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Blizzard on Pet Changes in Battle for Azeroth

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Blizzard recently provided more insight into Hunter pet changes in Battle for Azeroth.

The way how Hunter pets work in Battle for Azeroth differs from Legion. We've highlighted the most important changes in this post. Class Designer Solanis explained the rationale behind all changes:

The goal is to move past the idea of a DPS/Tank pet specialization and encourage variety.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

As we’ve kicked off the Battle for Azeroth Alpha, we’ve seen a lot of discussion about the new way Hunter pets work. While we’re by no means finished, we have reached a place where we want to share some insight into our plans and explain some of what you might see in development as Alpha continues.

Our primary thoughts on pets going forward:

Move past the idea of a DPS/Tank pet specialization

In Battle for Azeroth, all pets will have equal damage, health, and armor. All can tank or DPS equally. Choosing to put a particular pet into “Tank spec” feels outdated, so we’re going to shift all pets to a setup that will work as though they’re specced into both Ferocity and Tenacity (in Legion terms). All offensive and defensive passive abilities such as Blood of the Rhino and Combat Training will be rolled into every pet by default. Charge will be removed, and all pets will have Growl and Dash/Swoop. Some spec-specific actives will be redistributed where appropriate. We are keeping the names Ferocity, Tenacity, and Cunning as the broad groups that all families fall into. They are no longer changeable, and each has a new passive and active ability that are useful in almost any situation.  

Maintain and/or reinstate pet family uniqueness

Pet family flavor is part of what makes selecting a companion unique and special, and want to emphasize that even more. A special ability has been added to all pet families that were missing one. Exotic Pets still have their unique ability (like Surface Trot) in addition to a new ability. Pure flavor abilities that many pets have are also staying like Trick and Rest.

Expanding access to Bloodlust, and the removal of Battle Res from pets

In Legion, all Hunters have access to Bloodlust and Battle Res, but they only exist among a handful of families, which leads to very narrow options. To that end, Bloodlust will be available on roughly a third of the tamable pet families rather than just two. In a world where we are proliferating abilities to many families, our first inclination was to add Battle Res to a separate third of those families. After seeing that landscape, it felt odd to fully embrace Resurrection as part of the Hunter kit. Further, moving into Battle for Azeroth, we are solidifying Bloodlust and Battle Res as the strong shared cooldowns that a group can bring - one offense, one defense. In that world, Hunters having access to both of the super powerful group benefits didn’t feel appropriate. 

A variety of pet ability packages

It’s important to acknowledge that some hunters want to maximize their impact with their pet, while others are collectors who want a pet for every occasion. There should be opportunities to cleverly swap from one pet to another in a given situation and reap the benefit. At the same time, the Hunter who has grown attached to their spider named Fluffy should feel effective across the game. We’re going to try to ensure that every pet package is attractive, with a unique combination of benefits that work in many situations.

Here are some specifics of the Battle for Azeroth design for Hunter pets:

There are currently 51 pet families, and each family will be categorized as FerocityTenacity, or Cunning. Each will have an active and a passive, and the active will be a Hunter class button that changes contextually with your active pet. 

  • Ferocity
  • Tenacity
  • Cunning
    • Master's CallMaster's Call (Active – a friendly target and your pet are immune to root and moment impairing effects for 4 seconds with a 45 second cooldown)
    • PathfindingPathfinding (Passive - 8% movement speed for you and your pet)

Each pet family will get one of six different abilities, and each ability will have a unique name themed to the family. Precedented abilities such as Ankle CrackAnkle Crack - 50% SnareMonstrous BiteMonstrous Bite - Healing Reduction DebuffShell ShieldShell Shield50% Reduced Damage TakenAgile ReflexesAgile Reflexes - 30% Dodge, and Thick HideThick HideReduced Damage Taken at Low Health already exist in the game, and we’re exploring adding something similar to Tranquilizing ShotTranquilizing Shot to the list.

While this does create a landscape where there may only be a handful of families that exactly fit the combination of tools you prefer, each family was chosen with variety as a premium. There are winged creatures, predators, grazers, and more represented across as many abilities as possible, while keeping them thematically appropriate. 

For two specific examples: a Spirit Beast in Battle for Azeroth still has Spirit MendSpirit Mend and Spirit WalkSpirit Walk, and will gain Endurance TrainingEndurance Training and Survival of the FittestSurvival of the Fittest. They also have a new ability, Spirit ShockSpirit Shock, that dispels magic and soothes enraged enemies. Cats, on the other hand, gain Catlike ReflexesCatlike Reflexes – a 30% dodge cooldown – in addition to Primal RagePrimal Rage and Predator's ThirstPredator's Thirst. Both are able to tank or DPS equally.

Nowadays, only about half of the pet families out there have a useful ability, and we want to improve on that. In Battle for Azeroth, Bloodlust will be much more prominent, so Hunters should no longer feel bound to Core Hounds and Nether Rays as their best options. Most importantly, these changes should result in a pet landscape where all pets can serve as dps or tank as well as they could in Legion.

Please remember that all of the above, especially the numbers, are subject to change as we test in the Battle for Azeroth Alpha. Feel free to discuss anything related to Hunter pets here. We really appreciate your feedback!

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cool, now i have way more pets i can pick from, before i was literally stuck with 4 choices, the stone cat/crane and nether ray/corehound.  now i gots a whole family to pick from for each spec :D

also solved the issue where sometimes,  one defensive cooldown just isnt enough. 

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I still can't understand why we lose the ability to change our pet's specialization, especially with the removal of BRez from any and all pets. I would be in agreement with these changes and I do like the idea of making pet families feel unique but I just don't see why we are limited to what spec we can have our pet be in. I want to play as my Dwarf Hunter with the pet bear, I don't want to have to pull out X family pet to gain the benefit of a Bloodlust or whatever another spec has that I need. At the end of the day it's only a cosmetic thing, if every other class can transmogrify their weapons and armor, why can't we choose what our pet looks like?

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10 minutes ago, leapingshadow said:

I still can't understand why we lose the ability to change our pet's specialization, especially with the removal of BRez from any and all pets. I would be in agreement with these changes and I do like the idea of making pet families feel unique but I just don't see why we are limited to what spec we can have our pet be in. I want to play as my Dwarf Hunter with the pet bear, I don't want to have to pull out X family pet to gain the benefit of a Bloodlust or whatever another spec has that I need. At the end of the day it's only a cosmetic thing, if every other class can transmogrify their weapons and armor, why can't we choose what our pet looks like?

That's... sort of already how it works? You can't just take any pet as is and give them bloodlust. You already need to take SPECIFIC pets for bloodlust. If you wana use a bear, use a bear. it's the same dps in raids, and chances are in raids you're going to have a mage/shaman for lust anyways.

As it stands on live, these pet "specs" don't have these abilities anyways.

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36 minutes ago, leapingshadow said:

I still can't understand why we lose the ability to change our pet's specialization, especially with the removal of BRez from any and all pets. I would be in agreement with these changes and I do like the idea of making pet families feel unique but I just don't see why we are limited to what spec we can have our pet be in. I want to play as my Dwarf Hunter with the pet bear, I don't want to have to pull out X family pet to gain the benefit of a Bloodlust or whatever another spec has that I need. At the end of the day it's only a cosmetic thing, if every other class can transmogrify their weapons and armor, why can't we choose what our pet looks like?

Let me explain about this "why can't we choose what our pet looks like"..... Blood Lust for example, was bound to Core Hound and Nether Ray, so if anyone wanted it they had to pick one of these two, which limits them to these two only. With this change, Blood Lust is there on many more other pet families which screams, variety! Specializations are becoming different than before and hold one active and passive, also, specs no more increase or decrease damage or tank capabilities. All in all, it's a terrific change.

Edited by Undeadxy
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5 minutes ago, Undeadxy said:

How can you say "why can't we choose what our pet looks like"..... Blood Lust for example, was bound to Core Hound and Nether Ray, so if anyone wanted it they had to pick one of these two, which limits them to these two only. With this change Blood Lust is there on many more other pet families which SCREAMS, VARIETY! Specializations are becoming different than before and hold one active and passive, also, specs no more increase or decrease damage or tank capabilities. All in all, it's a terrific change.

He's still correct about not being able to change specs. It really sucks for those of us who prefer a certain pet.

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8 minutes ago, Calysia said:

He's still correct about not being able to change specs. It really sucks for those of us who prefer a certain pet.

Just use the pet you want. you aren't losing dps, and you aren't losing the ability to have any pet with any ability because again, they don't currently have it. Putting your tiger in ferocity on live doesn't give it lust. Ya, different pets will have different utility, that's not different than it is on live.

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14 minutes ago, Calysia said:

He's still correct about not being able to change specs. It really sucks for those of us who prefer a certain pet.

"It really sucks for those of us who prefer a certain pet" I don't know what to say about that. But, I see it fitting this way. It's weird that, for example, a  pet which is by default Ferocity suddenly changes specialization and forgets what he knew from Ferocity, and suddenly has new set of abilities at that instant. It was illogical and stripped away the feeling of the specific pet. I know that there is a new weird thing with the change which is damage and tank capabilities are equal on all pet families, but that's so people won't get angry that they are forced more into specific pets for damage and set of abilities from specializations. With this, only thing you are forced into when choosing a pet is the specialization and to be honest it's really fine since it's only one active and one passive. Way better than the older version i'd say.

Edited by Undeadxy

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25 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

Why isn't anyone asking about the demand for more stable slots?

They are probably saving that as their ace in the hole. After they decimate the class to the point no one wants to play it, they will be like "oh, and here are 10 more slots".

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23 minutes ago, Undeadxy said:

"It really sucks for those of us who prefer a certain pet" I don't know what to say about that. But, I see it fitting this way. It's weird that, for example, a  pet which is by default Ferocity suddenly changes specialization and forgets what he knew from Ferocity, and suddenly has new set of abilities at that instant. It was illogical and stripped away the feeling of the specific pet. I know that there is a new weird thing with the change which is damage and tank capabilities are equal on all pet families, but that's so people won't get angry that they are forced more into specific pets for damage and set of abilities from specializations. With this, only thing you are forced into when choosing a pet is the specialization and to be honest it's really fine since it's only one active and one passive. Way better than the older version i'd say.

You mean like how we forget our abilities from MM when we switch to BM? I just feel Blizzard has gone too far...with no good reason...by not allowing us to swap pet specs.

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26 minutes ago, Undeadxy said:

It's weird that, for example, a  pet which is by default Ferocity suddenly changes specialization and forgets what he knew from Ferocity, and suddenly has new set of abilities at that instant. It was illogical and stripped away the feeling of the specific pet.

You can say the exact same thing about changing specs for actual classes though. Just suddenly switch to Survival and forget how to use a bow or a gun, that is more illogical than a pet changing spec.

47 minutes ago, Undeadxy said:

Let me explain about this "why can't we choose what our pet looks like"..... Blood Lust for example, was bound to Core Hound and Nether Ray, so if anyone wanted it they had to pick one of these two, which limits them to these two only. With this change, Blood Lust is there on many more other pet families which screams, variety!

That doesn't explain why we can't choose what our pet looks like, it's an improvement, but there are still more improvements that can be made.

32 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

Why isn't anyone asking about the demand for more stable slots?

My Stables are actually capped with every single rare tame in there and I would love more stable slots or some sort of rework which provides a long term solution.

30 minutes ago, Aegrotat said:

Just use the pet you want. you aren't losing dps, and you aren't losing the ability to have any pet with any ability because again, they don't currently have it. Putting your tiger in ferocity on live doesn't give it lust. Ya, different pets will have different utility, that's not different than it is on live.

Just because we're not losing anything from live to alpha doesn't mean that we can't ask for the ability to have more. The situation to me is like saying, Oh you're a Draenei Priest, but you can't be Shadow because it doesn't make sense.

Edited by leapingshadow
Spacing.

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1 minute ago, leapingshadow said:

Just because we're not losing anything from live to alpha doesn't mean that we can't ask for the ability to have more. The situation to me is like saying, Oh you're a Draenei Priest, but you can't be Shadow because it doesn't make sense.

The problem is you don't always NEED more. You're getting a bigger selection of pets for each spec, and the dps DOESN'T change. Ok ya, some pets have different fitting utility but that's... not the end of the world. I mean warlocks should be complaining because if they want more dps, they need to use one specific pet. If they want to do pvp, one pet is clearly better than the others. I guess that's why I see them giving more choice to hunters, and find it funny that hunters are complaining they still don't have enough options.

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10 minutes ago, Aegrotat said:

The problem is you don't always NEED more. You're getting a bigger selection of pets for each spec, and the dps DOESN'T change. Ok ya, some pets have different fitting utility but that's... not the end of the world. I mean warlocks should be complaining because if they want more dps, they need to use one specific pet. If they want to do pvp, one pet is clearly better than the others. I guess that's why I see them giving more choice to hunters, and find it funny that hunters are complaining they still don't have enough options.

The difference with Warlocks though, is that their pets are fundamentally different than a Hunter's. Hunter's have the rare tames and hundreds of pets to choose to tame and use. Warlock demons are more stat sticks than a Hunter is, they have like 1-2 abilities and don't have access to huge raid wide buffs like Heroism and Battle Resurrects. With Warlocks there are like 5 pets to choose from all of which you can't change the name of or really customize at all. Imagine going out of the way to go tame something like Gara to be told that oh, that random Turtle is clearly a better choice here and that you are majorly missing out if you don't use the Turtle for it's specialization ability. Yes, it's true that's how it's working at the moment, but i'm asking to remove that limitation completely, because it doesn't exist for any real important reason. 

And to add to that, Warlock pets don't have specializations.

Edited by leapingshadow
Warlock reasoning.

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The difference with Warlocks though, is that their pets are fundamentally different than a Hunter's. Hunter's have the rare tames and hundreds of pets to choose to tame and use. Warlock demons are more stat sticks than a Hunter is, they have like 1-2 abilities and don't have access to huge raid wide buffs like Heroism and Battle Resurrects. With Warlocks there are like 5 pets to choose from all of which you can't change the name of or really customize at all. Imagine going out of the way to go tame something like Gara to be told that oh, that random Turtle is clearly a better choice here and that you are majorly missing out if you don't use the Turtle for it's specialization ability. Yes, it's true that's how it's working at the moment, but i'm asking to remove that limitation completely, because it doesn't exist for any real important reason. 

And to add to that, Warlock pets don't have specializations.

So are you actually saying, you want all the pets to have the same abilities, just a different look?

Mate, if I (as a warlock) want a tank pet, I have a single choice and if I want an interrupt, I need another (single) pet. No choice whatsoever. I also need to chose, which ability/pet I need for an encounter. You have much more options, yet you still complain, that you don't have everything?

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1 hour ago, leapingshadow said:

The difference with Warlocks though, is that their pets are fundamentally different than a Hunter's. Hunter's have the rare tames and hundreds of pets to choose to tame and use. Warlock demons are more stat sticks than a Hunter is, they have like 1-2 abilities and don't have access to huge raid wide buffs like Heroism and Battle Resurrects. With Warlocks there are like 5 pets to choose from all of which you can't change the name of or really customize at all. Imagine going out of the way to go tame something like Gara to be told that oh, that random Turtle is clearly a better choice here and that you are majorly missing out if you don't use the Turtle for it's specialization ability. Yes, it's true that's how it's working at the moment, but i'm asking to remove that limitation completely, because it doesn't exist for any real important reason. 

And to add to that, Warlock pets don't have specializations.

1.Specializations are having less abilities.

2.More pets will have Blood Lust, way more than in live.

3. More families are becoming unique and becoming useful.

4.All pets has the same damage and tanking capabilities.

I agree behind the illogical thing about changing specializations in classes and also pets but, Hunters can have up to 5 pets with them and i'm sure mostly everyone has more than one favorite pet. The lock on specializations for the pets is logical because you are not really limiting the player since they can have more than one pet at their side. Classes cannot be locked on specializations because it's illogical game wise.

 

Think about Pokemon when thinking about Hunter's pets. You cannot have one Pokemon doing everything because it's illogical.

Edited by Undeadxy

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This was a really long post to deflect that, unless there's further changes, Spirit Beasts, the pets a Hunter player would have most likely spent the most time looking for and playing with, will essentially no longer be used for anything other than soloing, and perhaps some pvp, and that any pet like Netherrays, with an active ability situationally useful in pve such as dispels along with a powerful cd like Bloodlust, will still be the most desirable pve pet simply because they provide the most value. It doesn't matter if they add more pet families with Lust / Heroism, it still creates the same problem where you are still basically carrying at least one of them for the sake of having the best range of pve utility and damage available with you at all times over the other families. 

The abilities themselves are just woeful when listed like that too. Unique pet skills (that are useful) were always a bit rare and counter-intuitive to the class , exclusive to a mere handful of families from Vanilla to current day where the days of having unique skills and dedicated talent trees introduced in Cataclysm are long gone, and have always seemed to end up being homogenised, at least to an extent, until we end up with a list such as this, where active abilities that either deal direct damage (such as Bite, Claw, etc) are available on ALL pets and do normalised damage, or that provide a buff or debuff fall into the category of being useful or not so much. 

Take for instance, Shell Shield vs Thick Hide. On live, Shell Shield on autocast will cast the ability when your pet's health drops to the threshold, but is on half the cd that Thick Hide has... so despite Ox and so forth being tamable, they're simply just not as good as existing tanky pets such as turtles right off the bat. 

Ankle Bite is an ability to me that always seemed like the poor man's Charge that Boars used to provide in Vanilla, a minor snare that you would often overwrite yourself with your own abilities, with no real use for pve and outshone in pvp where snares are plentiful but damage, hard cc and utility are king, which means that pets with Mortal Wounds and Dispels would be superior choices, even over pets such as Spiders, whose snare can be applied from the 40 yard range, as opposed to Ankle Crack's melee range limitation, and it will be increasingly overshadowed if MM - the spec that arguably had the most to benefit from having a pet with a snare for kiting - will no longer have access to pets. 

Agile Reflexes may as well be called Rest or Play v2.0 for how useful it is in pve and pvp, and what it actually is too; an ability to keep non-Tenacity pets from dying while soloing. 

They could be a lot more imaginative and bold here without adding stuff like a 4 second placate or stuns, but like forgotten pet families that were once popular, such as Shale Spiders, who no longer have anything distinctive about them despite the fact they remain classed as Exotic, they don't seem willing to commit to what would now be a huge undertaking to provide more unique and useful skills (that aren't just bring the class buff to work pets either) or create a talent tree system for hunter pets again. 

I'm not the best hunter in the world, but I have been playing on it long enough to remember running around Azeroth taming higher level pets to learn the next rank of Dash and Growl and Bite and whatever just to dismiss them afterwards, and this is the sort of unfun tediousness that the blue post reminds me of, as well as reminding the cynic in me that many new rarer or sought after pet spawns typically belong to the more useful pet families, almost as if they know. 

In all fairness though, the hunter playerbase is a fussy and arsey bunch of customers. MM for example is split down the middle of people who never wanted to run with a pet in the first place and those who feel it defeats the entire purpose of the class they've played with for years, and I've wanted melee back ever since they took it away and am one of the biggest critics of the SV spec despite playing it nonstop since Legion dropped.

I just wish they had just been more honest; "Right, listen boys and girls, hunters are the most popular by far class in WoW, but less than half of you know that Growl can be turned off. We've had enough and took pets away from MM entirely and if you keep this up, we'll make you play with Wands that can't be transmogged, and if you don't believe us, ask the one weird person in your guild who's always been a BM hunter where their Spirit Beast is next time you're raiding. Yes, we will add new pets to tame that you can PVE with that aren't Netherrays, but it's not on a high priority list when the majority of your arrow wanker kin just want to be able to tame a giraffe for no other reason than the fact that they currently can't. Seriously. Stop asking for giraffes. We're horrible and won't do it." 

 

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2 hours ago, Undeadxy said:

Think about Pokemon when thinking about Hunter's pets. You cannot have one Pokemon doing everything because it's illogical.

You tell that to Ditto! 

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52 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

This was a really long post to deflect that, unless there's further changes, Spirit Beasts, the pets a Hunter player would have most likely spent the most time looking for and playing with, will essentially no longer be used for anything other than soloing, and perhaps some pvp, and that any pet like Netherrays, with an active ability situationally useful in pve such as dispels along with a powerful cd like Bloodlust, will still be the most desirable pve pet simply because they provide the most value. It doesn't matter if they add more pet families with Lust / Heroism, it still creates the same problem where you are still basically carrying at least one of them for the sake of having the best range of pve utility and damage available with you at all times over the other families. 
 

How is having 10% increased HP and an extra survival CD a bad thing in raids? I have never been in a raid and had someone sit there saying "Man, I sure wish we had a hunter in here so we could lust!" People usually just look at the mage or shaman and... well ask them to do the lust. If ferocity legitimately had more dps ya, I' understand, but they don't. Not having lust isn't going to make a pet useless in raids.

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Sorry... first time poster here... but My two cents from how I feel about it (it's just my opinion. doesn't make it right and you don't have to agree with it). BM hunters provide dungeon and raid utility with the exotic pets. Don't take that away from us. You have already neutered our DPS against most other classes.

We use to be able to give raid buffs depending on our pets. They took that away. We have to have something for being passed over time and time again for any type of DPS boost to get us out of the bottom of the charts. (A 2.5% buff across the board is really just a slap in the face). 

How many times have you been in a dungeon and no one has hero / blood lust or the tank / healer dies and it comes down to the hunter to get a rez out to prevent the wipe? or maybe hunter feigns death when wipe is immanent to be able to rez the healer so get everyone else up? I am not saying it happens all the time, but it is a great utility hunter provide. We're kinda like jack of all trades, master of none. We can do a little bit of everything, but don't really excel at anything.

About the only other advantage to our class is we have about ultimate mobility to cast on the move. At time, this is the only reason why I can do dps to match some of the other classes. WOW going to take that away too?

I love playing my hunter, it's my main for 3-4 years now. But this is their game. They are going to do things as they see fit regardless how anyone feels. I haven't seen anyone from wow say "you know what, all these people who play (insert class here) saying the class needs some tuning, maybe we need to look into it.

If you don't like a class or the game, change class or don't give them your subscription. We all have a choice.

 

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16 minutes ago, Aegrotat said:

How is having 10% increased HP and an extra survival CD a bad thing in raids? I have never been in a raid and had someone sit there saying "Man, I sure wish we had a hunter in here so we could lust!" People usually just look at the mage or shaman and... well ask them to do the lust. If ferocity legitimately had more dps ya, I' understand, but they don't. Not having lust isn't going to make a pet useless in raids.

Ferocity will most likely be the best for Mythic+ since it's a 5 man thing and you won't always have a Shaman or a Mage on all Mythic+ dungeons. All the specializations are actually good for raids. Let's say there is an annoying slow aoe ability in the encounter, you could use a Cunning pet to use Master Call and be immune from slows. Tenacity gives a 10% max HP increase and that's actually decent, you might need it vs a boss that has a powerful aoe or when you are chosen to deal with a specific boss ability.

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2 minutes ago, Undeadxy said:

Ferocity will most likely be the best for Mythic+ since it's a 5 man thing and you won't always have a Shaman or a Mage on all Mythic+ dungeons. All the specializations are actually good for raids. Let's say there is an annoying slow aoe ability in the encounter, you could use a Cunning pet to use Master Call and be immune from slows. Tenacity gives a 10% max HP increase and that's actually decent, you might need it vs a boss that has a powerful aoe or when you are chosen to deal with a specific boss ability.

I'll definitely give you credit for the Mythic+ thing. Though, I also find it extremely unlikely that, with an increased repertoire of pets with the abilities, people won't find one pet that they enjoy that's also ferocity. I mean, people already pick multiple pets that have different utilities, this will just make that job easier.

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      Class Design Philosophy Death Knight Demon Hunter Druid Hunter Mage Monk Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior Class Design Philosophy in Battle for Azeroth 
      In the latest Watercooler, Blizzard talked about the philosophy and approach to class design in Battle for Azeroth. The goal is to promote what makes each class unique, improve visuals, and greater stability across the board. The overall talent system will remain relatively unchanged, but some specializations are subject to big talent changes (Survival Hunter). Artifact weapons will be gone and getting rid of Artifact traits produces a complex set of decisions about how to adjust the base classes to play well in their absence. Some Artifact talents have been baked into talents. For example Fire Mage's Artifact trait Phoenix's Flames (Felo'melorn) is a level 60 talent (Phoenix Flames) in Battle for Azeroth.
      In the latest Q/A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas we learned that many raid-wide spells and crowd control abilities are returning in Battle for Azeroth. The goal is to promote a wide diversity of class and spec representation and reduce homogenization. As seen below, Survival Hunters got a lot of new talents in the first build of BfA. One of the reasons for the overhaul was class fantasy. It's strange when a Survival Hunter suddently forgets how to use a bow at level 10.
      Enhancement Shamans are getting their totems back! Totem Mastery is a new talent available at level 15 and Windfury Totem at 75. Arms Warriors got a new mastery (Mastery: Deep Wounds) and more!
      Below is an early preview of *new* abilities & talents added in Patch 8.0.1 Build 25902. Some specializations are still missing talents (N/A).
      Death Knight [Return to Top]
      Death's Advance - baseline ability available at level 55 Thoughtseize (NYI) - new baseline ability available at level 73 Blood
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 56 Heartbreaker Blooddrinker Rune Strike *new* 57 Rapid Decomposition Hemostasis *new* Consumption *new* 58 Foul Bulwark Ossuary Tombstone 60 Will of the Necropolis Anti-Magic Barrier Rune Tap 75 Grip of the Dead *new* Tightening Grasp Wraith Walk *new* 90 Voracious *new* Bloodworms Mark of Blood 100 Purgatory Red Thirst Bonestorm Frost
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 56 Inexorable Assault Icy Talons Cold Heart *new* 57 Runic Attenuation Murderous Efficiency Horn of Winter 58 Winter is Coming Asphyxiate *new* Blinding Sleet 60 Avalanche Frozen Pulse *new* Frostscythe 75 Permafrost Wraith Walk *new* Death Pact *new* 90 Gathering Storm Glacial Advance Frostwyrm's Fury *new* 100 Icecap Obliteration *new* Breath of Sindragosa Unholy
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 56 Infected Claws All Will Serve Clawing Shadows 57 Bursting Sores Ebon Fever Unholy Blight *new* 58 Grip of the Dead *new* Death's Reach *new* Asphyxiate 60 Pestilent Pustules Harbinger of Doom *new* Soul Reaper 75 Spell Eater Wraith Walk *new* Death Pact *new* 90 Pestilence *new* Defile Epidemic 100 Army of the Damned *new* Unholy Frenzy Summon Gargoyle *new* Demon Hunter [Return to Top]
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 99 Blind Fury Demonic Appetite Felblade 100 Insatiable Hunger *new* Demon Blades Immolation Aura *new* 102 Trail of Ruin *new* Fel Mastery Fel Barrage *new* 104 Soul Rending Desperate Instincts Netherwalk 106 Cycle of Hatred *new* First Blood Dark Slash *new* 108 Unleashed Power Master of the Glaive Fel Eruption 110 Demonic Momentum Nemesis Vengeance
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 99 Abyssal Strike Agonizing Flames Razor Spikes 100 Feast of Souls Fallout Burning Alive 102 Flame Crash Charred Flesh *new* Felblade 104 Soul Rending Feed the Demon Fracture *new* 106 Concentrated Sigils Quickened Sigils Sigil of Chains 108 Gluttony *new* Spirit Bomb Fel Devastation 110 Last Resort Void Reaver *new* Soul Barrier Druid [Return to Top]
      Balance
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Nature's Balance Warrior of Elune Force of Nature 30 Tiger Dash Renewal Wild Charge 45 Feral Affinity Guardian Affinity Restoration Affinity 60 Mighty Bash Mass Entanglement Typhoon 75 Soul of the Forest Starlord Incarnation: Chosen of Elune 90 Stellar Drift Twin Moons *new* Stellar Flare 100 Shooting Stars Fury of Elune New Moon *new* Feral
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Blood Scent Predator Lunar Inspiration 30 Tiger Dash Renewal Wild Charge 45 Balance Affinity Guardian Affinity Restoration Affinity 60 Mighty Bash Mass Entanglement Typhoon 75 Soul of the Forest Jagged Wounds Incarnation: King of the Jungle 90 Sabertooth Brutal Slash Savage Roar 100 Moment of Clarity Bloodtalons Feral Frenzy *new* Guardian
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Brambles Blood Frenzy Bristling Fur 30 Tiger Dash Intimidating Roar Wild Charge 45 Balance Affinity Feral Affinity Restoration Affinity 60 Mighty Bash Mass Entanglement Typhoon 75 Soul of the Forest Galactic Guardian Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc 90 Earthwarden Survival of the Fittest Guardian of Elune 100 Rend and Tear Lunar Beam Pulverize Restoration
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Abundance Prosperity Cenarion Ward 30 Tiger Dash Renewal Wild Charge 45 Balance Affinity Feral Affinity Guardian Affinity 60 Mighty Bash Mass Entanglement Typhoon 75 Soul of the Forest Cultivation Incarnation: Tree of Life 90 Inner Peace Stonebark Spring Blossoms 100 Photosynthesis *new* Germination Flourish Hunter [Return to Top]
      Beast Mastery
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Killer Instinct *new* Animal Companion Dire Beast 30 Scent of Blood One with the Pack Chimaera Shot 45 Trailblazer Natural Mending *new* Camouflage *new* 60 Venomous Bite *new* Thrill of the Hunt *new* A Murder of Crows 75 Born To Be Wild *new* Posthaste Binding Shot 90 Stomp Barrage Stampede 100 Aspect of the Beast Killer Cobra Spitting Cobra Marksmanship
      Lone Wolf is now baseline for Marksmanship Hunters Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Master Marksman Serpent Sting *new* A Murder of Crows 30 Careful Aim *new* Volley *new* Explosive Shot 45 Trailblazer Natural Mending *new* Camouflage 60 Steady Focus Streamline *new* Hunter's Mark *new* 75 Born To Be Wild *new* Posthaste Binding Shot 90 Lethal Shots *new* Barrage Double Tap *new* 100 Calling the Shots *new* Lock and Load Piercing Shot Survival
      New Mastery
      Mastery: Spirit Bond Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Viper's Venom *new* Terms of Engagement *new* Alpha Predator *new* 30 Guerrilla Tactics *new* Hydra's Bite *new* Butchery 45 Trailblazer Natural Mending *new* Camouflage 60 Bloodseeker *new* Steel Trap A Murder of Crows 75 Born to Be Wild *new* Posthaste Binding Shot *new* 90 Tip of the Spear *new* Mongoose Bite *new* Flanking Strike *new* 100 Birds of Prey *new* Wildfire Infusion *new* Chakrams *new* Mage [Return to Top]
      Arcane Intellect raid buff has returned in Battle for Azeroth. Arcane
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Rule of Threes *new* Amplification *new*  Arcane Familiar 30 Mana Shield Shimmer Slipstream 45 Incanter's Flow Mirror Image Rune of Power 60 Resonance Charged Up Supernova 75 Chrono Shift Ice Ward Ring of Frost 90 Erosion Unstable Magic Nether Tempest 100 Overpowered Temporal Flux Arcane Orb Fire
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Firestarter Pyromaniac Searing Touch *new* 30 Blazing Soul Shimmer Blast Wave 45 Incanter's Flow Mirror Image Rune of Power 60 Flame On Alexstrasza's Fury Phoenix Flames *new* 75 Frenetic Speed Ice Ward Ring of Frost 90 Flame Patch Conflagration Living Bomb 100 Kindling Pyroclasm *new* Meteor Frost
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Bone Chilling Lonely Winter Ice Nova 30 Glacial Insulation Shimmer Ice Floes 45 Incanter's Flow Mirror Image Rune of Power 60 Frozen Touch Chain Reaction *new* Ebonbolt *new* 75 Frigid Winds Ice Ward Ring of Frost 90 Freezing Rain *new* Splitting Ice Comet Storm 100 Thermal Void Ray of Frost Glacial Spike Monk [Return to Top]
      Leg Sweep is now baseline available at level 60 Brewmaster
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Eye of the Tiger Chi Wave Chi Burst 30 Celerity Chi Torpedo Tiger's Lust 45 Light Brewing Spitfire *new* Black Ox Brew 60 Tiger Tail Sweep *new* Summon Black Ox Statue Ring of Peace 75 Bob and Weave *new* Healing Elixir Dampen Harm 90 Special Delivery Rushing Jade Wind Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox 100 High Tolerance Guard *new* Blackout Combo Mistweaver
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Mist Wrap Chi Wave Chi Burst 30 Celerity Chi Torpedo Tiger's Lust 45 Lifecycles Spirit of the Crane Mana Tea 60 Tiger Tail Sweep *new* Song of Chi-Ji Ring of Peace 75 Healing Elixir Diffuse Magic Dampen Harm 90 Summon Jade Serpent Statue Refreshing Jade Wind Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane 100 Upwelling *new* Focused Thunder Rising Mist *new* Windwalker
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Eye of the Tiger Chi Wave Chi Burst 30 Celerity Chi Torpedo Tiger's Lust 45 Ascension Fist of the White Tiger *new* Energizing Elixir 60 Tiger Tail Sweep *new*  Good Karma *new* Ring of Peace *new*
      75 Inner Strength *new* Diffuse Magic Dampen Harm *new* 90 Hit Combo Rushing Jade Wind *new* Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger 100 Spiritual Focus *new* Whirling Dragon Punch Serenity Paladin  [Return to Top]
      Holy
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Crusader's Might Bestow Faith Light's Hammer 30 Cavalier Unbreakable Spirit Rule of Law 45 Fist of Justice Repentance Blinding Light 60 Devotion Aura Aura of Sacrifice Aura of Mercy 75 Judgment of Light  Holy Avenger Holy Prism 90 Sanctified Wrath Avenging Crusader *new* Awakening *new* 100 Divine Purpose Beacon of Faith Beacon of Virtue Protection
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Holy Shield Redoubt *new* Blessed Hammer 30 First Avenger Crusader's Judgment Bastion of Light 45 Fist of Justice Repentance Blinding Light 60 Retribution Aura Cavalier Blessing of Spellwarding 75 Final Stand Unbreakable Spirit *new* Hand of the Protector 90 Judgment of Light Consecrated Ground Aegis of Light 100 Last Defender Righteous Protector Seraphim Retribution
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Zeal *new* Righteous Verdict *new* Execution Sentence 30 Fires of Justice Blade of Wrath Hammer of Wrath *new* 45 Fist of Justice Repentance Blinding Light 60 Divine Judgment *new* Consecration Wake of Ashes *new* 75 Cavalier Unbreakable Spirit Eye for an Eye 90 Selfless Healer Justicar's Vengeance Word of Glory 100 Divine Purpose Crusade Inquisition *new* Priest [Return to Top]
      Power Word: Fortitude raid buff is back in Battle for Azeroth. Discipline
      New Mastery: Mastery: Grace
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Castigation Twist of Fate Schism 30 Body and Soul Masochism Angelic Feather 45 Shield Discipline Mindbender Power Word: Solace 60 Psychic Voice Dominant Mind Shining Force 75 Sins of the Many *new* Contrition *new* Shadow Covenant *new* 90 Purge the Wicked Divine Star Halo 100 Lenience *new* Luminous Barrier *new* Evangelism Holy
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Enlightenment Trail of Light Enduring Renewal 30 Angelic Feather Perseverance Angel's Mercy *new* 45 Cosmic Ripple *new* Guardian Angel Afterlife 60 Psychic Voice *new* Censure Shining Force 75 Surge of Light Binding Heal Circle of Healing 90 Benediction Divine Star Halo 100 Light of the Naaru Apotheosis Holy Word: Salvation *new* Shadow
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Fortress of the Mind Shadowy Insight Shadow Word: Void 30 Body and Soul San'layn Mania 45 Twist of Fate Misery Dark Void *new* 60 Last Word *new* Mind Bomb Psychic Horror 75 Auspicious Spirits Shadow Word: Death Shadow Crash 90 Lingering Insanity Mindbender Void Torrent *new* 100 Legacy of the Void Dark Ascension *new* Surrender to Madness Rogue [Return to Top]
      Assassination
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Master Poisoner Elaborate Planning Blindside 30 Nightstalker Subterfuge Master Assassin *new* 45 Vigor Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death 60 Leeching Poison *new* Cheat Death Elusiveness 75 Internal Bleeding Iron Wire Prey on the Weak 90 Venom Rush Toxic Blade Exsanguinate 100 Poison Bomb *new* Hidden Blades *new* Crimson Tempest Outlaw
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Weaponmaster Quick Draw Ghostly Strike 30 Acrobatic Strikes Retractable Hook *new* Hit and Run 45 Vigor Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death 60 Iron Stomach Cheat Death Elusiveness 75 Dirty Tricks Blinding Powder *new* Prey on the Weak 90 Loaded Dice *new* Alacrity Slice and Dice 100 Dancing Steel *new* Blade Rush *new* Killing Spree Subtlety
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Weaponmaster Find Weakness Gloomblade 30 Nightstalker Subterfuge Shadow Focus 45 Vigor Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death 60 Soothing Darkness Cheat Death Elusiveness 75 Shot in the Dark *new* Night Terrors *new* Prey on the Weak 90 Dark Shadow Alacrity Enveloping Shadows 100 Master of Shadows Secret Technique *new* Shuriken Tornado *new* Shaman [Return to Top]
      Elemental
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Exposed Elements *new* Echo of the Elements *new* Elemental Blast *new* 30 Aftershock Master of the Elements Totem Mastery 45 Spirit Wolf *new* Earth Shield Static Charge *new* 60 High Voltage *new* Storm Elemental Liquid Magma Totem 75 Nature's Guardian Ancestral Guidance Wind Rush Totem *new* 90 Earthen Rage Primal Elementalist Icefury *new* 100 Unlimited Power *new* Stormkeeper Ascendance Enhancement
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Boulderfist Hot Hand Lightning Shield 30 Landslide Forceful Winds *new* Totem Mastery *new* 45 Spirit Wolf *new* Earth Shield Static Charge *new* 60 Searing Assault Hailstorm Overcharge 75 Nature's Guardian *new* Feral Lunge Wind Rush Totem 90 Crashing Storm Fury of Air Sundering 100 Elemental Spirits *new* Earthen Spike Ascendance Restoration
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Torrent Undulation Unleash Life 30 Echo of the Elements Deluge Earth Shield 45 Spirit Wolf *new* Earthgrab Totem Static Charge *new* 60 Ancestral Vigor Earthen Wall Totem Ancestral Protection Totem 75 Nature's Guardian *new* Graceful Spirit Wind Rush Totem 90 Flash Flood *new* Downpour *new* Cloudburst Totem 100 High Tide Wellspring Ascendance Warlock [Return to Top]
      Affliction
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Nightfall Drain Soul *new* Deathbolt *new*aw 30 Writhe in Agony Absolute Corruption Siphon Life 45 Demon Skin Burning Rush Dark Pact 60 Sow the Seeds Phantom Singularity Vile Taint *new* 75 Darkfury *new* Mortal Coil Demonic Circle 90 Shadow Embrace *new* Haunt Grimoire of Sacrifice 100 Soul Conduit Creeping Death *new* Dark Soul: Misery *new* Demonology
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Dreadlash *new* Demonic Strength *new* Biliescourge Bombers *new* 30 Demonic Calling Power Siphon *new* Doom *new* 45 Demon Skin Burning Rush Dark Pact 60 From the Shadows *new* Soul Strike *new* Summon Vilefiend *new* 75 Darkfury *new* Mortal Coil Demonic Circle 90 Soul Conduit Inner Demons *new* Grimoire: Felguard *new* 100 Sacrificed Souls Demonic Consumption *new* Nether Portal *new* Destruction
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Flashover *new* Eradication Soul Fire 30 Reverse Entropy *new* Internal Combustion Shadowburn 45 Demon Skin Burning Rush Dark Pact 60 Inferno *new* Fire and Brimstone Cataclysm 75 Darkfury *new* Mortal Coil Demonic Circle 90 Roaring Blaze Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Sacrifice 100 Soul Conduit Channel Demonfire Dark Soul: Instability *new* Warrior [Return to Top]
      Battle Shout (raid buff) is back. Arms
      New Abilities
      Sweeping Strikes New Mastery
      Mastery: Deep Wounds (Deep Wounds) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 War Machine *new* Sudden Death Skullsplitter *new* 30 Double Time Impending Victory *new* Storm Bolt 45 Massacre *new* Fervor of Battle Rend 60 Second Wind Bounding Stride Defensive Stance 75 Collateral Damage  *new* Warbreaker *new* Cleave 90 In For The Kill *new* Avatar Deadly Calm *new* 100 Anger Management Dreadnaught *new* Ravager Fury
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 War Machine Endless Rage Fresh Meat 30 Double Time Impending Victory *new* Storm Bolt 45 Inner Rage Sudden Death *new* Furious Slash *new* 60 Furious Charge Bounding Stride Warpaint 75 Carnage Massacre *new* Frothing Berserker 90 Meat Cleaver *new* Dragon Roar Bladestorm 100 Reckless Abandon Anger Management *new* Siegebreaker *new* Protection
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Into the Fray Punish *new* Impending Victory 30 Crackling Thunder Bounding Stride Safeguard 45 Best Served Cold Unstoppable Force *new* Dragon Roar *new* 60 Indomitable Never Surrender *new* Bolster *new* 75 Menace *new* Rumbling Earth *new* Storm Bolt 90 Booming Voice Vengeance Devastator 100 Anger Management Heavy Repercussions Ravager
    • By Stan
      The most recent Beta Build 26812 includes Frost Death Knight & Brewmaster Monk talent updates. Check out the highlights!
      We updated our Battle for Azeroth Class Changes to correspond with all changes listed below, and you can find more information about Battle for Azeroth by visiting our Expansion Hub. 
      Demon Hunter
      Vengeance
      Chaos Brand (new passive): Your Fire damage brands the target, increasing magic damage taken by 5%. Death Knight
      Frost
      Pillar of Frost is again baseline. Cooldown reduced to 45 seconds (from 1 min). Shattering Strikes (level 56 talent) removed. Freezing Fog (level 100 talent) removed. Cold Heart is a new level 56 talent. Frostscythe is now a level 60 talent (was 90). Frozen Pulse is a new level 60 talent. Glacial Advance is now a level 90 talent (was 60). Icecap is now a level 100 talent (was 60). Obliteration is a new level 100 talent, substituting the old Obliteration. Blizzard (Source)
      Lots of feedback on the first round of changes. Here’s the second iteration: Pillar of Frost
      Previous changes to Pillar of Frost have been reverted. While the ability is quite simple in a vacuum (20% damage increase with no other mechanics), there were clearly a lot of players who were uncomfortable with the idea of removing a core ability that’s been around for so long. 

      After reading all the feedback and examining the ability’s place on the spec, we think the ability did provide a couple valuable things to the Frost rotation. One is Pillar of Frost is a window to play around – it allowed you to occasionally pool/spend your resources for a gain in a way that otherwise Frost doesn’t really have baseline. Additionally, it was a damage amp that you could/would want to line up cooldowns for – Remorseless Winter, Frostwyrm’s Fury, etc. Straightforward, but felt good to use.

      Pillar of Frost is now back, at 45 sec cooldown and 15 sec duration – shorter cooldown but same uptime. Since it’s providing some useful gameplay direction for the rotation, we’re leaning into it more and making it available a little more often. Additionally, to give it just a little more texture and gameplay, its damage bonus now starts at 15% and increases by 1% per Rune spent while it’s active. Pillar usually ends with a 25% damage bonus or more. Talent Changes
      Glacial Advance now costs 30 Runic Power (instead of 1 Rune), has a 6 sec cooldown (down from 15 sec), and also applies Razorice to all enemies hit. Glacial Advance overlapped a lot with Frostscythe in both use and cost, and we’re looking to differentiate it so it can find its own use case. Cold Heart has replaced Shattering Strikes. It’s basically the same as the legendary but without the stun, and provides the spec’s talent tree with some single-target burst. Obliteration is mostly back to its live design, but it’s now a passive, and triggered while Pillar of Frost is active. With Pillar of Frost being back baseline, we still want to avoid a setup where casing 3 self-buff cooldown consecutively was possible (Pillar of Frost, Empower Rune Weapon, Obliteration, in any order). We're still iterating a bit on Obliteration's cost reduction mechanic - it has some slightly awkward effects on resources which we'd like to make feel better. Current talent layout:
      Level 60: Avalanche, Frozen Pulse (now requires fewer than 3 full Runes instead of fewer than 2), Frostscythe Level 90: Gathering Storm, Glacial Advance, Frostwyrm's Fury Level 100: Icecap (same as live, affecting Pillar of Frost), Obliteration, Breath of Sindragosa Notes:
      Icy Talons now triggers from Breath of Sindragosa, since it’s replacing your Frost Strike for a period of time. Icebound Fortitude’s damage reduction was increased to 30% for both Frost/Unholy specs As always, thanks for the continued feedback and we expect to hear more from you all.
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 56 Inexorable Assault Icy Talons Cold Heart *new* 57 Runic Attenuation Murderous Efficiency Horn of Winter 58 Winter is Coming Asphyxiate *new* Blinding Sleet 60 Avalanche Frozen Pulse *new* Frostscythe 75 Permafrost Wraith Walk *new* Death Pact *new* 90 Gathering Storm Glacial Advance Frostwyrm's Fury *new* 100 Icecap Obliteration *new* Breath of Sindragosa Hunter
      Marksmanship
      Aimed Shot cast time reduced to 2.5 seconds. Steady Shot cast time reduced to 1.8 seconds. When you have no pets summoned (Lone Wolf),  Command Pet changes into Survival of the Fittest. Reduces all damage you take by 20% for 6 sec. Blizzard (Source)
      Marksmanship Hunters,
      Hello again, a few notes this morning.
      - Aimed Shot should still be a 12 second recharge time before Haste, I'm unsure why some people are reporting it is showing up as 10 seconds for them. Is this still happening after the build that went up yesterday?
      - After lots of discussion and reading feedback and many dungeon runs and raid testing and questing, we have decided that we're going to changed Aimed Shot to 2.5 second cast time, and Steady Shot to 1.75 second cast time.
      - Regarding Lone Wolf and Pet Utility, if you have your active pet out, the Command Pet button in your spellbook should change into whatever your pet's special ability is, such as Primal Rage. If you dismiss your pet as a Marksmanship Hunter and opt into Lone Wolf, Command Pet should change into Survival of the Fittest as a cooldown you can use that reduces the damage you take by 20%. This looks to have some issues currently, and will be resolved in a future build.
      Thanks for the continued feedback on this thread and others.
      Monk
      Brewmaster
      Gift of the Mists (level 45 talent) removed. Elusive Dance (level 100 talent) removed. Spitfire is a new level 45 talent. Guard is a new level 100 talent. Blizzard (Source)
      Various things to expect next build:
      New talent: Guard (replacing Elusive Dance on L100). "Guard against future attacks, causing the next X damage you Stagger to instead be prevented." 30s cooldown.
      (The Guard Honor Talent will be renamed).
      New talent: Spitfire (replacing Gift of the Mists on L45). "Tiger Palm has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown of Breath of Fire."
      Part of the value of Black Ox Brew is being moved baseline, by lengthening its cooldown to 2 minutes, and speeding up the baseline recharge time of Brews. This should help the row be more competitive, without losing total Brew charges.
      Ironskin Brew's duration will come up to 7, also freeing up more Brew charges.
      Blackout Combo no longer buffs Purifying Brew. This usage wound up mostly being a trap, and 4 modes still a good amount of choice for the talent.
      Gift of the Ox healing increased about 30%. We expect the overall spawn rate to be lower than Legion, and this helps make up for that.
      Balancing is still preliminary, but a few tweaks on that front:
      HP reduced for Brewmaster by around 10%. Brewmaster's heavy resistance to killing spikes means they're not a tank that needs as high an HP pool. This does have the side effect of making Ox orbs spawn slightly more often.
      Stagger's effectiveness against Magic brought back up to 35%.
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Eye of the Tiger Chi Wave Chi Burst 30 Celerity Chi Torpedo Tiger's Lust 45 Light Brewing Spitfire *new* Black Ox Brew 60 Tiger Tail Sweep *new* Summon Black Ox Statue Ring of Peace 75 Bob and Weave *new* Healing Elixir Dampen Harm 90 Special Delivery Rushing Jade Wind Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox 100 High Tolerance Guard *new* Blackout Combo Mistweaver
      Renewing Mist now has 2 charges and Uplifting Trance has been removed. Blizzard (Source)
      Next build will try 2 charges on Renewing Mist, and Uplifting Trance removed.
      A little background for interest:
      We try to be really careful about adding charges to baseline spells, since it's a higher-complexity mechanic than simply having a cooldown. Essentially every spell is slightly more efficient with charges, since you don't get the little bit of slippage when the cooldown comes up each time, and you can better sync it with other effects. So it's always an attractive ask, because adding charges to anything improves spec performance. Renewing Mist is a better case due to bad feeling of every second lost slightly reducing Vivify efficiency for 20s, and this also helps the weirdness of wanting to start ramping it up 20s before any pull.
      Uplifting Trance was added in Legion to try to give something that enforced a little more spell variance (pushing Vivify to top priority sometimes and not other times). By now, there are so many more spell interactions contributing to the "weaving" part of Mistweaving (Essence Font buffs other spells, Soothing Mist empowers other spells, Renewing Mist improves Vivify, etc.) that button choice is richer without sticking a proc in there. Since other things control when you want to use Vivify, this just feels like random variance that you can't control.
      Paladin
      Retribution
      Art of War is now baseline. Blade of Wrath (level 30 talent) now increases the frequency of Art of War resets and cause its proc to also increase the damage of the next Blade of Justice by 25%. Blizzard (Source)
      Hey all,
      Since the first round of changes to Retribution early on in alpha, we've been letting the spec settle into a steady-state, but have been very much keeping it in mind. Like many have suggested, the spec is almost all the way there, but is missing a little bit baseline.
      Blade of Wrath
      Blade of Wrath's mechanic is becoming baseline, named Art of War: Your auto attacks have a chance to reset the cooldown of Blade of Justice. Any many correctly pointed out, this is a sort of unpredictability that the spec needed in its baseline rotation.
      Blade of Wrath, the talent, will now increase the frequency of Art of War resets and cause its proc to also increase the damage of the next Blade of Justice by 25%. Numbers are pending tuning, but the gameplay is there.
      Divine Purpose
      Divine Purpose's proc chance has been reduced to 15% (down from 20%), but it now also increases the damage and healing of that free Holy Power spender by 20%.
      The entire value of this talent was in the free Holy Power proc, which is a huge swing on button presses and pacing, but which neither of its talent match-ups provide. This change reduces that difference slightly and gives Divine Purpose a little more nuance to its gameplay – now you may consider saving or waiting for that proc to use on a different Holy Power spender from usual.
      Thanks for the patience and continued feedback.
      Previous Talent Changes
      Beta Build 26788 Talent Changes Beta Build 26734 Talent Changes Beta Build 26707 Talent Changes Beta Build 26624 Talent Changes Beta Build 26567 Talent Changes Beta Build 26530 Talent Changes
    • By Stan
      8.0 PTR servers have been updated with the Legion Artifact retirement questline. Artifact traits will no longer function when the pre-patch goes live and here's a preview of the questline. This article contains spoilers.
      The cutscene is still missing voiceovers and it's only available to Alliance players on PTR.
      The Speaker's Call
      I been travelin' the land, seekin' out anyone who might know how ta heal Azeroth. I've consulted ancient sages, druids, shamans... from dragons ta titan keepers. Nobody's seen anythin' like this before.
      Went ta Karazhan ta speak with Khadgar. Studyin' those old tomes o' his, we came up with an idea. No tellin' if it's gonna work, but we gotta try. Come ta Silithus. Meet me at the wound. Time is runnin' out fer Azeroth, <Name>.
      The Power in Our Hands
      That sword of Sargeras is surgin' with dark energies. They're seepin' into Azeroth's heart like poison. The blade's power must be snuffed out. The Pillars o' Creation could do it, but they're keepin' the tomb sealed. So we need other vessels capable o' harnessin' vast energies. Vessels like those artifact weapons you and the other champions wield. It's a risk, <Name>. We don't know what Sargeras' power will do ta those weapons. But unless we act now, the heart of Azeroth is sure ta die.
      A cinematic plays, where you and the other champions sacrifice your Artifacts to draw the surging energies from the sword.
      The sword grows dark! I can hear Azeroth's sufferin' abate... If only a little. Ye did good, hero. Bought our world some time. But we must find a way ta fully heal this wound. No matter what happens between the Alliance and Horde, do not forget yer duty on Azeroth!
    • By Starym
      Legion is coming to an end very soon, and Battle for Azeroth isn't quite here yet, so what better time to look back at this and previous expansions. Method have been doing just this in the past weeks, obviously focusing on what they know best, aka top tier raiding, with many videos covering WoW's premier PvE activity (for now at least, with M+ knocking at that door).
      So, we start off with a Legion raiding overview as well as a deeper look into the most difficult boss of the expansion, Kil'jaeden, who managed to survive 19 days, a full 8 longer than the next boss (Gul'dan), and why he was both the best and worst boss of Legion.
       
      Then we go even further back, sticking to raid bosses and the ranking thereof, as the whole raid team choose the top 3 best bosses of Warlords of Draenor, and then expand to the top 5 bosses of all time!
       
      So, what do you think of their choices?
    • By Stan
      Blizzard released a new Dev Watercooler today with information about the ongoing WoW: Classic development. Classic servers will run on Patch 1.12: Drums of War, because it represents the most complete version of the classic experience. Devs are hard at work to make the modern client compatible with the classic data.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Greetings! Development of World of Warcraft Classic is underway, and we’re very excited to share some of the challenges and solutions we’re working on. As we mentioned last BlizzCon, the process of restoring the classic game is not straightforward, and it’s important to us to take the time and effort to get it right—this includes poring over numerous game versions, data, and code; meticulously scrutinizing all the changes we’ve made over the years. Rest assured: The WoW Classic team is hard at work making it a reality, and we’re at a point in development where we’re ready to share some of the things we’ve been working on.
      WOW CLASSIC: FIRST PROTOTYPE
      The first—and among the most important—decision we had to make was which version of the game to focus on. As many of you have noted, the classic period was two years long and full of changes. Core features like Battlegrounds were introduced in patches after WoW’s original launch, and class design similarly changed over time. After careful consideration, we decided on Patch 1.12: Drums of War as our foundation, because it represents the most complete version of the classic experience.
      Once we had our starting point, we began taking stock of what we had in the source code and what we could make available, which included restoring the original development database from archival backups. After stitching various key pieces together, we had a locally rebuilt version of Patch 1.12 running internally. The team could create characters and do basic questing and leveling—and dying, which we did many times. For testing purposes. Obviously.
      Our initial runs exposed a few (expected) issues: the game sometimes crashed, didn’t recognize our modern video cards, and was incompatible with our current login system. That first pass also couldn’t support any of our modern security and anti-cheating capabilities. Clearly we had a lot of work to do to make WoW Classic live up to the Blizzard standard of quality, and deliver the experience players want.
      THE PATH FORWARD: SECOND PROTOTYPE
      Speaking of engineering, World of Warcraft is a very data-driven game, which means the basic code is flexible and the specific way it behaves is controlled by information contained in databases. Things like quests, monsters, items, and the rules for how these all interact are defined by the designers and artists in data.
      So we asked ourselves, would it still be possible to deliver an authentic classic experience if we took our modern code, with all its back-end improvements and changes, and used it to process the Patch 1.12 game data? While that might seem counterintuitive, this would inherently include classic systems like skill ranks, old quests and terrain, talents, and so on, while later features like Transmog and Achievements would effectively not exist because they were entirely absent from the data. After weeks of R&D, experimentation, and prototyping, we were confident we could deliver the classic WoW content and gameplay without sacrificing the literally millions of hours put in to back-end development over the past 13 years.
      While our initial effort helped us determine the experience we wanted to provide, this second prototype really defined how we’d get there. Starting from a modern architecture—with all its security and stability changes—means the team’s efforts can be focused on pursuing an authentic classic experience. Any differences in behavior between our development builds and the patch 1.12 reference can be systematically cataloged and corrected, while still operating from a foundation that’s stable and secure.
      DIGGING IN
      So what does it take to recreate an authentic classic experience with modern engineering? Let’s start by categorizing the different types of game data that make up WoW:
      Table data: This kind of information is almost always represented as numbers. How many hit points a creature has, the amount of Strength an item grants, or where and when certain creatures spawn, are all examples of the numerical data we store in our databases. We can also store and enforce relationships between different pieces of data. File data: This is often very dense data like 3D models, textures, animations and terrain. Our user interface is built up from XML and Lua files. Many of the art files do not use the same file formats that commercial art tools spit out. Our build pipeline takes these raw art files and translates them into something optimized for our game to read and process. Lua scripts: Some features are driven by Lua scripts written by designers, allowing them to easily define custom behaviors for server-side logic without requiring deep engineering knowledge. HOW ENGINEERING HAS CHANGED
      One challenge we face is that all the classic data is in the original format used at launch, but that format has changed substantially in the intervening years. Major work needs to be done in this area to make the modern client compatible with the classic data.
      For example, spells could originally only perform three actions on the spell’s target. In table form, that looked something like this:
      ID
      Name
      Effect One
      Effect Two
      Effect Three
      Aura One
      Aura Two
      Effect Damage One
      Aura Damage One
      Aura Damage Two
      1
      Fireball
      Deal Damage
      Apply Aura
      Nothing
      Nothing
      Deal Damage Periodically
      30
      Nothing
      3
      2
      Frost Bolt
      Deal Damage
      Apply Aura
      Nothing
      Nothing
      Slow
      20
      Nothing
      Nothing
      As you can see, there is a lot of space taken up by ‘Nothing’. Over the course of WoW’s lifetime, we’ve improved our data design and normalized much of our database data. Today, that same data would be separated out like this:
      Table Name: Spell
      ID
      Name
      1
      Fireball
      2
      Frostbolt
      Table Name: Spell Effect
      ID
      SpellID
      Effect
      Damage
      1
      1
      Damage
      30
      2
      2
      Damage
      25
      Table Name: Spell Aura ID
      SpellID
      Aura
      Damage
      1
      1
      Deal Damage Periodically
      3
      2
      2
      Slow
      Nothing
      In this form, there is much less wasted space and spells are no longer limited to three effects. But before we can load any database data, we need to transform the old data layout into the new one. This is not limited to spells, as almost every game system (including items, creatures, player characters, spawning, AI, and more) has had its database layout altered over the years.
      LOOKING AHEAD
      All the work we’re doing will ultimately allow us to recreate an authentic classic experience on a platform that is much more optimized and stable, helping us avoid latency and stability issues. Additional modern improvements will include modern anti-cheat/botting detection, customer service and Battle.net integration, and similar conveniences that do not affect the core gameplay experience.
      We are looking forward to the challenges ahead and share your passion for the classic game; every code check-in data conversion we make brings WoW Classic closer to providing that authentic experience you—and we—want. Thanks for joining us on this journey.