase a Digital Deluxe version of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth you’ll receive several Warcraft-themed goodies in Overwatch. Show your faction pride on the battlefields of tomorrow with emotes for Tracer; Horde- and Alliance-themed voice lines for Torbjörn; Anduin, Jaina, Sylvanas, and Saurfang sprays; and Kul Tiras and Zandalar player icons.



Battle.Net App Update - Battle for Azeroth Changes
The launcher just updated to have backgrounds, logos, and strings related to Battle for Azeroth!

by Published on 2018-01-30 05:30 PM

Challenge Rift - Week 32

Patches the Pirate Loses Charge - Four Card Nerfs Coming in February

Greater Invasion Boss - Inquisitor Meto
Inquisitor Meto is up this week, rewarding item level 930 gear.



World Boss - Nithogg
Scourge of the Skies is up this week, sending players to kill Nithogg! He is also another option for Warriors to get the Skull of Nithogg for their hidden artifact appearance.






Weekly Bonus Event - Arena Skirmishes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Sharpen your swords and reinforce your boards, because you’re called to the PvP Arena for the hectic mayhem of Skirmishes.

This Week: Arena Skirmishes
All week, from anywhere in Azeroth, open the Group Finder (default hotkey: i), select the Player vs. Player tab on the bottom of the window, and then under Arena Battles, choose either 2v2 or 3v3 and JOIN BATTLE. You’ll be matched up with teammates and provided with opponents to kill in the Arena.

Look for the following all week long:

  • Archmage Timear near Violet Hold in Dalaran has a quest for you.
    • Quest requirement: Win 10 Arena PvP Skirmishes
    • Reward: A PvP loot box
  • Passive buff: +50% honor gains from Skirmishes

If you’ve been looking to make some Honor gains, this is the week to do it!

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