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Posts with tag celestalon

Warlords of Draenor Beta: Changes coming for DPS warriors

Count nothing in the beta done until the beta is itself done. It's the modern equivalent of 'count no man happy before he is dead' (at least it when it comes to betas) and it's especially true for warriors this time around. Arms has seen huge changes, fury has seen a backlash over the loss of Heroic Strike, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria. Now we get to see what the intended direction for warriors is, thanks to a forum post from Celestalon.

So what's the haps? I'm glad you asked. The usual caveats (it's all still subject to change, it's the beta, don't get too worked up) apply, of course.

Celestalon - Fury Feedback
So, we don't often share our thoughts on upcoming changes this early, as plans can change very rapidly. Please keep in mind that none of the following is set in stone – it hasn't even been developed yet – and there's any number of issues that could cause us to decide to take a different approach. That said, we definitely agree that Arms feels a bit empty at the moment, and want to fill it out a bit more, and we want to add some talent choices to both Arms and Fury that provide options for more involved gameplay. Here's what we're thinking:
  • Rage generation increased by 25% for Arms.
  • Rend returns for Arms. Costs 10 Rage, deals damage over 18sec, with a burst of bleed damage at the end. Total damage is similar to a Mortal Strike.
  • Thunder Clap is usable in any stance. AoE damage and snares, 6sec cooldown. 30 Rage cost for Arms, free for Protection.
  • We're replace the level 45 talent row (Staggering Shout / Piercing Howl / Disrupting Shout) with:
  • Varies by spec:Arms –
    • Taste for Blood: Passive. Rend ticks grant 3 Rage.
    • Fury – Furious Strikes: Passive. Reduces the cost of Wild Strike by 10 Rage
    • Protection – Heavy Repercussions: Passive. Shield Slam deals 50% additional damage while Shield Block is active.
  • Sudden Death: Passive. Auto attacks have a chance to trigger Sudden Death, making your next Execute free and usable on targets above 20% health.
  • Varies by spec:
    • Arms – Slam: Active ability. Costs 10 Rage. Deals 100% weapon damage. Each consecutive use increases Slam's damage by 50% and Rage cost by 100%, stacking up to 5 times.
    • Fury – Unquenchable Thirst: Passive. Bloodthirst has no cooldown.
    • Protection – Unyielding Strikes: Passive. Devastate reduces the Rage cost of Heroic Strike by 6, stacking up to 5 times. Lasts 10 sec. No longer refreshes while at 5 stacks.

Again, this is all very much in the formative stages. Any or all of the above could end up changing in any number of ways. But we are listening, and are doing our best to make Warrior gameplay awesome in Warlords.


Some of this I don't expect to see last very long - Unquenchable Thirst in particular strikes me as an ability that will become wholly abused if it goes live. No cooldown on Bloodthirst? So, what, you just hit Bloodthirst constantly in-between Colossus Smashes? Now, I personally like that kind of rage generation option - it's very Barbarian from Diablo III really, constantly filling up the rage bar. But I don't expect to see it actually get implemented. Still, it's very interesting to see Slam as a talent (even if it is an Arms only talent - frankly I'd like to see fury get a bite of that apple).

Still, arms really is desperately in need of some more attacks, so overall I'm curious and interested.


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

Warlords of Draenor: High level characters vs. lower level content

In the new theorycrafting sticky on the Warlords of Draenor Alpha forums, there's a big post by Celestalon that explains how we're going to be able to solo old raids and such with the item squish making us proportionately less powerful in those raids. It's worth breaking down here, for those of us (like me) who enjoy that sort of thing for either fun or transmog.

First up, all players will gain a damage reduction factors when attacked by creatures that are lower level, starting at Cataclysm content and heading down from there. Creatures from Mists of Pandaria and, presumably Warlords of Draenor will not be affected by this. So once a creature from Cataclysm content or below (Wrath, BC and Vanilla) attacks a character that outlevels them, there will be a formula that determines how little damage the character takes. Celestalon presented it as such.

LevelDiff = PlayerLevel - CreatureLevel
if (CreatureExpansion < Pandaria) then
// 10% DR per level diff, with a floor of 10%
DamageTakenFactor = max(1.0 - 0.1 * LevelDiff, 0.1)
else
DamageTakenFactor = 1.0
end

What this means is that, when your level 100 character goes inside a level 80 Wrath raid, they'll have a very large reduction in how much damage they take.

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

Warlords of Draenor: "Creative" set bonuses


Much of the tier gear sets in yesterday's alpha build had bonuses attached to them for the first time. This is great news for the development of the game, and shows that Blizzard is moving steadily along. However, as many noticed, the bonuses were rather run of the mill and not anything super special.

People also started to complain about thoughts on balance and other problems the bonuses will create. Now besides the fact that kind of feedback without testing is putting the cart before the horse, there also is the matter that this is the alpha and things change all the time. Celestalon made this crystal clear in his tweet last night, explaining that most of these are just placeholders for the real thing to come. And those real set bonuses? They'll be "creative."

I'm personally looking forward to this creativity!



Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Why I love proc items

Proc weapons, proc trinkets, these are some of my favorite items over the existence of World of Warcraft. The end of Dragon Soul weapons from Deathwing were amazing. Were they unbalanced? Yeah. Yeah, they were, let's be honest. They were even more unbalanced than the various proc trinkets from Siege of Orgrimmar, if you want to get right down to it. That's pretty unbalanced. But only a very few cared (most of them PvP players who had every reason to care) because the items were so much fun, y'all. There is literally never going to be anything as satisfying in World of Warcraft again as the sight of four Gurthalak tentacles spawning and mind flaying that rogue to death.

I wasn't kidding about PvP'ers having every reason to hate the proc weapons from Dragon Soul. Taking a fury warrior with twin Gurths into PvP was basically a giant middle finger to everyone who was primarily a PvP'er and didn't raid. And I admit that I flipped that particular middle finger as hard and often as I could, because why wouldn't I? If I were a primarily PvP oriented player, I'd be mad too.

Still, I love proc items. And Celestalon is talking about proc items.
Why do I love proc items so much? Here are a few reasons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Item upgrading disabled in Patch 6.0

If you have items you haven't upgraded yet, you should know that item upgrading is going away as of patch 6.0 - any items you have already upgraded will remain so, but you won't be able to upgrade any new items once the patch drops. So if you've been lax, like I have lately, it's time to get serious about your valor points and get everything upgraded before that time.

Honestly, I'm not really all that sad about losing valor upgrading - it lately felt like that was all you could do with the points anyway. So I won't miss it that much. It would be nice if they added something to do with valor points once 6.0 drops - I'm always a sucker for cosmetic items, hint hint.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Combo points no longer on target for rogues, druids

Rogues and feral druids have had one very important change that wasn't announced in the recent patch notes for the 6.0 alpha build. Combo points, the bread and butter of every rogue and feral druid attack since the game began, are now on the rogue or druid, instead of on the target being attacked. This was confirmed in a tweet by Celestalon -- who was quick to point out that the change might not see live, but is being tested for now.

This is honestly a really big change for both classes. One of the unique frustrations of playing the class was spending the time and energy to build up enough points for a big finisher, only to see the target die before that finisher could land. Don't get me wrong, having a target die is always the name of the game, whether you're stabbing with daggers or skulking around as a cat. But once that target was dead, all combo points you carefully built up would simply vanish when the next target was acquired.

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Filed under: Druid, Rogue, News items, 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

How much transparency do you want?

It's come up time and again, and it's always an issue that's fascinated me -- how much information on how World of Warcraft is designed do we actually want? Some of us would be bored to tears by a technical discussion of the whys and wherefores of a design decision, while others would be absolutely fascinated by it. I'm sure no one's forgotten about the era of the 'Ghostcrawler experiment' and the sharp rise of communication from the game's developers. Today we have quite a bit of communication from people like Brian Holinka, Chadd Nervig, Ion Hazzikostas, Owen Landgren and others. I've always felt that it was a very good thing overall for the game to have that channel, with the devs taking time to explain design changes and what they mean. The question becomes, how useful is it to you, and how effective is it in getting players to understand the why behind changes?

Frankly, I think we all know that for every player who reads and absorbs dev interaction in the spirit in which it is meant, there's another who uses it simply as an excuse to blame said person for ruining the game. This goes back to before the time when devs were the ones delivering the news, mind you. I remember the days of Tseric, and the way the forums made him the villain in their self-generated narrative.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Celestalon and Holinka on Warlords of Draenor changes

Yes, after the big Dev Watercooler, people of course had a flurry of questions, and our friendly Blizzard devs Brian Holinka and Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig hit Twitter in a big way to answer people's questions. And man, did they - many, many questions were answered. Here, we have compiled as many as we can.

Racial abilities

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

The case for catch-up loot

I talked a while back about catch-up dungeons. Now, we'll talk about the more basic issue - why have 'catch up' mechanisms at all? Why have gear that exists so you can skip content? Recently Celestalon responded to this question on twitter and his answers are very, very interesting to me.
This idea of playerbase consolidation reminds me, as it always does whenever anyone brings it up, of the old days of Vanilla and BC raiding. That's how you can tell I'm crazy old - everything reminds me of something that happened years ago. But in this case it's apt. Back in Vanilla, there basically weren't any catch-up mechanisms. If you wanted to join a raiding guild that was clearing Blackwing Lair, if you hadn't set foot in Molten Core yet, you probably simply weren't getting in, and if you did, you'd likely end up being dragged through several MC and Onyxia runs (assuming you didn't have to get attuned) to get you caught up on gear. Often guilds didn't really want to do that, so if they didn't, you were basically out of luck. The 20 man raids Zul'Gurub and AQ20 served as stopgaps, with gear that could help, but it wasn't enough in many cases.

BC improved this to a degree. There were still attunements for a while, but guilds could at least rely on the Badge of Justice mechanic and get newer players geared up faster. I actually took some time off playing WoW after Vanilla ended and didn't start raiding in BC until my then-guild was working on the Tier 5 raids (Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Cavern) and so, in order to get ready to join them, I ran a ton of Karazhan and heroic dungeons and bought tanking gear off of the Justice vendors - I ended up still having to tank in Zul'Aman with a green tanking ring and belt and a bunch of dungeon blues on, but at least I had some gear by that point.

Since those days, we've seen various mechanisms (Wrath and Cataclysm's patch five mans, Mists with justice and honor gear and the Timeless Isle) to allow players to get caught up to current content. And to my mind, while I'm not always on board with the specific way it's implemented, it's the best change imaginable for a variety of reasons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding

Warlords of Draenor: Mages have 12 new talents

The twitter account of Chadd Nervig (better known as Celestalon) has become one of my favorites due to his willingness to talk about the various aspects of class design. One that he brought up recently was the difficulty of naming new abilities. His point about spell names needing to fill many different needs is pretty interesting, I think. While discussing this, a specific example popped up that seemed very worth mentioning here.

This sounds like a lot of new talents, not just to name, but in general. Twelve are entirely new, and another seven are either existing spells or old spells changed into talents or major revamps of talents. Frankly, I'm a little envious -- I wish Warriors were getting this kind of change.

Edited to add: Celestalon mentioned in a tweet that there are 28 mage talents in all, not 21, because some are spec specific, so the number of 12 above ends up being not quite half.

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

Blizzard "Investigating the possibility" of Proving Grounds scaling changes

Right now, the way Proving Grounds work is simple - you go in, and your gear is scaled down to ilevel 463, with certain specific gear abilities like set bonuses, the legendary sha-touched gems, legendary meta-gems or the legendary cape proc not functional. If you have any of those items, it is as if you do not -- in some ways (such as your meta gem) it's worse than if you were using a lesser meta in an actual ilevel 463 helm, because you're literally getting nothing at all out of your meta.

Now Celestalon has tweeted that this might not be the case forever.
Words to my ears. When I was doing proving grounds, I remember being heartily annoyed by the loss of my meta in particular. I'd much rather have the content get suitably harder but that I face it with my gear all working as I understand it than it stay the same and I lose everything I've grown used to -- set bonuses that change my rage generation, my meta gem, and so on -- because it feels like I should have a special set of gear for PGs or just reforge and regem. With reforging gone and gems less common in Warlords, I think an investigation of this option is definitely welcome. I get why it could be very hard to do, and in some ways boosting the difficulty has down sides in that it means it's not the same content for everybody, but I still like the idea.

It could be interesting if the idea was also used in Challenge Modes, but I'm not sure it would work there.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Clarification on the removal of Dodge

Following a question in a recent edition of The Queue, Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig tweeted some clarification on dodge in Warlords of Draenor:


It seems people may have missed that dodge is simply being removed as a stat, not as a mechanic. Players will still hit without hit, and dodge is just the same. It seems likely that base dodge will be how it works, or maybe dodge will scale off another stat, as it previously has off agility. Nonetheless, tanks who rely on high dodge, such as brewmasters and bears, have nothing to fear. What exactly will happen with dodge's interaction with expertise in PvP, we're not sure just yet. Expertise is a funny one thanks to its interaction with other removed stats, and how it's a removed stat itself, so further information is required! No miss/dodge against targets 3 levels above will be interesting in PvP with cooldowns like Evasion.

All this just serves to reinforce the notion that Warlords changes aren't happening in a vacuum. They're changes, not isolated nerfs to one thing or another. They're looking to ramp everything down, not to pick on specific roles or classes. Sure, there are outliers that need additional changes, but it's all being done together. It's easy to forget that.

Filed under: Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

110% guarantee soloing old raids will not be harder post squish

Sapphiron
Technical Game Designer Chadd Nervig, aka Celestalon on Twitter, has answered a tweeter's question about item squishing with the following tidbit:



I read this, and my ears perked up. I really enjoy running around killing things indiscriminately in old raids, and I've wondered as to whether or not that would continue to be possible after the item squish. It's good to hear that Blizzard has no intention of letting older content stay as it is while our characters' ability to pump out damage is drastically reduced.

Of course, this leads to the obvious question -- what approach is Blizzard going to take for keeping older raids and dungeons' mobs and bosses abilities proportional? The obvious answer is that all of it will be squished along with our characters' gear and abilities. I suppose that will include items dropped of of old bosses too. It will be interesting to see the approach that Blizzards' designers take with the new expansion to make this change go as smoothly as possible.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Arcane Brilliance: A timely discussion

A photograph of antique timepieces and watches
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Stacey Landry is the resident mage here, bender of space and time, conjurer of delicious confectioneries and expert at dressing well while setting things on fire.

I'm interrupting my planned final installment in the Challenge Mode tips series to talk about a more pressing topic. Things have really been heating up in the mage community over the past few days. (I'm sorry, I couldn't help it).

It all started when Celestalon made his fateful tweet about button bloat, asking what ability we worried about losing that might potentially be cut. Discussions about button bloat have happened in the recent past, but this sparked the discussion anew. A few mages suggested Alter Time might be a suitable candidate for a variety of reasons. More mages began to speak up that were vehemently opposed to its removal. Both sides became more vocal and some heated forum posts were created.

I don't mention this all to sow any more discord. At the end of the day, we're all robe-wearing, spell-flinging casters of magic. I'd like to see things kept civil. But it's a worthwhile discussion to have, if a "cut" is coming (and all evidence suggests that it is), what could we stand to lose and why?

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

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