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War Within Alpha Development Notes: May 2nd

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Here comes this week's Alpha build, with Hallowfall opening up, a level 78 cap, lots of class changes, including some reworks, and more! 

Blizzard LogoMay 2 (Source)

The War Within Alpha has been updated with the following changes:

NEW ZONES AND DELVES

  • Hallowfall

NEW DUNGEONS

  • The Dawnbreaker
  • Priory of the Sacred Flame

WARBANDS

  • Class set tokens from legacy raids (Shadowlands and earlier) are now Warbound and can be transferred to characters on the account.
    • Developer’s note: Based on community feedback and to match our overall philosophy on transmog collection, class set tokens from legacy raids (Shadowlands and earlier) are now Warbound, allowing them to be transferred to alts in order to collect the transmog of your choice. For clarity, current expansion tier set tokens will remain unchanged from their previous status of bind on pickup, as they represent a large amount of power for the character who collects them.

CHARACTER LEVEL

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 75 Character Template
  • Maximum Level: 78

CLASSES

  • The following Hero Talents are available for playtesting in Public Alpha 3.
    • PRIEST
      • Archon (Holy/Shadow)
        • Archons are highly devout and deeply connected to the Light and Shadow. Archons can be blessed from higher beings to enter into an ascended state, becoming an ultimate version of themselves.
    • ROGUE
      • Fatebound (Assassination/Outlaw)
        • The Fatebound eagerly act as the Hand of Fate, sowing chaos into well-laid plans. Guided by the whims of a flipped Fatebound Coin, they deliver the ending their enemies are destined for; the ending they deserve.
        • Developer’s note: Fatebound will be accessible in the Hero Talent Tree, but there will be a handful of talents that are not fully implemented.
  • HUNTER
    • Sentinel
      • Symphonic Arsenal damage reduced by 30%.
      • Sentinel debuff damage increased by 50%.
      • Lunar Storm damage increased by 50%.
  • MAGE
    • Sunfury
      • Glorious Incandescence has been updated:
        • Now summons 4 Meteorites (was 8).
        • Increased Meteorite’s Fire Blast cooldown reduction by 100%.
        • Increased Meteorite’s Arcane Orb cooldown reduction by 100%.
        • Meteorite damage increased by 100%.
        • The timing between Meteorites dealing damage and their associated spell cooldown reduction effects have been better synchronized.
    • Spellslinger
      • Arcane
        • Controlled Instincts has been redesigned – For 8 seconds after being struck by an Arcane Orb, 30% of the direct damage dealt by an Arcane Splinter is also dealt to nearby enemies. Damage reduced beyond 5 targets.
        • Spellslingers now conjure two Splinters when they consume Nether Precision.
        • Splintering Orbs now conjures two Arcane Splinters when they strike a target with their Arcane Orb.
        • Arcane Splinterstorms now have a 20% chance to grant you Clearcasting (was 100%).
    • Arcane
      • New Talent: Energized Familiar – During Time Warp or other similar effects, your Arcane Familiar fires 4 bolts instead of 1. Damage from your Arcane Familiar has a small chance to grant you up to 2% of your maximum mana.
      • New Talent: Eureka – When a spell consumes Clearcasting, its damage is increased by 25%.
      • New Talent: Wizened Wit – The cast time of Arcane Blast is reduced by 10%. Choice node with Presence of Mind.
      • New Talent: Arcane Battery – Each time you consume Clearcasting, gain 1%/2% increased spell damage for 30 seconds, stacking up to four times. 2-point talent.
      • New Talent: Time Loop – When you gain a stack of Arcane Battery, you have a small chance to gain another stack of Arcane Battery. This effect can trigger off of itself.
      • New Talent: Aether Attunement – While at maximum stacks of Arcane Battery, your next Arcane Missiles consumes Arcane Battery dealing 150% increased damage to your primary target and also fires at up to 4 nearby enemies.
      • New Talent: Leysight – Nether Precision damage bonus increased to 30%.
      • New Talent: Leydrinker – Every 6 times you consume Nether Precision, your next Arcane Blast echoes, repeating its damage at 50% effectiveness to the primary target and up to two nearby enemies.
      • New Talent: Improved Touch of the Magi – Your Touch of the Magi now accumulates 25% of the damage you deal.
      • New Talent: Magi’s Spark – Your Touch of the Magi now also conjures a spark, increasing the damage your target receives from your next Arcane Barrage, Arcane Blast, and Arcane Missiles by 25%. Upon receiving damage from all three spells, the spark explodes, dealing Arcane damage to all nearby enemies. Choice node with Improved Touch of the Magi.
      • New Talent: Nether Munitions – When Magi’s Spark or Improved Touch of the Magi detonates, it increases the damage all affected targets take from you by 8% for 12 seconds.
      • Arcane Missiles has been redesigned – Can now only be cast when you have Clearcasting. The wording of talents that are associated with Arcane Missiles have been updated to reflect this change.
      • Nether Precision has been redesigned – Consuming Clearcasting increases the damage of your next 2 Arcane Blasts by 20% or your next 2 Arcane Barrages by 20%.
      • Arcane Familiar has been redesigned – Casting Arcane Intelligence also summons you a Familiar that attacks your enemies and increases your maximum mana by 10% for 1 hour. Now passive.
      • Illuminated Thoughts has been redesigned – Clearcasting has a 5% increased chance to trigger and spells that consume Clearcasting deal 5% more damage.
      • Concentration has been redesigned – Casting Arcane Blast has a small chance to make your next cast of Arcane Blast free.
      • Improved Prismatic Barrier is now baseline.
      • Many talents have had their positions changed.
      • Moved Charged Orb and Improved Clearcasting to the first gate.
      • Rule of Threes is no longer a choice node with Arcane Familiar.
      • The following talents have been removed:
        • Foresight
        • Nether Tempest
        • Reverberate
        • Mana Gem
        • Radiant Spark
        • Harmonic Echo
        • Cascading Power
    • Fire
      • Controlled Destruction now has a stack cap of 50 (was 99). Pyroblast increases damage the target takes from your Ignite by 1% (was 2%)
    • Frost
      • New Talent: Death’s Chill – While Icy Veins is active, damaging an enemy with Frostbolt increases spell damage by 1%.
      • Fractured Frost has been redesigned – While Icy Veins is active, your Frostbolts hit up to 2 additional targets. Now a 1-point talent.
      • Hailstones is now a 1-point talent.
      • Fractured Frost and Freezing Winds have swapped places in the talent tree.
      • Cold Front and Coldest Snap have swapped places in the talent tree.
  • PALADIN
    • Retribution
      • New Talent: Radiant Glory – Replaces Avenging Wrath/Crusade. Wake of Ashes grants you Avenging Wrath/Crusade for 10/12 seconds. Your other damaging abilities have a chance to grant you Avenging Wrath/Crusade for 5/6 seconds.
        • Wake of Ashes and Avenging Wrath/Crusade from this talent will function with Herald of the Sun hero talent tree’s keystone and capstone talents.
      • Expurgation now rolls over the remaining damage value when reapplied.
      • Templar Slash damage over time effect now rolls over the remaining damage value when reapplied.
      • Boundless Judgment now additionally increases the chances of your Judgments chances to trigger Highlord’s Judgment by 50%.
      • Templar Strikes damage increased by 25%.
      • Templar Strikes cooldown increased by 2.25 seconds.
      • Wake of Ashes now sends its cone attacks (including Seething Flames) towards where your camera is facing rather than where your character is facing.
      • Shield of Vengeance is now a choice node with Aegis of Protection after the 2nd talent gate.
      • Aegis of Protection now only increases the effectiveness of Divine Protection by 20% (was 10% and was also affecting Shield of Vengeance).
      • Avenging Wrath/Crusade moved up to where Shield of Vengeance was in the talent tree.
      • Wake of Ashes moved up to where Avenging Wrath/Crusade was in the talent tree, before the 2nd talent gate.
      • Seething Flames moved up to where Wake of Ashes was in the talent tree.
  • WARLOCK
    • Diabolist
      • Soulburn can no longer trigger Demonic Art or Diabolic Ritual.
      • Demonic Art now lasts 60 seconds for each greater demon (was 20 seconds).
    • Hellcaller
      • Mark of Xavius has been redesigned – Agony/Wither damage increased by 20%/25% and the cooldown of Vile Taint/Cataclysm is reduced by 5 seconds.
      • Channel Demonfire and Internal Combustion now function with Wither.
    • Soul Harvester
      • Eternal Servitude now reduces the cooldown of Fel Domination by 90 seconds (was 120 seconds).
      • When Soul Anathema is reapplied, any remaining damage will be added to the new Soul Anathema.
      • Shared Fate now deals reduced damage beyond 8 targets.
    • Affliction
      * Malefic Rapture now deals Shadowflame damage.
      • Inevitable Demise has been removed.
      • New Talent: Improved Malefic Rapture – Reduces the cast time of Malefic Rapture by 10/20% and increases its damage by 5/10%.
      • Relinquished now causes Agony to have 1.10 times the chance to generate a Soul Shard (was 1.25 times).
      • Volatile Agony now deals reduced damage beyond 8 targets.
      • Cull the Weak has been redesigned – Malefic Rapture damage is increased by 8% for each enemy it hits, up to 5 enemies.
    • Demonology
      • New Talent: Shadowcaster – Increases the damage of Hand of Gul’dan by 20% and Demonbolt by 10%.
      • New Talent: Pact of the Ered’ruin – When Doom is removed, you summon a Doomguard that casts 5 Doom Bolts before departing. Each Doom Bolt deals Shadow damage.
      • New Talent: Mark of Shatug – Wicked Maw causes the target to take 20% additional Shadow damage from your demons.
      • New Talent: Ferocity of F’harg – Increases the attack speed of your Dreadstalkers by 10/20% and their critical strike chance by 15/30%.
      • New Talent: Rune of Shadows – Increases all damage done by your pet by 4%. Reduces the cast time of Shadow Bolt by 25% and increases its damage by 40%.
      • New Talent: Demonic Brutality – Critical strikes from your spells and your demons deal 4% increased damage.
      • New Talent: Fiendish Prowess – Increases the attack speed of your primary demon by 25%.
      • New Talent: Improved Demonic Tactics – Increases your primary Felguard’s critical strike chance equal to 30% of your critical strike chance.
      • Doom has been redesigned – Inflicts impending doom upon the target, dealing Shadow damage and an additional Shadow damage to enemies within 10 yards after 20 seconds. Consuming a Demonic Core reduces the duration of Doom by 3 seconds. 30 seconds cooldown.
      • The following talents have been removed:
        • Demonic Knowledge
        • Nether Portal
        • Ner’zhul’s Volition
        • Gul’dan’s Ambition
        • Stolen Power
        • Heavy-Handed
      • Sacrificed Souls and Houndmaster’s Stratagem have been moved to row 8.
      • Houndmaster’s Stratagem has been renamed to Wicked Maw and its icon has been updated.
      • Doom and Summon Demonic Tyrant have been moved to row 9.
      • Dread Calling and Grimoire: Felguard icons have been updated.
  • WARRIOR
    • Slam damage normalized across all specializations (Arms-only Slam damage bonus removed), and damage increased by 200%.
    • Slam damage increased by 130%. Arms Slam damage bonus reduced to 50% (was 75%).
    • Bladestorm damage increased by 70%.
    • Ravager damage decreased by 10%.
    • Arms
      • Cleave cooldown reduced to 3 seconds (was 6 seconds).
      • Battlelord no longer resets the cooldown of Cleave.
      • Storm of Swords now triggers from Whirlwind or Cleave and reduces the Rage cost of your next Whirlwind or Cleave.
      • Fervor of Battle now also triggers from Cleave.
      • Dreadnaught damage reduced by 58%.
      • Strength of Arms now also increases Overpower damage by 15%.
    • Fury
      • Bloodthirst damage increased by 43%
      • Bloodcraze now triggers from Raging Blow instead of Bloodthirst.
      • Deft Experience now causes Bloodthirst to extend your Enrage effect by 0.5/1.0 sec if you are Enraged.
      • Swift Strikes now also increases Bloodthirst’s Rage generated by 1.0/2.0 Rage.
      • Crushing Force now increases the damage of Bloodthirst by 10/20% and critical strike chance of Bloodthirst by 5/10%.
      • Bladestorm now generates 10 Rage per damage event for Fury (20 with Storm of Steel).
      • Slam Rage cost removed.

PROFESSIONS

  • ENGINEERING
    • With this week’s build, Engineering has been enabled on Professor Instructaur. Although the profession is not entirely complete, a majority of the items should be in and ready for testing and feedback. Items with clear use or equip text present should be fully implemented.
    • Engineering’s recipe lineup is similar to Dragonflight. Single-stat, full-budget Goggles and Bracers are available to be crafted, with Goggles exclusive to Engineers and Bracers usable by everyone. Both items possess a Tinker socket which can take any of the new Tinkers added in The War Within. Additionally, popular tinkers from Dragonflight have a “Refurbished” variant you may discover with specializations which interact with Algari optional reagents. Of course, a variety of consumables and toys also await, several of which may be particularly appealing to raiders.
    • Potion Bombs are a selection of new items that possess the power budget and share the cooldown of ordinary combat potions and can be used anywhere that potions are allowed. When thrown, they deal a small amount of damage split between all enemies caught in the blast but more importantly provide a small buff to up to 5 allies also caught in the blast. The potency of this buff is the budget of the potion divided by 5 – even if fewer than 5 targets are hit. This is intended to be a considerable potion option for support-oriented players, or those who feel their personal potion for the fight is less impactful than a boost distributed between their allies.
    • Finally, there is a new recipe acquisition system for Engineering recipes for this expansion called “Inventing” from which most new recipes will be sourced from. When engaging with your profession, there are opportunities to receive or invent a Prototype item. A prototype is a unique, low-quality, consumable version of almost every on-use recipe you can acquire. You have the option to Use this prototype and attempt to learn the recipe (in true engineering fashion, it has a chance to backfire and leave you extra crispy), or you can disassemble it to acquire Hastily Scrawled Notes. Collect enough of these notes, and you will be presented with a choice UI to pick from 2 (or 3 if specialized) schematics from all of the War Within schematics you have yet to discover. As not all items can be prototyped, some are only sourced through notes, such as combat or profession equipment. Ultimately the goal is to reward engineers for engaging regularly with their profession and provide the player with the agency to make decisions about the recipes they pursue as early as possible. Eventually, once all schematics are known, you can continue to collect Warbound notes to expedite this process on your alts. We are excited to see how this system plays out and would love to hear your feedback!

USER INTERFACE AND ACCESSIBILITY

  • Dropdown menu styles have been updated in many places across the game.
  • Areas of the Quest Log interface have been updated with new artwork.
  • A button for Professions has been added to the micromenu where the Spellbook button was previously. The Spellbook has been added to the Talents frame.
  • Minimize and expand functionality has been added to the Spellbook frame.

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