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In this week's 8.3 PTR build, Blizzard's reducing the effectiveness of Deathbolt and buffing Drain Soul and Nightfall. You can find a complete overview of all Visions of N'Zoth class changes here.
I’ve updated the Affliction section in the OP with recent new changes. It now reads:
Warlock Affliction Deathbolt now deals 20% of the total remaining damage of the Warlock’s damage over time effects on the target (was 30%). Drain Soul damage increased by 50%. Nightfall now increases the damage of Shadow Bolt by 50% (was 25%), and now activates 33% more often. Developers’ notes: One of the key concepts about Affliction Warlock is spreading damage over time spells on a number of different targets. While Deathbolt keys off these types of spells, it provides more-than-expected burst damage and outperforms the other two talents in every situation. In addition to reducing Deathbolt’s effectiveness, we’re improving the other two options to give more options to Affliction Warlocks.
Here is a an updated blog post with all Class changes coming in Patch 8.3.
Check out our Visions of N'Zoth Content Hub for more details!
In our next major content update, Visions of N’Zoth, we’re working on some tuning updates to a few specs that are under- and over-performing in various ways.
Developers’ notes: Specs which excel at DoTs on multiple targets have, over the course of many tiers of content, generally had very high performance on the average. Their DPS advantage in raid encounters that play into their multi-target strength (which are relatively common) is not balanced by a comparable disadvantage in other areas. A small reduction in damage on these specs will leave them noticeably strong in the situations in which they’re strong (albeit slightly less than before), and give other specs more opportunity to stand out at other times. At the same time, a few of the Essences added in Rise of Azshara are not performing as well as we would have liked, so we’re increasing the effectiveness of some parts of them to help keep them competitive with the other Essences available.
With the first build of the update on our Public Test Realm (PTR), you will see the following changes:
Druid Balance Moonfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%. Sunfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%. High Noon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%. Power of the Moon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%. Mage Frost Ice Lance damage increased by 20%. Developers’ note: Ice Lance damage hasn’t kept up with Icicles scaling, making builds that ignore Ice Lance possible. The intent of this change is to give Frost Mages a better incentive to use Ice Lance within their rotation, as a DPS net gain. Monk Brewmaster Stamina bonus reduced to 30% (was 35%). Stagger percentage reduced to 90% of Agility (was 105%). High Tolerance now increases the effectiveness of Stagger by 5% (was 8%). Developers’ notes: Brewmaster’s extremely high effective health against Physical damage meant that they are rarely in danger against spike damage that threatens other tanks. This should still be a strength of Brewmaster, but not by such a wide margin. Fixed a bug causing Gift of the Ox orbs to spawn too often for players with high amounts of Stamina. Mistweaver Rising Mist healing increased 30%, and now extends Heal-over-time effects by 3 seconds (was 2 seconds). [Coming in a future PTR build] Developers’ note: This talent is currently overshadowed on its row, and we want to make sure it’s competitive enough to make its unique playstyle a viable option. Life Cocoon now absorbs for 55% of the caster’s maximum health (was 1100% of the caster’s spellpower). [Coming in a future PTR build] Developers’ note: This ability had gotten weaker compared to player health pools since the start of the expansion, and this will help it better maintain its value. Windwalker Rising Sun Kick damage increased by 25%. Blackout Kick damage increased by 10%. Developers’ note: These changes are intended to help Windwalkers perform better in single-target fights. Paladin Holy Glimmer of Light (Azerite Trait) may now be applied to a maximum of 8 targets. Developers’ notes: Over the past year, builds centered around this trait have steadily pulled ahead of all other Holy Paladin playstyles, and to some extent all other healers in high-end content. This change is meant to preserve the gameplay of the trait, but limit the ability to increase its value drastically by stacking every possible bonus that reduces Holy Shock cooldown. Priest Discipline Atonement healing reduced to 50% (was 55%). Mastery: Grace effectiveness increased by 12%. Developers’ notes: Discipline’s ability to contribute both damage and healing is slightly too high for what one character can bring to a group composition. At the same time, we’re making their Mastery stat slightly more attractive. Schism now increases damage done from Priest spells and abilities only. Developers’ notes: This is intended to be consistent with other class cooldowns. Shadow Auspicious Spirits damage bonus reduced to 25% (was 50%). Fixed a bug causing Spiteful Apparitions (Azerite Trait) to be increased by 75% if you do not have Auspicious Spirits talented. Developers’ notes: The multiplicative interaction between Auspicious Spirits, Spiteful Apparitions, and Chorus of Insanity has specifically been a big part of Shadow’s damage scaling somewhat out of control at high target counts. Chorus of Insanity critical strike bonus reduced by 25%. Shadow Word: Pain damage reduced by 8%. Vampiric Touch damage reduced by 8%. Warlock Affliction Deathbolt now deals 20% of the total remaining damage of the Warlock’s damage over time effects on the target (was 30%). Drain Soul damage increased by 50%. Nightfall now increases the damage of Shadow Bolt by 50% (was 25%), and now activates 33% more often. Developers’ notes: One of the key concepts about Affliction Warlock is spreading damage over time spells on a number of different targets. While Deathbolt keys off these types of spells, it provides more-than-expected burst damage and outperforms the other two talents in every situation. In addition to reducing Deathbolt’s effectiveness, we’re improving the other two options to give more options to Affliction Warlocks. Essences
Worldvein Resonance Major rank 1, when used, now additionally causes you to gain +50% bonus to stats from Lifeblood Shards for 10 seconds. Vision of Perfection Proc rate increased by 12%. Unbound Force Major rank 1 damage increased by 40%. Minor rank 1 duration increased to 4 seconds (was 3 seconds). Minor rank 3 increase of duration increased to 2 seconds (was 1 second). Purification Protocol Major rank 1 damage increased by 15%. Major rank 2 now has the potential work on targets that are part of raid and dungeon encounters. Vitality Conduit We’ve rebuilt the way this Essences works, and it should be visually more impactful, as you will now see healing on your targets. As always, changes like these are a work in progress. We are likely to make further adjustments for testing throughout the PTR.
Thank you very much for your testing and feedback!
Patch 8.3 comes with a new Essence which allows you to borrow the currently slotted Essence of your target, even if it's not available to your current role. It doesn't work with passive Essences and requires coordination to ensure the cooldown incurred doesn’t interfere with whatever you're doing next.
The Essence can be obtained from Ny'alotha, the Waking City. Blizzard explained how the targeting works and shared more information about the Essence. The Formless Void is a general Essence, meaning it's available to all specializations. Tanks, for instance, will be able to borrow Healer Essences, and so on.
The Formless Void
Major Power: Replica of Knowledge - Replicate the energy in your target's Heart of Azeroth, gaining access to rank 1 of their currently slotted Major Essence for the next 15 sec. The Formless Void will go on cooldown for 50% longer than the base cooldown of the Essence you replicated. Does not work on passive Essences. Minor Power: Symbiotic Presence - Each time any ally within 40 yds uses an Azerite Essence, gain 89 pri for 20 sec. Unique: Corruption reduced by 10. Rank 2
Major Power: Replica of Knowledge - Replica of Knowledge can now copy up to rank 2 of your target's current Major Essence, and the increased cooldown is lowered by 10%. Minor Power: Symbiotic Presence - pri bonus increased by 25%. Rank 3
Major Power: Replica of Knowledge - Replica of Knowledge can now copy up to rank 3 of your target's current Major Essence, and the increased cooldown is lowered by 10%. Minor Power: Symbiotic Presence - When an ally within 40 yds uses an Azerite Essence, you and that ally gain 0 Haste for 20 sec. Check out our Patch 8.3 Content Hub to learn more about Visions of N'Zoth.
So, I guess the question is, what type of scenarios might unfold that would be appropriate for this essence?
What would you consider the use case for it, and how will you react when its obviously either too strong or too weak for that use case?
The Formless Void mostly exists for the purposes of flexibility, which is why all roles can use it. It requires a lot of planning, it requires you to coordinate and know who you plan on borrowing what Essence from, and for what situation, and make sure that the cooldown incurred doesn’t interfere with whatever the next situation you have to manage is.
As a note, you can also borrow something from a player of the enemy faction. The targeting is very unrestricted other than the obvious - it has to be a player, they need to have an Essence currently slotted that is valid to copy (fully passives Major Essences are ineligible).
Does the “Formless Void” essence require the correct role to copy an essence. For example, could you copy the tank Azshara raid essence as a dps to gain access to a defensive cooldown for a particularly nasty damage taken check, or could you copy a dps essence as a tank or a healer in order to push a particularly challenging dps check.
You can borrow any eligible Essence, even if it is not normally available to your current role. For example, a Protection Paladin player can borrow a healer specific thing such as the new Spirit of Preservation, or a DPS specific thing such as Essence of the Focusing Iris.
It's back! The Recruit A Friend system has now officially returned, with many new features and goodies. You can get game time,an enchant, a pet and a mount and armor set! Blizzard have re-explained all the details below, but the big news is that it's live right now!
Recruit A Friend (source)
Ready to make memories with your friends and share fantastic adventures with them across Azeroth and beyond? The new Recruit A Friend program is the perfect way to show them the ropes.
The new-and-improved Recruit A Friend (RAF) program retains fan-favorite features, and it introduces a bounty of new rewards—because Azeroth is best experienced with friends at your side. Just like the previous program, you can teleport to each other with Friend-to-Friend Summoning (which works on a 30 minute cooldown) and receive 50% bonus experience when partied together.
More Recruits, More Rewards
The new Recruit A Friend program allows you to be linked with up to 10 friends, and earns game time and other unique rewards—like mounts, pets, and more—the longer they play. Players new to WoW and veteran players who have not purchased game time on their account in the past two years can be enlisted in this program. Each time one of your recruits adds game time to their account, you’ll earn progress toward a new reward. The more friends you invite, the faster you’ll earn the rewards, as one friend adding multiple months of game time earns the same rewards as multiple friends adding one month of game time each. See all the rewards you can get below!*
Rikki - 1 Month Game Time – 2 Months Explorer’s Dunetrekker – 3 Months Title: Renowned Explorer – 4 Months Game Time – 5 Months Enchant: Stinging Sands – 6 Months Renowned Explorer’s Tabard – 7 Months Game Time – 8 Months Explorer’s Jungle Hopper – 9 Months Renowned Explorer’s Rucksack – 10 Months Game Time – 11 Months Renowned Explorer’s Attire – 12 Months Rewards shown from left to right: Renowned Explorer’s full set as shown (Attire, Tabard, and Rucksack), Rikki, Renowned Explorer’s Jungle Hopper, and Explorer’s Dunetrekker. Not pictured – Enchant: Stinging Sands. Rikki—This curious monkey is ready to see the world at your side. Explorer’s Dunetrekker—Traverse deserts, jungles, tundra, and beyond on this two-seater mount. Renowned Explorer Title—Distinguish yourself with a unique title. Enchant: Stinging Sands—Enhance the appearance of your weapons with swirling sands. Renowned Explorer’s Tabard—Don this rugged tabard to show off your adventurous streak. Explorer’s Jungle Hopper—Soar through Azeroth’s skies on this mount for two. Renowned Explorer’s Rucksack—Always be prepared for adventure with this bustling backpack. Renowned Explorer’s Attire—Look the part of a grizzled outdoorsperson with this rugged appearance. Game Time
Every 3 months after your 12-month reward, you’ll get a game time reward.
Hover or tap on the image above to see the Renowned Explorer’s Tabard and the Renowned Explorer’s Tabard Rucksack isolated from the Renowned Explorer's Attire. Go it Together
Time flies when you’re having fun, and it goes even faster when you and your recruits play together. Conquer Azeroth alongside your friends and you’ll both receive a 50% bonus to experience for faster leveling when partied together. You can also summon each other once every 30 minutes. Furthermore, our new Party Sync feature makes it easier than ever to level with friends. When activated, everyone in the party becomes aligned to the same quest state and phase. You’ll also have access to a “replay quest” feature that allows players who’ve already completed certain quests to replay them with their friends for rewards that are appropriate to their current level, regardless of the quest’s original level. Quests can be replayed for rewards once per day.
If you’d prefer to play with your friend using a current character rather than starting a new one, you now can. By using Party Sync, you can choose to have your level adjusted so you can quest and experience outdoor content with your friends as they level up. And, If you want to queue for instanced content (such as Battlegrounds and dungeons) in their level range, you can choose to join them by having your level scaled down.
Lead with Confidence
To help you help your friends, we’ve created a brand-new RAF panel in-game to help you know when to expect your next reward and given your access to Party Sync. The RAF panel also lists special activities available to players who participate in the program. Complete these in-game challenges with your recruits to earn even more rewards.
Start Your Journey
The new Recruit A Friend lets you generate a custom link in-game that you can send to your friends. This link will help you and your recruit connect in-game, and you’ll be able to see if they’ve purchased game time, which will lead to rewards for you! For each month your recruits have active game time, you’ll earn a new reward, such as unique pets, mounts, game time, and more. These rewards unlock each month and scale with the amount of time your recruits have subscribed for. And, of course, with Party Sync, you’ll be able to journey with your friends on any of your characters.
Recruit A Friend returns to World of Warcraft in the next few months. When you’re ready to bring your friends to Azeroth, simply log in to WoW and generate an invite link through the Recruit A Friend interface, then send that link to your friends. Up to four friends can use it to link their accounts to yours. To recruit more friends, you’ll need to generate a new link, which you can do once every 30 days.
*In-game rewards are available to use in World of Warcraft, but not in World of Warcraft® Classic. Free game time earned through Recruit A Friend provides access to both World of Warcraft and WoW Classic.
Here come today's BfA hotfixes, featuring the already announced raid nerfs (and the Palce opening to cross-realm groups on Mythic), with lady Ashvane and Queen Azshara getting significantly easier, mostly on Mythic. We also get a change to how the Battle of Nazjatar works, as it is no longer on a fixed delay, and we get some Mechagon quest and world changes as well.
October 22 (source)
Dungeons and Raids
Azshara’s Eternal Palace The Eternal Palace is now available for cross-realm groups on Mythic difficulty. Lady Ashvane Lady Ashvane’s health reduced by 5% in Mythic difficulty. Rippling Wave damage reduced by 10% in Mythic difficulty. Waterlogged periodic damage reduced by 10% in Mythic difficulty. Queen Azshara The "Stand Together!" and "Stay!" decree combination is no longer possible in Heroic difficulty. Overzealous Hulk and Tidemistress health reduced by 10% in Mythic difficulty. Draining Azshara’s Ancient Ward now reduces its energy by an additional 5 points in all difficulties. Empowering a Ward of Power now increases its energy by an additional 5 points in all difficulties. Healer-specialization characters are now less likely to be targeted with decree combinations that include “March!” in all difficulties. Short Circuit now drains 10% less energy from the affected Ward in all difficulties. Essence of Azeroth now has an increased duration if there are fewer than 20 players in the raid in Normal and Heroic difficulties, and lasts 30 seconds (was 25 seconds) in Mythic difficulty. Developers’ note: These changes were made to smooth out the difficulty curve of the instance as we transition into the next raid tier, something we often do after all Mythic Raid Hall of Fame slots have been earned. Player versus Player
The start time for the Battle of Nazjatar is no longer fixed to a 3-hour interval. The delay between events now has random variance. Developers’ note: As players have learned the timing of the event over the course of Rise of Azshara, increasingly the perceived optimal way to participate is to camp the control points in advance of the start time. By adding some variance (which still averages out to a 3-hour interval), we hope to make the Battle for Nazjatar more dynamic without reducing the overall frequency of the event. Quests
"Energy Cells for Everyone " now resets daily (was weekly) and will be automatically removed from players’ quest logs with the daily reset. World
The Charging Station construction project in Mechagon now appears significantly faster after the Charging Station is destroyed.