Starym

Tier Sets Removed in Battle for Azeroth

37 posts in this topic

UXEy96M.jpg
 

It seems the WoW devs have learned a lesson the Diablo 3 team could very much use as well, as tier sets probably won't be coming back come Battle for Azeroth.

In an interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas, Gameinformer found out that there are no current plans to bring back raid tier sets in the next expansion, as they limit character customization by locking down their individual gear slots, due to the power of set bonuses:

Quote

"With sets and cosmetic appearances we're always trying new things. We're currently not planning on carrying forward traditional raid class sets.

So we're going to have artwise, the gear will be more heavily themed from the place it comes. There's more customization we want to express through the new Azerite system. I think class sets have changed a lot over a years of World of Warcraft. Back in the day, these 8 piece sets you would put together over the course of 6 to 8 months raiding a zone, where now the smaller sets and so many more sources of gear, it's very common to get 2 or 4 pieces at the start of a tier and it actually kind of locks down those character slots, it limits your choices. It feels like more of a drawback than a strength at this point."

- Ion Hazzikostas, Game Director

Check out the full article over on Gameinformer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't really compare it to Diablo though. For WoW, tier bonuses are a transient item - In one tier, out the next.

In Diablo, the tier bonus is what defines specific playstyles, for the entirety of the game. While lowing the amount of set pieces needed for the bonus to 3/5 (With RoRG lowering that further still to 2/4) would be fantastic, removing set bonuses entirely would create hellava more problems.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely okay with this. I enjoy doing M+ and I'm disappointed every week because I have to bench 950+ chest rewards for 915-930 tier pieces because the 4pc comes out stronger. With legendaries taking up major slots as well, there is just very little room to slot in different items.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Frogspoison said:

You can't really compare it to Diablo though. For WoW, tier bonuses are a transient item - In one tier, out the next.

In Diablo, the tier bonus is what defines specific playstyles, for the entirety of the game. While lowing the amount of set pieces needed for the bonus to 3/5 (With RoRG lowering that further still to 2/4) would be fantastic, removing set bonuses entirely would create hellava more problems.

Oh you're absolutely right, I was just referring to the fact that the removal of sets would be very beneficial for Diablo. Can't really say it's the same thing as WoW obv, but for D3 I guarantee it'd be a better game without them. It's not really a matter of actual number of items needed for the bonus, basically they simply shouldn't be tied to actual items ever for D3, as they simply limit item choice and are a must have always. Also don't even get me started with the whole balancing the entire game through these 6 items only and subsequantly having to 10x other legendaries to make up for it etc etc. But hey, this aint a D3 post so I'll just stop rambling :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Starym said:

Oh you're absolutely right, I was just referring to the fact that the removal of sets would be very beneficial for Diablo. Can't really say it's the same thing as WoW obv, but for D3 I guarantee it'd be a better game without them. It's not really a matter of actual number of items needed for the bonus, basically they simply shouldn't be tied to actual items ever for D3, as they simply limit item choice and are a must have always. Also don't even get me started with the whole balancing the entire game through these 6 items only and subsequantly having to 10x other legendaries to make up for it etc etc. But hey, this aint a D3 post :D

Diablo 3 sets definitely limits gameplay and unique builds, rendering half of the skills useless. For example, I absolutely love Witch Doctor's Corpse Spiders. But there isn't a single viable build that uses this skill because of the set bonuses.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Diablo 3 sets definitely limits gameplay and unique builds, rendering half of the skills useless. For example, I absolutely love Witch Doctor's Corpse Spiders. But there isn't a single viable build that uses this skill because of the set bonuses.

Arachyr's AND Helltooth both support Corpse Spiders.

There are only a handful of skills that are NOT supported by some set or another for ANY class. The main issue is the lack of legendary support for a particular skill OUTSIDE of that set. Corpse Spider has 4 direct supporting legendaries - Depth Diggers, a 100% damage increase (Must be cubed), The Spider's Queen Grasp, a 60% increase+80% slow (Does not need to be cubed), Mask of Jeram, which DOES increase its damage by 200% (Must be cubed), and Tasker and Theo, +50% damage to the spiders (Must be cubed). There are also other, all-purpose supporting legendaries, but those benefit ALL WD skills, rather then just Corpse Spiders.

It mainly comes down to numbers. Why use Corpse Spiders with either set, when, in BOTH cases, you get MANY supporting legendaries for Firebat- 25% alldamage/damage reduction via the channel shoulders, 300% increased damage via belt, an additional 300% increase damage via staff, AND 30% damage reduction/massive healing via bracers? Not to mention that you don't need a primary for this build, period, so you could grab any of the multiple utility skills for the WD. Still, it doesn't mean that there is NO corpse spider build - It just means that you'll be 5-10 GRs below in progression in comparision to, say, Firebats.

(Witch Doctor actually has pretty good skill diversity. They only have 2 skills unsupported by a set - Spirit Barrage, and Sacrifice. Sacrifice hits like a truck naturally, so the supporting mojo/pants when combined with an LoN build and other supporting legendaries for Insect Swarm and Zombie Dogs is pretty damn good, and Spirit Barrage was THE build last season. In comparision to Crusader. Fist of the Heavens is LoN or Akkhans-only, and isn't really good. Hell, Crusader doesn't even HAVE a solid build for Smite, Justice, Fist of the Heaven, Phalax, Heaven's Fury, or Bombardment thats preforming atm since the HUGE buffs to all the other builds - Forget 10 GR lvls, most of those builds will be 20-25 GRs behind the other Crusader builds). And don't get me started on Demon Hunters!

 

Sets are essentially an easy tuning knob for Blizzard. If a set is outpreforming or underpreforming, just tone down/buff up the set bonus. Nowhere near compared to the potential nightmare that is LoN - For Bombardment LoN, if it was greatly outpreforming, what would you nerf? Bombardment? You just nerfed potential Akkhans/Invoker builds. LoN? You just nerfed every LoN build in the game. Thorns? Again, you just nerfed Invokers/Akkhans. Its best to buff everything up, see where the numbers are and then buff LoN respective to that - But again, you might have overlooked a certain LoN combination that with the buff, is suddenly 10 GRs above everything else.

 

Issues with Set pieces limiting your choices can be fixed pretty easy. Making RROG baseline, for instance, would benefit ALL classes in terms of both Sages farming and utility/damage, but wouldn't allow for any game-breaking set piece combinations, like what we saw with Demon Hunter a few patches back and their Shadow/Marauder combination (For some reason, combining set bonuses from 2 different 6 piece sets is bad, whereas using a 7/8 piece set with a seperate 2 piece bonus is A-OK, odd).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very thankful for this. It felt dumb that they would be pushing mythic + so much and then have these sets that make dungeon runners need to raid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the gear lock thought but honestly i like the flavor of tier sets, so if they are implemented in some other way that would be perfect for me. Although it does make gearing easy i think it also makes it boring because, without sets, stat prio will be more static through the course of the expansion so its one less thing to work for and eventually less interest to play more. It could be overshadowed by something else but idk what yet :)  So i'm not happy nor sad about it, just fingers crossed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone who hates raiding but loves Mythic+, I'm going to enjoy being able to play Mythic+ without the sinking feeling in the back of my head that I could be a lot stronger if I got the tier pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a great plan were it not for the fact that currently azerite upgrades are locked into individual pieces.

 

So if you replace that piece, you'll have to upgrade the new piece. Basically just pretending the problem is fixed.

 

Am I understanding this entirely wrongly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I'm really curious about what they will do in terms of itemization. What's the incentive to run raids when there are no sets?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Stan said:

Interesting. I'm really curious about what they will do in terms of itemization. What's the incentive to run raids when there are no sets?

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Maybe they will follow a Diablo 3 path where some items have extra individual bonuses like trinkets?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Stan said:

Interesting. I'm really curious about what they will do in terms of itemization. What's the incentive to run raids when there are no sets?

This is actually the point I was going to make and something i've been pondering since I read this article. Much of wow's endgame is chasing higher numbers, getting the better gear, getting all dem fat loots. One of the biggest parts of this was set bonuses. The set bonuses were so powerful (most of the time....some of the time) it made you want to run the raids to get them. Without the tier sets running raids seems a bit pointless to me. If we are just after highest gear level now mythic+ is so much easier. Especially on smaller servers you only have so many people running it and its incredibly easy to find 4 other people to do it with, much more flexible then raiding.

yes raiding may have really good trinkets or high powered items, and a mount, but the set bonuses were a really big piece to me. Yes there is the story but most raids really only have 1-2 story relevant bosses, the rest are just kinda there as filler. So, watch the cinematic on youtube and tada now we don't need raiding at all.

So, this really bolsters the mythic plus community i think, but feels like a giant middle finger to raiding. 

also on the diablo note i would be fine if they got rid of sets and just gave us like 1000 new legendaries. part of the fun is some diablo legendaries do crazy stuff and it was always fun finding the next new things. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm more and more disappointed about upcoming expansion. He speak about gear customization after they removed all weapons(!!!) for an entire expansion, I really can't to follow this thought thread, and really don't want such changes like this.
 

Edited by Hypersonic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, it's a bad idea. Sets have been a staple in wow. OK I don't like the situation in Legion, where for example the Nighthold 2-set for Frost Mage (and some other classes) is still relevant even at 890 item level. On the other hand, some specs have really BAD tier sets, where it's not worth wearing all 4 of the items (Arcane Mage, Balance Druid, Resto Druid). But to completely scrap raid sets feels like a giant middle finger to raiders, as was already said.

On the other hand, it does make running M+ worthwhile. Currently, apart from prestige or just enjoying this kind of content, there's no gain from running M+. Few classes have some BiS trinkets in dungeons (like that VotW one for Pallies), but other than that the only acceptable loot you can get in there is relics (they are presumably getting scrapped in the next expansion), belts, boots, rings and necks. M+ has proven to be extremely successful and popular, see for example the unseen for WoW viewership of the M+ invitational.

So how do you distribute fairly loot in raids and m+?

I think the whole issue starts with warforging and titanforging. It's what makes older raid sets still relevant when they shouldn't be. It's what makes it possible for a casual player, a M+ player, a hardcore raider and an all-around player to all have the same item level or have some crazy differences between them. And as it was stated in BlizzCon, even though it's becoming less random (whatever that means), warforging will stay in BfA.

Raid sets at least offer a stability. You know that you have some gear slots covered. because the current tier set is always BiS. Now the hunt for items, good RNG and titanforging is going to be even greater than it already is (and trust me, in Legion it's already pretty hectic). You have to run m+ AND raids if you want to be BiS, whereas currently at least you can choose somewhat.

TL;DR: Removing raid sets just promotes further randomness and more grinding for players who want to have BiS gear, since most tier sets at least offer you the possibility of being BiS in the current raiding tier. Gear hunting will therefore get more hectic than it already is. Lastly, as Stan said, the question is raised as to what's the point of raiding.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Yridaa said:

Sounds like a great plan were it not for the fact that currently azerite upgrades are locked into individual pieces.

 

So if you replace that piece, you'll have to upgrade the new piece. Basically just pretending the problem is fixed.

 

Am I understanding this entirely wrongly?

Yes, when you get a different upgrade it is implyed they have different traits to select from so you will have to select them again, BUT you do not have to upgrade it again, they will already be unlocked based on your heart of azeroth level which won't be replaced during BfA

 

so if you have the max level heart of azeroth you will have the traits unlocked for the azeroth gear and when you get a new item you just have to select them not unlock them

 

now weather you have to go to some altar or something to select the traits I have no idea I sure hope not because it defeats the whole purpose of auto unlocking the talents if your Heart of Azeroth is high enough

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO the "what's the point of raiding" is more of a game design philosophy question than a practical one. Basically as it is right now raiding is heavily incentivized as it grants you the best gear in the game. But in an ideal game there shouldn't be specific incentives to do activities you don't want to - everything should have the same level of reward (which doesn't mean all rewards should be the same, power level isn't the same as same stats/effects etc). Basically if they only reason people are doing raids is cos they have to to get the best items then raids are not good content, forcing your playerbase to do something they don't really want to do isn't a great idea.

The more variety there is in content the better a game is, but ofc it's not always that simple as usually when game devs do this kind of thing it massively lessens the uniqueness of rewards and makes everything the same and boring.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and just to make my point clearer, I'm not talking about difficulty at all, the best gear should come from the hardest content, it's just that that content should be varied as much as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

all the opposite, Ion was very clear that raid loot would have extra slots that regular gear wouldn't, hence tier bonuses, will probably be named differently thou.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      Forbes recently interviewed Morgan Day about Mythic+ and the Mythic Dungeon Invitational and here's a recap of the interview.
      Check out the full interview over at Forbes
      Interview Highlights
      Changes are coming to the MDI in 2019 and you can find an overview in this post. The beginning of MDI closely lines up with the introduction of Reaping and Season 2. Mythic+ is extremely popular and half of the players at level 120 are engaging in Mythic+ content. Certain creatures within dungeons have mechanics that quickly ramp up damage and it was necessary to put a soft cap in those instances, because the fights would become impossible on Tyrannical. There's a fix set of affix combinations that activate each week. The Fortified + Teeming affix combo hasn't been adjusted for Season 2, because Infested that caused a lot of frustrating pulls in combination with said affixes is going away and with Reaping coming in, the system is going to take care of itself. Monsters summoned by the Season 2 Reaping affix don't gain Fortified themselves, but the creature will spawn at half the health of the creature that dies, so it will gain a small percentage of Fortified. There are currently no plans to come up with a system that allows easy key re-rolling. Instead, they'd like to adjust dungeons and bring the huge outliers down a bit. They adjusted King's Rest about a month ago.
    • By Stan
      Improvements to Azerite Armor are coming on January 22. Blizzard added a new outer ring with two spec-specific traits to all armor acquired after Mythic Season 2 starts and the new raid opens. You will be able to get the new gear from PvP Season 2, Battle of Dazar'alor, World Quest Emissaries, and from the Titan Residuum vendor, who sells upgraded wares at a higher cost.
      New Azerite powers will become available in Tides of Vengeance Part II. Check out our updated Class guides for more details. 10 more ranks of Azerite Knowledge will be added over the course of January 22 through March. The catchup has been disabled for now, but it will commence soon. Reaching Friendly, Honored, and Revered and with Champions of Azeroth will unlock the appropriate quests to upgrade your Heart of Azeroth for all characters on your account. The cost of Azerite Reforging has been reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours. Blizzard (Source)
      Since the launch of Battle for Azeroth, players have been empowering their Heart of Azeroth and collecting Azerite armor to gear up for the battles ahead. Since then, we’ve made a variety of adjustments to the system—and we have a few more updates coming with the second part of Tides of Vengeance on January 22 that we’d like go into more detail on today.
      With the release of Battle for Azeroth Season 2, we’re introducing new epic Azerite pieces that you can acquire through a variety of methods, including Season 2 PvP, the Battle of Dazar’alor raid, World Quest Emissaries, and from the Mythic Keystone vendor Thaumaturge Vashreen in Zuldazar and Boralus. These new items will have a fifth ring with additional new trait options and is available at Heart of Azeroth level 15.  
      This new outer ring provides two choices of traits per specialization, giving players an opportunity to find items that have traits they particularly want—and the freedom to create new and interesting combinations that may not have been possible before. This additional ring of traits makes each item have a larger impact on your character’s overall power.
      Outer Ring:
      Powers that reside in the new outer ring provide two additional trait options for each of your character’s available specializations.  Example:
      Moment of Repose (Discipline) (Passive) Pain Suppression applies Atonement to the target and instantly heals them for 15,313. Second Ring:
      Powers that reside on the second ring from the outside will often be influenced by where you collected the piece of armor they’re found on. These powers can also be associated with specific class specializations.. Example:
      Seductive Power (Passive) Your spells and abilities have a chance to conjure Bwonsamdi’s spectral visage, beckoning you closer. If you approach him, gain 57 to all stats for 5 minutes, stacking up to 5 times. If you fail to heed his call, lose 1 stack. Third Ring:
      These powers generally benefit the performance of your in-game role—they’ll provide damage increases for DPS classes, increase damage mitigation for tanks, or bolster healing output for healers. Example:
      Bracing Chill (Passive) Your heals have a chance to apply Bracing Chill. Healing a target with Bracing Chill will heal for an additional 2,574 and move Bracing Chill to a nearby ally (up to 6 times). Fourth Ring:
      These are defensive or utility-oriented powers for your class. Example:
      Vampiric Speed (Passive) When an enemy you harmed dies, you heal for 6,361 and gain 93 Speed for 6 seconds. Fifth Ring:
      Azerite Empowerment is the power that resides at the center, and increases an armor piece’s item level by 5.  New Traits to Discover
      You’ll also find new location-specific traits that scale with item level and are available on gear from the Battle of Dazar’alor raid, including:
      Bonded Souls : Your spells and abilities have a chance to trigger a Soulbond for 15 seconds. During Soulbond, every 5 seconds you and your nearest ally are both healed for 3,456 and gain 141 Haste for 5 seconds. Seductive Power: Your spells and abilities have a chance to conjure Bwonsamdi’s spectral visage, beckoning you closer. If you approach him, gain 26 to all stats for 5 minutes, stacking up to 5 times. If you fail to heed his call, lose 1 Stack.  Treacherous Covenant: Your primary stat is increased by 151 while you are above 50% health. You take 15% increased damage while below 20% health. Azerite Knowledge
      With the start of Season 2, we’re also adding 10 more ranks of Azerite Knowledge over the course of  January 22 through March. Each rank of Artifact Knowledge increases the speed at which your Heart of Azeroth levels up.
      Tides of Vengeance Recap: Trait Updates and Additions
      With the launch of Tides of Vengeance on December 11, we replaced many of the Azerite traits we weren’t happy with and continue to iterate on various elements of the system to provide variety and flexibility in player gear choices.
      NEW TRAITS IN THE DARKSHORE WARFRONT
      It’s a good time to keep an eye on the shifting tides of the Darkshore Warfront. We added many new Azerite Armor traits that are just waiting to be collected, including:
      Ancients' Bulwark: Standing still grants you Deep Roots, increasing your Versatility by 179. Moving instead grants you Uprooted, healing you for 259 every 1 second. Apothecary's Concoctions: Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal 1,262 Plague damage over 6 seconds, and your healing abilities have a chance to restore 2,415 health over 6 seconds. These effects are increased by up to 100% based on the target’s missing health. Endless Hunger: Your Versatility is increased by 179. Moving near an enemy’s corpse consumes their essence, restoring 1,815 health.  Shadow of Elune: Your spells and abilities have a chance to increase your Haste by 465 for 15 seconds. At night, you also gain 10% movement speed for the duration. HEART OF AZEROTH LEVELING AND GEARING UP
      Reaching Friendly, Honored, or Revered reputation with the Champions of Azeroth faction now unlocks the appropriate quests to upgrade your Heart of Azeroth for all characters on your account.  
      The cost to change Azerite traits has been reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours.
      We’ve also added a new way for players who participate in Mythic Keystone Dungeons to gain specific Azerite Armor. These players will be able to earn a new currency—Titan Residuum—which can be used to purchase specific items from Thaumaturge Vashreen now located in either Zuldazar or Boralus. You can read more in our forum post.
      Season 2 and the Battle of Dazar’alor are just around the corner—are you ready for the challenges that await?
    • By Stan
      The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj opened on January 23, 2006 for the first time ever and players who banged the gong gained the "Scarab Lord" title and the Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal mount. In remembrace of the event, Silithus has been updated with content that allows both factions to compete against each other and the winning faction gets to fly their banner next to the Scarab Gong for the rest of the year.
      Blizzard (Source)
      On January 23, 2006, a bloody war was triggered by a simple sound: the banging of a gong. No rallying fanfare, no bloodthirsty yell; just an eerie silence. Those long, uneasy seconds of dread. The calm before the storm.
      Standing shoulder-to-shoulder before the Scarab Wall, no one could have predicted what would happen—an epic ten-hour battle that claimed the lives of thousands of Azeroth’s bravest—or fully comprehended the effect it would have.
      ACTION FIRST, FACTION SECOND
      That’s not to say the battle at the gates of Ahn’Qiraj came as a surprise. When the menace of C’Thun turned into an urgent threat, leaders across the world pored over plans and forged unlikely connections as pressure mounted. Both factions knew war was coming and personal glory was a hubris no-one could risk. Any notion that one army could defeat General Rajaxx and his colossal battalion was soon abandoned as fantasy.
      It was a unique time: scattered armies with varying allegiances were thrown together and faction pride was put aside. Let’s be clear: the battle at Ahn’Qiraj was won purely on the principle “united we stand, divided we fall.”
      WARMONGERING VS. GOLD HUNGERING
      This uneasy alliance was not without its critics. Some showed their disapproval by shunning the war effort altogether, but others expressed opposition through acts of aggression. Rogue elements on both sides, unwilling to stomach this perceived betrayal of their faction, did not sit idle. Just as neutral auction houses became a tool for factions to share resources, they also became virtual battlegrounds. Crucial resources were picked up for next-to-nothing and sold on for personal gain. As with all wars, those who profit aren’t always the brave.
      The sheer scale of that war effort is almost unimaginable when we live in a time of extended storage and fast mail. But back then, backpacks and cloth stacks were smaller. Getting precious resources gathered, sorted, and sent took many hours. And it took several weeks to source bandages, food, and equipment—resources that were in high demand and would soon dwindle.
      THE IMPORTANCE OF REMEMBRANCE
      We would do well, in these dark times, to remember the courage and spirit of those who were there at the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj. We must have long memories if we’re to make quick work of the demon forces we now face.
      From January 21–23 we ask that you join us as we remember the fallen and celebrate the victory. All of Azeroth are invited to a special holiday, ‘Call of the Scarab,’ where we will gather to perform acts of remembrance and share our factions’ pride.
      Players who are in a different phase can speak to Rhonormu near the gong to enter the correct event phase.
    • By Stan
      The second part of Tides of Vengeance hits live servers next week. Blizzard just released a survival guide to guide you through all the content that will be available starting January 22.
      Tides of Vengeance Part II
      The next content update arrives on live servers on January 22. What's new?
      New Raid: Battle of Dazar'alor opens on Normal/Heroic difficulty on January 22. Mythic and the First Raid Finder Wing open a week after on January 29. Check out the official preview of the raid, boss guides, and updated Class guides! Azerite Gear Improvements: You'll find a new fifth ring with spec-specific traits on Epic Season 2 Azerite Gear. This does not apply to old gear and your priority should be to upgrade your Azerite Gear asap. Mythic Season 2 Starts Titan Residuum Vendor will offer new wares at an increased cost in Mythic Season 2. The Infested affix will be replaced with Reaping. Blizzard's overall increasing dungeon difficulty and rewards in Season 2. More information can be found here. PvP Season 2 Starts A new PvP Season awaits the boldest of adventurers. Preliminary Season 1 Title Cutoffs have been posted. Game Director Ion Hazzikostas posted a blog post with details about what's (not) changing in Season 2. Artifact Power catchup is disabled right now and will commence on January 22. Blizzard (Source)
      There’s plenty to look forward to when Tides of Vengeance Part 2 goes live on January 22. Watch our Survival Guide to learn more.
      New Raid: Battle of Dazar’alor
      The Alliance will strike at the heart of the Zandalari empire—while the defenders of the Horde will rally to their new allies’ defense—in an epic new raid, Battle of Dazar’alor. This new raid provides both Horde and Alliance players with unique encounters for their faction—along with the opportunity to play through events from the opposite faction’s viewpoint.  Learn more.
      PvP Season 2 Begins
      PvP Season 2 will begin and introduce an updated Conquest reward schedule, mounts, and gear. Players who earn 500 Conquest points in a given week through PvP activities including Arenas, Battlegrounds, and Assaults in War Mode will be still be able to choose a piece of gear from each week’s selection; in addition, they’ll now earn a Quartermaster’s Coin, which can be collected and ultimately used to upgrade pieces from this season’s Sinister Gladiator PvP set. Learn more.
      Mythic Keystone Dungeon Season 2 Begins
      The new Mythic Keystone Dungeon season opens opportunities for new rewards and a new challenge with the new seasonal affix: Reaping. High-level Keystones will now summon Bwonsamdi, the Loa of Death, to wreak some spectral havoc upon players’ dungeon run. As heroes kill enemies, the vanquished spirits will continue to linger in the mortal realm. At certain points throughout the dungeon, Bwonsamdi will resurrect these twisted souls, who will swarm the unfortunate adventurers in a final act of vengeance. (Blog coming soon.)
      Azerite Armor Updates
      With the release of Season 2, we’re introducing new epic Azerite pieces from PvP Season 2, the Battle of Dazar’alor raid, World Quest Emissaries, and from the Mythic Keystone vendor Thaumaturge Vashreen in Zuldazar and Boralus. These new items will have a fifth ring with additional new trait options. Learn more.
      Content Difficulty and Rewards Changes
      With a new season upon us and the Dazar’alor raid dungeon opening, we wanted to share some additional information on the changes coming to a variety of dungeon and outdoor world encounters including increases to both difficulty and rewards.
      New Maximum Item Level: With great challenges come great rewards and the maximum possible item level will go up to 425. Battle for Darkshore Warfront: Battle for Darkshore rewards will also increase to 400 from both the outdoor boss and from Warfront quest that can be completed once per cycle. The difficulty of the Warfront will increase however, and the item level required to queue will increase to 335. These changes will go into effect after the current Warfront cycle has ended. Until that time, players will still receive Season 1 rewards. World Quest Emissary Rewards: World Quest Emissary weapon and armor rewards will also now scale up to 385 based on the player’s own item level. Rewards from the original Battle for Azeroth Launch World bosses will remain at item level 355 to stay on par with Uldir. Dungeon Rewards and Difficulty: The difficulty of Heroic and Mythic dungeons will also be increase as follows:  Normal–340, Heroic–355, and Mythic– 370(baseline) Mythic Keystone Dungeons and PvP: During the first week of Season 2 Mythic Keystone Dungeon rewards will be capped at Mythic 6 quality (item level 385). PvP Season 2 end-of-match rewards will be capped at 385. Seals of Wartorn Fate: Seals of Wartorn Fate are not being reset and this same currency can be used for Battle of Dazar’alor and Season 2 bonus rolls; the cap on how many can be held at once remains at 5. For additional insights on these changes, read the developer forum post.
    • By Stan
      Arena World Championship (AWC) and the Mythic Dungeon Invitational (MDI) will return in 2019 with a few twists. MDI will be split into two regions and for the first time, players will be able to crowdfund both events and increase the prize pools by purchasing in-game toys in spring.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Today we are very excited to share details for the 2019 Arena World Championship (AWC) and rebranded Mythic Dungeon International (still MDI!), including increases to both programs’ prize pools, which will come from a portion of the sales of two new toys. Let’s get right into it.
      Arena Returns for 2019
      We are pleased to bring back the Arena World Championship in similar form as last year—just with a few fun twists. Here’s a visual representation of the system in 2019:

      North America and Europe: The NA and EU regions will have two Arena seasons each, with six cups per season. Each cup will see teams battle for their share of a USD $10,000 prize pool. This represents an increase over last year’s competition, with more cups and more chances for players to win. Like last year, each cup will award points. For each finals event, the top four point-earners per season from both NA and EU will compete for a USD $100,000 prize pool. The first cup begins on Feb. 8; signups start today and will close Monday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m. PDT/6 p.m. CET.
      Asia-Pacific, China, and Latin America: These regions also will run cups based on the Arena World Championship ruleset. Signups for Korea, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau, Australia/New Zealand, China, and Latin America will kick off later in the year. Keep an eye on regional channels for more information.
      Arena World Championship Finals: At the end of the year, we will celebrate the global scope of Arena with the AWC Finals. Invitations will be extended to:
      1st place from NA and EU Season 1 1st and 2nd place from NA and EU Summer Finals Top point-earner from NA and top point-earner from EU Winners of the China, APAC, and Latin America finals. Introducing the Mythic Dungeon International
      An invitational no more, we are pleased to announce the Mythic Dungeon International for 2019—a seasonal competition that will showcase the world’s best dungeon-running teams. We decided to update the name of the program in order to better reflect its increased scope and global reach. The Upgrades
      MDI will be split into two regions: MDI East (China, Korea, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Australia/New Zealand) and MDI West (North America, Latin America, and Europe). Here is how the year will flow:

      The Proving Grounds are a qualification period open to any player with a Blizzard Battle.net account in good standing. Think you’ve got what it takes to be Mythic Dungeon International champions? Grab a team of five players and prove it! All you and your team need to do is complete five level 14 Mythic Keystone Dungeons in time between February 26 and March 12. (Note: Keystone level is subject to change, and will be determined sometime after the start of Season 2, on Jan. 22.) If successful, you and your team will be granted access to the Tournament Realm, where you will be able to create max-level characters, equip them with the items you feel are most optimal, and build out talents as you please. You and your team will have access to the Tournament Realm for the duration of the season.
      Each season, those who have gained access to the Tournament Realm via the Proving Grounds will be able to participate in Time Trials—a limited number of attempts at the week’s dungeons during a designated time period, of which your team’s best results will be submitted automatically. Each week will alternate between East and West, beginning with the Time Trial in ending in the week’s Cup, a double-elimination bracket featuring the top eight teams for that week’s region. All teams on the Tournament Realm will be able to run in their region’s Time Trials every alternating week, which means more opportunities to participate in Cups.
      Each Cup for MDI East and MDI West will be broadcast live on Twitch each weekend across six weeks. There is a USD $12,000 prize pool per Cup, as well as MDI points. Points will be awarded each week according to results, which will be used to determine who will be invited to each end-of-season LAN final. The end-of-season LAN events will be cross-regional, meaning the best teams of MDI East and MDI West will meet to race for their share of USD $100,000. The Proving Grounds for MDI Season 1 for both East and West will begin the week of February 26, when keystone affixes roll over. Closer to the event we will share more information about how to participate, qualification specifics, and more. NEW TOYS FOR ME? I PROMISE I WON’T BREAK THEM THIS TIME!
      As both Arena and MDI grow, we want to give fans a chance to further support the programs—and have some fun along the way! Soon we will introduce two new in-game toys to our shop (details to follow). A portion of the sale of these toys will contribute to the prize pools for both WoW esports programs.
      These toys will go on sale in the spring. As the proceeds will contribute to the year’s final LAN event prize pools for AWC and MDI, those prize pools will be announced later this year.
      We can’t wait to get things started. Be sure to follow World of Warcraft on Twitter and Twitch to stay up to date on all the latest WoW esports news, and bookmark WorldOfWarcraft.com/esports so you don’t miss a thing!