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We definitely understand that Marksmanship Hunters were used to a version of Vulnerable on live that was, for all practical purposes, full uptime (i.e. it could be up for every or virtually every Aimed Shot). Skilled players will still be able to have a great majority of their Aimed Shots affected by Vulnerable even in 7.1.5, albeit with a higher demand on focus management and good use of Windburst. That is intended, even if it involves losing a degree of comfort in essentially never being without a Vulnerable when you want it. The debuff is less diluted and has more significance when it requires that sort of attention, and it is not without payoff: the damage of an Aimed Shot with Vulnerable is significantly higher than in 7.1, and can be further increased with the new Patient Sniper. The ability to use Piercing Shot with Vulnerable (and potentially Patient Sniper) is an example of a new option allowing a very strong burst.
While the fundamental mechanic driving it is a proc, the proc rate is quite high, and our goal is to make sure it is the sort of randomness that provides variation to a rotation while allowing responsive gameplay and room for mastery. The ability to wait on a Hunter's Mark while pooling focus to get full value from the Vulnerable will be more important than before. Windburst, as well as the talent options Sidewinders and Sentinel, allow on-demand Vulnerables as a resource to deal with situations where you have focus but not a Mark (or simply to make sure you have one for a key burst moment without having to react to a proc). Finally, removing the Vulnerable requirement for Marked Shot to do strong damage removes a reliance on multiple rapid procs and/or Sidewinders in order to use consistent buffed Marked Shots.
As the PTR goes on, we welcome feedback on what problems turn up when you try to put this into practice, but I wanted to explain a bit more what our expectation was.
Love is in the Air
Sorry for the miscommunication. The Love Is In The Air event is still a standard holiday, NOT a Micro-Holiday. It's just one day on the PTR right now for testing purposes. There are no changes being made to its duration once it's on live realms.
Cheat Death at 6 minutes is ridiculous...
At the very least they need to make it reset on death, or no one is going to use it.
To say a bit more on the 7.1.5 changes to various “cheat death” effects, including Cheat Death, Cauterize, Purgatory, and Last Resort: firstly, the cooldown increase is not the only change—the cooldowns (specifically, the cooldown-enforcing debuffs) will now clear on death. So if you Cheat Death early in a dungeon, yes, you should avoid dying again for the next 6 minutes. However, in the event you do die (or the group wipes), you will return to combat with Cheat Death once again available.
More broadly, we examined the value of these effects as a whole and concluded they are too easily available. When Cheat Death was first added as a deep Subtlety talent (before the change to modern talent rows), its power and cooldown reflected the significant investment into that tree. In the current game, not only is its opportunity cost much lower, but, taking a look at the gameplay of healing and survivability challenges, the power level of such a frequent extra life is very high. For example, Rebirth has a 10 minute cooldown, and is a distinctively powerful ability that significantly contributes to a class’s perceived power in dungeons. Reincarnation has a 30 minute cooldown, and is far from being meaningless or forgotten. If we were adding Cheat Death and its ilk today and evaluating its power, there would be little justification for a cooldown as short as 2 minutes. Preventing a death that might otherwise have scuttled the entire current attempt at a dungeon or raid boss has more value than that.
On Last Resort in particular, we are aware that Vengeance Demon Hunters felt somewhat reliant on this to avoid deaths to unexpected burst damage, and we will be monitoring whether they need other changes to compensate (for example, they have increased health on PTR, increased baseline damage reduction, and a stronger Metamorphosis effect). And on Purgatory, its cooldown was increased the least because it conditional, and it was also made more reliable: the effect will now always last for 3 seconds regardless of whether you momentarily go above 0 HP during that window.
One problem that Destruction Warlock had was a number of talent rows with very obvious "single-target" vs. "AoE" talent picks. This has clear downsides--a requirement to swap talents often (and as a corollary, a feeling of being significantly crippled when not using the ideal talent loadout for a given situation). Clearly, it's a DPS loss single-target to say you can no longer have both Eradication and Reverse Entropy, and a DPS loss in some AoE situations to say you can no longer have both Cataclysm and Fire and Brimstone. But making that swap, and then making sure throughout PTR that Destruction DPS remains reasonably consistent with live, will leave the spec more well-rounded and not as pigeonholed by talent choices in a given situation. PTR already has buffs to Doomguard and Imp damage that help with numbers in all situations, as well as buffs to various talents to help futher improve flexibility.
Blizzard Publishing Label
Blizzard has announced the book-publishing label Blizzard Publishing: as part of this label there are plans for a lush series of coffee-table art books in 2017, as well as reissuing out-of-print titles.
Blizzard Publishing’s first releases include the World of Warcraft Adult Coloring Book and popular out-of-print Warcraft novels and manga IRVINE, Calif. - December 8, 2016 Blizzard Entertainment today announced the creation of a book-publishing label, Blizzard Publishing, dedicated to developing and releasing new Blizzard publications and reissuing out-of-print titles in the company's Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo settings, directly and through ongoing global partnerships. Each of Blizzard's game universes has been inhabited by millions of players worldwide, and Blizzard Publishing will help maintain the lore and legacy of the company's earliest novels and manga while also providing a variety of new ways for people to engage with Blizzard's rich worlds and characters. Several of Blizzard Publishing's upcoming releases will be available in multiple formats, such as print, audiobook, and e-book.The first books published under the Blizzard Publishing label include two sets of previously released novels and manga from award-winning and New York Times best-selling authors.Blizzard Legends
- Warcraft: The Last Guardian by Jeff Grubb
- Warcraft: Lord of the Clans by Christie Golden
- World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden
- Warcraft Legends: Volume One, with stories by Richard A. Knaak, Dan Jolley, and Jae-Hwan Kim
- Warcraft Legends:Volume Two, with stories by Richard A. Knaak, Dan Jolley, and Aaron Sparrow
*Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements:
Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about pricing, release dates, and contents of works to be published by Blizzard Publishing are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
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