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directorygames – Death Knight Order Hall Campaign Spoilers, Warcraft Movie Graphic Novel Prequel and Teaser Tweets, Legion Pruning and PvP Goals

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Today’s Legion spotlight is on quests from the Death Knight Order Hall Campaign. We also have news on the upcoming Warcraft graphic novel prequel and some blue posts including Alpha raid testing today.

Edit: Added many blue posts including Pruning, PvP, and Legion Goals.

Death Knight Order Hall Campaign

This Legion build enabled additional Death Knight Order Hall campaign quests. In the video, we cover the quests to rescue Koltira and raise three of the new Four Horsemen. The quest to find Koltira starts at 17:54 and raising the Horsemen starts at 1:47, 8:36, and 23:29. Spoiler warnings within! Please use our spoiler tags if you are discussing the video in the comments.

Warcraft Movie Teaser

Could we be getting another trailer soon?

Warcraft Graphic Novel Prequel

IGN has revealed an upcoming graphic novel set in the Warcraft movie universe: Bonds of Brotherhood. You can preorder it from Amazon for $24.99 and it will be available June 7th.

The upcoming Warcraft movie is getting a prequel graphic novel called Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood. It will be published by Legendary with a story by Blizzard’s Chris Metzen that will be written by Paul Cornell and drawn by Mat Broome, Michael O’Hare, Eddie Nunez, Roy Allan Martinez, Ale Garza, and Mike Bowden.

Product Description:

Discover how three of Azeroth’s greatest champions forged their first alliance, in the official graphic prequel to the Warcaft movie from Legendary, Universal Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment.

In a fantasy action epic set decades before the film, the young and headstrong Llane, Lothar, and Medivh embark on a mission of vengeance that will forge them into heroes… the kind of heroes Azeroth will need in its darkest hour.

On Pruning, PvP, and Legion Goals

Lore

So, let’s talk about pruning. I’d like to give some clearer insight into what we’re trying to achieve, and the type of feedback we’re looking for. Warning: there are likely to be many, many words here.

What you’re seeing in Legion falls under one of two different goals:

  • Refocusing each spec around their core concepts
  • Reduced reliance on cooldowns, both offensive and defensive

I’ll explain these one at a time.

On refocusing: Over the years, as we’ve attempted to add new toys for every class in each expansion, we feel that the gameplay of quite a few specs has drifted away from the philosophies and ideals behind them. For some classes, such as Rogue, the specs don’t really feel very different from each other. For others, such as Priest, the differences are purely mechanical; Discipline uses absorbs, and Holy uses direct healing, but it’s not really clear why.

So, in Legion, we’re taking a hard look at what each spec should make you feel like when you’re playing it, and making sure that the abilities you’re using tie into that. When we talk about “class fantasy,” that’s more or less what we mean. It’s also made us realize that, frankly, we’ve made some mistakes over the years. Each spec is supposed to have some strengths and weaknesses, and as we’ve added abilities to shore up those weaknesses, we’ve diminished the value of their strengths.

Compare a Mage to a Warlock, for example. Mages were supposed to be highly mobile, but very squishy if you can lock them down; Warlocks were supposed to be able to take more direct punishment, but have a harder time getting away. But then we started giving Warlocks more mobility, which meant we had to give Mages more survivability, and nowadays those differences are subtle at best. The two classes should feel a lot more distinct than they do, both to play as and to play against. That means dialing back the mobility for Warlocks, and dialing back the survivability for Mages.

End result: Yes, you’ve probably lost a couple tools in Legion. But so have other people. So, when we get feedback along the lines of “Now I don’t have any way to deal with X”… we might actually think that’s a good thing. In PvP, this means you’re going to rely on your teammates a little more often. In a raid or dungeon, it means you might not want to purposefully stack Warlocks just because “they have the best numbers.”

On cooldowns: We’ve gotten a ton of feedback over the past couple of expansions that players feel like they aren’t able to do much without cooldowns active. When a Ret Paladin uses Avenging Wrath, Holy Avenger, and Execution Sentence all at once, they hit like a freight train carrying a truck full of bricks, but as soon as those effects end, they just kind of… keep themselves busy until their cooldowns are back up. “Your class is fun and exciting 17% of the time” isn’t awesome.

We’ve also gotten to the point where there’s entirely too many “get out of jail” cards in PvP. The Mage is in trouble… Ironbark. In trouble again… Nature’s Swiftness. Then Ice Block. Then another Ironbark. Then a trinket. Then Nature’s Swiftness. Then maybe, if you’re really good, you can get the Mage’s second Ice Block before Ironbark comes up again. He had to use Cold Snap, what an amazing play!

I’m obviously exaggerating here – most of the time, your goal is to force several of those cooldowns at once – but that kind of illustrates the point. In order for a kill to ever happen, things have to get excessive. So, in Legion, we want to chill out on just how strong those cooldowns can be, so that we can let you be more effective once they’ve worn off. Theoretically, we could accomplish that by just making the numbers on those cooldowns lower, but that quickly gets to the point where each individual cooldown just feels flat. “Increases damage by 5% for 20 seconds” just isn’t that exciting. Our only real alternative is to reduce how many cooldowns you have available, so that the ones that are left can still feel substantial.

Now then, on feedback: We recognize that all of these changes are pretty scary, and we’ve been in the MMO business long enough at this point to know better than to assume we’ll get everything right on the first try. So, let’s talk about feedback, and what you can do to help us make Legion an amazing expansion.

Many players have already been providing great feedback and bringing up good points of discussion, which we’re extremely grateful for, and have already made several changes that were influenced by that feedback. For example, pretty early on in the Legion Alpha, we decided against our original thought of removing resurrection spells from non-Healer specs (such as Shadow, Enhancement, or Balance). A lot of you thought that felt weird, and we agreed. More recently, several PvPers have expressed concern that Legion is currently too focused on simply dealing damage, and there aren’t enough opportunities for a skilled player to shine. That’s a big concern of ours as well, and one we’re doing our best to avoid.

However, sometimes good feedback gets so bogged down in hyperbole that it’s hard for us to tell if the point you’re making is based on actual concerns and testing, or if you’ve just been misinformed. For example, one complaint we see a lot is that “classes only have 5 or 6 spells in Legion.” That’s simply not true – as of this post, most specs have between 20 and 25 baseline abilities, with talents, Honor talents, and your Artifact active skill adding up to 5-10 abilities on top of that (and yes, we recognize that not all of those skills will be useful in all situations).

So, the biggest thing that can help us understand your concerns is to be as specific as possible. “I have too few abilities” is certainly a reasonable opinion, but that doesn’t tell us why you feel that way. Instead of leaving at that, try to expand on it a bit:

  • What specific ability do you miss, and why do you feel it’s important?
  • If you’re concerned that your spec will be too weak in a given scenario, what makes you feel that way? Do you feel you shouldn’t be? Why?
  • If you want more abilities, but are taking passive talents instead of active ones, why is that?
  • Are the new abilities your spec has in Legion not doing it for you? Why not?

Those are obviously just some examples, but that’s the sort of feedback that lets us really understand what your specific concerns are. And while there are certainly going to be cases in which we just disagree (we’re always going to do what we feel is right for the game), pointing out the underlying issues goes a long way towards making sure we recognize when we need to improve.

Raid Testing 4/15

Legion Raid Testing continues this Friday and Monday. We are still updating our Legion database for the recent build due to file changes, but you can get a general sense of the encounters on the Legion Dungeon Journal.

Watcher

On Friday, April 15, and Monday, April 18, we will continue our Legion Alpha raid testing.

Remember that Heroic difficulty scales for any group size between 10 and 30 players, so feel free to assemble and bring a group of any size within that range. Mythic, of course, requires 20 and does not scale.

There are a couple of bugs active in the current build – the obvious phasing issue, and an issue that causes many player abilities (and some boss abilities) to not properly consume resources. We have a hotfix in flight for the second issue as I write this; the phasing issue is under investigation, but shouldn’t impact raid tests. Of course, should anything change on that front, we’ll update our testing plans accordingly.

Friday, April 15

Ursoc – Mythic Emerald Nightmare
13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)

Chronomatic Anomaly – Heroic Nighthold
15:00 PDT (18:00 EDT, 00:00 CEST)

Monday, April 18

High Botanist Tel’arn – Heroic Nighthold
14:00 PDT (17:00 EDT, 23:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of an alpha environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Watcher

Oh yes, forgot to mention this. From now on, we should be fully unlocking artifact traits while you are raid testing (item level scaling has been adjusted accordingly).

Edit: To clarify, the expectation is NOT that you’d have a fully maxxed artifact by the time you were doing Ursoc. We’re scaling item level down a bit to adjust for this, but this lets us get better feedback on artifacts in a raid setting.
He also has far too little health right now. Working on a hotfix to adjust that.

Legion Blue Posts

Sigma

You guys have pretty much figured it out, but, right–the passive damage increase on the artifact should not increase Atonement healing. The traits on the artifact itself should ultimately increase Disc’s total healing ability (including both Atonement and non-Atonement) by the same amount as the other healers’ artifacts. We do want to figure out how to make this clearer.

Disc should be able get use out of DPS trinkets, but we have to make sure they’re not overpowered. For example, they have to add less healing than healing trinkets. Corrupted Starlight as the twin problems of being AoE (which will always risk being overpowered for Atonement purposes) and being an RPPM proc (which results in it adding the same amount of DPS to Disc’s low damage as it does to a caster’s high damage). We will likely reduce RPPM proc rates for Disc on trinkets like this.
What kind of trinket rules should we be able to expect? Anything that does spell damage = atonement? Or only holy/shadow spell damage?

Not finalized yet. Worth pointing out, there is something to be said for the option of not letting any of them Atone, which would let us tune them around damage alone for Disc. That would probably mean a minor proc rate reduction compared to casters, rather than a very substantial one. And it would maintain the use cases for trinkets more clearly and consistently with other healers–healer trinkets for healing, DPS trinkets only for DPS use (so rarely in serious content). Either is an option; we want to see how it plays out in testing.

The main point above was that, in ether case, we don’t want caster trinkets to be better for healing. Disc can get caster trinkets (necessarily, since Shadow uses them), and they can have some damage or damage+healing value, but they shouldn’t be desirable for main role use in challenging content.

Sigma

Chain Lightning consumes all 3 charges of Stormkeeper

Thanks, this should be fixed next build.

Blizzard

Final continent wide taxi pass is in progress right now. This should be improved soon™ 🙂

Muffinus

Not that big of a thing, but I feel it would be nice to have a little more information about the time remaining on world quests as simply having it listed as medium, very long, etc. leaves it a little too vague. It would be nice to be able to see the time remaining in days/hours/minutes to get a better idea of how much longer they’ll be around.

Thanks for the feedback. We will be swapping it to the same notation as buffs are currrently (a single number, like "2h" or "49s").

Muffinus

Hi all,

After finally playing through the entire scenario after multiple bugs preventing me from completing it (group just stops moving or moves back, DC caused it to error out, Jaina never creates ice bridge, etc), I have to say its pretty fun smashing the Legion.

That being said, I really wish this wasn’t an individual scenario. Meaning, I wish that I was participating with real players as I moved through this scenario. I think it would be amazing to do this with 10 or more other real players fighting alongside the NPCs.

I understand that this is the intro to Legion and it would create problems later on down the road when no one is queuing up for it. Maybe we could make it flexible? Or do it similarly to the way the siege of Undercity worked where it would run every 10 or so minutes after someone queues up. Maybe even be able to queue up as a group or raid and have it scale to our raid size.

I want more real player interaction in the open world (scenario in this case), and I feel this is an excellent place to do that.

TLDR: The scenario for the Broken Shore is great content, I just wish we could experience it with other real players.

Thanks for the feedback! What you’re seeing is a consequence of the current beta concurrency. The Broken Shore Scenario supports up to 20 allied players at once (and eventually, 20 Horde as well).

New tech allows you to queue and be placed in the scenario immediately, without waiting for a full 20 players. For the first 20 seconds of the boat ride, other players can be placed in the instance, up to the cap of 20.

This will allow you to play a player-filled scenario during the first few weeks of the expansion launch, and continue to play Broken Shore much later in the expansion when less than 20 players are present in the queue.

This also means that the scenario should be fun for both groups of 20 and solo players, please let us know your thoughts!

Muffinus

Moo.

I’m curious if the available world quests are the same for everyone, so you can do them with friends?

One thing I remember about the garrison campaign quests from Taanan, the weekly ones, you received them in a random order, one per week, which made them awkward to coordinate doing with friends.

Yes! One of our major design goals for the endgame of Legion is getting players out into the world with friends to do activities.

A few things help accomplish this:

1) Everyone in your entire region will see the same World Quests. Invite your cross-server friends, you can all do the same activities!*

2) Similarly, everyone will see the same loot (or a fallback). If a world boss spawns and is going to drop a mount this week, everyone will see (on the World Quest UI) the mount.**

*Some World Quests may be gated behind personal quest progression (e.g. Suramar), though.

**There will still be random, rare toys/mounts/pets from a variety of activities, this is simply a philosophy for World Quests.

We want to make it easy and fun to coordinate an adventure with your friends, no matter where they are in the world, and what item level they’re at.

April 19, 2016 |

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