World of Warcraft 7.3 Patch Notes
Gamescom - Blizzard Reveal Ceremony

World of Warcraft 7.3 Patch Notes
Patch 7.3 releases on August 29th!





Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
New Features

Argus
Following recent events in the Broken Isles, a link has been created between Azeroth and Kil'jaeden's homeworld of Argus, bringing the Burning Legion closer than ever to destroying Azeroth. In order to stop them once and for all, Illidan and Velen are taking the war directly to the surface of Argus, where they hope to join forces with Alleria, Turalyon, and the Army of the Light to launch an all-out assault on the Legion's primary base of operations.

Board the Vindicaar, a vessel that will serve as your mobile base of operations on Argus, as well as one of your few safe havens on the planet.

As you explore Argus, you’ll visit new locations across the planet, experiencing the epic conclusion to the Legion storyline and unlocking new world quests and other content along the way.

Invasion Points
Azeroth isn’t the only world connected to this hostile place. While on Argus, you’ll unlock the ability to enter the very portals the Burning Legion use to transport to other worlds. Once there, complete an event or defeat a boss to earn epic rewards.

New Dungeon: Seat of the Triumvirate
Once the heart of the ancient eredar civilization where Velen, Archimonde, and Kil’jaeden ruled their people, this temple has fallen to ruin. Return with Velen to retrieve an ancient relic of power, and battle the darkness that has overtaken this sacred place, in a new 5-person dungeon among the ruins of Mac’Aree on Argus, featuring four bosses:

  • Zuraal the Ascended
    • Zuraal represents the Shadowguard’s first success at creating a Void-infused Broken whose mind has not fallen into madness. A renowned brawler in his past life, Zuraal uses his newfound dark strength to empower his attacks and decimate his foes.
  • Saprish
    • The ever-tactical Saprish deploys the forces of the Shadowguard with calculated precision. Though a skilled commander and strategist, Saprish relishes taking a direct hand in battle. He turns his foes’ weaknesses against them, leaving his vulnerable adversaries at the mercy of his voracious pets.
  • Viceroy Nezhar
    • Like others of his ilk, Viceroy Nezhar is obsessed with harnessing the power of the Void to serve his own ambitions. Drawn to the Seat of the Triumvirate by the immense darkness emanating from deep within, Nezhar will stop at nothing to claim it for his own. Given the viceroy’s experiments at infusing vessels with the power of shadow, the implications of what he might accomplish on Argus are dire indeed.
  • L'ura
    • When Velen and his followers fled Argus aboard the Genedar, the naaru L’ura stayed behind to buy the draenei time to escape. Kil’jaeden, enraged by this betrayal, ordered the wounded naaru sealed away in the Seat of the Triumvirate. Over the long millennia that passed, L’ura fell from Light to Void. Her elegant song of courage and hope became a shadowy dirge of despair, luring those seeking to lay claim to her power.

Updated Features

Argus World Quests
As you progress through each of the areas to explore on Argus, you’ll unlock new World Quests and new Emissaries eager for your help.

Artifact Customization
Harness the power of Argus to activate the Netherlight Crucible aboard the Vindicaar, allowing you to augment your Artifact Relics. The Crucible can be used to strengthen and customize Relics, increasing their raw power and allowing players to choose from a set of additional powers, including a second Artifact Trait to improve.

Combat Animations
New and updated animations, effects, and audio are coming to all three Mage specs, all three Priest specs, and Elemental and Restoration Shamans. Restoration Druids have updated animations.

Class Halls, Champions, and Missions
Your Class Hall and its assorted Champions played key roles in the defense of Azeroth, and their keen efforts are needed to succeed with the new challenges of Argus. You’ll find dozens of new missions, along with new Troop types, and an increase in your Champions’ item level to 950.

Dungeons
Loot dropped in Normal, Heroic, and Mythic dungeons is now increased in power by 20 item levels:

  • Normal: item level 845
  • Heroic: item level 865
  • Mythic: item level 885

Mythic Keystone rewards scale up to a maximum of item level 915 in the dungeon, and item level 935 in the weekly chest, both capped at Mythic Keystone 10. This cap in will increase to Mythic Keystone 15 at a future date.

The difficulty of Heroic and Mythic dungeons has increased to reflect the improved rewards. Normal dungeon difficulty is unchanged.

Pet Battles
Venture through the raids of Cataclysm to find new battle pets for the much-anticipated achievement, Raiding with Leashes V: Cuteaclysm. You’ll boast about finding a host of mostly elemental pets when you revisit Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, Throne of the Four Winds, Firelands, and Dragon Soul.

Advance scouts have reported spotting 18 legendary boss pets scattered about Argus, and these miniature monstrosities have otherworldly special abilities that the denizens of Azeroth have never seen before, such as the slightly terrifying Greater Apocalypse ability. Additionally, more than a dozen different capturable wild pets are said to be found on Argus, as well as a number of pets that can only be obtained via reward items and the new Family Fighter achievement.

Professions on a New Planet
Professional development turns a new page on Argus, with new gathering nodes for Herbalism and Mining, new material types for Skinning and Tailoring, and a new soulbound reagent: Primal Sargerite. Look for new items that can be created by crafters, as well as a new shoulder enchant that provides materials specific to Argus.

In a related turn of events, six renowned NPCs have emerged in the world of fishing. Every day, visit Akule Riverhorn, Corbyn, Ilyssia of the Waters, Impus, Keeper Raynae, or Sha’leth to earn reputation and explore the new rewards they have to offer, and ultimately earn the Fisherfriend of the Isles achievement to unlock a new alternate appearance for your Underlight Angler artifact fishing pole.

Changes

Achievements
  • “Represent”, “Ten Tabards”, “Twenty-Five Tabards” and “Thirty Tabards” now require that a number of unique tabards be obtained. These Achievements no longer require the tabards be equipped.

Artifact Knowledge
  • The Orders are now working together to improve Artifact Knowledge, and Artifact Knowledge now increases every week for everyone at the same rate, without the need to submit work orders.

Classes
  • The Avoidance stat has been reduced in effectiveness by 27% at all levels.
  • Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Frost
    • The synergy between Hungering Rune Weapon and Breath of Sindragosa has dominated the spec, leaving little room for variety. We’re adjusting this combo, and overall damage has increased to compensate. The result should be a more competitive talent picture. All three level 100 talents are tweaked for balance and to play more smoothly. Hungering Rune Weapon should still be hectic to use and require planning, but should not drastically overcap resources anymore.
      • All damage increased by 14%.
      • Hungering Rune Weapon has moved to the level 100 row, swapping with Glacial Advance, which is now on the level 58 row.
      • Breath of Sindragosa damage increased by 10%.
      • Hungering Rune Weapon duration reduced to 12 seconds (was 15 seconds) and additionally grants 20% haste.
      • Obliteration duration increased to 10 seconds (was 8 seconds).
      • Obliteration now causes Howling Blast to grant Killing Machine (in addition to Frost Strike).
    • These changes collectively reduce Frost’s propensity to be flooded with resources in many of its talent/legendary setups
      • Horn of Winter cooldown increased to 45 seconds (was 30 seconds).
      • Murderous Efficiency chance reduced to 50% (was 65%).
      • Koltira’s Newfound Will generates 1 Rune (was 2) and now causes Obliterate to deal 10% extra damage.
    • The following talents have shifted around in the talent tree to provide more choices and allow for better balanced options. This requires targeted balance changes.
    • The utility talent row on level 75 should now provide a better payoff in situations where Frost’s comparative lack of mobility is felt.
      • Volatile Shielding now causes Anti-Magic Shell to generate 100% additional Runic Power (was: removes Runic Power generation), and no longer deals damage.
      • White Walker replaced with new talent, Inexorable Assault: For every 1 second spent in combat with no enemy within 8 yards, you gain a stack of Inexorable Assault. Each stack causes your next autoattack to deal additional Frost damage.

  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • All Specs
      • Mass Entanglement is now a 15-yard AoE around the target.
      • Prowl cooldown reduced to 6 seconds (was 10 seconds).
      • Rebirth is now castable in all forms.
    • Feral
    • Feral’s updates are focused on addressing two issues with the spec: reducing the dominance of complexifying talents such as Savage Roar, Jagged Wounds, and Bloodtalons, and reducing the damage gap between learning the spec and playing it perfectly. Feral has traditionally been a high skill-cap spec, and we have no intention of changing that, but this suite of updates should make the spec more approachable and less punishing for those still learning its nuances.
      • All damage increased by 33%.
      • Bloodtalons damage bonus reduced to 20% (was 50%), and now additionally procs from casting Entangling Roots.
      • Elune’s Guidance cooldown reduced to 30 seconds (was 45 seconds), and combo points granted reduced to 5 + 5 over 5 seconds (was 5 + 8 over 8 seconds).
      • Fixed a bug with Incarnation: King of the Jungle, where Ferocious Bite’s optional additional 25 energy cost wasn’t being reduced by 50% as intended.
      • Incarnation: King of the Jungle now only allows the use of Prowl while in combat once throughout its duration, and now reduces the cost of all Cat Form abilities by 50% while active (was 60%).
      • Jagged Wounds now causes your Rip, Rake, and Thrash abilities to deal the same damage as normal, but in 20% less time (was 33%).
      • Moment of Clarity’s damage bonus to affected abilities increased to 20% (was 15%), and now affects Brutal Slash.
      • Predatory Swiftness no longer affects or is consumed by Rebirth.
      • Sabertooth damage bonus to Ferocious Bite increased to 20% (was 15%).
      • Savage Roar duration increased by 50% at all combo point levels, and damage bonus reduced to 15% (was 25%).
      • Tear the Flesh (Artifact trait) now increases damage dealt by Rake by 6% (was 7%) per rank.
    • The following talents have shifted around in the talent tree to provide more choices and allow for better balanced options.
      • Elune's Guidance has moved to level 100 row, swapping with Brutal Slash, which is now on the level 90 row.
      • Jagged Wounds has moved to level 75, swapping with Savage Roar, which is now on the level 90 row.
    • The rhythm and pacing of AoE situations should now feel more consistent with the rest of Feral’s abilities.
      • Swipe Energy cost reduced to 40 (was 45).
      • Thrash Energy cost reduced to 45 (was 50).
      • Thrash Now generates 1 combo point if it hits a target.
    • Savage Roar is generally maintained at full uptime, so the “deals increased damage for their full duration” on it provided no gameplay, only added complication. In comparison, Tiger's Fury and Bloodtalons still provide interesting gameplay due to their limited nature.
      • Savage Roar now increases the damage of Feral damage over time effects dynamically, based on whether Savage Roar is active or inactive at the time of dealing damage. Previously, Feral damage over time abilities dealt a set amount of total damage over their full duration based on whether Savage Roar was active or not when the damage over time abilities were cast. Tiger’s Fury and Bloodtalons functionality remains unchanged.

  • Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • The Porcupine family has been re-named to Rodent.

  • Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Windwalker
    • Nearly all damage sources are now covered by Versatility, and these were two that didn't need to be left out.

  • Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • The Paladin class mount vendor now offers a glyph that allows Paladins to transform their Divine Steed into their class mount.
    • Blessing of Sacrifice should now robustly prevent against reducing the casting Paladin below 20% health.
      • Developers’ note: This is a bugfix to Blessing of Sacrifice to eliminate the issue with it reducing you to below the listed health amount, and even occasionally killing you. It should now be safe to rely on it to perform as expected.
    • Retribution
    • Traits and legendaries that buff Crusade should still be attractive, but not as far ahead of the pack as they previously were.
      • All damage abilities increased by 6%.
      • Chain of Thrayn now correctly, additively stacks with Crusade.
      • Wrath of the Ashbringer trait bonus reduced to 2 seconds per rank (was 2.5 seconds per rank).
      • Mastery’s effect on Judgment damage increased by 46%, and Mastery’s effect on Judgment debuff strength increased by 17%.
      • Execution Sentence damage increased by 17%.
      • Righteous Blade trait bonus reduced to 4% per rank (was 5% per rank).
      • Unbreakable Will is no longer triggered when you’re under the effect of Sleep Canister.
    • Protection
    • There should now be much less DPS and survivability swing between Seraphim and non-Seraphim builds. Non-Seraphim builds now do better damage, and Seraphim builds do not sacrifice as much defense as they previously did.
      • Seraphim cooldown increased to 45 seconds (was 30 seconds)
      • Damage increased by 8%: Avenger’s Shield, Judgment, Hammer of the Righteous, Blessed Hammer, Consecration, Shield of the Righteous, Eye of Tyr.
      • Bulwark of the Silver Hand now gives 35% Armor (was 20%).

  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Elemental
      • Earthquake damage increased by 19%.
      • Static Overload redesigned: After using Stormkeeper, your next Chain Lightning causes Elemental Overload to trigger on every target.
    • Elemental continues to have strong AoE capabilities, but we want to help make their single target damage a bit more attractive.
      • All damage abilities increased by 6% (with the exception of Chain Lightning).
      • Earth Shock damage increased by 7%.
      • Frost Shock damage increased by 13%.
    • This set of changes gives Elemental much more room to benefit from their mastery stat before reaching the hard cap of 100% proc rate.
      • Elemental Blast damage increased by 7%.
      • Elemental Blast now provides 2000 stats at level 110 (was 2400).
      • Elemental Overload now does 85% of base damage (was 75%) and its proc rate has been reduced by 17%.
      • Totem Mastery: Storm Totem bonus reduced to 5% (was 10%).

  • Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Healthstone now heals 25% of the user’s health at all levels.
      • Developers’ note: Healthstones should be more useful at current endgame health amounts.

  • Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Fury
      • Juggernaut damage bonus reduced to 3% per stack (was 5% per stack).
      • Execute damage increased by 20%.

Class Halls
  • The Tier 3 Class Hall research bonus now costs 1,000 Order Resources (was 2,000).
  • The Tier 4 Class Hall research bonus now costs 2,500 Order Resources (was 4,000).
  • The Tier 5 Class Hall research bonus now costs 5,000 Order Resources (was 8,000).
  • All research durations for changing a bonus have been reduced 1 day (was 3 days).
  • The cost to change the Tier 7 research bonus has been increased to 5,000 Order Resources (was 2,000).

Companion App
  • Added support for Argus world quests and missions.

Dungeons
  • Players can no longer swap equipment in Mythic Keystone dungeons while under the effect of the Bursting or Grievous damage-over-time effects.

Items
  • Attack Power has been removed from all player gear and replaced with Strength or Agility, except in cases where those stats would be inappropriate (such as guns).
  • Many holiday-themed items now have substantially-reduced cooldowns when their associated holidays are active.
  • Many legacy class set items that did not have a sell price now have a sell price.
  • Contributing to a building on the Broken Shore no longer awards a Legionfall Recompense item, and the Artifact Power value of the Artifact Power token awarded has been reduced.
  • Artifact Power items no longer have a sale price, as they should always be useable.
  • Artifacts
    • Hidden Appearances – You are no longer required to be using your current specialization’s Hidden Artifact Appearance to gain progress towards unlocking its 3 color variants. You can now gain progress towards unlocking the 3 color variants of your Artifact’s Hidden Appearances set while you are in any spec and using any Artifact appearance.
    • Challenge Appearances – You are no longer required to be using your current specialization’s Challenge Artifact Appearance to gain progress towards unlocking its 3 color variants. You can now gain progress towards unlocking the 3 color variants of your Artifact’s Challenge Appearances set while you are in any spec and using any Artifact appearance, as long as you have unlocked the base challenge appearance for a given spec.
    • The Appearance requirement “Defeat all Legion dungeons” has been changed to “Complete 10 different Legion dungeons”, and now includes Seat of the Triumvirate.
  • Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Feral
      • Garb of the Astral Warden 2-piece set bonus redesigned and now causes Thrash to deal 15% increased damage (was “Thrash generates 1 combo point if it hits a target.”).
      • Garb of the Astral Warden 4-piece set bonus now causes Shred and Swipe to deal 8% increased damage for each Bleed effect you have on the target (was 15%).

  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
    • Elemental
      • The Regalia of the Skybreaker 2-piece bonus now reduces Storm Elemental cooldown by 2 seconds (was 1.5 seconds).

Player versus Player

  • Fierce Gladiator’s Cloak’s rating requirement has been increased to 2300.
  • Additional Artifact Power tokens are awarded to players that win Arena matches based on the player’s rating, starting at 1800.
  • Enchanter’s Illusion - Glorious Tyranny is now available to purchase from Prideful Gladiator vendors, for characters who earned Duelist: Season 14 or Duelist: Season 15.
  • Enchanter’s Illusion - Primal Victory is now available to purchase from Warmongering Gladiator vendors, for characters who earned Duelist: Warlords Season 1, Duelist: Warlords Season 2, or Duelist: Warlords Season 3.
  • All Classes
  • Pets in PvP are now immune to Taunt effects for 20 seconds after being Taunted.

  • Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator)
  • Restoration
    • The totem summoned by Grounding Totem will no longer take damage from spells that are redirected to it.

Quests
  • The Broken Shore now offers an Emissary Quest.

User Interface
  • A “Summon Random Favorite Battle Pet” button has been added to the Pet Journal.
  • Legendary quests now display as orange markers on the world map.
  • Legion dungeon and raid maps now have clickable icons where sub-maps connect, making it easier to navigate between floors.
  • Mount and pet unlocks now have a unique toast.
  • The Dressing Room pane is now larger.
  • The Shop has a new checkout interface.
  • You can now turn left and right with the Move Pad accessibility feature.
Gamescom - Blizzard Reveal Ceremony
Gamescom - Blizzard Reveal Ceremony
Ion confirmed that all they will be talking about is Patch 7.3. Shadows of Argus releases on August 29th!




  • The fate of our world and all worlds hangs in the balance.
  • Argus has a story heavy epic experience, spanning three regions, including a new dungeon.
  • More world quests, missions, and artifact changes are coming.
  • A rift links our world to Argus, the homeworld of the Legion. We have an opportunity to strike and defeat them now.
  • You land at Krokun first, meeting the Army of the Light. They have been fighting the Legion across the galaxy.
  • We will meet new types of demons, stronger than demons we have seen ever before. Pit Lord spawning grounds, and more.
  • Mac'Aree, the Jewel of Argus, is next. It is mostly intact, reflecting the old civilization that was here long ago. The Seat of the Triumvirate dungeon is also located here.
  • Invasion Points allow you to travel to other worlds to defeat the Legion, giving us a glimpse of worlds all over the galaxy that we have never seen.


Hearthstone
A series of animated shorts and comics are coming, featuring the characters in this short!



Overwatch
A new cinematic short has been released!



Heroes of the Storm
Part of a multi-part documentary will release next week that demonstrates how much work goes into creating a new hero.



Gamescom News, Gladiator's Summit, Levantus, Warsong Scramble, Pet Battle Event
Why are the Nephalem So Powerful£

Get a Free Frozen Throne Pack Today£ You Were Bugged!

Blizzard Gamescom Preview
Blizzard released a preview of what we can expect to see at gamescom. The World of Warcraft section focused on upcoming content in Patch 7.3. You can catch the reveal ceremony at 9 AM PDT / 18:00 CEST on Wednesday, August 23.



New Esports Show, Gladiator's Summit - Watch Now!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The Gladiator’s Summit is a brand-new show dedicated to World of Warcraft Arena events, globally. In each new episode, released regularly during the year, we’ll keep you up to date with everything happening in WoW esports. That includes all the latest information, inside scoops on regional and global championships, and more about the teams and players themselves.


Get The Esports Lowdown
Want to know what’s happening when£ This is the show to watch. Want to know how players prepare for battle, and how teams are formed£ We’ve got it covered. Ever wondered why teams pick the combos they do£ Now’s your chance to learn more. It’s a 360° WoW esports view, brought to you by our expert esports team.

What is the Gladiator’s Summit£
It’s a series of shows we’ll record throughout the season, released on our WoW YouTube channel. You can find out more about all our esports events, catch up with news and results, take a look at what’s coming up, and get genuine insider information on the talent, the tournaments, and the teams.

Where can I watch the Gladiator’s Summit£
All the latest episodes will be on our World of Warcraft YouTube channel. To find out when upcoming episodes will be available, head to our WoW esports site for all the latest news, and all upcoming esports events.

What will the first episode be about£

In the first episode, we go over the European Arena Cup season, just in time to get us all pumped ready for the European Championship Final!

What will future episodes be about£
We’ll be talking about the recent North America cups, recapping the action and discussing how the finals will go. We’ll also take a look at the European cups, and look into teams, players, and epic moments. Information on later episodes can be found on our WoW esports site.

Who’s hosting the show£
All the action will be brought to you by two of our most popular and knowledgeable hosts: Jackson “Bajheera” Bliton and Elliott “Venruki” Venczel.

Jackson ‘Bajheera’ Bliton

Elliott 'Venruki’ Venczel

Where can I find out more£
Find out when the latest episode will be released on our dedicated WoW esports website.

World Boss - Levantus
Levantus is up this week! He drops item level 860 gear and a Blood Relic. Shaman can also get the The Warmace of Shirvallah hidden artifact appearance for Doomhammer.



PvP Brawl - Warsong Scramble
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Every other week a new PvP Brawl will be available to players looking for something just a little different. Each Brawl will offer a variety of modes, rules, and scenic changes to the usual Battleground gameplay, and you’ll find them in the Group Finder tool (hotkey “I”) in the Player vs. Player tab. Just like Random Battlegrounds, you’ll receive a reward for achieving victory.

Warsong Scramble – Capture the Flag
Do you have a flag£ Warsong Gulch has always been the scene of an epic Capture the Flag battle, but what happens when you can capture your enemy’s flag without your own at base£ Find out when you step into this PvP Brawl! We’ve also added a few more power-ups to the field of battle to stir things up a bit. To win, your team will need to be the first to capture 5 flags.


Weekly Bonus Event - Pet Battles
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
An extra weekly quest and rewards are here— the Pet Battles bonus event is underway!

This Week
All week, get out there and fight with your mighty minions. When the time comes to take on other players, open your Pet Journal and hit the “Find Battle” button to be matched up with an opponent whose team is competitive with yours.

Look for the following all week long:


Heroes of the Storm - Obey the Call
Dreadlord Jaina confirmed and Kel'thuzad is coming to Heroes. Don't forget to grab the Legendary loot chest from Twitch Prime.



Overwatch - New Map: Junkertown
A new map is coming to Overwatch! Check back Wednesday for the new animated short.



Patch 7.3 - Vile Fiend Mount, Patch 7.3 - Heirloom Neck, Tweets, DLC #595
Why are the Nephalem So Powerful£

Popular HearthPwn Standard and Wild Decks of the Week for August 20

Patch 7.3 - Vile Fiend
Patch 7.3 adds the Vile Fiend mount.






Patch 7.3 - Heirloom Neck
Patch 7.3 adds a new Heirloom neck item, the Man'ari Training Amulet. This item allows you to sacrifice 10% health to increase movement speed by 40% for 10 sec.

It is rewarded from the Assault on Felfire Armory Order Hall mission.



Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Back when you were working on WoW, how much did the concept of “theme park” vs “sandbox” influence the drawing board£ Did you guys identify with one side more than another on a scale, or did you consider WoW to be it’s own entity, and introduce features to fit the current trend of gameplay£
WoW followed the theme park philosophy pretty strongly. Before WoW, MMOs were much more about creating an “interesting” (quotes intentional) world in which players could go find “fun” things to do. But often that fun devolved into grinding mobs. WoW was explicit about constantly providing directed gameplay, largely through quests. Rather than the quests petering out and reaching the point where you have to grind, in WoW the quests just never ran out. There are even way more quests than you need in order to reach max level, and increasingly there are even quests at max level. Quests aren’t even the only system that provides stuff for players to do.

Beyond just WoW, I’ll be a little controversial here and say that I worry that the importance of sandboxes to successful game design gets overstated. I’ve also noticed that it is game reviewers who get really excited about open-ended gameplay, and I’m sure part of that reason is because they have to play through so many games at a frenetic pace that something where they get to set the rules is appealing.

And I do get the appeal of sandboxes. It’s just that so often the game can’t often deliver on the massive expectations of what a sandbox really is. I get really bored of games where I have to go find the fun or invent my own fun, usually because games can’t ever really deliver on “Anything that you can conceive, you can do.” Instead I always find myself bumping into the limitations of the system. I can’t really be a thief who just survives stealing from other players. I can’t really be a merchant or a politician or a prophet because the game systems aren’t robust enough to support that. Minecraft lets you make ridiculously elaborate architecture. GTA is funny when the cop AI collides with semi-realistic car physics. But both are still pretty limited in terms of sandboxes.

(My favorite game is D&D, where a human dungeon master does allow you to do almost anything you can dream up. Computers are far behind.)

I could talk a lot about Breath of the Wild. It is a fantastic game. But I also do get bored sometimes when I climb a mountain just to find nothing interesting up on top. Yes, it’s great that the game lets me climb any mountain. That freedom is amazing. But I’m going to stop doing it if I keep finding boring mountaintops. Watching the different systems interact in ways that you would expect (”Lightning is attracted to metal!” “Bombs can move things when they explode!” is fun to witness and maybe entertaining from a creative expression standpoint. But that doesn’t automatically make it fun. I still want something engaging. If it can be an engaging open world game, great. But if it’s just an open world game, I’m going to move on to another game quickly.

I completely realize this is personal preference, but I’d rather designers give me an experience that they think would be fun for me, rather than giving me a tool set and letting me invent the fun. But I’m a guy who loves Lego, but never builds anything other than the model the boxed sets are designed to make. YMMV. (Source)



Dark Legacy Comics #595
DLC #595 has been released.

Patch 7.3 PTR - Build 24853, Dressing Room Update, Blue Posts, DLC #594
Patch 2.6.1 PTR Notes - New Items and Significant Item Changes

New Fireside Gathering Features Now Live - Fireside Brawls & Tavern Signs

Patch 7.3 PTR - Build 24853
Build 24853 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon.

Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Death Knight (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Frost
  • Frost Death Knight Increases damage/healing of Avalanche, Breath of Sindragosa, Death Strike, Frost Breath, Frost Fever, Frost Strike, Frost Strike Off-Hand, Frostscythe, Frozen Pulse, Howling Blast, Obliterate, Obliterate Off-Hand, Remorseless Winter by 30% 23%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Avalanche, Breath of Sindragosa, Death Strike, Frost Breath, Frost Fever, Frost Strike, Frost Strike Off-Hand, Frostscythe, Frozen Pulse, Howling Blast, Obliterate, Obliterate Off-Hand, Remorseless Winter by 30% 23%. Death Knight - Frost Spec.

Unholy
  • Unholy Death Knight Increases damage/healing of Apocalypse, Clawing Shadows, Death and Decay, Death Strike, Festering Strike, Outbreak, Scourge Strike, Soul Reaper by 8% 5%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Apocalypse, Clawing Shadows, Death and Decay, Death Strike, Festering Strike, Outbreak, Scourge Strike, Soul Reaper by 8% 5%. Death Knight - Unholy Spec.

Hunter (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Beast Mastery
  • Beast Mastery Hunter Increases damage/healing of Barrage, Chimaera Shot, Cobra Shot, Kill Command, Multi-Shot, Stomp, Volley by 10% 6%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Barrage, Chimaera Shot, Cobra Shot, Kill Command, Multi-Shot, Stomp, Volley by 10% 6%. Increases damage/healing of Bestial Wrath by 10 6. Hunter - Beast Mastery Spec.

Survival
  • Survival Hunter Increases damage/healing of Butchery, Carve, Flanking Strike, Fury of the Eagle, Hatchet Toss, Lacerate, Mongoose Bite, Raptor Strike by 10% 7%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Butchery, Carve, Flanking Strike, Fury of the Eagle, Hatchet Toss, Lacerate, Mongoose Bite, Raptor Strike by 10% 7%. Hunter - Survival Spec.

Monk (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Windwalker
  • Windwalker Monk Increases damage/healing of Blackout Kick, Chi Wave, Crackling Jade Lightning, Crosswinds, Eye of the Tiger, Fists of Fury, Flying Serpent Kick, Rising Sun Kick, Rushing Jade Wind, Spinning Crane Kick, Strike of the Windlord, Tiger Palm by 5% 0%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Blackout Kick, Chi Wave, Crackling Jade Lightning, Crosswinds, Eye of the Tiger, Fists of Fury, Flying Serpent Kick, Rising Sun Kick, Rushing Jade Wind, Spinning Crane Kick, Strike of the Windlord, Tiger Palm by 5% 0%. Monk - Windwalker Spec.

Rogue (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
PvP Talents
  • Thief's Bargain The cooldown of your Vanish spell is reduced by 60 45 sec. Your damage is increased by 10%, but your maximum health is reduced by 15%. Subtlety Rogue - Tier 5 PvP Talent.

Assassination
  • Assassination Rogue Increases damage/healing of Deadly Poison, Death from Above, Envenom, Fan of Knives, Garrote, Hemorrhage, Kingsbane, Mutilate, Mutilate Off-Hand, Neurotoxin, Poisoned Knife, Rupture, Shiv, Sinister Strike, Toxic Blade, Wound Poison by 28% 22%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Deadly Poison, Death from Above, Envenom, Fan of Knives, Garrote, Hemorrhage, Kingsbane, Mutilate, Mutilate Off-Hand, Neurotoxin, Poisoned Knife, Rupture, Shiv, Sinister Strike, Toxic Blade, Wound Poison by 28% 22%. Rogue - Assassination Spec.

Outlaw
  • Outlaw Rogue Increases damage/healing of Ambush, Between the Eyes, Death from Above, Ghostly Strike, Main Gauche, Pistol Shot, Riposte, Run Through, Saber Slash by 4% 0%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Ambush, Between the Eyes, Death from Above, Ghostly Strike, Main Gauche, Pistol Shot, Riposte, Run Through, Saber Slash by 4% 0%. Increases damage/healing of Death from Above by 30%. Rogue - Outlaw Spec.

Shaman (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Elemental
  • Earth Shock Instantly shocks the target with concussive force, causing up to [*1,300% [*1,230% of Spell Power*] Nature damage based on Maelstrom spent. Shaman - Elemental Spec. 10 Maelstrom. 40 yd range. Instant.

Enhancement
  • Enhancement Shaman Increases damage/healing of Crash Lightning, Earthen Spike, Flametongue, Flametongue Attack, Frostbrand, Fury of Air, Lava Lash, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Shield, Rockbiter, Stormstrike, Stormstrike Off-Hand, Sundering, Windfury Attack, Windsong, Windstrike, Windstrike Off-Hand by 13% 10%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Crash Lightning, Earthen Spike, Flametongue, Flametongue Attack, Frostbrand, Fury of Air, Lava Lash, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Shield, Rockbiter, Stormstrike, Stormstrike Off-Hand, Sundering, Windfury Attack, Windsong, Windstrike, Windstrike Off-Hand by 13% 10%. Increases damage/healing of Crash Lightning, Earthen Spike, Flametongue, Flametongue Attack, Frostbrand, Fury of Air, Lava Lash, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Shield, Rockbiter, Stormstrike, Stormstrike Off-Hand, Sundering, Windfury Attack, Windsong, Windstrike, Windstrike Off-Hand by 13 10. Shaman - Enhancement Spec.

Raid & Dungeon Abilities
  • Swing The caster swings their weapon in a devastating arc, inflicting 1,070,500 538,000 Fire damage to all enemies caught in the weapon's path. Melee range. 2 sec cast. 5 sec cooldown.

Item Effects
  • Attuning Attune the crystal with the spirit's essence. Results may be unpredictable. Melee range. Instant. 7 yd range. 3 sec cast (Channeled).



Some New Blue Faces
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Over the coming weeks, you’ll be seeing some new Blue accounts posting here in the forums. These fine folks are joining on to help us be more present and active in discussions with you all.

Our new additions will be labeled “Forum Engagement.” While these people are Blizzard employees, they aren’t game designers and won’t be able to answer those deeper questions about topics like game balance. And no worries; you’ll still see the same names you recognize.

Thanks for giving them a warm welcome!

Patch 7.3 - Dressing Room Update
Patch 7.3 enlarges the dressing room window and adds class specific backgrounds.



Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Draenor Pathfinder
While at this point in time we don't have any plans to remove the Draenor Pathfinder requirement for flying in Draenor, I just wanted to add that there's a lot of great feedback on both sides of the fence here, thanks everyone for remaining mostly constructive. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Like a Pro - Practicing Effectively
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Two weeks ago, we kicked off the PvP like a Pro series, where we talk to some of the best Arena players in the world and gain their insights.

Part 3 - Practicing Effectively

Minpojke of team Northern Gaming Blue has achieved rank one in Arena every season since 2011. His current squad has been playing together for more than two years, and came third in the Global Finals at BlizzCon 2016. With his help, we’ve built a five-step guide to help you practice like a pro!

Synergy - Align Your Team
Before setting out on your quest to the top, make sure you’re “aligned as a team,” says Minpojke. Like in any group activity, “it’s very important that everyone has the same goals and the same drive to do what it takes to win.” Make sure your team shares similar ambitions, and is aligned on how much effort will be required to achieve them. And of course, make sure you have similar gaming schedules so you can play and practice together!

Atmosphere - Stay Positive
It’s important to have a good atmosphere while playing. Minpojke says, “If you and your group get along and even become friends, you’ll like playing and actually learn more as well.” Be sure that the mood stays positive so that you can enjoy competing and improving together. It’s much easier to keep a team motivated if you’re all having fun—it’s a game after all!

Stated more simply, Minpojke says, “It’s easy to win as a team—in the sense that it’s easy to be happy and celebrate—but if you’re capable of losing together, then you’ll be a great team.”

Strategy - Know the Meta
When it comes to making practice effective, Minpojke feels it’s a priority to stay up to date with the current meta. He told us that the best way to do this is to follow tournaments, high-level Arena streams, and the PvP Leaderboards to see which classes are on top.

“It’s quite easy to keep up with the meta. Watch streams to see what the pros are playing, and track the ladder to see which classes and compositions are at the top. And don’t forget to follow tournaments to see the best comps shine.” Once you’re confident in what you want to play, it’s time to queue up! As FabsS discussed in our previous interview, Minpojke says that it’s important to set your win condition before the gates open. “Ask what you want to achieve as a team; will you focus on a lot of CC or try to draw out the game longer£” Since you know what matchup you’ll be playing against, you can start to ask these questions and develop your strategy.

Analysis - Review Your Games
If your setup supports it, Minpojke recommends recording as many sessions as you can—they’re much more valuable then looking at a damage meter. He says that the first objective is to see if you followed your game plan. Did you stick to it£ Did it work£ If the answer to either of these questions is no, you need to work on executing the plan better in future or possibly changing it up all together.

Watching your own recordings is also a chance to highlight individual mistakes. As Minpojke says, “Always stay self-critical, and always look for ways to improve—you’ll notice pretty quickly your most crucial and common mistakes.” While Minpojke emphasizes that “losing is arguably the best way of learning,” he also reminded us that “it’s very important to recognize when you do well.” Think positively here: no one can play the perfect game, but there are often good takeaways to be emulated going forward.

Reviewing recordings of his gameplay is a regular part of Minpojke’s routine, as well as discussing previous matches with his team between games while queueing. You can learn from a win as well as a loss!

Execute - Implement Your Analysis
After watching the replays, it’s time to set your goals. Decide what you want to focus on, and “make plans before you queue for a session.” If there was a specific matchup you were struggling with, you can discuss plans for how you’ll react to it next time.

In some instances, it could be worth writing some notes, especially if you have many things to focus on versus many compositions. Minpojke equated it to studying for a test, “Practice it, and read it over and over until it sticks in your head.”

Minpojke attended his first BlizzCon with current teammate Zunniyaki in 2013, finishing in second place. Northern Gaming Blue are the defending European Champions, and with nine BlizzCon appearances between their players, they’re one of the most experienced rosters in the field.

You can watch Minpojke and Northern Gaming Blue compete live at gamescom from August 23-26. For the full details on when and where you can watch, head on over to our European Championship Finals blog.

Dark Legacy Comics #594
DLC #594 has been released!

Blizzard Entertainment at gamescom 2017, Trial of Style
Blizzard Entertainment at gamescom 2017
Blizzard recently updated the beta build of WoW from Patch 7.1 to Patch 7.3, likely updating it from the previous BlizzCon build to the gamescom build.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Blizzard is heading back to Cologne, Germany next week for gamescom 2017! The event takes place from August 22–26, and we’ll be there to put on our best show yet.

We’ll kick things off by releasing a special preview video of all the playable content we’ll be showcasing at gamescom. Be sure to mark your calendar for 18:00 CEST on Monday, August 21, and head to YouTube to watch it. Subscribe to our channel to be sure you don’t miss it!

At 18:00 CEST on Wednesday, August 23, members of our game development teams will take to our main stage for the Blizzard Reveal Ceremony, which will be live-streamed on http://gamescom.blizzard.com.

Throughout gamescom, visitors to the Blizzard booth in Hall 7 of the Koelnmesse will have the chance to play the latest content for Overwatch, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II, StarCraft: Remastered, and Diablo III. Of course, we’ll also have some epic entertainment in store, including our Blizzard Cosplay Contest and two performances from Video Games Live—these activities and more will be viewable via live stream on the website.

Our full schedule of activities is now available on http://gamescom.blizzard.com, and you’ll find an overview of each game below.

Overwatch
  • Visitors to the Blizzard booth will be able to experience a brand-new Overwatch map—tune in to our preview video on Monday when details will be revealed.
  • The world premiere of a new Overwatch animated short will take place on our main stage and via live stream during the Blizzard Reveal Ceremony on Wednesday.
  • We’ll be showcasing some impressive Doomfist cosplay on our main stage on Wednesday.
  • The German voice actors from Overwatch will be doing a live performance on Thursday.
  • Overwatch FX Artist Rachel Day will be presenting her work on the making of Doomfist live on Friday.
  • Members of the German Overwatch World Cup team will be doing an on-stage panel on Saturday.

Hearthstone
  • Hearthstone players can enjoy an early look at new Fireside Gathering features during gamescom, where they’ll join forces in a whole new kind of Fireside Brawl: a group raid against the Lich King.
  • We’ll find out which country’s players will rise above the rest as the Hearthstone Global Games Finals take place live on our Hearthstone stage on Friday and Saturday—choose your champion to win a card pack, and watch the tournament live-streamed on www.twitch.tv/playhearthstone.
  • To celebrate the latest expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne, gamers in Cologne will be able to grab a free frozen treat and participate in Hearthstone activities at the gamescom city festival—where the Hearthstone traveling ice cream truck will be making its final European stop on the Ice Cream Citadel tour on Friday and Saturday from 15:00-23:00.

World of Warcraft
  • Gamers will be able to group up with other gamescom attendees and run through a dungeon from World of Warcraft’s upcoming Patch 7.3—details about this content update will be unveiled on stage and via live stream during the Blizzard Reveal Ceremony on Wednesday.
  • Twelve top-ranked Arena teams will battle it out in the WoW European Championship Finals on our World of Warcraft stage from Wednesday to Saturday for a share of the $100,000 USD prize pool and the chance to compete in the WoW Arena World Championship Finals at BlizzCon later this year—watch the live stream on http://www.twitch.tv/warcraft.
  • Visitors to the Blizzard booth will be able to attend a live Darkmoon Faire, which will include activities like an airbrush makeup station and photo opportunities with iconic WoW statues and items.
  • Top European World of Warcraft guilds Nova and Set Sail For Fail will race against each other in Mythic dungeons live on stage on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Heroes of the Storm
  • Blizzard booth visitors will be able to get some hands-on play time with our latest Hero—details will be revealed in our Monday preview video.
  • Heroes of the Storm: Showdown will see community personalities and pros duking it out in live show matches on our main stage—including Team Liquid and Team Expert on Wednesday, and popular German YouTubers ApeCrime and PietSmiet on Friday.
  • Carbot Animations will be doing a Heroes of the Storm drawing session live on stage on Thursday.

StarCraft
  • Our newest co-op commander will be playable for the first time at the Blizzard booth—tune in to our preview video on Monday when details are unveiled.
  • StarCraft: Remastered, our recently released modernization of the classic award-winning real-time strategy game and its Brood War expansion, will also be available to play on the show floor.
  • Well-known StarCraft players White-Ra, iNcontroL and TLO will clash in exciting live StarCraft II and StarCraft: Remastered show matches on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Diablo III
  • Attendees at gamescom will be able to command legions of the risen dead and wield the dark arts with Diablo III’s Rise of the Necromancer pack, playable on PC and PlayStation 4.

We’ll also feature our famous dance contest on Friday and our cosplay contest on Saturday, as well as signing sessions, quizzes, and more on our main stage—including performances from Video Games Live on Thursday and Friday. Remember to visit http://gamescom.blizzard.com for the full schedule of activities.

In addition, gamescom attendees can pick up a selection of Blizzard merchandise, including some brand-new and convention-exclusive items, at the Blizzard store in Hall 5.

Daily Live Streams
Those who can’t make it to gamescom 2017 in person will still be able to catch all the excitement via daily live streams on http://gamescom.blizzard.com. Well-known streamers will also be bringing you live action from the Blizzard booth—visit the website for details, and follow our social media channels for the latest news live from the event!

Trial of Style - Do Your Little Turn on the Catwalk
Trial of Style is finally live this week!





Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_01 (New) - Theme: Summer Styles
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_02 (New) - Theme: Winter Wear
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_03 (New) - Theme: Ready for Battle
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_04 (New) - Theme: Fun and Flirty
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_05 (New) - Theme: Mismatched Mayhem
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_06 (New) - Theme: Fire and Ice
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_07 (New) - Theme: Dark and Deadly
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_08 (New) - Theme: Faction Pride
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_09 (New) - Theme: Primal Style
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_10 (New) - Theme: Heroes of Azeroth
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_11 (New) - Theme: Make Me Laugh
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_12 (New) - Theme: Tabard Time
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_13 (New) - Theme: Everyday Heroes
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_14 (New) - Theme: Epic Purple
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_15 (New) - Theme: Champions of the Light
  • HOLIDAY_TRANSMOG_THEME_16 (New) - Theme: Freestyle!


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Ladies and gentlemen of the Horde and Alliance, it’s time to synchronize your wardrobes and prepare to do battle. The Trial of Style has arrived and it’s time to put your transmogrification skills to the test.

You’re Invited!

When: August 17–21
Where: Queue for the 5-player scenario at your friendly neighborhood Transmog NPC
What: Contestants will have two minutes to create transmog sets from within their collection, based on themes in the scenario. Two players at a time will be pulled up on stage to strike a pose and show off their creation— leaving the remaining three to vote on who of the two has managed to capture the theme best.


No peeking! It comes as no shock that you'll be properly smocked before the competition begins.


Strike a pose and shake your little tush...on the catwalk. When the glitter settles, you'll earn your just rewards.

Once the glitter settles and the rounds of voting have completed First Place, Second Place, and Third Place winners will be awarded. Don’t worry, even if you don’t win, there’s always the Trial of Style Consolation Prize. These prizes contain Trial of Style Tokens which can be redeemed for special transmog gear in Dalaran.

Fashion conscious citizens of Azeroth can also take advantage of Transmogrification and Barbershop services for free during the Trial of Style. Even if you don’t participate, you can adjust your hairstyle and transmog for no gold cost while the event is active.

Are you ready to dress to impress£
Patch 7.3 New Combat Animations: It’s Magic!
Patch 7.3 New Combat Animations: It’s Magic!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With patch 7.3 on the horizon, we thought it was time to share some updates to combat animations for several casting classes. Similar to what we did with the melee classes at the launch of Legion, these updates are all about priests, mages, Restoration and Elemental shaman, and some additional refinements to Restoration druid casting animations! We’re also continuing to work on even more enhancements for additional classes at a later point in development.

A little over two years ago, we set our sights on revamping combat animations. The team has wanted to renovate it somehow, but what exactly does that mean£ To determine the answer, our development leadership put together a small group of people to come up with a prototype of what we thought could use some cleaning up. You are currently experiencing the fruits of this work with the new melee animations. Our final goal was to create new melee moves that would make the game feel better, but not change how the game was played. During this prototype phase, we also came up with a plan for casters, but didn’t have time to put it into production until now. Let’s dig into some of the things we did.

WoW has grown a lot over the last decade, and after we took stock of our combat pacing, it was clear that we needed to deliver a much tighter and more responsive experience for every button you press. Back in the days of simply chain-casting Frostbolt, it didn’t really matter how much time it took your character to go from precast to missile launch. Today, you have a suite of spells at your fingertips where cast times have sped up and split-second decision making is key. To help the way the game is currently played, we wanted more timing consistency.

Keeping this split-second decision making in mind for the new cast animations, we found a sweet spot between game play responsiveness and striking, weighty animation. The punchiness of our new animations were working so well, we decided to revisit our original cast animations with a fresh eye on what we had learned—while keeping the style and uniqueness of the classic cast animations for every race. The only thing we touched was the time it took to hit the cast pose since, in the live game, each race’s cast timing is different. This ensured that every spell cast with our new class animations or our iconic racial animations had the same punchy and responsive feel.

Ultimately, our main goals remained the same for our next chapter in updating combat; retain the individuality and identity of what came before, pay off epic moments over the course of a battle, and update the game as seamlessly as possible. If we did our jobs right, it should feel as though it has always been this way. Our work should blend into the background so you can focus on melting, smashing, cursing, crushing, igniting, stabbing, purifying, and exploding your foes into unfathomably tiny bits. - Adam Kugler, Lead Class Designer

With animation, the first things you might notice are all new caster ready idles. Currently, after you cast a spell, the character goes back to their stand animation. For this revamp, we wanted to create distinct idles that conveyed the personality of the caster much like how a melee class does while holding two swords or a giant, two-handed axe. This was tricky since class fantasy is very personal and no two people have the same idea on how a mage or shaman should stand.


We also looked at what we could do with spells that had a cast time. Currently, directed and omni (area of effect) spells loop as the spell builds up before firing. These are distinct animations we had no intention of removing, but to fit the idea of a spell building up, we thought a strong, progressive motion showing the character pulling magic from the ground or gathering it from the air would look cool. So that’s what we did with the new precast animations. Again, class fantasy was a factor with this—how exactly does a shaman pull magic from the ground£


We also created a bunch of quick, single-handed animations to add variety to instant spells. These look especially neat as you run around casting with your right and left hands. Beefier spells now have stronger straight arm moves, while curses fire with a flick of the wrist. - Kevin Rucker, Senior Animator


The next step for revamped animations was revamped spell effects to go along with them! This was a tricky undertaking, especially for iconic spells. The goal was to pay homage to the original—but in some cases, we needed to completely reimagine the spell. It gave us a chance to define what each kit of magic should look like and with higher fidelity than what was possible in classic WoW. With that in mind, we aimed to work our way towards snappier, more modern spell effects without trampling too much on sacred ground. Overall, we needed the combat for casters to look and feel more exciting and rewarding while keeping a unique visual identity for each class and spec.

For example, with the Blizzard spell, we kept all the same elements of the original, but brought them in line with more modern effects. We also defined what makes this frost mage-like (wispy, magical, precise) as opposed to shaman frost (naturalist, elemental, realistic) or death knight frost (bitter, aggressive, sinister). This is a good example of an homage spell, where we wanted to keep the intention of the original spell.


With Arcane Missiles, on the other hand, we reimagined what it could look like. We kept the iconic structure of five bursts of four missiles, but got creative with the rest. What should a mage’s Arcane magic look like£ Chaotic firecracker-like sparkle explosions£ We think so!


The effects revamp effort was all about the balance between paying homage to the original feel and reimagining everything. How do we breathe new life into each spec, but make sure we retain the core identity£ How do we build a tighter, more cohesive class fantasy around spells players have been casting for 12+ years£ How do we make sure all these fancy new effects don’t tank your graphical performance£ It has been a long, careful balancing act between what we, as artists, want it to look like and what you, as players, want it to feel like. We’re psyched about how it turned out and we hope you’re equally psyched to run around casting your improved spells! - Sarah Carmody, FX Artist


We hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at the new caster visual updates. We had lots of fun creating all these animations and effects and look forward to hearing your thoughts on them.
Patch 7.3 PTR - Build 24829
Patch 7.3 PTR - Build 24829
Build 24829 will be deployed to the PTR realms soon. Some of these changes were in the build earlier this morning.





Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This week, we’re testing 7.3’s weekly content rollout on the PTR, using an accelerated schedule. Over the next few days, we’ll be unlocking things on the PTR in the order they’ll be available on live after 7.3 releases, according to the following schedule:

  • “Week 1” is currently active on the PTR. This includes the first two story chapters and their related unlocks, including World Quests in the first two Argus areas.
  • “Week 2” will activate tomorrow, August 16. This includes the next couple chapters of the story, access to the third Argus area, and Invasion Points
  • “Week 3” will activate Friday, August 18. This includes the remaining story chapters and the rest of 7.3’s non-raid content, such as the Seat of the Triumvirate dungeon and access to the Netherlight Crucible.

As this testing continues, please let us know if you encounter any strange errors or inconsistencies. Thanks!

Achievement Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Artifacts
Class Hall



Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Druid (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Feral, Balance, Guardian
  • Cat Form Druid - Feral Spec. Instant. Balance, Guardian Spec. Instant.

Warrior (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
  • Execute Off-Hand Attempt to finish off a wounded foe, causing (666% 800% of weapon damage) Physical damage. Only usable on enemies that have less than 20% health. Melee range. Instant.

Fury
  • Execute Attempt to finish off a wounded foe, causing (666% 800% of weapon damage) Physical damage. Only usable on enemies that have less than 20% health. Warrior - Fury Spec. 250 Rage. Melee range. Instant.

Professions
Alchemy
  • Lightblood Elixir Create a Lightblood Elixir. Alchemy. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Astral Glory x 25, Primal Sargerite. 30, Primal Sargerite.
  • Lightblood Elixir Chance to create multiple potions. Alchemy. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Astral Glory x 15, Primal Sargerite. 20.
  • Lightblood Elixir Create a Lightblood Elixir more efficiently. Alchemy. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Astral Glory x 20, Primal Sargerite. 25.
  • Tears of the Naaru Create a Tears of the Naaru more efficiently. Alchemy. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Astral Glory x 20, Primal Sargerite.
  • Tears of the Naaru Chance to create multiple potions. Alchemy. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Astral Glory x 15, Primal Sargerite.

Leatherworking
  • Fiendish Shoulderguards Craft Fiendish Shoulderguards even more efficiently. Leatherworking. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Fiendish Leather x 20, Lightweave Cloth x 20 10, Unbroken Claw x 6, Primal Sargerite x 2.
  • Fiendish Shoulderguards Craft Fiendish Shoulderguards. Leatherworking. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Fiendish Leather x 36, Lightweave Cloth x 25 20, Unbroken Claw x 8, Primal Sargerite x 5.
  • Fiendish Shoulderguards Craft Fiendish Shoulderguards more efficiently. Leatherworking. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Fiendish Leather x 28, Lightweave Cloth x 23 15, Unbroken Claw x 7, Primal Sargerite x 4.
  • Fiendish Spaulders Craft Fiendish Spaulders. Leatherworking. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Fiendish Leather x 36, Lightweave Cloth x 25 20, Unbroken Tooth x 8, Primal Sargerite x 5.
  • Fiendish Spaulders Craft Fiendish Spaulders even more effeciently. Leatherworking. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Fiendish Leather x 20, Lightweave Cloth x 20 10, Unbroken Tooth x 6, Primal Sargerite x 2.
  • Fiendish Spaulders Craft Fiendish Spaulders more effeciently. Leatherworking. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Fiendish Leather x 28, Lightweave Cloth x 23 15, Unbroken Tooth x 7, Primal Sargerite x 4.

Tailoring
  • Lightweave Breeches Craft Lightweave Breeches more efficiently. Tailoring. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Lightweave Cloth x 60 40, Runic Catgut x 8, Sharp Spritethorn x 2, Primal Sargerite x 6.
  • Lightweave Breeches Craft Lightweave Breeches. Tailoring. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Lightweave Cloth x 75 50, Runic Catgut x 8, Sharp Spritethorn x 2, Primal Sargerite x 8.
  • Lightweave Breeches Craft Lightweave Breeches even more efficiently. Tailoring. 2 sec cast. Reagents: Lightweave Cloth x 50 30, Runic Catgut x 8, Sharp Spritethorn x 2, Primal Sargerite x 4.

Item Effects
  • Call of the Void Stalker Call upon two Void Stalkers to strike your target from two directions inflicting up to 202,040 288,612 Physical damage to all enemies in their paths. 100 yd range. Instant. 1.5 min cooldown.
  • Leeching Void Void energy pools at your feet for 10 sec, dealing 117,720 94,160 Shadow damage to targets standing within the area. You are healed for 200% 300% of the damage dealt. Instant. 1.5 min cooldown.
  • Taeshalach Technique Name changed from "Taeschalach Technique" to "Taeshalach Technique". Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Taeschalach Taeshalach Technique. On reaching 10 applications, you lash out with a devastating combination of attacks, striking all enemies for 254,850 Fire damage in a 12 yd cone in front of you. Approximately 13 procs per minute.
  • Tremendous Fortitude Increases maximum health by 15% 180,000% for 15 sec, up to a limit of 180,000 15 bonus health. Shares cooldown with other Battlemaster's trinkets. Instant.
  • Void Tendril Your damaging spells have a chance to summon a void tendril near your target's location, dealing 103,139 28,502 Shadow damage to all enemies within 4 yds after a brief delay. 100 yd range. Approximately 4 procs per minute.
  • Whispers of L'ura Listen to the Whispers of L'ura for 45 sec, granting the chance for your healing spells to heal for an additional 43,169 35,313. Instant. 3 min cooldown. Approximately 26.67 procs per minute.



Artifact Powers
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Shaman (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Elemental
  • Static Overload (Rank 1) After using Stormkeeper, your next Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning causes Elemental Overload to trigger on every target.

Warrior (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Fury
  • Juggernaut (Rank 1) Execute increases damage dealt by Execute by 5% 3% for 8 sec, stacking up to 99 times.
Azeroth's Warning Scenario Live
Azeroth's Warning Scenario Live
Magni Bronzebeard has a warning for us. Log on to live servers to pick up the quest!


Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Speaking with the Speaker - Find Magni.
  • Dreams Beyond Dreams - A number of invaders have appeared inside the facility, triggering its defenses. You will not be able to proceed without defeating them first.
  • The Stuff of Nightmares - The visions have overwhelmed the defenses. Reactivate the sentries and defeat any adversaries in order to proceed.
  • Night Terror - The defenses are active, but one final nightmare has appeared to block your path. It must be defeated.
  • Dark Revelations - Speak with Magni to hear Azeroth's warning.
  • A Word of Warning - Hear Azeroth's warning.
World Boss - The Soultakers, Dungeon Event, D&D Beyond Lauch, Starcraft Remastered
Patch 7.3 Music

HearthPwn's Expansion Creation Competition - Vote For Your Phase IV Favs!

World Boss - The Soultakers
This week the World Boss is The Soultakers! Players have a chance to win item level 860 loot and a Storm Relic. Death Knights also can get the hidden appearance for their Frost Spec.






Weekly Bonus Event - Legion Dungeons
The Legion Dungeon Event is live this week!

  • You will get one extra piece of loot from the final dungeon boss on difficulties below Mythic+.
  • Pick up Emissary of War from Archmage Timear in Dalaran to earn Cache of Fel Treasures
  • This quest requires you to clear 4 Mythic(+) dungeons and rewards Heroic Tomb of Sargeras loot.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
All week, open Group Finder (default hotkey: i) and then select Dungeon Finder to queue for any Legion dungeon on Normal or Heroic difficulty. Alternately, get a group of veteran dungeoneers together and travel to one of the Legion dungeons on Mythic difficulty.

Look for the following all week long:

  • Archmage Timear near Violet Hold in Dalaran has a quest for you. Or, if you forget to pick it up there, you can start it from within the Adventure Journal.
    • Quest requirement: Complete 4 Legion dungeons on Mythic difficulty.
    • Rewards: One loot box containing a piece of gear from Heroic difficulty Tomb of Sargeras.
  • Passive bonus: The final boss in each dungeon drop additional loot on all difficulties (except Mythic Keystone difficulties).

D&D Beyond Launch
Our friends over at D&D Beyond have launched the latest official digital toolset for Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition!



Starcraft Remastered Live
Starcraft Remastered is live!



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