June 26, 2013

Preorder the World of Warcraft Tribute Art Book

World of Warcraft Tribute is now available for preorder! Coming in October, this UDON-published collection of community-created artwork celebrates the iconic characters, epic lore, and legendary locations of World of Warcraft.

Last year, Blizzard and UDON put out a call for professional and fan artists around the world to share their unique visions of Azeroth. The top submissions have been selected and collected, and you can preorder the resulting book now from Amazon.

Featuring over 200 illustrations, including special commemorative pieces by Blizzard artists Samwise Didier and Arnold Tsang, World of Warcraft Tribute chronicles the legacy of Azeroth as seen through players’ eyes.

Be sure to check out an exclusive preview of this collectible book over on UDON’s site.

Pet Battle Accuracy Changes in WoW Patch 5.3

Greetings, trainers!
We wanted to take a moment to discuss some of the broad accuracy changes we’re making to Pet Battles in patch 5.3. The overarching goal behind these changes is to provide transparency to reduce the amount of uncontrolled randomness, where one miss often makes or breaks a match. Once patch 5.3 is live, you’ll see “hit chance” listed for all abilities, and this value will update if the pet is affected by abilities that increase or reduce the chance to hit.


In addition, we’ve removed the base 5% chance to dodge, and reduced the chance to miss opponents of higher levels from 5% per level to 2% per level. The end result should be that your attacks that should hit, will hit, and there’s greater incentive to get out there and fight higher-level pets for greater experience rewards.
In a turn-based game, randomness can be a lot of fun if handled correctly. Without a little randomness, the outcome of a match could be predicted to a high degree of certainty before the first swing, and that’s no fun. Randomness often works best when it is opt-in, often in exchange for greater attack power, longer duration, etc. In fact, many higher-damage battle pet abilities already had a reduced chance to hit, which will now be visible.
With the removal of the base dodge chance, we were left with a large number of abilities that now had a 100% hit chance. We’ve made a handful of minor modifications to some of these abilities, giving them greater damage in exchange for a reduced chance to hit. It’s worth noting that every battle pet type (e.g. Dragonkin) have at least one ability that hits 100% of the time, allowing you to opt-out of the randomness if you prefer a less risky strategy. (Check out the full list of basic abilities that have gained additional damage in exchange for reduced accuracy below.)


Finally, we’ve left the base 5% chance to gain a critical strike (for 1.5x damage), and +/- 10% damage variance on all abilities, at least for the time being. We believe that getting a crit generally feels good, and the damage variance is often enough to make a match a bit less predetermined without swinging the match heavily in one player’s favor.
We also wanted to thank the community for the great feedback we’ve gotten so far about Pet Battles. Keep it coming!
As noted earlier, the following basic attacks have had their damage increased by 10-30% and accuracy reduced by 5-15%:
Bow Shot
Creepy Chomp
Diseased Bite
Emerald Bite
Frost Breath
Frost Spit
Gauss Rifle
Holy Sword
Infected Claw
Jade Claw
Metal Fist
Onyx Bite
Shadow Shock
Shadow Slash
Stone Shot
Sulfuras Smash
Water Jet

June 25, 2013

World of Warcraft Patch 5.2: Greg Street Interview

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, lead systems designer for World of Warcraft, wants to bring the eight-year-old MMORPG closer to its roots. Last week's Patch 5.2 marks yet another step in that direction, bringing with it a renewed emphasis on ground travel, a sense of server-wide progression, a new raid, and an under-the-radar island that pays homage to the gameplay of WoW's past. "This game’s been out for, gosh, eight years now and while we have millions of players, we also have a lot of players who’ve stopped playing for whatever reason," he said. "It's great to give those players a reason to come back and try it again, and appealing to their nostalgia is a good way of doing that. "
That nostalgia manifests itself most prominently in the new Isle of Thunder, a new hub with dozens of daily quests that unlock more content via server participation in an manner that recalls 2008's Isle of Quel'Danas from the Burning Crusade expansion. The process, Street hopes, will provide a more engaging daily questing experience than players have experienced in the Mists of Pandaria expansion to date. "One of the problems we had before with all our daily quests is that we just threw them all on players right away, so they burned out on the individual quests pretty quickly," he said, adding that unlocking a new tier will grant access to an entirely new set of quests and further progression in the story.
Some, I found, were simple kill and fetch quests; others transformed you into lizard-like Sauroks that can bound over huge stretches of terrain and traverse craggy hills as though they were speed bumps. I'd heard that this had resulted in some of the best world PvP players had seen in ages, and I asked if this was intentional. "We wanted to make world PvP a big deal on the new islands, but I think the Saurok thing is just a happy coincidence," he said, laughing, adding that later island unlocks will open PvP quests that will contribute to world PvP even more.

The island awaits...
Also contributing to this sense of faction struggle are the 11 massive rare elites that stalk the island, each of which drops goodies like valor points for spending on new gear and, occasionally, charms that allow you to risk another roll on bosses in the Raid Finder tool that didn't drop an item you were hoping for. They're not exactly pushovers, either, considering that their health increases depending on how many players surround them. "Rare," however, is used somewhat loosely here, and I pointed out that I'd seen many groups of players just hanging around in certain spots waiting for a respawns. For now, that doesn't bother Street. "So far we’re letting players have fun with the rare respawns," he said, adding that's sometimes a challenge to tweak spawn rates when new content comes out. "It’s frustrating when nothing respawns because there’s so many players around killing it, but it’s also frustrating when things respawn right on top of you immediately after you've killed it."
Saurok transformations make corpse watching fun!
The Isle of Thunder isn't the only island released with Patch 5.2; there's also the Isle of Giants, a zone so old school that no questlines lead to it and the only way to get there the first time is by swimming. On the island itself, massive elite devilsaurs mosey about, providing opportunities for dinosaur pets for hunters, and, if you have the patience to collect 9,999 bones, a new mount. However, what struck me most is how so few people had even heard of it. "We purposely didn’t make a big deal out of it," he said. "I think it’s the kind of thing where more people over time will say, 'What’s this dinosaur island everyone’s talking about?' It’s going to be fun to watch the community discover it."
When they do discover it, it'll likely be because that's where they'll find Oondasta, the tougher of the two new world bosses. Street hopes that Oondasta will provide a decent challenge for guild groups, particularly after his disappointments with the world boss Salyis' Warband, better known to players as Galleon. "Galleon was supposed to be like one of the old world bosses, where he really took your guild to get together to try to bring him down," he said, "but he spawned in a very populated area--right outside where players have their farms." As a result, many groups could down Galleon through sheer numbers alone. Oondasta, on the other hand, is more like classic WoW's Lord Kazzak, who used to spawn in an subzone of the Blasted Lands' Tainted Scar while surrounded by elites. "We wanted it to be a big deal if you could get your guild out there and beat other guilds to get it," he said. "And then to discourage people from just leaving a low level alt out there to constantly scan for it, we populated this island with elite dinosaurs."
Watch your step.
It's important to note that Street's last point actually matters with Patch 5.2. Thanks to flying mounts, World of Warcraft had largely become a game in which you could surmount such challenges simply by flying over them. In the Isles of Thunder and Giants, however, flying is disabled. "Somewhere along the way, we’d lost the sense that being outdoors in the world was kind of a dangerous thing," he said, adding that merely getting to some quest objectives used to be half the battle. "Walking around and fighting mobs is basically the heart of World of Warcraft, and we had lost a little bit of that and wanted to make it fun again."
Patch 5.2 also brought a new raid along with it, the Throne of Thunder, and this week marks the release of the first tier of that new raiding content for World of Warcraft's Raider Finder tool. I haven't had a chance to sample the content myself, but I did express my concerns that WoW's Raid Finder (which presents watered-down versions of current raids for casually minded players) were taking the place in the gearing process that heroics used to provide. This, I discovered, was one area where Street had little interest in looking toward the past for inspiration.
That's one tough grasshopper.
"We had very difficult heroic dungeons in Cataclysm at launch," he said, recalling that all of them required feats of coordination, crowd control, and interrupts that were largely absent in the heroics for the previous Wrath of the Lich King expansion. I personally was a big fan of the shift, but Street pointed out that it didn't work well with WoW's random dungeon finder. "It’s really hard, and probably unrealistic, to expect five strangers to suddenly gain this level of coordination," he said. "The nice thing about Raid Finder is that there’s 25 players together, so if there’s only a few people who know what’s going on, they can often explain or even carry the rest of the group. And because it’s a raid, it’s a really epic experience--these are gigantic bosses with a lot of unique visuals, so it delivers on feeling like an epic experience without requiring the really fine-tuned level of coordination that a dungeon does. We feel like they’ve been a huge success, and then for players who really like that hardcore five-player dungeons, we have the challenge modes to fill that niche."
Patch 5.2 also brings along a host of smaller changes as well, such as elite battle pets in the wild that can solo your whole team of three battle pets. It also unlocks the ability to fill "work orders" for rep at your personal farm, provided you've reached exalted with the Tillers. Street says he's not entirely opposed to using the work order concept to help players max out faction reputations from previous expansions. "It’s possible," he said. "We kind of want to see how it works."
Yet even with this wealth of content, I wanted more, such as a word on the release of Defense of the Alehouse, a planned PvP battleground based on MOBAs like League of Legends. Street didn't seem optimistic. "Recreating that kind of DoTA feeling in a WoW battleground is going to be a huge challenge. We think it’s really exciting and we know a lot of players do as well, but it’s going to take a lot of work to get that right," he said. "I don’t know if we’ll release it anytime soon."
With work orders, "farming rep" has never felt more literal.
Street also has his eyes on the next patch, which whisks players away from Pandaria and into Orgrimmar, where the Horde's new warchief Garrosh Hellscream refuses to play nice. Exciting stuff, sure, but I wondered if it ran the risk of abandoning Pandaria. "Even though Orgrimmar’s going to play a big role in that story, we don’t want to have players going, 'Oh, Pandaria’s over, now we're back to the old kingdoms we know,'" he said. "There’s going to be a mix, and we definitely want to wrap the whole story back and bring to a conclusion many of the threads we’ve been having through Pandaria. We’re looking forward to seeing how players respond to having a mix of new world and old world together."
Above all, Street wants Mists of Pandaria and patches like 5.2 to bring back the magic that World of Warcraft seemed to have lost with Cataclysm. "We felt like since then, we’d lost our way a little bit. We had some really epic quests and we’ve told some great stories, but the second-to-second combat out in the field wasn’t as interesting," he said. "So we made an effort with the launch of Pandaria and we redoubled it with this most recent patch to make a lot of cool stuff for players to do out in the world. We still have great dungeons and other instance content," he said, "but we also just have fun things to do out in the world with your friends." And for a game in a genre that relies on social interaction above all else, that can only be a good thing.

World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde Preview

We're happy to share a first look at Shadows of the Horde.
Warchief Garrosh's assassins strike at Vol'jin, leaving him at death's door. But fate smiles on the wounded Darkspear leader when renowned brewmaster Chen Stormstout transports him to the safety of an isolated mountain monastery. There, Vol'jin wrestles with old hatreds smoldering between the Alliance and the Horde as he struggles to recover alongside a mysterious human soldier.
Yet this is only the beginning of Vol'jin's worries. Soon, he becomes embroiled in an invasion of Pandaria launched by the Zandalari, revered trolls driven by dreams of conquest and power. This ancient tribe offers Vol'jin a chance to seize the glory that is the birthright of all trolls... an offer made even more tempting after Garrosh's brazen treachery.
Amid these troubling events, Vol'jin is rocked by intense visions depicting his race's grand history. As he questions where his loyalties lie, he knows he must make a choice about his own destiny that could save his people or damn them to languish under Garrosh's heel.
Written by: Michael Stackpole
Release date: July 2, 2013
Preorder your copy now at amazon.

Check out the first excerpt from the book below.

When awareness came to him again, Vol'jin found himself whole and hale, strong of limb and standing tall. A fierce sun beat down on him as he stood in a courtyard with thousands of other trolls. They had nearly a head's height on him, yet none of them made an issue of it. In fact, none of them seemed to notice him at all.
Another dream. A vision.
He did not immediately recognize the place, though he had a sense that he'd been there before. Or, rather, later, for this city had not surrendered to the surrounding jungle's invasion. The stone carvings on walls remained crisp and clear. Arches had not been shattered. Cobbles had not been broken or scavenged. And the stepped pyramid, before which they all stood, had not been humbled by time's ravages.
He stood amid a crowd of Zandalari, members of the troll tribe from which all other tribes had descended. They had become, over the years, taller than most and exalted. In the vision they seemed less a tribe than a caste of priests, powerful and educated, quite apt for leading.
But in Vol'jin's time, their ability to lead had degraded. It is because their dreams all be trapped here.
This was the Zandalar empire at the height of its power. It dominated Azeroth but would fall victim to its own might. Greed and avarice would spark intrigues. Factions would split. New empires would rise, like the Gurubashi empire, which would drive Vol'jin's Darkspear trolls into exile. Then it would fall too.
The Zandalari hungered for a return to the time when they were ascendant. It was a time when trolls were a most noble race. The trolls, united, had risen to heights which someone like Garrosh Hellscream could not possibly dream existed.
A sense of magic ancient and powerful flooded through Vol'jin, providing him the key to why he was seeing the Zandalari. Titan magic predated even the Zandalari. It was more powerful than they were. As high as the Zandalari had been above things that slithered and stung, so were the titans above them—likewise their magic.
Vol'jin moved through the crowd as might a specter. The Zandalari faces glowed with fearsome smiles—the sort he'd seen on trolls when trumpets blared and drums pounded, inviting them to battle. Trolls were built to rend and slay—Azeroth was their world, and all in it were subject to their dominion. Though Vol'jin might differ with other trolls as to the identity of their enemies, he was no less fierce in battle, and vastly proud of how the Darkspears had conquered their foes and liberated the Echo Isles.
So Bwonsamdi be mocking me with this vision. The Zandalari dreamed of empire, and Vol'jin wished the best for his people. Vol'jin knew the difference. It was simple enough to plan for slaughter and far more complex to create a future. For a loa who liked his sacrifices bloody and battle-torn, Vol'jin's vision held little appeal.
Vol'jin ascended the pyramid. As he moved up, things became more substantial. Whereas before he had been in a silent world, he could now feel drums thrumming up through the stone. The breeze brushed over his light fur, tousled his hair. It brought with it the sweet scent of flowers—a scent just slightly sharper than that of spilled blood.
The drumming pounded into him. His heart beat in time. Voices came to him. Shouts from below. Commands from above. He refused to retreat but stopped climbing higher. It seemed he might be rising through time as he would be rising through lake water. If he reached the top, he would be there with the Zandalari and feel what they felt. He would know their pride. He would breathe in their dreams.
He would become one with them.World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde Preview
He would not allow himself that luxury.
His dream for the Darkspear tribe might not have excited Bwonsamdi, but it provided life for the Darkspears. The Azeroth the Zandalari had known had been utterly and irrevocably changed. Portals had been opened. New peoples had come through. Lands had been shattered, races warped, and more power released than the Zandalari knew existed. The disparate races—elves, humans, trolls, orcs, and even goblins, among others—had united to defeat Deathwing, creating a power structure that revolted and offended the Zandalari. The Zandalari hungered to reestablish rule over a world that had so changed that their dreams could never come true.
Vol'jin caught himself. "Never" be a powerful word.
In an eyeblink the vision shifted. He now stood at the pyramid's apex, looking down into the faces of the Darkspears. His Darkspears. They trusted his knowledge of the world. If he told them they could recapture the glory that was once theirs, they would follow him. If he commanded them to take Stranglethorn or Durotar, they would. The Darkspears would boil out of the islands, subjugating all in their path, simply because he wished it done.
He could do it. He could see a way. He'd had Thrall's ear, and the orc had trusted him in military matters. He could spend the months of recuperation plotting out the campaigns and organizing strategies. Within a year or two of his return from Pandaria—if that was still where he was—the Darkspear banner would be anointed with blood and more feared than it already was.
And what be that gaining me?
I would be pleased.
Vol'jin spun. Bwonsamdi stood above him, a titanic figure, ears forward and straining to gather the pulsed shouts from below. It would gain you peace, Vol'jin, for you be doing what your troll nature demands.
Is that all we be meant for?
The loa do not require you to be more. What purpose be there in your bein' more?
Vol'jin looked for an answer to that question. His search left him staring at a void. Its darkness reached and engulfed him, leaving him with no answer and certainly no peace.

WoW Patch 5.4 is available for testing on the Public Test Realms (PTR)!

WOW Patch 5.4 is now available for testing on the Public Test Realms (PTR)! Participating on the Public Test Realms lets you test new content before it's available. This patch includes a brand new Raid, a new area: Timeless Isles, class tuning changes, assorted bug fixes, and more.

If you'd like to help test and provide feedback, you can start by copying your character and downloading the PTR client. Once you've had a chance to try things out, be sure to visit our PTR Discussion forum to discuss the patch, and the PTR Bug Report forum to report any issues or errors.
PTR Disclaimers

  • Please keep in mind that the notes below are not final, and a great deal could change before the release of patch 5.4.
  • Not all the content listed may be available for testing or may only be available during a limited testing window during the 5.4 PTR. Keep an eye on the PTR Discussion forum for further details.

Updated June 20
World of Warcraft Patch 5.4 PTR

New Raid: Siege of Orgrimmar
  • More information coming soon.
New Feature: Flexible Raid Difficulty
  • This is a new raid difficulty designed for pre-made groups of 10 to 25 players or any number in between. This means it's possible to have raids of 15 or 22 players! Difficulty will adjust automatically based on the number of players present with encounters intended to provide a challenge roughly between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty.
  • Flexible Raid difficulty requires a pre-made group to join but has no minimum item level requirements or role restrictions. Both BattleTag™ and Real ID friends are eligible to participate.
  • Loot quality will be between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty and awarded through a personal loot system (similar to Raid Finder). Bonus rolls and loot specialization will also be supported.
  • Players will be able to earn raid achievements just like in Normal or Heroic difficulty.
  • Flexible Raid difficulty has a lockout that is separate from Raid Finder and Normal difficulty.
  • To learn more about Flexible Raids, please visit our blog titled: A Raid for All Seasons: Flexible Raid Preview.
New Area: Timeless Isle
  • More information coming soon.
New Feature: Proving Grounds
  • Proving Grounds is a new feature for individual players to test and improve their combat skills.
  • At the Proving Grounds, players may undertake trials, designed for Damage, Tank, or Healer roles.
  • It provides a great opportunity to learn how to Tank or Heal, without the need of a group.
  • Each trial is available in four separate difficulties: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Endless. Harder difficulties include more difficult and varied enemies.
  • Endless mode allows you to test your mettle against increasingly difficult enemies. Compare your best scores to friends and guildmates!
  • [PTR]: Access to the Proving Grounds and more information is coming soon.
New Feature: Virtual Realms
  • Virtual Realms are sets of realms that are fused together, and will behave exactly as if they were one cohesive realm. Players on the same Virtual Realm will be able to join guilds, access a single Auction House, join arena teams and raids, as well run dungeons or group up to complete quests.
  • Players belonging to the same Virtual Realm will have a (#) symbol next to their name.
The Legendary Quest Continues
  • More information coming soon.
  • Fears cast by players no longer increases the target's movement speed.
  • All taunt type abilities now increase all threat generated against the target while the taunt is active by 200%.
  • Vengeance gains from being critically hit have been halved.

Death Knight
  • Icebound Fortitude no longer costs Runic Power.
  • Riposte is a new passive ability learned at level 76. When the Death Knight dodges or parries any attack, they gain 50% of their Parry and Dodge as additional bonus to Critical Strike for 20 seconds.
  • Anti-Magic Zone has been redesigned. The talent now reduces magic damage taken in the area-of-effect by 40% for 3 seconds, there is no longer a cap on total damage absorbed, and the ability no longer scales with strength.
  • Death Siphon had its damage increased by 10%.
  • Plague Leech now tries to convert 2 fully-depleted runes (up from 1) into a Death Rune based on specialization.
    • Blood: Restores 1 Frost Rune, 1 Unholy Rune
    • Frost: 1 Frost Rune, 1 Unholy Rune
    • Unholy: 1 Blood Rune, 1 Frost Rune
  • Glyph of Enduring Infection now reduces damage dealt by diseases by 15% (down from a 30% reduction).
  • Glyph of Mind Freeze now reduces the cooldown of Mind Freeze by 1 second, and raises its cost by 10 Runic Power (down from 2 seconds and 20 Runic Power).
  • Glyph of Outbreak now causes Outbreak to cost 30 Runic Power (down from 40).
  • Dancing Rune Weapon no longer costs Runic Power.
  • Sanguine Fortitude no longer reduces the cost of Icebound Fortitude.
  • Master of Ghouls now reduces the cooldown of Raise Dead by 60 seconds.

  • Cyclone no longer has a 20-second cooldown for Feral Druids.
  • Faerie Fire now has a duration of 20 seconds while in PvP combat (down from 40 seconds).
  • Innervate now causes the target to gain mana equal to 50% of the casting Druid’s Spirit every second for 10 seconds. The total mana gained from this ability can never be less than 8% of the casting Druid's maximum mana, and the amount gained is unaffected by Mana Tide Totem.
  • Wild Mushroom's Restoration version of the ability now summons a single mushroom at the friendly target’s location. If the mushroom is recast, the mushroom moves to the new location and retains its accumulated bonus healing. A single mushroom now heals for as much as what 3 mushrooms combined healed for previously.
  • Wrath has its mana cost increased by 50%.
  • Dream of Cenarius has been completely redesigned to reduce complexity and increase usability, but maintain the spirit of the effects. Benefits now vary by specialization.
    • Balance: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Casting Healing Touch increases the damage bonus of the Druid's next Eclipse by 10%.
    • Feral: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Casting Healing Touch increases the damage for the Druid's next two melee abilities by 25%. causes the Druid's next Rip to deal 15% increased damage.
    • Guardian: Increases the amount healed by Healing Touch by 20%. Mangle (Bear) critical strikes have a 20% chance to make the next Healing Touch or Rebirth instant, free, and castable in all forms. Instant cast version of Healing Touch now benefits from Attack Power instead of Spell Power.
    • Restoration: Causes Wrath to deal 20% more damage and heals a nearby friendly target for 100% of the damage done.
  • Force of Nature Treant summoned by the Feral version of this talent will now cast Entangling Roots instead of Bash.
  • Heart of the Wild when activated, now also provides a 25% bonus to healing for Restoration Druids.
  • Mass Entanglement no longer has a limit on the number of targets that could be affected, up from 5.
  • Nature's Swiftness is no longer a talent, and is now an ability learned by Restoration Druids at level 30.
  • Nature’s Vigil when activated, causes healing spells now trigger an additional heal on a nearby ally for 25% of the amount healed. This is in addition to the existing effect where it damages a nearby enemy target for 25% of the healing done.
  • Soul of the Forest has been partially redesigned to make it more attractive to Balance, Guardian, and Restoration Druids.
    • Balance: Wrath, Starfire, and Starsurge casts have a 8% chance to cause Astral Communion to grant 100 Lunar Power or Solar Power instead of activating the next Eclipse.
    • Guardian: Increases Rage generation from Mangle (Bear) by 30% instead of an additional 3 Rage, and this talent now also applies to the Rage generated by Mangle (Bear) when it triggers Primal Fury.
    • Restoration: Now causes the Druid to gain 100% haste (up from 75%) on their next spell after casting Swiftmend.
  • Ysera's Gift, a new talent healing the Druid for 5% of their maximum health every 5 seconds. If the Druid is at full health, it will heal the most injured friendly target nearby instead. This talent fills the spot vacated by Nature's Swiftness.
  • New Glyph: Glyph of Efflorescence increases the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%, causes the Efflorescence healing effect to be triggered by Wild Mushroom instead of Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.
  • Glyph of Ferocious Bite now causes Ferocious Bite to heal the Druid for 2% of their maximum health for each 10 Energy used (up from 1%).
  • Glyph of Innervate now causes Innervate to give both the Druid and the target 60% of the normal effect of the spell if it's cast on a target other than the Druid.
  • Glyph of the Master Shapeshifter now reduces the mana cost of all shapeshifts by 100% (up from 90%).
  • Glyph of Pounce now increases the range of Pounce by 8 yards (up from 3 yards).
  • Glyph of Skull Bash now increases the duration of Skull Bash's interrupt by 2 seconds, and increasing the cooldown by 5 seconds (down from a 4 second interrupt and 10 second increase to cooldown).
  • Eclipse now energizes the Druid for 50% of their maximum mana when triggered, up from 35%.
  • Moonkin Form now increases the Druid's armor by 60%, but no longer reduces all damage taken by 15%.
  • Starfire has its mana cost increased by 50%.
  • Starsurge has its mana cost increased by 50%.
  • Predatory Swiftness no longer has a chance to make Cyclone instant, free, and castable in all forms.
  • Genesis is a new Restoration spell learned at level 88. Genesis targets all party or raid members within 60 yards and accelerates the casting Druid's Rejuvenation effects, causing them to heal and expire at 400% of the normal rate. Costs the same amount of mana to cast as Rejuvenation.
  • Living Seed effects can now stack, up to 50% of the casting Druid's maximum health.
  • Swiftmend's area-of-effect healing effect is now called Efflorescence.
  • Wild Mushroom: Bloom is no longer capable of critical strikes, and accumulates overhealing done by Rejuvenation by 100%, down from 150%. Overhealing bonus no longer benefits from Naturalist or Mastery: Harmony.

  • Arcane Shot had its damage and focus cost increased by 50%.
  • Hunter's Mark now has a duration of 20 seconds while in PvP combat (down from 30 seconds).
  • Readiness now finishes the cooldowns on Rapid Fire, Feign Death, Deterrence, Disengage, and Camouflage when activated (was all Hunter abilities with a base cooldown of less than 5 minutes).
  • Revive Pet no longer requires the Hunter to have line-of-sight to their pet.
  • Aspect of the Iron Hawk now reduces all damage taken by 10%, down from 15%.
  • Narrow Escape's root effect is now a nature spell (was a physical spell).
  • Silencing Shot is no longer a talent and is now an ability for Marksman Hunters.
  • Spirit Bond now regenerates 3% of total health every 2 seconds while the Hunter's pet is active (up from 2%).
  • Wyvern Sting now has a range of 40 yards (up from 35 yards).
  • Glyph of Mend Pet now has a 100% chance of cleansing 1 Curse, Disease, Magic or Poison effect from the Hunter's pet on each tick (up from 50% chance).
  • Glyph of No Escape now increases the ranged critical strike chance against targets affected by the Hunter's Freezing Trap by 100% (up from 20% chance).
  • Binding Shot is no longer a Marksman Hunter ability and is once again a talent.
  • Explosive Trap no longer shares a cooldown with Black Arrow but can no longer activate Lock and Load.

  • Frost Bomb now deals 70% damage to players (up from 60%).
  • Living Bomb now deals 85% damage to players (up from 70%).
  • Nether Tempest now deals 85% damage to players (up from 70%).
  • Temporal Shield now also reduces damage taken by 15% while active in addition to existing effects.
  • Glyph of Blink now increases distance travelled with the Blink spell by 8 yards (up from 5 yards).
  • Glyph of Remove Curse now increases the damage dealt by 15% after successfully removing a curse (up from 10%).
  • Glyph of Spellsteal now heals the Mage for 5% of their maximum health after successfully stealing a spell (up from 3%).
  • Mastery: Frostburn has been redesigned. Fingers of Frost now increases the damage of Ice Lance by an additional 2%, Brain Freeze increases the damage of the instant cast Frostfire Bolt by 2%, and damage done by the Mage's Water Elemental is increased by 2%.

  • Chi Brew will now also generate 3 stacks of Brew/Teas based on the Monk's specialization. (Brewmaster: Elusive Brew, Mistweaver: Mana Tea, Windwalker: Tigereye Brew)
  • Healing Elixirs will no longer activate if the Monk is already at full health, and activate automatically when the Monk has less than 35% of their maximum health.
  • Power Strikes will now activate from all Chi generating abilities; Jab, Expel Harm, Spinning Crane Kick (when it hits at least 3 targets), Keg Smash, Crackling Jade Lightning, and Soothing Mist.
  • Ring of Peace has a new visual effect and now disarms both enemies and those attacking allies within the Ring of Peace's area-of-effect for 4 seconds (up from 3 seconds); the silence effect for casting spells remains unchanged at 3 seconds.
  • Glyph of Afterlife now increases the chance to summon a Healing Sphere by 100% (up from 25% chance).

  • Turn Evil now has a 15-second cooldown. (Note: Glyph of Turn Evil will be redesigned and noted in a future PTR update.)
  • Burden of Guilt has been replaced with a new talent called Evil is a Point of View, which allows the Paladin to use Turn Evil on players and beasts.
  • Eternal Flame's initial healing has been reduced by 30%.
  • Hand of Purity now reduces damage taken from harmful periodic effects by 80% (up from 70%) and reduces damage taken from harmful periodic effects that cannot be prevented by immunities by 40% (up from 0%).
  • Sacred Shield (Old) has been renamed to Holy Shield and is no longer a talent. Holy Shield is a Protection Paladin ability learned at level 85.
  • Sacred Shield (New)
    • Holy: When the Paladin or their Beacon of Light target falls below 30% health, that target gains a Sacred Shield absorbing damage equal to 30% of their maximum health. Sacred Shield can only occur once every 2 minutes.
    • Protection, Retribution: When the Paladin falls below 30% health, they gain a Sacred Shield absorbing damage equal to 30% of their maximum health. Sacred Shield can only occur once every 2 minutes.
  • Sanctified Wrath
    • Holy: Now also increases the critical strike chance of Holy Shock by 20%.
    • Protection: Now reduces the cooldown of Judgment by 100% (up from 50%).
  • Selfless Healer stacks now also work on Divine Light in addition to Flash of Light.
    • Bastion of Glory will now apply Selfless Healer's bonus to healing to the casting Paladin as well as other targets and consume all stacks of Bastion of Glory in the process.
  • Unbreakable Spirit has been simplified. It now reduces the cooldown on Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Lay on Hands by 50%.
  • Glyph of the Alabaster Shield now increases damage for the next Shield of the Righteous by 10% per stack (down from 20% per stack).
  • Glyph of Denounce now causes Holy Shock to reduce the cast time of the next Denounce by 0.5 seconds, and the effect can stack up to 3 times.
  • Glyph of Inquisition has been redesigned. The glyph now increases the duration of Inquisition by 30 seconds (up to a maximum of 2 minutes) each time the Paladin lands a killing blow on targets that yield experience or honor.
  • Mastery: Illuminated Healing no longer activates from periodic healing effects.
  • Divine Plea no longer reduces the amount of healing done by 50%.
  • Guardian of the Ancient Kings (Retribution version) now has a reduced cooldown of 3 minutes, down from 5 minutes, and the maximum number of stacks has been reduced to 12.
  • Inquisition now lasts 20 seconds per charge of Holy Power consumed, up from 10 seconds.

  • Leap of Faith no longer has a facing requirement.
  • Angelic Feather now increases allies' movement speed by 80%, up from 60%, and feathers placed in the world have a duration of 10 minutes (up from 5 minutes).
  • Divine Insight for Discipline Priests now has a 100% chance to activate its effect after using Penance (up from 40%), and now displays an effect in the UI when it's active.
  • From Darkness, Comes Light
    • Discipline, Holy: Now also has a chance to activate its effect on cast for these following spells; Penance, Circle of Healing, Prayer of Mending, and Prayer of Healing.
    • Shadow: Now has a 20% chance to activate its effect for Shadow Priests (up from a 15% chance).
  • Twist of Fate's damage and healing threshold to activate has been increased to 35% (up from 20%).
  • Glyph of Purify now causes Purify to heal the target for 5% of their maximum health after successfully dispelling a magical effect or disease (up from 3%).
  • Glyph of Reflective Shield now causes Power Word: Shield to reflect 70% of the damage absorbed (up from 45%).
  • Serendipity no longer displays a spell effect when in the UI when it's active.
  • Shadowform now increases the Priest's armor by 60%, but no longer reduces all damage taken by 15%.
Class Armor
  • Shadow PvP 4-piece set bonus is no longer an area-of-effect and only affects the character that dispels Vampiric Touch.

  • Recuperate now restores 4% of maximum health every 3 seconds, up from 3%.
  • Nightstalker now increases damage dealt by abilities while stealthed by 50%, up from 25%.
  • Glyph of Recuperate now increases the healing of Recuperate by an additional 1% (up from 0.5%).
  • Killing Spree targeting has been changed. If Blade Flurry is not active, Killing Spree will now hit the Rogue's target 7 times or pick the closest eligible target if none had been selected. Killing Spree will continue to work as it has while Blade Flurry is active.

  • Healing Rain's radius has been increased to 12 yards, up from 10 yards.
  • Astral Shift now has a cooldown of 90 seconds, down from 120 seconds.
  • Conductivity has been redesigned. Casting Healing Wave, Greater Healing Wave, Healing Surge, or Chain Heal, increases the duration of Healing Rain by 1 second. Damaging an enemy with Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Earthshock, or Stormstrike increases the duration of Healing Rain by 1 second.
  • Healing Tide Totem now heals for 50% more.
  • Stone Bulwark Totem's initial damage absorption shield now absorbs an additional 33% in damage.
  • Unleashed Fury
    • Earthliving Weapon effect now applies to the Shaman, not the target.
    • Flametongue Weapon effect now increases Lightning Bolt damage by 30%, up from 20%.
  • Glyph of Chaining now increases the cooldown on Chain Heal by 2 seconds, down from a 4 second increase.
  • Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem now reduces the cooldown and duration for Fire Elemental Totem by 50%, up from 40%.
  • Glyph of Riptide reduces the initial direct healing of Riptide by 75%, down from a 90% reduction to healing.
  • Stormstrike's debuff now also affects Elemental Blast.
  • Purification now only increases healing done by Healing Stream Totem by 50% (was healing done by all Water totems).
  • Riptide's mana cost has been reduced by 25%.

  • The debuff from using a Demonic Gateway has been increased to 60 seconds (up from 15 seconds).
  • Fel Armor no longer reduces all damage taken by 10%.
  • Fel Flame now deals 13% more damage, costs 2% less mana, and no longer increases the duration of damage-over-time spells.
  • Rain of Fire now has a reduced chance to generate Burning Embers.
  • Howl of Terror is no longer a talent and is now a baseline skill for all Warlocks.
  • Demonic Breath, a new talent replacing Howl of Terror. The Warlock sends out a cone of Shadow damage, snaring targets, has a 20-second cooldown.
  • Kil'jaden's Cunning no longer reduces movement speed, and will now allow the Warlock to cast Incinerate, Malefic Grasp, and Shadow Bolt while moving. is no longer a passive ability. Kil'jaden's Cunning now has a duration of 15 seconds with a 1.5 minute cooldown.
  • Mannoroth's Fury is no longer a passive ability. Mannoroth's Fury now has a duration of 10 seconds with a 60 second cooldown, and increases the area of area-of-effect by 500% and increases damage by 100% for Hellfire, Immolation Aura, Rain of Fire, and Seed of Corruption.
  • Soul Leech can now also activate from Shadowburn, and caps out at 15% of the Warlock and their pet's maximum health (down from 100%).
  • Blood and Thunder now also increases the damage of Thunder Clap by 50%.
  • Enrage now also triggers on critical hits from Devastate and Shield Slam.
  • Hamstring is no longer on a global cooldown.
  • Riposte is a new passive ability learned at level 76. When the Warrior dodges or parries any attack, they gain 50% of their Parry and Dodge as an additional bonus to Critical Strike for 20 seconds.
  • Shattering Throw no longer costs rage.
  • Shield Wall no longer requires a shield. If the Warrior does not have a shield equipped, it will show a visual of an equipped shield.
  • Spell Reflection no longer requires a shield. If the Warrior does not have a shield equipped, it will show a visual of an equipped shield.
  • Enraged Regeneration now instantly heals the warrior for 10% of their total health (up from 5%), and an additional 10% over 5 seconds (up from 5%).
  • Impending Victory now heals the Warrior for 20% of their maximum health at all times (up from 15% on attack and 20% on kills that yield experience or honor).
  • Storm Bolt now also has an off-hand attack for Fury Warriors.
  • Vigilance no longer transfers damage to the Warrior. The talent now reduces amount of damage the target takes by 30% for 12 seconds.
  • Warbringer now roots the target for 4 seconds instead of stunning them for 3 seconds. The 50% reduction to movement speed snare effect for 8 seconds remains unchanged. Glyph of Blitz will now cause Warbringer to root an additional 2 nearby targets.
  • Seasoned Soldier now also reduces the cost of Thunder Clap by 10 Rage.
  • Slam now does an additional 10% damage to targets affected by the warrior’s Colossus Smash.
  • Sweeping Strikes now causes melee attacks to strike an additional nearby target for 75% of the initial damage (up from 50%).
  • Titan’s Grip now works with polearms.
  • Ultimatum now activates from critical hits with Shield Slam instead of a flat 20% chance, and the ability will make the next Heroic Strike or Cleave be a critical hit in addition to costing no Rage.

  • The Strength of One's Foes: For players on this step of the legendary quest; all Throne of Thunder bosses now have a chance to drop a Sigil of Power or Sigil of Wisdom in addition to their normal loot. Players should no longer be receiving excess Sigils of Power or Sigils of Wisdom.

  • Bonus Roll change: Players that don’t have a coin or elect to not use a Bonus Roll when defeating one of the world bosses (Sha of Anger, Galleon, Nalak, and Oondasta) can come back later that same week to use the Bonus Roll. The limit has not changed and remains one attempt and one bonus roll per boss, per week.
Pet Battles
Pet Battle General
  • A new pet battle tournament is available on the Timeless Isle, more details coming soon!
  • Round timers in PvP Pet Battles will now get progressively shorter for a player who takes more than 15 seconds to issue a command during their turn.
  • Players are now able to trade in any 3 of the same family specific Flawless Battle-Stones for a single Marked Flawless Battle-Stone.
  • Viewable pet battles will now display working health bars.
  • Battle Pet levels are now only shown on the map if you are tracking Battle Pets.
  • Aquatic type's passive effect now reduces damage from damage-over-time effects by 50%, up from 25%.
  • Critter type's passive effect now makes critters immune to roots, stuns, and sleep effects.
  • Dragonkin type's passive effect now activates after an attack brings a target's to below 50% health, up from 25%.
  • Elemental type's passive effect now only affects negative direct effects of weather. (E.g. Sandstorm's accuracy reduction won't be applied, but the damage reduction will.)
  • Magic type's passive effect now caps damage taken at 35% of maximum health, up from 40%.
Battle Pets
  • Any Battle Pet that could be awarded from a Throne of Thunder boss on Raid Finder difficulty can now be won from a bonus roll, in addition to the standard bonus roll reward.
  • Darkmoon Zeppelin: Several abilities have swapped positions.
  • Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling: Several abilities have swapped positions.
Battle Pet Abilities
  • Accuracy now affects the entire team.
  • Dark Simulacrum has been replaced with a new ability, Rot. Rot deals Undead damage and temporarily turns the enemy pet's type into Undead.
  • Trihorn Charge damage has been reduced by 11.5% and now has a 1-round cooldown.
  • Trihorn Shield now displays the correct amount of damage reduction.

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • The chance for awarding loot from kills or bonus rolls has been increased for Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, Terrace of Endless Spring, and Throne of Thunder on Raid Finder difficulty.
  • The chance for awarding loot from using a bonus roll has been increased for Throne of Thunder on Normal difficulty.
  • Players who obtain a realm-best time in a Challenge Mode dungeon (group must contain at least 3 people from the same realm to qualify) will receive a temporary title specific to each dungeon (e.g. Siegebreaker for Siege of Niuzao temple, Darkmaster for Scholomance, etc.). This title will persist for as long as a player retains the top time on the realm. Holding a realm-best time at any point will also confer a permanent Feat of Strength to record the accomplishment.

  • Season 14 Grievous gear is now available.
  • Elite versions of Season 14 Grievous are now available as a mark of prestige for players that are able to attain a personal rating of 2000 and earn 27,000 Conquest Points in the current season. Pricing per piece remains the same but the previous piece requirement has been removed.
  • Season 13 Tyrannical gear can now be purchased with Honor Points.
  • Season 12 Malevolent gear can now be crafted.
  • [PTR]: For testing purposes, Grievous Flaskataur will be available near the Alliance/Horde shrines near Vale of Eternal Blossoms selling standard Grievous gear for gold.
  • [PTR]: For testing purposes, the item level scaling of gear in Arenas, Battlegrounds and Rated Battlegrounds has been increased to 512 during the 5.4 PTR. Season 14 Grievous Conquest gear is exempt from this item level ceiling.

Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • For Arena matches lasting longer than 15 minutes, one of the teams will receive a buff called "The Crowd Chose You" that increases damage, critical strike chance, stealth detection, and reduces damage taken. The buff is awarded based on the following criteria.
    • Team with the largest number of players alive.
    • Team that brought an enemy player closest to death (lowest health).
  • Arena Rating scaling in the 2v2 bracket has been tuned to be consistent with the 3v3 bracket.

  • All permanent item enhancements provided by Enchanting, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, and various vendors and quests are now able to be applied to items of any level. This means all enchantments can now be applied to heirloom items.
    • High level enhancements applied to items equipped by low level players have their power scaled down to be similar to enhancements intended for that level range.
    • Low level enhancements applied to items equipped by high level players do not grow further in power beyond their intended level range.
  • [PTR]: For testing purposes, Flaskataur, Esq. will be available near the Niuzao Temple selling normal Tier-16 armor for gold.
  • The vestigial Use Hardware sound option has been removed.