Posts tagged Warlords of Draenor

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Alpha News

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All the interesting Blizzard news seems to happen while I’m sleeping so this is what I woke up to this morning – news from the Alpha for the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion.

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Here’s what I found most interesting:

A New File Format

A new proprietary file format called CASC (Content Addressable Storage Container) will be used in the Warlords of Draenor alpha and beta tests, with the intent to convert everyone to the new format in a pre-expansion patch.

It provides a ton of benefits not only for us and our ability to support and patch the game, but also for players. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • File Corruption – File repair tools are a thing of the past. The file structure maintains itself, helping to prevent errors during installation.
  • Speed – Real-world game performance should increase for many players thanks to a non-redundant file structure—in layman’s terms, the game can find the assets it’s looking for more quickly.
  • Patching – Updating your game files should be faster and more reliable. Patch data is integrated seamlessly, and no longer requires double the installation size on-disk when patching.
  • Client Hotfixing - CASC allows us to be able to hotfix client game data, similar to server hotfixes, giving us the ability to address client-side issues that would normally require a patch.
  • Streaming – The new format provides better support for streaming data and gives us greater flexibility to define how content updates are delivered and released.
  • Expandable – The file structure is built to allow easy integration of new technologies in the future that we haven’t even thought up yet.

. . . and more!

This new format is currently being used for the Heroes of the Storm alpha.

Blood Elf Spell

Blood Elf Racials

  • Arcane Acuity is a new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike chance by 1%.
  • Arcane Torrent now restores 20 Runic Power for Death Knights (up from 15 Runic Power), 1 Holy Power for Paladins, or 3% of mana for Mages, Priests, and Warlocks (up from 2% of Mana). Other parts of the ability remain unchanged.

Instant cast heals

Priest (mainly Discipline) Changes

We’ve made a few significant changes to Priests as well, focused mostly on reining in Discipline absorbs, improving quality of life for both healing Priest specializations, and solving single-target damage issues for Shadow.

Atonement was the original damage-to-healing conversion ability, but grew out of control during Mists of Pandaria. We decided to reduce its effectiveness, to bring it more in line with our goal of it being an option to trade significant healing for significant damage (ending up somewhere between a full healer and a full damage dealer). Another place where Discipline’s absorbs were too strong was in their interaction with the level-90 Talents, especially in large Raids. Near the end of Mists of Pandaria, we uncapped the AoE healing of that Talent row; that has proven to be a mistake in Discipline’s case, not because it caused the level-90 Talents themselves to heal for too much, but rather because the gigantic overhealing that that produced translated into gigantic Divine Aegis absorbs. To get back to a balanced place, we’ve reapplied the AoE caps to the level-90 Talents, making them consistent with all other AoE heals.

  • Atonement now heals for 25% less than before.
  • Halo and Divine Star now follow standard AoE capping rules.

Professions

Some of our goals with Professions in Warlords of Draenor are to make them more of a personal choice, and less of a mandatory “min/max” selection. To that end, we’re removing the direct combat benefits of Professions. Additionally, we’ve made it easier to level Mining and Herbalism. Healing Potions have gone mostly unused lately, compared to combat stat potions. We chose to solve that problem, along with a problem with Warlock utility, by having Healing Potions and Healthstones share cooldowns.

  • Herbalists can now harvest herbs throughout the game world without hard skill requirements. The yield an Herbalist will be able to harvest from each node is now determined by skill level.
  • Miners can now harvest mineral nodes in outdoor areas of the game world without hard skill requirements. The yield a Miner will be able to harvest from each node is now determined by skill level.
  • Healing Potions no longer share a cooldown with other potions, but instead share a 60-second cooldown with Healthstones. The cooldown will not reset until the player leaves combat.

Garrisons

The Iron Horde army is massive and reinforcements from Azeroth are few. In order to stand a chance, you will need to build an army of your own.

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  • Undertake an epic quest to build a permanent base of operations on Draenor.
  • Find blueprints and materials to expand and customize your Garrison.
  • Recruit followers with unique skills and abilities to your cause.
  • Send followers on missions to level them up and acquire bonus loot.
  • Begin the quest for your Garrison in Shadowmoon Valley or Frostfire Ridge.

To read more, check out the complete list of Alpha Patch Notes for Warlords of Draenor™

As a reminder,

I can’t tell you how excited I am about Garrisons and the chat feature on the Battle.net launcher was a nice touch. What do you think of the notes so far?

 
Garrison trainer

A New Blingtron Appears

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Several days ago, Jonathan LeCraft tweeted something very interesting:

This pint-sized trainer looks familiar. She might just visit your garrison in the future

Garrison trainer

Check out this Gilnean child with her epic looking Diablo team. While many can relate to having only the Treasure Goblin in their collection, I was excited to see both Mini Tyrael and Mini Diablo on the PTR a while ago. I just didn’t have the heart to level them. Talk about a dream team.

TheCrafticus was even asking for names, so what about Scrooge, Justice and Terror?

Today there was even some engineering news. When asked if we’d be getting another Blingtron for WoD, TheCrafticus responded:

Yes. Engineers will be able to construct a new Blingtron (new gifts), and it will fight other Blingtrons to the death. Savage!

I must admit, I was quite intrigued by this and was left wondering what materials we’d need to craft it. Here’s his response:

I could tell you, but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense without more context. It will be difficult, but it won’t be permanently destroyed if it dies in a Bling-fight.

With some concern about possible exploits like players of the other faction dropping several to demolish yours, it will only be:

Same faction. It will be a free-for-all. Idea is to grant a bonus to the creator of a winning Blingtron. We’ll keep an eye on the exploits — the bonus may just be bragging rights.

So what about a new style of teleport:

Wormhole Centrifuge: Pick two locations from a list. You will get sent to one. We don’t want it to be a perfect teleport. It will be useful half the time, and that’s just about right for engineering.

When asked if it could ever go wrong and teleport you elsewhere:

Nope, but you might be a sheep. Or on fire. Or both.

Hmm, maybe today I’ll finally get to change into something… *fingers crossed.

Now for mount lovers, when asked if there would be anything new for WoD:

Engineers recently got the Sky Golem, so probably not going to have a brand new mount with WoD.

I can’t say I really mind about the mount, we did get three this expansion and that’s just from engineering.

Dread Raven and Hatchling

Pre-Order Warlords of Draenor

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In the wee hours of the morning, my twitter and facebook feeds were filled with excitement about pre-purchasing the new expansion. Even with a possible release date as late as December (or as early as September) it’s hard not to wonder about a closed beta like in previous expansions. Now as much as I’d love to be involved in building my own garrison or seeing how many spots I’ll save with the toy box changes, I’m happy to wait for the developers and stakeholders to be at a stage where they’re ready for the next phase of testing.

WoD pre-purchase

Expect to pay AUD$54.95 and AUD$74.95 respectively.

Until then, here’s what you can expect from the expansion:

Forge your future from the iron of the past

The Iron Horde must be stopped. Garrosh Hellscream has escaped to the past and united with his father Grommash, fierce leader of Warsong clan. Together they are forging the orc clans of Draenor into a savage war machine. It falls to you to crush the Iron Horde before the Dark Portal is completed and the invasion begins. Travel to the Draenor of the past: a world of giants and monsters, a world the fearsome and legendary orc chieftains call home. Face the dangers of this untamable world and bring down the Iron Horde — before both the past and the future are lost forever.

Includes Level 90 Character Boost (saving of US$60 from the Blizzard Store)
Pre-Purchase: Game is expected to release on or before 12/20/2014
Includes levels 91–100
Requires World of Warcraft and Mists of Pandaria

Digital Deluxe Edition

Upgrade to the Digital Deluxe edition and enhance your adventures in Draenor with epic in-game items, such as the bloodthirsty Dread Raven mount and more. In addition to a full digital copy of the game, the Digital Deluxe edition comes with the following digital items (available in-game once purchased):

Dread Raven and Hatchling

 

Dread Raven Mount and Dread Hatchling Pet

Swoop down from the dark night skies on the back of a black-winged Dread Raven mount, a mortal progeny of Anzu. Then devour your prey in your next pet battle with the adorably ferocious Dread Hatchling.

 

StarCraft II – Portraits

Summon the strength of two of the most deadly Iron Horde war chiefs – Grommash Hellscream and Blackhand – as you take on the Dominion with these two StarCraft II portraits.

Diablo III – Warsong Pennant

Brandish this battle-torn pennant on your back, and channel the rage of the Warsong Clan against the demonic forces of Sanctuary in Diablo III.

Info taken from the Blizzard website

Considering how much a mount normally costs in the Blizzard Store, spending an extra $20 for a mount and pet combo seems like a great deal even if I’m not really interested in the other perks.

So, do you plan on pre-purchasing one of these editions or are you going to wait for the physical Collector’s release? As much as I love looking through the Collector’s Editions, I’m opting for the Digital release again.

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