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War Within Alpha Development Notes: May 21st

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This week's War Within Alpha build increases the number of talent loadouts that can be saved per character to 40 and we have a ton of class changes!

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We have the following changes and updates in today’s new build of The War Within Alpha:

CLASSES

  • The number of talent loadouts that can be saved on a per character basis to has been increased to 40 (was 10).
  • We are removing increased melee range talents across the game, such as Astral Influence and Acrobatic Strikes. Default melee range has increased since these talents were originally created, so they now allow specs to attack from well outside where it appears they should be able to. They make the melee experience inconsistent across classes in a way we’re not happy with, so we’re removing them.
    • ROGUE
      • Deathstalker (Assassination/Subtlety) Hero Talents are now available for testing.
        • The harbingers of death, Deathstalkers strike from the shadows to bring a swift end to their targets.
    • DEATH KNIGHT
      • New Talent: Unyielding Will – Anti-Magic Shell’s cooldown is increased by 20 seconds and it now also removes all harmful magic effects when activated. Now a capstone talent available after Rune Mastery and Subduing Grasp.
      • The class tree has had further adjustments in talent locations and pathing updates.
      • Osmosis healing received while Anti-Magic Shell is active is increased by 15%. Now a 1-point talent (was 2).
      • Runic Protection armor increased to 6% (was 3%). Now a 1-point talent (was 2).
      • Blood Draw cooldown reduced to 2 minutes (was 3 minutes).
      • Blood Draw is no longer a capstone and is now available in Death’s Echo old location.
      • Icebound Fortitude is now the first available talent on the left of the tree replacing Mind Freeze.
      • Runic Attenuation is now available directly after Icebound Fortitude.
      • Death’s Echo now a capstone ability available after Will of the Necropolis and Subduing Grasp.
      • Subduing Grasp now reduces damage by 6% for 6 seconds when you pull an enemy (was 8% at rank 2). Now a 1-point talent (was 2).
      • Vestigial Shell no longer a choice node with Null Magic and is available in the right capstone space.
      • Null Magic no longer a choice node with Vestigial Shell and is available in the left capstone space.
      • Unholy
        • Sudden Doom now reduces the cost of your next Death Coil/Epidemic by 10 (was free).
          • Developers’ notes: With the update to Sudden Doom’s proc rate it further flooded Unholy with Runic Power and you weren’t able to spend the RP down fast enough in a lot of scenarios to prevent overcapping. This next iteration we are going to try a reduced cost Death Coil or Epidemic to help combat the problem of Runic Power overcapping. Internally we tested this as a full removal of the cost reduction but it left quite a bit of downtime in the rotation and felt particularly bad outside of cooldowns. A 10 Runic Power cost reduction felt reasonably well both inside and outside of cooldowns.
        • Sudden Doom now also causes your next Death Coil/Epidemic to burst a Festering Wound.
          • Developers’ notes: We are looking into ways to increase the frequency you apply Festering Wound with Festering Strike so we are exploring having a Runic Power spender burst a wound instead of only rune spenders or Apocalypse. Internally with testing we have found it creates a natural cadence in which you want to press Festering Strike instead of relying only on passive wound applicators. The other perk of Death Coil bursting a Festering Wound when consuming Sudden Doom is it helps ease the friction of what to press during your cooldowns.
        • Updated the spec tree with a few additional talent re-locations. Notable movements are:
          • Superstrain and Morbidity now located on the left side of the tree directly after Death Rot.
          • Unholy Assault and Festermight are now located in the middle of the tree after Army of the Dead.
          • Eternal Agony is now available after Dark Transformation.
      • Frost
        • Fixed an issue with Absolute Zero being available prior to the 3rd gate being unlocked.
    • DRUID
      • Balance
        • Orbital Strike has temporarily had its line-targeting reticle disabled.
      • Feral
        • Cat Form no longer increases the range of auto-attacks and melee abilities by 3 yards.
        • Omen of Clarity Clearcasting aura added to the personal resource bar.
        • Omen of Clarity Clearcasting aura no longer highlights the spell icons for Shred, Swipe, and Thrash.
    • EVOKER
      • Deep Breath, Landslide, and Breath of Eons temporarily have their line-targeting reticle disabled while we work on an issue with it causing a crash.
      • Lifecinders now upgrades Renewing Blaze to allow 1 friendly target. If no target is selected, it will find a nearby injured ally.
      • Chronowarden
        • Preservation
          • Instability Matrix reduces empower spell cooldown by up to 6 seconds (was 10 seconds).
      • Flameshaper
        • Fan the Flames has been adjusted – Instead of extending Enkindle, it now adds 100% more damage or healing into the periodic effect. In addition, the tooltip now clarifies that it affects all active Enkindles.
        • Traveling Flame now extends Dream Breath or Fire Breath by 8 seconds, and causes it to spread to a nearby target (was causes it to spread, or refreshes if no valid targets were present).
        • Consume Flame now consumes 4 seconds of your Fire Breath or Dream Breath (was 8 seconds). Amount of healing or damage is now equal to 300% of that, and now scales with Haste.
      • Devastation
        • Developers’ notes: The goal of these changes is primarily to increase the viability of the left side of the Devastation tree. We hope this can allow Devastation to be more flexible in their talent choices and have options to build around Firestorm if they wish.
        • Firestorm radius increased to 10 yards (was 8).
        • Firestorm’s tick rate now increases with Haste.
        • New Talent: Scorching Embers – Enemies take 20% increased damage from your Red spells while affected by Fire Breath.
        • Feed the Flames has been redesigned – Now causes enemies to take 20% more damage from Pyre and Disintegrate if they are inside your Firestorm.
        • Snapfire has been slightly redesigned – Now grants a free cast of Firestorm that does not trigger the cooldown. It now also triggers from Pyre instead of Living Flame.
          • Developers’ notes: The free cast of Firestorm that does not trigger the cooldown is so the Snapfire proc will be full value even if Firestorm wasn’t on cooldown.
        • Imminent Destruction now also increases Disintegrate and Pyre damage by 10%, and lasts 12 seconds (was 10 seconds).
        • Imminent Destruction has swapped places with Feed the Flames in the talent tree.
        • Honed Aggression now increases Azure Strike and Living Flame damage by 10% per point (was 5%).
        • The following talents have been removed:
          • Everburning Flame
          • Raging Inferno
    • MAGE
      • Arcane
        • Energized Familiar now fires 4 bolts during Arcane Surge (was Time Warp or other similar effects).
        • Wizened Wit decreases Arcane Blast cast time by 5% (was 10%).
        • Mana Adept and Slipstream have swapped places.
        • Clearcasting’s chance to trigger is no longer tied to mana spent, and now has a 10% chance of triggering when casting any damaging spell.
        • You can no longer trigger Clearcasting by casting damaging spells while out of combat.
        • Evocation now grants one stack of Clearcasting.
        • Siphon Storm duration has been reduced to 20 seconds (was 30 seconds).
        • Arcane Battery removed.
          • Developers’ notes: We appreciate everyone’s feedback on the frustration centered around Arcane Battery, and have opted to replace it with Arcane Debilitation. Arcane Debilitation is meant to meaningfully integrate with existing Arcane Missiles effects across the tree in an exciting way with minimal headspace requirements. We will be sensitive to any degenerate optimizations that need to be done to maximize this talent’s effectiveness.
        • New Talent: Arcane Debilitation – Damaging a target with Arcane Missiles applies Arcane Debilitation, increasing their damage taken from your Arcane Missiles, Arcane Barrage, and Arcane Blast by 0.5%/1% for 6 seconds. New stacks do not refresh duration.
        • Time Loop has been redesigned – When you apply a stack of Arcane Debilitation, you have a 10% chance to apply another stack of Arcane Debilitation. This effect can trigger off of itself.
        • Aether Attunement has been redesigned – Consuming Clearcasting has a 15% chance to grant you Aether Attunement, causing your next Arcane Missiles to deal 150% increased damage to your primary target and fires at up to 4 nearby enemies dealing 100% increased damage.
        • Aether Attunement is now tracked on the personal resource display.
        • Arcane Debilitation is now tracked on enemy nameplates.
        • Leydrinker has been redesigned – Consuming Nether Precision has a 15% chance to make your next Arcane Blast or Arcane Barrage echo, repeating its damage at 25% effectiveness to the primary target and up to four nearby enemies.
        • Leydrinker visuals have been updated.
        • New Talent: Surging Urge – Arcane Surge damage increased by 5% per Arcane Charge.
        • Nether Munitions damage amplification reduced to 6% (was 8%).
      • Fire
        • Alexstrasza’s Fury is no longer a choice node with From the Ashes
        • Quickflame’s Flamestrike damage bonus reduced to 20% (was 25%).
        • Charring Embers moved to Gate 2.
        • Charring Embers now increases the damage you deal to affected targets by 4% (was 6%).
        • From the Ashes has been redesigned – Your direct damage spells to targets affected by Charring Embers reduce the cooldown of Phoenix Flames by 1 second.
        • Deep Impact has been redesigned – Meteor now turns one target hit into a Living Bomb. Additionally, its cooldown is reduced by 15 seconds.
        • Phoenix Reborn no longer requires enemies to be under the effects of Charring Embers.
        • Inflame has returned and is now in Gate 3.
        • Focused Fury has been removed.
          • Developers’ notes: Convection and Focused Fury were intended to be flex talents to help you get a bit more single target damage while in an AOE build. However, the combination of these two talents were making Living Bomb so powerful in single target that it was overshadowing spells like Pyroblast. We don’t have a problem with Living Bomb being present in single target builds, but it shouldn’t be one of your highest damage contributors. Given the design of Focused Fury, it stands very opposed to this principle, and thus we opted to remove it.
        • Convection is now located where Focused Fury was.
        • Wildfire has been removed.
  • MONK
    • Conduit of the Celestials
      • Strength of the Ox now additionally refunds 2 stacks of Teachings of the Monastery after being consumed for Windwalker Monks.
      • Flight of the Red Crane now grants 1 stack of Mana Tea for Mistweaver Monk and 20% increased energy regeneration for Windwalker Monks for 6 seconds when activated.
      • Heart of the Jade Serpent now activates from Strike of the Windlord for Windwalker Monks (was Storm, Earth, and Fire).
        • Developers’ notes: Heart of the Jade Serpent’s activation rate would outpace Storm, Earth, and Fire’s recharge rate eventually leading to wasted procs.
      • Brewmaster
        • Removed Improved Celestial Brew. Functionality is now baseline for Brewmaster Monks.
        • Removed Improved Purifying Brew. Functionality is now baseline for Brewmaster Monks.
        • Elusive Footwork is now 1-point.
        • Positions adjusted for Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox, Walk with the Ox, and Improved Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox.
      • Mistweaver
        • New Talent: Pool of Mists – Renewing Mist now has 3 charges and reduces the remaining cooldown of Rising Sun Kick by 1 second. Rising Sun Kick now reduces the remaining cooldown of Renewing Mist by 1 second.
        • Teachings of the Monastery is now a baseline effect.
          • Known Issue: Swapping from Windwalker specialization with Teachings of the Monastery talented to Mistweaver disables Teachings of the Monastery. Relogging or swapping to Brewmaster temporarily resolves this while we work on a fix.
        • Refreshing Jade Wind has been redesigned – Thunder Focus Tea summons a whirling tornado around you, causing healing over 8 seconds to up to 5 allies within 10 yards.
        • Yu’lon’s Whisper has been redesigned – While channeling Mana Tea you exhale the breath of Yu’lon, healing up to 5 allies within 15 yards every 0.5 seconds.
        • Chi Harmony has been redesigned – Renewing Mist increases its target’s healing received from you by 50% for the first 8 seconds of its duration, but cannot jump to a new target during this time.
          • Developers’ notes: We’re making an adjustment to Chi Harmony to cut down on the amount of active auras on frames now that it’s here to stay as a talent. Renewing Mist will have a new icon indicating when its Chi Harmony healing increase is active and it will swap back to its original icon when Chi Harmony’s window ends. We’d love to hear feedback on this as we’d like the redesign to have as minimal impact as possible and mostly be focused on quality of life and long-term sustainability.
        • Crane Style has moved to Teachings of the Monastery’s previous location.
        • Misty Peaks now has a 4/8% chance to activate and now extends Enveloping Mist on targets if Enveloping Mist is present (previously would not proc).
      • Windwalker
        • New Talent: Jadefire Fists – At the end of your Fists of Fury channel, you release a Jadefire Stomp. This can occur once every 20 seconds. Shares a choice node with Jadefire Stomp.
          • Developers’ notes: This talent is not yet implemented into the Alpha, but we want your early feedback. Let us know what you think!
    • PALADIN
      • Crusader’s Reprieve has been removed.
      • Touch of Light has been moved to Crusader’s Reprieve’s position.
      • Incandescence now functions with Divine Hammer for Retribution.
    • PRIEST
      • Shadow
        • Shadow Crash now is a choice node with a new talent: Void Crash – Hurl a bolt of slow-moving Void energy at your target, dealing Shadow damage to all enemies within 8 yards.
        • Shadow Crash’s tooltip has been updated to specify that it is aimed at a location, to make it more clear the differences between each choice.
    • ROGUE
      • Fatebound
        • Deal Fate now specifies it generates exactly 1 combo point per use of any listed ability.
        • Deal Fate’s effect now includes Ambush for Assassination, and also for Outlaw while Hidden Opportunity is talented.
      • Assassination
        • Venom Rush removed.
        • New Talent: Sanguine Stratagem – Gain 1 additional max combo point. Your finishing moves that consume 5 or more combo points have increased effects, and your finishing moves deal 5% increased damage.
      • Outlaw
        • Blade Flurry radius increased to 8 yards (was melee range).
    • WARLOCK
      • Demonology
        • The size of Gloomhound and Charhound has been decreased by 20%.
      • Destruction
        • The cooldown of Summon Infernal is now 2 minutes (was 3 minutes).
        • Decimation has been redesigned – Your critical strikes have a chance to reset the cooldown of Soul Fire and reduce the cast time of your next Soul Fire by 80%.
        • Scalding Flames has been redesigned – Increases the damage of Immolate by 25% and its duration by 3 seconds.
        • New Talent: Indiscriminate Flames – Backdraft increases the damage of your next Chaos Bolt by 5% or increases the critical strike chance of your next Incinerate or Soul Fire by 35%.
        • New Talent: Blistering Atrophy – Increases the damage of Shadowburn by 20%. Shadowburn always critically strikes a target that is at or below 30% health.
        • New Talent: Fiendish Cruelty – When Shadowburn fails to kill a target that is at or below 30% health, its cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds.
        • New Talent: Demonfire Mastery – Increases the damage of Channel Demonfire by 30% and it deals damage 35% faster.
        • New Talent: Improved Chaos Bolt – Increases the damage of Chaos Bolt by 10% and reduces its cast time by 0.5 seconds.
        • New Talent: Avatar of Destruction – Consuming Ritual of Ruin summons an Overfiend for 8 seconds. Overfiend generates 1 Soul Shard Fragment every 0.5 seconds and casts Chaos Bolt at its summoner’s target, dealing Chaos damage.
        • New Talent: Dimension Ripper [Not Yet Implemented] – Incinerate has a chance to create a Dimensional Rift or recharge Dimensional Rift if learned.
        • New Talent: Flame Rift [Not Yet Implemented] – Dimensional Rift can now summon a powerful Flame Rift.
        • New Talent: Lessons of Space-Time [Not Yet Implemented] – While you have a Dimensional Rift open, all of your damage is increased by 5%.
        • New Talent: Unstable Rifts [Not Yet Implemented] – Bolts from Dimensional Rift deal 25% of the damage dealt to nearby enemies.
        • Backlash moved to gate 1.
        • Summon Infernal moved to gate 2.
        • Channel Demonfire moved to gate 2.
        • Raging Demonfire moved to gate 3.
        • Soul Fire moved to gate 3.
        • Decimation moved to gate 3.
        • Devastation moved to gate 3.
        • Ruin moved to gate 3.
        • The following talents have been removed:
          • Pandemonium
          • Cry Havoc
          • Improved Immolate
          • Decimating Bolt
          • Grand Warlock’s Design
        • The following talents are now 1 rank:
          • Burn to Ashes
          • Master Ritualist
          • Power Overwhelming
          • Infernal Brand
          • Crashing Chaos
          • Ashen Remains
          • Eradication
          • Conflagration of Chaos
          • Ruin
          • Scalding Flames
          • Fire and Brimstone
          • Rolling Havoc
          • Raging Demonfire
          • Flashpoint
          • Emberstorm
  • USER INTERFACE AND ACCESSIBILITY
    • Most world map icons can now be supertracked by left-clicking. Some examples include: events, rares, rare elites, bonus objectives, flightmasters, dungeon/raid entrances, and more.
    • Upon learning Dynamic Flight, the Dynamic Flight talent tree is now accessible via a button within the Mount Journal.

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