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by Published on 2021-07-27 09:53 PM

UPDATE - The shard of domination set bonus nerfs have been reverted, however the changes might be implemented again later with the next weekly resets.

Patch 9.1 - Domination Shard Set Bonus Nerfs
According to multiple sources around the internet, it seems as if the set bonuses provided from Domination Shards have been heavily nerfed across the board. This is apparently already live in EU and we will update with hotfixes when we know more.

Blizzard Employees Stage Wednesday Walk Out
Blizzard employees have staged a walk out for tomorrow to protest the insulting response from company leadership regarding the recent lawsuit. You can read more about it by checking out the Polygon article below!

by Published on 2021-07-27 09:04 PM

A Message from the World of Warcraft Team
Originally Posted by blizzard (Blue Tracker)
It was clear from our team conversations that we wanted to put forth a statement that was representative of the World of Warcraft team’s sentiments. We asked all members of our team to send us their suggestions and feedback on how best to address the community and this is the result.

The past days have been a time of reflection for the World of Warcraft team, spent in conversation and contemplation, full of sadness, pain, and anger, but also hope and resolve. As we heed the brave women who have come forward to share their experiences, we stand committed to taking the actions necessary to ensure we are providing an inclusive, welcoming, and safe environment both for our team and for our players in Azeroth. Those of us in leadership understand that it is not our place to judge when we have achieved our goals, but rather for our team and our community to let us know when we still have more to do.

While we turn to our team for guidance in our internal work to protect marginalized groups and hold accountable those who threaten them, we also want to take immediate action in Azeroth to remove references that are not appropriate for our world. This work has been underway, and you will be seeing several such changes to both Shadowlands and WoW Classic in the coming days.

We know that in order to rebuild trust, we must earn it with our actions in the weeks and months to come. But we go forward knowing that we share the same vision as our community about creating a place where people of all genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds can thrive and proudly call home.

--The World of Warcraft Team
by Published on 2021-07-27 01:52 AM

Patch 9.1 Hotfixes - July 26, 2021
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

  • Mage
    • Fire
      • [With weekly maintenance in each region] Ring of Fire (PvP Talent) will reapply its damage over time effect less frequently while standing within the ring.
        • Developers’ note: In situations where players were stunned or rooted inside the ring, the damage dealt by Ring of Fire was higher than intended. There will now be a cooldown before the fire reapplies its damage over time.
  • Priest
    • Shadow
      • [With weekly maintenance in each region] Void Volley (PvP Talent) damage reduced by ~15%.
  • Warrior
    • [With weekly maintenance in each region] Intervene's duration reduced to 3 seconds while engaged in combat with enemy players (was 6 seconds).
      • Developers’ note: Warriors group defensive toolkit is currently outshining other specs, by reducing Intervene's duration, we hope to open more windows of opportunities for enemy teams to capitalize on.

Dungeons and Raids

  • The Necrotic Wake
    • Forgotten Forgehammer, Bloody Javelin, and Discharged Anima deal 50% more damage but no longer scale with player damage modifier effects and can no longer critically strike.
      • Developers’ note: We recently discovered a bug that was causing some dungeon spells to inflict incorrect damage, and fixing this bug had a very noticeable impact on the pickups found in The Necrotic Wake. Upon closer review of these items, we've decided to make their impact more consistent while increasing their baseline power to compensate.
    • Anima Exhaust damage and healing increased by 50%.

Items and Rewards

  • [With weekly maintenance in each region] Unchained Gladiator's Shackles of Malediction's channeled Shadow damage is now Magic dispellable (was Curse).
    • Developers’ notes: We’ve made this change to open up more counterplay options for all of our healer specs by changing the dispel type to Magic.

Burning Crusade Classic

  • Player versus Player
    • [With weekly maintenance in each region] The formula for Arena Points has been adjusted to increase Arena Points awarded each week. This will equate to approximately 100 additional points per week for most 5v5 teams, about 88 additional points for most 3v3 teams, and about 76 more points for 2v2 teams. Teams near 1500 rating will get more, and the curve still tapers to the same maximum as before.
      • Developers' notes: In original Burning Crusade in 2007, players could expect to receive 450-500 Arena Points per week by playing at least 10 matches and winning more than 50% of the time. At that time, a team who lost most of their games could expect to get about 300 points per week. Starting from a team rating of 0 has created a points-per-win curve that has been significantly below that, so we're raising the point floor to compensate for the additional time needed to raise your rating. With this change, all 5v5 teams over 100 rating should get at least 300 points per week.
by Published on 2021-07-26 08:22 PM

Update: Uppercut posted an article with an unverified source, claiming that an internal all hands called the email from Frances Townsend an apology and saying that it "wasn’t the right communication".

Blizzard Employee Letter to Leadership
Over 1000 employees signed an letter to the leadership of Activision Blizzard. Polygon shared this letter.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
To the Leaders of Activision Blizzard,

We, the undersigned, agree that the statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, are abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for. To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.

We believe these statements have damaged our ongoing quest for equality inside and outside of our industry. Categorizing the claims that have been made as “distorted, and in many cases false” creates a company atmosphere that disbelieves victims. It also casts doubt on our organizations’ ability to hold abusers accountable for their actions and foster a safe environment for victims to come forward in the future. These statements make it clear that our leadership is not putting our values first. Immediate corrections are needed from the highest level of our organization.

Our company executives have claimed that actions will be taken to protect us, but in the face of legal action — and the troubling official responses that followed — we no longer trust that our leaders will place employee safety above their own interests. To claim this is a “truly meritless and irresponsible lawsuit,” while seeing so many current and former employees speak out about their own experiences regarding harassment and abuse, is simply unacceptable.

We call for official statements that recognize the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for victims of harassment and assault. We call on Frances Townsend to stand by her word to step down as Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women’s Network as a result of the damaging nature of her statement. We call on the executive leadership team to work with us on new and meaningful efforts that ensure employees — as well as our community — have a safe place to speak out and come forward.

We stand with all our friends, teammates, and colleagues, as well as the members of our dedicated community, who have experienced mistreatment or harassment of any kind. We will not be silenced, we will not stand aside, and we will not give up until the company we love is a workplace we can all feel proud to be a part of again. We will be the change.

Chris Metzen Responds to Lawsuit Allegations
Metzen shared an apology and response on Twitter, with a followup specifically about Alex Afrasiabi.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
As for Alex. I loved working with him and jamming in story meetings. He was someone I thought very highly of on the job, but we never interacted outside of story jams and such. I was never his boss. We never really interacted outside of doing the work or taking smoke breaks. We haven’t worked closely together sorry nice WotLK. I never heard a peep about him other than that he could be tough on his team or an asshole from time to time. So learning all this the past week has been just utterly shocking. Just reprehensible shit.

Jeff Hamilton on Upcoming Content Delay
Jeff Hamilton shared that the development team may be taking time to process what is happening with the allegations and lawsuit.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
OK. I’m still hopeful my team will make a statement, but Activision’s statement was terrible, so here's what I believe. I know many of my colleagues believe this as well:

I believe all allegations of sexual harassment deserve to be taken seriously and in good faith, and any perpetrators of sexual harassment deserve both removal from the company and criminal investigation.

I believe strongly in equal treatment and equal protection. Regardless of gender or race, everyone deserves a safe and supportive environment in which to work and live.

Our society at large is often not equal, and people with less systemic power due to marginalization need more systemic protection to ensure their fair treatment. It is clear that Human Resources has failed at this systemic protection.

I am viscerally disgusted by the horrible trauma that has been inflicted upon my coworkers, friends, and colleagues.

I find Activision’s corporate response wholly unacceptable. I don't stand by it, any of it. It is evil to usurp a victim’s story into a rhetorical bludgeon, and it is abhorrent to reply to these accusations with anything other than a well-thought-out plan to correct these abuses.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t have all the answers. I can tell you, almost no work is being done on World of Warcraft right now while this obscenity plays out. And that benefits nobody - not the players, not the developers, not the shareholders.

Activision’s response to this is currently taking a group of world-class developers and making them so mad and traumatized they’re rendered unable to keep making a great game.

I deeply love my team. I believe in my coworkers. I have recommended this place as a beacon to people I care deeply about, and in my personal experience, it has been that beacon. But it is DAMNINGLY OBVIOUS that that experience has not been universal. The people who were harmed by abuse - they deserved that experience too.

Alex Klontzas on Upcoming Content Delay
Alex Klontzas shared his thoughts on any delay of upcoming content.

Ghostcrawler Responses to BlizzCon Video
An old video from the BlizzCon 2010 Q&A resurfaced recently, and Ghostcrawler responded, as he was sitting on the panel at the time.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
There’s a 10 year old Blizzcon video going around of players doing a Q&A with a panel of devs of which I was a member. Look, it was a shitty answer at the time and it certainly hasn’t aged well. I wish I had said something better then.

You can’t really see the people asking the questions well from the stage, and I feel terrible now seeing the look on her face. I have more experience now answering questions live, but no doubt that won’t be my last shitty answer. I apologize for those as well as for this one.

I think some folks are interpreting my saying I will make mistakes again as some kind of blasé attitude about the situation of women in the gaming industry. That’s my interpretation of their interpretation anyway…

I think devs talking to players is really important. I want to encourage studios to keep doing it. But I know it’s scary for a lot of developers. They are afraid they will say the wrong thing and make players or their company mad. The only way to get better is to do it a lot…

I have been doing it for 23 years plus or minus. I still make mistakes. It happens. Learn from it. Apologize and move on. I hope the lesson that anyone is taking from that Blizzcon video is *not* how risky it is to talk to the community…

I was talking internally to Riot the other day and I was trying to compliment a team and ended up insulting them instead. I felt like shit for a couple of days. It happens…

I was only talking about the video, and really only because tha_rami brought it up, and I respect the hell out of him. I wasn’t trying to call whatever happened at Blizzard an accident. I hope I didn’t contribute to that and I even hope I made the culture a little better…

I’m not trying to speak for Blizzard and I’m certainly not trying to speak for the women or POCs at Blizzard. I do believe men in leadership roles have a responsibility, a duty, to make sure women and other marginalized folks feel welcome, happy, and successful at our studios…

I mean really all men at a studio do, but especially the leaders of the studio. I take that very seriously at Riot, and we have worked very hard to make our company a better place to work…

As I have said, I think we are doing well, but it’s a long journey, and it won’t be me but the women of Riot who ultimately decide if succeeded or not…

I find the video embarrassing and I apologize to the player who asked the question and all others who were disappointed with our “answer.” I think there are more important voices that we need to hear right now. But the video can be a reminder that we can be better.

GC out

Hmmm.... by comparison to other MMO's, especially Eastern MMO's, WoW has been very reasonable in its depiction of female characters. I have never sensed WoW has oversexualized any of its characters. Blizz has problems but this isn't one of them.
For me, the issue is the way we answered not the actual topic (Source)

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