Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.You pandaren tried to bury your hate and your anger, but such power cannot be contained. It must be unleashed!- Garrosh Hellscream to Taran ZhuThe more I think about it, the more I believe it. This was all going to happen, with or without the presence of the Horde or Alliance. In fact, the presence of those two warring forces may have ultimately saved Pandaria from complete destruction. When Garrosh Hellscream defeated Taran Zhu and hurled the Heart of Y’Shaarj into the waters of the vale, he mocked the Shado-Pan’s leader first about the pandaren and their tendency to suppress violent emotion. It’s an understandable tendency in a land where emotions like doubt, anger, fear, and hatred can give rise to the Sha, but it was a tendency mired in one crucial error – there was always one Sha who wasn’t imprisoned when Emperor Shaohao freed himself of the burdens of the others. For over ten thousand years, Pandaria dwelled in isolation, believing itself special among all the places in the world, believing that it had nothing to gain and nothing to learn from the outside. And in its special exceptionalism, its beautiful but stagnant isolation, the people of Pandaria settled into an eternal and endless cycle that allowed nothing to change it.But a thing that does not change is not alive.It’s painful to look upon the Vale of Eternal Blossoms after Garrosh’s actions, to see the blasted, corrupted land where waters flowed freely, to see the destroyed and defiled beauty. Taran Zhu blamed all those who came from outside Pandaria, and he’s not wrong – it is because, at long last the mists have parted and new peoples have entered Pandaria that the Vale was destroyed, just as it was because of the same outsiders and their foreign war that the Sha of Doubt erupted and the serpent pillar fell. Destruction had indeed followed in our wake. But let me be blunt – if we had not come, then Pandaria would continue on as it has for thousands of years, its people caught up in an slow decline, trapped at the whim of a Sha forever, forced to live an existence of constant suppression where no new ideas can be born. A culture that cast out its own adventurous and set its own explorers adrift on a gigantic turtle, so that in time they lost the capacity and those born on the turtle no longer even thought of Pandaria as a real place. Emperor Shaohao admits as much to you, if you help him ascend the mountain in Kun’lai. Pandaria was a thing trapped in amber, mired in its past, unable to move forward. Change had to come. And sometimes, change is agonizingly painful – but a thing that does not change is not alive.The realm you see all around you was mine to command.I conquered my doubts, my fears, my anger… I buried all of it within the land.But I held on to one vice. The one sha I never conquered. PRIDE.My pride cloaked this land in mists! I thought we were better than the rest of the world.I thought we could solve our own problems. But for ten thousand years, we stagnated, our doubts and fears buried in the land, rising up to fester whenever we allowed them.Pride. It is the most insidious of sha. It is good until it is bad. And then it is more dangerous than all the others combined.Beware of Pride! Be humble! The world is plunging into chaos. Old enemies must work together. Proud races must admit they need help.Things are going to get worse before they get better. Only by working together can we overcome the darkness.All that stands in our way… is pride.- Emperor Shaohao, Path of the Last EmperorThis lesson is supremely hard to learn, and harder still to accept it – indeed, even as he’s being led from the chamber where Y’Shaarj’s heart slumbered for eons, even as he is rescued from the Sha of Pride itself, Taran Zhu has yet to learn it. The pandaren people suppress negative emotions like their fear and their hate, but they do not suppress their pride – they are a very proud people. They believe they have good reason to be – they overthrew their mogu tormentors despite all the odds being stacked against them, they too defeated the Zandalari who sought to aid the mogu, they stand fast and hold back the mantid and the yaungol and do all this without falling prey to the base passions of other races. They are the inheritors of Shaohao, a people who need nothing from the outside world – when the foolish night elves brought devastation down upon the world it was the pandaren who were wise enough to see it coming and fortunate enough to be protected by their Emperor.And so their pride cloaked them from the world for thousands of years. So proud were they of their way of life, they never saw any way to change it, any reason to change it – and so it stagnated. Generations of young pandaren would join the Shado-Pan, and there be taught to control themselves and their base emotions – honed to an edge of martial skill and discipline that would allow them to face actual horrid manifestations of violence, fear and anger, emotions given substance and form. And they would defeat them, for the good of Pandaria as a whole. They were the bastion of their people, defenders against all threats. And they knew that they were the best of the best – and they grew proud.We can see this now in Taran Zhu’s manner from the first moment he meets the Alliance and Horde forces – he displays no curiosity, no desire to understand who these strangers from beyond the mists are, he only displays disdain and a haughty demand that they cease their actions immediately. Does he know the Sha better than they do? Absolutely he does. But does he bother to even attempt to explain? No. He knows he knows better – he is pandaren, the leader of the Shado-Pan. It is not his knowledge that is ever in question, but rather his own ability to do that which he demands of others. Taran-Zhu proves twice that he is not beyond the control of the Sha – first, by falling prey to the Sha of Hatred within his own monastery (and further, by then allowing himself to obsessively hunt for said Sha in the Townlong Steppes) but moreover, throughout his interaction with the outsiders – whether it be in the White Tiger Temple, or on the Isle of Thunder – Taran Zhu shows himself to be proud, and disdainful of those he has to deal with.The worst part of all this is, it’s not even his fault. The Shado-Pan were created by Emperor Shaohao during his reign – their origin as an order is rooted in his actions and his great, fundamental mistake, his failure to root out Pride. They alone of all pandaren are allowed to tap into their negative emotions, their anger and violence, using the Sha’s own methods against them – had they known of Pride’s continuing presence they could have presumably tried to do the same against it, but they were unaware. Even as the racial pride of the pandaren served to create a vast reservoir of power the Sha could feed on endlessly, their was no way for those within its grasp to realize what was happening, and the results seemed wholly beneficial to them. “Pride is good, until it is bad.”I am not saying Garrosh Hellscream was right to do what he did. But he was right, in part, in what he said – the pandaren tried for over ten thousand years to create a society where hate and violence were buried, suppressed. They did this because they believed that to allow those emotions free reign would be to allow powerful destructive forces to ravage their land, and they were correct – but there’s a difference between burying one’s feelings and controlling them. By allowing themselves to be slaves of pride, the pandaren created a place where the other Sha would always rise again, where the Shado-Pan were locked in an endless battle against emotions themselves. These emotions cannot be destroyed, and they cannot be suppressed – in the long run, they must be faced, and they must be channeled and controlled. Doubt would have led the pandaren to question why they were so convinced of their own superiority. Fear might have led them to change their ways. Hatred could have motivated them to do something, anything, instead of accepting stasis for tens of millennia. Violence can be controlled and harnessed, and even despair and anger have their places, they can be used positively as long as they don’t control you.Ten thousand years ago, Emperor Shaohao made a decision to shelter and protect Pandaria against the Sundering, a decision made out of love for his people and his land, yes… but moreover, one made out of his pride, his hubris. He chose his people to be spared what the rest of the world would endure – he removed his people from the world, from the ills of the Sundering, yes, and from every possible good or ill outcome to follow. He lacked the humility to accept that his people, his land were part of the world, and the Sha of Pride made use of that hubris to create a place where it could dwell forever, and feed forever. This mistake had consequences for his people till the moment the mists parted, when outside feet once again walked the shores of Pandaria. The peoples of the sheltered continent were forever trapped within a prison of Shaohao’s making, bound by his pride.The damage we see to the vale is horrific. It is a reminder and a warning that Pandaria cannot ignore the outside world any longer. The dead like Rook Stonetoe and Sun Tenderheart didn’t deserve their deaths, and we can’t pretend that what happened was a good thing. But a forest fire isn’t a good thing to the animals it kills, and yet, it brings new life to the forest it burns. Stagnation can be painful, agonizing, traumatic to leave behind, and yet it still must be left behind. The longer you fight change – the longer you hold back the avalanche – the worse the day when it comes. And as sad as the destruction of the vale and the deaths of those who fell to Hellscream’s actions, this day was inevitable. Pride had to fall, not just for Pandaria, but for the entire world. The prison had to be broken.This was all necessary. A thing that does not change is not alive.While you don’t need to have played the previous Warcraft games to enjoy World of Warcraft, a little history goes a long way toward making the game a lot more fun. Dig into even more of the lore and history behind the World of Warcraft in WoW Insider’s Guide to Warcraft Lore.
In past developer walkthroughs of Lord of the Rings Online: Helm’s Deep, Turbine gave us a broad overview of the expansion as well as a look at the next portion of the epic story. For our third tour, we got to check out the vistas and landscapes of West Rohan.One of our concerns was that after the expansiveness of East Rohan, the wast would be, well, more of the same. Lots of fields, horses galore, and so on. While the horses are still ever-present (this is Rohan, after all), West Rohan establishes a unique identity as a land that’s more developed, more diverse, and more wounded. The theme of the region is simple: War is coming — and is in fact already here.In our tour through the five ridings of West Rohan, the developers stopped to point out how they crafted the region to do the country and its many fans justice. If you think you know it all from the movies or from base assumptions, you might want to open your mind to a richer experience that’s coming soon to LotRO. Beauty will be juxtaposed with the ravages of war as players begin by making their way through Kingstead. Everyone in the region is preparing or reacting to the news that war is coming, and you’ll see a lot of the smaller settlements packing up and heading for protection. The danger here is two-fold: Saruman’s forces and the emboldened Orcs of the White Mountain.This is the town of Aldburg (“Old Fortress”), the former capital of Rohan. As such, it’s got a combination of old architecture and overgrowth. In fact, the team has done a lot to put grass and bushes hedging in on roads, giving them a more organic look as if these paths had been made by foot and horses.While you may not notice if you’re running everywhere without stopping, there is an insane amount of detail that the team puts into each location. Not only are there ties to the books, such as a meticulously recreated tiny ford that the Fellowship crossed, but unique touches given to places you’ll explore. Each mead hall is hand-designed to be different from each other in terms of layouts and tapestries, and even the door handles flap up when you open one.Again the devs teased us with the approach to the Paths of the Dead without letting us go inside (the Paths won’t be available when Helm’s Deep launches). Here are some uber-creepy Púkel-men statues on the approach. These were carved by the Men of the Second Age.And here’s an oh-so-cheery monolith with skulls and inscriptions that probably are not welcoming us to the area.Nearby, Eowyn has set up camp with troops that are fleeing the Orcish advance. Such a pretty sky for a strategic retreat, don’t you agree?In the region of Stonedeans you’ll encounter a rockier, greener landscape than elsewhere in Rohan. It’s an area where the Rohirrim have, on occasion, intermarried with the Dunlandings, so expect to see a mixture of races and styles while you’re here.Refugees are often clogging the roads and entrances to the towns, as seen above.Turbine wanted to include a lot of ambient storytelling with the expansion, so players will stumble upon burned down villages and other visual cues that won’t be part of a specific questline. The team said that the story and setting of Helm’s Deep will be one of the darkest that the game’s seen to date.Here, a Rohirrim caravan is ambushed and the people slaughtered. Some of the Rohirrim underestimated the threat and speed of the invasion, unfortunately.Outside of Edoras are the tombs of the kings. Each tomb will be unique and offer the sight-seer a historical rundown of the rulers of Rohan.Turbine scoured the books for every detail it could get on the region, its people, and landmarks. This “horsesplosion” fountain in Edoras comes straight from the books. The developers said that when beta testing began, they saw many players seek this fountain out right away to see if it was there.Here we are once again at Helm’s Deep. To keep your terminology straight, Helm’s Deep is the valley and Hornburg is the castle that was built to protect the Glittering Caves. The valley was designed to follow glacial action: an ancient glacier that was fed by the mountains you see above eventually retreated, leaving this hollowed-out valley and plenty of rocks to use in construction. Hornburg was originally built by Gondor, so the architecture is reflected in that, although the interior decoration is definitely Rohirrim. The dev team actually mapped out the entire castle in the design phase — including kitchens, dorm rooms, and even bathrooms — but not every room will be accessible by players since it would have taken way too long to build. However, there’s a lot of interior space to explore.We were treated to our first-ever look at the Glittering Caves. This area won’t be accessible on landscape, but will only be seen during the portion of the epic battle that takes place in here. Making this cave visually striking and unique took a lot of manipulation of the game’s tech, but the end result is pretty impressive.The women and children are sent to the caves for protection as the battle rages above. There’s a lot of crying going on, although at least one kid has fallen asleep through it all.When West Rohan is added to the game, it will form a complete nation that has a wide array of sights and character. It’s a land that we’ve come to know, and now it’s time to take up arms to defend it. The question is, what can one man, woman, or Hobbit do in the face of the Enemy’s might?Massively’s not big on scored reviews — what use are those to ever-changing MMOs? That’s why we bring you first impressions, previews, hands-on experiences, and even follow-up impressions for nearly every game we stumble across. First impressions count for a lot, but games evolve, so why shouldn’t our opinions?
It’s time again for the folks at ZeniMax Online to answer questions from the Elder Scrolls Online mailbag, and today’s Ask Us Anything entry revolves primarily around the lore of ESO and how it ties in with existing Elder Scrolls canon. According to the post, famous Elder Scrolls landmarks like the Adamantine Tower and the city of Orsinium are present in the world of ESO, though they may appear different than they did in previous games.The post also discusses why orcs, normally isolationist in nature, would want to join the Daggerfall Covenant. Apparently, doing so is the orcs’ best shot at establishing their own state. One interesting gameplay tidbit is also revealed; ZeniMax had this to say on the subject of Manes:The selection and accession of a new Mane is, in fact, one of the key events in which players can get involved in northern Valenwood and western Elsweyr. How is a new Mane chosen and accepted? You’ll get to see for yourself.If you’re a fan of Elder Scrolls lore, the full post is worth a read. This is the 20th Ask Us Anything ZeniMax has posted; previous AMAs have covered everything from stealth mechanics to PvP. New AMAs go up every two weeks.
forum thread.@Meerkatx It would probably be more like LFR requires ilevel 500 OR a Proving Ground Silver Medal, or maybe Silver + ilevel 450 or whatever.- Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) October 1, 2013I thought this was an interesting idea, and clearly something Blizzard has taken into consideration, so let’s explore the good and bad sides of it. In each section, I’m going to try my best to steadfastly ignore the opposite position. Think of it as a debate I’m having. With myself.Good SidesProving grounds are at least a way to show skill. The current system bases itself purely off item level, so if you have the gear on your character, or the gear in your bags, you can get into a LFR raid. This is really really easy to manipulate, particularly for classes who can equip anything, and this in itself is an issue. It’s far, far harder to manipulate Proving Ground achievements, particularly given how item level is scaled to 463 in Proving Grounds. And better players can do more with less gear. I know it’s PvP, but look at the number of top PvPers, particularly during Cataclysm, who were 2200+ rated with terrible gear. The same applies for PvE. If you know a class well, and are a skilled player, you can do better with less gear. I know my resto shaman inside out, she’s been my PvP main for a long time, and more recently my PvE main too, and I know I can outheal better geared players. Sure, there’s a point where that will stop, where the gear will outdo skill, no matter how good you are. But skill is a bigger deal than you might think.And Proving Grounds require skill. While they were all over the place difficulty-wise on the PTR, they are now at least relatively challenging. Bronze should be accessible to everyone. Silver should be easy for more skilled players, Gold is harder, and to get the Endless Mode wave 30 achievement you’ve got to be pretty on top of your game. There have been some adjustments and some honing of things like NPC AIs in the healing ones, but that hasn’t made them less challenging.So, what it would mean is, if we take Ghostcrawler’s tweet as the design intent, you can get into Siege of Orgrimmar with either item level 500, or item level 450 and a silver medal from Proving Grounds. This is a great compromise. Perhaps the item levels are a bit too far apart, 450 to 500 is a really big gap, so perhaps 476 and 496 would be a better distribution. So 476 and a silver medal, or 496 (which is the current ilvl required). For LFR purposes, a silver Proving Grounds medal is great, it’s within reach of most players, so it’s not excessively hard, but it requires that you have a decent grasp of how to play your class. And, as I mentioned, gear is scaled for them, so you can’t brute force your way through.Philosophically, too, it’s important for WoW players to recognize that gear isn’t everything. Right now, there is perhaps too much of a heavy focus on item levels. Blizzard introduced the system back when they broke addons like GearScore and PlayerScore, and replaced them, but the ilvl system is really no better. There is too much focus on gear, and not enough focus on skill. The addition of Proving Grounds to the LFG qualification system would bring skill back into the equation, and that is nothing but a good thing. Proving Grounds show you can grasp at least some basic mechanics, perform a rotation, or your role, and gear alone doesn’t guarantee any of that.Bad Sides The biggest bad side I can see with this system is that Proving Grounds are not balanced content. Ghostcrawler confirms this himself on Twitter, saying: @DjonRutherford Like any encounter, the specific PG mechanics are more favorable to some specs than others.- Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) September 14, 2013So what this means, is that if you happen to play a class that struggles more than other classes, maybe getting a gold medal from Proving Grounds is a bigger deal. Conversely, if you’re playing a class that does really well at Proving Grounds, perhaps getting 10 waves into Endless is trivial. And yes, the same is true of item levels, to an extent, in that certain stats are more important to certain classes than others. Fire mages, for example, scale really well. But if you’re having a level set by a specific encounter, isn’t it a good idea to choose one that all players have a fairly equal chance to succeed on?What’s more, because of the gear scaling, some classes will suffer more than others. And, if you want to get an advantage, you’ll need to reforge well. Many players will run a separate gear set for Challenge Modes, for example, and if you’re hunting for achievements in Proving Grounds on a class that isn’t inherently strong, you will probably want to do the same. Could Blizzard make them more equal? Perhaps. But it would be a lot more work. I’d rather that time went into other content.Granted, none of the above is particularly onerous for Silver. Silver, it seems, is pretty straightforward if you know roughly what you’re doing, although I have friends who have found it challenging. Once you get up into Gold, then things start to get a lot more real. One of the things that people feared when Proving Grounds were first announced was that players would start to use certain levels in them as criteria to access groups, raids, and the like. This hasn’t happened so far, but if Blizzard starts to do it, who knows. No Flex PuGs without Gold? That would be harder to swallow. What about if they offered the option to LFG heroic scenarios, but only if you had a Gold medal? Sure, it’s potentially a slippery slope argument, but you never know.And what’s more, putting barriers to entry where there were no barriers before is a bad thing. At least, if they do it how Ghostcrawler’s first tweet suggested, there will still be the option to achieve a higher item level to get in to content. And if the scaled level of Proving Grounds remains at 463, everyone should be able to get the gear to access those really, really easily. Lastly, does doing well in Proving Grounds really mean that players will perform to the best of their ability in LFR? Definitely not. And this has the risk of encouraging elitism. Encouraging the idea that, unless you can get whatever medal in Proving Grounds, you aren’t a worthwhile player to have along.All in all, my conclusion is that it’s not a terrible idea to offer another option to ilvl. Item level is not a perfect system, and adding a skill element to it is smart. However, Proving Grounds are not currently proven as a method to measure skill, and I genuinely fear the community impact of this idea.
devastation unleashed upon the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Now it’s time for leaders of the Alliance and Horde to lay siege to Hellscream’s capital and topple the ruthless Warchief once and for all!Siege of Orgrimmar contains 14 new encounters across four expansive wings as members of the Horde and Alliance take the war directly to Garrosh’s doorstep.Learn more about the new encounters in Patch 5.4 Raid Preview: Siege of Orgrimmar.Siege of Orgrimmar supports the following difficulty modes: Normal, Heroic, Raid Finder, and (new) Flexible Raid.Information on the availability of each difficulty can be found in the Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Schedule.New Feature: Flexible Raid DifficultyThis is a new raid difficulty designed for pre-made groups of 10 to 25 players or any number in between. This means it’s possible to have raids of 15 or 22 players! Difficulty will adjust automatically based on the number of players present with encounters intended to provide a challenge roughly between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty.Flexible Raid difficulty requires a pre-made group to join but has no minimum item level requirements or role restrictions. Both BattleTag™ and Real ID friends are eligible to participate.Loot quality will be between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty and awarded through a personal loot system (similar to Raid Finder). Bonus rolls and loot specialization will also be supported.Player spells with different target limits depending on raid size will gradually increase their limits based on the number of players in Flexible Raid difficulty.Players will be able to earn raid achievements just like in Normal or Heroic difficulty.Flexible Raid difficulty has a lockout that is separate from Raid Finder and Normal difficulty.To learn more about Flexible Raids, please visit our blog titled: A Raid for All Seasons: Flexible Raid Preview.New Area: Timeless IsleA mysterious island, lost for millennia to the currents of time, has emerged from the mists off the eastern coast of Jade Forest.Players seeking to explore the Timeless Isle should visit their faction’s shrine in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.The Timeless Isle is inhabited by all manner of strange and powerful creatures that will test the mettle of solo explorers, but great rewards await the brave and skillful: epic loot, bind-to-account gear, Mogu Runes of Fate, pets, mounts, fun toys, and much more.The Isle is filled with secrets and mysteries, many of which dynamically become available to explorers. Keep an eye on your minimap while on the Isle for information on nearby events!The Timeless Isle is home to five new world raid bosses! Players may face each of the four Celestials in a trial of combat.Heroes who have earned the legendary cloak from Wrathion may access the sanctum of the fiery Yaungol demigod Ordos, atop the Timeless Isle. New Feature: Proving GroundsProving Grounds is a new feature where level 90 players can test their mettle and undertake trials designed for Damage, Tank, or Healer roles to test and improve their combat skills in a safe, controlled environment.To access the Proving Grounds, speak with an NPC in the Temple of the White Tiger in Kun-Lai Summit or a class trainer.Each trial is available in four separate difficulties: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Endless. Harder difficulties include more difficult and varied enemies.Endless mode allows you to test your mettle against increasingly difficult enemies. Compare your best scores to friends and guildmates!Learn more about this feature in our blog titled Proving Grounds Preview.New Feature: Connected RealmsConnected Realm is a set of two or more standard realms that have been permanently and seamlessly “linked.” Players on the same Connected Realm will be able to trade, send and receive mail, join the same guilds, access a single Auction House, run the same Raids and Dungeons, and join other adventurers to complete quests.To make Connected Realm feel seamless, player’s home realms won’t be indicated in the game world. In certain places, such as chat, the players’ home realms will be displayed next to their name.Learn more about this feature in our Patch 5.4 Feature Preview: Connected Realms.Redesigned Arena SystemPlayers no longer need to create or join an Arena team to compete.Similar to the Rated Battleground system, players in a party of the appropriate size (cross-realm groups are supported) may queue for an Arena bracket of the same size (2v2, 3v3, or 5v5).Each player will have a personal rating that increase or decrease based on victories and defeats against other rated opponents. Opponents will be selected based on the average Match Making Rating of the party.Conquest cap, requirements on gear and enchantments will be based on the player’s personal rating.The Arena ladder will no longer be sorted according to Battlegroup. Just like Rated Battlegrounds and normal Battlegrounds, all Arenas will now be region-wide!At the end of an Arena season, the top players in a region will still earn titles and mounts.For more details about the change to Arenas, please see the blog titled: Patch 5.4 Arena Update.The Legendary Quest ContinuesWrathion’s final quests are now available for dedicated heroes who have fought on his behalf throughout the pandaren campaign. He’s waiting at the Tavern in the Mists in the Veiled Stair.Complete Wrathion’s final tasks on the Timeless Isle and upgrade your celestial cloak to Legendary quality!Only players equipped with a Legendary cloak can reach the Sanctum of Ordos atop the Timeless Isle. (This privilege extends account-wide.)Battlefield: BarrensVol’jin and his forces move beyond gathering supplies and into a full assault on the Horde capital. As such, the Battlefield: Barrens weekly quest will no longer be available once the invasion on Orgrimmar begins in 5.4.Ravika, the Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster, will no longer be available.Latent Kor’kron armor tokens will no longer drop or be available for purchase. Players who still have a Radical Mojo will continue to be able to combine it with existing Latent Kor’kron armor tokens.Gahz’rooki’s Summoning Stone and Raptorhide Boxing Gloves are now available as a rare drop from Kor’kron, and other associated creatures in Northern Barrens.ClassesAll fear and horrify effects can no longer cause targets under the effects of a movement speed buff to move faster than normal run speed.All taunt type abilities now increase all threat generated against the target while the taunt is active by 200%.Vengeance has received several changes.Characters in a tanking specialization now generates 40% more threat.Vengeance now grants Attack Power equal to 1.5% of the damage taken, down from 1.8% (The tooltip said 2% but it was actually 1.8%).Tanks no longer receive Vengeance from many persistent area damage effects (standing in the fire) or from missed attacks (dodging and parrying an attack will continue to work as it has before).Vengeance gains from being critically hit have been reduced by 50%.There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.So as not to affect Challenge Mode leader boards, the above Vengeance changes will not apply there. For Challenge Modes, Vengeance will continue to work as it did in patch 5.3.Area knockback effects now all share a diminishing return category. After a player has been moved by one of these spells, the player will be immune for 10 seconds. This new category applies to: Fellash, Gorefiend’s Grasp, Glyph of Explosive Trap, Thunderstorm, Typhoon, Ursol’s Vortex, and Whiplash.Death Knight GeneralDeath Gate now returns the Death Knight to a location near their original departure point when the spell is cast while in Ebon Hold.Icebound Fortitude no longer costs Runic Power.Necrotic Strike now deals 100% weapon damage (down from 150% weapon damage).Rune of Razorice now causes 3% extra weapon damage as Frost damage (up from 2%), and each stack of Frost Vulnerability now causes the target to take an additional 3% damage from the Death Knight’s Frost attacks (up from 2%).Soul Reaper’s initial damage component has been increased by 30%. If the target is below 35% health after 5 seconds the amount of Shadow Damage dealt has been increased by 20%.Unholy Presence now grants a flat 10% Haste to all things, up from Haste for melee (attack speed and Rune regeneration) only. The movement speed buff remains unchanged.BloodRiposte is a new passive ability learned by Blood Death Knights at level 76. When the Death Knight dodges or parries any attack, they gain 75% of their Parry and Dodge as additional bonus to Critical Strike for 20 seconds.Dancing Rune Weapon no longer costs Runic Power.Sanguine Fortitude no longer reduces the cost of Icebound Fortitude.Scent of Blood now also has a chance to activate when the Death Knight dodges or parries a melee attack.FrostFrost Strike now deals 115% weapons damage (up from 105% weapon damage).Howling Blast now deals 15% more damage.Might of the Frozen Wastes now increases all melee attack damage by 30% (up from 20%).Obliterate now deals 250% weapon damage (up from 230% weapon damage).UnholyMaster of Ghouls now reduces the cooldown of Raise Dead by 60 seconds.Ghoul’s Leap and Gnaw abilities are no longer on a global cooldown, and no longer cost Energy.Unholy Might now increases the Death Knight’s Strength by 25% (up from 10%).TalentsAnti-Magic Zone has been redesigned. The talent now reduces magic damage taken in the area-of-effect by 40% for 3 seconds, there is no longer a cap on total damage absorbed, and the ability no longer scales with strength.Death Siphon had its damage increased by 10%.Plague Leech now tries to convert 2 fully-depleted runes (up from 1) into a Death Rune based on specialization.Blood: Restores 1 Frost Rune, 1 Unholy RuneFrost: 1 Frost Rune, 1 Unholy RuneUnholy: 1 Blood Rune, 1 Frost RuneGlyphsNew Major GlyphsGlyph of Festering Blood: Makes Blood Boil treat all targets as if they have been infected with Blood Plague or Frost Fever.Glyph of Regenerative Magic: If Anti-Magic Shell expires after its full duration, cooldown for the ability is reduced based on the amount of damage absorbed.Glyph of Swift Death: Haste effect granted by Soul Reaper now also increases the Death Knight’s movement speed for the duration.Glyph of the Loud Horn: Horn of Winter now generates additional Runic Power, but the cooldown is increased.Major GlyphsGlyph of Enduring Infection now reduces damage dealt by diseases by 15% (down from a 30% reduction).Glyph of Mind Freeze now reduces the cooldown of Mind Freeze by 1 second, and raises its cost by 10 Runic Power (down from 2 seconds and 20 Runic Power).Glyph of Outbreak now causes Outbreak to cost 30 Runic Power (down from 40).Glyph of Pillar of Frost now reduces movement speed by 70% instead of freezing the Death Knight in place.Glyph of the Long Winter: The Horn of Winter ability now lasts for 1 hour.Glyph of the Skeleton: The Death Knight’s Raise Dead spell now summons a Skeleton instead of a Ghoul.New Minor GlyphsBug FixFixed a bug that caused Improved Blood Presence and Runic Corruption to incorrectly increase activation rates of some trinkets and effects.Druid GeneralBear Form now increases Stamina contribution from cloth and leather items by 40% (up from 20%).Cyclone no longer has a 20-second cooldown for Feral Druids.Faerie Fire now has a duration of 20 seconds while in PvP combat (down from 40 seconds).Innervate now restores mana based on the Druid’s Spirit.Teleport: Moonglade now returns the Druid to a location near their original departure point when the spell is cast while in the Moonglade area.Wild Mushroom for Restoration Druids now summons a single mushroom at the friendly target’s location. If the mushroom is recast, the mushroom moves to the new location and retains its accumulated bonus healing.A single mushroom now heals for as much as what 3 mushrooms combined healed for previously.The amount of healing stored on a Wild Mushroom is now reduced by Battle Fatigue.Wild Mushroom and Wild Mushroom: Bloom now have a shared 3-second cooldown.Wrath now deals 10% more damage, but has its mana cost increased by 50%.BalanceEclipse now energizes the Druid for 50% of their maximum mana when triggered, up from 35%.Moonkin Form now increases the Druid’s armor by 60%, but no longer reduces all damage taken by 15%.Shooting Stars now has a reduced chance to activate for each additional target affected by the same spell (Moonfire and Sunfire are tracked separately).Starfall now deals 10% more damage.Starfire now deals 10% more damage, but has its mana cost increased by 50%.Starsurge has its mana cost increased by 50%.FeralPredatory Swiftness no longer has a chance to make Cyclone instant, free, and castable in all forms.RestorationGenesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid’s Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.Living Seed effects can now stack, up to 50% of the casting Druid’s maximum health, and will no longer be consumed if the target is already at full health.Swiftmend’s area-of-effect healing effect is now called Efflorescence.Wild Mushroom: Bloom is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.TalentsAstral Communion now defaults to generating Lunar energy towards a Lunar Eclipse when used after being resurrected or zoning into a new area (used to default to generating Solar energy).Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned to reduce complexity and increase usability, but maintain the spirit of the effects. Benefits now vary by specialization.Balance: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Casting Healing Touch increases the damage bonus of the Druid’s next Eclipse by 25%.Feral: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Casting Healing Touch increases the damage for the Druid’s next two melee abilities by 30%.Guardian: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Increases the critical strike chance of Mangle (Bear) by 10% and critical strikes of Mangle (Bear) have a 40% chance to make the next Healing Touch or Rebirth instant, free, and castable in all forms. Instant cast version of Healing Touch now benefits from Attack Power instead of Spell Power.Restoration: Causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.Force of NatureFeral: Treant summoned by the Feral version of this talent now deals less melee damage, but will cast Rake and Entangling Roots on their target instead of Bash.Guardian: Guardian Druids now gain Vengeance when their Treant takes damage.Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids.Mass Entanglement no longer has a limit on the number of targets that could be affected, up from 5.New talent: Ysera’s Gift. Ysera’s Gift replaces Nature’s Swiftness, and heals the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead.Nature’s Swiftness is no longer a talent, and is now an ability learned by Balance and Restoration Druids at level 30.Balance: Wrath, Starfire, and Starsurge casts have a 8% chance to cause Astral Communion to grant 100 Lunar Power or Solar Power instead of activating the next Eclipse.Guardian: Increases Rage generation from Mangle (Bear) by 30% instead of an additional 3 Rage, and this talent now also applies to the Rage generated by Mangle (Bear) when it triggers Primal Fury.Restoration: Now causes the Druid to gain 100% haste (up from 75%) on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.Nature’s Vigil when activated now increases all damage and healing done by 12% (up from 10%), and causes single-target healing spells to trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.Soul of the Forest has been partially redesigned to make it more attractive to Balance, Guardian, and Restoration Druids.GlyphsMajor GlyphsGlyph of Fae Silence will now cause Faerie Fire to interrupt when used on targets that are immune to silence effects.Glyph of Ferocious Bite now causes Ferocious Bite to heal the Druid for 2% of their maximum health for each 10 Energy used (up from 1%).Glyph of Frenzied Regeneration now increases Frenzied Regeneration’s cost to 50 Rage (down from increasing Rage cost to 60).Glyph of Innervate now causes Innervate to give both the Druid and the target 60% of the normal effect of the spell if it’s cast on a target other than the Druid.Glyph of Lifebloom’s effect is now baseline and has been replaced with Glyph of Efflorescence.Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.Glyph of Master Shapeshifter now reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifts by 100% (up from 90%).Glyph of Nature’s Grasp now reduces the cooldown of Nature’s Grasp by 45 seconds (up from 30 seconds).Glyph of Pounce now increases the range of Pounce by 8 yards (up from 3 yards).Glyph of Skull Bash now increases the duration of Skull Bash’s interrupt by 2 seconds, and increasing the cooldown by 5 seconds (down from a 4 second interrupt and 10 second increase to cooldown).Glyph of the Moonbeast’s effect is now baseline and has been replaced with Glyph of Guided Stars.Glyph of Guided Stars causes Starfall to only hit targets affected by the Druid’s Moonfire or Sunfire.New Minor GlyphsGlyph of One With Nature: Grants the Druid the ability to teleport to a random natural location.Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom: Allows the Wild Mushroom spell to be placed on the ground instead of underneath a target.Hunter GeneralThe following Hunter pet abilities no longer cost Focus to use: Dash, Dive, and Charge.Arcane Shot now deals 125% ranged weapon damage (up from 100%) and had its focus cost increased by 50%.Counter Shot is now a baseline interrupt ability learned by all Hunters at level 22.Deterrence now has a 3-minute cooldown (up from 2 minutes) but has 2 charges.Disengage now has a cooldown of 20 seconds (down from 25 seconds).Explosive Trap had its overall damage decreased by 30%. Proportionately, more damage has been removed from the initial damage than the periodic effect.Hunter’s Mark now has a duration of 20 seconds while in PvP combat (down from 30 seconds).Readiness has been removed.Revive Pet no longer requires the Hunter to have line-of-sight to their pet.Stampede damage dealt by pets when the ability is used outside of an Arena or Battleground is no longer reduced by 75%Beast MasteryBeast Cleave’s range has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8 yards).Kill Command damage has been increased by 34%.MarksmanAimed Shot now deals 450% ranged weapon damage (up from 350%).Binding Shot is no longer a Marksman Hunter ability and is once again a talent.SurvivalExplosive Shot damage has been increased by 27%.Explosive Trap no longer shares a cooldown with Black Arrow but can no longer activate Lock and Load.TalentsA Murder of Crows now deals 40% more damage.Aspect of the Iron Hawk now reduces all damage taken by 10%, down from 15%.Glaive Toss no longer initiates auto-attack.Lynx Rush’s damage has been increased by 30%.Narrow Escape’s root effect is now a nature spell (was a physical spell).Silencing Shot is no longer a talent and is now an ability that replaces Counter Shot for Marksman Hunters.Spirit Bond now regenerates 3% of total health every 2 seconds while the Hunter’s pet is active (up from 2%).Wyvern Sting now has a range of 40 yards (up from 35 yards).GlyphsNew Major GlyphsGlyph of the Lean Pack: Reduces the range of Aspect of the Pack to 7 yards.Glyph of Enduring Deceit: Camouflage also reduces spell damage taken by 10%Major GlyphsGlyph of Mend Pet now has a 100% chance of cleansing 1 Curse, Disease, Magic or Poison effect from the Hunter’s pet on each tick (up from 50% chance).Glyph of Mending now speeds up the periodic effect of Mend Pet to restore health to the pet every 1 second doubling the total amount healed over 10 seconds.Glyph of No Escape now increases the ranged critical strike chance against targets affected by the Hunter’s Freezing Trap by 100% (up from 20% chance).Mage GeneralIce Lance damage has been increased by 43%.FireCombustion on targets affected by the Mage’s Ignite now deals additional damage equal to 20% of Ignite’s damage per tick (down from 50%).FrostMastery: Frostburn has been replaced by Mastery: Icicles. When the Mage damages an enemy with their Frostbolt, and Frostfire Bolt (16% + 2% per Mastery) of the damage done is stored as an Icicle for 15 seconds. Mastery: Icicles also increases the Water Elemental’s Water Bolt damage by (16% + 2% per Mastery). Up to 5 Icicles can be stored at once. Casting Ice Lance launches all stored Icicles at the target.Frostbolt now deals 10% less damage and no longer increases the damage of any spells. The damage for those spells have been increased instead.Water ElementalWaterbolt damage has been increased by 25%.TalentsFrost Bomb now deals 70% damage to players (up from 60%).Ice Floes now has 3 charges (up from 2 charges), and has a 20-second cooldown (down from 45 seconds).Living Bomb now deals 85% damage to players (up from 70%).Nether Tempest now deals 85% damage to players (up from 70%).Rune of Power now has an increased effective range. The Mage can remain up to 8 yards away from their Rune of Power and still receive benefits to mana regeneration and spell damage (up from 3 yards).Temporal Shield now also reduces damage taken by 15% while active in addition to existing effects.GlyphsMajor GlyphsGlyph of Blink now increases distance travelled with the Blink spell by 8 yards (up from 5 yards).Glyph of Ice Lance has been renamed to Glyph of Splitting Ice.Glyph of Splitting Ice causes Ice Lance and Icicles to hit 1 additional target for 50% damage.Glyph of Invisibility has been replaced with Glyph of Rapid Displacement.Glyph of Rapid Displacement gives Blink two charges, gaining a charge every 15 seconds, but no longer frees the Mage from stuns and bonds.Glyph of Remove Curse now increases the damage dealt by 15% after successfully removing a curse (up from 10%).Glyph of Spellsteal now heals the Mage for 5% of their maximum health after successfully stealing a spell (up from 3%).New Minor GlyphsGlyph of Condensation: Increases the size of the Mage’s Water Elemental.Glyph of Evaporation: Reduces the size of the Mage’s Water Elemental.Glyph of the Unbound Elemental: The Mage’s Water Elemental is replaced by an Unbound Water Elemental.Monk GeneralSpinning Crane Kick now functions like a smart heal, healing the 6 most injured friendly targets within range, and minor guardians are no longer targeted (Wild Imps, Bloodworms, Snakes from Snake Traps, etc.). There has been no change to the total amount of healing granted by the ability.BrewmasterKeg Smash now deals 18% less damage.MistweaverMana Tea is now consumed at an increased rate of 1 stack per 0.5 seconds (up from 1 stack per 1 second).Revival’s healing has been reduced by 30%.WindwalkerMastery: Bottled Fury has been redesigned. Bottled Fury now gives a chance to generate an additional charge of Tigereye Brew when the Monk gains one normally.Storm, Earth and Fire now deals 70% damage (up from 60%) with one Spirit summoned and 55% (up from 45%) with two Spirits summoned.Tigereye Brew received an adjustment.It now increases damage by 6% per stack, (up from 1% per stack) but is no longer increased by Mastery.A charge of Tigereye Brew is gained for each 4 Chi consumed through use of abilities and attacks (up from a charge for each 3 Chi consumed).TalentsChi Brew now restores 2 Chi, has a 45-second cooldown (down from 1.5 minutes), and generate stacks of Brew/Teas based on the Monk’s specialization.Brewmaster: 5 stacks of Elusive BrewMistweaver: 2 stacks of Mana TeaWindwalker: 2 stacks of Tigereye BrewChi Burst no longer requires a target. It now travels as a 40-yard line in front of the Monk.Healing Elixirs will no longer activate if the Monk is already at full health, and activate automatically when the Monk has less than 35% of their maximum health.Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger now has a pet control bar for Xuen, and the talent is no longer on global cooldown for all Monk specializations.Brewmaster Monks now gain Vengeance when Xuen takes damage.Power Strikes will now activate from the following Chi generating abilities; Jab, Expel Harm, Spinning Crane Kick (when it hits at least 3 targets), Crackling Jade Lightning, and Soothing Mist.Ring of Peace has a new visual effect that properly depicts its area-of-effect, and now disarms both enemies and those attacking allies within the Ring of Peace’s area-of-effect for 4 seconds (up from 3 seconds); the silence effect for casting spells remains unchanged at 3 seconds.Rushing Jade Wind: The Monk summons a whirling tornado around them, dealing damage to nearby enemies (heals nearby allies for Mistweavers). Rushing Jade Wind has the same costs, Chi generation, and periodic rate as Spinning Crane kick, but, deals 80% of the periodic damage or healing, lasts 6 seconds, is instant, and not channeled.Rushing Jade Wind has been redesigned and replaces Spinning Crane Kick.Zen Sphere now deals 15% more healing and damage.GlyphsMajor GlyphsGlyph of Afterlife now increases the chance to summon a Healing Sphere by 100% (up from 25% chance).Glyph of Crackling Jade Lightning has been replaced with Glyph of Nimble Brew.Glyph of Nimble Brew causes Nimble Brew to heal the Monk when it clears a root, stun, fear, or horror effect.Glyph of Expel Harm has been replaced with Glyph of Rapid Rolling.Glyph of Rapid Rolling makes the next Roll or Chi Torpedo go farther after using a Roll or Chi Torpedo.Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres causes a healing sphere to be summoned near the Monk at no cost when their health falls below 25%. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds.Glyph of Detox causes Detox to heal the target when it successfully removes a harmful effect.Glyph of Retreat has been replaced with Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres.Glyph of Stoneskin has been replaced with Glyph of Detox.Glyph of Targeted Expulsion allows Expel Harm to be used on other players.Glyph of Targeted Expulsion now causes Expel Harm to heal for 50% as much when used on other targets.Glyph of Transcendence now reduces the cooldown of Transcendence: Transfer by 5 seconds (used to increase the range by 10 yards).Glyph of Uplift has been replaced by Glyph of Targeted Expulsion.Bug FixFixed a bug that caused the damage of some abilities for Brewmasters with Vengeance to scale incorrectly.Paladin GeneralSanctity of Battle now also affects the cooldown of Holy Shock.Seal of Insight no longer has a chance to restore mana on attacks.Turn Evil now has a 15-second cooldown.HolyMastery: Illuminated Healing no longer activates from periodic healing effects.Divine Plea no longer reduces the amount of healing done, and now restores mana based on the Paladin’s Spirit.Guardian of the Ancient Kings (Holy) now has a cooldown of 3 minutes (down from 5 minutes), and summons a guardian that heals the ally that the Paladin healed for 100% (up from 10%) of the amount healed, but no longer heals nearby friendly targets.Holy Insight now increases the effectiveness of Eternal Flame, Light of Dawn, and Word of Glory by 50%. Effectiveness of other heals are still increased by 25%.Holy Radiance now functions like a smart heal, healing the 6 most injured friendly targets within range, and minor guardians are no longer targeted (Wild Imps, Bloodworms, Snakes from Snake Traps, etc.). There has been no change to the total amount of healing granted by the ability.Holy Shock’s mana cost has been reduced by 50%.Judgment for Holy Paladins now costs 12% of base mana to cast (up from 5% of base mana).ProtectionCrusader Strike now applies a Weakened Blows effect to the target for Protection Paladins.Grand Crusader no longer has a chance to activate from Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous, but now has a 30% chance to activate when dodging or parrying a melee attack (up from 12%).Guarded by the Light now restores 15% of the Paladin’s maximum mana every 2 seconds (up from 6%).RetributionGuardian of the Ancient Kings (Retribution version) now has a reduced cooldown of 3 minutes, down from 5 minutes, and the maximum number of stacks has been reduced to 12.Inquisition now lasts 20 seconds per charge of Holy Power consumed, up from 10 seconds.TalentsBurden of Guilt has been replaced with a new talent called Evil is a Point of View.New Talent: Evil is a Point of View. Evil is a Point of View allows the Paladin to use Turn Evil on players and beasts.Eternal Flame’s periodic heal-over-time effect now heals for 40% more.Execution Sentence will now immediately damage the target for 5 times the amount of damage that had been dealt by Execution Sentence’s most recent periodic effect when dispelled.Stay of Execution will now immediately heal the target for 5 times the amount of healing that had been dealt by Stay of Execution’s most recent periodic effect when dispelled.Hand of Purity now reduces damage taken from harmful periodic effects by 80% (up from 70%) and reduces damage taken from harmful periodic effects that cannot be prevented by immunities by 40% (up from 0%).Light’s Hammer now functions like a smart heal, healing the 6 most injured friendly targets within range, and minor guardians are no longer targeted (Wild Imps, Bloodworms, Snakes from Snake Traps, etc.). There has been no change to the total amount of healing granted by the ability.Holy: Sacred Shield now applies its damage absorption shield immediately, can be active on more than one target at a time, but the talent now costs mana and has 3 charges with a 10-second recharge.Protection: Sacred Shield is 30% less effective.Holy: Sanctified Wrath now also increases the critical strike chance of Holy Shock by 20%.Protection: Sanctified Wrath now causes Judgment to generate 2 Holy Power instead of 1 while Avenging Wrath is active.Bastion of Glory will now apply Selfless Healer’s bonus to healing to the casting Paladin as well as other targets and consume all stacks of Bastion of Glory in the process.Sacred ShieldSanctified WrathSelfless Healer in addition to its current effects, now also causes Judgment to generate a charge of Holy Power for Holy Paladins. Stacks of Selfless Healer now reduce the cast time, mana cost, and improve the effectiveness of Divine Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Radiance.Unbreakable Spirit has been simplified. It now reduces the cooldown on Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Lay on Hands by 50%.GlyphsNew Major GlyphsGlyph of Divine Shield: Removing harmful effects with Divine Shield heals the Paladin for each effect removed. This heal cannot exceed a percentage of the Paladin’s maximum health.Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice: Hand of Sacrifice no longer transfers damage taken by the target to the Paladin.Major GlyphsGlyph of Denounce now causes Holy Shock to reduce the cast time of the next Denounce by 0.5 seconds, and the effect can stack up to 3 times.Glyph of Divine Plea now reduces the amount of mana restored and cooldown of Divine Plea by 50%.Glyph of Holy Wrath now also allows Holy Wrath to stun Aberrations.Glyph of Immediate Truth now increases the instant damage done by Seal of Truth 40% (up from 30%).Glyph of Inquisition has been redesigned. The glyph now increases the duration of Inquisition by 30 seconds (up to a maximum of 2 minutes) each time the Paladin lands a killing blow on targets that yield experience or honor.Glyph of Rebuke has been replaced with Glyph of Devotion Aura.Glyph of Devotion Aura causes Devotion Aura to no longer affect party or raid members, but the cooldown is reduced.Glyph of the Alabaster Shield now increases damage for the next Shield of the Righteous by 10% per stack (down from 20% per stack).Glyph of the Battle Healer has been redesigned. The glyph now causes Seal of Insight to no longer heal the Paladin. Instead, a nearby raid or party member will receive healing for 30% of the amount the Paladin would have received from Seal of Insight.Glyph of Turn Evil has been replaced with Glyph of Burden of Guilt.Glyph of Burden of Guilt causes Judgment to reduce the target’s movement speed by 50% for 2 seconds.Glyph of the Exorcist: Exorcism will now appear to remove the evil from its target.Glyph of Pillar of Light: Critical heals on other players display a small pillar of light at their location briefly.New Minor GlyphsPriest GeneralHymn of Hope now prefers to target healers when it grants mana. Healers will always be picked before non-healers, regardless of how much mana they have.Leap of Faith no longer has a facing requirement.Shadow Word: Death now deals 15% more damage.Shadow Word: Pain now deals 25% more damage.DisciplineGrace can no longer be dispelled.Rapture now energizes the Priest for 100% of the mana cost of Power Word: Shield When the shield is fully consumed or is dispelled (used to energize the Priest with mana equal to 150% of their spirit). This is the modified mana cost for Power Word: Shield, after being reduced by Rapture’s passive effect.Spirit Shell duration has been reduced to 10 seconds (down from 15 seconds), and the damage absorption shield’s effectiveness can now be reduced through Battle Fatigue.HolyHoly Word: Sanctuary mana cost reduced to 3.8% (down from 6.3%), and now functions like a smart heal, healing the 6 most injured friendly targets within range, and minor guardians are no longer targeted (Wild Imps, Bloodworms, Snakes from Snake Traps, etc.). There has been no change to the total amount of healing granted by the ability.Lightspring is now baseline for all Holy Priests and the ability has been renamed to Lightwell.Serendipity’s mana cost reduction has been increased to 20% per stack (up from 10% per stack), and no longer displays a spell effect when in the UI when it’s active.ShadowShadowform now increases the Priest’s armor by 60%, but no longer reduces all damage taken by 15%.Shadowy Apparitions now creates a shadowy version of the Priest that floats towards the target and deals damage. The apparitions are now treated as a missile, and is no longer an attackable creature.Vampiric Touch now deals 20% more damage.TalentsAngelic Feather now increases allies’ movement speed by 80%, up from 60%, and feathers placed in the world have a duration of 10 minutes (up from 5 minutes).Cascade’s effect can now bounce up to 4 times (up from 3), and its effect should no longer bounce between minor guardians (Wild Imps, Bloodworms, Snakes from Snake Traps, etc.).Divine Insight for Discipline Priests now has a 100% chance to activate its effect after using Penance (up from 40%), and now displays an effect in the UI when it’s active.Divine Star’s healing is no longer affecting by diminishing returns when used on multiple targets.From Darkness, Comes LightDiscipline, Holy: Now also has a chance to activate its effect on cast for these following spells; Penance, Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, and Prayer of Healing.Shadow: Now has a 20% chance to activate its effect for Shadow Priests (up from a 15% chance).Halo’s healing is no longer affecting by diminishing returns when used on multiple targets.Mindbender now deals 10% more damage, and mana return has been increased by 20%.Psyfiend no longer benefits from Haste, and its health has been reduced by 75%, but fixed a bug where Psyfiend wasn’t being affected by base Resilience.Twist of Fate’s damage and healing threshold to activate has been increased to 35% (up from 20%).GlyphsMajor GlyphsGlyph of Dark Binding’s effect is now baseline and has been replaced with Glyph of Focused Mending.Glyph of Focused Mending causes Prayer of Mending to only bounce between the target and the caster.Glyph of Fear Ward now reduces the cooldown on Fear Ward without reducing its duration.Glyph of Lightspring has been renamed to Glyph of Lightwell.Glyph of Lightwell causes Lightwell to heal for 50% more, but no longer automatically heals allies. Allies can click on the Lightwell to heal.Glyph of Deep Wells increases the number of charges on Lightwell by 2.Glyph of Lightwell has been renamed to Glyph of Deep Wells.Glyph of Purify now causes Purify to heal the target for 5% of their maximum health after successfully dispelling a magical effect or disease (up from 3%).Glyph of Reflective Shield now causes Power Word: Shield to reflect 70% of the damage absorbed (up from 45%).New Minor GlyphsGlyph of Feathers: Causes the Priest’s healing spells to momentarily grant angelic wings.Glyph of Inspired Hymns: A spirit appears above the Priest while channeling Hymns.Glyph of Shifted Appearances: Void Shift causes the Priest and their target to exchange appearances for several seconds.Glyph of the Sha: Transforms the Priest’s Shadowfiend and Mindbender into a Sha Beast.Class ArmorDiscipline/Holy PvP 2-piece set bonus’ (4-piece set bonus pre-Season 12) Holy Spark effect can no longer be dispelled.Shadow PvP 4-piece set bonus is no longer an area-of-effect and only affects the character that dispels Vampiric Touch.Bug FixFixed an issue where Chakra: Serenity was not increasing the critical effect chance of Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo.Rogue GeneralAmbush damage has been increased by 12%.Evasion now increases dodge chance by 100% (was 50%), cooldown has been reduced to 2 minutes (down from 3 minutes), and duration has been reduced to 10 seconds (down from 15 seconds).Eviscerate now deals 10% less damage.Fan of Knives damage has been increased by 25%.Recuperate now restores 4% of maximum health every 3 seconds, up from 3%.Sinister Strike deals an increased 240% of weapon damage (up from 145%), but now costs 50 Energy (up from 40 Energy).AssassinationAssassination Rogues should no longer be eligible for any other weapon types except daggers in situations where loot is automatically awarded(Raid Finder, Bonus Rolls, Heroic/Normal Scenarios, and the upcoming Flexible Raid difficulty.)Dispatch now deals 645% weapon damage (up from 460%).Mutilate now deals 280% weapon damage (up from 200%).CombatNew passive ability, Ruthlessness: This passive ability is learned by Combat Rogues at Level 32. The Rogue gains a 20% chance per combo point (100% chance at 5 combo points) to immediately regain 1 combo point while performing a finishing move.Killing Spree targeting has been changed. If Blade Flurry is not active, Killing Spree will now hit the Rogue’s target 7 times or pick the closest eligible target if none had been selected. Killing Spree will continue to work as it has while Blade Flurry is active.Revealing Strike now deals 160% weapons damage (up from 125%).Vitality now increases Attack Power by 40% (up from 30%).SubtletyBackstab now deals 380% weapon damage (up from 275%).Hemorrhage now deals 160% weapons damage (up from 140%); 232% weapons damage if a dagger is equipped (up from 203% for daggers).Sanguinary Vein now increases damage against targets with bleed effects by 25% (up from 20%).TalentsBurst of Speed’s cost has been reduced to 15 Energy (down from 30 Energy).Cheat Death now reduces damage taken by 85% after activating (up from 80%).Cloak and Dagger now allows the Rogue to use Ambush, Garrote, and Cheap Shot from 40 yards away (up from 30 yards).Nightstalker now increases damage dealt by abilities while stealthed by 50%, up from 25%.Paralytic Poison now stuns the target at 4 applications of the poison (down from 5 applications).Shadowstep now has a reduced cooldown of 20 seconds (down from 24 seconds).GlyphsMajor GlyphsGlyph of Adrenaline Rush’s effect is now baseline and has been replaced with Glyph of Redirect.Glyph of Redirect now reduces the cooldown of Redirect by 50 seconds (down from Redirect no longer has a cooldown).Glyph of Blind now only removes damage-over-time effects that would cause Blind to break. For Rogues that also have the Dirty Tricks talent, this means Blind will no longer remove the Rogue’s poison or bleed effects.Glyph of Crippling Poison has been replaced with Glyph of Sharpened Knives.Glyph of Sharpened Knives now causes Fan of Knives to also damage the armor of its victims, applying 1 application of the Weakened Armor effect to each target.Glyph of Recovery increases the healing received by the Rogue while Recuperate is active.Glyph of Debilitation has been replaced with Glyph of Recovery.Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins causes Sanguinary Veins ability to also increase damage done to targets affected by Hemorrhage.Glyph of Recuperate now increases the healing of Recuperate by an additional 1% (up from 0.5%).Glyph of Sap has been replaced with Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins.Glyph of Shiv now reduces the cooldown of Shiv by 3 seconds (was 2 seconds).New Minor GlyphsGlyph of Improved Distraction: Distract now summons a decoy at the target location.Glyph of the Headhunter: Throw and Deadly Throw abilities will now throw axes regardless of the Rogue’s currently equipped weapon.Class ArmorRogue Tier-15 4-piece set bonus now causes Shadow Blades to reduce the cost of all abilities by 15% (down from 40%).Bug FixFixed an issue where certain conditions can cause Blade Flurry to not deal damage to additional nearby opponents.Shaman GeneralChain Heal’s effectiveness will no longer decrease with each jump (up from a 30% reduction to healing with each jump).Earth Elemental Totem’s summoned Greater Earth Elemental will no longer taunt off players that are in a tanking specialization.Fire Elemental Totem’s summoned Greater Fire Elemental now deals 10% less damage.Healing Rain’s healing has been reduced by 30%, and the area-of-effect has been increased to 12 yards (up from 10 yards). In addition, Healing Rain now functions like a smart heal, healing the 6 most injured friendly targets within range, and minor guardians are no longer targeted (Wild Imps, Bloodworms, Snakes from Snake Traps, etc.). There has been no change to the total amount of healing granted by the ability.EnhancementFire Nova’s damage has been increased by 83%.Stormstrike’s debuff now also affects Elemental Blast, but now deals 380% weapon damage (down from 450% weapon damage).RestorationPurification now increases the healing done by Healing Rain by 100% in addition to the ability’s current effects.Ancestral Vigor now has a duration of 30 seconds (up from 15 seconds).Riptide’s mana cost has been reduced by 25%.TalentsAstral Shift now has a cooldown of 90 seconds, down from 120 seconds.Conductivity has been redesigned.Healing an ally with Healing Wave, Greater Healing Wave, Healing Surge, or Chain Heal, increases the duration of Healing Rain by 4 seconds.Damaging an enemy with Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Earth Shock, or Stormstrike increases the duration of Healing Rain by 4 seconds.Conductivity can increase the duration of Healing Rain up to a maximum of 40 seconds.Echo of the Elements’ spell duplication effect can no longer occur more than once every 4 seconds when used against hostile players, and their pets or guardians.Healing Tide Totem is no longer a talent and is a baseline ability for all Shamans. Additionally, this totem will now heal 12 raid members (up from 5) when used in a 25-player instance.New Talent: Rushing Streams. Rushing Streams replaces Healing Tide Totem talent, increases healing done by Healing Stream Totem by 15%, and causes the totem to heal 2 targets at once.Stone Bulwark Totem’s initial damage absorption shield now absorbs an additional 33% in damage.New talent: Totemic Persistence. Summoning a second totem of the same element no longer causes the first totem to be destroyed. Only one non-Fire totem can benefit from this effect at a time.Earthliving Weapon effect now applies to the Shaman, not the target.Flametongue Weapon effect now increases Lightning Bolt damage by 30%, up from 20%.Totemic Restoration has been replaced with a new talent, Totemic Persistence.Unleashed FuryGlyphsNew Major GlyphsGlyph of Eternal Earth: Lightning Bolt now has a chance to add a charge to the Shaman’s active Earth Shield. This cannot cause Earth Shield to exceed 9 charges.Glyph of Purging: Successfully Purging a target now grants a stack of Maelstrom Weapon.Major GlyphsGlyph of Chaining now increases the cooldown on Chain Heal by 2 seconds, down from a 4 second increase.Glyph of Cleansing Waters now heals the target for 5% of the Shaman’s maximum health (up from 4%).Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem now reduces the cooldown and duration for Fire Elemental Totem by 50%, up from 40%.Glyph of Frost Shock now reduces the cooldown of Frost Shock by 2 seconds.Glyph of Grounding Totem now increases the cooldown of Grounding Totem after reflecting a harmful spell by 20 seconds (down from a 35-second cooldown increase).Glyph of Healing Storm no longer increases the healing of Healing Rain.Glyph of Riptide reduces the initial direct healing of Riptide by 75%, down from a 90% reduction to healing.Glyph of Astral Fixation: Astral Recall now takes the Shaman to their capital’s Earthshrine.Glyph of the Compy: Hex now transforms enemies into a Compy.Glyph of Elemental Familiars: Summons a random Fire, Water, or Nature familiar. Familiars of different types have a tendency to fight each other.Glyph of Flaming Serpents: The Shaman’s Searing Totem now resembles Vol’jin’s Serpent Ward.Glyph of Lingering Ancestors: Resurrecting someone with Ancestral Spirit causes a ghostly ancestor to follow them around for a short time.Glyph of Rain of Frogs: Allows the Shaman to summon a rain storm of frogs at a targeted location.Glyph of Spirit Raptors: Spirit Wolves are replaced with Spirit Raptors.Glyph of Spirit Wolf: Ghost Wolf can be now be used while the Shaman is a ghost.New Minor GlyphsClass ArmorElemental Shaman 2-piece PvP set bonus has been changed. It now allows Lightning Shield to be triggered once every 1.5 seconds instead of once every 3 seconds.Enhancement Shaman 4-piece PvP set bonus now causes the Shaman’s Flametongue Weapon to also reduce the target’s movement speed for 3 seconds.Warlock GeneralCorruption’s damage has been increased by 10%.Demonic Gateways are no longer attackable once more and no longer temporarily removes threat from the user. The debuff from using a Demonic Gateway has been increased to 60 seconds (up from 15 seconds).Fel Armor no longer reduces all damage taken by 10%.Fel Flame now deals 13% more damage, costs 2% less mana, and no longer increases the duration of damage-over-time spells.Immolate damage has been increased by 10%.Rain of Fire now has a reduced chance to generate Burning Embers.The Codex of Xerrath now infuses additional spells with fel magic (green fire effect).Summon Felsteed, Summon Dreadsteed, Summon Abyssal, Demonic Fury, Dark Apotheosis, and Demonic Leap.AfflictionAgony damage has been increased by 16%.Drain Soul no longer energizes Soul Shards from the pets and guardians of players, and now deals 34% less damage. If other periodic Affliction damage effects are triggered by Drain Soul, they now deal 60% of their normal damage (down from 100%).Haunt now deals 50% more damage, and increases damage done by all of the Warlock’s damage-over-time spells against the target by 40%.Malefic Grasp now deals 34% less damage, and causes all of the Warlock’s other periodic Affliction damage effects to instantly deal 30% of their normal periodic damage (down from 50%).Nightfall now gives Corruption a 10% increased chance to generate a Soul Shard on the most recently applied Corruption.Soul Swap no longer does any damage, and now copies damage-over-time effects instead of just moving them without needing a glyph. Copied effects now once again preserve their power and duration. Duration has been reduced to 3 seconds (down from 20 seconds).Unstable Affliction damage has been increased by 21%.DemonologyDark Soul: Knowledge now increases the effects of Mastery: Master Demonologist by an additional 30%.Hellfire’s damage has been reduced by 20%.Immolation Aura’s damage has been reduced by 20%.DestructionChaos Bolt’s damage has been increased by 15%.Incinerate’s damage has been increased by 10%.TalentsArchimonde’s Vengeance has been redesigned and renamed into Archimonde’s Darkness.Archimonde’s Darkness gives the Warlock’s Dark Soul spell two charges.Grimoire of Sacrifice no longer affects Drain Life.For Affliction Warlocks, Grimoire of Sacrifice now increases the power of various single target spells by 20% (down from 30%).Harvest Life no longer replaces Drain Life. Harvest Life is now a passive talent that increases Drain Life’s damage by 50%, and healing by 150%. The talent no longer turns the ability into an area-of-effect spell.Demonic Breath is a new talent replacing Howl of Terror. The Warlock sends out a cone of Shadow damage, snaring targets, has a 20-second cooldown.Howl of Terror is no longer a talent and is now a baseline skill for all Warlocks.Kil’jaden’s Cunning no longer reduces movement speed, and will now allow the Warlock to cast Incinerate, Malefic Grasp, and Shadow Bolt while moving.Mannoroth’s Fury is no longer a passive ability. Mannoroth’s Fury now has a duration of 10 seconds with a 60 second cooldown, and increases the area of area-of-effect by 500% and increases damage by 100% for Hellfire, Immolation Aura, Rain of Fire, and Seed of Corruption.Soul Leech can now also activate from Shadowburn, and caps out at 15% of the Warlock and their pet’s maximum health (down from 100%).Soul Link now transfers 20% of damage taken by the Warlock to their pet, and 3% of all damage dealt by the Warlock will be returned as healing for the Warlock and their pet. This ability is always active while the Warlock’s pet is active.GlyphsMajor GlyphsGlyph of Dark Soul has been replaced by Glyph of Curse of the Elements.Glyph of Curse of the Elements causes Curse of the Elements to hit 2 additional nearby targets.Glyph of Everlasting Affliction has been replaced by Glyph of Eternal Resolve.Glyph of Eternal Resolve: Changes Unending Resolve into a passive ability that provides a constant 10% reduction to damage taken.Glyph of Fear no longer causes Fear to have a cooldown.Glyph of Imp Swarm now summons 4 Wild Imps (down from 5 Wild Imps).Glyph of Unending Resolve reduces the damage reduction of Unending Resolve by 20%, and the cooldown is reduced by 60 seconds.Glyph of Havoc: Havoc gains 3 additional charges, but the cooldown is increased by 35 seconds.Glyph of Shadowflame has been replaced with Glyph of Unending Resolve.Glyph of Soul Swap has been replaced with Glyph of Havoc.Class ArmorWarlock Tier-14 4-piece set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Unending Resolve by 20 seconds.Warlock PvP 4-piece set bonus now reduces duration of the debuff from using a Demonic Gateway by 15 seconds.Bug FixFixed an issue where Blood Horror was not working properly while Metamorphosis was active.Warrior GeneralBattle, Berserker and Defensive Stance [alternative: Warrior Stances] now have a 1.5-second cooldown (down from 3 seconds).Blood and Thunder now also increases the damage of Thunder Clap by 50%.Deep Wounds damage has been increased by 65%.Enrage now also triggers on critical hits from Devastate and Shield Slam.Hamstring is no longer on a global cooldown.Intervene now also breaks roots and snares when used.Shattering Throw no longer costs rage.Shield Wall no longer requires a shield. If the Warrior does not have a shield equipped, it will show a visual of an equipped shield.Spell Reflection no longer requires a shield. If the Warrior does not have a shield equipped, it will show a visual of an equipped shield.ArmsMortal Strike now deals 215% of weapon damage (up from 175%).Seasoned Soldier now also reduces the cost of Thunder Clap by 10 Rage.Slam now deals 25% more damage, but the Rage cost has been increased by 25% as well. While Sweeping Strikes is active, Slam will deal 35% of damage dealt against the primary target to all other enemies within 2 yards, and targets affected by Colossus Smash receives 10% more damage.FuryTitan’s Grip now works with polearms.ProtectionRevenge now generates 20 Rage (up from 15 Rage).Riposte is a new passive ability learned by Protection Warriors at level 76. When the Warrior dodges or parries any attack, they gain 75% of their Parry and Dodge as an additional bonus to Critical Strike for 20 seconds.Ultimatum now activates from critical hits with Shield Slam instead of a flat 20% chance, and the ability will make the next Heroic Strike or Cleave be a critical hit in addition to costing no Rage.TalentsBladestorm’s cooldown has decreased to 60 seconds (down from 1.5 minutes).Arms: Bladestorm now deals 180% of weapon damage (up from 120%).Protection: Bladestorm now deals 160% of weapon damage (down from 240%).Bloodbath’s snare and bleed effects are now two separate debuffs. Clearing one of the effects will no longer remove the other.Enraged Regeneration now instantly heals the warrior for 10% of their total health (up from 5%), and an additional 10% over 5 seconds (up from 5%).Impending Victory now heals the Warrior for 20% of their maximum health at all times (up from 15% on attack and 20% on kills that yield experience or honor).Storm Bolt now has a duration of 4 seconds (up from 3 seconds), and has an off-hand attack for Fury Warriors.Vigilance no longer transfers damage to the Warrior. The talent now reduces amount of damage the target takes by 30% for 12 seconds.Warbringer now roots the target for 4 seconds instead of stunning them for 3 seconds. The 50% reduction to movement speed snare effect for 8 seconds remains unchanged. Glyph of Blitz will now cause Warbringer to root an additional 2 nearby targets.GlyphsNew Major GlyphsGlyph of the Executor: Killing an enemy with Execute grants Rage.Glyph of Impaling Throws: Heroic Throw now leaves an axe in the target, which can be retrieved by movingQuestsWrathion’s Legendary QuestlineAll bosses in Throne of Thunder now have a chance to drop Sigil of Power or Sigil of Wisdom in addition to their normal loot for players on the appropriate step in the legendary questline. Players should also no longer be receiving excess Sigils of Power or Sigils of Wisdom.The first eight bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar have a chance to drop a Sigil of Power, Sigil of Wisdom, Secrets of the Empire, or Titan Runestone in addition to their normal loot for players on the appropriate step in the legendary questline.Surprise Attack!: Fixed an issue where players may sometimes not receive credit for defeating Hei Feng.CreaturesBonus Roll change: Players that don’t have a coin or elect to not use a Bonus Roll when defeating one of the world bosses (Sha of Anger, Galleon, Nalak, and Oondasta) can come back later that same week to use the Bonus Roll. The limit has not changed and remains one attempt and one bonus roll per boss, per week.H.A.R.V.E.Y. and D.E.N.T. have returned to their posts. The mechanical auctioneers will once again allow Engineers to access the auction house from the Shrine of Seven Stars and Shrine of Two Moons respectively.Stone Trogg Berserker now drops trivial items and can no longer be pickpocketed.Stone Trogg Geomancer now drops trivial items and can no longer be pickpocketed.Brawler’s Guild Fixed an issue where Mingus Diggs was not resetting properly between fights.Pet BattlesPet Battle GeneralA new pet battle tournament is available on the Timeless Isle, more details coming soon!Round timers in PvP Pet Battles will now get progressively shorter for a player who takes more than 15 seconds to issue a command during their turn.Players are now able to trade in any 3 of the same family specific Flawless Battle-Stones for a single Marked Flawless Battle-Stone.Viewable pet battles will now display working health bars.Battle Pet levels are now only shown on the map if you are tracking Battle Pets.Aquatic type’s passive effect now reduces damage from damage-over-time effects by 50%, up from 25%.Critter type’s passive effect now makes critters immune to roots, stuns, and sleep effects.Dragonkin type’s passive effect now activates after an attack brings a target’s to below 50% health, up from 25%.Elemental type’s passive effect now only affects negative direct effects of weather. (E.g. Sandstorm’s accuracy reduction won’t be applied, but the damage reduction will.)Magic type’s passive effect now caps damage taken at 35% of maximum health, up from 40%.Battle Pet Training cost and the price of pets sold by Battle Pet Trainers have been greatly reduced.Battle Pets Any Battle Pet that could be awarded from a Throne of Thunder boss on Raid Finder difficulty can now be won from a bonus roll, in addition to the standard bonus roll reward.Darkmoon Zeppelin: Several abilities have swapped positions.Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling: Several abilities have swapped positions.Tiny Twister: The Sandstorm ability has been replaced with Call Lightning.Battle Pet Abilities Battle Pet abilities with a component that increases in damage every time it hits will no longer reset when an opponent’s pet gets swapped. (Arcane Blast, Frog Kiss, etc.)Accuracy now affects the entire team.Call Lightning’s duration has been reduced to 5 rounds (down from 9 rounds), and cooldown has been increased to 5 rounds (up from 3 rounds).Dark Simulacrum has been replaced with a new ability, Rot. Rot deals Undead damage and temporarily turns the enemy pet’s type into Undead.Death Grip cooldown increased to 4 rounds (up from 3 rounds), damage has been reduced by 50%, and hit chance has been reduced to match similar abilities.Nether Gate damage has been reduced by 33%.Sandstorm’s duration has been reduced to 5 rounds (down from 9 rounds), and cooldown has been increased to 5 rounds (up from 3 rounds).Sweep damage has been reduced by 33%.Trihorn Charge damage has been reduced by 11.5% and now has a 1-round cooldown.Trihorn Shield now displays the correct amount of damage reduction.Raids, Dungeons, and ScenariosRaids The chance for awarding loot from kills or bonus rolls has been increased for Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, Terrace of Endless Spring, and Throne of Thunder on Raid Finder difficulty.The chance for awarding loot from using a bonus roll has been increased for Throne of Thunder on Normal difficulty.All enemies in Throne of Thunder now have a debuff called Shado-Pan Onslaught, which reduces their health and damage by 20%.Fixed an issue where credit for the achievement You Said Crossing the Streams Was Bad was not being awarded to players who are dead or in Spirit of Redemption form.Dungeons Players who obtain a realm-best time in a Challenge Mode dungeon (group must contain at least 3 people from the same realm to qualify) will receive a temporary title specific to each dungeon (e.g. Siegebreaker for Siege of Niuzao temple, Darkmaster for Scholomance, etc.). This title will persist for as long as a player retains the top time on the realm. Holding a realm-best time at any point will also confer a permanent Feat of Strength to record the accomplishment.Scenarios Heroic Scenarios no longer have a minimum item level requirement to enter.PvPBase Resilience now reduces damage players deal to others players by 72% (up from 65%).Battle Fatigue now reduces healing for players that are engaged in PvP combat by 55% (up from 45%).Season 14 Grievous gear is now available.Elite versions of Season 14 Grievous are now available as a mark of prestige for players that are able to attain a personal rating of 2000 and earn 27,000 Conquest Points in the current season. Pricing per piece remains the same but the previous piece requirement has been removed.Season 13 Tyrannical gear can now be purchased with Honor Points.Season 12 Malevolent gear can now be crafted.Equipping any pair of PvP trinkets from Season 12 or later will now grant a 10% reduction in damage taken from other players.Battlegrounds and ArenasAll non-gladiator gear in Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas will be scaled down to an item level ceiling of 496.Grievous Gladiator gear is exempt from this item level ceiling.The item level ceiling will increase at a rate of 1 item level point per week until it reaches a maximum of 512.BattlegroundsConquest Point rewards for winning a random or call-to-arms Battleground match has been increased.First win of the day now awards 150 Conquest Points (up from 100).Subsequent wins now awards 75 Conquest Points (up from 50).Strand of the AncientsBombs are no longer an item held in the player’s inventory and will now do considerably more damage, 4500 (up from 1250).Players carrying a bomb now have a button that allows them to place it with a spell effect over their heads.Placing a bomb takes 2 seconds, and can be interrupted like a Battleground capture point.Disarming a bomb takes 2 seconds, and can be interrupted like a Battleground capture point.Demolishers will no longer have the Ram ability and only one will spawn at each stage.ArenasFor Arena matches lasting longer than 15 minutes, one of the teams will receive a buff called “The Crowd Chose You” that increases damage, critical strike chance, stealth detection, and reduces damage taken. The buff is awarded based on the following criteria.Team with the largest number of players alive.Team that brought an enemy player closest to death (lowest health).Arena Rating scaling in the 2v2 bracket has been tuned to be consistent with the 3v3 bracket.ProfessionsArchaeologyMantid Artifact Sonic Locator no longer randomizes digsites when acquired, and is more difficult to obtain. They can now only be purchased as part of a Mantid Artifact Hunter’s Kit, which includes a Lorewalker’s Map.BlacksmithingNew Raid and PvP blacksmithing plans have been added. These new plans can be researched by crafting Balanced Trillium Ingots, allowing the blacksmith to learn a random new plan.Plans for Balanced Trillium Ingot could be found as a drop from creatures in Pandaria.CookingA number of new cooking recipes have been added, including new foods that give +300 to a primary stat and noodle carts. Some of these new recipes can be learned from drops in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, others from quests.Players who have learned the first recipe in each of “the ways” can discover a questline that starts on the Timeless Isle: “Noodle Secrets Long Forgotten.” Heroes will search for a long-lost pandaren recipe allowing them to build and run their own noodle cart. The all-new questline will revisit some old zones and dungeons, culminating in a solo scenario with a unique time-management mini-game.The noodle cart allows a player to set themselves up as a vendor and distribute powerful noodle soups to their faction.EnchantingItems formerly obtained with Valor Points that now cost Justice Points will now disenchant into Sha Crystal Fragments, a new Enchanting reagent.Multiple Sha Crystal Fragments can be combined into a a Sha Crystal.EngineeringEngineers that are able to acquire Chief Engineer Jard’s Journal can learn to craft Jard’s Peculiar Energy Source; a new material used in a number of new engineering schematics. The journal can be obtained as a drop from creatures in Pandaria.Blingtron 4000 Gift Packages now has a chance to contain Lil’ Bling, a companion pet.FishingWith the lakes and rivers in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms drained of water, the Cloud Serpents carried little buckets of Jewel Danio and relocated them to the Timeless Isle so they can thrive once more.InscriptionMany new glyph techniques have been added, and some existing glyphs have been changed. Some of the new techniques can be obtained from creatures anywhere in Pandaria, while others can only be found on powerful creatures that reside on the Timeless Isle.A new technique to create Crafted Malevolent Gladiator’s Medallion of Tenacity can be found as a world dropLeatherworkingNew Raid and PvP leatherworking patterns have been added. These new patterns can be researched by crafting Hardened Magnificent Hide, allowing the leatherworker to learn a random new pattern.Patterns for Hardened Magnificent Hide could be found as a drop from creatures in Pandaria.Leatherworkers can find a pattern to craft Drums of Rage as a drop from creatures in Pandaria. The drums can be used by anyone to give their raid a minor bloodlust-like effect.TailoringNew Raid and PvP tailoring patterns have been added. These new patterns can be researched by crafting Celestial Cloth, allowing the tailor to learn a random new pattern.Patterns for Celestial Cloth could be found as a drop from creatures in Pandaria.ItemsAll permanent item enhancements provided by Enchanting, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, and various vendors and quests are now able to be applied to items of any level. This means all enchantments can now be applied to heirloom items.High level enhancements applied to items equipped by low level players have their power scaled down to be similar to enhancements intended for that level range.Low level enhancements applied to items equipped by high level players do not grow further in power beyond their intended level range.Adjustments have been made to Mists of Pandaria faction quartermasters.Epic quality (purple) Valor items sold by the Shado-Pan Assault now have their reputation requirements reduced to Friendly or below, and have their Valor Point cost reduced by 34%.Epic quality (purple) Valor items sold by all other Mists of Pandaria faction quartermasters no longer have reputation requirements, and will now cost Justice Points instead of Valor.Rare quality (blue) items have their Justice Point cost reduced by 75%.No changes for items that require an Exalted reputation.Drinking a duplicate flask with less than 15 minutes remaining will now extend the duration of the new flask by that amount.The conversion rate for Justice Points to Honor Points have changed. The conversion rate is now 500 Justice per 250 Honor (up from 375 Justice per 250 Honor).Trinket, enchant, set bonus, and legendary meta-gem effects whose triggered effect benefits from haste no longer also have their chance to trigger the benefit from haste. Activation chances and internal cooldowns for those effects and other trinket effects have been adjusted to compensate and will now be displayed on their tooltip.Capacitive Primal Diamond, and Legendary melee cloaks (Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen, and Gong-Lu, Strength of Xuen) now have a 40% reduced chance to activate its effects for characters that are in a tanking specialization.Indomitable Primal Diamond’s effect now grants a 20% damage reduction to all damage taken (up from only physical damage), and its activation rate has been doubled.UIThe vestigial Use Hardware sound option has been removed.
Welcome to Stiq Figures, where the sales data is after the break and the posts don’t matter.Getting the perfect gaming environment set up is nice, but sometimes it’s great to play a match of something outside of the house. I have fond memories of swapping Pokemon on the playground, cursing my friends’ Mario Kart DS abilities while waiting in line for a console, and sneaking Super Smash Bros. Melee with a small TV into the room next to my high school’s study hall.Most recently, I happened across 42 Lounge, a bar in Milwaukee devoted to combining a modern atmosphere with plenty of chances for friends and strangers to game together. After grabbing drinks, a friend and I found an Xbox 360 with Geometry Wars 2 and promptly sat down to burn the following two hours on the game’s Pacifism mode. I got flashbacks to my final college dorm room, a closet-sized space that often played host to a dozen people for drunken nights of GW2. We had the high scores and their respective defenders taped next to our TV, and as my swirling eyes glazed over from drinks and the game’s flood of neon, I had to resist looking for a hidden spot to tape up our new scores at the bar.What are your favorite memories of gaming outside the house? Did you find an arcade cabinet or an opponent where you least expected to? Did you actually StreetPass with someone somewhere other than a convention? Share it with us in the comments once you check last week’s hardware sales in Japan after the jump! 3DS LL: 49,149 [UP] 14,105PS3: 20,090 [UP] 7,4013DS: 17,783 [UP] 1,730Vita: 8,405 [DOWN] 3,102Wii U: 6,741 [DOWN] 289PSP: 6,218 [UP] 483Wii: 1,141 [UP] 38Xbox 360: 177 [DOWN] 19
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments will launch an investigation on the PS4 in addition to the ones previously announced for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, a press release from Focus Home revealed.Crimes & Punishments will follow “the most important stage in the Sherlock Holmes series” and play out over eight investigations. The details of each crime will be deduced by players using Sherlock’s ability to “imagine and reconstruct a past event by studying the key features of a crime scene.”Our time with its E3 demo provided a dark, promising glimpse at the game’s world. Gallery: Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments | 3 Photos 3 +1 Show full PR textNew Screenshots, PS4 Version Confirmed for Crimes & Punishments, Starring Sherlock HolmesCrimes & Punishments, the new investigation game developed on the Unreal Engine 3 by Frogwares studio, is set for release on PC and consoles in early 2014. Previously announced for PC, Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3, we can now officially confirm that the game will also be released on PlayStation®4.We invite you to discover three new screenshots of the game and its crime scenes. Sherlock is up for a tough challenge in Crimes & Punishments, leading numerous original investigations in a variety of environments, with quite a few murders to solve! Today’s screenshots illustrate the kinds of situations you can expect to see when you investigate the many crime scenes of Crimes & Punishments.About Crimes & PunishmentsCrimes & Punishments marks the most important stage in the Sherlock Holmes series. The decision by Frogwares studios to switch from the in-house engine to the Epic Unreal Engine 3 enables a much richer, more immersive and detailed rendering of both the environments and characters.But the change of game engine has not only improved the graphics; new investigation techniques have been developed and the game can now offer 14 game mechanics. From the opening of each of the eight investigations up to the arrest of the culprits and the moral dilemmas faced by the players, the new game mechanics convey the feeling of BEING Sherlock Holmes. Players will therefore be able to exploit the incredible gifts and talents for which he is renowned, such as his ability to guess the details of an individual’s life simply by observing them, or to imagine and reconstruct a past event by studying the key features of a crime scene.
teased in leaks hours earlier, SK Telecom has announced it’ll launch the Galaxy Round on its network as soon as tomorrow. The device’s highlight is obviously the gently curved 1080p 5.7-inch OLED screen, and Samsung is also promising a melee of software tweaks for the smartphone, aimed at making the most of it. For example, tilting the phone to the side will offer up notifications, battery levels and more at a glance. Other specifications revealed so far include a 7.9mm profile and that it weighs less than the Note 3, at 154g.Curiously, it looks pretty different to the curved-screen prototype smartphone that Samsung displayed at CES earlier this year — if the Galaxy Round is facing down, there’s no way to peek at notifications without flipping it over. The new phone will also pack the necessary LTE radios and a 2,800mAh battery, launching initially in a ‘luxury brown’ color option for just over 1 million won — that’s around $1,000. We’ve got the official press shot and a roll notification demo video after the break. Show full PR textSamsung GALAXY ROUND Pioneers the Curved Display Smartphone ExperienceNew device presents world’s first commercialized full HD Super AMOLED flexible displaySeoul, Korea – October 9, 2013 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today introduced GALAXY ROUND, the world’s first curved display smartphone. Samsung has been a mobile display innovator by introducing color TFT-LCD, AMOLED, and Super AMOLED flexible display for its mobile product. With this pioneering curved display technology, GALAXY ROUND blends the latest smartphone screen innovations with unique design features. The sleek and thin Samsung GALAXY ROUND which equipped with a 5.7″ Full HD Super AMOLED with 7.9mm thick and weighs 154g offers a comfortable hand grip feeling to user, and exclusive experiences of curved display.As a result of its unique curved design, users can take advantage of round integration experiences like the Roll Effect that enables user to check information such as date, time, missed call and battery easily when home screen is off, and the Gravity Effect for creating visual interaction with the screen by tilting the device. For music, the Bounce UX enables users to control their music. When the GALAXY ROUND’s display is off while the music player is running, a short press to the left of the device will play the previous track while a short press to the right will play the next track. For pictures and videos, the Side Mirror feature enables users to gain access to list of the album content with a left and right tilt.The large screen size of the GALAXY ROUND provides additional benefits to users. Useful One-Hand Operation features bring a user’s most desired controls closer to a preferred side of the screen. The device enables enhanced multitasking capabilities that allow users to fully utilize the larger screen through Multi Window, a feature that enables users to open more than one application on the screen, run simultaneous multiple instances of the same application or to easily share content between applications.Samsung GALAXY ROUND is available in Korea with Luxury Brown, and more color will be available soon.* All functionality, features, specifications, and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.
nothing new, but Active Theory may have a found a way to keep them interesting with its upcoming BitGym app for Android and iOS. The motion-tracking fitness title will now include Street View Hyperlapse videos that take athletes across whole regions, like New York City or a European country, in less than 40 minutes. Only six videos will be available to start, but the company won’t have trouble adding more tours when there’s plenty of places to go in Street View. Active Theory warns that Hyperlapse might disappear; Google’s terms of service for Street View reportedly leave such clips in a gray area, which could lead to a takedown. If you’re willing to take a chance on the concept, however, you can fund BitGym’s Kickstarter project today. Show full PR textWORK OFF THAT KITKAT WITH STREET VIEWBitGym provides interactive trails to your cardio workout and on Wednesday they announced a new high speed exercise tour called Hyperlapse based on Google Street View.Hyperlapse tours simulate ground travel at hundreds of miles per hour. In a single workout session you can tour Italy from Milan to Naples or bike up the California coast starting in Los Angeles and ending in San Francisco.All BitGym tours, including hyperlapses, respond to your exercise speed. The app measures your cadence by watching your body motion with the front facing camera.”People kept suggesting that we bring Street View to cardio machines, but when we tried it, it was just mind numbingly boring. So we sped it up one or two hundred times. The feeling of pumping your legs and accelerating to 500 mph is intoxicating. The ability to cover entire countries is surprisingly educational – I have learned a lot about what the world looks like.” says Co-Founder Alex Gourley”We didn’t pioneer the idea of a Street View Hyperlapse, that credit goes to the brilliant minds at Teehan+Lax labs, but we are the first company to offer Hyperlapses as an exercise option.” says Co-Founder Josh McCreadyEach Hyperlapse tour is manually created by the BitGym team. They are generally between 20 and 40 minutes long and they are stored entirely on BitGym servers. They are consumed like all BitGym exercise videos: either streamed on demand or downloaded to the device for later viewing.Google Street View covers 5 million miles of roads across 39 countries, so there is little danger of BitGym running out of new tours to create.The number of Hyperlapse tours uploaded will depend on how popular they are with BitGym members.”It’s really an experiment for us. We’re going to put out half a dozen videos and see how our users respond. That’s really our strategy for BitGym as a whole, we bring cutting edge exercise experiences to our members and let them decide what they want to see more of.” says Co-Founder Alex Gourley.All BitGym tours can be viewed on iOS, Android, Chromecast or AppleTV.BitGym is a subscription service where members get unlimited streaming access to interactive trails, guided tours and classes. They are launching in November for iOS and December for Android. They are currently running a kickstarter campaign where backers receive beta access and lifetime discounts.
The League of Legends World Championship semifinals are over, and unfortunately the two teams I was hoping would advance ended up losing. The matches were good, especially the SKT1 versus NJBS matches. Definitely watch them!However, this week I’m going to get back to basics, and by that I mean guides on improving your game. I’ve been talking about Worlds for weeks and I’ll be at the finals in LA around the time you’re reading this, which would make for four weeks of straight coverage about the LoL World Championships. That feels lazy to me.I have been watching a lot of pro matches lately, both the tournament matches and just random streams and casual matches. One thing that came to mind for me was improving our losing games. We all have them, and of all the games that we should improve upon, those are the games that are the most important. Pro players take bad lanes or feeding teammates and make wins instead. How do they do it? Don’t try too hard to win a lost laneWe could also call this “knowing your limits.” I was watching a game of imaqtpie’s where he lost the lane entirely due to the fault of his support getting grabbed by Blitzcrank twice. Unfortunately, the enemy ADC was quite good and would not let qtpie get back into the game. A Vayne with even +1 kill in lane is terrifying, and he simply could not enter the lane to farm.Similarly, during the group stage of the World Championships, Dyrus was outlaned badly, partially due to heavy jungler presence. Dyrus could not safely enter the lane, and the enemy jungler tried very hard to get into a position to dive him.In this situation, both pro players played very safely. They hugged the turret, and when the lane got pushed out, they did not go into the lane and put themselves at risk. Instead, they took what they could from the nearby jungle and joined roams with their teams. In the end, while they were behind, these actions helped keep them relevant and avoided feeding more gold to the enemy.If your lane is behind, don’t try to go for risky plays that will put you even further behind if they fail. Likewise, if a lane is totally lost, it is not worth ganking for the jungler. It is worth practicing last-hitting under a turret in order to get better at it, so that you will be more prepared for these kinds of bad situations. Don’t expect the jungler to bail you out of a bad lane, because it won’t happen.Respect the enemyOne thing I noticed from watching top player streams (and even a lot of mid-level streams) is that players will consciously know exactly how big a given character’s burst is at a given level. These players would know that if they ate a full combo from the enemy, they would live. On the flip side, these players would avoid situations where the enemy could kill them. If you’re at half life in the middle of the lane and Ahri has her ultimate, you’re only waiting to feed her a 300 gold dinner. Do yourself a favor and go home instead.I actually didn’t even think about this, but it seems so obvious in hindsight. I counted cooldowns, but not really the actual damage behind those cooldowns. For instance, it’s obvious if Blitzcrank’s grab or Nami’s bubble is down, and if those abilities are on cooldown then I can be hyper aggressive for a few seconds. However, I didn’t really think about things like Graves’ buckshot; if it’s down, Graves can’t combo me for big damage, so I can be more aggressive against him. The same goes for Sivir’s boomerang blade or Ezreal’s mystic shot. If I see those skills being thrown out, I can often go in and use my own skills to (hopefully) get a favorable damage exchange.Another thing is knowing when people are going to level. It’s really important to know when the enemy will hit level 2 or level 3 in your lane, and it’s also nice to know when your lane opponents will hit level 6. If you are keeping an eye on those things, you’ll be aware of the possibility of a Sona flash-ult from the brush when she was only level five just a moment ago.Ward, just wardOne of these days I’ll give in and write a guide on warding. However, that time hasn’t come yet. Instead, just do it. Remember last year’s World Championships where we were cheering for ward kills? It’s because vision is a big deal. Close your eyes and try to read this article. Oh yeah, you can’t!If you don’t have wards, you can’t exert pressure on the map without putting yourself at risk. Wards make dumb moves safe (like pushing a minion wave on the enemy’s side of the river). Wards make coming back from a deficit possible. If you have wards everywhere and an enemy pushes out to take a buff camp or push a lane, you can see it ahead of time and compress your team onto that person. If you can get vision, you can win games.Literally all pro games of LoL have been won by wards. Most pro games of LoL have at least one crucial game-winning play that would have been impossible without the help of a ward. If you’re trying to crawl out of bronze or silver league, just ward. It’s probably more important even than lane mechanics.Where should you ward? To be honest, it isn’t that important at the lower levels. There are good places to ward, and there are less good places to ward. However, as long as your ward reveals some fog of war, it’s probably okay. If you’re laning, ward somewhere that someone can enter your lane. If you’re jungling, ward somewhere the enemy jungler might pass through. If you have even a vague idea where those places might be, you’re well on your way to placing effective wards.Always walk into lane with wards, regardless of your role. On your first return to base, pick up at least one. If you can afford to, you should try getting a ward in your starting item build.Although we can learn a lot from watching pros, there are things we can emulate and there are things we can’t. We’re not going to get pro level mechanics without serious practice, and we’re not going to have pro level mindgames or prediction without thousands of games. However, we can steal some of their behaviors in order to improve our games in small ways. The game sense and the mechanics are things that we can build with practice.We understand what it’s like to climb the skill ladder in League of Legends. The Summoner’s Guidebook teaches you the tools you need to get a competitive edge. Whether you’re climbing the ranked ladder, playing Draft Dominion, or getting crushed by intermediate bots, every enemy has a weakness. And every Thursday, Patrick Mackey shows how you can improve improve on yours.
I always love it when a new indie MMO comes across my virtual desk. I never know what I’m going to get, even though I think I can tell a lot from its name or even the font that the name is written in. Ensemble Online is one of the newest ones, and I assumed it would be a sci-fi sandbox. In reality, it was indeed a sci-fi sandbox but mostly felt like a more cartoony, gentler Wurm Online.I was even able to sit down with the developers during my livestream of the game. Thanks to the fact that the team seems to be really up on social media and appears to pay attention to things like the press (unlike many indies), I learned a lot from that livestream. Be sure to watch it; it’s embedded in the article.Ensemble Online holds a ton of potential. It’s not there yet, but I’ll tell you why I think it can stick around for a while. The main reason that the game has such potential is that the team seems to know that fun is more important than hardcore. I enjoy many hardcore MMOs. Hardcore shooters, hardcore crafting, hardcore roleplaying, exploring, leveling, digging, starving… the list is long. Despite the abundance of hardcore MMOs, many gamers think that they are rare and wonderful gems that need to be treated well just because they represent a shift in standard designs. I hate to break this news, but the hardcore MMO genre is as bloated and repetitive as any other. Once you’ve seen one MMO that allows your character to starve or to be griefed by other players openly (that’s hardcore, I guess?), you’ve seen almost all of them. The main thing that varies in the genre is the look of the games, but even that can be similar at least in concept.What’s missing a lot of the time is fun. I’ve seen the arguments in the comments section dozens of times: The hardcore fan is making fun of a game; the themepark fan comes to its defense. What the hardcore fan doesn’t get nine times out of ten is that the themepark fan is not there to try to exist in a world so close to life that his character will spend more time fishing for food than having an adventure. Fun is the name of the game, or achievement is. Either way, hardcore often leaves out fun and joy, things that should be universal to gaming unless you force them out.Ensemble Online is not a rip-roaring good time; don’t get me wrong. I’m not claiming that the game is some sort of perfect blend of themepark meets sandbox. It’s not. My point is that the team seems to want its game to be fun above all. While I welcome the idea, the game is not quite that fun yet, but I can see where it’s going. I also wish the devs luck in that realm of design simply because even dipping your tow into hardcore waters can open you up to criticism that you didn’t completely dive in headfirst. Watch live video from Massivelytv on TwitchTVThe game is as simple as can be, which is nice as well. You make a character using a basic but adequate character creator, follow a few instructions from a popup, and then find yourself in a central meeting area, surrounded by other newbies. Within minutes you can be gathering wood or rock and can create a wall or building as soon as you are at least 200 squares away from the newbie area. Inside a few sessions I made quite a bit of progress on a decent starter town, and after the livestream I had a friend or two volunteer to build with me. So far I have not needed any more advanced materials, although they are required for more complicated buildings like a mython gate. The gates work simply enough as well. If you can build one, you can connect it to another. Many players use the gates to connect to faraway gathering nodes or other towns.Gathering is automatic, meaning that once you right-click on a node, it will automatically gather resources even while you are AFK. The time between gathering grows longer each time, however, so leaving your character on a spot overnight is just not that fruitful. It’s best to be active and to find nodes that you have not visited for some time or at all. A new node can let you gather material almost instantly at first, but soon you’ll be waiting minutes between.As you gather and build and even fight off local creatures like tigers or goats, you will gain levels. These levels earn you points to put into different skills that help you become a better fighter or to even move more quickly. The skills are limited for now, but the developers want the game to be a cross between RPG, sandbox builder, and social experiment. I didn’t really notice where I was putting my points at first but soon decided to start; I put many into the ability to build and move quickly, but I might start putting more points into combat effectiveness. Mobs drop all sorts of goodies, including armor and weapons, so fighting them will likely come up in the future.Speaking of fighting, I found you can avoid PvP sometimes, but it’s not always that easy to control. I added people to an “allies” list, which gave them permission to help me build and to use my buildings, but they can simply take me off of their allies list to attack me. There will be plenty of in-fighting and drama, of course, another feature of a “sandbox” game that comes with the territory.The game is free-to-play but does offer a cash shop that sells powerful items. I asked about this selling of “power”; it turns out there are items in-game that can be crafted or gathered that are just as powerful. Selling items of power is a much more popular trend than it used to be, something that will only become more common, and it usually comes packaged with the excuse that it is acceptable because there are items in-game that are just as good. I’m not sure that calms down those who cannot stomach the selling of power, but I am not bothered by it at all. Just be aware that it does happen in this game.So I spent much of my time gathering, chatting with the other players, building wall after wall, and trying to find rare resources. Is the game fun? It is, but it has a way to go. It’s still rough in many areas, but as someone who has seen so, so many indie games suffer from the hands of developers who simply could not step out of the programming tent long enough to check in with web sites or with the players, I can say that Ensemble Online has a fantastic foundation to work on. Once a foundation is solid, anything can be added on top. That puts Ensemble Online ahead of many other indies that have been out far, far longer.Next week I will be diving back into Wakfu to see whether and how things have changed. You can join me for a live look on Monday, the 23rd of September, at 4:00 p.m. EDT, right here on our livestream channel!Each week on Rise and Shiny, Beau chooses a different free-to-play, indie, or browser-based game and jumps in head-first. It might be amazing or it might be a dud, but either way, he’ll deliver his new-player impressions to you. Drop him an email, comment, or tweet!
druid, hunter, mage, monk, paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, warlock, and warrior — but if you haven’t quite found the right fit, there’s the game’s single hero class, the death knight, remaining. These fallen warriors were returned to life to fight for the Lich King, where they were fierce opponents who supplemented their weapon skills with dark magic. However, some death knights have broken free of the Lich King’s control and now serve the alliance or the horde.So just what is a hero class? While you might think that means it’s a more powerful class, instead it’s a more unique class — or at least it was at the time it was introduced in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion (and you’ll need the expansion to play one). Today, some of the unique characteristics of the class mirror changes we’ve seen come to other classes, but the story of the death knight class — which ties closely into the story of Arthas and the entire Wrath expansion — is still a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else in the game. That’s not to put down the class: just don’t expect it to be more powerful than any other class.There is one newbie-unfriendly caveat: to create a death knight, you have to have another character at level 55 or higher, because death knights start the game at level 55. It doesn’t matter what server your level 55 character is on or what faction it is, but you have to have one somewhere before you can create a death knight. This isn’t to say that new players can’t tackle death knights — but you’ll have to spend your first 55 levels playing another class.Sound interesting? We’ll break down just what death knights are — and aren’t — below. Just what is a death knight?Death knights are heavily armored fighters who are designed survive be in the thick of battle, combining fearsome melee abilities with dark magic. In a group, death knights can tank with the blood specialization or dish out damage with a frost or unholy specialization. The official descriptions of each specialization should give you a good feel as to what to expect from this class:Blood: A dark guardian who manipulates and corrupts life energy to sustain himself in the face of an enemy onslaught. These death knights get abilities like Death Strike and Vampiric Blood.Frost: An icy harbinger of doom, channeling runic power and delivering vicious weapon strikes. These death knights get abilities like Frost Strike and Pillar of Frost.Unholy: A master of death and decay, spreading infection and controlling undead minions to do his bidding. These death knights get abilities like Scourge Strike and Dark Transformation.For gear, death knights can wear plate armor, which gives them survivability on par with warriors and paladins — that is to say very good survivability. For weapons, they can dual wield one-handed weapons as well as using heavy two-handed weapons, including one-handed axes, one-handed maces, one-handed swords, polearms, two-handed axes, two-handed maces, and two-handed swords. And, while it might not always make sense with how often you upgrade your weapon, death knights have a personal connection with their weaponry, which allows them to be enchanted with runes that embrue them with extra abilities. These abilities overwrite and are usually better than traditional weapon enchantments, and are only useable on the death knight’s weapon of choice.Any race except pandaren — who never fought the Lich King and thus were never raised as death knights — can be a death knight. So if you’ve decided this is the class for you, there are plenty of choices.A unique resource system with runic power and runesDeath knights have a unique resource system — the game’s most complicated — in the form of runic power and runes, both of which are needed to use abilities. Runic power is a bit like rage: death knights start combat with none, and gain it by using abilities. But while some abilities need runic power, others need runes: a death knight has two blood runes, two frost runes, and two unholy runes, which refresh ten seconds after you use them. Different abilities will require you to use different types of runes, so in combat you’ll often find yourself switching between blood, frost, and unholy abilities while you wait for your runes to recharge.If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is — but it also gives death knights a nice balance. Instead of being like rage-using warriors, who can be resource-starved at the start of combat, death knights go into combat with runes that can be used to power their first strikes. And instead of being like classes that use mana, focus, or energy, death knights build up additional resources — in the form of runic power — as they fight, unlocking new options as combat progresses.This gives death knights the best of both worlds — but also requires them to be experts at managing their resources.Who should (and shouldn’t) play a death knight?Death knights can be a ton of fun… but, like every class, they’re not for everyone. Here’s who we think will like playing a death knight:If you’re looking for an alternative to sword-and-board tanking, blood death knights tank without shields — and dish out decent damage, too.If you’re looking for survivability, death knights are a a hardy bunch.And you might not like death knights if:Careful resource management sounds like an annoyance.You want to play a pandaren.You want a class you can play from level one.Want to know more about death knights?If we’ve piqued your interest, here’s where you should go for more info:Blizzard’s official death knight informationBlizzard’s death knight forumsOur death knight categoryIcy Veins on death knight resources and death knight levelingWhatever your final class decision, we we’ve been able to help you find the right class. Good luck getting started!Just because you’re a newbie doesn’t mean you can’t bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.
If you build it, they will come. While that adage hold true for baseball diamonds in cornfields, it’s a little bit different for MMOs. If you’re set on developing a new virtual playground, you get them to come so you can build it! That’s the philosophy behind crowdfunding, anyway, and many are latching onto it.So how fare the fields of crowdfunding lately? New projects (Alteil Horizons, Epic Space) sprouted up, one took root and grew stronger (Divergence), and others (Project Snowstorm, Realms of Creation, Enspira Online) withered away from lack of nourishment. See how your favorite projects are growing right here in Make My MMO. Dream a little dream, get a little green, and before long you’ll have your very own MMO… at least that’s what these developers are hoping! Games seeking funding to make their plans a reality are listed in this section.Alteil Horizons (Apocoplay): Kickstarter campaign ends October 6, 2013A digital CCG relying on turn-based RPG-style tactics and sporting a day and night cycle that changes the behavior of specific cardsMassively newsCitadel of Sorcery (MMO Magic, Inc.): Open donations, no end dateA vast, dynamic world where nothing is set in stone and each player will experience the game in very different waysMassively interviewEpic Space (EpicSpace.net): Kickstarter campaign ends October 7, 2013A 2-D sandbox shooter that seeks to add capital ships expansion to be crewed by multiple playersProcedurally generated space is infiniteStarCraft Universe (Upheaval Arts) Kickstarter campaign ends September 10, 2013A fan-made mod with replayable multiplayer experiences that wants to move into betaMassively newsSuccess has its privileges, like a spot in this section! Games that have reached their crowdfunding goals and are in current development are listed here. Once a game reaches the closed testing stage, it will move to the hallowed halls of Betawatch.Camelot Unchained (City State): Official site- Recent news: Considering a Berzerker raceDivergence: OnlineElite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments): Kickstarter page; forums- Recent news: Talking up space stationsEmbers of Caerus (Forsaken Studios): Official siteFace of Mankind (Nexeon Technologies): Official siteGreed Monger: Official siteHEX: Shards of Fate (Cryptozoic Entertainment): Official sitePathfinder Online (Goblinworks): Official siteShroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues (Portalarium): Official siteStar Citizen (Cloud Imperium): Official site- Recent news: Hanger module live; Dragon Con report; hits $17 millionLike few platforms before it, Kickstarter puts the power to determine the fate of fledgling MMOs in the hands of gamers themselves. Which will live and which will die? Check the pulse of all things crowdfunded in the MMO-sphere with Massively’s MJ Guthrie every two weeks in Make My MMO. And for a look at non-MMOs in the crowdfunding realm, don’t forget Joystiq’s Crowdfund Bookie.
Bethesda Softworks (Skyrim, Fallout, Elder Scrolls Online) kicked off g’day with the announcement of a new office in Sydney, Australia. The very drably named ZeniMax Australia Pty Ltd will handle sales, marketing and distribution efforts for Bethesda games in Australia and New Zealand. The company already has operations in Hong Kong and Tokyo.The Sydney publishing operation will be important as the company gets ready to launch Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Evil Within and, most important (and risky) for the company, The Elder Scrolls: Online in 2014.[Image: Lisa Strachan via Shutterstock] Show full PR textBETHESDA SOFTWORKS OPENS AUSTRALIA OFFICEExpands Operations in Asia PacificOctober 2, 2013 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced it has established a new publishing office in Sydney, Australia. ZeniMax Australia Pty Ltd will directly oversee sales, marketing, and distribution for all Bethesda titles in Australia and New Zealand.The establishment of ZeniMax Australia underscores the importance of the growing Australian market as well as the company’s continuing commitment to the Asia Pacific region. ZeniMax also has operations in Hong Kong and Tokyo.With the opening of the new office in Australia comes the appointment of Simon Alty as Managing Director for the new territory. Alty was most recently Managing Director of One to Another Pty Ltd where he and his team played a pivotal role in many successful Bethesda launches including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim®.”Simon’s experience and expertise in the games industry – specifically having worked on sales and marketing of Bethesda’s titles the last four years – will be of great value as we open a publishing office in Sydney,” said Sean Brennan, Managing Director, ZeniMax Europe Ltd. “Looking ahead, 2014 promises to be a big year for Bethesda as we release a trio of AAA titles: The Elder Scrollsâ Online, Wolfensteinâ: The New Orderä and The Evil Withinä.”For more information about ZeniMax Media, visit www.zenimax.com. For more information about Bethesda Softworks and its games, please visit www.bethsoft.com.About ZeniMax Media Inc.ZeniMax Media is a privately owned media organization headquartered outside Washington DC with international publishing offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Eindhoven, Hong Kong, Sydney and Tokyo. Through its subsidiaries, ZeniMax Media creates and publishes original interactive entertainment content for consoles, the PC and handheld/wireless devices. ZeniMax Media divisions include Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, MachineGames, ZeniMax Online Studios, Battlecry Studios, ZeniMax Europe Ltd, ZeniMax Asia K.K., ZeniMax Asia Pacific Ltd and ZeniMax Australia Pty Ltd. For more information on ZeniMax Media, visit www.zenimax.com.About Bethesda SoftworksBethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software. Titles featured under the Bethesda label include such blockbuster franchises as The Elder Scrolls®, DOOM®, QUAKE®, Fallout®, Wolfenstein®, Dishonored®, Prey® and RAGE®. For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com.
Lesser Charm of Good Fortune in the numbers needed for my weekly raiding.Now in patch 5.4 we’ve lost dailies (the Golden Lotus have been pared back to a few in the west of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, now the Vale of Eternal Sorrows) and we’ve gained a content hub which is mostly about exploration and good old fashioned grinding in the Timeless Isle. Over the course of this expansion we’ve seen all sorts of delivery systems for content – scenarios, heroic scenarios, flex raiding – and we’ve even seen some complaints from players about older, tried and true systems like five man dungeons not getting the emphasis people might want. And this leads me to wonder what we’ve got in store for us down the road. How will the next expansion present itself to us? I expect there will be the usual leveling quests, they work pretty well overall and there’s room for flexibility in their design, but what will the max level content look like? If I had to guess (and I do, since I’m writing a big speculation about the topic) I’d bet that elements from patch 5.1 and 5.2 will show up somewhere. Something that combines the Dominance Offensive/Operation Shieldwall’s storytelling quests and uses the Isle of Thunder’s solo scenarios as another tool in the arsenal. I also expect we’ll see something that’s more of a generalized zone to explore like the Timeless Isle, but larger – imagine an entire zone the size of Kun-Lai or the Storm Peaks that was mostly for players to tool around on and make discoveries on.But one of the biggest missed opportunities in this whole expansion was the decision to make Scenarios max-level content only. Frankly, I’d like to see more scenarios used as we level, and then five man dungeons take more prominence as we achieve max level – scenarios should still exist and be useful to players at max level (they’re a godsend for DPS players) but I really think this expansion has shown us the players like five mans, that for at least some players they are a big part of endgame. With challenge modes in existence, we could even argue for an increased focus on five man content so that there’s more for challenge mode hunters to do – I’d definitely hope for at least one patch that focuses primarily on new five man content.As for raiding, I think we may right now be looking at the format we’ll see for at least the first few raids, just as the last patch in Cataclysm gave us the format for the first tiers of raiding in Mists. One thing I’d like to see is more raid tiers, as contradictory as that may sound. But I liked Wrath of the Lich King having that extra raid tier even if it ended up being Trial – if we don’t get an extra tier of raiding I’d at least like it if we broke the raids up more, instead of having one big raid that’s doable in LFR style wings I’d like it more if we had two raids, ala Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Caverns or the introductory tier of Mists. As much as I personally like Throne of Thunder, sometimes it’s nice to have a break from clearing twelve or more bosses in one place.As for something entirely new, while I’m sitting here making stuff up, I’m going to say that we’ll see more class quests, perhaps in scenario form like the warlock green fire one.So now it’s your turn – how will we digest our meal of content in the future? In neat pill form? With a stein of mead? Let’s have your ideas.