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War Within Alpha Development Notes: April 25th

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This week's Alpha notes bring a new zone, two new dungeon, the Earthen Allied Race, and many class changes, including the Demon Hunter Fel-Scarred Hero Tree! 

Blizzard LogoNotes (Source)

The War Within Alpha has been updated with Alpha #2, build 54361.


  • The Ringing Deeps


  • The Stonevault
  • Darkflame Cleft


  • Earthen


Developers’ note: With each phase, we encourage players to make a new template character and avoid using their previous characters as they could potentially be in a broken state. After making a new template character, make sure to talk to Questzertauren and he will prepare you for any available content.

  • Level 73 Character Template
  • Maximum Level: 75


  • The following Hero Talents are available for playtesting in Public Alpha 2:
      • Fel-Scarred
        • Fel-Scarred Demon Hunters embrace the monster within! Blasts of devastating Fel fire are unleashed while in demon form, and activating Metamorphosis greatly empowers additional Fel-themed abilities. The Fel-Scarred endure a pain that bubbles just beneath the surface, granting increased maximum Fury and a portion of their demon form bonuses at all times. Those who stand in their way will inevitably be introduced to that pain by intense fiery abilities and blades that burn with Fel energy.
    • MONK
      • Mastery of Harmony
        • Developers’ notes: Master of Harmony was accessible in the Public Alpha 1 build but several talents were still being worked on. In Public Alpha 2, Master of Harmony is now fully playtestable.
  • All Fear, Silence, Sleep, Stun & Interrupt visual effects have been updated with a new visual. Additionally, all movement speed slowing effects greater than 50% will now display a universal Slow visual on the target.
    • Developers’ notes: Our main priority for this visual update is to help increase the clarity and consistency of messaging for common status effects. Slow (the status effect not the spell), for example has taken quite a few different visual forms over the years, mostly in the range of multicolored dust clouds around a target’s feet. As you can imagine this particular visual was difficult to notice from a distance and wasn’t easily recognizable. So, we did a pass on Slow and the other status effects listed to help address those clarity/messaging issues making them easier to quickly identify in combat.
  • MAGE
    • Sunfury
      • Spells cast by the Arcane Phoenix no longer benefit from the caster’s secondary stats, spell damage bonuses, or talents.
      • Arcane Phoenix’s Arcane Surge damage reduced by 50%.
      • Reduced the damage of all Arcane Phoenix AOE spells by 50%.
        • Arcane Barrage, Flamestrike, and Phoenix Flames
      • Activation Overlay added for Hyperthermia and Arcane Soul
      • Memory of Al’ar - Arcane Soul buff redesigned: Arcane Barrage costs no mana, grants Clearcasting, and generates 4 Arcane Charges.
    • Fire
      • Fuel the Fire is now baseline
      • New Talent - Lit Fuse: Consuming Hot Streak has a small chance to grant Lit Fuse. Lit Fuse makes your next Phoenix Flames apply Living Bomb to up to three targets. Living Bomb explodes after 2 sec, dealing damage to the target and up to 5 nearby enemies. Up to 5 enemies hit by this explosion gain Living Bomb, but this effect cannot spread further.
      • New Talent - Explosive Ingenuity: Consuming Hot Streak has a higher chance of granting you Lit Fuse. Living Bomb damage increased by 50%.
      • New Talent - Down in Flames (Choice node with Improved Scorch): Scorch deals 300% damage to targets below 30% health.
      • New Talent - Quickflame (Choice node with Flame Patch): Flamestrike damage increased by 25%.
      • New Talent - Focused Fury: Living Bomb deals more damage the fewer targets it hits, up to 300% at 1 target.
      • New Talent - Mark of the Fire Lord: Flamestrike and Living Bomb apply Mastery: Ignite at 100% increased effectiveness.
      • New Talent - Spontaneous Combustion (Choice node with Improved Combustion): Casting Combustion refreshes up to 3 charges of Fire Blast and up to 3 charges of Phoenix Flames.
      • New Talent - Charring Embers: Phoenix Flames applies Charring Embers to all enemies it damages, increasing their damage taken from you by 5% for 12 sec.
      • New Talent - Fire’s Ire: When you’re not under the effect of Combustion, your critical strike chance is increased by 2.5%. When you’re under the effects of Combustion, your critical strike damage is increased by 2.5%. Two-rank talent.
      • New Talent - Explosivo: Casting Combustion grants Lit Fuse. While under the effects of Combustion, consuming Hot Streak has a substantially increased chance to grant you Lit Fuse.
      • New Talent - Blast Zone: Lit Fuse can now apply Living Bomb to up to five targets. Living Bombs can now spread to eight enemies.
      • New Talent - Ashen Feather (Choice node with Majesty of the Phoenix): If Phoenix Flames hits only one target, it deals 50% increased damage and applies Ignite at 100% effectiveness.
      • New Talent - Majesty of the Phoenix (Choice node with Ashen Feather): When Phoenix Flames damages 3 or more targets, your next 2 Flamestrikes have their cast time reduced by 1.5 sec and their damage is increased by 20%.
      • Fervent Flickering has been redesigned: Now reduces the cooldown of Fire Blast by 2 sec
      • Controlled Destruction has been redesigned: Damaging a target with Pyroblast increases the damage it receives from Ignite by 2%. This effect stacks up to 25 times.
        • Developers’ notes: This talent is currently stacking past 25. This is not intentional and will be corrected in a future update.
      • Improved Scorch has been redesigned: Casting Scorch on targets below 30% health increases the damage the target takes from you by 5% for 12 sec. This effect stacks up to 2 times.
      • Flame Accelerant has been redesigned: Every 12 seconds, your next Fireball, Flamestrike, or Pyroblast has a 40% reduced cast time.
      • Unleashed Inferno has been redesigned: While Combustion is active your Fireball, Pyroblast, Fire Blast, Scorch, and Phoenix Flames deal 50% increased damage and reduce the cooldown of Combustion by 1.25 sec. While Combustion is active, Flamestrike deals 25% increased damage and reduces the cooldown of Combustion by 0.25 sec for each critical strike, up to 1.25 sec.
      • Convection has been redesigned: When a Living Bomb expires, if it did not spread to another target, it refreshes its duration. A Living Bomb can only benefit from this effect once.
      • Pyromaniac has been redesigned: Casting Pyroblast or Flamestrike while Hot Streak is active has an 8% chance to repeat the spell cast at 100% effectiveness, but the copied spell cannot contribute to Hot Streak. This effect counts as consuming Hot Streak.
      • Phoenix Reborn has been redesigned: When your direct damage spells hit an enemy affected by Charring Embers 20 times, the damage of your next 2 Phoenix Flames is increased by 200% and they refund a charge on use.
      • Call of the Sun King is now in Gate 1
      • Searing Touch has been removed.
      • Searing Touch’s critical strike threshold functionality is now baseline to Scorch.
      • Improved Scorch’s movement speed increase is now baseline to Scorch.
      • Incendiary Eruptions, Firemind, and Tempered Flames removed.
      • Firestarter, Intensifying Flame, Inflame, Controlled Destruction, Wild Fire, and Flame Accelerant are now in Gate 2.
      • Flame On is now 1 point and no longer reduces the cooldown of Fire Blast.
      • Critical Mass is now 1 point.
      • Wildfire is now 1 point.
      • Conflagration has been removed.
      • Fevered Incantation is now 2 points
      • Sun King’s Blessing now grants Sun King’s Fury after consuming 10 Hot Streaks.
      • Hyperthermia now has an activation overlay.
  • MONK
    • Developers’ notes: Please note that not all of the below changes will be available in Public Alpha 2, but we want to give players a full picture our next planned update for Windwalker, so we’ve opted to include all of our changes.
    • Conduit of the Celestials
      • Heart of the Jade Serpent now increases the cool down rate of affected spells by 75% (was 100%).
      • Fists of Fury now channels 50% faster during Heart of the Jade Serpent.
    • Windwalking is now a 1 point talent.
    • Some connections have been moved within the final gate.
    • Hasty Provocation has moved to a choice node with Quick Footed.
  • Windwalker
    • Expel Harm no longer triggers combo strikes.
    • Chi Wave no longer triggers combo strikes.
    • Combat Wisdom now balances your Chi to 2 while out of combat.
      • Developers’ notes: With the removal of Expel Harm from the list of combo strikes triggers, we’d like to naturally smooth out Windwalker’s opener by having them start each combat with some additional Chi. This also reduces the ramp-up steps for them to get going rotationally.
    • Storm, Earth, and Fire now triggers Combo Strikes.
      • Developers’ notes: Moving forward, we’d like for Combo Strikes to not trigger from spells that aren’t intuitive to mix into your rotation or aren’t directly under your control, such as Flying Serpent Kick and Chi Wave / Expel Harm procs. Along this line of thinking, we’re also adding Storm, Earth and Fire to the list of spells that can trigger Combo Strikes. We want the initiation of cooldowns to feel as smooth as possible, and we’d like to allow for Ordered Elements to feel easier to play around (also back to back Rising Sun Kicks are fun!).
    • Ordered Elements now has a 7 sec duration (was 5).
    • Jadefire Harmony now increases damage and healing taken by 8% for its duration (was 12%).
    • Crane Vortex is now a 1 point talent and increases the radius of Spinning Crane Kick by 15%.
    • Rising Star is now a 1 point talent.
    • Vivify healing increased by 30% for Windwalker.
      • Developers’ notes: With the removal of Expel Harm as an active button for Windwalker, we’d like Vivify to better fill the on-demand healing niche for them.
    • Skytouch no longer increases the range of Tiger Palm, now increases critical strike chance by 15% (was 50%), and its lockout duration is 30 sec (was 60).
    • Dance of Chi-Ji may now stack up to 2 times.
    • Storm, Earth, and Fire clones will now copy your Tiger’s Lust casts.
      • Developers’ notes: With the removal of Serenity in mind, we’re looking to open up counter play options for Windwalkers when their Storm, Earth, and Fire clones are crowd controlled in PvP.
    • Flying Serpent Kick is now a 30 sec cooldown (was 20).
    • Shadowboxing Tread’s extra Blackout Kicks are now 80% effective (was 100%).
    • Developers’ notes: We’re adding a tuning knob to Shadowboxing Treads so we can more easily tune Blackout Kick’s damage between single target and AoE scenarios.
    • Retribution
      • Highlord’s Judgment has been renamed to Highlord’s Wrath.
      • Mastery: Hand of Light has been renamed to Mastery: Highlord’s Judgment – Now also causes Judgment to have a chance to blast the target with the Light, dealing Holy damage.
      • Highlord’s Wrath has been redesigned – Mastery: Highlord’s Judgment is 50/100% more effective on Judgment and Hammer of Wrath. Judgment applies an additional stack of Greater Judgment if it is known.
      • Adjudication has been redesigned – Critical Strike damage of your abilities increased by 5% and Hammer of Wrath also has a chance to cast Highlord’s Judgment.
      • Blades of Light has been redesigned – Crusader Strike, Judgment, Hammer of Wrath, and damaging single target Holy Power abilities now deal Holystrike damage and your abilities that deal Holystrike damage deal 5% increased damage.
      • Divine Arbiter now has an additional effect – Highlord’s Judgment and Holystrike damage abilities grant you a stack of Divine Arbiter.
      • Searing Light now has an additional effect – Highlord’s Judgment and Radiant damage abilities have a chance to call down and explosion of Holy Fire.
      • Blessed Hammer from Adjudication now spawns from the target of your Hammer of Wrath.
      • Execution Sentence now causes the enemy to suffer 20% of the damage dealt during its time after it expires (was 30%).
      • Execution Sentence damage no longer counts as a damage over time effect.
      • Highlord’s Judgment damage increased by 50%.
      • Highlord’s Wrath is now a 1 rank talent. (was 2 ranks)
      • Highlords Wrath: Mastery: Highlord’s Judgment is 50% more effective on Judgment and Hammer of Wrath. Judgment applies an additional stack of Greater Judgment if it is known.
      • Vanguard of Justice is now a 2 rank talent (was 1 rank)
      • Vanguard of Justice has been redesigned: Enemies hit by Templar’s Verdict take 30/50% increased damage from your next Divine Storm.
      • Judge, Jury, Executioner has been redesigned: Divine Storm has a 40% chance to cause your next Templar’s Verdict to hit an additional 3 targets.
    • New Talent: Pact of Gluttony – Healthstones you conjure for yourself are now Demonic Healthstones and can be used multiple times in combat. Demonic Healthstones cannot be traded.
    • New Talent: Swift Artifice - Reduces the cast time of Soulstone and Create Healthstone by 50%.
    • New Talent: Demonic Tactics - Increases melee and spell critical strike chance for you and your summoned demon by 2%.
    • Fel Pact is now 1 rank and has been redesigned - Fel Domination cooldown is reduced by 60 sec.
    • Fiendish Stride is now 1 rank and has been redesigned - Reduces the damage dealt by Burning Rush by 10%. Burning Rush increases your movement speed by an additional 20%.
    • Grimoire of Synergy has been removed.
    • Inquisitor’s Gaze has been removed.
    • Summon Soulkeeper has been removed.
    • Profane Bargain has been removed.
    • Demonic Circle has been moved to row 3.
    • Soul Leech is no longer baseline and has been added to the Warlock tree.
    • Soul Conduit has been moved to row 10 and is now 1 rank.
    • Fel Synergy has been moved to row 9.
    • Soul Link has been moved to row 9.
    • Abyss Walker has been moved to row 4.
    • Affliction
      • Malefic Rapture is now baseline and has been removed from the Affliction tree.
      • Unstable Affliction has been moved to row 1.
      • Writhe in Agony has been moved to row 2.
      • Absolute Corruption and Siphon Life have been moved to row 3.
      • New Talent: Cunning Cruelty - Malefic Rapture has a chance to trigger a Shadow Bolt Volley, dealing damage to 5 enemies within 10 yards of your current target.
      • New Talent: Summoner’s Embrace – Increases the damage dealt by your spells and your demon by 3%.
      • New Talent: Death’s Embrace – Increases Drain Life healing by 30% while your health is at or below 35% health. Damage done by your Agony, Corruption, Unstable Affliction, and Malefic Rapture is increased by 5% when your target is at or below 20% health.
      • New Talent: Relinquished - Agony has 1.25 times the normal chance to generate a Soul Shard.
      • New Talent: Improved Shadow Bolt - The cast time of Shadow Bolt is reduced by 15% and Shadow Bolt deals 20% increased damage.
      • New Talent: Volatile Agony - Refreshing Agony with less than 10 seconds remaining deals Shadow damage to its target and enemies within 10 yards.
      • New Talent: Summoner’s Embrace - Increases the damage dealt or life drained by your Shadow spells and your demon by 3%.
      • New Talent: Malediction - The periodic critical strike chance of Agony, Corruption, and Unstable Affliction is increased by 10%.
      • New Talent: Contagion - Critical strike damage dealt by Agony, Corruption, and Unstable Affliction is increased by 20%.
      • New Talent: Cull the Weak - Malefic Rapture deals 5% increased damage for each enemy it hits.
      • New Talent: Empowered Unstable Affliction - Reduces the cast time of Unstable Affliction by 10/20% and damage dealt by Unstable Affliction has a 5/10% chance to generate a Soul Shard.
      • New Talent: Oblivion - Unleash wicked magic upon your target’s soul, dealing Shadow damage over 3 sec. Deals 10% increased damage, up to 30%, per damage over time effect you have active on the target. Costs 2 Soul Shards. 45 sec cooldown.
      • Siphon Life has been redesigned - Corruption deals 20% increased damage and heals you for 5% of the damage dealt.
      • Kindled Malice has been redesigned - Malefic Rapture damage increased by 4/8%. Corruption damage increased by 10/20%.
      • Malevolent Visionary has been redesigned – Increases the damage of your Darkglare by 70%. When Darkglare extends damage over time effects it also sears the target for Shadow damage.
      • Shadow Embrace has been redesigned - [Shadow Bolt/Drain Soul] apply Shadow Embrace, increasing your damage dealt to the target by [4.0%/2.0%] for 16 sec. Stacks up to [2/4] times.
      • Pandemic Invocation has been removed.
      • Sow the Seeds has been removed.
      • Soul Swap has been removed.
      • Doom Blossom has been removed.
      • Dread Touch has been removed.
      • Soul Flame has been removed.
      • Agonizing Corruption has been removed.
      • Seized Vitality has been removed.
      • Soul-Eater’s Gluttony has been removed.
      • Grand Warlock’s Design has been removed.
      • Grim Reach has been removed.
      • Xavius’ Gambit has been moved to row 6.
      • Withering Bolt has been moved to row 8.
      • Shadow Embrace has been moved to row 7.
      • Inevitable Demise has been moved to row 6.
      • Tormented Crescendo has been moved to row 7.
      • Sacrolash’s Dark Strike has been moved to row 5.
      • Grimoire of Sacrifice has been moved to column 4.
      • Creeping Death has been moved to column 3.
      • Dark Virtuosity has been moved to column 1.
      • Malevolent Visionary has been moved to row 10.
      • Summon Darkglare has been moved to row 9.
    • Protection
      • Defensive Stance no longer reduces damage dealt by Protection Warriors.
      • New Talent replacing Improved Heroic Throw - Fight Through the Flames: Defensive Stance additionally reduces magic damage you take by 5%.

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