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Blizzard announced the timing of the Icecrown Citadel buff to make things easier for players. It will start on December 5th/6th, and as expected Hellscream's Warsong for Horde and Strength of Wrynn for Alliance will start at 5% and ramp up by 5 every two weeks.
We plan to initialize the power increase in Icecrown Citadel on 6 December.
It will start as a 5% buff, and it will increase by 5% every two weeks until it reaches the max of 30%.
As a reminder-- the buff is optional. Any player can always choose to remove it from themselves.
We had the opportunity to talk to WoW Classic developers about all things Cataclysm, Wrath and Season of Discovery! Our own Crix dove deep into the matter with Senior Game Producer Josh Greenfield and Lead Software Engineer Nora Valletta, so let's get right to it!
Season of Discovery
XP gains are not being changed, so the level 25 cap should be reachable very quickly. Mob damage is being increased in the open world as well to compensate for the power of runes, however, HP is not. No specifics on phase 1 duration, but "a number of weeks, probably more than a month, less than 3-4 months". The original unarmored racial mount models will be rewarded from the Ashenvale outdoor PvP event (but only usable in Ashenvale). Runes are soulbound. Certain runes are only usable in certain slots (like Metamorphosis in the glove slot). An example of a discovery: an object in the world giving hints of where to look for the next clues. They are not randomly generated or placed, which is why they did not want a PTR, so players could discover them on their own (for a while at least). Some runes are easy to discover, like just finding a chest, but others are at the end of a chain spanning multiple zones (like Metamorphosis for example). It seems the "better" aka more impressive runes will be more difficult to find/take more time. There are hundreds of discoveries to find. There will be multiple ways to find a specific rune, but the discovery method will be different. You will need other players for some of the discoveries. An example given was you'd need two healers for a ritual to release a dead person's spirit to the Shadowlands, and those involved would get their own class's rune at the end. There may be discoveries that take you into the Blackfathom Deeps raid. Even only getting the tutorial rune will be enough to be strong enough until the level cap. Warlock and Shaman tanks should be relatively as strong as other tanks, but maybe not in all situations. Warsong Gulch will be part of phase 1, but you won't be able to get all the ranks. There will definitely be adjustments to level 60 raids, but it's too soon to say what.
The new Self Found option won't require separate servers, it will just be an option on character creation. You can disable the option at any time, but you can't re-enable it after that. There will be a special badge/"buff" (presumably without any actual benefits) signifying you made it to 60 in Self Found. No fresh servers planned.
Whether LFR makes it into Cata is still being discussed. The door isn't closed, but they're prefer not to. A major talent/class overhaul was considered, but probably won't happen, with smaller tactical changes more likely. Zul Aman and Zul Gurub will most likely come in a mid-patch update between launch and Firelands, it won't be a full phase. One of the things they're most excited for is the Titan Rune implementation for Cataclysm dungeons. The are adjusting the cadence of patches and raid releases, speeding things up. There's an assumption that part of the reason Cataclysm was divisive was because of the slow pace of patches/raids (especially Dragon Soul). They're still thinking about whether to change anything regarding the 10 vs 25 man raid difficulties, as there were many pros and cons to the system. There will be changes to guilds, de-focusing the reward structure that favored mega guilds.
There are currently no plans for TBC or Wrath Classic Era, but they are open to feedback. "Never say never." They have not decided on when the Icecrown Citadel nerfs/ player buffs will arrive. They did it too early with Serpentshrine Cavern so they learned from that, and will wait for people to say that they're ready for them before implementing the for ICC. Ruby Sanctum is coming early 2024.
Today's hotfixes cover three WoW editions, with an Arena removal in retail, flight-path disconnect (and death) fixes for Classic Hardcore as well as Dungeon Finder tweaks and more for Wrath Classic!
October 25 (Source)
Player versus Player
Blade’s Edge Arena has been temporarily removed from the Arena rotation, for a terrain issue to be addressed. WoW Classic Era and Hardcore
(With realm restarts) Added additional protections to prevent some deaths via flight-path disconnects. Now when you take a taxi, a protection aura is placed on you that prevents all damage, your hearthstone cooldown is reset, and your hearthstone spell is insta-cast. Developers’ notes: We have alerts in place that will help us as we continue to monitor and investigate this issue. Wrath of the Lich King Classic
Adjusted the logic controlling the levels at which player-characters are allowed to queue for dungeons in the Random Dungeon Finder so that it is closer to the range displayed, which was also adjusted. Now, all classic dungeons should allow a range of roughly 8 levels: from 3 levels below the level of the final boss to 5 levels above. Burning Crusade dungeons should now allow a range of 3 levels below the end boss to 3 or 4 levels above it, and Wrath dungeons allow a range that starts at 3 levels below the end boss. Developers’ notes: The most noticeable effect here is that the minimum level allowed for some dungeons has gone up slightly. This is intended to address situations that arise for players whose level was significantly lower than the rest of the group. Fixed a bug that could prevent Masked Orphan Matrons from starting the Headless Horseman’s fire events in various towns. Fixed an issue that sometimes caused Talon King Ikiss in Sethekk Halls to not grant completion credit for the dungeon in Random Dungeon Finder. Fixed a bug that prevented Death Knights’ tier 10 Sanctified Scourgelord 4-piece damage bonus from working properly. The “Sinister Calling” step has been removed from the “Hallowed Be Thy Name” achievement. Developers’ notes: We’ve been working on a permanent fix for the underlying issue here, but we want to alleviate the immediate concern for players with Hallow’s End already underway.
Blizzard announced that they increased the hourly instance limit for the Headless Horseman, doubling it earlier today. This is for Wrath Classic, as the previous limit was 5 an hour.
Instance Limit (Source)
Earlier today, we doubled the hourly instance limit for the Headless Horseman event. You should now only hit this limit if you attempt more than 10 instances in an hour.
Here come some new Wrath Classic hotfixes, as well as a spawning reduction for Classic Era/Hardcore!
October 20 (Source)
WoW Classic Era and Hardcore
Undead enemies in the tunnels just outside the entrance to Deadmines now have a more reasonable spawn rate. Wrath of the Lich King Classic
Fixed an issue preventing the weekly raid quest from being offered after the weekly reset. All versions of Ashen Verdict reputation rings are now Unique-Equipped. The 10-player instance Upper Blackrock Spire was unintentionally listed in the Random Dungeon Finder and has been removed. Fixed a bug that prevented the use of mounts that are items only.