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Some huge (and tiny) news coming out of the PTR today, as we're finally getting some mount size adjustments for Gnomes and Tauren! This has been a long-standing issue since...well since Vanilla really, with Tauren getting stuck on doorways and a lot of the mounts for both races never looking quite right. Well, today Gnomes can catch their mount's reins for the first time and Tauren... well they might fit through some doorways. The change only applies to "normal" size mounts for Tauren, as smaller ones (like hyenas) remain unchanged. Blizzard can now also fix issues where some mounts appear too small for certain races and they're looking into it.
In any case it's an amazing change which makes 8.2 even more highly anticipated, and you can read the details on it below.
Mount Size (source)
With today’s PTR update, you might notice mount size changes for gnome and tauren player characters. For a very long time, we’ve had issues that stem from gnomes and tauren riding on mounts that appear larger than intended. We’re adjusting their sizing down on normal* mounts.
This allows us to correct many art and animation bugs with these specific races when mounted, and they look better. Gnomes and tauren now look more like they should, gnomes can actually reach their reins, and tauren can fit through more doorways when mounted.
Here’s an example of how a gnome character looks when mounted-
Before the change-
WJQJE7MXSBF81558566499093.jpg1594×1594 And after the change-
PRHKBFY4X3J01558566499095.jpg1594×1594 This new tech also means that it’s now possible for us to address issues where some mounts are too small on some races. We’re looking to find examples along those lines, so please keep your feedback coming.
*There are a few mounts that are not considered "normal"-sized to begin with. For example, Hyena mounts are considered "small", and we’re not sizing tauren differently on small mounts at this time.
8.2 brings more highly anticipated changes, with Tauren and Gnomes being he beneficiaries this time!
As a lifelong Tauren player this brings a tear to my eye, as I'm finally going to be able to run into buildings trampling everyone underfoot as my mount takes a while to un-summon!
We're back with another mount preview and this one really stands out from the crowd as possibly the best mount added in Patch 8.2 yet. It's the one Blizzard has been teasing since last BlizzCon, a crab that walks sideways!
The mount is rewarded from completing the Nazjatar meta-achievement: Undersea Usurper.
Giant crabs are native to Nazjatar and favored food of the naga. This one must have been well-kept to grow this large.
Animations (Run / Mount Special)
We have some changes and declarations of not doing changes for Death Knights and Paladins on the PTR today, as two powerful abilities of both classes are being discussed.
Frost Death Knights have been through some changes on the 8.2 PTR, focusing on Breath of Sindragosa and Blizzard have been struggling to get it just right. The main issue with the powerful ability is that it takes away a huge amount of resources from the rotation, creating a big gap where you can't do much. While detailing some previous solutions as well, in the end the devs opted for Breath to give the DK runes at the beginning and end of its cast.
Breath of Sindragosa (source)
Taking a moment to give some background and thinking on the various changes to Breath of Sindragosa so far this PTR:
We agreed with common feedback that Frost DK, overall, had too high a portion of open GCDs in a steady-state rotation. When this happens, it’s generally a problem with a spec’s resource economy, and the baseline buffs to Runic Empowerment and Frost Fever resource generation were meant to address it.
But Breath of Sindragosa poses a further problem. A Breath that spends (for example) 300 Runic Power is, in a single button press, removing 12 Frost Strike s from the future. In other words, every 2 minutes, it creates 11 open GCDs that otherwise wouldn’t have been there, which is a huge amount. Across all classes, we try to keep an eye on variations in rotation pacing caused by talents—including cases where a talent causes a large deviation in resource economy or GCD utilization—and Breath is a big outlier. And, in all this, we’d prefer to preserve Breath’s signature resource-drain mechanic.
The first solution, giving increased Runic Empowerment proc chance during Breath, did return resources to the rotation, and did so during Breath. While this correctly targeted the talent (Breath was draining resources, so Breath should put some back in order to mitigate the pacing problems), it was the wrong time to give back resources. Even though Breath itself sucks resources away, players shift all possible resources into Breath, because this is the clear way to optimize the use of the talent. Resources can be shifted into the Breath window using ERW, Horn, and simple pooling, with the result that adding more during Breath itself actually overfills it.
So the goal of the current change—Breath returns Runes at the start and end—is to make the Breath talent add resources, but to do so outside the Breath window. Even the Runes at the start are effectively “outside” the Breath window, because they counteract 2 Runes’ worth of pooling that otherwise had to be done to play Breath optimally.
As always, changes are subject to further revision, but this might give some insight into the process for making surgical changes to address specific problems.
Meanwhile, Paladins' Glimmer of Light is staying as it is (or at least won't be "heavily" changed), with an in-depth explanation on why:
Glimmer of Light (source)
One topic that hasn’t appeared in our posts about the PTR, but is worth briefly discussing: so far, we’re not planning to heavily change Glimmer of Light in 8.2.
Outline of some relevant facts as we see them:
The Glimmer build is a significant “flip” from the otherwise standard build. It changes talents (Holy Avenger , Crusader's Might , and no Avenging Crusader ), as well as stat priorities. It is a fun and unique build to play, with a lot of player agency in manipulating Glimmer spread and timing. It is a bit rotationally “broken” but not completely. The biggest concern is that Crusader Strike has a very high priority, which makes mana much less important. Holy Paladin moved up in meters in high-skill contexts (Mythic) since the build became popular, but not drastically. There is a lot of pressure to obtain specific Azerite pieces because of widespread recommendations to play the build. A few minor concerns worth mentioning: It’s unideal that Infusion-buffed Flash of Light is sometimes skipped, the high amount of Glimmer in the breakdown devalues Int, and the playstyle is more similar to other healers than it is to traditionalHoly Paladin. Philosophically, when we add customizable systems and bonuses to the game, some player-discovered experience is exactly the sort of thing we’re hoping will happen. Even when we didn’t anticipate all the details of an optimized build—arguably especially when we didn’t anticipate all the details—it produces a chance for players to explore something cool and rewarding. Almost by definition, those situations are at least slightly imbalanced or slightly broken, which is acceptable as long as they’re not too imbalanced or too broken.
There’s a balance where cutting off the exploration too early ruins the fun of discovering it, but letting it go on too long gets to a point where players are less excited by the novelty of the new build and more bothered by imbalances or rotational problems. We want to keep an eye on that, but the preliminary look for 8.2 is that this is still a lively setup that people are excited to play. Any change would likely be a small tweak that’s not intended to change its status as a popular or recommended playstyle.
In the longer term, if we wanted to preserve this mechanic in the class in some way, we would have to solve some of the above issues in the process, especially the very low mana demands. But that’s something we can revisit later.
Learn more about how to unlock flying in Battle for Azeroth. This post goes through requirements as of the initial 8.2 Build 30080 that was recently pushed to Public Test Realms.
Flying in Battle for Azeroth
Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder, Part Two enables flying in Kul Tiras, Zandalar as well as Mechagon & Nazjatar in Patch 8.2. It will take approximately a month for players with Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder, Part One to unlock it. If you haven't completed the first part of the achievement, we recommend you doing so right now, so that you can work on Part Two right after Rise of Azshara hits live servers.
The criteria to unlock flying in Patch 8.2 are as follows:
Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder, Part One Revered with Rustbolt Resistance (New 8.2 Mechagon faction) Alliance: Revered with Ankoan (New 8.2 Nazjatar faction) // Horde: Revered with Unshackled (New 8.2 Nazjatar faction) Explore Mechagon Explore Nazjatar Rewards
Completing Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder, Part Two unlocks flying in all Battle for Azeroth zones, including Mechagon and Nazjatar. You will also get the Wonderwing 2.0 mechanical parrot mount. You can find more details about the mount in this post.
Blizzard have announced that the invites for today's stress test have all gone out, with a reminder there are more tests coming, as well as clarified how exactly the general invite process works. Also, unfortunately for everyone that doesn't have one yet, they're also sending out fewer and fewer beta invites, as they're nearing their goals for current testing.
The test starts in just over an hour, at 4pm PDT, 1am CEST and will last until tomorrow at the same time. We also have a list of working addons for the test which you can check out here.
Classic Testing (source)
First off all, we want to thank all of you who have shown interest in testing WoW Classic. Having extra eyes on so many aspects of the game is a huge help as we prepare for the upcoming release.
At this time, we’ve finished sending out all of the invites for the first stress test. This large invite wave took a number of hours to process, so please check that thread for details about it and we’ll see many of you there when the test begins later today. Also, don’t forget that we have a couple more stress tests scheduled, so keep an eye out for updates on those in the coming weeks.
Related to this, we’ve seen a lot of questions about the general invite process and want to clarify a few things. The method in which people are invited from the opt-in pool is not on a first-come-first-served basis, but instead we look at a variety of factors such as the age of the account. That said, the amount of closed beta invites that we’re sending out is rapidly decreasing as we have met our current population needs for testing. We’ll regularly reevaluate the need for additional invites as we go through the testing process.
Thank you for your continued interest in WoW Classic and we can’t wait to see you in Azeroth on August 27!