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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.

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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 Choosing to put a particular pet into “Tank spec” feels outdated, so we’re going to shift all pets to a setup that will work as though they’re specced into both Ferocity and Tenacity (in Legion terms).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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      The Vulpera currently have too many unique animations, and they are a community-favorite. Pretty much every Horde player wants them to become playable. They're coming, and it's just a matter of when. We think the first set of Allied Races will be introduced in Patch 8.2.5 with the second one coming in Patch 8.3.5. Based on datamining, the Vulpera should be live on or before September 20th. You can find all their customization options here.

      On the other side of the spectrum, the Alliance will get Mechagnomes led by Prince Erazmin of Mechagon, but it's still not clear what the second race will be.

      Lightforged Forsaken led by Calia Menethil are a possibility based on the Before the Storm novel and Calia also received a new model in the initial Patch 8.2.5 build.
      Next up are Gilgoblins! We encounter them in zones like Vashj'ir and Nazjatar in Patch 8.2. They are a species of aquatic goblins created by Hobart Grapplehammer. Gilgoblins are very similar to traditional Goblins. They have various tattoos and fins on their arms to help them swim.

      Gilgoblins are currently not included in the game files as playable races as opposed to Mechagnomes and the Vulpera. They only exist as creatures.

      The female model has more customization options compared to the male model. Would you like to see them become playable in the future?

      We know that Blizzard wants to add more customization options to World of Warcraft, and a recent leak suggests that all Allied Races will become customization options in Patch 9.0 except for the Nightborne and the Vulpera. Let's see what the first set of Allied Races is going to be now that Patch 8.2 should hit Public Test Realms reasonably soon!
      TL;DR
      The first set of Allied Races (Mechagnomes/Vulpera) coming in Patch 8.2.5 on or before September 20th. The final set of Allied Races will include Gilgoblins and Lightforged Forsaken (based on the Before the Storm novel) in Patch 8.3.5. We know that Mechagnomes and the Vulpera are coming, but what about the second set of Allied Races?
    • By Stan
      We're one week away from WoW Classic launch. This week, you can get a piece of Heroic Palace armor from the weekly quest.
      Highlights
      Artifact Knowledge will continue to increase until October 1. Queen Azshara nerfs are now live ahead of Classic launch. The Classic development team conducted a Reddit AMA and shared more details about the intended player cap for dungeons and cleared some layering misconceptions. Read our recap of the AMA for a full summary of highlights! Mythic Keystone Affixes
      Fortified Sanguine Quaking Beguiling Weekly Quests
      Collect 36,000 Azerite from Island Expeditions for Azerite for the Alliance & Azerite for the Horde to receive 3,500 Azerite and 1,500 reputation with Honorbound/7th Legion. Complete 4 Mythic BfA Dungeons for Emissary of War to receive a cache which contains a piece of Heroic Eternal Palace gear. Nazjatar World Boss
      Players can kill Wekemara this week for ilvl 415 loot.
      Tidal Lurker's Greathelm Naga Ritualist's Mantle Spitcharged Shoulderguards Chestguard of the Submerged Belt of Rising Guardians Deepcaller's Clasp Serpentskin Splashers Wekemara's Warboots Shockbiter's Fang World Events
      Battle for Azeroth Dungeon Event (August 20th - August 27th)
      Blizzard (Source)
      The Battle for Azeroth Dungeons Bonus Event is underway!
      THIS WEEK
      All week, open Group Finder (default hotkey: I) to queue for any Battle for Azeroth dungeon on Normal or Heroic difficulty.
      Alternatively, get a group of veteran dungeoneers together and travel to one of the Battle for Azeroth dungeons on Mythic difficulty:
      Atal’Dazar Temple of Sethraliss The Underrot The MOTHERLODE!! Freehold Shrine of the Storm Tol Dagor Waycrest Manor Look for the following all week long:
      Chronicler Shoopa in Zuldazar or Chronicler Toopa in Boralus has a quest for you – Emissary of War. Or, if you forget to pick it up there, you can start it within the Adventure Journal. Quest requirement: Complete 4 Battle for Azeroth dungeons on Mythic difficulty. Rewards: One loot box containing a piece of gear from Heroic difficulty The Eternal Palace. Passive bonus: The final boss in each dungeon drop additional loot on all difficulties (except Mythic Keystone difficulties.) EVERY WEEK
      The Bonus Events system consists of a rotating schedule of different activities, currently scheduled to run each week beginning on Tuesdays. Each Bonus Event grants a passive bonus to a particular game activity and offers a once-per-event quest with a noteworthy reward for accomplishing a related goal. The in-game calendar can serve as your one-stop reference for the event schedule. The Adventure Guide also offers a direct link to active Bonus Events, allowing you to easily accept any associated quests.
      PvP Brawl: Arathi Blizzard (August 20th -  August 27th)
      Blizzard (Source)

      Frozen Arathi Basin (Resource Race)
      Put away your bathing suit, pull out your parka, and enter a winter wonderland as the Arathi Basin you know and love gets a fresh coat of ice and snow. You'll be racing your way between the farm, stables, mine, lumberyard, and blacksmith through piles of snow and over a - mostly - frozen lake. One more thing: the weather forecast calls for a bit of fog of war. We hope you're prepared for the weather.
    • By Stan
      Today's hotfixes come with a lot of nerfs to Queen Azshara. Vitality Conduit now correctly transfers health from a target with absorb shields, and more.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Dungeons and Raids
      Azshara’s Eternal Palace Queen Azshara When either Aethenel or Cyranus is slain on Normal, Heroic, or Mythic difficulty, there is now a 3-second delay before the other one gains the Torment buff. Azshara's Indomitable is now summoned 10 seconds later than previously observed on Mythic difficulty. Tidemistresses have 5% less health on Mythic difficulty. Fixed an issue where casting either Moonfire or Regrowth twice in a row while affected by Repeat Performance was not triggering the silence. Fixed a bug on Mythic difficulty where the damage effect from Deferred Sentence could trigger the healing reduction from Obey or Suffer right as the decrees transitioned between each other. Siege of Boralus  Corrected an issue where players’ pets were unable to attack the tentacles during the Viq’Goth encounter. Items
      Heart of Azeroth Vitality Conduit (Essence) correctly transfers health from a target with absorb shields on them. Learning new ranks of Conflict and Strife (Essence) should now properly grant achievements such as Power Up.
    • By Stan
      Artifact Knowledge will continue to increase each week until the week of October 1, according to Blizzard, despite the fact that in previous Seasons, it ended around the twelve-week mark.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Is this being cut off soon? Or are you leaving it on indefinitely?
      It’s been 8 weeks now, and 8.2 kicked off with 4 weeks of AK already calculated into the game, so in theory, we’ve had 12 weeks of AK at this point. AK ended around the 12-week mark in the prior seasons.
      This is an inquiry, I’m not asking that it be cut off. I think they should leave it on, but that wouldn’t fit the prior seasons.
      No to both questions. 🙂
      As things currently stand, Artifact Knowledge will continue to increase each week until the week of October 1.
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