- Increasing the Artifact Level of the Heart after unlocking its final Stamina node will continue to increase the Heart of Azeroth’s item level by 2 per step, but otherwise, major progression will end at Artifact Level 80.
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- Rising Mist healing increased 33% …
- Glimmer of Light (Azerite Trait) healing reduced 12% …
- Purge the Wicked damage reduced 10%.
- Power Word:Solace damage reduced 10%.
- Shadow Word: Pain damage reduced 9%.
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- Upon logging in, you'll receive the quest "An Unwelcome Advisor (A)" or "Return of the Black Prince (H)" from your faction and report to them. There is an "awesome in-game event cutscene" that is not yet implemented here. It would appear that N'Zoth's corruption is already reaching its way into our minds and we must go with Magni and Wrathion to see what we can uncover.
- Wrathion remarks that it was a pleasant reunion before telling you to meet him in Silithus. There are only a few faction differences in the chain. If you are Alliance, you attend the Stormwind meeting first hand. Magni requests for his hammer and gives you the quest "Return of the Warrior King." You walk with Anduin to retrieve Fearbreaker, to which Anduin says he was never able to live up to its legacy, and even Baine thought himself unworthy to wield it. Magni says he wouldn't have given it to Anduin if he didn't think he deserved it, and Anduin remarks that the hammer belongs with a Mountain King. You find the hammer on the wall and retrieve it before heading back to the Chamber of Heart with the quest "Where the Heart Is." If you are Horde, you find Valeera in the Port of Zandalar and she recalls these events for you.
- When you arrive, Magni asks Wrathion if he has had any luck finding N'Zoth. Wrathion says his Blacktalon operatives have searched the world to no avail. He then remarks that in his research he came across references to a place called Ny'alotha and thinks it might not be a physical location, but a vision waiting to be made real. Magni suggests that get Azeroth's titan-made defenses ready and then find a target to point it at. He gives you the quest "Network Diagnostics" and asks you to activate Titan Consoles in the chamber to check the status of the titan forges throughout Azeroth.
- You find that Uldir's corruption is within acceptable parameters, Uldaman's discs are still secure, the Forge of Wills in Ulduar is still operational, but the Forge of Origination in Uldum is inactive. Wrathion says we can all safely assume what this "root cause" of the deactivation might be.
- Magni gives you the quest "A Titanic Problem" and tells you to meet him outside the Halls of Origination in Uldum. Without the Forge, Azeroth is vulnerable to N'Zoth's corruption.
- You meet Magni at the entrance and get the quest "The Halls of Origination." Magni says the Halls have been claimed by a group of tol'vir calling themselves the Amathet. He suggests we enter the Halls, defeat the Amathet forces and reactivate the forge.
- You enter the dungeon and start a scenario, fighting your way through Amathet forces as one of their Sun Priests seems angered that you defile the Halls with the Curse of Flesh. You fight your way to the inner chambers and deactivate the forge's defense system by shutting down 4 control statues. You then reach the elevator to find Watcher Aun-ka, who attacks you for being an unauthorized life form. Magni is concerned that the Amathet can make their own watchers, but suggests we worry about it later. He tries to activate the lift, but the power has been shut off, so we head to the conduits.
- What follows is a puzzle to redirect power to the conduit. Once it is active, you fight Sun Prophet Tenhamen who ends up being a minion of N'Zoth in disguise. When you defeat him, N'zoth briefly enters your mind, stating that "their eyes remain closed to the true path. Not like you. My devoted chosen." Magni brings you back to reality, and you head back to the lift.
- Magni links to MOTHER in the Chamber of Heart, and you attempt to activate the power conduits, but you eventually need to use your Heart of Azeroth to interface with the main console to restore power and get another "awesome in-game event," reactivating the forge. Magni gives you the quest "To Ramkahen" and tells you to meet with King Phaoris to discuss having his tol'vir keep the forge out of the wrong hands.
- When you arrive, Arik Scorpidsting is requesting an audience with the King, but the High Commander forbids it. The king notices you, and allows you to speak, giving you the quest "The Uldum Accord" and says our interest to protect the forge aligns with the tol'vir. He asks you to learn about the threats facing Uldum. You inspect the map for another "awesome in-game event" and King Phaoris establishes the Uldum Accord composed of the Watsewanders, The Explorer's League, and his tol'vir to protect Uldum.
- The King gives you the quest "Surfacing Threats" and asks you to speak to the High Commander to assess the situation, which has you complete an assault in Uldum. The Uldum Accord faction reputation, Uldum Accord dailies, and assaults in Uldum will be unlock at this point.
- Completing the assault gives you the quest "Forging Onward" which has you return to Magni in the Chamber of Heart. This will award you with the Token of Death's Door essence.
- Part two preview coming soon.
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Heart of Azeroth and Legendary Cloak Changes
We’ve heard a lot of feedback from players, and we agree, that there’s value in being able to reach a point where you’re essentially done with Artifact Power.
To complement this, we’re adding an item in Visions of N’Zoth that players will earn once they’ve upgraded their legendary cloak to its maximum potential via Horrific Visions or from defeating N’Zoth on Normal, Heroic, or Mythic difficulty, or from fully completing a Horrific Vision with at least one Mask active. This item will fortify the cloak, adding additional Corruption Resistance and allowing players to earn the ability to wear more Corrupted armor pieces as time goes by.
We see this as similar to the way that legendary upgrade items were awarded by Archimonde or Argus the Unmaker at the end of the last two expansions – it should provide players who prefer to not do organized raiding with a way to have an engaging option for pursuing this reward.
WoW Classic - Honor Ranks Upcoming Fix
We’ve found the problem here, and a caching issue is causing some players to still see last week’s Honor.
Rest assured that everyone’s kills are counting as expected, and after an additional realm restart in each region, you’ll have the correct rank for this week.
We’re moving to do those realm restarts as soon as we can following the weekly Honor and Raid reset. These restarts are being scheduled for 3:00 a.m. CET Thursday, November 21 in this region.
Thank you for your patience!
Shenmue III is out today, which is a step toward finally getting an answer to one of gaming's longest-running questions: Would Shenmue III be any good? It's too early to give any kind of definitive answer, but today's lengthy NGT should at least give you a little hint of what to expect.
The original Shenmue games were cinematic experiences that were ahead of their time in many ways. Is that formula still impressive? All I'll say is that if you liked those weird old things, you might get a kick out of this one. Watch and see why (or why not!).
With this change, we seek to better calibrate rewards to the difficulty of high-end Mythic Keystone dungeons, as well as to ensure that in the absence of the random chance for Warforged/Titanforged gear in Season 4, players still have an opportunity to earn rewards from the Mythic Keystone Dungeon system that are equivalent to high-end raiding and PvP loot.
WoW Classic - Vanish Hotfix
About 14 hours ago, we deployed a hotfix that should have addressed Vanish.
Basically, Vanish should cause enemies to drop target, and we had a bug that was preventing them from dropping target. We fixed the bug.
There are still intended conditions in which enemies can “see through” Vanish, of course. (Example: the Bloodhounds in BRD)
As this hotfix required server restarts to take effect, we expect that it is now working as intended on realms in the Americas, and will be picked up with maintenance tomorrow in Europe.
Class Changes in Visions of N'Zoth
In the case of Rising Mist, we’re now testing a 33% healing increase, and we were previously testing a 66% healing increase.
With Shadow Word: Pain, we were already testing this change for Shadow only, and we’ve now added the change to Discipline.
System Design in Diablo IV (Part I)
As was promised last week, Lead Systems Designer David Kim has posted the first in a series of blogs detailing systems design within Diablo IV. This first post focuses mainly on addressing the massive amounts of fan feedback the developers have received following the announcement of Diablo IV and offering a hint of things to come, like useful rares. We can expect more in-depth posts in the coming weeks and this level of communication is a great step forward for the relationship between the development team and the community. Since last year's BlizzCon the community has wanted more open communication from Blizzard in regards to the direction the franchise was taking. Now that the secret that was Diablo IV is out in the open, the developers seem more than happy to embrace those calls for communication and share with us a little bit of the thought processes going on in the creation of the next iteration of the Diablo franchise. You can find David Kim's full post below.
Originally Posted by David Kim (Official Post)
I have learned over years of experience that the player community is an incredibly valuable resource to draw upon when designing and refining a game. By working together, we can achieve great things. The biggest challenge with parsing community feedback is that with so many opinions, the takeaways are rarely unanimous. Diablo IV is still very much in active development, but we plan to keep you in the loop as we continue to design and iterate so that you can be a part of what we’re building. I am so incredibly appreciative for all the feedback we’ve received so far and I’m eager to dive into some of the most talked about topics.
We’re still working through all the feedback that came in regarding itemization and we’re actively discussing ways to add more depth and complexity to base items (including Rares), ways to add greater variety to item affixes to make those powers interesting and your choices meaningful, and ways to give players more freedom to choose how to customize items, so you can have fun exploring a wide range of effective gameplay possibilities instead of just looking up “the optimal build” online.
We’ll go into way more depth regarding itemization in a separate post soon, but we don’t want to leave you hanging until then—so we’re going to update you on a few other topics now.
These are some of the topics that we’re seeing come up most often, but if we’re missing something, please let us know and we will try to share our thoughts on those subjects as well in future updates.
Elective Mode in Diablo IV
There’s a misconception that Diablo IV will lock skills to specific slots because of the BlizzCon demo user interface. Like many other things in the demo, the UI is not final and we will support Elective Mode-style skill selection. Skill selection and assignment will always be completely open for all players.
We completely agree with the community sentiment—Ancients as they are don’t really serve a clear purpose in Diablo IV. We should have done a better job of explaining the role of Ancient Items in Diablo IV. We had a preliminary direction to share, but you’ve brought up some great points, so we’re revisiting our designs with your feedback in mind. We hope to have more details to share in the follow-up itemization update.
Endgame Progression System
We haven’t decided whether the character leveling and experience system should be finite or infinite. We’ve been discussing the pros and cons of both and would love to hear your thoughts. There seems to be some concern around infinite being worse because it will eventually overshadow all the power granted by other sources. However, we can control how much power each system gives, whether it’s infinite or finite.
For example, say we’re talking about thousands of hours of gameplay . . . within those thousands of hours, we could choose to create a finite system that grants 1,000,000 times more power than an infinite system, making it practically impossible for the infinite system to catch up in power.
Also, power increase doesn’t need to be linear throughout the ranks—it can slow down as players reach higher levels. We believe the more important question is what experience feels best for players, and we can playtest various approaches to tuning to find the power curve that makes the most sense.
We have a couple reasons for having a different experience system in addition to a level cap. A level cap gives us the ability to grant players a sense of completion. But for players who want to go deeper into the game, a second experience system allows us to capture the fun of achieving those really difficult endgame goals and ranks. We can also introduce additional depth through this system, because players will be more experienced with the game at this point. Ultimately, our goal is to create a meaningful system that provides clear choices depending on your preferred playstyle in the endgame.
Sources of Power
The community has shared many good points on the topic of power sources and we’re reevaluating how much power comes from each source at any given time.
However, we want to clarify that in Diablo IV, power doesn’t come mostly from items. We want to have a good mix of power sources: characters naturally get stronger as they level up, skills have ranks that increase power, talents provide specific playstyle choices and additional character power, and of course items grant power and meaningful choices as well.
Something else to keep in mind is Legendary powers are just one part of an item’s power, and they won’t invalidate all other Affixes due to how powerful they are. For example, two to three normal Affixes are currently equivalent in power to a Legendary power on most items.
A big question that’s come up is exactly how Keyed Dungeons are different from Rifts. Keyed Dungeons introduce greater challenges as their tiers increase through Dungeon Affixes. The majority of dungeons are real places in the world, and players will know some information about them including what types of monsters, events, and layouts to expect. With this information, as well as the specific Dungeon Affixes being displayed on the key, players will be able to strategize their approach before going into the dungeon. We believe this is the biggest change from Diablo III Rifts: the added planning and strategizing that takes place before you decide to run a Keyed Dungeon.
Please continue to share your thoughts—we want you to be involved in the Diablo IV design process. I personally believe in making the best decisions for the game based on the strongest design ideas, no matter where they come from. My biggest hope is for us to be able to constructively discuss and iterate on the topics that are most important to the community—so keep the feedback coming!
See you in Hell,
Lead Systems Designer
The Diablo IV Team
The recent PTR updates have allowed us to preview a more coherent quest chain that kicks off the patch when you log in on patch day. This quest chain is labeled as "Black Empire Campaign" in the quest log. We will preview the quest chain in different parts throughout the week. SPOILERS BELOW
Part 1 - Unlocking The Uldum Accord Faction and Uldum Assaults
Challenge Rift - Week 126
Challenge Rift Week 126 is live! Because Season 19 begins this Friday, we advise that you DO NOT complete the challenge rift until after you've made your seasonal character! This week the Challenge Rift features three different Crusader builds, two of which focus on the new Valor set! If you are curious how Challenge Rift builds are chosen each week, you can view this official blog post!