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We have two major nerfs coming in on the PvE side of things, one from raiding and one from Mythic+. First off there's the massive nerf to Mythrax' Oblivion Spheres having them prioritize ranged targets, making the encounter much easier on all difficulties:
Then the bigger of the two changes, the Explosive affix in Mythic+ got it's HP cut in half and had it's trigger removed from crowd controlled mobs as well:
That's a pretty big change to Explosive, especially considering it's been around for so long, so it's interesting it's only now gotten some attention, presumably because of the higher and higher M+ levels players are getting to and the HP adjustments on them.
The official WoW forums are getting a makeover, following suit with the Overwatch, HotS and BlizzCon ones! After an 8 hour maintenance tomorrow we'll be getting improved functionality including real time thread updates, the return of the Blizz tracker, infinite scroll for the threads, a new advanced search option, as well as new notification options and more!
Forum Upgrades (source)
As some of you may know, over the last several months we've been implementing new forums for a few of our titles, including Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, as well as BlizzCon. These new forums allow you to more easily navigate current topics, encourage more constructive discussions, and reward positive contributions to the community.
We are now ready for World of Warcraft to transition to these new forums. This Thursday, November 15, the current World of Warcraft forums will be going into maintenance starting at 8 AM Pacific. We estimate this process should take approximately 8 hours.
Note: We will be migrating over any active threads from the last two weeks to allow ongoing community discussions to continue as seamlessly as possible. Once maintenance is complete, the old forums will remain available in read-only mode for the foreseeable future, so you’ll be able to easily reference back to anything that wasn’t automatically transferred to the new forums.
Here’s a few of the new features we’re excited about:
Tracking and Updates
• The Blizz Tracker has returned to help you quickly find official posts
• You can now easily find threads that you’ve previously viewed
• Better text formatting
• Threads now update in real time without needing to refresh
• Threads now infinitely scroll – no more navigating page by page
• The forums will also remember what you’ve read and where you left off!
Sorting and Search
• A new “Advanced Search” feature will make looking for older posts easier
• You can now sort posts by “Top” or “Latest” with configurable timeframes.
• You can now enable notifications for when you are tagged in posts and replies
• The “report post” feature has been upgraded to a flagging system with multiple options
In another blue post today, we've found out when exactly the new ring of Azerite powers will arrive in 8.1, and it's pretty much as expected: it's coming with the PvP Season start/raid opening in January.
5th Azerite Ring Release Date (source)
The fifth ring of Azerite Traits is definitely coming in Tides of Vengeance. You’ll see it on new gear when Season 2 begins, on the same day the Battle of Dazar’alor Raid opens in January. At that time, the item levels of rewards from dungeons, PvP, emissaries, Warfronts, and everything else that drops Azerite gear will go up, and all of the new Azerite gear from those endgame sources will have a fifth ring of Azerite Traits.
In the next few weeks, we’ll advance the state of the PTR to test Season 2. You’ll then see the new ring on rewards, the new Mythic Keystone affix, and other content that’s coming with Season 2.
War Mode has been improved recently, with a hotfix that will force a more even ratio of both factions present in each shard. While it's unclear when "some time ago" was exactly, this should help with the faction imbalance players have been encountering. It won't, however, be an instant nor absolute fix for the issue, as it still takes some time for the shard to balance itself out. There will also be more improvements coming with 8.1, including better rewards for the underrepresented faction in the shard.
War Mode Faction Balance (source)
Some time ago we made a hotfix to War Mode which enforces all War Mode shards that have both Alliance and Horde in them to have a stricter, more even ratio. We’ve been monitoring the results and so far we’ve noticed a significant improvement in “fair and balanced” shards. So much so that it’s safe to say that if you are Alliance, and you see Horde in the outdoor world in War Mode, you are a relatively even horde to alliance ratio shard. There are some rare exceptions, such as when a raid of 40 players enter a zone. It may take a bit for the “shard manager” to compensate and balance the shard.
We do have some plans in store in Tides of Vengeance (Patch 8.1) to entice the underrepresented faction with greater rewards to increase participation and create more active Horde/Allianced mixed War Mode shards. The intent of those rewards is not to give the underrepresented faction some “compensation” for being outnumbered in a War Mode shard (since that really can’t happen anymore).
We're also looking forward to what you all think about the Incursions in War Mode for 8.1, since it brings Horde and Alliance to the same location which should create some pretty fun skirmishes.
It's time for more battles as raid testing returns this weekend (and Thursday)! Both factions get to check the bosses out, as well as the opposing faction's bosses using the new flashback mechanic. We're getting both Heroic and Mythic tested this time around, with the first wing of LFR opening on Friday and staying open throughout the weekend.
November 15 - 19 (source)
On Thursday, November 15th and Friday, November 16th we will be conducting raid tests of the Battle of Dazar'alor. After testing has ended up Friday, we will open the first wing of Raid Finder.
Testing is open for both factions. However, for some bosses, raid members will temporarily re-live events as the opposite faction using a story flashback.
Thursday, November 15th
Stormwall Blockade - Heroic Battle of Dazar'alor
13:00 PST (16:00 EST, 22:00 CET)
Jaina - Heroic Battle of Dazar'alor
14:00 PST (17:00 EST, 23:00 CET)
Friday, November 16th
Opulence - Mythic Battle of Dazar'alor
13:00 PST (16:00 EST, 22:00 CET)
King Rastakhan - Mythic Battle of Dazar'alor
14:00 PST (17:00 EST, 23:00 CET)
Siege of Dazar'alor/Defense of Dazar'alor Raid Finder
16:00 PST (19:00 EST, 1:00 CET)
As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a test environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the bosses being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.
Q: How do I get into the raid zone?
A: In Zuldazar, Boralus, Dalaran, Orgrimmar, or Stormwind, you may speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade III in order to teleport into the raid zone while it is open for testing. (The option to teleport into a zone will not be available when the zone is not open for testing.)
Q: What character should I use to test the raid?
A: Whichever you prefer. We will be scaling players' effective level to 120 for raid testing, and their item level to an appropriate threshold for the encounter(s) being tested.
Q: How long does testing last?
A: The primary purpose of testing is to give us the information we need to balance the encounters, evaluate how mechanics are playing out in practice, and identify bugs. Once we're satisfied that we've received that information for a given boss, we'll be shutting down testing. Usually this takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, but there are no guarantees.
In the latest Method interview, we learned how the new Reaping affix will play out in Tides of Vengeance.
In Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard brought Seasons to Mythic+. Infested was the first Seasonal affix inspired by G'huun. The affix will be soon replaced with Reaping in Season 2 that will start early next year.
Affix Description Reaping Non-boss enemies are empowered by Bwonsamdi and periodically seek vengeance from beyond the grave. How Reaping Works
Reaping was inspired by Battle of Dazar'alor and Bwonsamdi. Every 20% on the Enemy forces bar, Bwonsamdi will resurrect spirits of all the trash creatures you had killed up to that point and they will charge at you no matter where you're at. This happens a total of 5 times per dungeon. You will be in full control of when this occurs, so planning/adjusting your pulls will be crucial. One of the ideas they had with this was to change how you approach the dungeon. Blood Moon will rise whenever Bwonsamdi calls on his powers and there's also something cool that might happen after you lose the timer. You can also check out the video below, where the devs talk about the affix and upcoming changes to Necrotic.