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The final stage of Dragonflight Alpha starts today with all Dragonflight zones available for testing, four major factions, the Nokhud Offensive dungeon, and the Monk talent tree overhaul. Here are the development notes with more details.
Hello everyone! Take a look at this week’s Dragonflight Alpha updates:
DISCOVER THE DRAGON ISLES
All Dragonflight zones are available NEW FEATURES
FOUR MAJOR FACTIONS Major Factions are a new way of experiencing outdoor progression – an iteration on previous reputation-based gameplay. Participating in content throughout the Dragon Isles grants reputation toward these Major Factions. Earning reputation unlocks renown ranks. Each Major Faction’s progression is different, with content fitting a variety of playstyles. Importantly, major factions are not exclusive – you can be a member of all four factions at once. VALDRAKKEN ACCORD – The faction of the unified dragon flights working together in harmony for the protection of the Dragon Isles. Professions: A variety of activities, Work Orders, and exploration catered towards professions and progression within the system. Dragon Racing: Complete races on your dragon for glory and renown Outdoor Elite locations: Cobalt Assembly, Obsidian Citadel, Tyrhold Lay siege to the Djaradin of Dragonbane Keep within the Waking Shores DRAGONSCALE EXPEDITION – The Explorers’ League and Reliquary have come together and formed this expedition to explore the Dragon Isles. Discover treasure maps scattered throughout the Dragon Isles Lots of Treasures, unique minigame-style World Quests (Climbing, Cataloging) Progression Expedition Supply Kit: Unlock bonuses for climbing and cataloging. Unlock tools to help find treasure and mark your discovery of areas in the world. ISKAARA TUSKARR – Become a member of the Iskaara Tuskarr, a tribe renowned for their skills in fishing and feasting. Fishing: New ways to fish. Unlock fishing holes. Fish in 3 difficult and unique biomes. Fish up lunkers with friends using harpoons. Collect fish offline with a net. Contribute to a Tuskarr Feast at the village in Iskaara. Complete the event to reward hungry adventurers! Outdoor Elite locations: Imbu, Brackenhide Hollow Progression Fishing Work Bench: Gather reagents for tuskarr craftsmen to improve the capability of harpoons, nets, and biome fishing. MARUUK CENTAUR – The faction for the unified centaur clans across the Ohn’ahran Plains. Join a hunt among the Maruuk centaur and your closest allies as you traverse the zones within the Dragon Isles Explore the nomadic lifestyle of Clan Aylaag as their caravan makes its way across the Ohn’ahran Plains. With each stop comes a new adventure, quests, rewards, and more! Progression Train with the Shikaar clan to prepare yourself for the hunt! Known Issues You will most likely encounter placeholder rewards, especially for treasures and rare creatures. Not every permutation of every type of content is available yet. Some areas of the world may have temporary enemy population. Developers’ note: We appreciate any and all feedback. For this release, we’ve reduced some of our barriers to entry for a number of pieces of content. We’d love to hear how these experiences feel and how you spend your time in the Dragon Isles. Alpha is an environment for testing and change. Though some of these barriers and values may be temporary, we will be monitoring feedback and making adjustments as needed to ensure your experience in these new lands is enjoyable and rewarding.
Please let us know your thoughts. We’ll be adjusting content throughout the days and weeks to come. NEW DUNGEONS
Developers’ note: Throughout the testing period, character levels will be scaled when entering Dragonflight dungeons. When this happens, the amount of talent points that your character will have available will reflect the original level, not the scaled level.
The Nokhud Offensive CHARACTER LEVEL
Developers’ note: With each phase, we encourage players to make a new template character and avoid using their previous characters as they could potentially be in a broken state. After making a new template character, make sure to talk to Questzertauren and he will prepare you for any available content.
Any Level Character Template Maximum Level: 70 CLASSES
NEW TALENT SYSTEM HUNTER Class Tree Improved Traps now also reduces cooldown of Steel Trap. Removed connection between Rejuvenating Winds and Improved Tranquilizing Shot. Added a connection between Tranquilizing Shot and the Intimidation/Explosive Trap choice node. Lone Survivor’s cooldown reduction has been lowered 30 seconds (was 60 seconds). Death Chakram now increases all damage taken instead of just physical damage taken. Marksmanship The talent locations of Lone Wolf and Killing Blow have been swapped. The talent locations of Black Arrow and Legacy of the Windrunners have been swapped. Legacy of the Windrunners changed from 1 rank to 2 ranks. Each rank adds 3 potential arrows. Bonuses to Aimed Shot now also apply to these bonus Wind Arrows. Windrunner’s Guidance changed from 2 ranks to 1 rank. It now also guarantees a critical strike for the Wind Arrows, and increases their critical strike damage up by 50%. Salvo now works with Volley or Multi-Shot. Bombardment changed to a 1 rank talent and is now right below Multi-Shot. New Talent: Bulletstorm – Extra ricochet targets from Trick Shots grants a stacking buff to Multi-Shot damage. Calling the Shots has had its design adjusted to grant cooldown reduction for Trueshot from Focus Spent, rather than require specific shots. Improved Arcane Shot has been to renamed Crack Shot. MONK Developers’ note: In today’s build, you’ll see an early-access version of the Monk talent trees. Our goal with the class tree is to allow a player to construct different visions of their character and play with the hybrid nature and cheerful mobility that exemplifies a Monk. For Brewmaster, our primary goal was to allow players the flexibility to lean into different flavors – to emphasize a brew-heavy playstyle, or go the way of the wily martial arts master – while also providing situationally-interesting decisions for survivability. For Mistweaver, we want to offer support for both the caster and melee playstyles while maintaining a variety of choices for both builds. We also wanted to take a look at Mistweaver’s multi-target damage profile through returning and new talents such as Zen Pulse and Ancient Concordance. And for Windwalkers, we wanted to allow players the flexibility to focus on different styles of damage dealing, as well as offering opportunities to customize their ability loadout in ways that bring back old friends or lean into focus on specific abilities. We’re excited for Monks to be joining the Dragonflight Alpha and we look forward to hearing your feedback! Known Issues There are several talents that are not fully implemented yet. These are tagged with NYI (Not Yet Implemented) in their Talent name. The Talent Frame background for Mistweaver is incorrectly using Windwalker art. This will be corrected in a later build. PALADIN Retribution Divine Protection has been added as a choice node with Shield of Vengeance. Cooldown increased to 2 minutes. Justicar’s Vengeance now costs 3 Holy Power and deals 7% less damage. The talent locations of Ashes to Ashes and Divine Toll have been swapped. WARLOCK Soul Conduit refund chance reduced to 10% at max rank (was 15%). Destruction Backdraft now affects Soul Fire. WARRIOR Class Developer Notes We’re feeling pretty satisfied with the class tree structure but are still experimenting with placements and the content of specific talent nodes while taking onboard internal and community feedback. We’ve seen a new iteration of the class tree each week during the three weeks since the first release of the Warrior tree. In the version going live today there’s the most options due to more pathways and interconnectivity. We’d love to hear from you if you prefer this, or the more streamlined simple tree with obvious pathways that released initially. We want to spend a little more time with stances to try to achieve a version where each feel useful and desirable for different reasons, but we have had a fallback plan since embarking down this path of having an offensive and defensive stance. Fury and Arms would both start at the offensive node and Protection would start at the Defensive node. Thunderous Roar – We are working on this and the subsequent talent node, which will be a choice node internally and we hope to update on this soon. Signet of Tormented Kings – As above, we’re working internally on this, and we hope to have an update soon. We have ideas but haven’t implemented them yet. Shockwave – There has been some feedback about wanting Shockwave to be lower down the tree and easier to obtain. We’re quite confident that if we put it before the 20 points requirement that every Warrior both DPS and Protection would have it. That isn’t our intention, an AOE stun on fairly short cooldown is a powerful ability and we feel there needs to be some opportunity cost to obtain this. We’d like Shockwave’s subsequent node to be a choice so expect a new modifier here in the future. Rend - Our intention with the introduction of Rend to the class talent tree was that Arms and Protection would likely often choose it and that Fury would very rarely. We’ve seen higher uptake and reliance on Rend than we’d like so for this week we’ve moved it to the Arms and Protection trees as a test. We’d like to hear your feedback on this change. There are several very simple nodes on various talent trees, including those of other classes. These serve multiple functions, and we’ll briefly detail some of the reasoning behind their existence. When looking at the talent trees for a class there’s a huge amount of information to absorb and learn. Beyond that, there’s also many choices for players to make. Having some talents that are simple and obvious in their effect helps to lower the overall complexity and functions as a guide for what abilities and stats are important for each specialization. However, we’ve heard your feedback about the secondary stat nodes and have been working to make them more interesting. There are some examples of this in the Fury tree this week. Class Updates Changed some pathing and node positions to encourage more flexible build choices. Spear of Bastion – Should now work correctly outside of the Shadowlands. Elysian Might – Should now work correctly outside of the Shadowlands. Honed Reflexes – Now reduces cooldowns by 1.0 second (was 1.5 seconds) and reduces the cooldown of Raging Blow (was Bloodthirst). New Talent: Menace – Intimidating Shout will knock back all nearby enemies except your primary target and cause them all to cower in fear for 15 seconds (was flee). Crushing Force has been redesigned – Slam deals an additional 30% damage and it has a 10% increased critical strike chance. Concussive Blows – Now reduces the cooldown of Pummel by 1.0 second (was 1.5 seconds). Titanic Throw – Correctly applies deep wounds to all targets when combined with Improved Heroic Throw. Impending Victory – Heals for 30% (was 40%). Thunder Clap – Costs 30 Rage for Arms or Fury (still costs 0 Rage for Protection). Rend – Removed from the class tree. Arms Developer Notes We’re feeling confident in the general structure, but we will likely add some extra talents to the middle of the tree where it feels a little bit sparse. Sharpened Blade and Blunt Instruments – As with the simple talents mentioned earlier in this update, having some guidance from talents rather than everything being wide open can be helpful for some of our less knowledgeable players. We’re aware of the polarizing feedback here, but we want to get this in front of more players throughout the Alpha and Beta before we decide if it needs to be removed. If it doesn’t work out as we hope, we’re happy to change it. We’re looking at changing the Bladestorm subsequent talents into choice nodes to give some more options for players to experiment with. Colossus Smash and Warbreaker – We’ve seen some feedback regarding why these are separate talents and require an investment of two talent points. 30% increased damage with the option to apply to multiple targets on a fairly short cooldown is a massive effect. It is worth far more than the average talent, especially for those located before the level 20 gate and we feel it is fair to be split into separate components as it currently is in the live game. There are quite a lot of survivability options and improvements for Warriors in the class tree, but each DPS spec has historically had a major cooldown. For Arms it is Die by the Sword, so you are now purposely forced into pathing through it and one of its subsequent nodes in order to ensure you have a minimum of some survivability. Arms Updates Changed some pathing and the position of some nodes so that players are much more likely to take some healing/utility nodes. Warbreaker – No longer incorrectly replaces Execute and does not require 20 talent points to unlock. Storm of Swords – No longer incorrectly requires 20 talent points to unlock. Fracture – Now causes Rend, Deep Wounds and Thunderous Roar’s Bleed effects to instantly expire and deal all remaining damage over time. Skullsplitter – Cooldown increased to 30 seconds (was 21 seconds). Bloodletting – Also increases the critical strike chance of bleed effects by 10%. Die by the Sword – Should now correctly cost a talent point. Bloodborne – Now 2 ranks and each rank increases the damage of Deep Wounds, Rend and Thunderous Roar’s Bleed effects by 10%. Barbaric Training – Removed from the talent tree. Skull Banner – Should now correctly cost a talent point. Deadly Calm – Removed from the tree for now, iterating on a better version that will be more desired by players. Fueled by Violence – Increased heal amount to 50% (was 30%). Reaping Swings – Lowers the cooldown of Cleave by 3 seconds (was 2 seconds). New Talent: Storm Wall – Whenever you Parry, you heal for 10% of your maximum health. Rend – Added to the Arms tree. Exploit the Weakness now increases Tacticians’ chance to trigger by 1.6% (was 2.6%). Fury Developer Notes We’re doing something fairly experimental with Single-Minded Fury. We’re unsure if it will work out as intended, but we feel it there’s an important issue to try and address here. For a good deal of time there has been a consistent complaint that some players cannot continue to play Fury due to the intense nature of it. Our goal with Annihilator and the related talents is to create a sub spec that would provide a lower APM build that would still allow players to have fun, be competitive and feel like a Fury Warrior. We’ve made Titan’s Grip baseline for various reasons, but primarily because it makes many things much simpler. It will be something players gain as they level up. As with the Arms tree, you are now forced to take Enraged Regeneration to ensure you have a minimum amount of survivability. A dead Warrior deals no DPS. Annihilator is intended to work with most of the Raging Blow modifiers (except those related to cooldown and charges), it is currently working with some, and we hope to have this fully functioning and detailed in tooltips by the next Alpha build. We’re working on the subsequent nodes for Odyn’s Fury and Ravager, these will be choice nodes and we’ll have more to share here in the future. Fury Updates Rearranged various talents and created new pathways and choices. Titan’s Grip – Now baseline for all Fury Warriors. Hack and Slash – No longer incorrectly requires 20 talent points. Onslaught – Removed the Enrage requirement to use, cooldown reduced to 14 seconds (was 16 seconds) and Rage generated reduced to 20 (was 25). Pulverize – Now increases Enrage by 1 second and causes Onslaught to Enrage you. Odyn’s Fury – Now generates 20 Rage temporarily. We plan for this this to generate Rage based on the targets hit in a future update. Crushing Blow – Removed the auto charge component. Swift Strikes – Now also causes Raging Blow and Annihilator to generate 1 additional Rage per rank. Critical Thinking – Now also increases the critical strike damage of Raging Blow by 5% per rank. Depths of Insanity – Ranks reduced from 2 to 1 and changed to, Recklessness lasts 5 seconds longer. Ravager – Cooldown increased to 90.0 seconds (was 45.0 seconds) but damage increased to 84% (was 42%) and now correctly awards 10 Rage when dealing damage. Siegebreaker – Duration increased to 12 seconds (was 10 seconds), now generates 15 Rage (was 10) and damage increased to 120% (was 110%). Deafening Crash – Now also increases the critical strike chance of Raging Blow and Annihilator during Siegebreaker by 10%. Slaughtering Strikes – Now correctly costs a talent point and correctly improves all Rampage Strikes when caused by both Raging Blow and Annihilator. Slaughtering Strikes damage bonus reduced to 8% per strike (was 10%). Frenzied Flurry – Reduced to 25% (was 50%) chance to trigger Enrage per rank and auto attack damage bonus reduced to 5% per rank (was 10%). Annihilator – Correctly no longer works with the chain effect of Whirlwind. Raging Armaments – Now correctly costs a talent point. Skull Banner – Now correctly costs a talent point. Vicious Contempt – Now 2 ranks at 20% per rank. Storm of Swords – Whirlwind and Slam have a 6.0 seconds cooldown but deal 100% increased damage and Slam generates 5 Rage. Annihilator – Damage reduced by 15%. Unbridled Ferocity – Now correctly cost a talent point. Deft Experience – Partial implementation and not labeled on the tooltip is that each node is intended to also reduce the cooldown of Bloodthirst by 0.5 seconds. Protection Developer Notes Shield Charge – The intention for this ability is that it would be used to charge into packs in dungeons or raids as an opener. Shield Charge isn’t competitive enough currently and we’ll be looking into this. We are toying with the idea of no minimum range so that it can be used at any time and would function more as a shield smash when you’re within a certain distance. There are some technical complications with Devastator and Devastate that stopped us from merging them as a node for this week, we are likely to either make them a choice node or have Devastate be baseline. We’re working on subsequent nodes for Ravager and hope to have updates here soon. Battle Scared Veteran - We want this to remain powerful so in terms of changes we’re hopefully going to be able to balance this ability around the lockout period. Protection Warriors are performing well in the game currently but more so than some other tanks there’s a low margin for error. Battle Scared Veteran is intended to be a fall back in case you make a mistake. Protection Moved the position of a few nodes around to create some different options and added some new pathways. Improved Heroic Throw – Now also increases the damage of Heroic Throw and Titanic throw by 100%. Bloodborne – Now 2 ranks and each rank increases the damage of Deep Wounds, Rend and Thunderous Roar’s Bleed effects by 15%. Spiked Shield – Damage increased by 10%. Rend – Added to the Protection tree. PLAYER VERSUS PLAYER
RATED ARENA SOLO QUEUE Observant Alpha testers will notice that there is now a Solo Rated PvP option in the Player vs. Player UI. Players will not be able to queue for this mode yet as its still being worked on, but we will have more information to share in a later build. PROFESSIONS
USER INTERFACE Art and animations added for the Professions Specialization frame. USER INTERFACE AND ACCESSIBILITY
NEW HUD UI Edit Mode Added Extra Action Ability Tracking drop down list added back to the minimap area. Developer Note: Class based and professions tracking will rejoin the list soon. Player interactions with NPC and game objects that open UI windows has received an update, changing the way these interactions are handled on the back end. Developers’ note: There is no player facing design change, but we’d like alpha testers to help report bugs if there are any issues with UI dialogues from NPC and game objects.
Our guide writer Panthea is back, and he's doing plenty of Dragon Riding in the new Dragonflight Alpha zone. He's made videos for all the challenges in the Ohn'ahran Plains with a gold completion, so let's take a look!
We're back to Mythic+ with the first look at the new season! We have 2 weeks behind us and there's been quite a few changes as you might expect with a class tuning pass, new seasonal affix and new dungeons, all of which combined brought an extremely familiar face back to the top!
Note: The logs are based on POINTS, and not actual damage or healing, meaning they log the timed completion for the specs, with higher keys getting more points, obviously. The time in which the dungeon is completed is also a factor, but a much, much smaller one, as it grants very few points if you do it significantly faster than just any in-time completion. We're also using the Normalized Aggregate Scores numbers, for clarity, meaning the top spec is marked as 100 and then the rest are ranked in relation to that peak point.
These past 2 weeks were:
Tyrannical, Inspiring, Quaking
Fortified, Sanguine, Grievous (and Shrouded)
While both Destruction and Survival got some AoE nerfs, it seems the Hunter spec was much more mildly affected, as it takes over the top spot from the Warlock, which didn't go too far, landing in 4th. The big news, however, is the rise of the ancient Mythic+ king, a spec that has dominated the format for an incredibly long time, and it's now back, almost at No.1 - and it's Fire! Outlaw climbs quit a bit into No.3 as well, proving that the tuning it got worked and then some, as it's seen quite a huge bump in raids as well. With all this rising something has to fall, and it's Windwlaker, taking a dive down to 5th, followed by a much bolstered Demonology. Shadow is the biggest winner of the patch so far, as it rises 9 spots into 7th, as Marksmanship only drops 1 spot. You could make a case for Balance being the big winner as well, as it slips into the final top 10 spot, a whopping 10 positions up from before the patch. The bottom 2 remain the same, as there's no saving Assassination and Beast Mastery, but Retribution climbs a little out of the gutter as it rises 2 and leaves the bottom 3rd spot to Unholy.
Mythic+ All Keys 95th Percentile Data by Warcraft Logs.
The generalist bracket is where it's all happening for Fire, as the king has returned in style and taken over the place. Survival and Outlaw are close behind, as the Warlocks bunch up to complete the top 5, while the rest of the top 10 remains very similar to the top percentiles.
Mythic+ All Keys All Percentile Data by Warcraft Logs.
Unfortunately there seems to be an issue with individual key graphs so we won't be looking at any individual key bracket this time around. Tanks
The tank situation remains almost exactly the same, as Paladins move 1 up and surpass Druids.
Tank All Percentile Data by Warcraft Logs.
We see a change at the top for healers, however, as Holy Priest takes Resto Shaman down, flipping the stats from Season 3. Mistweavers drop to the bottom, as Discipline moves out of the gutter.
Healer All Percentile Data by Warcraft Logs.
For even more in-depth data for each individual key head on over to Warcraft Logs. And if you're interested in more info on the specs themselves you can always check out our class guides or our extensive Mythic+ guides as well, which have tier lists, dungeon rankings and more.
Blizzard encountered some issues during this week's Alpha build that require extended maintenance to fix. As a result, Dragonflight Alpha realms remain offline until later today.
We were supposed to get a new Alpha build yesterday. Unfortunately, Blizzard ran into some issues with the update and the plan is to deploy the build today. The final Alpha phase 6 begins this week with all zones open for testing.
We encountered an issue during today’s Alpha update that will require an extended maintenance to resolve.
We hope to reopen the Alpha for further testing on the new build tomorrow, Wednesday, August 17.
Blizzard have announced they're temporarily closing the newly linked Auction House due to a critical bug. You can read about all the changes that arrived with the new patch here, including the region-wide commodities AH, as well as it arriving on the companion app.
We’ve got a critical bug with the Auction House in 9.2.7, and we’ve closed the AH while we investigate and decisively fix it.
We’ll track this issue closely and provide any further updates as soon as we have them.