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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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      And seeing that most people don't seem happy with your communication as of late why not cut out the middle man third party and go straight to your player base?
      There's literally a sticky at the top of the forums where we asked you to submit questions for the Q&A.
      https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20769766993
      I saw that but why take any questions from Twitter then?
      Not everyone uses the forums. Forums are a very small percentage of any user base, even WoW. 

      There are some folks that use say Twitter for instance that refuse to come here, but still play the game. There are even folks submitting questions on Facebook that don't like either Twitter or the forums. Just like some players on the forums dislike Twitter, there are folks who have the opposite opinion.
      My job is partly in customer service, so similar to Ythisens.
      I'm not in Customer Service. 

      I think there are valid things to criticize us for and in fact I support and encourage that, however it's pretty silly when someone makes a post about something that is stickied on the same page they had to visit to make their post. The same sticky that is there before every single Q&A since we've had a Q&A.

      I wasn't being snarky at all. It was more of a "come on now -.-".
      The difference Yth is that the people who make the effort to come to the forums to submit questions/complaints/etc. are the ones who feel strongly enough to make that effort in the first place.
      Then that implies that you're saying the questions on say Twitter should be less valued when they're just as much of a player as you are. They could go through the same effort to write a tweet. I get the sentiment that on the forums you're able to articulate your statement/question better, however if you can't boil it down to a simpler question then your question is gonna have a hard time getting into the Q&A. Question cards can only be so long unfortunately >.>
      Back in the day we had wowgmfeedback-us@blizzard.com to provide feedback about GM/CMs or even being able to email to a supervisor directly to its personal blizzard e-mail.
      That still exists and is right here in the thread titled "Welcome - Please Read!":
      What if I would like to submit feedback on posts from Blizzard employees but not post on the forums as call outs are against the rules?
      If you have any sort of issue or feedback about a Blizzard employee's posts then you can submit that via email at wowcmfeedback@blizzard.com.
      Did the OP consider that maybe they got an even higher number of questions from Twitter or other social media platforms?
      We actually do get more questions on sites like Twitter than on the forums as in pure volume. I wouldn't say the quality is better, but there is quite a bit more there. 
      No one should have to put up with that under any circumstance, it is enough to drive a person to the brink of insanity.
      I cope by not letting the turtles make it to the water.
      There's a sticky that also has Twitter updates pasted in it as well lol.
      What's funny is that post exists because we're aware folks on the forums dislike Twitter. 

      For those that haven't seen it yet, I try to maintain a thread where I post updates on the forums that are said from Warcraftdevs on Twitter. You can check that out here:
      https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20767587764?page=1

      Also if you have suggestions on how to improve that please let me know. I try to grab them when I can but sometimes I do miss them (speaking of which I just noticed I need to repost some things there). I've been throwing up hotfixes as well in there since folks requested that.
      Ohh quit with the regurgitated "Not everyone uses the Forums" line.
      People play the game and "refuse" to use the official forums? Sounds like a personal problem "They" need to get over. Twitter is not even third party, they are their own party. You by far are the worst at understanding best business practices. You sound like a newly hired TSR.
      You may not like it but I'm being honest with you. Forums are not the most popular destination when it comes to where the game is discussed. I think forums are the best place given that a poster's ability to craft better posts is vastly superior here, but If your customers are largely in another place is it a good business practice to be where they are as well or ignore that they're in another place too? There is only one right answer to that question if you're looking at it from a business perspective.

      Why do you think we also read other fan sites and third party sites like Reddit, Twitter, and Discord? Players are there. It's a simple fact and reasoning.
      World of Warcraft Subscribers
      The final blue post deals with sub numbers. Players have been canceling their subs for various reasons since the dawn of WoW and Battle for Azeroth is nothing exceptional. A similar thing happened during Legion, the reason being Legendaries. The team is interally discussing player concerns and proposing ways of fixing them.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Is it just me or have there been far, far more threads claiming to not continue their sub/cancel completely compared to all throughout Legion? Like, it's getting to a point where I'm wondering if Blizzard is worried or not. I don't want to go through another WoD debacle but I'm just personally noticing the increase in people who seemingly are done with my favorite game of all time.

      This is troubling, no? Blizzard do you even care?
      ...Yeah, it was. Before this it was about flying and gated allied races.
      Then before that it was Legendaries in Legion, etc. The list goes on for each expansion. I remember seeing people on the forums claiming that the 1.6 patch was going to kill the game because it allowed players to queue for BGs at the Battlemasters in capital cities and thus they were unsubbing, this was 13 years ago.

      I don't want to diminish or invalidate anyone's criticism with this post but yes, GD has always been like this and always will.
      I'm actually kind of sad to see this reply as it just feels inline with everything going on lately. shrug of the shoulders and oh well, btw we are making azurite more complicated, have a nice day!!. in this answer all I see is more of the same our way or the highway attitude from blizz. its disappointing.
      ...Just gotta say, despite saying you don't want to diminish or invalidate criticism, you do just that.
      Sorry if that was the feeling at all as like I said I don't aim to do that by any means.

      Even though we all know how GD can get, we by no means use that to dismiss any present feelings or overall concerns. We recognize everyone is coming from a good place when they raise a concern and every forum post does have a point. Sometimes the point is a little silly or we disagree with it, but that doesn't make it any less valid from that perspective of that player (even if they use McNuggets to explain it). Internally though we share a lot of the concerns you guys have, and conversations happen daily around them as well. We discuss what actually causes this problem and how to solve it. That includes fixing something if we feel it does need to be fixed.
       
    • By Stan
      Varok Saurfang's story continues in Patch 8.1. Check out what awaits the High Overlord in Tides of Vengeance! This article contains spoilers.
      Foreword
      Blizzard released a cinematic titled "Old Soldier", where the High Overlord reacts to the Burning of Teldrassil. He's not content with Sylvanas' decisions and does not like where the Horde is heading.
      Saurfang becomes fed up with the events of the Battle for Lordaeron and is taken to the Stockades by Anduin. Later in the Stormwind Extraction Scenario, you find him locked up in a cell, but he does not want to return to Orgrimmar.
      If you missed our first installment of Saurfang's story in Battle for Azeroth, you can check it out here.
      Saurfang's Story in Patch 8.1
      Blizzard added a new NPC called Varok Saurfang in Tides of Vengeance and the Orc received a new skin as well. He's no longer referred to as "High Overlord" and does not wear his usual armor.

      Saurfang escaped the Stockades and Horde players are sent to investigate what happened to him. Sylvanas does not want him to fall into the hands of the Alliance and demands you to take him back to Orgrimmar. Our favorite Zappyboi makes an appearance at the end of the questline, joining him in battle.
      Varok Saurfang Questline in Patch 8.1
      The 8.1 questline starts with Dark Ranger Alina and "The Dark Lady Calls" quest aboard the Bahsee Wall and Sylvanas requests your audience in Orgrimmar.
      The Dark Lady Calls
      Champion, the Dark Lady has need of you. We cannot speak more of this here. Make haste to Orgrimmar at once. Best not to keep her waiting.
      An Abomination Guard is guarding the door in Grommash Hold to ensure that your meeting with Sylvanas stays private.
      The High Overlord
      I have asked you here to discuss a matter of great improtance to the Horde. Varok Saurfang is no longer present in Stormwind. Let us discuss this turn of events.
      Sylvanas wants you to locate Saurfang, because the Alliance would surely kill him on sight. Some members of the Horde question his loyalty and consider him a traitor for his willing surrender at the Battle for Lordaeron.
      A Way Out
      My spies report that our High Overlord did not leave the way he entered, not any other way we know of. No signs were seen at any of the known exits to the Stockades or sewers. He simply was in his cell one moment, and not the next. Begin your investigation around the city of Stormwind. There must be another way out that we do not know of. Dark Ranger Lyana will meet you there, her tracking skills are second to none. Do not fail me, my champion.
      Now, you must reach Elwynn Forest to continue the questline. The easiest way was to teleport to Dalaran, use the portal to Karazhan and fly there.
      On Track
      Keep your head down, we don't want to be seen out here. Our spies keep watching over Stormwind day and night, and saw no signs of Saurfang. Not did we notice any oddly-oversized carts or strange ships in the night, if that was what you were thinking. How then, did he make his escape? Let's look around.
      You're going to find a sewer exit outside the city.
      Clicking the Old Lock will make the following text appear:
      Now that you've found Saurfang's escape route, the search continues...
      You will be attacked by SI:7 Agents and the quest is complete when you defeat all three.
      You need to keep moving, because SI:7 Agents are probably looking for Saurfang as well.
      Eastern Escape
      It's not unusual to see SI:7 spies lurking around the city, but still, something about this doesn't feel right. We need to find where Saurfang's trail picks up. The last tracks were heading east, towards Redridge. At the entrance to Redridge is Three Corners, one of the more well-defended towers the Alliance has. I have an idea, meet me there.
      The search for Saurfang continues in Redridge Mountains.
      Corner Crossing
      If Saurfang was headed in this direction, it would have been difficult for him to avoid the Three Corners watchpost. We could simply walk in there and demand information, but I have a feeling that they would not part with it willingly. So we will take another approach. I have procured this potion from our alchemists. It will turn us into--ugh-- humans for a while. We can then question the guards, perhaps someone saw something.
      Use the Humanizing Potion to turn yourself into a Human for 10 minutes and ask guards for information. After you taken on the appearance of a Human, Lyana tells you:
      You're going to approach guards and tell them you've lost a puppy. Dark Ranger Lyana goes by the name "Marion Sutton" when transformed.
      The guards were super drunk last night and they do not recall anything. It must have been fairly easy for Saurfang to pass by the Three Corner watchpost unnoticed. Now you question Darcy Parker about what happened last night.
      The search continues in Lakeshire at Inkeeper Brianna. She informs you that guards are staying upstairs at the Lakeshire Inn. After searching the room for clues, you find an Official-Looking Note from Shaw:
      Signs of Saurfang
      With the guards drunk at their posts, Saurfang would have had little trouble passing Three Corners undetected. The path splits up ahead. The back roads of Redridge are poorly-patrolled and infested with gnolls and spiders. In other words, a perfect path for an orc trying to not to be noticed. His most likely path is Lakeridge Highway, we should continue our investigation there.
      You'll find ripped webbing, ichor, and plenty of killed spiders in Lakeridge Highway.
      Defeat the Injured Bristlequeen to complete the quest.
      Ever Eastward
      All signs point to our quarry heading farther east. To what end, Im an not sure, but I have my suspicions. I am going to scout the area from the air, let's meet up at Redridge Pass.
      Tracking Tipoff
      Look there, down the hill, one of the Alliance hunters that roams the area. No one knows these pathways like them. If our quarry passed through this area, they would certainly have seen the tracks. Their dogs may even have noticed. Here is another dose of the potion. Let us question this one while he is alone.
      It's time to drink  Humanizing Potion again and question Hunter McAlister who is later killed, because his dogs notice you're not actual humans.
      Killing Hunter McAlister and his dogs makes Zappyboi appear! Zekhan offers the next quest while Lyana informs you she must return to the Warchief.
      Zekhan tells you that Saurfang's hiding at a nearby farm.
      Grim Tidings
      Ey mon, dat dark ranger, she lied to ya'! Saurfang knew they'd be comin' for him. He sent me to watch the pass, see who his assassins were, try to warn him if I could. She's not reportin' back nothin', she's goin' to kill him. Probably got a whole group of deathguards just waiting for her to give the signal. We gotta stop dem! You with me?
      Dark Ranger Lyana lied to you and she wants to kill him. Better hurry and inform Saurfang who's located in the Swamp of Sorrows.
      A Warrior's Death
      She gonna try an' take him in, and then no one ever gonna see Varok Saurfang again. Dis was never a rescue mission, dis was about power, an' control, an' Sylvanas think she be holdin' all the cards. But she didn't count on us! Let's go.
      Turns out Sylvanas actually tricked you and wants Saurfang dead.
      Completing the quest rewards a fun cloak toy - Worn Cloak. A scripted event will begin as soon as you accept the quest and you must defend Saurfang.
      Dark Ranger Lyana and her crew die, but now you must come up with something to fool Sylvanas.
      Queen's Favor
      I have two things to ask of you, and I do not ask them lightly. First, I need you to retain the favor of the warchief. She will undoubtedly have questions, and seeds of distrust may begin to grow, but she cannot lose you as an ally, not now. She would not so willingly part with one of her greatest champions. In order to do so, it will have to look like you faced me in combat, and lost. I trust you can take a hit. Second, I ask you not to follow me further. I must make this journey alone.
      Talk to Saurfang and tell him to punch you. The screen turns black for a second and you will be afflicted with the "Convincing Blow" debuff for 10 minutes.
      Finally, go to Orgrimmar and talk to Sylvanas in Grommash Hold to complete the Queen's Favor quest that rewards Artifact Power.
      The story ends here. Sylvanas doesn't know you defeated the dark ranger and her forces along with Saurfang and Zekhan. Let's see what the future holds for Varok. Let us know what you think about his story so far and Sylvanas wanting him dead.
      Characters Involved in the Questline
      Dark Ranger Lyana
      Veteran Dark Ranger appointed by Sylvanas to help you track down Saurfang. In the beginning, it all looks like a rescue mission, but further down the questline you learn that she was deceiving you all along. She's later killed by the player, Saurfang, and Zekhan.
      Varok Saurfang
      Saurfang escaped the Stockades and you find him hiding at a farm in the swamps with simple armor and without the "High Overlord" title, indicating his discontent with Sylvanas' Horde. You confront Dark Ranger Lyana and her forces as you uncover her vile intentions and learn that the rescue mission was actually a lie and Sylvanas wants him dead. He doesn't want you or Zekhan to follow him, because he clearly states that he must travel the path alone. The character of Saurfang remains the embodiment of the Horde's long-lost honor.
      Zekhan
      Zappyboi makes an appearance during the questline and fights alongside Saurfang. Blizzard did a really great job at portraying him loyal to Varok at times of need as we saw in the Old Soldier cinematic.
      Lady Sylvanas Windrunner
      Another lie has been told by the Warchief. First, she makes you believe it's of utmost importance to track down Saurfang, who recently escaped the Stockades, so that the Alliance does not kill him. Later, she accuses Varok of treason against the Horde and she wants him dead. After you kill Lyana and her forces, you fool her into believing that Saurfang did all that. Blizzard confirmed in an interview that Sylvanas will not be Garrosh 2.0 in Battle for Azeroth.
      Gameplay Video
      Saurfang-Sylvanas relations hit an all-time low in Tides of Vegeance.
    • By Jovovich
      World of Warcraft - [Horde][US-Arthas]Unhuman - Francais - Uldir 3/8M  -  www.unhuman.ca
       
      Unhuman est à la recherche de nouveaux visages qui seraient intéressés à joindre ses rangs!
      Forum: http://forum.unhuman.ca/forum/7-recrutement/
       
      Raiding:
      - [Raid] Hex Uldir: 3/8M, 2soir, Mercredi et Jeudi 8pm à 11pm  (EST)
         Leader: Fangpriest / Assistant: Pandov et Starbender
      - [Raid] Unknown (Heroic only) Uldir: 4/8H, 1soir, Mercredi 7pm a 10pm (EST)
         Leader: Felfâllen / Assistant: Flos,  Falmortis 
      - [Raid] Casual Uldir: 0/8N, 1soir, En formation
         Leader: Legitdh 
      - Raid ouvert a tout les membres de la guilde (normal only) uldir: 8/8N, samedi matin 10am a 1pm (EST)
         Leader: Jovovich
       
      PvP:
      - [PvP] Unhuman RBG: 1200 rating, 1soir Dimanche des 9hpm (EST)
       
      Communauté:
      - Plus de  445 accounts
       
      Unhuman est plus qu'une guilde de raiding performante, c'est aussi la plus grosse communauté Francophone sur World of Warcraft US. Depuis sa création en 2006, Unhuman cherche à offrir à ses raiders un environnement de jeu qui favorise la progression et ce avec des joueurs d'excellent calibre. Nous sommes constamment à la recherche de nouveaux joueurs que ce soit PVE ou PVP, mais aussi des masters du Pet Battles, des champions de l'Archéologie ou peu importe ce qui vous branche ingame. Vous êtes donc assuré de trouver ce que vous cherchez chez nous peu importe votre style de jeu.
       
      Pour toutes questions...
       
      - http://unhuman.ca/
       
      - Jovovich-Arthas, Guild Master
      - Falmortis-Arthas, Officier
    • By Jovovich
      World of Warcraft - [Horde][US-Arthas]Unhuman - French - Uldir: 3/8M - www.unhuman.ca
       
      Unhuman is RECRUITING!
      Forum: http://forum.unhuman.ca/forum/7-recrutement/
       
      Raiding:
      - [Raid] Hex Uldir: 3/8M, 2day, Wednesday and Thursday 8pm to 11pm  (EAST)
         Leader: Fangpriest / Assistant: Pandov et Starbender
      - [Raid] Unknown (Heroic only) Uldir: 4/8H, 1day, Wednesday 7pm to 10pm (EAST)
         Leader: Felfâllen / Assistant: Flos , Florih et Falmortis 
      - [Raid] Casual Uldir: 0/8N, 1day, in formation
         Leader: Legitdh 
      - 1 more raid in formation...
       
      PvP:
      - [PvP] Unhuman RBG: 1200 rating, 1day Sunday starting at 9hpm (EAST)
       
      Community:
      - More than 445 account
       
      Unhuman is a performing raiding guild with multiple raid groups, it's one of the biggest, for not saying the biggest one, french community on World of Warcraft US. Unhuman has been created in December 2006 and will continue to live for a long time, Unhuman is trying to give to our raiders everything they need to be focus only on good progression!. Unhuman is always looking for new players of all kind, PvE or PvP, even with Battle pets or Archeologists or anything else you can do in the game....You will be sure to find your way with Unhuman!
       
      For any question...
      - http://unhuman.ca/
      - Jovovich-Arthas, Guild Master
      - Falmortis-Arthas, Officier