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Any word on a fix for the 660 Crafted Engineering Gun? Upgrading it all the way to 3/3 somehow makes it worse than 620 Weapons.
2 days ago
We believe it's just a character sheet tooltip issue; ranged damage isn't displayed properly.
1 day ago
] For players who did not receive gold or items from Tectus/Ko’ragh due to tonight’s bug, updates he
2 days ago
] New instances have been hotfixed and drop loot. We're looking into resolution for affected players.
2 days ago
] We're aware that Tectus & Ko'ragh aren't dropping loot in the 2nd Highmaul wing. Updates to follow:
2 days ago
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Wowhead Weekly Episode 20, Razer Giveaway, Follower Updates
Heroes of the Storm Closed Beta January 13th, Friday Update Arcade, December 19th Hotfixes
World of Warcraft Plans for 2015 and Subscription Currency, December 18th Hotfixes
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New Highmaul LFR Wing Open: Tectus, Twin Ogron, Ko'ragh
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Hearthstone Closed Beta Now Live: Wowhead's Hearthstone Database and Tooltips
2013/08/16 at 12:56 PM
Blizzard's newest game,
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
is now in closed beta testing! You can sign up for the beta
You can play as nine different mighty heroes with different focuses. There will be commons, rares, epics, and even legendary cards. It will be free-to-play with optional purchases for cards; there's also something called a crafting system, where you will be able to change your cards by disenchanting them into arcane dust which will let you build other cards. To learn more, check out the following:
Press Release and FAQ
: build and battle mode--whoever wins the game wins the opponent's cards.
In Dust We Trust
: crafting system to get the cards you want quickly and easily.
Hearthstone Closed Beta Test Begins
Here’s a card we’ve been dying to play: The closed beta test for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has begun in the Americas region!
During the closed beta test, we’ll be inviting a range of duelers from our opt-in pool (along with folks from press and fansites) to try their hand at Hearthstone and let us know what they think. There’s no NDA during the beta, and we’d love to hear all about your epic victories, watch your live streamed matches, and see screenshots and videos sharing your experiences with the game. Please note that Hearthstone is still in development, and what you see and play in the beta test isn’t necessarily representative of what to expect in the final game.
Want to participate in beta testing Hearthstone? Read on!
How do I opt in to the closed beta test?
Once you’ve set up a Battle.net account, you can choose to opt in to our beta test from the Beta Profile page. You’ll need to download and run the System Check tool to attach your computer’s specifications to your beta profile. Once that’s complete it’s simply a matter of waiting for an invite.
You can also opt in through our website
How do I know if I’m selected?
We’ll send you an email letting you know if you’re selected. The email will contain a beta key—just follow the instructions inside to get started.
As always, please be aware of phishing attempts—falsified emails sent by unscrupulous individuals purporting to be from Blizzard, but their real goal is to steal your login credentials. For more information on how to identify these emails, please refer to our
Battle.net Security site
One easy way to ensure your invite is legit is to avoid clicking on links in any invite emails you receive. Instead, just log in to your Battle.net account and add the beta key from your invite email to your account.
How many players do you plan on inviting to the beta test?
The number of players we invite to the Hearthstone beta will be based on our testing needs. During the course of testing we’ll be inviting additional opt-ins as necessary in waves.
Is there an NDA?
There is no NDA for the Hearthstone beta test. Take screenshots, live-stream matches, record movies—whatever your heart desires! Please keep in mind that the game is still a work in progress, and we appreciate your understanding when you encounter bugs, graphical errors, or other issues. Help us create a better game for everyone to enjoy by
reporting them here
How long will the beta test last?
We have not determined an exact date for the end of the beta test. We’ll post a notice when the beta test is nearing completion.
Do I get to keep all my beta cards?
We are planning to wipe all player collections partway through the closed beta. We anticipate needing to rebalance some cards based on the feedback we get in the closed beta, and recognize that players may have made decisions on which cards to disenchant or craft based on information that’s changing. After we’ve completed that wave of balance testing and wiped cards, we do not anticipate needing to reset collections again.
Players who purchased card packs or Arena entry with real money prior to the collection wipe will be credited back with an equivalent amount of gold following the wipe, which can be used to re-purchase packs and/or Arena entry to re-establish their collection. These packs will not contain the same configuration of cards as the packs acquired previous to the collection reset.
Click the cut to read about Wowhead's Hearthstone resources!
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Talk Azeroth: Episode 11, Battlefield Barrens and Eternally In The Vale Removed in 5.4
2013/08/16 at 11:25 AM
Today's newspost is about prepping for 5.4--things you should be stockpiling for the patch, as well as things you might want to get done before they're removed!
This week Olivia's taking you on a voyage into patch 5.4 as we recently found out when it was going live on servers. She tells you just exactly what you ought to be thinking of stockpiling and what you ought to be spending, and theorizing on reasons why there might not be a Valor reset with the patch.
The main topic she wants to talk to you about this week, though, is heirlooms. Olivia's got a wacky theory she wants to share on just how the personal loot system might interact with these new heirlooms.
Then she moves onto loot equality, trying to reassure LFR-only raiders that things will turn out OK, while also waxing lyrical on the reasons why these items should and shouldn't be in LFR in the first place.
Removed Content in Patch 5.4
Along with the announcement that
PvP Season 13 is ending soon
, some other content will be changing in Patch 5.4.
The weekly quests for
, as well as most special vanity items, are being removed in 5.4. You will not be able to get Latent Kor'kron transmog armor or any Darkspear Rebellion vanity gear after the patch, or complete
and get the resulting title.
You will still be able to get
by killing Kor'kron mobs in the Barrens. While it's too late to start collecting
for a full set of Latent Kor'kron Armor, you can probably farm up items like
with some friends quickly before 5.4.
To learn more about Battlefield Barrens, check out our
detailed event guide
Eternally in the Vale
will be removed from
Vale of Eternal Blossoms
as the zone undergoes some major changes from the
Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar
trailer. You will still be able to hit Exalted with the
, complete quests that grant achievements, and farm
With the patch coming pretty soon, you're probably best off supplementing daily rep gains with
, making sure to do
at your farm every day, and selecting Golden Lotus for bonus dungeon and scenario rep. Be sure to pick up
at revered to speed your reputation gains along if you want
Eternally in the Vale
For a complete look at all the changes in the Vale and a summary of
Eternally in the Vale
, check out our
updated 5.4 Golden Lotus Guide
Click the cut for Blizzard's posts on Battlefield Barrens and
Vale of Eternal Blossoms
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Welcome XIVDB.com to the Wowhead Family!
2013/08/15 at 9:58 PM
Today we here at Wowhead are pleased to announce that we've added
to our growing network of websites!
From a comprehensive list of in-game items to a quick reference guide to all the skills available for each primary and secondary class, Final Fantasy fans will have all the tools, stats and resources they need at their fingertips ready for launch.
In addition to
, you can also use the incredible combat log parser via
. With the app you will have all the hidden stats in the game unveiled through your chatlog. You can also use Google translate through the app to make sure there are no language boundaries between you and your party. There is even a custom PluginSDK to allow you to create and distribute your own add-ons!
ZAM has always been dedicated to providing the best experience for gamers and we are very pleased to continue that service with XIVDB. Make sure to
head over to the site
and see for yourself.
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Official Blizzard Trailer -- Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar
2013/08/15 at 9:06 AM
Heroes of the Horde and the Alliance have tested their mettle against the might of the sha, the Thunder King, and one another, but an even darker storm brews within the heart of the Horde Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream. His thirst for power has unleashed a calamity that will have unforeseen consequences neither side could have prepared for—and his betrayal of the Horde as Azeroth has known it will soon be complete.
Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar is nearly here, and we’re pleased to present you with the official trailer! Strap in, because this is going to be a bumpy ride.
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5.4 PTR Patch Notes: Updated August 14th
2013/08/14 at 6:51 PM
Blizzard updated their 5.4 PTR Patch Notes tonight with many numbers/tuning changes for class abilities. If you're curious about changes to your class, check out Ghostcrawler's excellent
posted earlier this week for some insights into the process.
In addition to number changes, there are also several quality of life changes in the notes:
Drinking a duplicate flask with less than 15 minutes remaining will now extend the duration of the new flask by that amount.
Tank-spec classes now have a 40% reduced chance to activate procs from
. You can check out the exact proc changes by going to the proc pages
Flurry of Xuen
Lightning Strike Charges Trigger
and selecting one of the tank spec radio buttons.
's effect now grants a 20% damage reduction to all damage taken (up from only physical damage), and its activation rate has been doubled.
Only players with legendary capes can fight
, but this privilege is account-wide.
Click the cut for the complete patch notes!
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New Site Feature: Battle Pet Team Calculator
2013/08/14 at 6:10 PM
Pet battles have been one of the hit features of Mists of Pandaria, and the Wowhead team has enjoyed developing new pet features over the expansion--a
visual battle pet gallery
interactive pet map
. Today, we're pleased to announce our latest tool--a
Battle Pet Team Calculator
To get started, just go to
Tools > Battle Pet Team Calculator
and click to add pets! You can create your own teams, import Battle.net character teams, look at trainer teams, and compare teams with our new tool.
requiring you to level a bunch of pets simply to participate, now is the time to start leveling your pets and thinking about making the perfect pet team.
We've also added
Battle Pet Calculator
buttons on trainer and collectible pet pages--clicking on the button opens up a new calculator with the specific pet.
of the battle pet section from Blizzard's own character profiles, Wowhead's battle pet team calculator will still provide an easy way to look up in-game teams. Just enter in a region, realm, and character name, and click load!
Selecting a Battle.net character also gives you the option to build future pet teams only using that character's collected set of pets. When adding a pet to a team, you'll be prompted to select between all collectible pets or a character's unique set of pets.
Comparing Pet Teams
Simply click on the "Compare" button to switch to a comparison view. You can compare your team to other player teams, custom teams, most battle pet trainer teams, and elite pets. When 5.4 hits, you'll be able to see how your team holds up against the
At the bottom of the page, we've provided a breakdown of your selected pets and abilities:
: Types of attacks your pets are vulnerable to.
: Types of attacks your pets take less damage from.
: Pet types your team's abilities are weak against.
: Pet types your team's abilities are strong against.
: Abilities with healing components. Pure healing abilities are marked by a red heart.
: Abilities that apply auras, buffs, and debuffs. Mousing over icons displays the ability as well as the aura.
: Abilities that apply states which other abilities can exploit (Chilled, Bleeding, Poisoned, etc).
: Abilities that apply weather effects or benefit from them.
When comparing two teams, the pet summary will update to show what pets specifically are affected by your Strong and Weak abilities. We've also greyed out abilities that aren't affected by the enemy team, to highlight important abilities better.
We're open to adding additional details in the summary section, so if you have any suggestions, let us know.
Click here to check out our new battle pet team calculator!
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Blizzard's Timeless Isle Preview, Open Beta for Battle.net Desktop App
2013/08/14 at 12:10 PM
Open Beta for Battle.net Desktop App
In the months ahead, the game launchers for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III will be automatically updated to our new desktop app for Battle.net, designed to improve the launcher experience and streamline your ability to play Blizzard games—but if you’re interested in upgrading now, you can!
The open beta test has begun, and everyone’s invited to download and install the app now in preparation for the switchover. If you’re interested in upgrading in advance, simply click the button below.
Download the Battle.net App
What’s this launcher update do? The new single sign-on functionality allows players to log in once to access World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and the upcoming PC and Mac versions of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and stay logged in for up to 30 days.
Players can also install games directly through the app and, if you choose to leave the app running on your desktop, keep them up-to-date automatically even while you’re away from your computer. Please note that it’s entirely up to you whether you wish to leave the app running—you can exit it at any time, and it will automatically re-launch whenever your standard launchers would.
For more information, check out the
Once the open beta test ends, everyone’s launcher will be updated automatically when they start up the launcher for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, or Diablo III. Players will be auto-updated in waves over time, so the exact date you’ll get the update will vary from person to person.
Today also marks the end of our Battle.net desktop app closed beta test. If you’ve already been using the app as part of the closed beta group, you don’t need to redownload or reinstall anything—you’re already good to go. Thanks again for all of your great feedback throughout the course of our testing, and we look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the open beta in the
Timeless Isle Preview
Blizzard just posted an official preview of the
, a zone filled with rare spawns, vanity loot, and BoA epics--and only
daily quest! We've got the complete preview under the cut, and for more coverage on the
, check out our previous blogs:
Zone Overview: BoA Items, Battle Pets, Timeless Coins
Legendary Questline: Timeless Isle Quests and Bosses
Celestial Pet Tournament
Timeless Isle Vanity Loot
Timeless Isle Rare Spawns
Timeless Isle Mounts
Timeless Isle Transmog
Timeless Isle BoA Items
Celestial Tournament and Sky Lantern Updates
Click the cut for the full post!
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PvP Season 13 Ending Soon
2013/08/13 at 11:17 AM
Season 13 is planned to end on August 27th--while this isn't confirmation of a Patch 5.4 release date, generally the end of a season is close to the start of a new patch.
Many weapons have been brought to bear and countless spells have been cast in this action-packed PvP season—now the time has come for the victors to reap their rewards!
On Tuesday, August 27, the 13th Arena and Rated Battleground Season is scheduled to end. On that day we'll begin an approximately one week process to determine end-of-season reward eligibilities.
Qualified players should note the following in order to ensure you receive your just rewards:
Please refrain from transferring your characters to another realm or faction until after PvP Season 13 has ended.
The awarding of PvP Season 13 titles and mounts will occur approximately two weeks after the season ends.
will be converted to
at the end of the season, and any Honor above 4,000 will be converted to gold at a rate of 35 silver per point. A few other things to keep in mind once the season has ended:
cap will remain at 4,000.
All Season 13 items will now cost
equivalent to their previous
cost, with the exception of any items with rating requirements attached.
Season 13 items with rating requirements will no longer be available for purchase.
Arena and Rated Battleground Season 14 will begin approximately one week after the current season ends, and all Personal Ratings will be reset once the new season begins. Additionally, Rated Battleground and Arena matches will not be available during the break between seasons.
In PvP Season 14 you will no longer need to join or create an Arena team to compete, and thus the current Team Ratings will be removed. You’ll be able to queue for an Arena match in groups of 2, 3, and 5 (in line with the Arena team sizes available in Season 13 and earlier), and your opponents will be selected based on the average Match Making Rating of your party.
You can find a complete overview of the changes that are coming to World of Warcraft’s Arenas in PvP Season 14 in our
Patch 5.4 Arena Update blog
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5.4 PTR: Build 17299, Spell Changes, New Cosmetic Armor, and More
2013/08/13 at 8:13 AM
Check out the latest additions!
This build only has a few items. However, it has a new armor set tagged as Cosmetic, meaning it can be transmogged onto any Cloth, Leather, Mail, or Plate armor! Click on the image to view it in our 3D Modelviewer.
Kor'kron Dark Shaman Set
has been updated--the skull is no longer named Tom, but is now a tribute to Community Manager Zarhym.
For more context on the spell changes, check out Ghostcrawler's
dev blog from yesterday
explaining 5.4 Class Changes.
Changed Set Bonuses and Legendary Procs
Item - Hunter T16 2P Bonus
Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot and Multi-shot reduce the cooldown of Rapid Fire by 98 seconds per cast.
Item - Monk T16 Windwalker 2P Bonus
Combo Breaker: Tiger Palm increases the damage of Tiger Palm by 50%40%. Combo Breaker: Blackout Kick increases the damage of Blackout Kick by 50%40%.
Item - Monk T16 Windwalker 4P Bonus
Every 410 stacks of Tigereye Brew consumed cause your next Rising Sun Kick, Blackout Kick, or Fists of Fury to consume 1 less Chi.
Item - Shaman T16 Enhancement 4P Bonus
When Flame Shock deals periodic damage, you have a 10%5% chance to gain 5 stacks of Searing Flames and reset the cooldown of Lava Lash.
Item - Warlock PvP Set 4P Bonus
Reduces the cooldown of Unending Resolve by 0 sec.Your allies can use your Demonic Gateway again 15 sec sooner.
Essence of Yu'lon
Your damaging spell casts have a chance to empower you with the Essence of Yu'lon, causing you to hurl jade dragonflame at the target, dealing 1 (+ 200% of SpellPower) damage over 4 sec. This damage also affects up to 4 other enemies near the burning target. (Approximately 3.001.62 procs per minute)
Spirit of Chi-Ji
Your helpful spells have a chance to grant you Spirit of Chi-Ji, increasing all healing done by 5% and causing all overhealing on players to be redistributed to up to 5 nearby injured friends, for 10 sec. (Approximately 1.000.54 procs per minute)
Flurry of Xuen
Your damaging attacks have a chance to trigger a Flurry of Xuen, causing you to deal 1 (+ 40%20% of Attack Power) damage to allup to 5 enemies in front of you, every 0.300000012 sec for 3 sec. (Approximately 1.501.62 procs per minute)
Click the cut for the spell changes!
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Patch 5.4: Dev Watercooler on Upcoming Class Changes
2013/08/12 at 12:04 PM
Yeah, I know, long time no watercooler. I’ve been busy.
I wanted to take a moment to provide context for some of the Patch 5.4 class changes that we’ve been making. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to get acquainted with the
5.4 PTR Patch Notes
, as this watercooler is going into detail on the changes listed. I’ll discuss the changes to each class, but here are a few things to keep in mind before we get started:
The team made a lot of changes to glyphs that weren’t working out well or were just to provide some new choices. There were a lot of changes so to keep this blog manageable, I’m not going to go into them in detail.
I’m not going to get into specific damage or healing tuning unless it requires extra explanation for some reason. In general, you can assume that your damage was too low or too high if you see generic buffs or nerfs to abilities.
As I write this, Patch 5.4 has not shipped yet, so if there are changes yet to come, I’m obviously not going to be able to cover them!
One final caveat: please don’t consider the number of changes or the size of the paragraphs as an indication of the degree to which we love or hate your class. When players start weighing the number of words we use on each class, the end result is just to make us less likely to want to engage in discussions like this. Paladins and Hunters have a lot of words below because their changes are fairly complex and I felt they required more explanations than other classes.
With all that in mind, here we go!
Most of our core changes were to Blood DKs. We added the
passive to DKs (and Warriors) to allow them to increase their damage using the avoidance stats that naturally occur on their tanking gear. We also removed the Runic Power cost of
Dancing Rune Weapon
to allow it to be used more as a cooldown when needed. Finally, we changed
Scent of Blood
to also be proc’d by avoidance, to make sure avoidance stats can help provide more active mitigation.
In terms of DK talents, as with all the classes, our primary goal was to open up some more talent choices and address some underpowered talents. While
was capable of mitigating a lot of damage when used at precisely the right time, it was also easy to not gain the full benefit of the cooldown. We changed it to just be damage reduction similar to
Power Word: Barrier
. We also buffed
, which were underutilized.
We buffed Guardian spec Stamina outright because we felt the spec needed it. Druids have less reliable damage reduction, which isn’t a problem itself, so long as they have the health pool to compensate for it. For Feral Druids, we reverted an earlier nerf to
’s cooldown but removed
. We felt like this ability had become a PvP problem that was too unpredictable to counter. We also lowered the PvP duration of
to make it less of a hard counter to stealthed players. We changed
to scale with Spirit so it would scale with gear better. We also made a few changes to the Restoration healing toolkit. Our change to
is an attempt to get
back to its original design of being a potent single-target heal. We’re making that change slowly by having the 5.4 Efflorescence glyph move the ground heal from
s. We further tweaked
s for Restoration by limiting it to a single mushroom.
We had several specs whose passive damage reduction we felt was starting to cause balance problems, and Balance’s
was among these. Originally we converted the physical damage reduction to spell damage reduction at a time when the spec needed a PvP buff, but we felt like the fact that Balance required less healing in PvE was causing raids to favor them over other casters.
Most of the changes to Druid talents were because of the situation where certain specs leaned heavily on certain talents in a row and tended to ignore the others—
Dream of Cenarius
Force of Nature
Soul of the Forest
fall into this category. We changed
to be a core Restoration ability because we felt the healers were dependent upon it. We replaced it with a new passive talent,
We had three main issues we wanted to resolve for Hunters this patch:
, Readiness, and
The problem with
is it’s just too powerful as a talent. No self-respecting Hunter is going to choose any talent but
, especially in PvP, but in PvE as well. At the same time, we think Hunters, especially Beast Mastery, have proven really powerful in PvP this expansion—and frankly the game has too many blanket silences already, so we didn’t want to just give
to all Hunters. Our decision was to give
to Marksman, who needed a PvP buff anyway. We did give all Hunters a base interrupt with the new
, which can interrupt a spell being cast, but can’t pre-silence a caster.
Readiness has been another problematic ability for us to solve. It started as a talent, but was too good compared to the other choices. We ended up giving Readiness to all Hunters, but we were never happy with this implementation. For PvP, it made Hunters really difficult to balance with the ability to reset so many offensive and defensive abilities. For PvE, we felt like Readiness wasn’t doing anything interesting besides making the opening attack sequence twice as complicated as it needed to be. If Readiness was an ability that a clever Hunter would bust out at a clutch moment, then you could argue it would be an interesting ability, but of course it was never actually used that way. Given that Hunters already have a lot of cooldowns, situational abilities, and just buttons in general, we didn’t think Readiness was worth saving. We did make small buffs to
and we will make sure DPS is where it needs to be (which, if I had to guess, will be relatively higher than it was in Patch 5.3).
We felt like
had been nerfed too much in PvE for PvP reasons. It’s the intent that
is a potent cooldown for Hunters, so we increased its damage back to an exciting level and just had it do less damage in PvP. Finally, we made a change that some (though to be fair not all) Survival Hunters had asked for a long time, to remove
Lock and Load
(and therefore from the shared cooldown with
) so that they could use
(typically with the knockback glyph) without interfering with
Lock and Load
Hunter talents were in a pretty good spot overall after a bit of iteration throughout MoP. We did nerf
Aspect of the Iron Hawk
, because as with Shadow Priests and Balance Druids, we felt like the damage reduction was just too potent. We changed
to be dispellable as a PvP nerf. We buffed
, which has felt particularly weak, and we buffed
A Murder of Crows
We didn’t think Mages needed many changes overall. One goal of ours was to fix Frost Mastery, which we felt was increasingly making them difficult to tune in PvP. When you take a spec with high burst and good control and then give them Mastery that links the two together, you’re bound to have trouble. The new Mastery, called
, spreads the burst out over a few seconds but in a novel way that doesn’t feel too similar to, say,
. As a consequence, we removed the mechanic where
buffs other spells and just let those spells do higher damage to begin with. As of this writing, we haven’t made any mechanical changes to Fire, though if you saw any earlier patch notes, we experimented with a few. Long term, we still have concerns about the interplay between
, and we still have concerns about Fire scaling with Critical Strike, but we’re not convinced either of these problems is so egregious that it needs to be fixed in Patch 5.4.
In terms of talents, we increased the damage of the bomb tier, and buffed
, which were underutilized. Long term, we still think the level-90 tier needs some work, but we were concerned that attempting to replace two or three of these talents for Patch 5.4 would lead to a lot more iteration before they felt good again.
But we did ease the restrictions on
Rune of Power
. Since it didn’t feel like a crisis, we think more dramatic change is better saved for an expansion, when we have more time to consider new visuals, test, and get feedback.
Earlier in the PTR cycle, we attempted to solve Mistweaver mana problems, by which I mean Mistweavers didn’t have to stack Spirit to the extent other healers did. We became concerned that it would take quite a number of changes to solve this problem, resulting in a lot of relearning for players, so we agreed to accept the current status quo and balance Mistweavers around the fact that they have less Spirit (and therefore more of other secondary stats) compared to other healers. For Windwalkers, we redesigned their Mastery (yet again) and buffed the
Storm, Earth, and Fire
ability so that the cleave aspect of the cooldown would feel really potent.
Brewmasters were in pretty good shape, but we did feel like
made their damage too high compared to other tanks.
Several Monk talents were underpowered or difficult to use. We buffed
. We made Xuen easier to control by providing him with a true pet bar. We changed
to require no target.
Ring of Peace
has a better visual that’s more representative of the affected area, and we tweaked its numbers. We didn’t think we could solve
Rushing Jade Wind
’s problems, namely that it was too similar to
, so we redesigned it as a replacement for
Spinning Crane Kick
Most of our core changes were to Holy Paladins. Specifically, we felt like the healing style of blanketing a group with
to proc absorbs from
Mastery: Illuminated Healing
had become too widespread, and didn’t fit the healing style we wanted for Paladins. When some Paladins choose to use a heal-over-time spell, that’s the kind of diversity we want the talent tree to deliver. However, when every Paladin uses heal over time spells, then it’s just the way Paladins work.
In this case, we didn’t want to make
a core ability. Unlike Restoration Druids, Mistweaver Monks, and to a lesser extent Holy Priests, we don’t think every Paladin should be extensively using heal-over-time spells. The only change we made was to have
’s periodic heal not proc the
Mastery: Illuminated Healing
absorb. It can still be used the way any HoT is used, to provide a buffer that can be layered with other heals, but it will no longer be an efficient way to blanket many targets with long-lasting absorbs. We made significant changes to
as well to help offset this nerf, which I’ll discuss below.
We also felt like
Seal of Insight
had a design problem. When Holy Paladins could melee targets, they had no mana problems at all, but when they had to heal at range (which we wanted to at least be an option, if not the default healing style), they suffered for mana. We thought it best to unshackle Holy Paladins from the pressure of having to stand in melee, so we removed the mana return from
Seal of Insight
. We had to provide more mana to Protection Paladins as well, since they typically tank using
Seal of Insight
. We also buffed
Guardian of Ancient Kings
for Holy, because we felt like it was too focused on single-target healing at a time when most healers are required to do a lot of area healing. Finally, we allowed the
Sanctity of Battle
passive to also affect
, with the intent of making Haste slightly better for Holy.
Aside from the mana buff mentioned above, we changed
to also provide Weakened Blows as a quality of life improvement. We also changed
to proc from avoidance instead of attacks. We aren’t trying to make Dodge or Parry a Paladin’s best tanking stats, but those stats are going to appear on tanking gear, so we want to make sure they can tie into active mitigation. We’re happy with how active mitigation is working out overall and we want to put even more emphasis on it, for all tanks, in the future.
Retribution didn’t need much attention overall in our minds, but we did make
require less maintenance overall, and we reduced the cooldown and strength of Guardian of Ancient Kings, so that Retribution could use the cooldown more frequently. Retribution players had concerns that their damage was too tied to long cooldowns.
For Paladin talents, we tried to improve
for Holy by allowing Judgment to provide Holy Power, and we tried to improve
by removing the target cap and having a cooldown and charges instead. We’ve come to the conclusion that the same talent choices for healers and other specs just won’t always work, which is why you increasingly see talents work slightly different for healers in the case of Paladins, Priests, and Druids in particular. We replaced Burden of Guilt as a talent (and made it a slightly weaker glyph) with the ability to use Turn Evil on players. We hope that this will open up some PvP comp choices for Paladins, since fears are not always easy to get. We buffed
Hand of Purity
so that it will still have some benefit on boss abilities that can’t be prevented from immunities. We buffed
for Holy and Protection. We also simplified
by just having it apply the cooldown all the time rather than having to be “driven down.”
We made a few changes to each Priest specialization. For Discipline, while we don’t think the shields,
, or potent cooldowns are overpowered individually, we felt that having all three in one spec gave them too much versatility compared to the other healers. We know
is fun, and while it’s useful, it doesn’t truly compete with a dedicated healer or DPS, so we think it’s in a good spot. We like Discipline to have a strong shield kit, and we’re happy to see more
Power Word: Shield
use in 5.2 than in 5.0. That left the cooldowns as targets, and we felt like
was the right one to nerf. We also felt like
scaling so well with Spirit turned what was originally supposed to be a mechanic offering a discount on
Power Word: Shield
to reward smart use had instead become a bona fide mana regeneration mechanic. For Holy, we buffed
to help keep Holy in mana a little longer. We also finally gave in and reversed
and Lightspring, so that the more passive (and popular) totem-like use of the spell became the default. We reduced the damage reduction of Shadowform as we did for Hunters and Balance Druids, because we felt like it offered too much of a passive benefit. We also completely rebuilt
so that it keeps the kit of a delayed source of damage, but won’t get stuck on terrain or objects or struggle with bosses that move or fly.
For Priest talents, we are trying one more time to make
compete with the other movement talents, and let
From Darkness, Comes Light
compete better with Solace and Insanity. We also buffed
for Discipline and
Twist of Fate
for all three specs.
for Rogues outright to increase their survivability against melee. We also buffed
because we agree that it went from being a potent heal in Cataclysm to a more middling one in MoP. The other core changes were really focused on Combat. We increased the cost and damage of
in order to help address Rogues having too much energy with high Haste values, which led to a spammy, RSI-inducing style. (It’s fine for Combat to feel fast-paced, but it had gotten out of control.) To offset the loss of combo points from less frequent
s, we added (or returned, depending on your point of view) the
passive. The other Combat change was to redesign the targeting system of
now hits a single target if used without
, it continues to work as it does on live.
For talents, we were worried in previous patches that we had overbuffed
Burst of Speed
, but clearly that is not yet the case, so we lowered its cost. We buffed the numbers on
Cloak and Dagger
, since they were seeing less use than other talents.
We’re happy with Enhancement and Elemental performance overall, but we are keeping an eye on their burst in PvP. We did feel that Restoration wasn’t really delivering on healing when grouped and stationary, which should be a Shaman’s strength. To remedy that, we changed
to no longer decrease effectiveness per jump and buffed
’s radius and healing. We also gave
Healing Tide Totem
to all Shaman, because we felt like Restoration was never going to choose another talent so long as they had the option to choose a group healing cooldown.
With Shaman talents, we still had the problem that some talents were only attractive to some specializations. We buffed
Stone Bulwark Totem
for this reason. We had to replace Healing Tide Totem, so we introduced
, which allows Healing Stream Totem to heal two targets at once. We redesigned Conductivity to make it more useful for all Shaman by having it increase the duration of
, saving GCDs (global cooldowns). We were convinced that Totemic Restoration was just a problematic talent. It saw little use in PvE, but was really annoying to deal with in PvP, since a Shaman could just drop totems for a split second and benefit from their effects. The replacement talent,
, allows Shaman to summon a second Water, Earth, or Air totem without destroying the first one. (Including Fire Totems would have been a non-trivial DPS increase, making this the only talent attractive to Elemental or Enhancement.)
Because Warlocks had so many changes coming into Mists of Pandaria, we had to iterate on a lot of these new mechanics throughout the expansion and tried to not change things too much for Patch 5.4. We did nerf
for the same reasons we lowered the passive damage reduction of Balance Druids, Shadow Priests, and Hunters. We increased
’s damage but removed its DoT extension, which had become a liability for
in PvE rather than letting it provide damage on the move as it was intended. For Affliction, we shifted more damage to DoTs and away from
is a cool spell, and we like channeling it to increase DoT damage, but we felt like too much damage had been shifted away from DoTs, which hurt Affliction in PvP and made all Affliction locks have difficulty moving. We also simplified the
mechanic slightly by removing the glyph and the initial damage component. For Destruction, we changed
Rain of Fire
to not be so essential to the single-target rotation by reducing its Ember generation. We made
Howl of Terror
baseline for all Warlocks because we thought they had lost too much of their fear-based control package.
Our biggest challenge with Warlock talents was the level-90 tier, where most Warlocks chose
(often to the frustration of raid leaders forced to deal with slow-moving Warlocks). We removed the snare from
but reduced the number of spells it affected. The talent should help with movement but not guarantee characters never need to stop moving. We buffed
by allowing it to increase the damage as well as radius of area-effect spells, but on a cooldown so the Warlock has more control over the effect and so it’ll feel more potent when active. We decided we could not safely balance Archimonde’s Vengeance in its “damage reflection” kit, so we redesigned and renamed the talent to emphasize the Dark Soul cooldowns (with the intent that one talent needed to be attractive in fights with no movement or area damage).
In addition to these substantial changes to the level-90 row, we wanted to buff several unattractive talents.
never had a strong niche, so we made it improve
rather than act as an area-effect
. We replaced
Howl of Terror
(now baseline) with a talent inspired by the Cataclysm version of Shadowflame that many players asked for.
is a cone-based snare.
was also returned to an older design which is easier to use and more powerful.
Most of our Warrior changes were to increase Protection Warrior damage, try to improve the area-effect and cleave damage of Arms, or to address PvP quality-of-life issues. Buffing
Blood and Thunder
helped both Arms and Protection. Changing
for Protection Warriors provided both more damage and active mitigation by making Critical Strike a more valuable stat. We don’t expect Prot to heavily stack crit, but they’re going to have some anyway just from core stats and group buffs, and it does open up the possibility of using crit gear.
We also gave Protection the same
ability we gave to Death Knights, to make sure the avoidance stats that do show up on tank gear provide some active mitigation.
For Arms, we reduced the cost of
, and gave Slam a cleave ability. We didn’t think Fury needed much attention overall, though we did change the animation system to allow them to dual-wield polearms. For the PvP changes, we reduced the cost of
, gave the Safeguard root break to
baseline, took Hamstring off the global cooldown, and reduced the cooldown of swapping stances. We also made a change to allow
to not require a shield to be equipped, but to still provide the visual cue that a Warrior was using these abilities by having a shield visually appear even if one was not technically equipped.
For Warrior talent changes, we buffed
in addition to the
change mentioned above to open some more choices for Warriors, especially in PvP. We understand that
is hard to live without in PvP, but we didn’t think that was easily fixable without nerfing
—and probably speaks more for to the relative strength of stuns compared to other forms of crowd control, which is something we’d like to address long term. (Perhaps stuns need to be shorter, dispellable, or break on damage so they aren’t quite so game-changing.)
So there you have it. Hopefully you now have a little more insight into why we’re making the changes we’re making. I know it can feel like the developers are out to punish players sometimes, but really our primary goal is to keep everyone having fun. That includes redesigning awkward mechanics and buffing weak spells, but it also means nerfing overpowered mechanics so that other classes or specs don’t feel as if they can’t compete. We made a lot of talent and glyph changes because we want to deliver on the promise that players have a lot of choices in both of those systems. I won’t pretend that we’ll get everything perfect this time around either, but we should be closer. Please keep providing us with specific, constructive feedback. We still have time to respond to feedback, even after the patch launches.
As far as watercoolers go, I will personally try to get back to releasing them more frequently than I have over the past few months. No promises, but the one I am thinking of now is my own personal preemptive post-mortem of Mists of Pandaria. We’re very proud of the expansion overall, but we’re also our own harshest critics.
Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is one of the lead designers on World of Warcraft. He has been bitten by, but not limited to, the following animals: Atlantic brief squid, Roseate spoonbill, Texas ribbon snake, coatimundi. Follow him on Twitter at
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