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Aug 11 Hotfixes, Netherlight Crucible Clarifications, Warcraft III PTR, WoW History

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d3.pngCommunity Highlights: Perfect Jesseth Scythe, Fan Art Wallpaper

hearthstoneIcon.pngTop 5 Best Ladder Decks to Play From Knights of the Frozen Throne

Patch 7.2.5 Hotfixes - August 11
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Dungeons and Raids
  • Darkheart Thicket
    • Dresaron has reorganized the eggs in his lair ... again.
  • Tomb of Sargeras
    • Kil’jaeden
      • Reduced Kil’jaeden’s melee damage by 15% on Normal difficulty.
      • Armageddon Hail damage reduced by 15% on Normal difficulty.
      • Rupturing Singularity cast during Deceiver's Veil now spawn in fixed locations on Mythic difficulty.
      • Shadowsouls are no longer immune to Death Grip on Mythic Difficulty.

Netherlight Crucible Clarifications
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Okay, here's a first pass at some answers. Thanks for all the discussion so far.

Q: Why are you adding this system? What’s with the RNG?

A: The Netherlight Crucible (aside from being an important part of the 7.3 storyline) is intended to help with an issue with Relic availability that players have been reporting for some time now. As Ion explained during our last Q&A, there are technical issues with the way Relics were built that limit which bonus traits can be available from raids. This has caused a number of raiders to feel as though their best bet is to run Mythic Keystone dungeons constantly in the hopes of having a Relic with their ideal bonus trait drop (and Titanforge for a high item level).

Those who were following development of Patch 7.2 may recall an earlier take on an improvement for this issue, where we experimented with adding a single, randomized second bonus trait to Relics. Ultimately, we decided that was the wrong approach, and wanted a system that put a little more control in players’ hands. So, while the Netherlight Crucible does still have an element of randomness, it presents you with several options to choose from.

To be clear: we believe that having some element of randomness is important. Our goal was not to simply allow players to choose the precise bonus traits they wanted (you already do that, more or less, when spending Artifact Power). We still want there to be those exciting moments where a Relic gives you a great outcome. The Netherlight Crucible is intended to make Relics more valuable on average, not to make all Relics be equal value.

Q: Will I be able to trade Relics with other players to see who gets the best options at the Crucible?

A: No. Previewing a Relic at the Netherlight Crucible will bind it to your character and remove the ability to trade it. This is because those trait options don’t actually exist on the Relic until you attune it to the Crucible, in a process similar to enchanting a piece of gear. It also prevents raid teams from feeling like they need to send everyone who might be interested in a Relic back to the Vindicaar before continuing.

Q: Will the Netherlight Crucible work on Relics acquired prior to 7.3 release?

A: Yes. However, keep in mind that it will take some time (likely several weeks) to unlock the later stages of the Netherlight Crucible, where the additional bonus traits come in. We don’t expect that stockpiling Relics prior to 7.3 will give any real advantage in practice.

Q: Doesn’t this just mean I’ll want my best two traits on each Relic now?

A: For the hardcore min/maxer, yes, there will still be a “best” outcome for your Relic configuration. However, there are now more Relics that can achieve that state (as Relics with your second-best trait can now roll your best trait at the Crucible), and you’ll encounter fewer “bad” Relics along the way.

Q: Why do I have to go back to the Netherlight Crucible to upgrade my Relic? Didn’t you want to get away from mechanics like that?

A: Players often compare this to the old Reforging system, and our dislike of having to visit a vendor after each and every upgrade. That hasn’t changed. The Netherlight Crucible only affects Relics – you won’t need to visit the Crucible every time you pick up a new pair of boots.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raid Finder Difficulty Kil'jaeden
Some quick philosophy points on Raid Finder in general.

As mentioned in the last developer Q&A, our philosophy toward Raid Finder in Legion has been to reduce the overall number of mechanics, but keep one or two important ones that players will need to react to in order to succeed. We believe this is preferable to having many mechanics visually present in Raid Finder, but not actually requiring players to react to them. By limiting the number of visual mechanics, but making sure the ones that remain are important, we believe that the Raid Finder experience will feel more in-line with that of higher difficulties.

While we've used the phrase "tourist mode" to describe Raid Finder in previous expansions, that is no longer indicative of our design philosophy. We want to make sure Raid Finder players are still getting an engaging gameplay experience (even if it is overall less intense than in higher difficulties).

It's good to note here, that with Kil'jaeden, we do believe that the experience should be an engaging and dramatic fight at the end of Tomb of Sargeras regardless of difficulty. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Recent Actions Against Terms of Use Violations
Ban EU guilds then.
We did. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Auction House Flipping
Simply put, you buy something from AH because you want to use it.
Simply put, no.

The Auction House is a place to facilitate trading between players. If someone purchases something, it is entirely up to them whether they use the item, attempt to flip it for a profit, give the item to a friend, or sell it to a vendor for whatever reason, etc. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Warcraft III PTR - Patch 1.28.6
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Hail Warchiefs,

Warcraft III's first official PTR lives. Join us on the field of battle as we test the new Map Pools for 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's and Free-for-All.

Windows and Mac

General Improvements & Gameplay Objectives
  • Balanced creep camp difficulty progression from early to late game
  • Balanced creep drop tables for better item progression from early game to late game
  • Item diversity: Varied Level 1 though 6 charged items and Level 1 through 6 permanent items
  • Balanced all start locations: total amount and starting distance from lumber, equal amount of spacing, equal size choke points, et cetera
  • Balanced expansion distance from start locations
  • Decluttered points of interest to reduce visual competition during gameplay
  • Retextured map surfaces for better visual clarity - both on screen and mini-map
  • Minimized the size of trees and doodads that obstructed player view of points of interest
  • Added cliff lines or deep water to edges of the map - removing hard edges (aesthetic choice for immersion)
  • Properly placed trees and doodads on the pathing grid: full-cell Medium Grid to half-cell Medium Grid alternate
  • Removed the rolling shoreline waves from rolling hills to remove the noise the waves created - remains for cliff shores

List of Maps

Known Issues
  • We are aware Warcraft III matchmaking is a bit long in the tusk; we will be improving matchmaker logic for a future patch
  • Automated Tournaments and Ladder Board are not functional for PTR
  • Latency was improved with 1.28, but still needs work to meet modern standards

Classic Games

PvP Like a Pro - Team Composition
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Last week, we kicked off the PvP like a Pro series, where we talk to some of the best Arena players in the world and gain their insights. In case you missed our interview with Alec of team ABC, you can go and check it out in Part 1 here:

PvP Like a Pro: Finding the Right Partners

Part 2 - Team Composition
It doesn’t take a BlizzCon Champion to know that the strongest 3v3 Arena comps usually feature one Healer and two DPS. However, there's more to the fight than your team's lineup. Luckily, we’ve enlisted FabsS—the only three-time Arena World Champion—from team Method: Triforce to help us!

What to Look for when Building a Composition
If you find a new comp, and a new way of playing that comp, you cause people problems.

When building a composition, the first thing to do is look at what the pros play and check the current meta. If you want to make a new team comp yourself, it's important to have a good knowledge of all these classes—to know their strengths and weaknesses. In FabsS' own words, “Making a new comp that no one plays is all about looking at what’s good in the meta right now and trying to find something that counters it.”

Once you’ve thought about which compositions are currently popular, you can start to use that knowledge to build your counter. For example, at the time of this interview, Holy Priests were strong in the meta. Their strengths include mana efficiency and healing AoE damage. They're weaker when it comes to single target healing, healing reduction effects (such as Mortal Strike), and crowd control. To counter them, FabsS and his team played Warrior, Death Knight, and Restoration Shaman and went on to win European Cup #4. FabsS sums it up by saying “If you find a new comp, and a new way of playing that comp, you cause people problems.” This is the essence of high level Arena—being ahead of the meta by countering the current top team comps or best represented classes.

Composition Strengths and Weaknesses
If I can shut you down and do more damage than you, I win.

The main defining factor in a matchup is your team’s ability to deal damage versus your ability to avoid it. Simply put, FabsS says, “If I can shut you down and do more damage than you, I win.” Take the example of a Frost Mage versus two melee classes: while the two melee classes might have a higher potential damage output, the mage can use slows to keep the enemy at a distance, reducing damage taken and gaining the upper hand.

A few factors that you should consider when deciding whether you have the edge over another comp are damage uptime, interrupts, and crowd control.

Cooldowns and Win Conditions
Unlike previous expansions, FabsS feels that cooldowns are less impactful on Arena matches in Legion. It's still important to make equal trades—such as a Death Knight using Anti-Magic Zone against a Frost Mage with Icy Veins—but overall, your ability to pressure a team and beat their win condition is more important.

Most teams think ‘how do we win?’ But they don’t think about the other team and figure out what they'll be trying to do.

For this reason, FabsS highlights the importance of understanding your enemies' win conditions. It’s very easy to get caught up in your strategy and forget that your opponent has their own plan as well. As the former champion says, “The first thing that comes to mind when building a comp is understanding the win conditions of the enemy. Most teams think ‘how do we win?’ But they don’t think about the other team and figure out what they'll be trying to do.”

Following his victory at BlizzCon last year, Fabs tweeted an image of his team’s preparation for the Grand Finals match-up, showing that hard work really does pay off. He says that team work is more important than ever in Legion, and it’s crucial to make sure you get along with your squad. You can catch him and his team Method: Triforce live at gamescom on August 23-26 on our official Warcraft Twitch channel.

Stay tuned next week when we'll be hearing from Minpojke of team Northern Blue Gaming for the third and final installation of this series, PvP like a Pro: Practicing Effectively.

This Week in WoW History
We're taking a look back at old MMO-Champion posts and World of Warcraft news that occurred during this time in previous years.

Legion Officially Announced
At GamesCom in 2015, Blizzard revealed that Legion was going to be the next World of Warcraft expansion. Working with the Kirin Tor and using Dalaran as the central hub, the heroes of Azeroth would take the fight to the Burning Legion on the Broken Isles. GamesCom this year is August 23-26.


World of Warcraft 10 Year Anniversary Preview
During this week in 2014, we learned about Blizzard's 10 Year Anniversary Celebration events that would be going live later that year. WoW players would have a chance to experience some classic areas from Vanilla, although the areas weren't exactly the same; Tarren Mill vs Southshore was turned into a battleground with a clear victor, and Molten Core was turned into a 40 man raid-finder experience. The 10 Year Anniversary Celebration would also include the chance to obtain a title from Tarren Mill vs Southshore, a Core Hound mount, and a Molten Corgi pet.


Mists of Pandaria World Boss Preview
In early August 2012, the community got a sneak peek of the new world bosses that would be coming with the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Salyis’s Warband, also known as Galleon, could be found in the southeastern area of Valley of the Four Winds, and the Sha of Anger spawned in various locations throughout Kun-Lai Summit. You can still get Son of Galleon's Saddle and Reins of the Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent from them!


World First Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest
By mid-August in 2011, we had seen the world first Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest acquired! This incredible legendary staff came with a lengthy quest line, an incredible time investment, and a neat effect that would allow the player turn into Tarecgosa as a mount, though they were unable to carry other players. Siiz of Premonition on US-Sen’jin was the first to acquire this legendary.


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