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Ion 'Watcher' Hazzikostas Warlords Q&A Follow-Up

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WoW Lead Game Designer Ion 'Watcher' Hazzikostas has posted a follow-up to Saturday's #WarlordsQA event, expanding on a couple of the covered questions and answering some new ones as well!

 

Here is the text of that post update:

 

Blizzard Icon Ion 'Watcher' Hazzikostas Q&A follow-up

 

I had a great time doing the Q&A this past weekend, and look forward to more opportunities to speak directly with the community and field your questions. I wanted to take some time to clarify a couple of my responses. I’d also like to address several questions that were in the queue, but which we weren’t able to reach before we ran out of time.

The infamous Demonology warlock response: We’ve heard from many players that they don’t enjoy the spec but feel pressured to play it because it has so clearly been the all-around best warlock spec in current raiding, and we’ve seen masses of warlocks who started out favoring Affliction or Destruction migrating steadily towards Demonology. We feel the spec has several elements that are awkward and unintuitive (it’s not just a matter of sheer “complexity” – it’s fine for some specs to be more challenging to play optimally, especially for pure DPS where players can choose to opt into that complexity while having alternatives available), and we have plans to rework (and hopefully improve) the spec, but those changes are beyond the scope of a patch. In the meantime, we want to make sure we’re alleviating the pressure to play Demonology over other specs, which means making sure that it isn’t the best warlock spec. The goal of our 6.2 changes is not to make Demonology terrible or unplayable, and I’d expect Demonology to still be quite competitive on some types of encounters, and viable everywhere. If it isn’t, we’ll make further adjustments to compensate. But we did intentionally make changes to ensure that it isn’t the single best warlock spec in patch 6.2, and I wanted to make it clear that this was our intent, rather than simply a mathematical error.

Healing priests: In the Q&A, I fielded a question about absorbs, and have seen feedback about a seeming contradiction between our stance on Demonology warlocks (“we don’t want all warlocks to feel obligated to play Demo, so we’re nerfing Demo”) and my comments about Disc (“you’re probably doing it wrong if you only have one priest in the raid and that priest isn’t Disc”). To be clear, we don’t think the current state of priest healer representation is a desirable one – I was describing the present reality, not stating our design goal. But the Discipline problem isn’t one that is solvable with simple numbers changes – we’d have to nerf Discipline to the point of complete uselessness in order to meaningfully affect their representation. The issue lies in their nature as an absorb-based healer, offering a unique benefit that neither Holy priest nor any other healer can provide, and often doing so at the expense of the fun of other healers (whose core gameplay lies in refilling health bars that now empty less, or not at all, due to absorbs). Absorbs are still interesting as a mechanic, and we’re not looking to prevent Disc from feeling unique, but the spec’s niche in multi-healer situations probably shouldn’t be mechanically blanketing allies with absorbs. In short: we acknowledge that there is a problem, but we don’t have a solution to discuss just yet.

Now, Lore gave me a list of questions that we didn’t get to on Saturday, and I’d like to take a stab at answering a few more. Some of these are things I could probably ramble on about for pages, but I’ll try to stay concise to keep the responses in line with the content of the rest of the Q&A.

Q: “How has itemisation in WoD worked out thus far? Are you happy with new stats? Bonus gear properties? Enchants?” - @MagdalenaDK
A: Overall, we’re happy with how most of the changes have played out. Bonus gear properties in particular keep “farm” content potentially rewarding and create some extra moments of excitement, as designed. Tertiary stats were too weak initially, but since the 6.1 changes they’re in a good place – I’ve seen people get more excited for a huge Speed or Avoidance bump on a primary gear slot than they would have been over a socket, which is pretty cool. As far as stats go, and this may surprise players somewhat, we’re pretty satisfied with how Versatility has turned out – it’s a simple baseline stat that’s easy to understand, and has some depth to it especially in PvP. It may not be the favorite stat of any damage-dealing raiders, but that’s okay – it’s a solid baseline. Multistrike is probably the weakest of our current stats from a design perspective. Mechanically it’s very similar to crit, except where we’ve added specific class mechanics to hook into it and bolster it as a stat. There may be a visceral feel at times to firing extra missiles, but when you’re firing a ton of projectiles all the time, that also comes at the expense of lessening the impact of each individual missile and cast.

Q: Any plans on another stat squish? This last one didn’t seem to do much. - @RippleTideWoW
A:
 Well, players are currently dealing damage roughly on par with what we saw at the end of Dragon Soul almost 4 years ago, which is fairly significant. If not for the squish, we’d be seeing DPS values in the millions, player health well into the millions, gear having 5-digit amounts of each stat, and so forth. So the squish did do quite a bit. Experience has shown, however, that if a full tier of gear doesn’t increase player stats by at least 10-15%, upgrades feel unrewarding. The compounding nature of that growth does mean that numbers will get unwieldy over time. We don’t see the need for another stat squish in the very near future, but we’ll likely end up doing one again eventually.

Q: Will the kick tool be improved to be less prone to abuse? - Evangelia
A:
 The vote-to-kick system in our Group Finder is definitely due for some improvements. The system was designed alongside the original introduction of the LFG tool years ago, in a world where the default loot method was Need/Greed and a major issue was people abusing the kick feature to eliminate competition for loot. Nowadays, there are far fewer selfish motivations for initiating a kick, and so it makes sense for us to reevaluate that design. In Raid Finder in particular, one person who is griefing is having a negative impact on the gameplay experience of up to 24 other players, and we should make sure we’re weighting the protections provided by the system accordingly. We are working on making some subtle adjustments to the logic involved that should address some of these issues: for example, just because you’re in combat doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to kick someone who deserves it – that restriction used to be in place to prevent loot abuse, but now loot is mailed to players who aren’t around to receive it. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the system and make additional tweaks aimed at reducing player frustration.

Q: When kill Ele/Enh Shamans get the rework we deserve? Totems are so outdated and irrelevant. - @STVN214
A:
 Totems could definitely use some love. I’m not sure the core rotations of either spec need an outright “rework,” though there are certainly some issues (Ele Ascendance being numerically underwhelming, Enhance having so many different sources of damage that few individual button presses feel rewarding). Totems historically provided irreplaceable benefits (e.g. Windfury providing extra attacks) that were balanced by the spatial constraint of being tied to a killable totem in a fixed location. Now that drawback often feels unwarranted. There isn’t much that’s cool about an ability like Searing Totem. Powerful area effects like Earthgrab, Windwalk, or Healing Tide fare better, but that isn’t a very long list. We agree that totems need to either be overhauled as a mechanic or that their importance to the shaman class needs to be reduced.

Q: What do Fire and Frost Mages, Ele Shamans… have mana bars for? Will mana matter again at some point? - @Crowvyn
A:
 For many hybrid casters, mana is little more than a constraint on ability to heal, allowing for hybrid offheals to be potent, but limiting their sustainability so that they clearly fall short of a dedicated healer. Beyond that, we agree, there isn’t much point to the resource for several specs. Mana works well as a healer resource, where mana management and efficiency are designed to be a core part of every healer’s gameplay (some specs’ current situation notwithstanding), but we moved away from having it as a meaningful constraint on DPS output because it generally served as a frustrating constraint in a world where many if not most other DPS specs were not similarly constrained. Arcane mages stand as the exception, but they have a toolkit specifically designed around controlling their mana pools. I don’t think we’re likely to return to a world where Elemental shamans can run themselves out of mana and end up unable to cast Lightning Bolt, but perhaps there are more interesting things that could be done with DPS resource bars in place of mana.

Q: Complex encounter design (positioning) is being trivialized by player-created tools (See: Kromog) Are there plans to curb this? - @jsutan
A: 
Clever players have been using add-ons to assist with raid coordination since the earliest days of WoW raiding. When these add-ons have crossed a line and approached automating player activity or decisionmaking entirely, we have stepped in to disable or limit the underlying functionality that made that possible. Beyond that, players’ ability to use mods to help keep track of non-random abilities isn’t particularly concerning – as a raider myself, I downloaded Thogar Assist as a reference, but found that by the time my guild defeated the encounter I had long since memorized the train schedule. It is something for us to keep in mind, however, and we do occasionally alter our designs when we realize that a mod would completely trivialize the intended gameplay. Kromog, for example, could have had another dozen or so hand spawn points, and randomly picked a subset of them each phase, preventing any sort of fixed 1-to-1 assignment. 

Q: Legacy buff for MoP content, When? - Vert
A: 
Never. (Or at least not until next time we do a stat squish, technically.) The “legacy buff” that applies to enemies below level 90 once you exceed that level was designed specifically and solely to offset the 6.0 “stat squish,” which compressed the exponential scaling in the items available from level 61 to 90, into linear scaling. Pre-squish, a level 90 player with Pandaria raid gear was literally a dozen times more powerful than they had been at level 80 with Wrath gear. Post-squish that is no longer the case, so we have a special combat modifier in place to preserve the expected gameplay, so that soloing old content does not become harder. Gear higher than item level 463 wasn’t squished, so endgame Mists content designed to be tackled by players of that power level wasn’t affected and no combat scalar is needed. Mists content will increasingly become doable with fewer players than intended, as player power continues to rise, as has always been the case. People already are soloing large chunks of Mists content, and that goal will only become more and more attainable as time goes on and gear continues to improve.

Q: Will hunters and mages get a new raid utility in 6.2? - @Garfurion
A:
 No. At this point, while we may still be making numerical adjustments, I wouldn’t expect new abilities or class functionality in 6.2. We removed Aspect of the Fox from hunters because they simply did not need it to be unique, viable, and in fact highly desired. It also contributed to elevating ranged classes above melee in many cases, by offsetting one of most casters’ main weaknesses. One of the strengths of melee classes is that they can move along with their target and continue to deal full damage while on the move, while most casters’ throughput suffers if they can’t stand still. In encounter design, we create mechanics and phases with this constraint in mind, with the expectation that a ranged-heavy raid will have its throughput suffer during something like Hans’gar and Franzok’s Stamping Presses phase, or Blackhand’s Massive Demolitions. Each additional Aspect of the Fox eroded this natural melee advantage, and contributed to raid composition and balance issues. 

Even without Fox, Hunters are unique in that they are the only ranged DPS that can do nearly everything while on the move, which naturally makes them well-suited to specialized roles on a number of encounters, aside from naturally thriving in high-movement environments. On top of that, Deterrence, Feign Death, Misdirection, and Disengage all allow them to assist with handling mechanics in ways that many other classes cannot. As for Mages, Amplify was not nearly as impactful, but neither was it necessary to justify the inclusion of a class that already brings a versatile toolset, burst damage, control, and useful immunities. A particularly odd feature of both Aspect of the Fox and Amplify Magic is that neither ability had any apparent use whatsoever when solo, which contributed to their awkwardness. 

In short, we added those abilities in 6.0 because we were concerned that mages and hunters might not be well-represented without some new and unique raid cooldown, but having observed how they have played out in practice, those concerns were likely unfounded, leaving us with two new niche abilities at a time where we have otherwise been trying to streamline the contents of class spellbooks. Thus, we’re removing them in 6.2.

 

Are you pleased with this level of developer communication and feedback from Blizzard? What questions would you still like to see answered?

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Blizzard Icon Ion 'Watcher' Hazzikostas Q&A follow-up

A particularly odd feature of both Aspect of the Fox and Amplify Magic is that neither ability had any apparent use whatsoever when solo, which contributed to their awkwardness. 

 

I've used AotF many many times while solo, although certainly not for its intended purpose.  RiP being able to mount while running, or deter > Aviana's Feather > hearth/mount for a quick getaway.

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You and your pet leap to the target and strike it as one, dealing a total of [ Attack Power 300% of Attack Power ] Physical damage. Tip of the Spear grants an additional 15% damage bonus to Flanking Strike and Flanking Strike generates 2 stacks of Tip of the Spear. Kill Command - Normal: Give the command to kill, causing your pet to savagely deal [ 158% of Attack Power ] Physical damage to the enemy. Generates 15 Focus. Tip of the Spear : Give the command to kill, causing your pet to savagely deal [ 158% of Attack Power ] Physical damage to the enemy. Kill Command has a 10% chance to immediately reset its cooldown. Kill Command also increases the damage of your next Raptor Strike by 0%, stacking up to 3 times Give the command to kill, causing your pet to savagely deal [ 158% of Attack Power ] Physical damage to the enemy Exposed Flank - Your Flanking Strike exposes a weakness in your enemy's defenses, increasing the damage of Kill Command by 10% and causes your Kill Command to hit 2 additional nearby enemies for 10 sec. Your Flanking Strike now strikes 2 additional nearby targets at 100% effectiveness, and exposes a weakness in your enemy's defenses, causing your Kill Command to hit 2 additional nearby enemies for 10 sec. Symphonic Arsenal - Multi-Shot, Carve and Butchery discharge arcane energy from all targets affected by your Sentinel, dealing [ 56% 33.6% of Attack Power ] Arcane damage to up to 6 5 targets within 8 yds of your Sentinel targets. Explosive Venom - Every 5 cast of Cobra Explosive Shot or Multi-Shot will apply Serpent Sting to targets hit. Huntmaster's Call - Every 3 casts of Dire Beast sounds the Horn of Valor, summoning either Hati or Fenryr to battle Hati Increases the damage of all your pets by 15%. 8%. Fenryr Pounces your primary target, inflicting a heavy bleed that deals [ 480% 320% of Attack Power ] damage over 8 sec and grants you 10% Haste. Thrill of the Hunt - Barbed Shot increases your critical strike chance by 2% for 8 sec, stacking up to 2 3 times. Wailing Arrow - Wailing Arrow Normal: Fire an enchanted arrow, dealing [ 277.5% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to your target and an additional [ 112.5% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yds of your target. Readiness : Fire an enchanted arrow, dealing [ 277.5% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to your target and an additional [ 112.5% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yds of your target. Windrunner's Barrage : Fire an enchanted arrow, dealing [ 277.5% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to your target and an additional [ 112.5% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yds of your target Wailing Arrow Normal: Fire an enchanted arrow, dealing [ 360% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to your target and an additional [ 112.5% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yds of your target. Readiness : Fire an enchanted arrow, dealing [ 360% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to your target and an additional [ 112.5% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yds of your target. Windrunner's Barrage : Fire an enchanted arrow, dealing [ 360% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to your target and an additional [ 112.5% of Attack Power ] Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yds of your target Aimed Shot - Normal: A powerful aimed shot that deals [ 336.6% of Attack Power ] Physical damage and causes your next 1-2 Arcane Shots or Multi-Shots to deal 70% more damage. Chimaera Shot : A powerful aimed shot that deals [ 336.6% of Attack Power ] Physical damage. Careful Aim : A powerful aimed shot that deals [ 336.6% of Attack Power ] Physical damage. Serpent Sting : A powerful aimed shot that deals [ 336.6% of Attack Power ] Physical damage Normal: A powerful aimed shot that deals [ 330% of Attack Power ] Physical damage and causes your next 1-2 Arcane Shots or Multi-Shots to deal 70% more damage. Chimaera Shot : A powerful aimed shot that deals [ 330% of Attack Power ] Physical damage. Careful Aim : A powerful aimed shot that deals [ 330% of Attack Power ] Physical damage. Serpent Sting : A powerful aimed shot that deals [ 330% of Attack Power ] Physical damage Flanker's Advantage - Kill Command has an additional 10% chance to immediately reset its cooldown, increased by 100% when Kill Command critically strikes a target. Tip of the Spear's damage bonus is increased up to 100%, based on your critical strike chance. Kill Command has an additional 10% chance to immediately reset its cooldown, increased to 20% when Kill Command critically strikes a target. Tip of the Spear's damage bonus is increased up to 30%, based on your critical strike chance. War Orders - Barbed Shot deals 10% increased damage, and applying Barbed Shot has a 25% 50% chance to reset the cooldown of Kill Command. Mage
      Arcane Missiles - Only castable when you have Clearcasting Launches five waves of Arcane Missiles at the enemy over 2.5 sec, causing a total of [ 235.3% 255% of Spell Power ] Arcane damage. Lessons in Debilitation - Your Arcane Phoenix will cast Supernova or Gravity Lapse shortly after being summoned and will periodically Spellsteal buffs from nearby enemies. Your Arcane Phoenix will Spellsteal when it is summoned and when it expires. Arcane Barrage - Consumes all Arcane Charges.. For each Arcane Charge, deals 30% additional damage, grants you 1.5% of your maximum mana, and hits 1 additional nearby targets for 40% of its damage Launches bolts of arcane energy at the enemy target, causing [ 106.62% 120% of Spell Power ] Arcane damage Eureka - When a spell consumes Clearcasting, its damage is increased by 25%. 10%. Spellfrost Teachings - Direct damage from Arcane Splinters has a 2% chance to reset the cooldown of Arcane Orb and increase all damage dealt by Arcane Orb by 20% for 10 sec. Direct damage from Arcane Splinters has a 2% chance to launch an Arcane Orb and increase all damage dealt by Arcane Orb by 20% for 10 sec. Frostfire Mastery - Your damaging Fire spells generate 1 stack of Fire Mastery and Frost spells generate 1 stack of Frost Mastery. Adding stacks does not refresh duration. Fire Mastery increases your haste by 1%, and Frost Mastery increases your Mastery by 1% for 12 14 sec, stacking up to 8 times each Phoenix Flames - Always deals a critical strike. Hurls a Phoenix that deals [ 77.05% 70% of Spell Power ] Fire damage to the target and reduced damage to other nearby enemies Pyroblast - Hurls an immense fiery boulder that causes [ 180.22% 172% of Spell Power ] Fire damage and an additional [ 18.6% of Spell Power ] Fire damage over 6 sec. Glorious Incandescence - Consuming Burden of Power causes your next cast of Arcane Orb to call down a storm of 4 Meteorites on the first target it damages. Each Meteorite's impact reduces the cooldown of Arcane Orb by 2.0 sec and generates an Arcane Charge. Consuming Burden of Power causes your next cast of Arcane Barrage to grant 4 Arcane Charges and call down a storm of 4 Meteorites on its target. Mana Addiction - Consuming Clearcasting grants you 3.0% Haste for 10 sec Casting Arcane Blast or Arcane Barrage grants you 1.0% Haste for 10 sec Pyromaniac - Casting Pyroblast or Flamestrike while Hot Streak is active has an 8% chance to repeat the spell cast at 100% effectiveness. Casting Pyroblast or Flamestrike while Hot Streak is active has an 8% chance to repeat the spell cast at 100% effectiveness. This effect counts as consuming Hot Streak. Mass Barrier - Cast Prismatic Barrier on yourself and 4 nearby allies. Cast Prismatic Barrier on yourself and 4 allies within 40 yds. Arcane Blast - Generates 1 Arcane Charge.. Each Arcane Charge increases damage by 60% and mana cost by 100%, and reduces cast time by 8% Blasts the target with energy, dealing [ 72.8% 80% of Spell Power ] Arcane damage Nether Munitions - When your Magi's Spark or your Improved Touch of the Magi detonates, it increases the damage all affected targets take from you by 6% for 12 sec. When your Touch of the Magi detonates, it increases the damage all affected targets take from you by 8% for 12 sec. Mage Frost 11.0 4pc - Frozen Orb increases Ice Lance's damage by 15% for 15 sec. Damage dealt by Fingers of Frost enhanced Ice Lances invoke a Frigid Pulse, dealing [ 30% of Spell Power ] Frost damage to nearby targets. Damage reduced beyond 8 targets. Sparking Cinders - Living Bomb explosions have a 15% chance to increase the damage of your next Flamestrike or Pyroblast by 15%. Spellfire Spheres - Every 4 times you consume Clearcasting, conjure a Spellfire Sphere Every 6 times you cast Arcane Blast or Arcane Barrage, conjure a Spellfire Sphere Time Anomaly - At any moment, you have a chance to gain Arcane Surge for 6 4 sec, Clearcasting, or Time Warp for 6 sec. Splintering Orbs - Enemies damaged by your Arcane Orb conjure 2 Arcane Splinters, up to 4 The first enemy damaged by your Arcane Orb conjures 4 Arcane Splinters Mage Frost 11.0 Class Set 2pc - Ice Lance damage increased by 5% and Fingers of Frost increases the damage of your next Frozen Orb by 10%, stacking up to 10 times. Ice Lance damage increased by 8%. Mage Arcane 11.0 Class Set 2pc - Arcane Blast and Arcane Explosion Barrage damage increased by 6%. Lit Fuse - Up to five enemies hit by this explosion also become a Living Bomb, but this effect cannot spread further.. Consuming Hot Streak has a 10% chance to grant you Lit Fuse Lit Fuse : Your next Fire Blast turns up to three nearby targets into a Living Bomb that explodes after 2 sec, dealing [ 60% 40% of Spell Power ] Fire damage to the target and reduced damage to all other enemies within 10 yds Intensifying Flame - While Ignite is on 3 or fewer enemies it flares up dealing an additional 25% 20% of its damage to affected targets. Magi's Spark - Your Touch of the Magi now also conjures a spark, causing the damage from your next Arcane Barrage, Arcane Blast, and Arcane Missiles to echo for 25% 100% of their damage. Upon receiving damage from all three spells, the spark explodes, dealing [ 150% 400% of Spell Power ] Arcane damage to all nearby enemies. Codex of the Sunstriders - Summoning your Arcane Phoenix grants you a Spellfire Sphere. Over its duration, your Arcane Phoenix will consume each of your Spellfire Spheres to cast an exceptional spell. Over its duration, your Arcane Phoenix will consume each of your Spellfire Spheres to cast an exceptional spell. Upon consuming a Spellfire Sphere, your Arcane Phoenix will grant you Lingering Embers. Lingering Embers Increases your spell damage by 2%. Stacks up to 5 times. Arcane Debilitation - Damaging a target with Arcane Missiles increases the damage they take from Arcane Missiles, Arcane Barrage, and Arcane Blast by 0.0%. Multiple instances may overlap. Living Bomb - Other enemies hit by this explosion also become a Living Bomb, but this effect cannot spread further. The target becomes a Living Bomb, taking 0 Fire damage over 2 sec, and then exploding to deal an additional [ 60% 40% of Spell Power ] Fire damage to the target and reduced damage to all other enemies within 10 yds Mage Arcane 11.0 Class Set 4pc - Casting Arcane Blast or Arcane Explosion has a 10% chance to make your next Arcane Barrage deal 10% increased damage and generate 4 Arcane Charges. Casting Arcane Blast or Arcane Barrage has a 5% chance to make your next Arcane Barrage deal 20% increased damage and generate 4 Arcane Charges. Leydrinker - Consuming Nether Precision has a 10% 20% chance to make your next Arcane Blast or Arcane Barrage echo, repeating its damage at 25% 60% effectiveness to the primary target and up to four nearby enemies. Illuminated Thoughts - Clearcasting has a 5% increased chance to proc and increases the damage of spells that consume it by 5%. Clearcasting has a 5% increased chance to proc. Memory of Al'ar - Arcane Soul : Arcane Barrage costs no mana, grants Clearcasting, and generates 4 Arcane Charges. Arcane Soul : Arcane Barrage grants Clearcasting and generates 4 Arcane Charges. Permafrost Lances (New) - Frozen Orb increases Ice Lance's damage by 15% for 15 sec. Monk
      Unison - Soothing Mist heals a second injured ally within 40 yds for 35% 25% of the amount healed. Restoral - Castable while stunned. Healing increased by 100% when not in a raid. Heals all party and raid members within 40 yds for [ 325.45% 1,301.8% of Spell Power ] and clears them of all harmful Poison and Disease effects Enveloping Mist - Wraps the target in healing mists, healing for [ 358.5% 312% of Spell Power ] over 6 sec, and increasing healing received from your other spells by 30%. Soothing Mist - While channeling, Enveloping Mist and Vivify may be cast instantly on the target. Each heal has a chance to cause a Gust of Mists on the target. Heals the target for [ 616% 1,120% of Spell Power ] over 8 sec Roar from the Heavens - Tiger's Lust grants 20% movement speed to up to 2 allies near its target. Dancing Mists - Renewing Mist has a 10% 8% chance to immediately spread to an additional target when initially cast or when traveling to a new target. Windwalker Monk - Increases damage/healing by 10%: Blackout Kick Increases damage/healing by 20%: Blackout Kick Chi-Ji's Swiftness - Your movement speed is increased by 25% 75% during Celestial Conduit and by 15% for 3 sec after being assisted by any Celestial. Jade Ignition - Whenever you deal damage to a target with Fists of Fury, you gain a stack of Chi Energy up to a maximum of 30 stacks. The damage is increased by 5% for each stack of Chi Energy. Using Spinning Crane Kick will cause the energy to detonate in a Chi Explosion, dealing [ 127.5% 145% of Attack Power ] Nature damage to all enemies within 8 yards, reduced beyond 5 targets Celestial Harmony - While active, Yu'lon and Chi'Ji heal up to 5 nearby targets with Enveloping Breath when you cast Enveloping Mist, healing for [ 102.6% of Spell Power ] over 6 sec, and increasing the healing they receive from you by 10% When activated, Yu'lon and Chi'Ji apply Chi Cocoons to 5 targets within 0 to 40 yds, absorbing [ 16% 12% of Total Health ] damage for 10 sec. Lotus Infusion - Allies with Renewing Mist receive 15% 8% more healing from you and Renewing Mist's duration is increased by 2 sec. Thunder Focus Tea - Expel Harm : Transfers 25% additional healing into damage and creates a Chi Cocoon absorbing [ 16% of Total Health ] damage. Vivify : No mana cost. Rising Sun Kick : Cooldown reduced by 9 sec. Expel Harm : Transfers 25% additional healing into damage and creates a Chi Cocoon absorbing [ 16% of Total Health ] damage.. Renewing Mist : Duration increased by 10 sec Normal: Receive a jolt of energy, empowering your next spell cast: Enveloping Mist : Immediately heals for [ 358.5% 312% of Spell Power ] and is instant cast. Focused Thunder : Receive a jolt of energy, empowering your next 1 spells cast: Enveloping Mist : Immediately heals for [ 358.5% 312% of Spell Power ] and is instant cast Chi Burst - Brewmaster: Hurls a torrent of Chi energy up to 40 yds forward, dealing [ 120% of Attack Power ] Nature damage to all enemies, and [ 145% of Attack Power ] healing to the Monk and all allies in its path. Healing reduced beyond 6 targets. Windwalker, Mistweaver, Initial: Hurls a torrent of Chi energy up to 40 yds forward, dealing [ 120% of Attack Power ] Nature damage to all enemies, and [ 145% of Attack Power ] healing to the Monk and all allies in its path. Healing reduced beyond 6 targets. Brewmaster: Hurls a torrent of Chi energy up to 40 yds forward, dealing [ 280% of Attack Power ] Nature damage to all enemies, and [ 220% of Attack Power ] healing to the Monk and all allies in its path. Healing and damage reduced beyond 5 targets. Windwalker, Mistweaver, Initial: Hurls a torrent of Chi energy up to 40 yds forward, dealing [ 280% of Attack Power ] Nature damage to all enemies, and [ 220% of Attack Power ] healing to the Monk and all allies in its path. Healing and damage reduced beyond 5 targets. Shadowboxing Treads - Blackout Kick damage increased by 10% and strikes an additional 2 ltarget;targets at 80% 70% effectiveness. Heightened Guard - Ox Stance will now trigger when an attack is larger than 50% 40% of your current health. Chi Burst (New) - Brewmaster: Your damaging spells and abilities have a chance to activate Chi Burst, allowing you to hurl a torrent of Chi energy up to 40 yds forward, dealing [ 280% of Attack Power ] Nature damage to all enemies, and [ 220% of Attack Power ] healing to the Monk and all allies in its path. Healing reduced beyond 5 targets. Casting Chi Burst does not prevent avoiding attacks. Windwalker, Mistweaver, Initial: Your damaging spells and abilities have a chance to activate Chi Burst, allowing you to hurl a torrent of Chi energy up to 40 yds forward, dealing [ 280% of Attack Power ] Nature damage to all enemies, and [ 220% of Attack Power ] healing to the Monk and all allies in its path. Healing reduced beyond 5 targets. Paladin
      Laying Down Arms - When an Armament fades from you, the cooldown of Lay on Hands is reduced by 15.0 sec and you gain Shining Light or Infusion of Light. Holy Shock - Has an additional 10% critical strike chance. Generates 1 Holy Power. Triggers a burst of Light on the target, dealing [ 48.96% of Spell Power ] Holy damage to an enemy, or [ 147.36% 190% of Spell Power ] healing to an ally Grand Crusader - Reduces the cooldown of Judgment by 3 sec. Normal, Blessed Hammer : When you avoid a melee attack or use Crusader Strike, you have a 15% chance to reset the remaining cooldown on Avenger's Shield Shield. + . Crusader's Judgment : When you avoid a melee attack or use Crusader Strike, you have a 15% chance to reset the remaining cooldown on Avenger's Shield Shining Light - Every 3 Shields of the Righteous make your next Word of Glory cost no Holy Power. Maximum 2 stacks. Dawnlight - 10% of Dawnlight's damage and healing radiates to nearby allies or enemies, reduced beyond 5 targets. Casting Holy Prism or Barrier of Faith causes your next 2 Holy Power spending abilities to apply Dawnlight on your target, dealing [ 300% of Spell Power ] Radiant damage or [ 600% 480% of Spell Power ] healing over 8 sec Hand of Divinity - Call upon the Light to empower your spells, causing your next 2 Holy Lights to heal 40% 30% more, cost 50% less mana, and be instant cast. Tyr's Deliverance - Allies healed also receive 10% increased healing from your Holy Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Shock spells for 12 sec. Releases the Light within yourself, healing 5 injured allies instantly and an injured ally every 1 sec for 20 sec within 40 yds for [ 35% 30% of Spell Power ] Valiance - Consuming Shining Light or Infusion of Light reduces the cooldown of Holy Armaments by 3.0 sec. Blessing of the Forge - Avenging Wrath summons an additional Sacred Weapon, and during Avenging Wrath your Sacred Weapon casts spells on your target and echoes the effects of your Holy Power spenders. abilities. Divine Favor (New) - After casting Barrier of Faith or Holy Prism, the healing of your next Holy Light or Flash of Light is increased by 40%, its cast time is reduced by 30%, and its mana cost is reduced by 50%. Priest
      Void Shift - You and the currently targeted party or raid member swap health percentages Swap health percentages with your ally Rogue
      Hunt Them Down - Autoattacks against Marked targets deal an additional [ 10% 20% of Attack Power ] Plague damage. Serrated Bone Spikes - Rupture spends a stack to embed a bone spike in its target. Awards 1 combo point plus 1 additional per active bone spike.. Refunds a stack when the target dies. Prepare a Serrated Bone Spike every 30 sec, stacking up to 3 wSerrated - Serrated Bone Spike : Deals [ 120% of Attack Power ] Physical damage and [ 12% of Attack Power ] Bleed damage every 3 sec until the target dies or leaves combat Lingering Darkness - After Deathmark expires, gain 3 30 sec of 10% increased Nature damage. Deathstalker's Mark - Ambush from Stealth applies 3 stacks of Deathstalker's Mark to your target. When you spend 5 or more combo points on attacks against a Marked target you consume an application of Deathstalker's Mark, dealing [ 30% of Attack Power ] Plague damage and increasing the damage of your next Ambush or Mutilate by 10% Ambush from Stealth applies 2 stacks of Deathstalker's Mark to your target. When you spend 5 or more combo points on attacks against a Marked target you consume an application of Deathstalker's Mark, dealing [ 60% of Attack Power ] Plague damage and increasing the damage of your next Ambush or Mutilate by 20% Flensing Knives - Slice and Dice causes your Backstab to deal an additional [ 20% 40% of Attack Power ] Plague damage. Darkest Night - When you consume the final Deathstalker's Mark from a target, gain 60 Energy and your next Envenom cast with maximum combo points is guaranteed to critically strike, deals 30% additional damage, and applies 3 stacks of Deathstalker's Mark to the target. When you consume the final Deathstalker's Mark from a target, gain 40 Energy and your next Envenom cast with maximum combo points is guaranteed to critically strike, deals 60% additional damage, and applies 2 stacks of Deathstalker's Mark to the target. Warlock
      Fel Synergy - Soul Leech also heals you for 15% 8% and your pet for 50% 25% of the absorption it grants. Raging Demonfire - Channel Demonfire fires an additional 2 bolts Each bolt increases the remaining duration of Immolate on all targets hit by 0.2 0.5 sec. Malediction - Your Agony, Corruption, and Unstable Affliction gain 5% more critical strike chance from all sources. Increases the critical strike chance of Agony, Corruption, and Unstable Affliction by 5%. Ruination - Ruination Call down a demon-infested meteor from the depths of the Twisting Nether, dealing [ 1,105.84% of Spell Power ] Chaos damage on impact to all enemies within 8 yds of the target and summoning 3 Wild Imps. Ruination Call down a demon-infested meteor from the depths of the Twisting Nether, dealing [ 1,105.84% of Spell Power ] Chaos damage on impact to all enemies within 8 yds of the target and summoning 3 Wild Imps. Damage is reduced beyond 8 targets. Impending Doom - Increases the damage of Doom by 30% and Doom generates 1 Soul Shard upon expiration. Increases the damage of Doom by 30% and Doom summons 1 Wild Imp when it expires. Doom Eternal - Demonic Cores reduce the duration of Doom by an additional 2 sec and when Doom is removed its cooldown is reset. Demonic Cores reduce the duration of Doom by an additional 2 sec. Chaos Incarnate - Chaos Bolt, Rain of Fire, and Shadowburn always gain at least 70% of the maximum benefit from your Mastery: Chaotic Energies. Zevrim's Resilience - Dark Pact heals you for [ 9.6% 18.23% of Spell Power ] every 1 sec while active. Death's Embrace - Increases Drain Life healing by 30% while your health is at or below 35% health Damage done by your Agony, Corruption, Unstable Affliction, and Malefic Rapture is increased by 5% 10% when your target is at or below 20% 35% health. Perpetual Unstability - The cast time of Unstable Affliction is reduced by 20% Refreshing Unstable Affliction with 8 or less seconds remaining deals [ 23.29% 268.92% of Spell Power ] Shadow damage to its target. Blood Invocation - The cooldown of Power Siphon is reduced by 5 sec and Power Siphon increases the damage of Demonbolt by an additional 20%. Power Siphon increases the damage of Demonbolt by an additional 25%. Soul Link - 10% 5% of all damage you take is taken by your demon pet instead. Unstable Rifts [NYI] - Bolts from Dimensional Rift deal 0% of the damage dealt to nearby enemies. Bolts from Dimensional Rift now deal 25% of damage dealt to nearby enemies as Fire damage. Demonic Tactics - Increases melee and spell critical strike chance for you and your summoned demon by 5%. Your spells have a 5% increased chance to deal a critical strike. You gain 10% more of the Critical Strike stat from all sources. Dimension Ripper - Incinerate has a chance to recharge Dimensional Rift. Incinerate has a chance to tear open a Dimensional Rift or recharge Dimensional Rift if learned. Mark of F'harg - Your Summon Vilefiend becomes Summon Charhound and learns the following ability: Infernal Presence Cloaked in the ever-burning flames of the abyss, dealing [ 23.98% 15.99% of Spell Power ] Fire damage to enemies within 10 yards every 1 sec. Doom (New) - When Demonbolt consumes a Demonic Core it inflicts impending doom upon the target, dealing [ 268.75% of Spell Power ] Shadow damage to enemies within 10 yds of its target after 20 sec or when removed. Damage is reduced beyond 8 targets. Consuming a Demonic Core reduces the duration of Doom by 2 sec. Gorefiend's Resolve (New) - Targets resurrected with Soulstone resurrect with 40% additional health and 80% additional mana. Warrior
      Blademaster's Torment - Activating Avatar or Bladestorm casts the other at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar casts Sweeping Strikes and while Avatar is active the cooldown of Cleave is reduced by 1.5 sec. Martial Expert - Critical strike damage of your abilities is increased by 10% and the amount of damage blocked by your critical blocks is increased by 10% (crit block amount NYI). Critical strike damage of your abilities is increased by 10% and the amount of damage blocked by your critical blocks is increased by 20%. Warlord's Torment - Activating Avatar casts Recklessness at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar casts Recklessness with a duration of 6 sec. The additional Rage generation of this Recklessness cast is reduced to 25%. Reckless Abandon - Recklessness generates 50 Rage and Rampage greatly empowers your next Bloodthirst or and Raging Blow. Berserker's Torment - Activating Avatar or Recklessness casts the other at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar or Recklessness casts the other with a duration of 8 sec. Reap the Storm - Deals reduced damage beyond 8 targets. Mortal Strike has and Cleave have a 20% chance to cause you to unleash a flurry of steel, striking all nearby enemies for [ 157.5% of Attack Power ] damage and applying Overwhelmed Steadfast as the Peaks - Stamina increased by 5%. When this health increase expires, you heal for any amount of the original Victory Rush that healed you in excess of your full health. Victory Rush increases your maximum health by 10% - 0% for 5 sec Immovable Object - Activating Avatar or Shield Wall casts the other at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar or Shield Wall casts the other at with a duration of 4 sec. Titan's Torment - Activating Avatar casts Odyn's Fury, activating Odyn's Fury casts Avatar at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar casts Odyn's Fury, activating Odyn's Fury casts Avatar with a duration of 4 sec. Odyn's Fury - Generates 15 Rage. Unleashes your power, dealing [ 268% 644% of Attack Power ] Physical damage and an additional [ 84% 188% of Attack Power ] Physical damage over 4 sec to all enemies within 12 yards Slayer's Dominance - Your attacks have a high chance to overwhelm your target's defenses and trigger a Slayer's Strike, dealing [ 100% of Attack Power ] damage and applying Marked for Execution, increasing the damage they take from your next Execute by 10% Your attacks against your primary target have a high chance to overwhelm your their defenses and trigger a Slayer's Strike, dealing [ 100% of Attack Power ] damage and applying Marked for Execution, increasing the damage they take from your next Execute by 10%
    • By Stan
      The latest War Within Beta build adds icons that hint at an Ethereal raid most likely coming after Nerub'ar Palace in Patch 11.1.
      In Patch 10.2.7 during the Harbinger questline, we saw Alleria and Locus-Walker, who first taught her how to use the powers of the Void without becoming corrupted by them. (Thanks to Krucial for the video)
      It seems Locus-Walker's story will continue in the War Within with a future raid themed after Ethereals, as suggested by new entries in the ManifestInterfaceData database table.

      As you can see above, new icons named "INV_EtherealRaid" have been added to the game files. You can see all the new icons right here.

      Credit to keyboardturn for discovering the new entries.
    • By Stan
      Here's a video covering everything coming in the War Within pre-patch event on July 30th.
      Radiant Echoes, the pre-patch event, will begin on July 30, based on the splash screen. We covered the whole event in great detail, but for those who need a reminder:
      You must complete a short quest that leads you to the Dalaran Chamber where you can teleport to Dustwallow March, Searing Gorge, and Dragonblight. When a Radiant Echo is active, you must port to the zones, slay Lingering Memories and "Remembred" mobs to gather Residual Memories that you can turn in for rewards. The whole event ends in slaying Remembered Onyxia, Remembered Ragnaros, or Remembered Lich King, based on the zone you're in. Rewards include Warbound ilvl 480 gear, mounts, battle pets, bags, and more. You can find the quartermaster either in the Dalaran Chamber or in each of the zones. The event will most likely be available until the TWW Early Access begins on August 22 or when the expansion launches on August 26. For more details check out our detailed preview of Radiant Echoes, but you should also check out MrGM's latest video because the whole event has been bugged on both Beta and the PTR for me and I couldn't get a single Lingering Memory to spawn.
    • By Stan
      Finally, we're looking at the Warrior changes that went live in War Within Beta Build 55185.
      Warrior
      Blademaster's Torment - Activating Avatar or Bladestorm casts the other at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar casts Sweeping Strikes and while Avatar is active the cooldown of Cleave is reduced by 1.5 sec. Martial Expert - Critical strike damage of your abilities is increased by 10% and the amount of damage blocked by your critical blocks is increased by 10% (crit block amount NYI). Critical strike damage of your abilities is increased by 10% and the amount of damage blocked by your critical blocks is increased by 20%. Warlord's Torment - Activating Avatar casts Recklessness at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar casts Recklessness with a duration of 6 sec. The additional Rage generation of this Recklessness cast is reduced to 25%. Reckless Abandon - Recklessness generates 50 Rage and Rampage greatly empowers your next Bloodthirst or and Raging Blow. Berserker's Torment - Activating Avatar or Recklessness casts the other at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar or Recklessness casts the other with a duration of 8 sec. Reap the Storm - Deals reduced damage beyond 8 targets. Mortal Strike has and Cleave have a 20% chance to cause you to unleash a flurry of steel, striking all nearby enemies for [ 157.5% of Attack Power ] damage and applying Overwhelmed Steadfast as the Peaks - Stamina increased by 5%. When this health increase expires, you heal for any amount of the original Victory Rush that healed you in excess of your full health. Victory Rush increases your maximum health by 10% - 0% for 5 sec Immovable Object - Activating Avatar or Shield Wall casts the other at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar or Shield Wall casts the other at with a duration of 4 sec. Titan's Torment - Activating Avatar casts Odyn's Fury, activating Odyn's Fury casts Avatar at reduced effectiveness. Activating Avatar casts Odyn's Fury, activating Odyn's Fury casts Avatar with a duration of 4 sec. Odyn's Fury - Generates 15 Rage. Unleashes your power, dealing [ 268% 644% of Attack Power ] Physical damage and an additional [ 84% 188% of Attack Power ] Physical damage over 4 sec to all enemies within 12 yards Slayer's Dominance - Your attacks have a high chance to overwhelm your target's defenses and trigger a Slayer's Strike, dealing [ 100% of Attack Power ] damage and applying Marked for Execution, increasing the damage they take from your next Execute by 10% Your attacks against your primary target have a high chance to overwhelm your their defenses and trigger a Slayer's Strike, dealing [ 100% of Attack Power ] damage and applying Marked for Execution, increasing the damage they take from your next Execute by 10%
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