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Blue Posts Round-up: Apr 3

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Today's blue posts talk about the new Artifact Solo Challenge, changes to Brewmaster / Mistweaver Monks and Outlaw Rogues coming in Patch 7.2.5.

Artifact Solo Challenge

Mage Tower is now active in NA and players are already whining about the challenge being too hard, crying out for nerfs. It's supposed to be challenging and there are currently no plans to tune down the difficulty. The scenario will get easier with better gear.

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I get that these appearances are the new hotness and everyone is after them, which causes frustration. However, it's worth noting that the solo challenges to unlock the new appearances are intended to be just that; a challenge. We don't expect the majority of players to obtain them within the first cycle of the Mage Tower being constructed.

Our aim for these challenges is for them to be comparable to that of the green fire questline for Warlocks in Mists of Pandaria. In that case, only a few Warlocks were able to defeat Kanrethad immediately, but more and more were able to overcome the challenge as the expansion progressed.

As we progress through the course of Legion, your character will become stronger (through Artifact progression, gear upgrades, etc), which will naturally ease the difficulty of these challenges. Likewise, as more and more players complete these challenges, more community generated content will appear giving advice for those who are struggling.

Ultimately, each artifact appearance has a different source. Some reflect dedication to a particularly gameplay style, such as raiding or PvP, others for reaching milestones like completing the 7.0 Order Hall line. In the case of these challenge appearances, they are meant to show that you've truly mastered the nuances of your spec.

Brewmaster Monks in 7.2.5

A huge post with plans to address issues with Brewmasters in a forthcoming content patch.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Hail! First round of Brews is on me, Monks. Shall we talk a bit about Brewmasters?

As Seph talked about in a recent Rogue thread, 7.2.5 will include much more significant class change than 7.2 did, and one of the specs that we're focusing on is Brewmaster. Brewmasters are currently quite strong, performance-wise, but have a few notable issues that we'd like to work out.

Offensive Abilities

Rotationally, Brewmasters are using a mixture of offensive and defensive buttons. Some parts of this worked well, such as Keg Smash and Tiger Palm granting partial charges of your Brews. One part that hasn't worked out well is in Blackout Strike and Breath of Fire. Having no direct defensive value, or interaction with other abilities in your rotation, they end up feeling disconnected, and leave you wondering why you're hitting them. There are a couple minor artifact traits that give them some defensive value, but that's ultimately negligible as far as rotation design goes. One saving grace here is the Blackout Combo talent, which gives a strong reason to care about Blackout Strike, and add a lot of depth (and complexity) to your rotation.

Another problem is that Blackout Strike has a 3.0s/Haste cooldown, which is actually rather bizarre on a class with a 1.0s GCDs. Experienced players have learned that you should get a significant enough amount of Haste to bring that down to something in the 2.2-2.5sec range, and alternate Blackout Strikes with other abilities, with awkward 0.2-0.5sec gaps in between your abilities. This also means that with the forced gaps, you become GCD-capped, and Energy stops functioning. Finally, one last problem we're looking at is that there are rather limited options for customizing the rotation through talents (pretty much just Blackout Combo), and no baseline variability, leading to some people finding it repetitive and predictable.

We'd like to clean this up, and here are our current thoughts on how (not set in stone, very interested in discussion and PTR testing). 
  • First, Blackout Strike and Breath of Fire will have a direct defensive value: they'll grant a stack of Elusive Brawler (per target hit, in Breath of Fire's case).
  • Second, Blackout Strike will more smoothly fit into the rotation. We're going to try it having a cooldown, but Tiger Palm significantly reducing that cooldown, such that you can Blackout Strike every few GCDs, and not have any forced partial-second pauses. We want to make sure that Energy (and thus Haste) controls the speed of your rotation, so that that's in your control. If you want a more full, button-spammy rotation, you can favor Haste. If you prefer being more tactical with your GCDs, optimizing the timing of each one, you can favor other stats.
  • And finally, to let you customize the rotation with both higher GCD utilization and some variance, we're planning to add a talent that gives Tiger Palm a high chance to reset the cooldown of Breath of Fire. (Where exactly to put that talent is unclear; replacing Chi Burst is the current idea, but we're not super thrilled with that.)

Defensive Abilities

Overall, Stagger is working quite well in the general case. Ironskin vs Purify (and in particular when to Purify) is a good choice, though maybe a tad bit skewed toward Ironskin right now. However, it becomes problematic in the extreme case, where Stagger is used to cheese mechanics that aren't intended to be survivable. For example, a Brewmaster may use High Tolerance and Fortifying Brew in order to get 100% Stagger, soak several of some raid mechanic that is intended to be entirely unsurvivable (probably even piercing immunities), Purify twice quickly, and get healed through what little of the damage is remaining. The key source of this is when Stagger reaches 100% or near-100%, and our planned changes to solve this focus on that:
  • We'll be reducing the Stagger gain of Fortifying Brew, and slightly reduce the Stagger gain of Ironskin Brew.
  • We'll be raising Brewmaster's base armor to compensate.
  • We're going to add a cap on how much damage can be Staggered (high enough that you won't hit it in normal gameplay, but enough to stop cheesing mechanics).
  • There is also an artifact trait that increases the Stagger gain of Fortifying Brew that has been mostly-useless since 7.1.5, which we're going to redesign.

Again, the point of this is not at all to be a nerf in intended circumstances, but rather to shift around where the mitigation comes from, such that it can't be used to unintentionally bypass mechanics.

Relatedly, one mechanic that causes imbalance with tanks is that in a tank-swap situation in a raid, tanks can store up a large amount of active mitigation while not actively tanking, both in terms of ability charges, and buff durations. In general, this is fine, but it can be taken to extremes, and Brewmasters are a good example of that, frequently being able to go into their tanking with a 30+sec duration Ironskin Brew rolling. Some amount of this is fine, but to keep it within a reasonable range, we're going to put a cap on how long you can extend tank active mitigation buffs, to a maximum of twice their base duration. Thanks for reading! We look forward to your feedback.

What are you doing to address the fact that ISB has basically become the new shuffle and requires 100% uptime? That's literally brew gameplay right now -> 100% ISB uptime and anything left goes into purify.

I touched on that a bit, that the decision is skewed a tad bit towards Ironskin right now. There are 3 changes here that will help with that:

  • The increase to base armor will help with the problem of Ironskin falling off feeling like a death sentence.
  • The reduction to Ironskin effectiveness will slightly decrease the difference between Ironskin being up and not.
  • Our current plan for the mentioned artifact trait replacement is Purify percentage, which will increase the value of Purifying.

How does a talent like Tiger Palm resetting Breath Fire work when you have the legendary chest? Clearly we wouldn't take it since Keg is resetting breath about every 5 seconds. With both it would be absurd.

Occasional legendaries that push you away from or toward a particular talent are generally OK. If you have the Breath of Fire chest, you likely will want to pick one of the other talents instead of Spitfire (the Tiger Palm resets Breath of Fire one), and that's OK.

Will there be exceptions added to this rule? For example, will this not just completely negate the use of the 'Bastion of Light' talent for Protection Paladins? Gaining the instant charges allows them to go much further beyond the "twice their base duration", essentially throwing away all that additional SotR uptime that comes from the talent during the activation window.

There may be, yes. We don't want to invalidate any existing gameplay, just prevent the "I've been offtanking for a bit and have a crazy long duration buff up when I take over, skewing my priorities."

Without hard numbers, it is difficult to see if this will be a blessing or a curse.

Numbers matter for performance, and I want to reemphasize the fact that the changes I'm talking about are intended to be net-neutral, performance-wise. Of course they will affect performance, but we'll offset them with number tweaks, in whichever direction is necessary.

The point of all of these is gameplay, mechanics, and particularly rotational flow.

My first concern on hearing that there is a stagger cap is what does that mean for damage intake: once you're at stagger cap, do you take full damage from hits? How do you anticipate this working on mobs like The Demon Within, which is already hitting for approximately 5 million white damage per auto set? Extrapolating further to future mythic tiers, it's not necessarily unreasonable to anticipate mobs that will be hitting a monk in excess of 7+ million white damage (for example) every 1-1.5s. Given brew generation in your most favorable circumstances, it seems there is a real possibility of brewmasters essentially hitting some upper limit of mob they're able to tank before they're essentially as squishy as a dps, save dodging, due to having capped stagger.

To be clear, the stagger cap is not on the amount you can stagger per-hit, but on the total amount you can have delayed in your "stagger bar" at once. As stated, it's mainly a limit to avoid abusive cases, similar to how spells like Guardian Spirit have a point where they stop working. If you're about to try to soak something that will do a few times your maximum health in damage (even after cooldowns), you should expect to die immediately. This should come into play only in relatively extreme cases.

What exactly do you mean by a cap on how much damage can be staggered? Is there a maximum amount of damage that is allowed to be in the stagger dot? Or does each attack have a maximum amount that can be absorbed from it and added to the stagger dot? This is hugely important to know.

There will be a maximum amount of total damage that you can have banked in your Stagger DoT. Any overflow beyond that will continue through to your health.

I personally love the way Blackout Strike fits into the rotation, especially with Blackout Combo.

And you're not alone; we recognize that there are many Brewmasters who love Blackout Combo, and have Haste in the right thresholds to make it flow reasonably well. One of the things of utmost importance to us with this rotation change is that it doesn't feel worse to those like you. We have several experienced Brewmasters internally who voiced this apprehension when first hearing about these changes, and after playtesting it they all agreed that it felt the same to them. In our books, that's a win, since it's an improvement for the rest of the Brewmasters who aren't in that sweet spot. We hope that sentiment is common externally as well, so please test it out when the PTR goes up, and let us know how it feels. Your feedback on this really matters.

The ability to be GCD capped, or very close to it, is something that I have always loved about brewmasters and on a personal level of feedback it is really important to me that that type of gameplay is still available and viable. Brewmaster has always been a very high APM spec (even if not all of the GCDs directly translate to defensive benefits) so please be careful to maintain that as you tinker with the rotation.

We absolutely hear you, and are targeting Spitfire, Rushing Jade Wind, and Haste at players like you. It'll probably take us some iteration on the energy and proc rate numbers to get the feel just right, so we'll need your help with PTR testing feedback.

Please Increase the IsB duration cap, at least 30-40s. 16s is too short.
And when will you address that bears have been OP for too long and EASIER to play without any significant nerf?

We're starting with a cap of "double the base duration," but that may feel too restrictive, and we'll iterate. This is still early in the process (PTR hasn't even started yet), and none of this is set in stone.

Cheers to everyone that has provided valuable feedback here so far. We'll keep reading and iterating.

First, Blackout Strike and Breath of Fire will have a direct defensive value: they'll grant a stack of Elusive Brawler (per target hit, in Breath of Fire's case)." -- I am sure you are well aware this will push Mastery's value through the roof.

That's certainly possible, and we'll adjust stat tuning if needed. Again, this is intended to be performance-neutral, so we're not trying to buff OR nerf overall performance here.

On the AM max duration discussion, there's been a ton of great feedback on that so far. I'd like to go into why we're considering this change a little more. Forgive me for the verbosity (hah):


This effects Brewmasters more than other tanks, but not exclusively. The main reason that this affects Brewmasters more is that they are meant to split their resource between two brews: Ironskin and Purifying.

Consider a simple situation of two bosses, each beating on a tank. The Brewmaster is using a mixture of their Brews, maintaining ISB while using excess on PB (or maybe even letting ISB fall off when the boss stops to cast something, or is otherwise unthreatening for a moment). She gets more Brew charges than she needs to keep ISB up, but she's using those excess charges on PB, so ISB duration is remaining low.

The co-tank, let's say a Warrior for example, is built a little differently, having two separate defensive resources (Shield Block charges and Rage for Ignore Pain). Both are being generated and consumed at a similar rate, also not gaining increasing Shield Block duration.

Things are good here, and let's suppose for the sake of argument the two tanks are 'balanced' in this context.

---

OK, now let's change the design of the fight, to one where there's one huge boss, and the two tanks take turns tanking for 30sec at a time. Arguments of this being a less-engaging fight aside, let's look at how that affects the tank balance.

While the Warrior is OTing, he's building up Shield Block charges, but once he hits max charges, they're being wasted. He can use one at a time as they're generated, but they don't last longer than it takes to generate, so his Shield Block buff duration doesn't grow over time. Similar deal with Rage and Ignore Pain. He builds up Rage, and when that caps out, he builds up an Ignore Pain stack, but that caps out pretty quickly too. Excess Rage is wasted (at least defensively anyway; they can put it into damage). When the Warrior taunts, he goes into it with some buffer of his max Shield Block charges, maybe a single partial Shield Block buff, and max Rage and Ignore Pain. Overall, he could carry over some value from that time not tanking, but not all of it.

Meanwhile, when the Brewmaster is not tanking, they're building up charges of their single defensive resource, Brew charges. Once at max Brew charges, she starts using Ironskin Brews, as they're generated. Since there's nothing to Purify, she never does so, and all of her charges go into Ironskin Brew, creating a surplus of Ironskin duration that just grows over time. When she taunts, she goes into it with max Brew charges, and a 1min long Ironskin buff. She never has to Ironskin the whole time she's tanking, and can send all of her Brew charges into Purifying, over tripling (if not more) how often she can Purify, providing a sizable gain over her Warrior counterpart. All that time she spent not tanking goes into storing up defensive value for when she is tanking, with no limit.

If the two tanks were 'balanced' in the first fight, then the Brewmaster is overpowered in the second. Alternatively, if you argue that they're balanced in the second fight, that means they're underpowered in the first. The goal of this change is to place a reasonable limit on how much value you can carry over from time spent not tanking, so that we can tune the tanks to be balanced in both of these situations, not just one of them.

I totally get that right now you can always get benefit out of hitting Ironskin Brew, never being fully wasted, and so the prospect of going to a system where there may be a time where you're just sitting on full charges, wasting them sounds like a negative. Please understand that for most other tanks, that's just normal; a Warrior that's not tanking is just wasting the defensive value of their Shield Block charges once at max charges, and that's just an accepted norm. By bringing Brewmasters into parity in this regard, we can then tune them to be more consistently balanced with other tanks, which is the core goal of the change.

One of the most common responses so far has been "I understand wanting a cap, but 2x*duration is too short". Totally reasonable argument, and we'll need your help finding what the right cap is. We chose that to start with because that's consistent with things like Ignore Pain, Mark of Ursol, Blood Shield, Soul Fragments, etc. Given the more liberal use of Brew charges, it may be more appropriate to be higher for Brewmasters.

I'd love to keep hearing your thoughts on this, and I hope that this massively-over-verbose post helped better explain our thought process here. Thanks to those of you that stuck with it, reading it all the way through. :)

This is probably the most extreme example I can pull from in game currently and it results in 21.5 million staggered, which is certainly a lot but I know on Mythic Gul'dan, there have been moments where I've had between 10 million and 18 million staggered and subsequently purified. How will this design idea allow those two different situations to co-exist? How does the game react to me being sent to stagger cap because of a single huge ability that should've killed me rather than the fact that the boss encounter just hits extremely hard? And if your retort is "well, brewmasters shouldn't be able to solo fel scythes and still continue to tank the boss" my counter is "what about guardians doing the same thing with roughly the same amount of externals?

That is exactly my retort, and Guardians shouldn't be able to either. Soloing every 100-Energy Fel Scythe is perfect example of the cheese this is intended to prevent, and we'll be preventing it on Guardians as well.

How much of a threshold are we talking? One stagger bar? Two? Five? Ten? 

When we reach this threshold, what happens? Do we begin to take unmitigated hits? Will stagger simply stop working? If so, what's the plan for taking an unmitigated raid boss hit, as a few bosses are capable of 100-0% a 910 brewmaster in a single swing?

The current idea is that the Stagger bar that the UI shows is the cap, which matches up with your health bar, since that'll be the most understandable and intuitive. Then, however much of a buff to max health is needed to make that balanced.

Example, with 80% Stagger, 33% Armor for convenient numbers:

HP: 100/100 ~ Stagger: 0/100

Take a hit for 30, armor reduces that to 20, then stagger takes 16, and 4 goes through to HP.
HP: 96/100 ~ Stagger: 16/100

Time passes and 8 of the Stagger damage goes over into HP.
HP: 88/100 ~ Stagger: 8/100

Then you take a big hit for 60, armor reduces that to 40, then stagger takes 32, and 8 goes through to HP.
HP: 80/100 ~ Stagger: 40/100

You quickly Purify 50% of that.
HP: 80/100 ~ Stagger: 20/100

Then you take a *massive* hit for 210 (something cheesy), armor reduces that to 140. Stagger would take 112, but there's only room for 80 in your Stagger bar. So Stagger takes 80, and 60 goes through to HP.
HP: 20/100 ~ Stagger: 100/100

TL;DR: The Stagger bar on your UI is now representative of your maximum stagger pool, and any overflow damage continues on into your HP bar. Max HP is increased as needed, such that these two bars combined are a big enough pool for normal gameplay.

Alright, second round is on me as well, Brewmasters. Now that the weekend is over, we've had a chance to discuss all the great feedback you all have provided so far. Here's what we're thinking:

(Note that the below changes likely won't make it into the first PTR build.)

Stagger Cap

As I said, the goal of this was cheese-prevention, not intended to impact normal gameplay. A Stagger cap of 100%*HP has a lot of value to us due to it functioning intuitively within the UI. We had hoped that the amount we need to buff HP/Armor would be reasonable in order to make that work, but looking at the numbers and your feedback, we don't think there's enough room there. Therefore, we're now leaning toward a 200%*HP cap, and that just won't be visible in the UI (but then, neither is the cap of Guardian Spirit and the like).

Active Mitigation Duration Cap

There has been a ton of useful feedback about this topic. Being able to carry over a ton of banked Active Mitigation (and Ironskin Brew absolutely is AM in context) from tank swaps and low damage phases is extremely powerful, and contributes to imbalance between tanks. But we're also sympathetic to how it adds an additional complication that you need to keep in your mental space. We think that just loosening the restriction up a bit so that the window you can safely press Ironskin Brew in is much wider will satisfy that, so we're going to try a cap of 3x Duration instead of 2x. And to clarify, calling this "base duration" was inaccurate; I meant the duration of a single cast of Ironskin Brew, including traits (so 3x Duration would be 24sec with 4/4 of that trait).

Magic DR

We've talked about having armor and potentially HP as tuning knobs to use. We also have the % of Stagger that applies to Magic to use. All of the changes we're discussing in this thread are for mechanical and playstyle reasons, and then tuning is a separate (but big and important) issue. Just to set expectations, Brewmasters with Mystic Vitality are currently seen as extremely strong against Magic damage, sometimes overpowered. Guardian Druids are also overpowered against Magic damage, and that will be adjusted as well.

Thanks, and keep the feedback coming!

Mistwaver Monks - Essence Font With CD

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

What are we supposed to do when Essence FontEssence Font is on cooldown, Uplifting TranceUplifting Trance isn't available, Whispers of ShaohaoWhispers of Shaohao has been used, and the the group still needs to be healed?

The initial version going out has a small buff to baseline VivifyVivify. Also, the changes greatly increase the practical value of mastery, which is a hidden buff to the VivifyVivify, Enveloping MistEnveloping Mist, and EffuseEffuse casts you'll be making in between Essence FontEssence Fonts.

Part of it, though, is you should have more of cadence between the high-priority heals that somewhat solve problems on their own, and the spells that don't always do that. You asked what to do when the "best" 3 or 4 things are on cooldown or not available, and that's similar to a Druid falling back to laying down RejuvenationRejuvenations when she can't use Wild GrowthWild Growth or SwiftmendSwiftmend, or a Paladin using Flash of LightFlash of Light between Light of DawnLight of Dawn and Holy ShockHoly Shock cooldowns. Making use of the no-cooldown spells that are more limited is meant to be a moment when you look forward to the next heavy hitter coming back (even if it's just a few seconds for an Essence FontEssence Font).

The concerns in feedback seem to mostly reflect tuning--that the "filler" kit of VivifyVivify, Enveloping MistEnveloping Mist, EffuseEffuse, and Soothing MistSoothing Mist isn't strong enough. Possibly that's true and the problem has been papered over on live by the ability to focus everything on Essence FontEssence Font. Overall tuning will be something to watch on PTR, as with any spec getting any degree of shakeup. Tuning debates usually aren't too productive in early feedback, but maybe a helpful thing to say is: "if we hadn't been making any changes to Mistweaver, it would probably have gotten a small flat throughput buff before the next raid."

With the changes to Mistweaver during the transition to Legion, there was already a degree of homogenization from what was previously a fairly unique gameplay experience to something more similar to what already existed in other healing classes. As you consider further changes to Mistweaver, is further samey-ness something that's "on the radar"?

It is, although possibly in the opposite way. If anything, thinking that Essence FontEssence Font had to be forced into an off-cooldown design from the start "just to be different" probably didn't help anybody. The spec flowing better for everyone using it matters more than symmetries or antisymmetries between specs and how they look on paper. Nobody actually playing either spec is going to forget whether they're on a Mistweaver or a Resto Druid just because Essence FontEssence Font follows a successful design like Wild GrowthWild Growth. The spells around them, the different interactions they have, and the whole pile of talents, traits, and item bonuses all doing different things ensures that.

There's always a balance between lessons and good designs that are generally true throughout the game, and variance between specs. And powerful AoE heals usually having some cooldown (for a number of reasons) is a factor that's more likely to improve Mistweaver gameplay than worrying about being a carbon copy of other specs (which it's pretty far from, all things considered).

Outlaw Rogue: RTB & True Bearing

Changes coming in Patch 7.2.5.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Two things I think many of us can agree on right now: 
  • 1. True BearingTrue Bearing's cooldown reduction per combo point spent mechanic is fun to play with. The mechanic has been on the spec for a long time as a passive with a different name (Restless BladesRestless Blades), and largely drove the pacing and feel of the spec.
  • 2. True BearingTrue Bearing is much stronger than any of the other single Roll the BonesRoll the Bones buffs, on average.

That said, we're going to make two changes to Outlaw Rogues in 7.2.5:
  • 1. The True BearingTrue Bearing mechanic is being added to Outlaw as a baseline passive (called Restless BladesRestless Blades), tuned to an appropriate pacing and power level for how many combo points the spec currently generates. Restless BladesRestless Blades, currently in 7.2.5 is tuned at 0.5 sec of cooldown reduction per combo point because realistically, the spec now generates easily 2-3x more combo points compared to a couple expansions ago, and the pacing impact and tuning of Restless BladesRestless Blades should reflect that.
  • 2. True BearingTrue Bearing will remain as one of the 6 Roll the BonesRoll the Bones buffs, but will be tuned down from 2.0 to 1.0 sec of cooldown reduction per combo point. We're serious about balancing each of the 6 individual buffs against each other, and True BearingTrue Bearing at 2.0 sec is clearly out of line.

We'll be keeping a close eye on Roll the BonesRoll the Bones during 7.2.5 development, and as usual will make further tuning/adjustments as necessary.

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the mage tower quests are not a skill check, they are not  even very much of a gear check, they ARE however a massive hardware check, IF you have less than perfect internet connection...they are impossible to complete due to the zero tolerance timing, one tiny lag spike and its failed.  

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13 hours ago, Realmouse said:

the mage tower quests are not a skill check, they are not  even very much of a gear check, they ARE however a massive hardware check, IF you have less than perfect internet connection...they are impossible to complete due to the zero tolerance timing, one tiny lag spike and its failed.  

Those are mean to be raid Mythic difficulty level wised and I think they are tuned just like it should (WW monk here). I tried and failed 21 times before beating it and it felt awesome. I had to use everything I can to beat it and I'm only 895 ilvl. Sometimes in mythic you die of bad luck or because you failed to predict what will happen soon enough and I can guarantee that lag will kill you. It's not mean to be easy so yeah, hardware and a good internet connection is mandatory.  

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people rushed mage tower though they knew it would be a challenge like the green fire questline from pandaria.. and now cry for nerfs? pathetic.. ofc they wont stand a chance at actual gear levels. maybe after tomb opens they can try.. but crying for nerfs right now is just the usual shitstorm.. do people really think they walk in get the appearance first try? blizzard told them it wouldnt be the case. its a CHALLENGE for a new appearance. but if wow players have to work for something they get cringy..

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my only beef with the mage tower is that blizzard flat out lied to us.  they said it would be a skill based scenario, it is not. they said it would need expert levels of class knowledge, it does not (basic understanding of a class is all that is needed, anything else has no use in there),  they said it would be like the warlocks green fire quest, this is so far from the truth its aggravating..the mage tower is proving grounds 2.0.

  

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      Brewmaster
      Brewmasters now have access to Vivify (Single-target heal). Tiger's Lust is now a level 75 talent (down from 30). Mystic Vitality is now a level 30 talent (up from 75). Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Eye of the Tiger Chi Wave Chi Burst 30 Celerity Mystic Vitality Chi Torpedo 45 Light Brewing Gift of the Mists Black Ox Brew 60 Tiger Tail Sweep *new* Summon Black Ox Statue Ring of Peace 75 Healing Elixir Tiger's Lust Dampen Harm 90 Special Delivery Rushing Jade Wind Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox 100 High Tolerance Elusive Dance Blackout Combo Mistweaver
      You must now remain stationary while channeling Soothing Mist. Moving interrupts the channel. Zen Pulse (level 15 talent) removed. Mist Wrap is now a level 15 talent (up from 45). Mana Tea is now a level 45 talent (up from 100). Diffuse Magic is now a level 30 talent (up from 75). Tiger's Lust is now a level 75 talent (down from 30). Essence Well is a new level 100 talent. Rising Thunder (level 100 talent) removed. Rising Mist is a new level 100 talent. Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Mist Wrap Chi Wave Chi Burst 30 Celerity Diffuse Magic Chi Torpedo 45 Lifecycles Spirit of the Crane Mana Tea 60 Tiger Tail Sweep *new* Song of Chi-Ji Ring of Peace 75 Healing Elixir Tiger's Lust Dampen Harm 90 Summon Jade Serpent Statue Refreshing Jade Wind Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane 100 Essence Well *new* Focused Thunder Rising Mist *new* Windwalker
      Windwalkers now have access to Vivify (Single- target heal). Healing Elixir (level 30 talent) removed. Diffuse Magic is now a level 30 talent (up from 75). Chi Torpedo is now a level 30 talent (up from 75). Power Strikes is now a level 100 talent (down from 75). Fist of the White Tiger is now a level 45 talent (up from 60). Tiger's Lust is now a level 75 talent (down from 30). Tornado Kicks (level 60 talent) removed. Tiger Tail Sweep is a new level 60 talent. Combo Breaker (level 60 talent) removed. Summon Black Ox Statue is a new level 60 talent. Ring of Peace is no longer baseline, but available as a talent at level 60. Dampen Harm is a new level 75 talent. Wind Strikes (level 100 talent) removed. Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Eye of the Tiger Chi Wave Chi Burst 30 Celerity Diffuse Magic Chi Torpedo 45 Ascension Fist of the White Tiger *new* Energizing Elixir 60 Tiger Tail Sweep *new* Summon Black Ox Statue *new* Ring of Peace *new*
      75 Inner Strength *new* Tiger's Lust Dampen Harm *new* 90 Hit Combo Rushing Jade Wind *new* Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger 100 Power Strikes Whirling Dragon Punch Serenity Priest
      Shadow
      Power Infusion (level 90 talent) removed and has no replacement now > Coming Soon! Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Fortress of the Mind Shadowy Insight Shadow Word: Void 30 Mania Body and Soul San'layn 45 Twist of Fate Misery Dark Void *new* 60 Last Word *new* Mind Bomb Psychic Horror 75 Auspicious Spirits Shadow Word: Death Shadow Crash 90 Lingering Insanity Mindbender Coming Soon! 100 Legacy of the Void Void Torrent *new* Surrender to Madness Rogue
      Assassination
      Dispatch (level 15 talent) has been renamed to Blindside. Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Master Poisoner Elaborate Planning Blindside 30 Nightstalker Subterfuge Master Assassin *new* 45 Vigor Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death 60 Leeching Poison Elusiveness Cheat Death 75 Internal Bleeding Iron Wire Prey on the Weak 90 Venom Rush Toxic Blade Exsanguinate 100 Poison Bomb *new* Hidden Blades *new* Crimson Tempest Previous Talent Changes
      We're covering talent changes every Battle for Azeroth Alpha Build. Here's a history of our previews so far:
      Alpha Build 26433 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26367 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26310 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26287 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26231 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26175 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26131 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26095 Talent Changes Alpha Build 26032 Talent Changes Alpha Build 25976 Talent Changes
    • By Stan

      This week's Alpha Build 26476 added new class-specific Azerite traits to the game. Check them out!
      Our preview of this week's Alpha Build includes Dark Iron Dwarves & Mag'har Orcs and racial nerfs so far.
      New Azerite Traits
      Below is a list of class-specific Azerite traits that have been added to the game in this week's Alpha Build 26476.
      Death Knight
      Festermight - Bursting a Festering Wound grants you 205 Strength for 20 sec, stacking. Stacking this effect does not extend its duration. Spellreaper - When you successfully dispel an effect with Reap Magic, gain 1,647 Absorb for 20 sec. Demon Hunter
      Soulmonger - Consuming a Soul Fragment shields you, granting 700 Absorb for 3 sec. Druid
      Awakening - When you resurrect an ally with Rebirth, they Absorb 6,618 damage over 15 sec Shredding Fury - After your Tiger's Fury, your next four Shreds are increased by 93. Solitary Rejuvenation - If Rejuvenation is your only Heal over Time effect on the target, increase the healing of Rejuvenation by 187. Sunblaze - Solar Wrath increases the damage of your next Starsurge by 156. Hunter
      Dance of Death - Dire Frenzy has a chance equal to your critical strike chance to grant you 346 Agility for its duration. Shellshock - Each second Aspect of the Turtle is active, heal for 494. Unerring Vision - While Trueshot is active you gain 346 Critical Strike rating every sec, stacking up to 10 times. Venomous Fangs - Your pet's Basic Attack deals 78 additional damage to enemies suffering from your Serpent Sting. Mage
      Arcane Pressure - Arcane Barrage deals an additional 700 damage per Arcane Charge against targets below 20% health. Blaster Master - Fire Blast increases your Mastery by 0 for 3 sec. Eldritch Warding - Your Ice Barrier, Blazing Barrier, and Prismatic Barrier absorb 588 additional damage. Monk
      Strength of Spirit - While Fortifying Brew is active, heal for 370 every second. Paladin
      Stalwart Protector - When you cast Divine Shield, grant 734 absorb for 15 sec to nearby allies. Priest
      Sanctum - When you cast Fade, absorb 2,000 Magic damage for 10 sec. Rogue
      Footpad - Allies within 8 yds while your Sprint is active gain 311 Speed. Shaman
      Serene Spirit - When you cast Astral Shift and when Astral Shift ends, heal for 1,748. Warlock
      Lifeblood - When you use a Healthstone, gain 355 Leech for 20 sec. (May as well be a generic trait available to all Classes). Warrior
      Breach - When you damage an enemy with Heroic Leap, gain 235 Leech for 20 sec. Full List of Azerite Traits
      Below is a list of all Azerite traits that have been added to the game so far. The most recent traits have the *NEW* tag.
    • By Stan

      We have a list of all Azerite traits that have been added to the game so far.
      We've datamined 198 Azerite traits so far and the list has been updated for Alpha Build 26433. Some Azerite traits are placeholders and values may be slightly off.
      Class-Specific Azerite Traits
      Death Knight
      Dark Grudge Glacial Contagion Decimate Scourge the Unbeliever Deep Cuts Icy Citadel Festering Doom Bone Spike Graveyard Latent Chill Horrid Expulsion Marrowblood Demon Hunter
      Seething Chaos Gaping Maw Devour Revel in Pain Furious Gaze Infernal Armor Druid
      Twisted Claw Long Night Rejuvenating Breath Bloodline Primordial Rage Heartblood Fungal Essence Streaking Stars Raking Ferocity Masterful Instincts Coordinated Restoration Power of the Moon Hunter
      Aspect of the Cheetah Arrowstorm Ride the Lightning Vigorous Wings Rotting Jaws In The Rhythm Whirling Rebound Seize the Initiative Raking Talons Flashing Fangs Serrated Jaws Wildfire Cluster Haze of Rage Arcane Flurry Latent Poison Mage
      Blast Radius Ignition Point Packed Ice Arcane Pummeling Arcane Annihilation Flames of Alacrity Packed Ice Brain Storm Preheat Winter's Reach Monk
      Swift Roundhouse Fit to Burst Invigorating Brew Boiling Brew Iron Fists Sunrise Technique Overflowing Mists Staggering Strikes Paladin
      Zealotry Divine Illumination Righteous Bastion Avenger's Might Bulwark of Light Martyr's Breath Inspiring Beacon Rejuvenating Grace Fortifying Auras Critical Flash King's Shield Righteous Flames Healing Hammer Strong Light Searing Blades Healthy Judgment Deferred Sentence Furious Wrath Expurgation Warmth of the Light Dauntless Divinity Priest
      Bindings of Fate Torment of Torments Pillar of Light Moment of Repose Permeating Glow Searing Dialogue Weal and Woe Blessed Sanctuary Thought Harvester Rogue
      Contaminant Subtle Blade Swashbuckler Sharpened Blades Deadshot Double Dose Night's Vengeance Storm of Steel Twist the Knife Shaman
      Astral Shift Storm's Eye Lightningburn Ancestral Reach Flames of the Forefathers Electropotence Embrace of the Tides Healing Way Overloaded Striker's Grace Volcanic Lightning Primal Primer Soothing Waters Lava Shock Strength of Earth Ebb and Flow Warlock
      Suffer Unshackled Fel Meteoric Flare Wracking Brilliance Shadow's Bite Heavy Rain Erratic Omen Inevitable Demise Umbral Blaze Warrior
      Bloodcraze Heavy-Handed Battering Ram Deafening Crash Trample the Weak Executioner's Precision Gathering Storm Bloodcraze Sword and Board Generic Azerite Traits
      Increase Versatility 15 Haste Increased Intellect 46 Strength Agility 20 Item - Proc Mastery Netherlight Fortification Test Spell - Anders Test Power 6 Azerite Empowered Longstrider Resounding Protection Blood Siphon Woundbinder Lifespeed Elemental Whirl Heed My Call Fury of the Sands Overwhelming Power Gutripper On My Way Mote in the Eye Embrace of the Sands Portal: Dalaran - Broken Isles Savior Winds of War Vampiric Speed Test Azerite Power Champion of Azeroth Impassive Visage Bulwark of the Masses Gemhide Azerite Fortification Self Reliance Azerite Veins Uncertainty Uncertainty Uncertainty Uncertainty Crystalline Carapace Ablative Shielding Strength in Numbers Upwelling Synergistic Growth Concentrated Mending Bracing Chill Ephemeral Recovery Weeping Aura Ruinous Bolt Rezan's Fury Rezan's Command Meticulous Scheming Blightborne Infusion Filthy Transfusion Secrets of the Deep Sandstorm
    • By Stan

      Players that haven't played the game for a while can now claim 7 days of free game time until April 30, 2018.
      Open the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app. Click the glowing Gift Button located next to your BattleTag in the upper right. Click Claim. A notification will pop-up whenever you have new Gifts to claim. We're not exactly sure how long must your account be inactive in order to receive the gift, but we'll update this thread when we find out! The game time can only be redeemed until April 30, 2018.
      If you decide to activate your account now, make sure to check out what's going on this week in WoW!

    • By Stan

      Our preview of Dark Iron Dwarves & Mag'har Orcs includes customization options, racials, mounts, and more!
      Today, we're looking at Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag'har Orcs that are now available for playtesting on Battle for Azeroth Alpha.
      Welcome to our preview of Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag'har Orcs. Both Allied Races are now available for playtesting on Battle for Azeroth Alpha, so we recorded videos of their customization options and included other useful information in this article.
      Dark Iron Dwarves
      Achievement: Allied Races: Dark Iron Dwarf
      Heritage Armor

      Playable Classes: Hunter, Mage, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
      Racial Abilities
      Name Effect Dungeon Delver While indoors, move 4% faster. Fireblood Removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects and increases your primary stat by 231 and an additional 77 for each effect removed. Lasts 8 sec. (2 min cooldown) Forged in Flames Reduces damage taken from Physical attacks by 1%. Mass Production Increases Blacksmithing skill by 5 and Blacksmithing speed by 25%. Mole Machine While outdoors, summon a Mole Machine that tunnels through the earth.[NYI] (3 sec cast, 30 min cooldown) Racial Mount: Dark Iron Core Hound

      Shaman Totems

      Customization Options
      Mag'har Orcs
      Achievement: Allied Races: Mag'har Orc
      Heritage Armor

      Playable Classes: Hunter, Mage, Monk, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior
      Racial Abilities
      Name Effect Ancestral Call Invoke the spirits of your ancestors, granting you their power. (Instant, 2 min cooldown) -> Might of the Blackrock - Increases secondary stat by 102 for 15 sec.  Open Skies Increases mounted speed by 10%. Savage Blood Reduces the duration of Poisons, Diseases, and Curses by 10%. Sympathetic Vigor Increases pet health by 10%. Racial Mount: Mag'har Direwolf

      Shaman Totems

      Customization Options