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We've heard a lot of news on the Shadowlands Druid visual choice improvements, from the fact that they can now change their bear and cat form looks regardless of their other cosmetic choices, the fact that you can do that in the barbershop etc, but now we have even more good news/confirmations! With the PTR up it seems Blizzard have indeed decided to allow the Druid of the Flame/fire cat/cinder kitten/Majordomo Staghelm cat form to be used, as long as you've unlocked it via the Fandral's Flamescythe staff (the unlock is account-wide), which they've been considering for a while now! It's still a little unclear if having gotten the Fandral's Seed Pouch toy would also unlock the option in the barbershop for you.
The other piece of good news is that all the Legion artifact appearances (and indeed even the fire cat) can be selected regardless of your currently used spec! This adds a whole lot of freedom for druids to look as they want, and will almost certainly increase the number of people going for some of the artifact looks and, of course, the fire cat.
One of the key parts of the pre-expansion Scourge invasion event is that players can get infected and be transformed into zombies, receiving a new set of abilities and becoming hostile to both factions! As you'd expect this is a pretty popular activity on the PTR right now, with hordes of zombies taking down everything and everyone in the capital cities and beyond. You can get cured by either dying or by visiting an Argent healer... but why would you want to do that? One especially interesting aspect of this is that apparently NPCs can get infected as well, leading to some pretty massive gatherings.
Despite this being potentially pretty disruptive, with quest NPCs missing and players in ghoul form terrorizing the countryside, hopefully Blizzard leave it as is for the live event, since things like this really add to the dynamics of the game, as having unique periods where strange and even annoying stuff happens is great variety!
Here are the abilities you'll get when turned into a zombie:
Mangle! - Melee that adds a 5% damage taken debuff. Retch! - Creates green goo on the floor that slows enemies. Beckoning Groan - Calls 4 NPC zombies to help you if nearby. Lurch! - 100% speed increase for you and nearby zombies. Zombie Explosion! - Explode and deal damage around you. You die.
Today's hotfixes affect Warlocks' Singe Magic and Glyph of Fel Imp and fix an issue EU realms were having with Cataclysm timewalking having started a day early.
August 11 (source)
Warlock Resolved an issue that prevented Singe Magic from triggering the correct cooldown when Glyph of Fel Imp is applied to your Summon Imp spell. Timewalking
[For realms in the EU region only] The Cataclysm Timewalking event incorrectly began a day early in Europe. Developers’ note: We have adjusted this week's event duration and spawned the appropriate vendors early to ensure that it runs until the next weekly reset. The weekly event schedule should remain on Wednesdays for EU realms going forward.
The Shadowlands pre-patch event has been pushed to the PTR and is now available for testing, so we're looking at what awaits us. This article contains spoilers.
Note that the event is not available for testing in its entirety and it will be probably time-gated on live servers.
You receive the intro quest from Valeera Sanguinar as a Horde player. She wants to meet up with you and Lor'themar in Orgrimmar. You learn that the undead Scourge is swarming in numbers not seen since the return of the Lich King. A NYI cinematic starts playing where Anduin and Jaina get abducted by Sylvanas. The Scourge's unbound hunger has been unleashed and it is only a matter of time before they're swarming the streets. The death knights of the Ebon Blade have stepped forward to aid you and the Argent Crusade has returned to answer the call. Lor'themar admits Sylvanas is a great tactician. Bolvar is free of the Lich King's crown and is recovering in Acherus. You are sent to the Barrens to investigate the Scourge presence in the area. The Cult of the Damned is back and you must kill some of their members including ghouls that spawn from portals in the Crossroads. The Argent Crusade has come to aid your effort in the area. You are sent back to Orgrimmar and are sent to Icecrown to see what's going on with the Scourge and you find out Nathanos Blightcaller has been spotted in Eastern Plaguelands, so you are ordered to slay him. You secure a foothold in Icecrown and unlock daily quests there. Random bosses spawn in the zone and reward item level 100 loot (squish is already live on the PTR).
Big Elemental Shaman Changes: Beta Build 35522 Marksmanship Hunter Changes: Beta Build 35522 Mage Changes: Beta Build 35522 New Death Knight and Priest Legendary Powers Priest Night Fae Covenant Ability Changes Shadowlands Pre-Patch Dev Notes Shadowlands Pre-Patch Now Available on the PTR 3 New Datamined Keystone Affixes Mythic Castle Nathria Raid Testing: August 13th - 17th
Castle Nathria raid testing continues on the Beta with Mythic difficulty on August 13th and 14th with Normal difficulty remaining open throughout the weekend.
UPDATE: Blizzard added that all bosses except the Stone Legion Generals and Sire Denathrius will be available on Normal difficulty.
On Thursday, August 13th and Friday, August 14th, we will be continuing our raid tests in Castle Nathria.
Once mythic testing has concluded on the 14th we will be opening the entire raid on normal difficulty for the remainder of the weekend.
Thursday, August 13th
Sun King’s Salvation - Mythic Castle Nathria
13:00 PDT (16:00 EDT, 22:00 CEST)
Sludgefist - Mythic Castle Nathria
14:00 PDT (17:00 EDT, 23:00 CEST)
Friday, August 14th
Huntsman Altimor - Mythic Castle Nathria
13:00 PDT (16:00 EDT, 22:00 CEST)
The Council of Blood - Mythic Castle Nathria
14:00 PDT (17:00 EDT, 23:00 CEST)
Normal Castle Nathria Opens
16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)
As a clarification, when we open normal mode all bosses except for the Stone Legion Generals and Sire Denathrius will be available.
As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a test environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the bosses being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.
To facilitate testing, players who have not committed themselves to a Covenant can speak with Acquirer Ta’est inside Castle Nathria to temporarily bind themselves to one of the four factions.
Q: How do I get into the raid zone?
A: In Oribos, Dalaran, Orgrimmar, or Stormwind, you may speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade IV in order to teleport into the raid zone while it is open for testing. (The option to teleport into a zone will not be available when the zone is not open for testing.)
Q: What character should I use to test the raid?
A: Whichever you prefer. We will be scaling players’ effective level to 60 for raid testing, and their item level to an appropriate threshold for the encounter(s) being tested.
Q: How long does testing last?
A: The primary purpose of testing is to give us the information we need to balance the encounters, evaluate how mechanics are playing out in practice, and identify bugs. Once we’re satisfied that we’ve received that information for a given boss, we’ll be shutting down testing. Usually this takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, but there are no guarantees.
We appreciate you taking the time to test our content and look forward to reading your feedback.
Shadowlands Pre-Patch Now Available on the PTR Big Elemental Shaman Changes: Beta Build 35522 Marksmanship Hunter Changes: Beta Build 35522 3 New Datamined Keystone Affixes