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We have a big batch of changes arriving on the PTR today, with quite a lot of class tuning, the Mythic+ affix revealed (and it is actually called Encrypeted), the new arena map, and more!
PTR, January 18 (Source)
Here are this week’s PTR notes:
Death Knight Class Sets Blood 4-piece: When you take damage, you have a chance equal to 100% of your Parry chance to lash out, Heart Striking your attacker. Dancing Rune Weapon now summons 2 Rune Weapons. Druid Restoration All healing abilities increased by 10%. All damage abilities increased by 10%. Lifebloom healing over time increased by 12% and bloom heal increased by 20%. Nourish healing (Talent) increased by 15%. Overgrowth (Talent) mana cost reduced by 60%. Inner Peace (Talent) now has an additional effect – While channeling Tranquility, you take 20% reduced damage and are immune to knockbacks. Germination (Talent) now has an additional effect – Rejuvenation duration increased by 2 seconds. Mage Class Sets Arcane 2-piece: Enemies affected by Touch of the Magi take 10% increased Arcane damage (was 18%). Fire 4-piece: Fire Blast and Phoenix Flames now recharge 50% faster while Combustion is active (was 100%). Paladin Ashen Hallow (Venthyr Ability) healing reduced by 15% for all specializations. Holy Ashen Hallow, Hammer of Wrath, Judgment, and Holy Shock damage reduced by 12%. Avenging Wrath (Rank 3) has been removed. Class Sets Protection 4-piece: When you take damage, you have a chance equal to 100% of your Block chance to cast Judgment at your attacker. Priest Holy All healing abilities increased by 10%. All damage abilities increased by 15%. Symbol of Hope cooldown reduced to 3 minutes (was 5 minutes) and channel time reduced to 4 seconds (was 5 seconds). Holy Word: Chastise damage increased by 25%. Prayer Circle (Talent) now also reduces the mana cost of Prayer of Healing by 25%. Guardian Angel (Talent) now has an additional effect – When Guardian Spirit saves the target from death, it does not expire. Afterlife (Talent) now has an additional effect – As a Spirit of Redemption, you may cast Resurrection, which ends the Spirit of Redemption. Binding Heal (Talent) has been removed. Cosmic Ripple (Talent) has been moved and replaces Binding Heal (Talent) on row 40. New Talent (Row 30): Binding Heals – 20% of Heal or Flash Heal healing on other targets also heals you. DUNGEONS AND RAIDS
Mists of Tirna Scithe Drust Spiteclaw’s Bloodletting now has a minimum range, and is only used on players at least 10 yards away. Drust Spiteclaw’s Dying Breath now has a much smaller area of effect. A warning visual and delay has been added to allow time to play around it. Dying Breath debuff duration reduced to 20 seconds (was 30 seconds), and is no longer automatically removed upon leaving combat. Developers’ note: We hoped to see Dying Breath used for high-risk/high-reward plays, but players have found that the risk generally outweighed the reward. This update should make the risk more manageable & make the ability more interesting to play around. Mythic+ Affixes New Seasonal Affix: Encrypted – Enemies throughout the dungeon possess relics of the First Ones. Destroy the relics to summon the First Ones’ Automa and gain powerful bonuses, based on the order in which they were destroyed. ITEMS AND REWARDS
Mechagon Peacekeeper, Rusty Mechanocrawler, and Scrapforged Mechaspider can now soar into the sky with their unique flying animation. PLAYER VERSUS PLAYER
New Arena: Maldraxxus Coliseum Developers’ note: Maldraxxus Coliseum will be the only arena available in the queue on the PTR for testing.
Here's a hilarious post with stats you didn't know you'd want to see. We're looking at how many WoW tokens, in-game gold, Spectral Tigers, and brutosaurs the Microsoft acquisition is worth.
Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion gold yesterday. Now, if we were to use other currencies, the biggest deal in the gaming history is worth:
3,435,000,000 WoW Tokens, assuming 1 token costs $20. 690,435,000,000,000 in-game gold. Hypothetically if WoW had 2 million subs, every player would need to pay more than 345 million gold! 138,087,000 Reins of the Mighty Caravan Brutosaur (assuming 1 costs 5 million gold). 9,040,663 Reins of the Swift Spectral Tigers. The most expensive TCG mount is currently selling for $7,599 each. Placeholder for tweet 1483463701546119170 Placeholder for tweet 1483464684737077256 Placeholder for tweet 1483518275065548802
We have a special treat today, as Lead Cinematic Designer Terran Gregory went back and took a look at and analyzed the original Black Temple cinematic! As the Classic version of the raid is coming next week it's great to see the little details and stories of how one of the most memorable cinematics in WoW history was made in this new Building Azeroth edition!
Probably the biggest and most talked about and asked for (WoW-related) topic of conversation after yesterday's bombshell Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard news has been how WoW will actually work with Game Pass. While nothing has been announced officially, we wanted to take a look at how exactly this could work, what the best case and the most likely scenarios might be. From the official Microsoft announcement it's clear that most, if not all Activision Blizzard games are coming to Game Pass:
Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. - Phil Spencer, Microsoft Gaming CEO The "as many as we can" part stands out there, as there are probably too many variables with all the Activision Blizzard games to just instantly say "all of them are coming", but World of Warcraft certainly stands out as unique looking from the outside. WoW's subscription fee puts it apart from all the rest, and it's definitely the biggest question mark when it comes to Game Pass integration, as it's pretty safe to assume most if not all other Activision Blizzard games will be coming to it eventually. With WoW, it's not as simple as saying that it is or isn't coming to Game Pass, as there are actually quite a few ways it can be implemented on the platform.
The first thing to mention is that we're talking about the PC Game Pass specifically (for now at least, console WoW is a whole other topic), and so far there have been no games on there that require an additional payment in order to play (at least that I could find). This leaves us with three potential likely outcomes when it comes to WoW on the platform, so let's take a look, starting from best to worst case from a player perspective.
1. WoW Is Completely Free on Game Pass
This would be the holy grail for both current and new players. The game would be playable with just the Game Pass subscription alone, without any additional fees - you would get the new expansions for free and wouldn't have to pay any additional subscription cost.
I have to say that while this one would be really great from a player perspective, it really seems very unlikely, as the sheer amount of money WoW generates from its subscription would be a huge thing to give up, especially after the $70 billion spent. For context, the Game Pass currently costs $9.99 a month (with the first month for $1), which is actually significantly cheaper than WoW's cheapest subscription, as the 6-month one comes out to $12.99 per month. Game Pass is quickly becoming something that makes less and less sense not to have for gamers in general, so it's a pretty good assumption that a lot of the WoW playerbase has it/is going to get it at some point even without the WoW sub being free on there, so I really doubt this one is happening, unfortunately. If this were to happen, however, it would be a HUGE move by Microsoft and would grow WoW's playerbase a tremendous amount, as the game would become a lot cheaper for those that don't have Game Pass yet, and completely free for those that already do.
My main concern here would be that this model, due to it losing Microsoft a LOT of money by default, would encourage heavier microtransactions in the game, and since the WoW community is generally not fond of these already, might cause problems. I doubt we'd see new types of purchases becoming available (like actual pay to win stuff), but the current offering (mounts, pets, toys etc.) would get a lot bigger. Personally I wouldn't mind this at all and it would be the best outcome, but again, I very much doubt it will happen.
2. WoW Subscription Stays, but Most Likely Discounted
This one might be a little weird but it's the one I find most likely. WoW expansions would still be free so you wouldn't have to buy them, but there would still be a subscription fee - just not the same amount we have today. Since you'd need to pay both the Game Pass and WoW subscriptions, I think there would be a significant discount on the WoW side, up to 50% probably. The two subscriptions added would be bigger than WoW's alone is today, but not by much, and the value would still be pretty huge as you'd either be getting access to all the other games on Game Pass if you're not a subscriber already, or you'd be getting a discount on the WoW subscription (and free expansions) if you are.
The problem with this is that there's nothing like it on the Game Pass at the moment (that I could find) and would require a new payment option for the platform. The idea of having to put an * next to the "play hundreds of games for free" might be too much for Microsoft to bear just for WoW, however, so this would definitely be the weirdest option. It's not like there's no precedent for it though, as plenty of non-gaming subscription services have additional payment options to access more content, most notably with video streaming services with sports events and some movies. I do think it's unlikely that Microsoft simply keep the existing subscription and put WoW on Game Pass anyway, as there might be some community outcry there, so this would be a solid middle-ground solution.
3. No WoW On Game Pass
The simplest option, Microsoft simply decide it's not worth the headache of having a subscription-based game on a subscription service. Nothing happens and WoW's payment model remains the same.
While I'm sure there are other permutations and options, these 3 are the most likely, and if I had to guess I'd go for number 2, despite it being the most complex and tricky one. I really don't see Microsoft giving up on the giant amounts of money coming from the WoW subscription entirely, but they may surprise me. The idea of WoW suddenly becoming 50+% cheaper AND players getting the entire Game Pass library along with that is certainly a tantalizing one, not to mention what it could do for the game's population, so let's all hope I'm wrong!
What do you think will happen with WoW and Game Pass? Is there a more likely scenario that I missed?
In his latest video, content creator MrGM discusses the potential impact of the Microsoft acquisition on World of Warcraft in the coming years.
Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard and King studios for nearly $70 billion. The deal won't finalize before June 2023, so nothing is changing for a good while. MrGM anticipates World of Warcraft could potentially be added to Microsoft's PC Game Pass. WoW can already be played with controllers, so the game could potentially see a release on consoles in the future. Activision owns the iconic Crash Bandicoot and Spyro. Crossovers in other games could also happen. Which effect do you think the acquisition will have on World of Warcraft?