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BlizzCon Q&A Additional WoW Questions

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During the World of Warcraft Q&A panel at BlizzCon 2018, eight attendees didn't have the time to ask their questions. The developers have just answered these questions in a dedicated blog post.

The questions and their answers are quite interesting with topics ranging from the Mobile App and pet battles all the way to plans on removing warforging/titanforging (the answer is no by the way) and reforge costs for Azerite gear.

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On November 3 at the World of Warcraft Q&A at BlizzCon 2018, players questioned panelists Alex Afrasiabi, Ion Hazzikostas, John Hight, and Chris Robinson. Many of the questions deserved a bit more time to fully answer than we originally anticipated, and in the end, eight attendees were left without the chance to ask their questions. Here are the questions that didn’t make it in time, along with our answers to each:

Over the course of the last 14 years, we've killed many Warcraft villains. What is your strategy for introducing new characters and threats to this universe?

While many of the iconic villains in WoW over the years were first established in the RTS games (Illidan, Arthas, etc.), WoW has been introducing new characters and threats since its earliest days (such as Onyxia or the Defias). We’re keenly aware of the need to begin building up future threats even as we confront existing ones. A major villain shouldn’t come out of nowhere and be a surprise. We plan our expansions out far in advance, so that we can begin foreshadowing and weaving narrative threads to connect them. Garrosh Hellscream is an example of a character born within WoW and built up to eventually become a major villain and then a catalyst that led directly to Azeroth’s confrontation with the Burning Legion. If you look carefully, there are seeds that have been planted and clues that point to who central foes might be in the future.

When will the WoW Mobile App ever be complete?

If you mean “complete” in the sense of integrating the social features currently missing from the app, like guild/community chat and the calendar, that’s actively being worked on and we’re aiming to get that functionality added in the coming months. Due to some tech infrastructure changes in Battle for Azeroth, we had to basically rebuild the existing Companion App from the ground up, but we’ll end up with a more robust foundation as a result.

Do you have plans to make more reputation rewards account-wide?

We feel that it’s important for characters to retain a certain element of distinct progression. Part of making an alt can be having a fresh set of goals and rewards to pursue once you’re starting to run out of accessible goals on your main, so we don’t make reputation globally account-wide. But some players feel compelled to re-earn reputations in a way that’s frustrating and we want to do what we can to help alleviate their specific concerns. We’re addressing some of that in Tides of Vengeance:

  • Transmog appearances that have rep requirements will be unlocked account-wide once earned. You won’t need to re-earn a specific reputation on an alt if you want to use their tabard as part of your outfit.

  • The achievements that require a certain number of Exalted reputations will now aggregate progress across your entire account.

  • For Champions of Azeroth rep, access to the item level upgrades for the Heart of Azeroth will be account-wide. If you have at least one Revered character, any other fresh 120 alts can go visit Magni and collect all 45 item levels’ worth of upgrades right away.

What can you tell us about your future plans for pet battles?

Pet battles continue to be a fun system layered on top of the core WoW experience. As we introduce new zones and content, there will be new pets to tame or earn as reward. For players who are looking for a new challenge to overcome, we’re adding a new Gnomeregan pet battle dungeon in Tides of Vengeance. Beyond that, in the long-term, we’d like to take a fresh look at “PvP” pet battles to see if we can add a more structure to that system and elevate it beyond what is currently a niche pursuit.

Will gear ever return to the way it used to be with no warforging and titanforging?

That’s unlikely.

Gear used to be only available from a handful of activities, such as raiding or rated PvP. Obtaining a specific piece of gear could be a months-long pursuit. As the quantity and variety of sources of gear increased over the years, increasingly the pacing of rewards wasn’t matching the pacing of the activity itself. By Mists of Pandaria, a guild progressing through a raid zone over the course of a couple of months could reach a point where they were fully equipped with gear from that tier, before having finished the zone. Lacking individual motivation or excitement about rewards when raiding, even if the encounters themselves were still fun, meant a lack of continued progression for the group. If you were stuck on Sha of Fear, there was no real expectation that your group would get any stronger week over week to help you overcome that hurdle. That gave rise to Thunderforging as a system in Patch 5.2, which evolved into the system we know today.

We like that Warforging preserves a sense of possibility to most encounters, and it allows a group’s overall item level to continue to increase steadily. It also creates moments of surprise and excitement across all types of players and activities. Of course, we understand that when an exceptionally lucky player gets a perfect Titanforged item from a Raid Finder boss, that can feel like it undermines Mythic content, but ultimately, that’s just a single piece of gear. Overall, the Mythic raider will be better-geared than the Normal or Heroic raider, even if the latter gets lucky once. We restrict the ability of pieces like weapons or Azerite armor to Titanforge, and we’ve reduced the chance of extreme Titanforging in BfA. We used to see players who felt obligated to run content they’d outgeared just for a chance at lucky upgrades, and we now see far less of this behavior.

Players will always want to use the best traits on Azerite gear for every situation. Why punish the player with a big gold cost to reforge?

We draw a distinction between items and character attributes like spec or talents. Usually you can’t change the former at all, or there’s a destructive process involved like replacing a gem or enchantment, or Artifact Relic in Legion. A healer trinket is a healer trinket, and can’t be morphed into a tank trinket if you want to switch from Holy to Prot. If you want to perform at a given level in both specs, you need separate trinkets of similar quality for each.

However, we’re mindful of feedback we’d gotten regarding spec flexibility. We want Azerite armor to be flexible, so that you could switch from Fire to Frost if you want to, or you could switch from Arms to Protection for a week if your raid’s tank was absent. Without some friction, the system would just turn into a secondary (and awkward) set of talents, and a mere cooldown could create situations where you switched from one trait to another, and then couldn’t go back at all without having to wait. We ultimately settled on a respec cost that started out very low (5 gold) and increased and decayed rapidly, such that periodic respecs would be essentially free, but swapping back and forth routinely would be unsustainable.

Nonetheless, mistaken choices or experimentation can quickly spiral out of control and leave even occasional respecs feeling overly costly. In Tides of Vengeance, we’ll be doubling the rate at which the respec cost decays, so it will go down by 50% every 24 hours. Additionally, given the changes to several Azerite traits and the new ones coming with the update, we’ll provide a one-time reset of all respec costs when the update goes live.

How will you motivate Mythic Raiders to raid, when Mythic Keystone gear can titanforge to such high item levels?

Aside from prestigious titles and cosmetic rewards, Mythic raiding remains one of the most reliable sources of high-end gear in the game, with more ability to target specific pieces via bonus rolls and trading. It’s no coincidence that the best-geared players in the game are, almost without exception, Mythic raiders who also do other types of endgame content. Historically, raiding was the only way to get the best gear in the game, but our goal today is to provide parallel endgame item progression paths for different playstyles (raiding, dungeons, competitive PvP) to reward skill, dedication, and organization in various forms. Ideally, each of those paths also offers some unique benefits that set it apart from the others.

How do you plan to accommodate new players who are overwhelmed by the size of the content?

On one hand, the breadth and depth of World of Warcraft is one of the game’s strengths. A new player entering Azeroth gets access to fourteen years of content, with entire worlds to explore and stories to unravel. But that same content can also be a daunting. Including a character boost with our recent expansions is one way of making sure that players can always leap directly into the latest and greatest content, but that’s far from a complete solution.

We’re taking a fresh look at our new player experience, with the goal of making it better reflect the quality and scope of the modern game. That’s a long-term project, but it’s an essential one as many brand-new players try out WoW for the first time every way, and we want to make sure we’re welcoming them into Azeroth and really showing off everything that is awesome about World of Warcraft.

Thank you all very much for taking the time to participate in the Q&A. It was amazing to see so many players come to the Darkmoon Faire and submit questions (and sometimes, comments) for the development team. We read every single one of them, and we really enjoyed talking with everyone we could in Anaheim.

(source)

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"It’s no coincidence that the best-geared players in the game are, almost without exception, Mythic raiders who also do other types of endgame content"

It's also as you said in the past, people who do Mythic + are a majority of mythic raider because you rarely see people doing M+ only. so dodging Titanforged question by saying "yeah but look what the top gear guy's do" is fucking stupid, if you take 10 min to look deeper you would see a lot of them get their stuff from m+, personally I'm 377 with my "main" and at least half of my current gear is m10 proc into titanforged, I have literally 2 piece of Mythic after multiple weeks of using seal on the first 4 boss. Thanks blizzard to not learn from blizzcon 

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4 hours ago, Zadina said:

Players will always want to use the best traits on Azerite gear for every situation. Why punish the player with a big gold cost to reforge?

We draw a distinction between items and character attributes like spec or talents. Usually you can’t change the former at all, or there’s a destructive process involved like replacing a gem or enchantment, or Artifact Relic in Legion. A healer trinket is a healer trinket, and can’t be morphed into a tank trinket if you want to switch from Holy to Prot. If you want to perform at a given level in both specs, you need separate trinkets of similar quality for each.

However, we’re mindful of feedback we’d gotten regarding spec flexibility. We want Azerite armor to be flexible, so that you could switch from Fire to Frost if you want to, or you could switch from Arms to Protection for a week if your raid’s tank was absent. Without some friction, the system would just turn into a secondary (and awkward) set of talents, and a mere cooldown could create situations where you switched from one trait to another, and then couldn’t go back at all without having to wait. We ultimately settled on a respec cost that started out very low (5 gold) and increased and decayed rapidly, such that periodic respecs would be essentially free, but swapping back and forth routinely would be unsustainable.

Nonetheless, mistaken choices or experimentation can quickly spiral out of control and leave even occasional respecs feeling overly costly. In Tides of Vengeance, we’ll be doubling the rate at which the respec cost decays, so it will go down by 50% every 24 hours. Additionally, given the changes to several Azerite traits and the new ones coming with the update, we’ll provide a one-time reset of all respec costs when the update goes live.

Other words, "we are aware of the issue but we don't care and still going to charge you more gold each time you switch out Azerite traits.  But you will have 1 freebie when 8.1 launches."

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I am a fan of titanforging to be honest. I don't mind the azertite armor, but I am glad there are going to be improvements for sure! The legos in legion were cool, but getting the one you wanted was so random.

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12 hours ago, Zadina said:

Will gear ever return to the way it used to be with no warforging and titanforging?

That’s unlikely.

Yadayadyada...

I am willing to defend Blizz on a lot of their decisions, but come on, how can you be that daft?

Whatever their intention with WF/TF is, it simply does not work.

1. Nobody goes into a raid because they're hoping for a lucky forge. The fact that you don't see people run trivial content for forging (except for some extreme cases like WF mythic raiders, I'm sure they are having tons of fun farming the same M+ for hours...) shows that this idea doesn't work. I don't do M+ because I'm 370+ in every slot, and our raid is about to drop Heroic Uldir for the same reason, we are mostly just equipping new members now, and if anything WF/TF with forced Persoloot is actually preventing us from doing that.

2. If you can't beat an encounter even though you have all the loot you could possibly get, you are obviously out of your league. Either learn to play, or keep wiping until the end of time. Beating a hard encounter is supposed to be an achievement, not something that gets handed to you automatically over time.

3. There is no surprise or excitement with titanforging. It's not surprising because it happens so frequently that you start to expect it, so if anything, it's rather dissappointing if it doesn't happen. It's not exciting because it's not a reward for doing something exceptional, it's just a roll of a dice on top of a roll of a dice. 

4. Yes, it is unlikely I will one day run around in full mythic level gear just because of TF. But I still feel like a cheat when I run around with a 395 ring that I didn't earn. I have 3 items that are beyond Mythic level. None of them are from the Mythic. I did not earn this, I just pulled the leaver on the slot machine and got lucky.

5. If it's such a great system, why take it off Azerite Gear and Weapons?!

 

I was somewhat indifferent about WF in WoD because it was so insignificant that it didn't matter that much. TF made everything so much worse. That awesome item you got is not as awesome as it could be. Not because it's only the normal or heroic version, that's the content you did, that's the reward you get. It's because it could have been better simple because of RNG. And that feels aweful. As much BS the Legion leggo system was, at least once you had the item, you had it.

 

Edit: After some time to cooldown, I made a more constructive post on the official forum:

https://eu.forums.blizzard.com/en/wow/t/item-upgrades-rng-vs-concrete-goals/

Maybe give it an upvote or something, I don't know...

Edited by jinsu2301
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15 hours ago, Ragingwolf said:

Other words, "we are aware of the issue but we don't care and still going to charge you more gold each time you switch out Azerite traits.  But you will have 1 freebie when 8.1 launches."

Then quite honestly, stop trying to min/max every single fight. It's not required.

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20 hours ago, Zadina said:

A major villain shouldn’t come out of nowhere and be a surprise.

I mean, a whole alternate universe and evil horde came out of nowhere, but ok

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3 hours ago, Bnetmyke said:

Then quite honestly, stop trying to min/max every single fight. It's not required.

No, you miss the point.  It's a pain in the ass when players, like myself and others, are constantly switching from DPS to Tank to help out with Guild Mythic Keystones and or Uldir Raiding.  Not to mention the horrendous RNG drop on gear and trashy Azerite traits that don't compliment one or the other specs.

I am not talking about changing Traits for single and or AoE spec every other fight.

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Am I the only one bothered by the fact that there are never any questions taken about the growing insignificance of guilds and how every “improvement” to the game further separates players from guilds (press a button for random gear, communities, broken UI for community/guilds) or further reduces the benefits of guilds (removing master loot, personal loot restrictions, etc).?

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On 11/17/2018 at 11:25 AM, jinsu2301 said:

I am willing to defend Blizz on a lot of their decisions, but come on, how can you be that daft?

Whatever their intention with WF/TF is, it simply does not work.

1. Nobody goes into a raid because they're hoping for a lucky forge. The fact that you don't see people run trivial content for forging (except for some extreme cases like WF mythic raiders, I'm sure they are having tons of fun farming the same M+ for hours...) shows that this idea doesn't work. I don't do M+ because I'm 370+ in every slot, and our raid is about to drop Heroic Uldir for the same reason, we are mostly just equipping new members now, and if anything WF/TF with forced Persoloot is actually preventing us from doing that.

2. If you can't beat an encounter even though you have all the loot you could possibly get, you are obviously out of your league. Either learn to play, or keep wiping until the end of time. Beating a hard encounter is supposed to be an achievement, not something that gets handed to you automatically over time.

3. There is no surprise or excitement with titanforging. It's not surprising because it happens so frequently that you start to expect it, so if anything, it's rather dissappointing if it doesn't happen. It's not exciting because it's not a reward for doing something exceptional, it's just a roll of a dice on top of a roll of a dice. 

4. Yes, it is unlikely I will one day run around in full mythic level gear just because of TF. But I still feel like a cheat when I run around with a 395 ring that I didn't earn. I have 3 items that are beyond Mythic level. None of them are from the Mythic. I did not earn this, I just pulled the leaver on the slot machine and got lucky.

5. If it's such a great system, why take it off Azerite Gear and Weapons?!

 

I was somewhat indifferent about WF in WoD because it was so insignificant that it didn't matter that much. TF made everything so much worse. That awesome item you got is not as awesome as it could be. Not because it's only the normal or heroic version, that's the content you did, that's the reward you get. It's because it could have been better simple because of RNG. And that feels aweful. As much BS the Legion leggo system was, at least once you had the item, you had it.

 

Edit: After some time to cooldown, I made a more constructive post on the official forum:

https://eu.forums.blizzard.com/en/wow/t/item-upgrades-rng-vs-concrete-goals/

Maybe give it an upvote or something, I don't know...

 

 

Gave your forum post an upvote, mon.

Out of curiosity, which decisions are you willing to defend? 

Edited by Jinzuru

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1 hour ago, Jinzuru said:

Out of curiosity, which decisions are you willing to defend? 

Things like mobscaling both in relation to character level and item level, or flexible raidsizes. Or even the removal of the old talent system which simply wouldn't work with the current way of leveling unless it all gets a complete overhaul.

If something they do makes sense from a certain game design standpoint, I can defend it to a degree.

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7 hours ago, GorditoLOL said:

Am I the only one bothered by the fact that there are never any questions taken about the growing insignificance of guilds and how every “improvement” to the game further separates players from guilds (press a button for random gear, communities, broken UI for community/guilds) or further reduces the benefits of guilds (removing master loot, personal loot restrictions, etc).?

Not to sound like a grandpa here, but back in my day, guilds had no benefits other than the social aspect. If forced persoloot or a broken UI is enough to keep you out of a guild, than that's your own problem. I for one would never want to raid without a guild. Playing with friends who share the same goal as you, working together as a team, that's when this game is the most fun it can possibly be. People whine about how the social aspect is missing from the game, yet they are actively avoiding it at all cost. 

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Back in the vanilla days, you joined a guild because it was the main way to interact with others. You could not just press a button if you wanted to run a dungeon or gather a group for a elite quest. Either you tried to pug in the general chat or you could join a guild and have chance that there were other players who wanted to run a dungeon too. And raids were almost out of the question since you needed a group of 25(I think. I only started raiding in WOTLK but I did have a friend who organized raids) attuned people. If you refused to join a guild then you had to rely on the general and the trading chat for any group content

Edited by EBONHEART
tried to find out how to link others post.

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6 hours ago, jinsu2301 said:

Things like mobscaling both in relation to character level and item level, or flexible raidsizes. Or even the removal of the old talent system which simply wouldn't work with the current way of leveling unless it all gets a complete overhaul.

If something they do makes sense from a certain game design standpoint, I can defend it to a degree.

No issue with scaling while leveling. Max lvl ilvl scaling I find very dumb. Never tried flex raids, but also no issue for me there.

I've heard a rumor somewhere that this expansion will be the last one with current talent system, that they're gonna take their knowledge of all systems combined and deliver us something absolutely new.

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On 11/18/2018 at 9:56 AM, jinsu2301 said:

Not to sound like a grandpa here, but back in my day, guilds had no benefits other than the social aspect. If forced persoloot or a broken UI is enough to keep you out of a guild, than that's your own problem. I for one would never want to raid without a guild. Playing with friends who share the same goal as you, working together as a team, that's when this game is the most fun it can possibly be. People whine about how the social aspect is missing from the game, yet they are actively avoiding it at all cost. 

 

I don’t actively avoid it. I’m an officer in my guild and have been raid leading since BC. Recruitment gets worse every expansion, and guild activities are mostly just raiding now. 

22 hours ago, EBONHEART said:

Back in the vanilla days, you joined a guild because it was the main way to interact with others. You could not just press a button if you wanted to run a dungeon or gather a group for a elite quest. Either you tried to pug in the general chat or you could join a guild and have chance that there were other players who wanted to run a dungeon too. And raids were almost out of the question since you needed a group of 25(I think. I only started raiding in WOTLK but I did have a friend who organized raids) attuned people. If you refused to join a guild then you had to rely on the general and the trading chat for any group content

These are the benefits that I’m referring to.  Over the years many of the things that guilds were great for have shifted to group finder, with nothing being added to the other side to make up for it.  The guild ui being broken, and guild control hasn’t improved, they’ve actually removed features from it.  In game guild finder is depressingly bad, and hasn’t seen any improvement since its inception in cataclysm. It still looks like a feature that is in beta and it’s been almost 10 years.

That pressing the button thing makes it so organized guild activities outside of raiding, and even including raiding, are really easy to knock out in pugs. The personal loot system nonsense makes it so that rewarding attendance, participation, and doing what’s best for the raid group is totally non-existent. 

 

Guild raids have no benefit outside of consistency, and loot restrictions make it frustratingly hard to get gear to people that actually need it. Add to that the fact that instant gratification is the standard in almost every aspect of the game and you have an average player mentality where guild stuff is an afterthought. 

There SHOULD be some sort of benefit to guild activities. It used to be the only way to enjoy many aspects of the game and now that all of those aspects are enjoyable in solo play, guilds are sort of left behind. 

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The question that should have been asked....

"With the overwhelming number of guilds that were 10 man with split raid size raiding, why did you choose to go with 20 man and will we ever see Mythic raiding come back to 10 man size? Smaller mid progression guilds fall apart so easily, people just want to play with their friends."

 

Maybe add something about allowing flex for Mythic but locking the "Hall of Fame" to 20 man only as to keep the world race a "pristine accomplishment" for those who value that.

I get the whole bit of some fights are easier than others with more or less people, but it just confuses me at this point on why its locked in at 20 people only. The most difficult boss in the game is the roster boss.

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      The US Khadgar server had some strange recent events happen, where players' characters were removed, de-leveled or even had lower level copies added to their accounts, which were the result of a rollback to around Mists of Pandaria times, presumably due to an error during the recent cross-realm connections. Well, in the past few days it seems those problems are starting to be resolved, as some of the denizens of Khadgar finally received their character(s) back, but also received some new troubles to go with them.
      The issue seems to be getting resolved on a smaller scale than an overall server-wide de-rollback (rollforward?), as a blue posts explains that they are recovering individual players' characters and it will take a little time for them to get to everyone.
      Character Returns (source)
      Good afternoon!
      The work on this issue is ongoing, so we don’t have much new information to share other than we continue to fix up characters. Thanks to everyone who has confirmed the return of their character so far. For those who still have characters affected, keep an eye on your character list for changes.
      We’ll continue to share updates here as they become available. Thanks!
      The rollbacks didn't quite end the server's troubles though, as some of the restored characters were either removed from their current guilds, or are bugged and unable to talk in guild chat (while also being unable to guild quit, as they "aren't in a guild"), as well as much more serious issues like guild banks associated with characters being empty. Then there's the matter of the copies of characters moved to other servers at some point after MoP still being there, as players are unsure what to do with them and whether it's safe to delete them. If you want to check out all the new woes facing the people of Khadgar, check out the official forum post.
      In any case, there's at least some good news for the time travelers of Khadgar, as their brief stint in prehistoric Pandaria should be coming to a close, although not without consequence. We hope they get everything that was removed back and a swift recovery for anyone who's lost a character, without any long-term repercussions.
    • By Starym
      It's time for Demon Hunters to enter the stage in our spec highlights series, and the second tank class to be featured as well. Vengeance didn't quite get the decent/solid treatment Protection Warrior did, and we have Excidias here to cover what's happened. The focus is on general changes, talents and Covenants this time around, so let's get to it!
       
      Exciting Changes for Vengeance Demon Hunters in Shadowlands
      Due to Demon Hunter being a relatively new class that was added to the game, the great un-pruning didn't affect the class as much as others. The majority of the changes are found in the talent tree. Anyone familiar with Vengeance in BFA will feel right at home with the Shadowlands play style. 
       

      General Changes
      Pain has been renamed to Fury. Souls heal for 6% total damage instead of 8%. Fel Devastation is baseline with a 1 minute cooldown and 50 fury cost. Revel in Pain is a new passive at level 58. When Fiery Brand  expires, player gains a shield for 15 seconds based on the damage afflicted to the primary target. Soul Cleave is capped at 5 targets.

      Talent Builds
      There are currently two separate builds on the Beta. The first build is very similar to live, focusing on Spirit Bomb for damage. The second build is built purely for survival and maximizing Fiery Brand up time. There are small variations that may be warranted (ex. using Feed the Demon instead of Fracture) based on the content. Complete talent changes listed below.
       
      1. Abyssal Strike  / Fallout  / Spirit Bomb / Fracture / Sigil of Chains   / Demonic / Last Resort
      Pros: Standard build that veteran players will instantly recognize and pick up. Spirit Bomb is not capped to 5 targets (Soul Cleave is capped at 5 targets) so scales well based on number of targets. Spirit Bomb does more damage than Soul Cleave  and is fire damage so it isn't mitigated by armor. Cons: Lower up time of mitigation can cause windows of vulnerability. This may require tank swaps or kiting to survive higher Mythic+ keys.
        2. Agonizing Flames / Burning Alive / Charred Flesh / Feed the Demon / Sigil of Chains / Demonic / Last Resort
      Pros: Superior survival through Fiery Brand spread. Maximizing the up time of Fiery Brand through talents. The legendary power Fiery Soul drastically lowers the cooldown of Fiery Brand . Cons: Lower damage which can result in threat issues Soul Cleave is capped at 5 targets which can cause issues pulling more than 5.
        Complete Talent Changes
      Tier 15 Abyssal Strike : Talent no longer provides the 10 additional yards on Infernal Strike but instead a Sigil of Flame is dropped where the player lands.  Agonizing Flames : Talent was reworked to increase the duration of Immolation Aura by 50% and increase the movement speed by 20%. This talent will work well with the Charred Flesh talent in tier 30. Felblade : This talent remains relatively unchanged. Tier 25 Feast of Souls : Talent remains the same as BFA. Provides a low amount of healing over time after Soul Cleave . Fallout: Talent remains the same as BFA. There is a 60% chance to rip a soul off of an enemy (up to 5 souls) for each target hit with Immolation Aura. Burning Alive : Talent remains the same as BFA. Fiery Brand will spread to an additional target after 2 seconds. Tier 30 Infernal Armor : Talent improves Immolation Aura by providing 20% additional armor and causes melee attackers to receive fire damage. The armor provided by the talent will work with other armor increasing abilities. Charred Flesh : Talent increases the duration of Fiery Brand by 0.5 seconds for each tick of Immolation Aura. Spirit Bomb: This has not changed in functionality but it has moved up several talent rows. The talent consumes up to 5 souls and deals fire damage to any enemy around the player for each soul consumed. This ability is not target capped. Tier 35 Soul Rending: Talent remains the same as BFA. Player gains 5% passive leech and an additional 25% leech during Metamorphosis. Feed the Demon : Talent remains the same as BFA. The cooldown of Demon Spikes is lowered by 0.5 seconds for each soul consumed. Fracture : Talent remains the same as BFA. Fracture replaces Shear . Slashes the target twice producing two souls. Two charges. Tier 40 Concentrated Sigils : Talent remains the same as BFA. Duration of sigils is increased by 2 seconds and they drop at the player's location. Quickened Sigils: Talent remains the same as BFA. All sigils activate 1 second faster and the duration is decreased by 20%. Sigil of Chains: Talent remains the same as BFA. Sigil pulls and snares all targets within it after 2 seconds. Tier 45 Void Reaver : Talent remains the same as BFA but was moved from Tier 50. Enemies struck by Soul Cleave will deal 6% less damage. Demonic : New talent. Fel Devastation causes the player to enter demon form for 6 seconds after the cast finishes. Soul Barrier : Talent remains the same as BFA but was moved from Tier 50. Shields player for 12 seconds. Any additional souls consumed during barrier will increase the amount of the shield.  Tier 50 Last Resort : Talent remains the same as BFA. When sustaining fatal damage, transform into Metamorphosis instead. Ruinous Bulwark : New talent. Fel Devastation heals for an additional 15% and 50% of overhealing is converted into a shield for 10 seconds. Bulk Extraction : New talent. Deal fire damage to any targets around the player while extracting up to 5 souls. Souls are instantly consumed.
       
      Covenants
      Kyrian Elysian Decree : Places a sigil that activates after 2 seconds. Deals arcane damage and shatters up to 3 souls. 60 second cooldown. Necrolord Fodder to the Flame : Summon a demon to fight. Once vanquished, the demon's soul is released and a pool of demon blood spawns that lasts for 30 seconds. Fighting within the pool increases attack speed by 20% and reduces the damage received by 10%. 2 minute cooldown. Venthyr Sinful Brand: Brand an enemy with the mark of the Venthyr, reducing their melee attack speed by 30%, casting speed by 30%, and inflicting shadow damage over 8 seconds. Activating Metamorphosis applies Sinful Brand to all nearby targets. 60 second cooldown. Night Fae The Hunt: Charge the target, striking them for nature damage, rooting them in place for 3 seconds and inflicting additional nature damage over 6 seconds to any target in the path. Heal for a percentage of damage dealt to the hunt target over 60 seconds. 1.5 minute cooldown.
        Vengeance and the Covenant Choice
      With the current tuning, Vengeance Demon Hunter has low damage with their base kit. Sinful Brand is doing roughly a third of the overall damage which is basically forcing Venthyr as the right choice for all the content. The Hunt was performing decently and could be more fun to play with, and Elysian Decree is affected by legendaries that affect sigils. Unless tuning occurs, Venthyr is the mandatory choice based on performance alone.
       

      Conclusion
      Vengeance is a fun tank to play but it still suffers from mitigation up time. Demon Spikes and Metamorphosis up time is much lower than other tanks relative up time of their respective mitigation. This disadvantage can be seen in any fight where tanks don't switch or in Mythic+. Kiting will have to be an option in higher keys when mitigation is down, assuming the monsters allow for kiting. The overall damage of the spec is also lower than most tanks. Sinful Brand provides a large DPS increase and is deemed borderline essential, a must have purely based on the damage output. Like the previous expansions, Vengeance will be stuck in a standard cookie cutter build with very few variations. 
      Overall, Vengeance will still be the same fun tank that it has been since Legion. It is currently sitting around the middle to lower end of all tanks due to the tank tuning that occurred on September 9th. 
       

      Other Spec Highlights:
      Balance Druid Restoration Druid Beast Mastery Hunter Marksmanship Hunter Arcane Mage Outlaw Rogue Elemental Shaman Enhancement Shaman Shadow Priest Affliction Warlock Protection Warrior
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