Dec 15 2015

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Dec 15 2015

FAQ (Frequently Aggravating Questions)

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Feb 09 2016

Blizzard’s 25th Anniversary, Patch 6.2.4 PTR, Tweets, Overwatch Returns, DLC #525

Keywarden Quick Reference, Fast Gem Leveling Guide

Ben Brode on Druid Basic Cards, Balancing, New Heroes, Dailies; Top 10 Regret Cards from Naxx & GvG

Balance Patch This Week, Dustin Tweets Round-Up, Rotation for Feb. 9, 2016, Weekly Sales

Overwatch Beta Returns – Full Rundown of Everything you Need to Know About Overwatch

Blizzard’s 25th Anniversary
It is Blizzard’s 25th anniversary! Vaeflare shared some pictures of the celebration and decorations on Twitter.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It’s with a great deal of joy that we celebrate Blizzard’s 25th Anniversary. In February of 1991, our founders came together to make video games, and it wouldn’t be long before they began work on the first new world built entirely by Blizzard Entertainment: Azeroth.

The many stories and varied types of gameplay that have taken place on Azeroth (and later, Draenor) have never stopped coming. The history of Warcraft and the history of Blizzard Entertainment are fully intertwined, with each passing year falling into a unique Warcraft era for players. Those who started in with Warcraft eight years ago, for instance, started during the Burning Crusade. Those who started twelve years ago started during the Reign of Chaos era.

However long you’ve been with us, we hope you accept our heartiest thanks and gratitude for all you’ve done to help us expand the excitement and wonder of these magical worlds. We’re going to continue to explore them with you for a very long time to come.

Blue Posts

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard’s 25th Anniversary
When I was a kid, I used to beg my parents to let me go over to my friend Ben’s place so we could play Justice League Task Force on his SNES. I didn’t know it until very recently, but that was my first experience with a Blizzard game.

A couple years later, my friend Aaron introduced me to Starcraft. I’d played Warcraft I and II, but Starcraft really hooked me. Many of my formative years were spent hauling my PC across town to have LAN parties and just play Starcraft for hours on end.

When Warcraft III came out, it blew my mind – both the storytelling and gameplay were top-notch. Plus, since the internet had advanced to the point that I no longer needed to tie up a phone line to play online, I was able to stay connected with my friends (some of whom had moved to other states) by playing Warcraft with them.

Then I learned that Blizzard was working on an MMORPG. I’d cut my teeth on MMOs like Anarchy Online and Star Wars: Galaxies, but I knew that Blizzard was going to make something awesome. After all, Blizzard made the best games. Of course they were going to do the same in the MMORPG genre.

I had no idea how much World of Warcraft was going to impact my life.

It started out simple enough: I was just a moderator on a set of forums focusing on Prot Paladins. Then I was a co-host on a tanking-focused podcast. Then I was making the occasional boss guides for YouTube. Then a weekly vlog series. Then two. Then I was producing a weekly live show. Then two. Then three.

And then, I saw an opening for a Community Manager position at Blizzard Entertainment. I applied. I interviewed. I got an offer, which I accepted. Then I moved to California.

It’s still crazy to me how much came out of just being really into a video game. I still have days sometimes where I show up to work, look up at the building, and think to myself holy **** I work at Blizzard Entertainment. I have a career because of World of Warcraft. I met my wife because of World of Warcraft. Pretty much everything about my life is, in some way or another, caused or affected by World of Warcraft. That’s crazy.

Sure, Blizzard has its missteps. Sure, we’re not perfect. I don’t think any collection of human beings ever can be.

But damn if we don’t make some pretty good video games. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 6.2.4 PTR Notes
Another PTR build went out today, removing the logo from the login screen. It is possible this was unintended.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Patch 6.2.4 is being prepared for testing on the Public Test Realms (PTR). Participating on the Public Test Realms lets you test a patch before it has been released on live realms. If you’d like to help test and provide feedback, you can start by copying your character and downloading the PTR client. Once you’ve had a chance to try things out, visit the PTR Discussion forum to discuss the patch. To report issues or errors, use the in-game Submit Bug feature (found under Game Menu -> Help -> Submit Bug) or by visiting the PTR Bug Report forum.

Battle.net Infrastructure

  • Client support for Battle.net infrastructure changes, including some memory optimizations.

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Does that argument hold ground when private servers have maintained high populations for years though?
Their sub cost might have something to do with that? (OccupyGStreet)

A sad casualty of all that was the Shadow Priest support role in BC, which hasn’t been reproduced since.
True,though we heard from many who didn’t want to just be a mana battery. They wanted to do dps. (OccupyGStreet)
That may be the biggest challenge of game design: players want different things. (OccupyGStreet)
Yet if you try to please everyone, you end up with a mushy, compromised design. (OccupyGStreet)

Overwatch Returns February 9
Overwatch is almost here! Overpwn has a nice recap of what we know so far.

GamesBeat – 25 Years of Blizzard
Gamesbeat has a nice article about Blizzard’s history.

Dark Legacy Comics #525 – Whine. Quit. Repeat.
DLC #525 has been released!

Feb 08 2016

Legion – Resto Druid Artifact Intro, Achievement Search, Tweets, Setup of the Month

Lightning Talk: 10 Items in 10 Minutes feat. John Yang, Developer Insights – Set Dungeons

Popular Constructed Decks of the Week, Amazon Coin Promotion is Back, Love is in the Air

Town Hall Heroes Ep. 95, Squadron’s Mini WTF Moments #15

Legion – Restoration Druid Artifact Intro
The general Druid intro has been changed up a little bit from the last Druid intro we posted. You can see the Resto Druid artifact weapons on our Artifact Weapons page.

Legion – Achievement Search
The default UI is getting a nice search box on the achievements pane in Legion!

Blue Tweets

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
So… how can there be three major land based civs and multiple land based races on a few isles that was raised only 20/30y ago?
The Tomb of Sargeras was raised. Other parts of the Broken Isles in Legion expansion have been around since the Sundering. (DaveKosak)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

I feel that the class homogenization, “bring the player, not class” policy, LFR and Norm/Hero/Mythic difficulties Blizzard had all the good intentions, but they backfired, hard, causing more harm than good, changing the community’s mindset in a way difficult to undo. Do you have a similar sentiment?
I agree that offering multiple difficulty levels for end-game PVE content has been challenging. It’s not okay for some players to just not have an endgame. On the other hand, it’s possible to make something epic feel not epic if you can reduce it to punching bag status with a slider. I don’t have a good solution here, and to be fair, I haven’t thought about it a lot in some time.

I still think “bring the player” was the right call. We were in a world where many specs and some classes just couldn’t argue for a raid spot and others were brought just for their fabulous buffs or utility. I don’t think some kind of group buff arms race is the right call either. (Would you rather have Blessing of Kings or Might? Probably Kings. Sorry paladin number 2, but we need to sit you and bring a hunter.)

In terms of role, maybe there was a way to keep Paladins as the AE tanks and single target healers. Maybe if there had been multiple endgames then there could be more variety. It sounds like the current devs are trying to differentiate the classes more without making any unviable which is a great goal. But I do think letting more classes do dungeons and raids was the right call at the time. Thoughts?
For me it meant that having a good, reliable person at your side should be more important than the class that they play.
That was the goal. My first guild had 5 highly skilled rogues. It was lame to exclude them just because of their class choice. (OccupyGStreet)

Computers – Setup of the Month
Each month or so we will post a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
The current SSD prices are fairly flat right now, with most SSDs under $0.50 per gigabyte when on sale. New GPUs may be coming towards the middle of this year

Depending on how much you want to overclock, you may need to spend a bit more for a better CPU cooler like the NH-D15.

Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or streaming, you do not need the 6700K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don’t forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions!

Peripherals/Monitors
Component Puppy Dolphin
Monitor ASUS VS228H-P 22-Inch Monitor – $100 ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch Monitor – $130
Keyboard Kensington Pro Fit Media Keyboard – $20 Cyborg V.5 – $59
Mouse Logitech G402 – $45 Razer DeathAdder Chroma – $60
Speakers Creative A250 2.1 Speaker System – $28 Logitech Z313 Speaker System – $39
Component Narwhal Unicorn
Monitor Dell U2414H Monitor – $240 ASUS PB278Q Monitor – $408
Keyboard Logitech G710+ – $92 Corsair K70 – $120
Mouse Logitech G502 – $68 Razer Naga 2014 – $56
Speakers Logitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System – $53 Logitech Speaker System Z523 – $80
Puppy and Dolphin
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Puppy and Dolphin.
Component Puppy Dolphin
Case NZXT Source 210 – $43 NZXT Source 210 – $43
Power Supply EVGA 600B – $45 EVGA 600B – $45
CPU AMD FX-6300 – $102 AMD FX-8320 – $143
Heatsink Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – $29 Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – $29
Motherboard ASUS M5A97 R2.0 – $92 ASUS M5A99FX PRO – $115
Memory Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB 1866 – $39 8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 – $46
Graphics Card ASUS R7 370 – $125 R9 380 / GTX 960 – $180
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB – $74 Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB – $74
DVD Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW – $21 Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW – $21
Total $570 $696
Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn.
Component Narwhal Unicorn
Case Cooler Master HAF 912 – $68 Corsair Air 540 – $125
Power Supply EVGA G2 650W – $90 EVGA G2 650W – $90
CPU Intel 6600K – $254 Intel 6600K – $254
Heatsink Scythe Mugen 4 – $56 Noctua 6 NH-D15 – $90
Motherboard ASUS Z170-A – $155 ASUS Z170-A – $155
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX – $90 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX – $90
Graphics Card XFX R9 380 – $180 Gigabyte R9 390 OR GTX 970 – $325 / $310
Hard Drive Western Digital 2TB Caviar Black – $127 Western Digital 2TB Caviar Black – $127
SSD Crucial BX100 250GB (Review) – $90
OR
SAMSUNG 850 EVO 250GB (Review) – $88
SanDisk Extreme PRO 240GB (Review) – $115
OR
SAMSUNG 850 Pro 256GB (Review) – $121
DVD Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW – $21 Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW – $21
Total $1129 – 1162 $1350 – 1398

Feb 07 2016

Legion – Skyhorn Kite, Race Rescheduled, Patch 6.2.4, Tweets, Arms Spec Preview

Lightning Talk: 10 Items in 10 Minutes feat. John Yang, Developer Insights – Set Dungeons

Collections Update: View Your Cycled Set Dust Value, Old Adventures Will Return, Deck Spotlight: Tempo Mage, Value Town #60

Town Hall Heroes Ep. 95, Squadron’s Mini WTF Moments #15

Legion – Rocfeather Skyhorn Kite
The Rocfeather Skyhorn Kite is a toy that allows you to slow fall for 60 seconds, with a 2 minute cooldown. The Derelict Skyhorn Kite, Delicate Roc Feather, Gleaming Roc Feather, and Shimmering Roc Feather can by found around Skyhorn in Highmountain and combined to build the kite.

Legion Dungeon Race Rescheduled

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
UPDATE: The Overwatch closed beta is returning on February 9. In order to allow our players and Twitch viewers to experience both events, we’ve rescheduled the Legion Alpha Dungeon Race to Thursday, February 11 at 3 p.m. Pacific time. We’ll see you then!

Patch 6.2.4 Notes
Patch 6.2.4 went on the PTR on Friday, with no significant changes to the game.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battle.net Infrastructure

  • Client support for Battle.net infrastructure changes, including some memory optimizations.

Blue Tweets

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Any insight coming on how mana pools will scale with gear in Legion? Given 1.5x growth planned assume not =ilevel
Mana is generally based on level, not gear (Arcane mage Mastery notwithstanding). (WarcraftDevs)

Re minor glyphs becoming toys – I hope that this doesn’t mean the permanent visual effects will not become “30 sec every hour”
Purely cosmetic minor glyphs can be applied directly to spells in Legion for a permanent effect, same as today. (WarcraftDevs)

PvE
Will “vote kick” and other things like Deserter be revisited in legion?
What are the issues with those systems that you would like to see revisited? (WatcherDev)

Hey dudes. No mention of Static Cling in the TW difficulty journal. Could we please get it added?
This will be cleaned up in a future patch. In the meantime, check Heroic difficulty for accurate ability info. (WarcraftDevs)

PvP
Are old PvP Ranks going to be Accountwide, so we can transmog the old PvP gear on characters that dont have the rank?
There are no current plans for this. (WarcraftDevs)

will the artifact talents be usable in PvP? I think I read that they won’t and that would suck.
Yep! Artifact traits will be usable in PvP, however, some of these traits may be adjusted when entering PvP combat. (WarcraftDevs)

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 was your favorite class in WoW? i’m curious, in world of warcraft is pretty normal to invest a lot of time in one character
Favorite can mean a lot of different things.

My first class was hunter.

My first raiding class was Prot warrior (originally 31/5/15 or whatever that was), and that’s when I really fell in love with the game.

While I worked at Blizzard, I mostly played a priest — my work schedule got to the point where it wasn’t fair to the group to be main tank — that’s a position for someone who can show up dependably.

As a developer, I probably spent the most time on the death knight. That was one of my first real jobs at Blizzard, though I didn’t work on them as much after LK.

I had a soft spot for paladins as a developer. I always felt there was a ton of potential for the class and I really wanted to see the class design support the rich lore of the world.

I felt the best designed class was rogue, mostly by virtue of how energy and combo points played together.

Final Boss – Arms Warrior Spec Preview
Final Boss is back with another spec preview!

Feb 05 2016

Warcraft Movie Rewards, Legion Hippogryphs, Blue Posts, Tweets, Resto Druid Preview

Monstrous’ Armor Rack, Quin’s GR 100 Support Monk

Love is in the Air Card Design Competition – Win a 3D Printed Card, Ben Brode on Standard, Wild, the Future, TAC #133

Li-Ming Wallpaper, Heroes WTF Moments #35

Warcraft Movie Rewards
A user on Reddit shared a survey that went out about the Warcraft movie. It mentioned a potential offer that would reward anyone who purchased a ticket with a copy of all expansions through Warlords of Draenor, one month of game time, and an in-game item. What kind of item would you like to receive?

Legion – Hippogryph Mount
Another two colors of the Hippogryph are being added in Legion.

Helmets Temporarily Hidden In Legion Alpha

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Hello everyone! We wanted to give you a quick heads-up on a temporary change in the current Alpha build that could use a little extra context, to avoid confusion.

Our art team is currently working on some updates to the way helmets are shown in the game, which will ultimately make them look a lot nicer on the high-definition models released with Warlords of Draenor. That work is still in progress, and as a result, head-slot items are in varying stages of work-in-progress. In order to keep things looking sensible – and avoid generating a whole lot of unnecessary bug reports – we’ve hidden that slot from displaying on all characters temporarily while our artists put their finishing touches on things.

Thanks for your patience!

Blue Posts

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Sylvanas Armor Changes
I think you’re misusing the word “Censored” here for one. For another, I personally love her look. I like knowing she has on armor that may actually protect her from the battle she’s digging herself into. She’s a strong character (to me) no matter what she wears. I’d think if I were her, I’d want a change of outfit now and then too.

Characters evolve and change. Their armor and outfits are going to change. Thrall is just one example of how what he wore was a reflection of the changes he went through. Other characters are bound to see evolutions and changes as they make sense both in their visual representation and in their stories.

These types of discussions while generally welcome when kept clean, are often just minefields for some inappropriate discussions. I’d like to please caution everyone to not get into the quagmire that results in personal attacks or mud slinging. Art is subjective and what one person interprets something to mean or be may not be what someone else interprets something to be. What one person likes, may not be what someone else likes. That’s OK. Just remember that there’s no place here for venom toward anyone for those likes or dislikes.

Can’t help but think that the change was made from the pressure I mean you’ve tried to make it official in hots and ended badly when people complained about it on the forums now you do it instantly without showing preview or anything
I think people have a stilted point of view on what they see as “pressure”. Things change. Times change. The balance between male and female players in WoW is actually much closer than you think and has been for a long while. The topic of what women like or don’t like, or play, or have done in the past isn’t cut and dry either. I’ve been playing games (and liking “geek” things) since I first played the Atari as a little girl. I like PvP and blowing things up. Other women may not. Some women like their character to look ‘practical’. Others have a different ‘fantasy’ of what their character should be like. I would never claim to represent “all women” that would be preposterous.

The same can be said for men. You can’t paint everyone with the same brush. It just doesn’t work. This is a more complex issue than what should be on these forums. We’re getting into dangerous territory here and I’ve already had to remove some pretty disparaging remarks aimed at others. This community is smarter than that.

Perceptions of what is and isn’t over the years have always baffled me. It seems to go in waves. Each new generation believes fervently that it is or was different for them or has changed ‘over the years’. Perception is an amazing thing. It’s your perception that this and all other related changes are because of ‘x’. Could that be a part of it? Sure. Nothing is being taken away from you or the character with this change. If this was an awards show, you’d be asking her who she’s wearing rather than, what she plans to do when she faces the Legion with her people. I have a feeling she plans to lay some smack down.

*I’d like to advise people not to give ‘parenting advice’ here for Mr. Metzen or anyone else. Again, this isn’t appropriate. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Returning Player
Welcome back! I’m sure you just ran into the types that assume you must/have to know it all already. It makes returning a bit rough at first when you run into them first out of the gate. I have no doubt you’ll get back in the swing of things quickly and find some people (starting here maybe?) who would be happy to help you get up to speed.

That’s a good generic dev post for a game where the community is more toxic than ever. I don’t have suggestions to make it better, but the community is bad.
I disagree with the statement of “more toxic than ever” but I don’t want this thread to turn into that. There are some really great people in the community, many of whom (as I mentioned in my post) would love to help a returning player out. You just have to be open to it and not let the ‘bad apples’ spoil the whole barrel for you. (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

I stopped playing World of Warcraft due to the LFR/LFD feature that you implemented. It took away the atmosphere and server communities died following X-realms and phasing. What was your reasoning behind this rather than merging servers as many rather wanted? My name was’t THAT unique.
The features you’re talking about were implemented to give players an option to run content besides just sitting around spamming chat when their friends weren’t online. I have always had a huge guild in WoW, and I still remember spamming chat for groups — and I was a tank!

Cross-realm was more targeted and solving the problem of realm population disparity. The concept of a realm has been pretty integral to the game for a long time. It was important to get to know the folks on your realm. That changed for a lot of reasons — realm transfers, leveling becoming more easily, and the age of the game just to name a few.

Final Boss – Restoration Druid Spec Preview
Final Boss is back with another spec preview! You can see all of their weapon models here.

Feb 04 2016

Legion – Warlock Tier 19, Flame Orb, Blue Posts, Tweets, Overwatch Returns February 9

Seasonal Rebirth Reminder, Helltooth Pet Speed T10 WD

No More Old Hearthstone Packs?, New Format Blue Responses, Red Bull Roster Change, Holding Hands – Card Design Voting

New Rank 1 Matchmaking Rule, Th30xygen’s Videos – Promane

Overwatch Closed Beta Back in Action February 9

Legion – Warlock Tier 19
Today we are taking a look at the Warlock Tier 19 sets. They go nicely with the Warlock Artifact weapons!

Legion – Flame Orb
A recent build updated the model used for Flame Orb. This orb follows players at all times while they have Felo’melorn equipped unless they have spent all of the charges.

Blue Posts

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Greater Blessing of Might
Maybe the developers themselves could chime in here, but it seems obvious to me that both Rets and Enhance shaman will have their own damage output reduced to account for the extra damage they are providing to other players. That just seems obvious to me, since if the specs do as much damage as other melee DPS while also providing 10% more damage to other players, people will stack only those melee classes to the exclusion of all else.
Stormlash and Greater Blessings are indeed intended to be numerically valuable contributions to group success from Enhancement and Retribution (part of their fantasy is in buffing their allies). Their damage or other effects should be attributed to the Enhancement/Retribution player, as far as contribution to the group’s damage goes. We’ll ensure that the combat logging events are there to allow this to be done.

EDIT: We still welcome feedback/discussion on these abilities, of course. Just wanted to clear up the question of how their effects should be attributed. (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

Curious: How many expansions in advance did you work on? Do you know what comes after Legion for example?
At the end of MoP, we had WoD mostly planned and Legion discussed. (I found out its name when you did though.) (OccupyGStreet)
I don’t know what comes after Legion. (OccupyGStreet)

or continued to do, WoD was announced 11.8.13 you left in December, you saying you didn’t work on WoD?
I did but very little. I playtested a few quests. We had some rough ideas for garrisons. (OccupyGStreet)

Sort of relevant, but why is bring back eyes of the beast so hard? Why can’t they program it now when you…
It’s not hard. It’s just not free. A week of that engineer’s time is a week she’s not working on something else. (OccupyGStreet)

Overwatch Returns February 9
Overwatch is coming back next week, with progression, new maps, balance updates, and more!

Feb 03 2016

Watch the Legion Dungeon Race Live This Tuesday!

Update (5:15 PM EST): Overwatch is coming back next week!

Resto Shaman Artifact Intro, Legion Subtlety Changes, Tweets, Hearthstone Update

Watch the Legion Dungeon Race Live This Tuesday!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This Tuesday, February 9, at 3:00 p.m. PST, tune in live at Twitch.tv/Warcraft to watch several top World of Warcraft streamers, YouTubers, and personalities from Europe and North America race against the clock—and each other—in some of the new max-level dungeons coming in World of Warcraft: Legion.

Our two teams will be racing through two dungeons: The Maw of Souls, a brand-new dungeon not yet available in the Legion Alpha, and the Heroic difficulty version of Halls of Valor, home of the greatest warriors of the vrykul. While these teams have had some practice with Halls of Valor on lower difficulty, this will be the first time any adventurer has set foot in The Maw of Souls—all these two teams know is to expect the unexpected!

For this challenge, we’ve assembled a colossal collection of some of the biggest names in the World of Warcraft community. Representing Europe: Treckie, Bellular, Qelric, and Alex and Loz of FatbossTV. To face off against them, representing North America: Towelliee, Killars, Monkioh, and Tattva and Tovo of Line of Sight Gaming. Both of these teams have a ton of experience, knowledge, and history with World of Warcraft—but will it be enough to triumph?

Assistant Game Director Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas will join Community Manager Josh “Lore” Allen to provide commentary and insight as each team fights through the dungeons in a race to earn the fastest time possible. The winning team will claim victory not only for themselves, but for the region they represent!

We’ll have all of the action live at Twitch.tv/Warcraft this Tuesday, February 9 at 3:00 p.m. PST (check here to find that in your local time zone). We’ll see you there!

Feb 03 2016

Resto Shaman Artifact Intro, Legion Subtlety Changes, Tweets, Hearthstone Update

Feb 2nd Minor Patch, Frost Marauder DH Guide

Hearthstone Season 23 Begins, Popular January 2016 Constructed Decks – Budget Friendly, Firebat Leaves Team Archon

Li Ming Now Available & Feb 2th Patch Notes

Legion – Restoration Shaman Artifact Intro
The Restoration Shaman intro rewards you with the Caduceus of Azshara. You can see the the trail the effect leaves in the last few minutes of the video. The start of this intro is the same as the other Shaman intros, so skip to 4:10 to see the Restoration specific part.

Patch 6.2.3 Hotfixes – February 2

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Class
Monk

  • Windwalker

    • Fixed an issue where elemental spirits summoned by Storm, Earth, and Fire mirroring Rising Sun Kick in PvP combat dealt less damage than intended.

Legion – Subtlety Rogue Changes

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The point of alpha testing has always been to test and get feedback. That’s especially valuable and needed on ideas that are hard to test internally, and ones that need to be experienced to judge.

As such, we sometimes will go forward with testing something that people respond negatively to on paper, to see if that response remains the same once it’s actually been tried. That can be concerning, and feel like we’re not listening or caring about your feedback, but it couldn’t be any further from the truth. We hear you, loud and clear.

The idea of a Rogue that got to do the full Opener-Builder-Finisher-Vanish cycle repeatedly was an extremely compelling fantasy to us. But it also was a scary one, from a balance point of view. Because of that, we were quite timid about it, reducing the stealth to not be actual stealth, taking away more CC to compensate for the potential of many Cheap Shots, initially taking away Shadowstep to compensate for incredible mobility potential of Shadowstrike, and felt tentatively OK with the reduced flexibility of the new Shadow Dance due to its sheer uptime. Additionally, there were some bugs and tuning issues in the currently live alpha build that make Subtlety seem worse than it is, such as Nightblade doing less damage than Eviscerate, which we’ll get fixed.

Feedback has been clear. The core issue is that the Opener-Builder-Finisher-Vanish cycle doesn’t feel distinct or special; Shadowstrike feels remarkably like Backstab and it’s easy to not even feel a difference. The upside isn’t there, and the downsides are many and strong. And, the gameplay is not engaging enough overall.

So, a future alpha build (not sure yet if it’ll be the next one, or the one after that) will have significant changes to Subtlety. It’ll include things like Shadow Dance returning to being an active ability, the addition of a new opener, and the return of some more CC. Stay tuned for full details when the build is ready.

Thanks for all your constructive feedback, and we look forward to reading more of it when you are able to try the next version.

Yeah. Angsty moments aside, this feels like a pretty nice victory for the alpha testing process as a whole. This was the right time to test a major spec-gameplay change like this, and the quality of player feedback in this forum (as well as a couple of threads in other public venues) was high. Personally I much prefer having had a chance to playtest a different Sub design in this sandbox over only seeing and reacting theoretical changes on paper. And I think it’s helpful that everybody, both playtesters and onlookers alike, got to see that testing and feedback play out.
I think this is a great sentiment, and I hope it spreads. Pre-release (alpha/beta/PTR) is the perfect place for us to experiment with uncertain changes, and it works best when players trust in that process. This should be seen as an example of a successful testing process, not a ‘victory of rogues over designers’. We *all* win by trying out new things, even if those tests produce less than favorable results. If we never try out wild or scary changes, the game never evolves into something much greater or more exciting. I hope this helps players see that there is wisdom in responding to concerning-sounding changes, not with vitriol and doomsaying, but rather with testing, evaluating, and giving constructive feedback. Thanks to all who have done so.

Multistrike in PvP

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
So, we’ve been looking into this issue, and there appears to be some confusion. Here’s some clarification:

First off, Multistrike grants two entirely separate chances in PvE, and only one chance in PvP. It sounds like you understand that already, but it’s important to keep in mind when you’re working out the math. Two separate 68% chances could result in 0 Multistrikes. If you simply multiply that 68% by 2, you get one single 136% chance, which is not how the system works. Obviously, this doesn’t apply in PvP where you would only have that single 68% chance, but it seemed worth clarifying.

Secondly, the extra Multistrike effect on Lava Burst is a third, additional roll based on your Crit chance, NOT an additive increase to your other Multistrike chances. So, if you have 68% Multistrike and 13% Crit, casting Lava Burst at a target dummy would give you two 68% chances, and one 13% chance. It would not give you two 81% chances. (Similarly, in PvP, you would have one 68% chance and one 13% chance.)

All that said, we still figured it was worth investigating to make sure there wasn’t anything screwy going on. So, we set up an Orc Elemental Shaman with 100% Multistrike and 12% Crit, and had him cast 3221 Lava Bursts at a Dwarf Monk. Those casts resulted in 3589 Multistrikes, which is extremely close (only about half a percent off) the projected mathematical average of 3608.

Based on that, as well as a few other cursory spot checks, it looks like Multistrike is working properly in PvP. I suspect that what you’re seeing is just due to the small sample size – it’s certainly well within the expected variance for that number of casts with that level of Multistrike. Hopefully this helps clear things up.

Whatever did the poor dwarf do to deserve so many lava bursts…
He knows what he did.

Blue Tweets

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Please say removal of knockback on Thunderstorm for Ele is a tooltip error.
It is just a tooltip bug! Knockback is still there. (Celestalon)

Do you plan to keep Timewalking in Legion? ie. can we still obtain those cool mounts in Legion?
Timewalking is a permanent addition to the game, and we look forward to continuing to expand it going forward. (WarcraftDevs)

Hearthstone – A New Way to Play
Big changes are coming to Hearthstone! Card changes, more deck slots, new game modes, and more!

Heroes of the Storm – Lunar Festival
Blizzard released a nice video for Lunar Festival in Heroes of the Storm.

Feb 03 2016

How do I make gold in World of Warcraft?

How do I make gold in World of Warcraft? “Buying a calculator will not teach you calculus.” Sapu, Lead Dev, Trade Skill Master   Players have been downloading TSM, cut n pasting groups, strings, and whole profiles. It is not possible to download an addon that you click to generate gold. Do not depend on […]

Feb 02 2016

Legion – Rogue Tier 19, Lunar Festival, Healing Design, Tweets, DLC #524

Season 5 Gearing Cheat Sheet

Hearthstone Season 23 Begins, Popular January 2016 Constructed Decks – Budget Friendly, Firebat Leaves Team Archon

Li Ming Confirmed Tomorrow, Weekly Rotation and Sales, Johanna’s Price Reduction

Legion – Rogue Tier 19
Today we are taking a look at the Rogue Tier 19 sets.

Lunar Festival
There haven’t been any changes to Lunar Festival since last year.

Healing Design in Legion

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Thanks for all the feedback. A few things:

1) It’s definitely still intended that you consider mana costs in choosing heals. I wouldn’t agree with the characterization that any changes (recent or otherwise) reflect an abandonment of this. It’s widely accepted among players that mana became overly abundant at high ilvls in past expansions, which did in some cases undermine the resource management aspect. But the spell selections of each class are still made with the intention of mana being an important factor. They are in Legion just as they have been in the past, with the main change being to avoid having mana grow excessively generously throughout the expansion. Jumping ahead, trinkets are indeed one place where we may provide opporunities to invest in more mana. But mana regen will not be passively increasing by a large amount simply due to gear advancement, largely for these reasons.

6) Tranquility and Divine Hymn should still deliver significantly more healing than those players would typically do in 8 seconds. Having these sorts of spells (both the channeled and instant varieties) do “significantly more” than usual, as opposed to the overwhelming strength they have on live, might take some getting used to. But there is no reason they won’t be strong and helpful spells to use either at specific high-damage encounter moments or simply because the player needs to catch up in a bad healing situation. In both of these cases, the intention is that the cooldowns don’t completely supplant the normal healing gameplay, but give a boost to output at a key moment. On Tranquility and Divine Hymn in particular, the 8-second channel causes the biggest problem in the dungeon context, and both of these spells will do increased healing outside of raids to account for that.

The Aura talent row, Aura mastery spell, and corresponding artifact trait are all reworked in an upcoming patch. Among other things, we agree the trait giving Aura Mastery the effect of all three Auras eliminates too much of the significance of the talent choice.

7) We understand the importance of utility. I want to point out that on live, the dominance of Disc Priest and Paladin in the highest-level raiding is primarily due to their core healing function and not to unique non-healing utility (exception in some cases for Hand of Protection, but the removal of Clemency from all specs in Legion reduces that problem significantly). Avoiding a repeat situation where some healers feel left out of the most optimized Mythic healing groups is likely a question of balancing the actual heals, not of more incidental utility buttons such as Wind Rush, Tiger’s Lust, Innervate and so on.

The artifact trait granting a 5% haste aura will also be changed before Holy Paladin is playable on alpha.

To illustrate with numbers: if 100 DPS is incoming and you have to choose between spending a little bit of mana to do 50 HPS, a medium amount of mana to do 125 HPS, or a large amount of mana to do 200 HPS, the correct choice is 125 HPS, but then every 5th second there’s nothing to heal. All I am saying is that healers should be able to do something meaningful in this 5th second.
Note that even in your example, you could instead spend every 3rd second on your 50 HPS heal, and save a little mana over your solution (that never uses that heal and instead fills every 5th second with DPS). In any situation where healing and mana are a significant challenge, that gameplay is still present, and toolkits with different spells of varying efficiency provide opportunity for more skilled healers to know when and how much to use the cheaper options.

On 7) While I agree that HFC’s healer composition issues stemmed largely from actual healing issues, I still think that more effort can be put towards ensuring that every healer has things they can do that are useful and “cool” beyond filling health bars. Similar to the above, it is less about power and more that it feels bad to be asked to justify why your spec should be brought when another spec brings X ability and not have an answer. Currently I think that HPriest/Druid/MW all have difficulty answering that question and while it may not matter much to people that have a good understanding of the entire healing picture, this topic holds a lot of sway when it comes to the general community’s opinions on balance.
Again, nobody’s denying the value of utility abilities that are fun to use (defined as you did in the OP as things other than healing output or equivalent shielding/damage-reduction). Merely trying to avoid conflating it with major healer balance concerns. To your point, even the Disc Priest in Warlords didn’t justify being brought by some X factor that raid leaders had to have, other than their sheer volume of healing/shielding. Their extras like Body and Soul were comparatively minor. Similarly, something like Wind Rush isn’t intended to dominate the importance of actual healing when deciding what classes or individuals to bring to a raid, and we’ll examine it closely if it does. It likely won’t, as it’s somewhat weaker than the live spell Stampeding Roar (which hasn’t had such an effect)–much smaller radius and no snare break (also a 2min cooldown which I believe you haven’t seen yet).

Blue Tweets

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Any plans for something like the Lorewalker quests in Legion? One of my favorite parts of Pandaria
Thank you! We loved those. There’s lots of custom storytelling for artifacts this time around, but no ‘Lorewalker’ equivalent (DaveKosak)

Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Glyph if stars is why Im a moonkin. And glyph if shadows is why my priest wears a bikini.>_>
The Glyph of Stars visual effect (along with a matching Solar variant) is used for the Blessing of the Ancients talent. (WarcraftDevs)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
but Light of the Martyr? At 12.5% of total mana, seems expensive for such a small net gain in healing. Will have to wait and see.
In addition to being a no-cooldown instant spell, the healing of LotM is increased by Crit and Mastery (while the damage is not). (WarcraftDevs)
However, one change that didn’t make it into this build’s data is that LotM will no longer flow through Beacon of Light. (WarcraftDevs)

Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
Forums have a tendency toward negativity, so I always take feedback with salt and pepper. But this level of uniformity is unusual.
Where is this feedback? I’m seeing virtually none so far. (Celestalon)
This thread in particular gets off to a poor start, but has some helpful posts in it: https://t.co/EY8ztY4d9S
.Oh. Reminder: Please post Alpha feedback in the Alpha forums. (Celestalon)
Yeah, w/ rogue stuff at least, I’ve seen a tendency for people to vent where they feel comfortable. (And less moderated, maybe.)
Venting is fine, but we do also want to get good, useful feedback. Another reminder: Tuning hasn’t happened. Ignore numbers. (Celestalon)
this issue is far far from a tuning issue. The spec has been gutted and simplified to be utter garbage
Then I look forward to reading your good feedback! (Celestalon)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

I hope your empathy improved since the “WoW Dungeons are Hard” article. ⊙︿⊙
That’s why I wrote that article! Players were frustrated and confused about our intentions. (OccupyGStreet)
I thought (& still do) that using more of your class abilities and coordinating with your party was more fun and memorable. (OccupyGStreet)
But that didn’t resonate with some players coming off of overgearing LK dungeons for valor runs. So we pivoted. (OccupyGStreet)
Was that the right choice? Players have been debating that topic ever since. ) (OccupyGStreet)
I do think I have become more empathetic over time though. (OccupyGStreet)

Warcraft Movie – UK Release Date
The UK release date of the Warcraft movie seems to have been pushed a little earlier.

Dark Legacy Comics #524
DLC #524 has been released.

Feb 01 2016

Legion – Artifact Weapon Previews, Turtle Mount, Tweets, Guardian Druid Spec Preview

Console Patch Being Deployed, Annoying Urshi, Kripp’s Thornsader & Season 5 Review

Ben Brode on LOE Legendary Creation, The Makings of a 3D Printed Hearthstone Card, Value Town #59

Blue Posts, Replay File Improvements

Legion – Artifact Weapon Previews
Recent Legion builds added even more Artifact Weapon variations, so we have compiled all of the new ones for you. Class preview videos will be updated after all variations are added to the game.




Legion – Turtle Mount
A recent Legion build added a Turtle mount!

Blue Tweets

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
whats with all the minor glyph removals?
The glyph system is being updated, so a lot of data is changing. Many of those effects will still be available. (WarcraftDevs)

Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Do you still play World of Warcraft?
I don’t, but I am always hesitant that when I say that, for fear players will somehow try to use it to argue for their own agenda.

Here are my reasons:

1) As a player, I needed a break. I had played WoW for nearly a decade without a break, with a lot of heavy raiding. I fully expect I will go back at some point.

2) As a developer, I needed a little distance. WoW was part of my DNA for many years. Jumping back into the game felt like cruising by the house of my ex all the time and asking her how her current BF was treating her, and maybe giving him some pointers on how to handle her. It just felt weird. It has been two years, so that has mostly dried up.

3) As a designer, I needed more broad exposure. When I played WoW, it was harder to find time to play other games. (Blizzard now has so many games, that they make it really hard to play non-Blizzard games too!) When I interviewed at Riot, I struggled with answering some questions because I hadn’t played all of the games I should have. I vowed to keep more abreast of the industry and not make WoW (or LoL!) my only game.

Poll – Artifact Weapons
Which class has your favorite Artifact Weapon model so far?

Legion – Fishing Artifact
A recent build also added several versions of the fishing artifact used out in the world for display purposes.

Final Boss – Guardian Druid Spec Preview
Final Boss is back with another spec preview! You can see all of their weapon models here.

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