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Posts with tag Changes

Warlords of Draenor: The changing face of buffs and debuffs

One of the changes that will have a pretty significant impact on how we play both in PvE and PvP is that many buff and debuff spells are being changed or removed. It can all seem a bit complicated at first viewing, what with all the class specific changes, but it's really fairly easily broken down and it won't directly affect how you play all that significantly. We're going to go over the changes and explain what they are and how they'll change how you play, if they do.

First up is the Weakened Armor debuff. Essentially, this is the old-school Sunder/Expose Armor affect. It's gone entirely. Rogues no longer have Expose Armor, warriors no longer have Sunder Armor and the Devastate prot warrior ability no longer applies Weakened Armor. In addition, the druid ability Faerie Fire now applies Physical Vulnerability instead, increasing all physical damage taken by its target by 4% for 30 seconds. This is because it was thought that having both Weakened Armor and Physical Vulnerability was excessive, since they did basically the same thing. What this means in terms of how we play? Almost nothing. If you're a rogue, you won't use Expose Armor anymore because it's gone. A warrior tank will hit Devastate the same as they always did. Druids are still going to use Faerie Fire to debuff things. Hunter pets that had similar abilities will no longer have them.

Next up is the Weakened Blows ability that almost all tanks had - it reduced incoming damage. The abilities that provided it still exist, they simply don't provide it anymore. Thunder Clap is an example of an ability that currently provides the debuff, but won't in Warlords. Since all tanks applied this debuff, it basically wasn't very meaningful, and instead monsters will simply be tuned to do less damage to compensate for its removal. What changes for players? Nothing. You won't apply the debuff, but you'll still use those abilities that did once apply it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Interview: Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig talks Warlords of Draenor

I was lucky enough to head over to Blizzard Campus this week to talk to Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig. Chadd is a huge part of the class design team, key to a lot of the changes we saw in the recent Warlords of Draenor patch notes, which is just what we discussed. We were also joined by Senior Community Representatives Zarhym and Lore. You can also find a much-abbreviated summary on Wowhead.

Olivia: First up, is there anything you really wanted to clarify and get out there?

Celestalon: I've tweeted about pretty much everything. This was the first version of the patch notes, there have been more changes since then, those patch notes are about a week old or so?

Zarhym: Yeah it's like, tons of changes. [Rygarius] said he had a huge list of changes.

Celestalon: There's another five thousand words that aren't up there yet, which [Rygarius] is working on now.

There have been different amounts of patch notes released for different classes. Paladins have been complaining that they haven't got enough, rogues have been really happy that not much has changed. Is it safe to assume there's more to come? This is just step one?

There's definitely more coming. Like, for example, paladins had relatively few patch notes, and a lot of that is we were relatively happy with how things played out, at least for ret and prot, with the exception of a few things we can solve with tuning – changing numbers. So a lot of what you see in the patch notes now is what we call design changes, so the mechanics that we want to change so we can get to some design that we like.

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Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Dev Watercooler: Pruning the Gardens of War

We've been waiting for it forever and it's finally here -- Blizzard released the first in a series of Dev Watercoolers discussing Warlords of Draenor. This particular post is about systems changes and the reasons behind them. So what did they reveal this time?
  • The upcoming item squish is detailed, both in terms of the reasoning behind it and the effects it will have. In order to ensure old content will still be soloable, you'll even see a buff implemented when higher level characters clear older content to make them even more powerful by comparison.
  • Base damage on player spells and abilities is being removed - all abilities and damage will scale with spell or attack power.
  • Racial traits are being adjusted - high outliers (like, perhaps, Every Man For Himself) will be reduced in power, while obsolete abilities will be removed entirely.
  • In terms of the ability purge (called 'pruning' here), one big target is Cooldowns. Various classes with multiple cooldowns will see them removed or combined.
  • Crowd Control is seeing a significant overhaul and reduction, with a complete list on the blog post - examples include interrupts no longer having added silences, certain CC's like Cyclone now being dispellable, and all stuns now sharing the same DR.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.7 PTR: Alterac Valley changes

Twitter battleground aficionado @AlteracValley recently alerted the world to some minor terrain changes in their namesake battleground. Alterac Valley has had a good deal of work done to it on the patch 5.4.7 PTR, including buffs to almost all the NPCs to ensure it is something more than just a zerg-fest. The patch 5.4.7 PTR patch notes explain these in greater detail.

But the changes noted in @AlteracValley's screenshot above are not yet on the patch notes. What are we looking at here? Well, the eagle-eyed observer will note the removal of some hills outside the Horde base, which previously allowed Alliance players to jump over the wall and avoid the usual entrance. As @AlteracValley also noted on Twitter, the hole in the Frostwolf fence has been repaired.

Are these changes going to swing the battleground back in the Horde's favor? As recent win-loss ratios indicated, Horde have a hard time in Alterac Valley. While all balance changes are great, I doubt it's going to have a big impact. It is, after all, a couple of minor changes that many casual PvPers will not even notice. But time will tell, and it's great to see change happening at all in the game's least popular battleground.

Filed under: PvP

The living game and the end of nostalgia

The ends of nostalgia
The downside to being the equivalent of a WoW immortal, having played close to non stop for the entire history of the game, is that you see a lot of things come and go. Guilds, players, friends, raids, dungeons, zones, expansions. It was all new once, and it all eventually isn't new anymore. And as a result, although I have in the past waged wars of words against nostalgia among the WoW playerbase, I can be as guilty of it as anyone.

There are, indeed, a great many things I miss. Some of them I get to see whenever I want, like Blackwing Lair and Un'Goro Crater, others are players who stopped playing, playstyles that are no longer valid (I loved and will always fondly remember the days of fury tanking Stratholme for my guild Eldritch Way over on Kilrogg, then taking the technique into raiding on Azjol-Nerub with Sworn, fury tanking in MC, BWL and AQ before finally speccing prot to tank Naxx) and even places that are just plain gone now. The other day, while doing my weekly scouring of the Barrens I realized that ever since Cataclysm, the zone I remember is gone, baby - Mankrik's wife is buried, and the days where I rolled a horde and leveled it to 60 just so I could attack my own guildmates when they raided the Crossroads are just as buried as she is.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Will you miss your class as it is now?

warrior changes
No matter what class you play, it's going to change in Mists of Pandaria. The talent system alone is so different that you're going to have to reassess some basic ideas about your spec. Some classes are changing more than others, and this fact is making people dump their mains once the expansion launches.

Cynwise at Cynwise's Warcraft Manual is playing his warlock. He writes
I want to enjoy playing a Warlock as they are now, flawed yet challenging, before they go away.
I can understand this sentiment. For many, it's like their classes are changing so much that it's not the same class. Even if the changes are for the better, it can be hard to accept so many differences from the character you know and love.

Personally, I'm impatient. Now that I've seen what's up in the MoP beta, I want it. I want it now. I love my red panda and mistweaver monk, and I don't want to play anything else. I think that my attitude is unfortunate; however, as I'm not taking advantage of the game I'm paying for as much as I should.

Are you savoring the now-ness of your main? Will you miss your class as it is? Or are you anxious for the changes that will come in Mists of Pandaria?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Back in my day

With the Mists of Pandaria expansion comes many quality of life improvements. All expansions add little details to improve our experience in some way. Players who have only played since the latest expansion take these changes for granted. And veterans cringe every time newbies complain about something that is so much better than how it was when we began playing.

For example, MoP has AoE looting: just one right-click and all the nearby corpses are relieved of their valuables (or organs as the case may be). I have seen some people in general chat confused by this change. "I can only loot one body!" But once this change goes live, all new players will consider AoE looting the norm.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The alt deficiency

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Do alts even count as alts when half of them are the same class as your main and the other half are rarely played?

I have a troubling relationship with the concept of playing an alt. First off, I don't really get alts. I know people who have four or six or even eight level 85 characters, geared and kitted out for raiding or Arena/RBG play. One woman I know has completely filled up two servers with level 85 characters (full character window, a server she plays Horde on and a server she plays Alliance on) that can at least run a random Hour of Twilight heroic. I accept that this exists, but I can't imagine doing it.

See, I'm middling at best about my achievements in game, but there are things I've done that you can't do anymore. I mean, every time I ran the 5-man Zul'Gurub, I kept thinking about how I'm a hero of the Zandalar tribe. Shouldn't they at least try and talk me out of killing them? Shouldn't I at least have the option to say, "Hey, guys, it's me, can we chill out on this?" and then we could express our sorrow at having to come to blows?

I can't do that on an alt. Well, OK, I can do it on the other two warriors who are also heroes of the Zandalar tribe, but you get my point. An alt's not going to have all those titles I barely realized I was earning, or my Mimiron's Head, or a Sulfuras in the bank laughing at me every time I got to the trasmogrification ethereal and get a hit of sweet, sweet gear changery.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight

Ji Firepaw's beta dialog gets a rewrite

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Folks closely following the Mists of Pandaria beta may recall that Ji Firepaw had some problematic interactions with player characters. Without getting too deep into the controversy, Ji praised male characters for their strength but praised female characters for their appearance.

Sharp-eyed Alewen reports that interaction has been changed. Ji now simply greets characters by saying, "You seem poised and ready. I can tell we are going to be good friends." This means Ji is no longer concerned about physical attractiveness; Ji remarks only on all characters' readiness for battle.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Gold Capped: Epic gems in patch 4.3

pyrite ore price graph
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen and Fox Van Allen aim to show you how to make money on the Auction House. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

Epic gems will come in patch 4.3. They'll not be prospectable from Pyrite or anything else -- instead they will drop from geodes on raid bosses. This may not be the final design, but it's what Blizzard has decided so far. The people who need the gems most are going to be the source for the uncut gems, and the quantity available will be very low.

Every time I've talked about this before, I've hedged my bets that Blizzard might drastically change the design for epic gems compared to the last expansion. As things turn out, it did, and we're going back to a design reminiscent of epic gems in The Burning Crusade, which were mostly available to raiders. Everyone who stockpiled Pyrite now has to decide what to do with it.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

WoW Moviewatch: Nica the Herbalist - Changes

Nica the Herbalist - Changes is the first full-length movie from Aedonix and Raven. This duo is just getting started in machinima, publishing their movies on YouTube under the name The Raven Bristow.

The video shows a lot of promise and effort. They clearly scripted out the movie and put a lot of time into learning how to animate WoW characters in machinima. The voice track was challenged, however, and the dialogue was a little muddied. Improving the vocals would go far in improving the film.

There's definitely talent and potential here. I especially liked the use of the Azeroth outhouse as a TARDIS. I hadn't seen that gag before, and I felt it was absolutely brilliant. That bit alone was enough to make me send the video to a few friends.

Despite several bright moments, though, I think the script could have used a little tightening. It's important in machinima to have a strong narrative whose plot points almost leap out from the screen and punch the viewer. I think stronger narrative conflicts would have helped hold audience attention, letting payoffs like the TARDIS stand as stronger punch lines.

Overall, this video was a lot of fun. I sincerely hope The Raven Bristow keeps creating videos, honing their craft, and improving their skills. There's a whole lot of potential here, and I'd like to see it realized.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 4.1 PTR Warrior changes

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.
It wouldn't be a patch without warrior changes, and patch 4.1 is nothing if it isn't a patch. What are the really big standouts from an initial overview pass of the changes?
  • Rallying Cry is a new ability that seems to work like Last Stand for the entire party or raid.
  • Colossus Smash now only lowers armor by 70% for 6 seconds, down from 100%.
  • Intercept stun is reduced to 1 second. In addition, Juggernaut will no longer increase the stun duration of Charge.
  • Whirlwind will now reduce its cooldown by 6 seconds if it strikes four or more targets.
  • Several arms abilities have had their damage increased, from Mortal Strike (175% weapon damage) to Overpower (145% weapon damage) to the talented Improved Slam (increases slam damage by 20/40%, up from 10/20%). These are most likely intended to compensate arms for losing Colossus Smash's armor penetration, indicating that nerf was aimed at fury DPS.
  • Finally, Improved Hamstring will now also reduce the global cooldown on Hamstring by half a second for 1 point and a full second for two. Less stunning for warriors and more snaring seems to be the order of the day.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

Wrath of the Lich King Retrospective: Naxxramas

With the final content patch of this expansion on our doorstep and Cataclysm following close behind, we'll be taking the next several weeks to look back on Wrath of the Lich King and everything that made it what it is, for better or for worse, in WotLK Retrospective.

When people talk about raiding in Wrath of the Lich King, a lot of the complaints often boil down to Naxxramas. It was out too long before a new tier of raid content, the fights were too dumbed down from the original raid's difficulty and it was too easy. It was an unimaginative way for Blizzard to cut corners and save time developing Wrath. While I'm personally critical of Naxxramas as a raid instance in its current implementation, let's look at these points and discuss their validity.
  • Naxxramas was out too long before a new tier of raid content. This one's pretty subjective, but we can consider two factors. First, Naxx went live with Wrath's release in November 2008, alongside Malygos (Eye of Eternity) and Sartharion (Obsidian Sanctum). Malygos' itemization was half a tier superior to that of Naxx itself, so that items that dropped in the 10-man version of Eye of Eternity were equivalent to those that dropped in 25-man Naxx. Malygos-25 drops were superior to anything that dropped in Naxxramas off anyone but Kel'Thuzad himself. So while we could say that this entire tier of raiding lasted from launch until the release of Ulduar in April 2009, it's unfair to single out Naxxramas as the sole offender. Furthermore, Trial of the Crusader launched in August 2009, meaning that Ulduar's duration as the top tier of raiding was only a month shorter than that of Naxxramas/EoE/OS. Are we really arguing that the 20 bosses of those combined three raids had so much less raiding potential that an extra month or so wasn't at least subjectively justifiable?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Breakfast topic: Your favourite patch 3.3.3 change?

You psyched about the latest 3.3.3 changes? In case you need a download mirror, check out our sister site over at Big Download. I'm not looking forward to fixing my addons but I know there will be a few issues with it. For me, there are good number of updates that I'm extremely happy about:
I'm a little disappointed about:
  • The changes to the healing priest tier 10 4 piece bonus. (Redesigned. This bonus now increases the effectiveness of the caster's Power Word: Shield by 5% and Circle of Healing by 10%.)
But my favourite change of all?
So what's been your favourite change so far in the latest patch?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for prot warriors

Well, we knew the times would be a changing with Cataclysm, but how much they're going to change has been revealed, and it's quite a lot all told. For warrior tanks, what are the big issues?
  • Block will be heavily redesigned. There will be no more block value of any kind and all blocks will remove 30% of a blocked attack's damage. Block rating will still improve your chance to block as it does now, but if you do block an attack, rather than the current system where you block (as an example) 2000 damage because you have a shield block value of 2000, you'll block 30% of whatever the damage would have been. This means a gimmick block set won't make you invulnerable to trash mobs, but also that block will be more useful against bosses who hit for 50k. (A boss who hits for 50k now would hit for 48k using our hypothetical block value. He'd hit for 35k with the new system, as 30% of 50k is 15k.) This also means that Shield Slam will need some other method of calculating its damage.
More changes after the break.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

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