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The first hotfixes yesterday were pretty small and didn't have a lot to go over, but today's are quite significant: Broken Shore buildings get cheaper, most classes get PvE tweaks and fixes, Cathedral and Nighhold get some bugs ironed out and more.
March 29 (source)
The number of Legionfall War Supplies required to complete construction of the Broken Shore buildings has been significantly reduced. Broken Shore rare spawn creatures that get markers on your map and minimap should remain marked for you after they’ve been slain. Classes
Death Knight Howling Blast will now correctly deal its area damage if it kills the primary target. Runic Chills reduces Sindragosa's Fury cooldown by 1 second per proc (was 3 seconds). Thronebreaker damage reduced by 50%. Druid Wax and Wane bonus 15% (from 5%). Wax and Wane affects Sunfire in addition to Moonfire (tooltip won't be clear about this in 7.2). Hunter Unerring Arrows bonus is now 4% per point (was 10% per point). Mage Aegwynn's Intensity trait adds the correct amount of critical strike % to Arcane Missiles. Monk Split Personality cooldown reduction increased to 5 seconds per rank (was 3 seconds per rank). Whispers of Shaohao’s heal radius is now set to 30 yards from the respective Mist. Paladin Righteous Verdict bonus increased to 8% per point (was 5% per point). Priest Shadowfiend modified by Glyph of the Sha is now properly affected by the Artifact Trait Fiending Dark. Rogue Sinister Circulation now has a 0.5 second proc cooldown. Warlock Rend Soul's proc rate is now 4% (was 12%). Rend Soul's damage is no longer doubled by Reap Souls, but its proc rate still is. Warrior Soul of the Slaughter Artifact Trait proc chance increased to 1.0%/Rage (was 0.5%) and healing increased by 50%. Class Hall
Active Artifact Knowledge work orders will instantly complete when a player zones into the order hall if that player has 25 or less total Artifact Knowledge. Dungeons and Raids
Cathedral of Eternal Night Group Finder groups should now properly end the dungeon with Mephistroth. The Nighthold High Botanist Tel’arn Solarist Tel'arn and Naturalist Tel'arn now properly mirror High Botanist Telarn's current health when they spawn after Nightosis and all throughout the fight. Spellblade Aluriel Fel Stomp (Mythic difficulty-only) once again properly displays its visual. Items
Green Drum will now reliably upgrade Legion Legendary items from 910 to 940. Professions
An appropriate amount of Obliterum is now given from obliterating crafted items. Quests
Players are no longer prevented from entering the Vault of Eyir if “The Gates Are Closed” is available. Previous hotfixes.
Watcher explains what could be the blueprint for all future expansions.
Watcher explains the logic behind the mechanic, how it will be tweaked and why it wasn't in the patch notes.
Update: there was a followup post that explained the three major changes that have gone live for the mechanic.
As players have noticed, 7.2 brought with it a huge change that wasn't quite mentioned in the patch notes, namely that creatures now scaled not only with your level, but with item level as well. Game Director Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas steeped in and confirmed this was indeed intended, but also took some time to explain why the mechanic was implemented, why it wasn't mentioned in the patch notes and clarified that it may be a little too steep at the moment. It's a lot to read, but well worth it, as it seems the devs are paving the way for what WoW will look like in many future expansions, going for a very open-world scaled to your power level environment, that is so very popular in the single player RPG genre.
Apologies for the delay in getting information out on this - our initial focus was on putting out other patch-day fires.
Yes, this reflects a deliberate change, but it's also not working exactly as we intended. The scaling may be too steep, and the fact that unequipping a piece of gear can ever be helpful is a bug in the system. We'll be looking into making changes to correct this in the very near future.
Power progression is an essential part of the WoW endgame, and the last thing we want is to undermine that. We stressed the importance of that progression when discussing how the level-scaling system worked in Legion around the time of the expansion's launch, and explained why we then had no plans to scale foes' power based on gear. But as we've watched Legion unfold, we've come to observe some side-effects of our endgame content plan and the associated rewards structure that made us reconsider.
We've never had the initial outdoor world content stay relevant for this long in an expansion before. By the end of Mists of Pandaria, for example, the mantid of Dread Wastes that had once been reasonable foes were completely trivial. They'd basically evaporate if a raid-geared player looked in their general direction. But there wasn't much reason besides achievements or completionism to revisit the Klaxxi dailies once Isle of Thunder was out or, later on, Timeless Isle. And the enemies in those later zones could be tuned to a proportionally more challenging baseline difficulty.
But in Legion, while the new content in Broken Shore is the focus of 7.2, and we've made sure that the core outdoor rewards (both dropped and from Nethershards) are superior to the rep-related rewards from the original factions, the intent is not for the Broken Shore to completely replace the rest of the game. You'll still go back to the other Broken Isles zones for emissaries, Legion Assaults (coming next week!), Order campaign quests, improved world quest rewards, and more. And as 7.1 and 7.1.5 progressed, we could see that even with Nighthold gear the pacing of combat was getting a bit silly - what would happen once new content made that level of gear more common, and once the Tomb raid pushed limits even higher?
To reiterate, power progression is an essential part of the WoW endgame. We absolutely want you to feel overpowered as you return to steamroll content that once was challenging. But there's a threshold beyond which the game's core mechanics start to break down. When someone trying to wind up a 2.5sec cast can't get a nuke off against a quest target before another player charges in and one-shots it, that feels broken. And even for the Mythic-geared bringer of death and destruction, when everything dies nearly instantly, you spend more time looting corpses than you do making them. You spend an order of magnitude longer traveling to a quest location than you do killing the quest target. You stop using your core class abilities and instead focus on spamming instants to tap mobs as quickly as possible before they die.
Our goal is basically to safeguard against that degenerate extreme. We tune outdoor combat for a fresh 110 around a 12-15sec duration against a standard non-elite, non-boss enemy. It's great for gear, over the course of an expansion to cut that time in half, or even by two-thirds. But once you get down to a duration of one or two global cooldowns, the game just wasn't built to support that as the norm. (Note that this is an current-content endgame concern; running legacy content for completion/transmog/etc. purposes is a totally different story.)
The intent of our change in 7.2 was to smooth out that progression curve a bit, not flatten it out, and certainly never to invert it. If you get a great set of item upgrades that make you 5% stronger, maybe the world gets 1-2% tougher. Perhaps instead of getting 400% stronger over the course of the expansion relative to the outdoor world, you only get 250% stronger. But you should always be getting more powerful in relative terms, and upgrades should always matter. From some reactions so far, it sounds like we may be off on that tuning. And as noted above, the fact that unequipping items can ever be helpful is a bug that we'll be investigating and fixing.
Finally, there's the natural question of why we didn't patch-note this. It was not to be deceptive; we know it's impossible to hide a change from millions of players. But the system was meant to feel largely transparent and subtle, just like level-scaling does if you don't stop and really think about it, and so we did want players to first experience the change organically. Your feedback and reactions and first impressions of the system are more useful in this particular case when they are not skewed by the experience of logging in and actively trying to spot the differences. Thank you for that, and I look forward to continued discussion.
The release timeline for 7.2 has been unveiled, covering the next 3 weeks and on. We've got the Legion Assaults, PvP Brawls, new followers and Order Hall upgrades, class-specific World Quests, Class Mounts and the actual tomb of Sargeras raid to look forward to! It's also explained how the time gating of certain content isn't just to bother us, but actually has very specific story-related reasons.
We’ve seen some confusion around the availability and timing of various aspects of the 7.2 patch, and we’d like to clarify our plans for releasing the remaining pieces of Patch 7.2’s content:
Week 2 (next week): Legion Assaults begin, first PvP Brawl becomes available Week 3: Chapter 5 of the Class Order Hall campaign unlocks, which activates new followers, new Order Hall upgrades, and class-specific World Quests Week 4+: Ongoing story pieces unlock, leading up to the eventual opening of the Tomb of Sargeras raid, and the ability to earn Class Mounts Several of these pieces tie into the overarching story being told in 7.2: our return to the Broken Shore for vengeance, followed by the Legion’s response, and the eventual buildup toward the assault on the Tomb of Sargeras and Kil’jaeden himself. With the release of Patch 7.2, that series of events is set into motion, but they don’t all occur immediately. For example, the upcoming Legion Assaults are a direct response to our initial attack on the Broken Shore. Those assaults, in turn, prompt some of the later parts of the Order Hall campaign. These events occur in a chronological order, and we want to give players the chance to be there as it happens, rather than having some of it unfold off-screen or rushing it along.
But aside from the narrative, pacing content releases helps with clear direction and player focus. During PTR testing, where we had the calendar advanced to allow for testing of all content in parallel, players were pulled in many different directions from the outset. While the heart of the patch lies on the Broken Shore, Legion Assaults were drawing players back to the original Broken Isles zones, and many Order Campaign questlines sent players to other expansions’ continents. With the content release structure we settled on, Broken Shore can stand alone as the initial focus of attention. We didn’t open the Tomb of Sargeras raid with the patch because we don’t want to rush players who are still progressing through Nighthold, but that same sort of logic applies to nearly all other features.
We apologize that that hasn’t been clear enough from the start, but hope that this will help relieve some concerns.
After the not great reception of the new system, there's three major changes coming today or already live.
After yesterday's detailed explanation on the new itemlevel scaling system and the not-so-great-to-put-it-mildly response from the community, today we're getting specifics on what will change compared to how it was when secretly implemented with 7.2's launch. Two of the three major changes (no scaling to creature damage and much smaller creature HP scaling) are already live, while the third (not getting any benefit from un-equipping an item) will go live later today. Whether there will actually be any noticeable changes to how outdoor mob combat feel at all after these changes remains to be seen, but it's looking more and more like the new scaling system will be mostly negligible.
Thanks for the feedback on this issue. It’s clear that we need to make some changes here, so here are our current plans:
We’re removing the increase to damage dealt by creatures in the world. Our overall goal with this change is to keep the amount of time it takes to kill a creature from getting ridiculously short, and increasing the damage they deal is unnecessary for that goal. Instead, this was making you feel like they were becoming more dangerous, which was not our intent. We’re significantly reducing the rate at which creature health scales with your item level. Again, all we’re trying to do here is prevent cases where monsters die too quickly for players to react to their presence, particularly around World Quests. Our initial tuning was far more aggressive than it needed to be, which could make it feel like your upgrades weren't actually helping. This change will make it very clear that you are still becoming noticeably stronger than your enemies as your gear improves. Those two changes are already live, and you should be seeing them in-game now. Later today, we’ll be correcting a separate issue that’s causing unequipping an item to drastically alter the power of enemies you’re facing. The above changes make it so that’s never the right thing to do anyway, but this is still a strange/buggy interaction that needs to be fixed. It should also be noted that this change was on the Patch 7.2 PTR (and has been since January). We didn’t communicate anything about it initially because we wanted to get testers’ raw and honest feedback about it when they encountered it themselves, rather than attempting to pre-empt or otherwise influence their opinions ahead of time. When that feedback never came, we assumed that meant it was an acceptable change – i.e., those who hadn’t noticed it weren’t bothered by it, and those who had noticed it thought it was fine. Clearly that was a false assumption, and we should have drawn attention to it later in the PTR cycle, so that we could have caught these issues before Patch 7.2 went live.