Starym

Chris Metzen Interview on Fan Toxicity, Dissatisfaction and More

25 posts in this topic

hDAzQPq.jpg
 

The Instance's Scott Johnson is back with another interview with now retired Blizzard story guru and chief world and story builder Chris Metzen. Their first interview was truly great and covered the circumstances surrounding Chrises departure, the pressure of working on Titan and eventual panic attacks and anxiety that caused.

This time around the focus is on negative fan reactions to various media, starting with the extreme nature of fan backlash against the Last Jedi. As you'd expect that leads into the criticism and laying of blame surrounding the very recent Sylvanas short/Teldrassil burning and how people targeted Christie Golden and the story team in general.

Unsurprisingly he isn't too happy about how the reactions played out and the manner in which fans reacted to the story, without having known how it all actually comes together, as well as the way in which they targeted the story team. Also he's totally team Saurfang and wants to see Sylvanas go down, but doesn't have any inside info on how the entire story plays out.

It's another really great interview and well worth a full listen for this veteran/legend's perspective on fan backlash to stories he didn't have anything to do with, so make sure you dedicate some time to it!

And here's the statue Blizzard made for him after he retired, just to remind us of what an amazing contribution the man had both in Blizzard and our own lives as well.

Y4lipZq.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I agree that harrasing writers is clearly not ok, it' also unfair to lump genuine critics with toxic assholes. And let's face it, for every troll you at least get 10 people writing genuine criticism.

And as for the Last Jedi, the movie was absolute trash on every point. You can't ruin well established characters or bring up never before seen nonsense and expect people to take it. Calling actual fans who want the universe and its characters respected as nothing but trolls is just dishonest.

On a final note, while I dislike some parts of the BfA storyline, I'm hyped for other parts of it. As for the whole "toxic fandom", it's become an excuse that talentless hacks use for bad writing or plot, in most cases it is. 

cough*Marvel comics* cough

 

Edited by Dejo93
Additional info
  • Like 4
  • Haha 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

While I agree that harrasing writers is clearly not ok, it' also unfair to lump genuine critics with toxic assholes. And let's face it, for every troll you at least get 10 people writing genuine criticism.

And as for the Last Jedi, the movie was absolute trash on every point. You can't ruin well established characters or bring up never before seen nonsense and expect people to take it. Calling actual fans who want the universe and its characters respected as nothing but trolls is just dishonest.

On a final note, while I dislike some parts of the BfA storyline, I'm hyped for other parts of it. As for the whole "toxic fandom", it's become an excuse that talentless hacks use for bad writing or plot, in most cases it is. 

cough*Marvel comics* cough

 

While I agree that the media uses toxicity to dismiss valid criticism and takes the slightest opportunity to grab onto anything remotely impolite to completely ignore all points of an argument, there are genuine assholes that basically ruin it for the rest of us. Personally I'm quite outspoken in my criticism but I don't take it to extremes or god forbid go yell at the actual authors, but the instant you say something even mildly negative about someone's favorite thing the discussion basically ends. So if you want to discuss and criticize something you have to use kitten mittens(TM) so as not to rile up overly sensitive idiots and actually have a conversation.

To me fan toxicity goes both ways, it's the genuine trolls and hateful people that yell at authors with no constructive criticism or goal in mind other than to say "I didn't like this, like, A LOT, now listen to me whine", BUT it's also fanboys who refuse to listen to genuine criticism and dismiss everything that doesn't fit into their little echo chamber as whining or haters. Basically it's become very difficult for normal people to discuss any product/piece of media that stirs up passion on people, because it simply devolves into a screaming match. And both sides fuel each other, the more people defend something other people hate and ignore criticism, the more aggressive the criticism will get, as it's frustrating to just hear "lalala I liked it lalala", and then the criticism gets out of hand and there's legitimate and well-earned backlash to the criticism/whining, which jut pisses the critics off more and round and round we go.

Now watch me dismantle the (imo) relatively calm and leveled arguments made above: Blizzard's writing team sucks and no amount of backtracking or ancillary novels and comics can redeem the hack writing of Sylvanas in the pre-expansion events.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


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

While I agree that the media uses toxicity to dismiss valid criticism and takes the slightest opportunity to grab onto anything remotely impolite to completely ignore all points of an argument, there are genuine assholes that basically ruin it for the rest of us. Personally I'm quite outspoken in my criticism but I don't take it to extremes or god forbid go yell at the actual authors, but the instant you say something even mildly negative about someone's favorite thing the discussion basically ends. So if you want to discuss and criticize something you have to use kitten mittens(TM) so as not to rile up overly sensitive idiots and actually have a conversation.

To me fan toxicity goes both ways, it's the genuine trolls and hateful people that yell at authors with no constructive criticism or goal in mind other than to say "I didn't like this, like, A LOT, now listen to me whine", BUT it's also fanboys who refuse to listen to genuine criticism and dismiss everything that doesn't fit into their little echo chamber as whining or haters. Basically it's become very difficult for normal people to discuss any product/piece of media that stirs up passion on people, because it simply devolves into a screaming match. And both sides fuel each other, the more people defend something other people hate and ignore criticism, the more aggressive the criticism will get, as it's frustrating to just hear "lalala I liked it lalala", and then the criticism gets out of hand and there's legitimate and well-earned backlash to the criticism/whining, which jut pisses the critics off more and round and round we go.

Now watch me dismantle the (imo) relatively calm and leveled arguments made above: Blizzard's writing team sucks and no amount of backtracking or ancillary novels and comics can redeem the hack writing of Sylvanas in the pre-expansion events.

Image result for well said goodsir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, the big problem with the BFA stuff is the attempt to spread across several forms of media, and the fact that those different forms contradict each other to some degree. For instance, in game, Saurfang just walks off and disappears with Sylvanas after burning the tree. No "They'll come for us!!!!" line. In fact Sylvanas herself gives a little speech about the Alliance retaliating. But then you go and watch "Old Soldier" and Sylvanas is silent while Saurfang chews her out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with both of you, @Dejo93 and @Starym, so much! I tried sharing my constructive criticism of BfA's story with arguments etc. and the first response was someone calling me a fool and three people liking his post. This attitude can really dishearten someone from voicing their opinion on the Internet, a supposedly free and open space. And all of this is because of toxic haters or toxic fans, as Starym said, both ends are equally toxic.

Let's face it: WoW's story (the MMO-RPG btw, not talking about the RTS games) has never been its strong suit. People have been complaining about it ever since TBC launched (perhaps earlier too, I wasn't playing). It's a convoluted mess with a lot of retcons, similarities to other Blizzard titles, stuff that don't make sense and a ton of what we call "game logic". It's also not very helpful that they spread the story in many different media, ie. the game, books, comics, manga, novellas, novels, cinematics. To reiterate something I said before: in the age of quick, "shock-value" entertainment, perhaps fans are expecting something Game-of-Thronesque (overrated series imo that butchered the books, but that's another conversation) out of WoW and from what I have seen from WoW's writers, I don't think it is in their capabilities or even in their interest tbh.

As much as I (and most other fans) like Chris Metzen's personality and I recognise his iconic role in Blizzard, he has also received quite a bit of criticism for the story direction of both WoW and Diablo 3. The fact that he's always been an Alliance supporter and now "team Saurfang" kinda worries me, but its "his" game - I can't do anything else than watch how it unfolds.

Still, I like WoW and I treat it as it is: it's not Dostoyevsky nor Tolkien, not G.R.R. Martin, it's not even *insert any "Top 10 Games with the Best Storylines*. It's just a freaking video game and people should chill out and lower their expectations about it or at least be more tolerant of other people's feedback.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Zadina said:

As much as I (and most other fans) like Chris Metzen's personality and I recognise his iconic role in Blizzard, he has also received quite a bit of criticism for the story direction of both WoW and Diablo 3. The fact that he's always been an Alliance supporter and now "team Saurfang" kinda worries me, but its "his" game - I can't do anything else than watch how it unfolds.

He mained an Alliance character in game but has always been accused of overly supporting the Horde.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, dartbodman said:

Anyway, the big problem with the BFA stuff is the attempt to spread across several forms of media, and the fact that those different forms contradict each other to some degree. For instance, in game, Saurfang just walks off and disappears with Sylvanas after burning the tree. No "They'll come for us!!!!" line. In fact Sylvanas herself gives a little speech about the Alliance retaliating. But then you go and watch "Old Soldier" and Sylvanas is silent while Saurfang chews her out.

Indeed, it's now rather common problem and not the first time. WoD's story was messy due to time travel, alternate reality and cut content from game itself but for it to even make sense, people had to read War Crimes novel. Otherwise, there was just sudden invasion in Blasted Lands and players didn't know why.

Edited by Arcling
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Zadina said:

As much as I (and most other fans) like Chris Metzen's personality and I recognise his iconic role in Blizzard, he has also received quite a bit of criticism for the story direction of both WoW and Diablo 3.

Presentation of story certainly has gotten better in WoW, as initially we barely had any voiced dialogues, cut scenes and longer storylines, usually mostly disjointed quests. To be fair, Metzen wasn't the only storywriter for Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, so not all bad decisions were his, but people usually blame the one they know the most or just a "face" of a company. With WoW his last major involvement was Catalycsm (and just as before, he wasn't the only one writing), much of MoP already had different writers, including Christie Golden. Of course, plenty of his decisions were questionable, like Thrall's storyline in Cata.

Edited by Arcling
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The story to me in WoW was always secondary when I played. 

There are two levels of extreme on Blizzard boards, for all of their games, the apologists that say Blizzard can do no wrong and get horribly defensive and abusive when confronted with facts.  Then the people that say they can’t do anything right and complain endlessly sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

Frankly the story for WoW didn’t need to be deep for me, I just cared enough about what a guy giving out quests wanted.  Everything beyond that was “Oh bad guy, kill him, get loot.”  I almost never cared about the why of raids.

To this day I don’t know where Sha came from or what they wanted beyond “everything”.

I don’t know why Ragnaros is a boss, why Kael’Thas is a bad guy or why Uludar is an Old God main boss.  Why?  Don’t care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Misuteri said:

To this day I don’t know where Sha came from or what they wanted beyond “everything”.

This one was actually explained in game, so you probably just click through quests and aren't paying attention to what is happening. For those who came from Warcraft 3, story is/was important, though I guess it's different for those who started with WoW, when they were continuing on many things from there (plus novels).

Edited by Arcling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Misuteri said:

Frankly the story for WoW didn’t need to be deep for me, I just cared enough about what a guy giving out quests wanted.  Everything beyond that was “Oh bad guy, kill him, get loot.”  I almost never cared about the why of raids.

i alwas was the same. But Blizzard is learning in this regard and features storytelling in more ways than just questtext. There is more and more popup npc-text and npcs that follow you on the quests you do. It's way more active, like they did with diablo3 (being able to continue playing, while npcs speak). And especially the quality of ingame cinematics. They get better with each expansion, and by now i dont want to miss any little bit of story they want to present me (in those ways). And that's how i came to enjoy Legion most, of all the expansions. (I am still totally ignoring Questtext though ...)

Edited by Lawrenz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Misuteri said:

I don’t know why Ragnaros is a boss, why Kael’Thas is a bad guy or why Uludar is an Old God main boss.  Why?  Don’t care.

These posts always make me giggle. You care so little about a huge portion of the game across its entirety, yet post on a forum in a topic about a somewhat specific thing you dont care about, really only to tell how little you care.

1 hour ago, Arcling said:

Of course, plenty of his decisions were questionable, like Thrall's storyline in Cata.

See!  I missed last half of cata-almost all of MOP.  I have an idea what he did but I missed so much of his story I dont even know what took place with him.  Aggra... elements... Deathwing... thats about all ive gleaned.
 

5 hours ago, Starym said:

Blizzard's writing team sucks and no amount of backtracking or ancillary novels and comics can redeem the hack writing of Sylvanas in the pre-expansion events.

Unless there is some ridiculous retconning like she knew something so heinous, so insidious in that tree that the world would end if she didnt bbq some nelf kids, I cant find any reconcilliation other than maybe NOT being so bad.  I cant really ever LIKE her again.  

Same way with Illidan.  He was horrible.  But in the end he was a means to an end and after retconning his whole agenda as being anti-legion, it worked out so he wasnt so bad.  Still didnt LIKE him.  But at least there was a reason.

ETA: and most importantly the story worked.  I liked it.  
 

Edited by PatrickHenry
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WoW to me (I am no longer an active player.) was always about the hamster wheel and grinding/leveling alts or rotating characters in and out of PVP FOTM and twinking.  Secondary making enough gold to be able to splurge on trading card mounts on the AH or BMAH and mount collecting.

I only did enough raiding to make farming mats easy or to keep my “main” on track to be BIS from normal raiding, never heroic or mythic.

Since I was not a huge PVE progression player, never cared about server firsts but instead wanted 2200 ratings my focus was not on the story.

There are hundreds of types of way to play WoW “right” and it always depends on the player.  I knew a player that hit level cap then did nothing but get alts gold capped by dominating jewel crafting and never left Org.  They cared nothing about anything else in the game.  

My interest in story and raiding “Why are we fighting?” Questions is probably just as unimportant as the majority of players in high level RBG’s.

Share this post


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

Indeed, it's now rather common problem and not the first time. WoD's story was messy due to time travel, alternate reality and cut content from game itself but for it to even make sense, people had to read War Crimes novel. Otherwise, there was just sudden invasion in Blasted Lands and players didn't know why.

Ahhh, but that may be the very reason why.  It's an established franchise with a wide player-base and an even larger fan-base.  Spreading content around provides additional revinue streams.  Maybe they are making it confusing on purpose, to promote a boost in sales.  😄 (Being satirical)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PatrickHenry said:

Unless there is some ridiculous retconning like she knew something so heinous, so insidious in that tree that the world would end if she didnt bbq some nelf kids, I cant find any reconcilliation other than maybe NOT being so bad.  I cant really ever LIKE her again.  

Same way with Illidan.  He was horrible.  But in the end he was a means to an end and after retconning his whole agenda as being anti-legion, it worked out so he wasnt so bad.  Still didnt LIKE him.  But at least there was a reason.

That's the same thought I have with Sylvanas. There must be longer term goal then to just make her Warchief and "Garrosh" her later on. We still don't know the whole story of BfA yet, so I guess we are just in the dark until more information is presented.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ancalagon said:

Ahhh, but that may be the very reason why.  It's an established franchise with a wide player-base and an even larger fan-base.  Spreading content around provides additional revinue streams.  Maybe they are making it confusing on purpose, to promote a boost in sales.  😄 (Being satirical)

I mean you're being satirical but I'm not sure that's wrong. Ofc a more competent team would just tease the stories from the novels in-game and share the basic infro from them, but I think it's naive to think that novel/comic etc sales aren't at least a small factor in the decision making there. Audience retention has now become WAY more than just "keep them playing", it's more of "keep them involved i the game at all times, even when they can't play", hence the digital comics etc, you should always be thinking about the game even if actually PLAYING it isn't as fun as it was (because it can't be by definition, all things wane).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely agree with Mr. Metzen, "fans" are fucking horrible creatures, everything that happens in a story/universe that goes against what they want for the characters gets such a rough and unreasonable treatment that it is mindboggling.

When I read posts from "fans" chewing out the writers for hacknied writing or poor stories, they always come off as rambling lunatics who has no idea of what a good story or character development is, they just want the story to play out exactly like the dream it and anything else gets slaughtered.

I think the BfA story is ok so far, unfortunately there are some inconsistencies between the medias which gives the toxic trolls something to harp on about (and, for once, to be right about).

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PatrickHenry said:

Same way with Illidan.  He was horrible.  But in the end he was a means to an end and after retconning his whole agenda as being anti-legion, it worked out so he wasnt so bad.  Still didnt LIKE him.  But at least there was a reason.


ETA: and most importantly the story worked.  I liked it.  
 

The thing with Illidan, IMO, is that you new his motivations from the beginning (or very early on) and could identify with it. You either agreed with his methods or not, but his goals were clear and correct. With Sylvanas it's just NOT like that, her vague talk of "war will eventually come, whether it's tomorrow or in 5 billion years" is just dumb (for me anyway), as she basically created the problem she's so afraid of herself. Anduin is probably the most peace-minded king ever so this was EXACTLY the time to try for a lasting peace, except that would mean having to share Azerite. Mutually assured destruction and all that. But no, she's a bad morally grey lady you see, ergo WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR. Bleh.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What, didn't approve the comment where I refuted a talking point Scott Johnson pushed in the interview? It was a perfectly reasonable response, no personal attacks, no swearing...

 

If you don't want comments about that kind of topic, don't bring it up in the interviews.

Edited by dartbodman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if they cant take criticism then they r in the wrong line of work verbal attacks or not grow up and take it or go move back with mommy and daddy ( pointed at ion , Christine and Chris ) bunch of thin skinned pansty 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I walked out of The Last Jedi hating it. Saw it with my father, and the whole car ride back he had to listen to me complain about how awful it was.

What bothers me more is how Rotten/Fresh works, and how that percentage is used to manipulate audience goers.  It does not reflect the actual score a film has received. You have to look at a review in Desktop Mode to see the actual rating.

We're just getting peddled thumbs up/thumbs down content we don't enjoy. I'm convinced it's why the majority of Netflix users watch 'The Office' reruns. The thought of wading through content and wasting time sucks in comparison to watching a show we know we love, but I digress.

Edited by Abom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Starym said:

her vague talk of "war will eventually come, whether it's tomorrow or in 5 billion years" is just dumb (for me anyway), as she basically created the problem she's so afraid of herself. Anduin is probably the most peace-minded king ever so this was EXACTLY the time to try for a lasting peace,

war wasn't the problem sylvanas was afraid of it was the alliance would start secretly making azerite weapons to gain more power and putting the horde at a real disadvantage for when the war comes so the best course would be to start the war now and have the advantage cause peace with anduin will be only temporary but by starting a war and winning she can dismantle the alliance and guarantee lasting peace for the horde. basically only anduin is really the one who wants peace everyone goes along cause of respect for his father but there is to much hatred in the citizens and nobles of the alliance and for the factions of the horde, unless in time of anduins life both sides learn to love each other once hes gone war will defiantly come

Edited by verthus
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for linking this interview with Chris Metzen; doubt I would have been aware of it otherwise.  The guy is awesome and so are the worlds he helped create!  PS:  I liked "Last Jedi".  😜

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/11/2018 at 1:56 AM, verthus said:

the best course would be to start the war now and have the advantage cause peace with anduin will be only temporary but by starting a war and winning she can dismantle the alliance and guarantee lasting peace for the horde.

This quote is pretty accurate, but logically comical.

"all alliances fall apart" was a line from the book (more or less), so even peace with The Alliance would fail.  OK, well then might as well go on to say that eventually the Horde itself would fail.  I mean they ALL fail, so that would include their own.

Might as well kill off the least helpful or most resistant races to her agenda now, or at the very latest after they own the alliance, because they'll be the first to turn on her.  Logically.

The only end game for it then is to kill everyone.  

Edited by PatrickHenry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Create an account

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

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      Naowh recently cleared Freehold +11 and Atal'Dazar +12 in time with a group of five Blood Death Knights.
      Both keystone runs have been completed with the following affixes active:
      Fortified Bolstering Skittish Infested Freehold Clear (Mythic +11)
      The group completed the run with 5 minutes and 14 seconds remaining (30:46 / 36:00).
      Atal'Dazar Clear (Mythic +12)
      The clear was completed in 29 minutes and 17 seconds.
    • By Stan
      New models for this week's 8.1 PTR build include baby raptors, Mekkatorque, 7th Legion riflemen & Zandalari guards.
      Check out our Tides of Vengeance hub for the latest Patch 8.1 information!
      Baby Raptors

      7th Legion Rifleman (Female)

      7th Legion Rifleman (Male)

      Mekkatorque
      The High Tinker is a boss in the upcoming Battle of Dazar'alor raid and thus received a brand new model.

      Zandari Caster (Female)

      Zandalari Guard (Male)

      Zandalari Honor Guard (Male)

    • By Stan
      This year's Hallow's End comes with a new toy Headless Horseman's Hearthstone that can be purchased with Tricky Treats. The Headless Horseman should drop ilvl 335 gear.
      The meta-achievement Hallowed Be Thy Name is required for What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been and the Reins of the Violet Proto-Drake mount. You can find more details about the event in our Hallow's End guide.
      Blizzard (Source)
      It’s time for Tricky Treats, costumes, and—of course—the return of the Headless Horseman during this year’s Hallow’s End!
      Hallow’s End celebrates the break of the Forsaken from the Scourge.
      Fun and mischief reign as the Innkeepers of Azeroth give treats, and tricks, to whomever asks.
      The spookiest time of year has arrived once more, and the Headless Horseman rides forth to strike terror into the hearts and minds of Azeroth’s citizens.
      When: October 18–November 1
      Where: Trick-or-Treat throughout the inns of Azeroth, Northrend, Pandaria, Outland, Draenor, and the Broken Isles (Dalaran) for tasty treats and currency to buy Hallow’s End delights.
      All together now! —the Headless Horseman is back to set fire to Razor Hill and Goldshire once more. You’ll need to lend a hand on the bucket brigade to put them out and face the infamous rider.
      Prepare yourselves, the bells have tolled! Shelter your weak, your young and your old! Each of you shall pay the final sum. Cry for mercy, the reckoning has come!
      THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN It would be a lovely time of year to take a stroll through the Scarlet Monastery’s Graveyard if the Headless Horseman hadn’t decided to make it his new lair. If you're lucky and succeed in routing this menace from within, you may ride off with his steed.
      Throughout Hallow’s End, characters level 23-120 will be able to queue up for this ghoulish encounter in the Dungeon Finder.
      This year you’ll be able to exchange your Tricky Treats for a newly added toy:
      Headless Horseman's Hearthstone Head to Val’sharah to undertake a quest that begins with the Hag of the Crooked Tree in Bradensbrook. Follow the tale through to its culmination and you’ll receive some Tricky Treats and a chance of receiving one of four utterly bewitching hats.
      Hat of the First Sister Hat of the Second Sister Hat of the Third Sister Hat of the Youngest Sister ACHIEVEMENTS
      There are a total of 21 achievements that can be earned during this event. Completing the Meta-Achievement, Hallowed Be Thy Name, rewards the title: The Hallowed. The eleven Achievements that need to be completed to earn this title include: Trick or Treat!, Out With It, Bring Me the Head of... Oh Wait, The Savior of Hallow's End, That Sparkling Smile, Rotten Hallow, G.N.E.R.D. Rage, Check Your Head, The Masquerade, Sinister Calling, Tricks or Treats of Azeroth.
    • By Stan
      Tides of Vengeance is available for playtesting and our hub contains all the latest information!
      Welcome to our Tides of Vengeance hub. Here, you'll find all the latest information about Battle for Azeroth's first content patch 8.1. We will keep the hub updated throughout PTR testing with the latest coverage.
      Introduction
      Patch 8.1 called Tides of Vengeance was pushed to PTR on September 21. Players are still unable to log in to the game right now (September 26). The patch will be released later this year.
      Latest Coverage
      This section contains contains the most recent coverage. Whenever there's a new PTR build, we'll move the previous builds down to the "Datamining Archive [PH]" section.
      Patch 8.1 Build #28151
      Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Overview Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Blood Elf Heritage Armor Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Marksmanship Hunter Changes Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Restoration Shaman Changes The Story of Varok Saurfang in Patch 8.1 Orc Running Animation Updated Patch 8.1 Content
      Heritage Armor will be added for non-Allied Races; Blood Elves & Dwarves are first on the list. There's no reputation grind behind this. If you're at max level and Exalted with Ironforge/Blood Elves, you can start the quest and complete a scenario to get your Heritage Armor. Reputation Paragon for BfA factions is coming. Champions of Azeroth reputation will be made account-wide. Incursions are a new feature similar to Legion assaults. Darkshore Warfront (Night Elves vs Forsaken theme) The outdoor zone will be updated just like Arathi Highlands with new quests, rares, etc. War Campaign continues with the Alliance leading a direct strike at the Zandalari Fleet. We can expect two new raids in 8.1: Siege of Zuldazar is a nine-boss raid where the foe is the opposing faction. Alliance players will join Jaina and her forces to fight their way up to the pyramid to confront Rastakhan. Horde players will try to defend the pyramid, fighting Jaina in the High Seas as the final boss. Crucible of Storms is a two-boss raid located under Shrine of the Storm that hints at Queen Azshara. It's Battle for Azeroth's "Trial of Valor" raid. Allied Races: Kul Tirans and Zandalari Trolls will become available for gameplay after the Siege of Zuldazar raid. You can find more details about how to unlock them here. Two New Islands: Jorundall (Vrykul-themed Island) & Havenswood (Gilnean-themed Island) Gnomeregan Pet Battle Dungeon Profession Changes New Scenarios Tyrande's Ascension - players will unlok new Night Elf Warrior customization options with dark eyes. Cooking Scenario with Nomi Unknown Tol Dagor Scenario Heritage Armor Scenarios Vol'jin's Story Continues - The Shadow Hunter is looking for answers s in 8.1 as he tries to figure out why he appointed Sylvanas for Warchief. Allied Races
      You will be able to unlock Legion Allied Races faster in Patch 8.1.
      Class Changes
      Multiple Classes are subject to changes in Patch 8.1. These include Elemental Shamans, Shadow Priests, and Protection Warriors. So far, Blizzard outlined plans for Elemental Shamans. They haven't decided what to do with Protection Warriors just yet.
      Elemental Shaman Changes Model Updates
      Draenei totems received new models with a higher polygon count in 8.1.
      Draenei Shaman Totems Model Update Interviews/Livestreams
      Game Director Ion Hazzikostas unveiled Patch 8.1 on September 18.
      Tides of Vengeance Livestream with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas Tides of Vengeance Live Developer Q&A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas Datamining Archive [PH]
      As with previous patches, there's going to be a new PTR build every week and to keep things organized, we're going to post build overviews below.
      Patch 8.1 Build #28048
      Patch 8.1 Build 28048 Overview Patch 8.1 Build #27985
      Patch 8.1 Build 27985 Overview Patch 8.1 Build 27985: New Creature Models Patch 8.1 Build 27985: New Paladin Animations Patch 8.1 Build 27985: Solo Queue for Legion Raids Enabled Patch 8.1 Build 27985: Dwarf Heritage Armor Preview Patch 8.1 Build 27985: Siege of Zuldazar Weapons Patch 8.1 Build #27826
      Patch 8.1 Build 27826 Overview (Datamined Broadcast Text, Zones, Strings, Scenarios) *Spoilers* Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Vol'jin's Story Continues (Datamined Broadcast Text Analysis) *Spoilers* Patch 8.1 Build 27826: New Creature Models Patch 8.1 Build 27286: New Night Elf Warrior Customization Options Patch 8.1 Build 27286: New Druid Forms (Highmountain Tauren/Kul Tiran Moonkin Forms, Zandalari Aquatic Form) Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Kul Tiran Horse Racial Mount Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Nightsaber Mounts Patch 8.1 Build 27286: The Hivemind Mount Returns Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Vicious PvP Mounts Tides of Vengeance is Battle for Azeroth's first major content patch and we created a hub to keep track of everything.
    • By Starym
      There's a fair amount of changes and buffs for Marksmanship that have arrived on the PTR. The first part of the changes are to enhance Marksmanship's tools for keeping a target at range, so we're seeing Bursting Shot and Concussive Shot buffs.

      There's also a change to Rapid Fire to bring it in line with most other channeled spells in regards to line of sight, so it will now continue to do damage even after a target has broken LOS, and you can also Disengage during the channeling of it. The other big changes are to Trueshot, reducing its cooldown and making it also reduce Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire cooldowns during its duration, as well as to Careful Aim, making it more consistent by having it always trigger.
      Marksmanship (source)
      The Public Test Realms (PTR) are seeing several changes for Marksmanship Hunters. Here’s some context on those changes.
      One goal of ours for Marksmanship is proficiency in keeping targets at range in PvE and PvP situations. Marksmanship plays best when you have distance from your target, so we’re emphasizing some of the tools that help you either move a target away from you, or keep your distance.
      - Bursting Shot has had its knockback range increased, can no longer be dodged, and snares targets for 6 seconds now.

      - Steady Shot will now increase the duration of Concussive Shot on the target by 3 seconds. This will work on a Concussive Shot from any friendly Hunter, not just your own Concussive Shot.

      Rapid Fire has had some usability problems in PvP. Most other channeled spells will continue to deal damage when your target runs behind a pillar and breaks line of sight, but Rapid Fire requires constant line of sight. We’re changing that, and now it will behave like almost every other channeled spell that players cast, and will continue to damage a target, even if the target is no longer in line of sight. We also think it’s cool to be able to use Disengage while channeling Rapid Fire, so now you can.


      Aimed Shot is a driving force behind a significant amount of the damage a Marksmanship Hunter deals. There are a lot of different stacking bonuses you can get from various Talents and Azerite Armor that can swing the damage of Aimed Shot by a huge amount. Some of these bonuses are entirely uncontrolled, which made Aimed Shot an unreliable source of damage. We want Aimed Shot to feel like an impactful and more reliable source of damage, so:
      - Careful Aim is now a guaranteed bonus to Aimed Shot damage against targets above 80% health or below 20% health.
       
      Trueshot has changed a lot over the years, but it’s currently not a very exciting button, and it could feel much more impactful when you use it. We like that it makes your Aimed Shot cast time reduced, so we’re keeping that, and it now additionally causes your Rapid Fire and Aimed Shot abilities to recharge significantly faster while Trueshot is active. The new version of Trueshot is a significant pacing change for its duration, allowing you to cast multiple Aimed Shots and Rapid Fires during its duration. We’re also lowering its cooldown from 3 minutes to 2 minutes.