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Legion - Class Preview Mage

U ovom blogu Blizzard nam govori o izmenama Mage klase u World of Warcraft Legion nastavku. U njemu možemo pročitati par primera jednostavnih abilitia, kao i jednog talenta.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Source)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Mage—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.

We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Mage. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Mage in World of Warcraft.

In terms of spec definition and overall design changes, Mages lay in contrast to the classes we’ve talked about so far in this series. Mages are in a very strong place compared to most classes, both thematically and mechanically. There’s a lot of distinction among Arcane, Fire, and Frost Mages, with each type of caster specializing heavily in a single school of magic, and each of the three schools having strong themes and consistent properties. Arcane magic warps time and space, and controls the flow of mana; Fire magic unleashes destructive force that spreads chaotically; and Frost slows and controls, setting foes up for devastating strikes.

The changes we’re making are more to prop up existing gameplay for all skill levels and provide some quality-of-life improvements. As a simple example, Summon Refreshment now automatically provides you with a stack of food if you’re adventuring out on your own, or a table of refreshments when in a party or raid.


Arcane
Mages of the arcane are diviners of secrets, balancing the ebb and flow of incredible mystic energies. Unparalleled skill is required to manipulate the volatile forces of the universe. These practitioners push their magical knowledge to its very limits—often to the brink of their own exhaustion, and at great risk to the world around them. Those who master this craft are capable of releasing a barrage of unrelenting power upon their enemies, drawing upon replenishing energies to maintain their assault for as long as the battle demands.

"Mages of the arcane are diviners of secrets, balancing the ebb and flow of incredible mystic energies"

Gameplay
Arcane Mage abilities and gameplay already deliver on the spec’s fantasy quite well, so most changes are in the vein of polishing what’s already there. First, for added mechanical clarity, Arcane Charges are now an actual resource located underneath your Mana bar instead of a stacking debuff. The functionality is still very much the same, but this change should make their accumulation and use more distinct. The one significant gameplay change is that Arcane has a new Mastery, which increases your maximum Mana by a percentage, and increases the damage bonus from Arcane Charges. This should make the Mastery feel a bit more interesting by allowing more aggressive Mana usage as your Mastery improves, and feel more empowering, ultimately giving you much more control over your rotation.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Arcane Mages:
  • Arcane Blast
    • 5% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.25 sec cast
    • Blasts the target with energy, dealing moderate Arcane damage and generating an Arcane Charge.
    • Arcane Blast’s damage is increased by 50% per Arcane Charge, and its Mana cost is increased by 100% per Arcane Charge.
  • Arcane Missiles
    • 40 yd range, Channeled
    • Launches five waves of Arcane Missiles at the enemy over 2 sec, causing minor Arcane damage per wave. Generates an Arcane Charge.
    • Arcane Missiles’ damage is increased by 50% per Arcane Charge.
    • Arcane Missiles has a chance to be activated after each of your damaging spell casts. Limit 3 charges.
  • Arcane Barrage
    • 0.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
    • Launches bolts of arcane energy at the enemy target, causing strong Arcane damage. Consumes all Arcane Charges.
    • Arcane Barrage’s damage is increased by 50% per Arcane Charge, and it hits 1 additional nearby target per Arcane Charge for 50% damage.
  • Evocation
    • Channeled, 1.5 min cooldown
    • Gain 25% of your total Mana instantly, and another 75% of your total mana over 6 sec.
  • Mastery: Savant
    • Increases your Mana regeneration rate and maximum Mana by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
    • Arcane Charges increase the damage of affected spells by an additional 10% (with Mastery from typical gear).
  • Displacement
    • Instant, 1.5 min cooldown
    • For the next 4 sec, casting Blink will not trigger its cooldown

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Arcane-specific talents:
  • Quickening
    • Passive
    • Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles also grant 2% Haste for 6 sec, stacking.
    • This effect is cleared when you cast Arcane Barrage.


Fire
While any worthy mage is an unparalleled expert in the use of magic and heavily dedicated to their craft, those who master the forces of fire tend to be a little more audacious than their peers. If a threat stands before them, the answer is always to neutralize it in a glorious blaze. A lifetime dedicated to the study of fiery forces only fuels their pyromania, and these mages take pride—even pleasure—in igniting their enemies in wild bursts of flame. Mistake their affinity for watching things burn as a lack of self-control at your own peril.

"These mages take pride—even pleasure—in igniting their enemies in wild bursts of flame"

Gameplay
Similar to Arcane, Fire already exudes its core identity, so our changes are focused on gameplay adjustments. Ultimately, you will have more freedom in what buttons you press and more control over the Heating Up mechanic, which is core to Fire Mages. In particular, the Inferno Blast ability was trying to fill two roles: spreading Ignite, and forcing a Hot Streak from a Heating Up. We’ve opted to move the spreading to an innate property of Ignite and have taken Inferno Blast off the global cooldown so that you can more freely and intuitively use it to trigger a Hot Streak.

Another major change is the redesign of Combustion. It’s an incredibly complex skill, hard to understand for most people, and has the potential for either ridiculous success or critical failure, with the odds being extremely random and very hard to gauge much of the time. We’re redesigning it into something that fits into the Fire rotation in a clear and consistent way.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Fire Mages:
  • Fireball
    • 4% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.25 sec cast
    • Throw a fiery ball that causes moderate Fire damage.
  • Hot Streak
    • Passive
    • Getting 2 direct-damage critical strikes in a row will make your next Pyroblast or Flamestrike spell instant cast, and cause double the normal Ignite damage.
    • Developer Comment:
      • You may not start a new streak (aka, gain Heating Up), while a Hot Streak is already active
      • It was never our intention for players to sit with a Hot Streak active, then keep fishing for another Heating Up before throwing instant Pyro out—in general, we don’t like the game telling you to press a button when you shouldn’t
  • Inferno Blast
    • 2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 12 sec recharge, 2 charges
    • Blasts the enemy for moderate Fire damage. This damage is always a critical strike.
    • Inferno Blast is not on the global cooldown, and can be cast while casting other spells.
  • Pyroblast
    • 5% Mana, 40 yd range, 4.5 sec cast
    • Hurl an immense fiery boulder that causes massive Fire damage.
  • Combustion
    • 10% Mana, Instant, 2 min
    • Engulf yourself in flames, increasing your critical strike chance by 100% for 10 sec.
    • Also grants you Mastery equal to your Critical Strike stat.
  • Mastery: Ignite
    • Your target burns for an additional 30% (with Mastery from typical gear) over 9 sec of the total direct damage caused by your Fireball, Inferno Blast, Scorch, Pyroblast, and Flamestrike. If this effect is reapplied, any remaining damage will be added to the new Ignite.
    • Every 2 sec, your Ignites may spread to another nearby enemy.

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Fire-specific talents:
  • Cinderstorm
    • 1% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 8 sec cooldown
    • Throw a spread of 6 cinders that travel in an arc, and each deal minor Fire damage to enemies they hit.


Frost
Frost mages stand apart from their colleagues, in that their chosen school of magic focuses on maintaining supreme control over the capabilities of their enemies. Mages who command frost perform chilling displays on the battlefield, rendering foes immobile as they bombard them with ice. Often, the blade never reaches the caster before the bitter cold takes hold. The frost mage exudes frigid power as icicles form around them, foreshadowing the wintry demise of those who stand opposed on the field of battle.

"Mages who command frost perform chilling displays on the battlefield, rendering foes immobile"

Gameplay
Frost Mages are very effective casters, and there’s already a lot to like about this spec. Frost’s defining traits and abilities are cohesive, the mechanics are understandable, and there are plenty of opportunities for players to explore unique gameplay at a variety of skill levels. Rather than making any dramatic changes to how a Frost Mage plays, we’ve focused more on fixing one particular outlier in their Spellbook: Frostfire Bolt. After removing the fire portion of the spell, it began to feel like just another Frostbolt, and we started to wonder how a spell supposedly combining frost and fire wasn’t just producing a puddle of water at the feet of the enemy. We’ve removed Frostfire Bolt and made Frozen Orb part of the core spell kit in its place, which better lends itself to the identity of the Frost Mage.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Frost Mages:
  • Frost Bolt
    • 4% Mana, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast
    • Launches a bolt of frost at the enemy, causing moderate Frost damage and slowing movement speed by 30% for 15 sec.
  • Frozen Orb
    • 10% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 1 min cooldown
    • Launches an orb of swirling ice forward, dealing minor Frost damage every 1 sec to all nearby enemy targets for 10 sec. Grants the Mage 1 charge of Fingers of Frost when it first reaches a target.
    • Targets damaged by the Frost Orb are slowed by 30% for 2 sec.
  • Ice Lance
    • 1% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant.
    • Quickly fling a shard of ice at the target, dealing minor Frost damage.
    • Ice Lance damage is doubled against frozen targets.
  • Brain Freeze
    • Passive
    • Your Frostbolts have a 10% chance to reset the cooldown of Frozen Orb.
  • Fingers of Frost
    • Passive
    • Your successful Frostbolt hits have a 15% chance, and your Blizzard and Frozen Orb ticks have a 5% chance to grant you the Fingers of Frost effect.
    • The Fingers of Frost effect causes your next Ice Lance to act as if your target were frozen, and deal 140% increased damage.
  • Shatter
    • Passive
    • Multiplies the critical strike chance of your spells against Frozen targets by 1.5, and adds an additional 50% chance.
  • Mastery: Icicles
    • When you damage enemies with Frostbolt, 45% (with Mastery from typical gear) of the damage done is stored as an Icicle with you, for 30 sec. Also increases the damage that your Water Elemental deals by 45% (with Mastery from typical gear).
    • Up to 5 Icicles can be stored at once. Excess Icicles that are generated will be automatically launched. Casting Ice Lance causes any Icicles to begin launching at the target.

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Frost-specific talents:
  • Glacial Spike
    • 1% Mana, 40 yd range, 3 sec cast
    • Conjure a massive spike of ice, and merge your current Icicles into it. It impales your target, dealing massive damage, plus the damage stored in your Icicles.
    • Requires 5 Icicles to cast.
    • Also freezes the target in place for up to 4 sec. Damage caused may interrupt the effect.
    • Passive: Ice Lance no longer launches Icicles.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Mage class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our series next with a look at Paladins.

Legion - Class Preview Priest

U ovom blogu Blizzard nam govori o izmenama Priest klase u World of Warcraft Legion nastavku. U njemu možemo pročitati par primera jednostavnih abilitia, kao i jednog talenta.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Source)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Priest—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.

We continue our early look at class and specialization design with the Priest. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out the foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Priest in World of Warcraft.

Priests have a strong identity as spiritual practitioners who harness divine power to inspire and protect allies, heal the injured, and cure the ailed. But while this clearly holds true for Holy Priests, these ideas are less fundamental to Discipline Priests—and the ideals and beliefs of Shadow Priests are antithetical to those of Holy Priests.

Despite these differences, Priests of any spec share one key thing in common: unwavering faith in something from which they draw great power. What delineates specializations is the source of that power. In Legion, we’re going to explore that dichotomy in greater depth than ever through the gameplay for each specialization.


Holy
After spending much of their lives in temples studying ancient doctrine, preaching the tenets of their faith, and pledging their full devotion to the divine powers they follow, the most adept priests leave their houses of worship to serve on the battlefield, as shepherd to flock. There, they use their holy powers to bless allies and mend wounds. And while most stay behind the frontlines to aid their comrades, these holy champions are also capable of smiting foes and carrying out sacred justice. They’re also morally opposed to the use of Shadow and Void magic—rather, they are exemplars of the incredible grace and power of the divine and the Light, and even death cannot fully stop their healing capabilities.

"The most adept priests leave their houses of worship to serve on the battlefield, as shepherd to flock"

Gameplay
Given the innate purity of the spec, we want to ensure that Holy Priests continue to have a large repertoire of compelling healing spells. The Chakra system was cumbersome, requiring additional setup to optimally use most spells and restricting how much you could fluidly shift between healing methods. We have removed it in favor of a more dynamic play style focused around Holy Words. New Holy Word spells are designed to feel absolutely miraculous, having huge effects balanced with long base cooldowns. The new passive effect of Serendipity allows those long base cooldowns to be reduced, letting you use them more frequently. Finally, in keeping with the resolute beliefs of the Holy Priest, they can make no use of Shadow spells. Smite, Holy Fire, and Holy Word: Chastise are the instruments used by Holy Priests to inflict damage upon their enemies.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat healing abilities for Holy Priests:

  • Heal
    • 2.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • A slow but efficient spell that heals an ally for a moderate amount.
  • Flash Heal
    • 3.5% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • A fast but expensive spell that heals an ally for a moderate amount.
  • Holy Word: Serenity
    • 4.0% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 1 min cooldown
    • Perform a miracle, healing an ally for an absolutely massive amount.
  • Prayer of Healing
    • 8.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • A powerful prayer that heals up to 5 injured allies within 15 yards of the target for a strong amount.
  • Prayer of Mending
    • 2.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 10 sec cooldown
    • Places a spell on a party or raid member that heals them for a moderate amount the next time they take damage. When the heal occurs, Prayer of Mending jumps to another party or raid member within 20 yds. Jumps up to 5 times and lasts 30 sec. after each jump.
  • Holy Word: Sanctify
    • 5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 1 min. cooldown
    • Release miraculous light into a target location, healing up to 6 allies within 10 yards for a huge amount.
  • Renew
    • 2.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Fill the target with faith in the Light, healing them instantly for a minor amount and then a large amount over 15 sec.
  • Serendipity
    • Passive
    • When you cast Flash Heal or Heal, the cooldown of Holy Word: Serenity is reduced by 6 sec.
    • When you cast Prayer of Healing or Prayer of Mending, the cooldown of Holy Word: Sanctify is reduced by 6 sec.
    • When you cast Smite or Holy Fire, the cooldown of Holy Word: Chastise is reduced by 6 sec.
  • Mastery: Echo of Light
    • Your direct healing spells heal for an additional 25% (with Mastery from typical gear) over 6 sec.
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Holy-specific talents:
  • Apotheosis
    • Instant, 3 min cooldown
    • Enter a pure Holy form for 30 sec, increasing the effects of Serendipity by 200%.


Shadow
The Light in which many priests bathe is brilliant and effervescent, granting them immense divine power. But the brightest light casts the darkest shadow—and from within this blackness, a rival power dwells. Shadow priests fully embrace this opposing polarity, their faith equally resolute as their holy counterparts—but focused on shadowy magics and mental manipulation. Like all priests, they dedicate much of their lives to worship—but they derive their power from the Void, straying dangerously close to the domain of the Old Gods. To truly understand such ancient, corruptive influence is to be driven mad. This is the state in which these dark priests thrive, embracing insanity and feeding off of the minds of their opponents to reach terrifying new limits.

"These dark priests thrive, embracing insanity and feeding off of the minds of their opponents to reach terrifying new limits"

Gameplay
We’ve long alluded to the Old God influences of Shadow Priests in their spells and abilities, and we’re making that more distinct in Legion.
A new resource, Insanity, provides a better fit for Shadow, having more granularity and gameplay that emphasizes the immense but fleeting power that the Void offers. Mind Blast, Shadow Word: Pain, and Vampiric Touch will build Insanity. Reaching maximum Insanity will transform Shadowform into Voidform, giving the Shadow Priest access to stronger Void magic, but it is unable to be maintained indefinitely. This should make for interesting gameplay as Shadow Priests try to maintain the height of their Insanity as long as possible to prey on the minds of their enemies.

While not under the effects of Insanity, Shadow Priests continue to rely heavily on abilities that inflict sustained damage over time. Finally, having turned away from the Light, Shadow Priests eschew such spells as Heal, Flash Heal, and Prayer of Mending. Power Word: Shield and Shadow Mend are their primary healing tools.

  • Voidform
    • Passive
    • When you reach 100 Insanity, you enter Voidform, transforming your Mind spells into Void spells, and increasing your Shadow damage by 30%.
    • While in Voidform, you gain 2% Haste every 1 sec. This Haste will also persist for 20 sec after Voidform ends.
    • Voidform causes your Insanity to constantly drain, faster and faster, until completely drained, and Voidform ends.
  • Mind Flay
    • 40 yd range, Channeled
    • Assault the target’s mind with Shadow energy, causing minor Shadow damage over 3 sec and slowing their movement speed by 50%.
    • While in Voidform, transforms into Void Flay, which also extends Shadow Word: Pain by 3 sec.
  • Mind Blast
    • 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 9 sec cooldown
    • Blasts the target’s mind for strong Shadow damage.
    • Generates 15 Insanity.
    • While in Voidform, transforms into Void Blast, which has a 4.5 sec cooldown, and also extends Vampiric Touch by 3 sec.
  • Vampiric Touch
    • 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • A touch of darkness that causes huge Shadow damage over 24 sec, and heals the Priest for each point of damage dealt.
    • If Vampiric Touch is dispelled, the dispeller flees in Horror for 3 sec.
    • Each time Vampiric Touch deals damage, it generates 3 Insanity.
  • Shadow Word: Pain
    • 40 yd range, Instant
    • A word of darkness that causes minor Shadow damage instantly, and an additional huge amount of damage over 18 sec.
    • Each time Shadow Word: Pain deals damage, it generates 3 Insanity, and has a 10% chance to reset the cooldown of Mind Blast.
  • Mastery: Madness
    • Increases the damage and Insanity generation of your Mind Blast, Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Touch, and Shadow Word: Death by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Shadow-specific talents:
  • Oblivion
    • Instant, 2 min cooldown
    • Let the power of the void flow through you, instantly generating 100 Insanity.


Discipline
Some priests pride themselves on pragmatism. They understand that light casts a shadow, that darkness is defined by light, and that true discipline stems from one’s ability to balance these opposing powers in services of a greater cause. While these priests possess many holy virtues to aid their allies, they also dabble in the dark arts to debilitate their enemies—always exercising immense discipline to keep themselves away from the brink of insanity. Many would say the ends justify the means; scriptures both virtuous and vile should be studied and understood to protect the congregation.

"True discipline stems from one’s ability to balance opposing powers in services of a greater cause"

Gameplay
The power of absorption mechanics has created a gameplay issue for healers that we’re looking to address in Legion. Discipline Priests have been so effective in their role of preventing damage that it has sometimes left other healers yearning for an opportune time to throw out a clutch heal. To alleviate that issue, we’re tempering Discipline’s emphasis on shields in lieu of a reimaged Atonement mechanic.

Discipline Priests are now more clearly defined by their use of both Holy and Shadow magic, and that extends to how they function in combat. Sacrificing a portion of healing ability and having a reduced focus on absorption spells, they gain a significant contribution in damage. Still filling a healer role in group content, they aim to strike a balance between healing allies and damaging enemies in a unique gameplay style. Discipline Priests have strong cooldowns with Power Word: Barrier and Pain Suppression, along with Rapture, a new cooldown that temporarily removes the cooldown of Power Word: Shield.

Here’s a basic look at the core defensive and offensive combat abilities for Discipline Priests:

  • Atonement
    • Passive
    • Plea, Power Word: Shield, and Shadow Mend also apply Atonement to your target for 15 sec.
    • When you deal spell damage, you instantly heal all targets affected by Atonement for 50% of the damage done.
    • Developer comment: Healing is not split between Atonements—the more allies you have Atonement on, the more total healing that a damage spell will cause.
  • Mastery: Absolution
    • Increases the healing transferred through Atonement by 28% (with Mastery from typical gear).
  • Defensive
    • Plea
      • 1.2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
      • A quick, efficient plea to heal an ally for a minor amount.
    • Shadow Mend
      • 3.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
      • Wrap an ally in shadows which heal them for a large amount, but at a price.
      • The ally will take minor damage every 1 sec, until they have taken half that amount of total damage from all sources, or leave combat.
    • Power Word: Shield
      • 3.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
      • Shield an ally, absorbing a large amount of damage. Lasts 15 sec.
      • While the shield holds, spellcasting will not be delayed by damage.
    • Power Word: Radiance
      • 7.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
      • A burst of light heals a friendly target and their 5 nearest allies for a moderate amount, and applies Atonement for 50% of its normal duration.
  • Offensive
    • Smite
      • 0.75% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
      • Smite an enemy for moderate Holy damage.
    • Mind Blast
      • 3.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
      • Blast the target’s mind for strong Shadow damage.
    • Penance
      • 2.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Channeled, 9 sec cooldown
      • Launches a volley of holy light at the target, causing huge Holy damage over 2 sec.
      • Channelable while moving.
    • Revelation
      • Passive
      • Your Smite and Mind Blast casts have a 30% chance to reset the cooldown on Penance.
    • Shadow Word: Pain
      • 2.0% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
      • A word of darkness that causes minor Shadow damage instantly, and an additional huge amount of Shadow damage over 18 sec.

Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Discipline-specific talents:
  • Grace
    • Passive
    • Increases your non-Atonement healing and absorption by 30% on targets with Atonement.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of our approach to Priest class and specialization design in World of Warcraft: Legion. We’ll continue our review later today with a look at Mages.

Legion - Class Preview Hunter

Prvi Legion class blog je objavljen, a radi se o Hunter klasi! U ovom blogu, možete pročitati dosta informacije o svakom specu, par primera jednostavnih abilitia kao i jednog talenta.
 
WoWHead je odmah iste abilitie ubacio u svoju bazu podataka, tako da jednostavnim mouse overom preko linka možete pročitati nove spellove i talente.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Source)
Welcome to our World of Warcraft: Legion class preview series. In this entry, we’re exploring the Hunter—to find out what’s in store for a different class, check out the overview.

We begin our early look at class and specialization design with the Hunter. In these blogs, we’ll be exploring class identity, discussing Legion’s new designs, and presenting core combat abilities for each specialization—laying out a foundation upon which talents and Artifacts will build further. With that in mind, let’s delve into what it means to be a Hunter in World of Warcraft.

In many ways, Hunter design in Legion embodies our key philosophies for class change. Hunters have a strong “core fantasy”: they’re masters of tracking prey, experts at sniping enemies with bows and guns from a distance, tamers of wild beasts, and trappers of unsuspecting foes. The challenge with the Hunter class in WoW is that, for the most part, while all three specs deliver that basic fantasy, the distinction between them is fairly minimal. In Legion, we’re focused on better differentiating these specializations to deliver more dynamic and varied experiences.


Beast Mastery
Among the most gifted hunters, there are those who have from birth felt a profound bond with the creatures of the wild. These beast masters are drawn to the perilous primal world, invigorated by its dangerous and untamed nature. Primitive landscape becomes home. Ferocious predator becomes kin. Whether in the thrill of the hunt or the heat of battle, beast masters call forth a litany of vicious animals to overwhelm prey and gnaw at their enemies’ will.

"Beast masters are drawn to the perilous primal world, invigorated by its dangerous and untamed nature"

Gameplay
Beast Masters were already in a good place overall, but we’ve refined existing abilities and talents to better differentiate them from other Hunters. Previously, Cobra Shot filled all of your free moments in combat, leaving no time for managing your pet, which should be a defining characteristic of Beast Masters. To this end, and to aid in Focus accumulation, Dire Beast is now core to Beast Mastery, allowing you to repeatedly summon wild beasts that generate additional Focus for you through their every attack.

To give you an idea of the Beast Master Hunter in action, here’s a basic look at their core combat abilities:
  • Cobra Shot
    • 30 Focus, 40 yd range, Instant
    • A quick shot that causes moderate Physical damage.
  • Dire Beast
    • 40 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown
    • Summons a powerful wild beast to attack your target for 8 sec. Each time the beast deals damage, you will gain 4 Focus.
    • Summoning a beast reduces the remaining cooldown of Bestial Wrath by 15 sec.
  • Kill Command
    • 20 Focus, 25 yd range (from pet), Instant, 6 sec cooldown
    • Give the command to kill, causing your pet to instantly inflict strong damage to its target.
  • Wild Call
    • Passive
    • Your critical strikes have a 30% chance to reset the cooldown of Dire Beast.
  • Mastery: Master of Beasts
    • Increases the damage done by your pets by 45% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s one example of a Beast Mastery–specific talent:
  • Way of the Cobra
    • Passive
    • For every pet or guardian you have active, Cobra Shot deals an additional 5% damage.


Survival
While all hunters feel a calling to the wild, some serve as a reflection of its brutality. To them, the hunt is defined by unrelenting ferocity, where survival means facing one’s enemy eye-to-eye... and is always accompanied by merciless bloodshed. Weapons of great range are abandoned for instruments of close-quarters combat. Survival hunters are instinctive and crafty on the prowl, employing loyal beasts and laying deceptive traps to see their enemies undone. For these hunters know that to truly understand what it means to survive, one must first become familiar with the cruel face of death.

"The hunt is defined by unrelenting ferocity, where survival means facing one’s enemy eye-to-eye"

Gameplay
Not only do Survival Hunters use melee weapons instead of ranged weapons, they’re also now the only Hunters that make use of traps—other specs will receive forms of crowd control and AoE damage suited to their distinct characteristics. Survival Hunters will snare and bleed their enemies, fighting them in close quarters with their trustworthy companion to maximize the brutality of the hunt. They have no direct control over Focus regeneration, but instead pool it up during successive Mongoose Bites to further amplify the damage they inflict.

Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Survival Hunters:
  • Harpoon
    • 5-40 yd range, Instant, 15 sec cooldown
    • Hurl a harpoon at your target and pull yourself toward them, rooting them in place for 3 sec.
  • Raptor Strike
    • 20 Focus, Melee Range, Instant.
    • A vicious slash, dealing moderate Physical damage.
  • Laceration
    • 35 Focus, Melee Range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown
    • Tear a wound in the target, dealing heavy damage over 12 sec.
    • Developer Comment: We promise it will do good damage!
  • Mongoose Bite
    • Melee Range, Instant, 10 sec recharge, 3 charges
    • A brutal attack, attempting to sever the enemy's limbs, dealing strong Physical damage.
    • Each consecutive Mongoose Bite dealt within 3.5 sec of the last will deal 50% increased damage, stacking up to 6 times.
  • Flanking Strike
    • 20 Focus, 25 yd range (from pet), Instant, 6 sec cooldown
    • Give the command to kill, causing your pet to instantly inflict strong damage to its target.
  • Wing Clip
    • 30 Focus, Instant
    • Maims the target, reducing their movement speed by 50% for 15 sec.
  • Mastery: Hunting Companion
    • Your pet’s attacks have a 20% (with Mastery from typical gear) chance to grant you an additional charge of Mongoose Bite.
Additionally, to provide a glimpse at how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Survival-specific talents:
  • Snake Hunter
    • Instant, 1 min cooldown
    • Instantly grants you 3 charges of Mongoose Bite.


Marksmanship
Marksmen, too, shroud themselves in the perils of the untamed wilds, perfecting the use of weapons that are deadliest from great range. They’ve maintained little interest, however, in gaining the loyalty of the many beasts inhabiting these crude landscapes. Instead, the marksman blends into the surrounding environment, surveying behavior of all manner of predator and gleaning deadly methods for stalking their own prey. A sniper in hiding, the marksman unleashes arrows and bullets with deadly precision, exposing the weakness in whoever—or whatever—passes through their crosshairs.

"A sniper in hiding, the marksman unleashes arrows and bullets with deadly precision"

Gameplay
The Lone Wolf gameplay introduced in Warlords of Draenor proved extremely popular with Hunters, and that play style fit perfectly with our vision of Marksmanship Hunters as master archers and snipers, relying on their skill and precision with weapons rather than animal companions. All Marksmanship Hunters now gain Lone Wolf by default, ranging through the wilds without a pet beside them. On the resource front, the Marksman now gains Focus from the use of Arcane Shot. And, as a note for those who enjoyed the previous version of Survival gameplay, we have moved certain abilities, such as Black Arrow and Lock and Load, to Marksmanship-specific talents.
Here’s a basic look at the core combat abilities for Marksmanship:

  • Arcane Shot
    • 40 yd range, Instant
    • A quick shot that causes moderate Arcane damage, and generates 5 Focus.
  • Seek Vulnerabilities
    • Passive
    • Targets hit by your Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot have a chance to be marked with Hunter's Mark for 6 sec.
  • Marked Shot
    • 30 Focus, 40 yd range, Channeled
    • Rapidly fires a shot at up to 3 targets affected by Hunter's Mark, dealing strong Physical damage. Usable while moving.
    • Also exposes vulnerability in the target, snaring them by 15%, and increasing Aimed Shot damage done to the target by 25%. Lasts 10 sec, and stacks up to 3 times.
  • Aimed Shot
    • 50 Focus, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • A powerful aimed shot that deals strong Physical damage.
  • Mastery: Sniper Training
    • Critical strike damage and range of all shots is increased by 12.5% (with Mastery from typical gear).
Additionally, to give you an idea of how some talents may build upon this, here’s an example of one of their Marksmanship-specific talents:
  • Lock and Load
    • Passive
    • Attach an explosive charge to Aimed Shot, dealing strong additional Fire damage to the target and all enemies within 4 yds.
    • Your ranged auto attacks have a 5% chance to trigger Lock and Load, causing your next 2 Aimed Shots to cost no Focus and be instant.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this early preview of the Hunter class in World of Warcraft: Legion. This first look should give you a good sense of what you can expect from this series, though not every class is undergoing this level of change; some are receiving updates that will be more subtle—a sharpening of rough edges—rather than the broad reimagining of the fantasy as we’ve demonstrated with Hunters.
Tomorrow, the series continues with previews of Priests, Mages, and Paladins. Stay tuned!

Trejler za Warcraft Film - Početak (Warcraft: the Beginning)

Blizzard je na Blizzcon 2015 zajedno sa Legendary Pictures objavio trejler za Warcraft Film - Početak (Warcraft: the Beginning).

Istudija Legendary Pictures i Universal Pictures stiže „Warcraft: Početak“, epska avantura o sukobu nastalom zbog sudara svetova zasnovana na svetskom fenomenu Blizzard Entertainmenta.
Mirno carstvo Azerota stoji na ivici rata kad se njihova civilizacija suoči sa neustrašivom rasom osvajača: Ork ratnici beže iz svog doma koji je na rubu propasti i žele da kolonizuju drugi svet. Kad se portal otvori da spoji ova dva sveta, jedna vojska se suočava sa uništenjem, a druga sa nestankom. Sa ove dve zaraćene strane, dva heroja će krenuti jedan na drugog, a to će odrediti sudbinu njihovih porodica, njihovog naroda i njihovog doma.
 
 
 
 

Heroes of the Storm Battleground Blizzcon 2015 Panel

Battleground Panel za Heroes of the Storm je završen i na njemu se govorilo o glavnim ciljevima mape, novoj mapi Towers of Doom i Arena dizajnu!
Originally Posted by Blizzard
Core Goals
  • Clean Design
  • Conflicts
  • Finality
Battleground Gameplay
  • Complete objectives
  • Get rewarded for those
Layout
  • They like to avoid specific Map Rules and layouts.
  • Determine the Map Mechanics first, and then do a design to support that.
  • Sky Temple: the objective already creates that "teamfight" scenario for the developers.
  • Tomb of the Spider Queen: objectives in lanes, split players. The map layout being really small incentivizes the teamfights.
  • Mercenaries: they cause small conflicts in specific places of the map - make them interesting. Cause big impact by pushing lanes.
Towers of Doom
  • Battleground where two Nexus Lords are fighting for control - tug of war and area control type of map.
  • They wanted to create something really unique - all previous maps still have 2/3 lanes, mercenaries and a core.
  • Devs asked themselves "do maps really need a core?"
  • First layout of Towers of Doom did not have a Core - there were 5 forts, sort of circular float to it. The towns themselves were the map's mechanics. Whoever owned more towns first would get more points.
  • It was a failed experiment - it was kinda anti-climatic. Intense at first, but with mostly non dramatic endings. Current maps have that epic feeling!
  • They went back to a more standard design - Towers of Doom has unique mercenaries however!
  • Grave Golem - replaced by the Headless Horseman from World of Warcraft. Completely different mechanic - when you cap this mercenary, it shoots volleys of spirit energy towards the enemy bases.
  • Altars - places on neutral positions along the battleground, a hybrid control territory on the map.
The Art of Towers of Doom
  • They feel it's kinda boring playing on the same battleground over and over again, so it's all about creating unique and varied gameplay experiences.
  • They wanted it to have the mood of a Dark City. Color is very important for that.
  • Inside the structures they want "warm" colors to make the outside feel cold.
  • Victorian like architecture, lots of dark iron and foreboding structures.
  • Lots of textures in this map (ancient stones, dilapidated wood, rusty stuff). Ancient town feeling.
  • Dark... but not depressing!
  • Bell Towers (of Doom) > Necromancer Tower. When destroyed it will explode but will rebuild belonging to the opposite team.
  • Town Structures - Armory Town / Farm Town / Blacksmith Town. Personality to each town.
Arena Design
  • Devs are always trying to find new ways of making the game mode challenging and fun for players.
  • Lots of them were super excited about a fighting arena mode for a while now.
  • Great for players who want something completely different from Quick Match and Hero League.
  • Random hero selection (from a pool of 3 - based on an archetype). Focus on fast-paced action around a single objective.
  • Quick and easy to jump into.
  • They wanted the mode to be even more action packed than the standard Heroes match, and even shorter.
  • They wanted players to be able to form new creative strategies.
  • They tried "all random" at first, but it didn't work. Players need some control and choice.
  • 10x Hero Mode - randomly chosen by the matchmaker; gives everyone the same hero choice.
  • A game with 10 Johannas in internal playtesting took 30~ minutes. That's why they added some rules to their team compositions.
  • Heroes with very little damage cannot be chosen in this 10x mode (Medic, Johanna, Abathur).
  • In other Arena matches, cannot roll more than 2 warriors or more than 2 supports.
  • Players start at level 10 and do not level up. No talents as well, all they choose is the Heroics.
  • Benefits: low learning curve when playing new Heroes (since they are all available). Focus on moment-to-moment action. No falling behind in power.
  • Hero respawn timer is 15 seconds.
  • Behind the scenes they're already adding new Arena battlegrounds, and expanding mechanics. Breaking even more rules.
Art of Arena
  • Garden Arena (daylight version) > Tournament grounds, to make it feel like a renaissance fair. Jousting arena with knights fighting each other.
  • Spectators behave differently depending on how much action is happening. In a multi-kill they all cheer for you!
  • Garden Arena (night version) > population winding down, sitting around a campfire.
  • Garden Arena (underground) > glowing plants! Really claustrophobic, not man-made like the Haunted Mines.
  • Temple Arenas (bizarre, oasis, desert).
 
Heroes of the Storm Battleground Blizzcon 2015 Panel                                                                                                                                 

World of Warcraft Q&A Blizzcon 2015

Originally Posted by Blizzard 
  • When we discover Aalleria and Turalyon in Legion, the way you view WoW will change. Amazing things in store.
  • It is important to sell the fantasy behind races and classes in the game. Then they will support and customize races. They want to do sub-races, just not sure how to do it right yet. Going to continue to work on it.
  • There are more and more groups that are cross servers, so the current guild structure doesn't meet their needs. A solution won't make it for launch, but some way to communicate with a cross-server group is something they are working on.
  • The flying achievement will exist at launch, but you won't be able to complete it at launch. You can start progressing on it though.
  • In Legion, there will be a short appearance by Bolvar Fordragon, likely at the Frozen Throne.
  • The team has a wide array of class quests with the Artifacts, one for every spec. The team is focusing on class content in this expansion, but it will likely be artifact related rather than green fire quest.
  • The team is looking at how tapping works in the outdoor world. Rather than one person hitting a mob and getting it, it would be nice if several people could tap it to get credit for quests and loot. No need to group with people you come across when questing. Open tapping will remain for larger NPCs like quest and world bosses.
  • Launching expansions more quickly is still a goal. Not sure when they would get to one per year. Quality is more important than release dates.
  • Tomb of Sargeras is just a monument.
  • Guilds are very important to the social structure of the game. It would be ideal if you could be in multiple guilds at some point, one for PvP, one for Raids. Maybe a secondary guild system? Still in progress.
  • No new battleground, focus is on the new PvP progression system.
  • No plans to update old starting zones for Legion. There will be Legion invasions in the world, maybe one will take place there. Legion wants to invade Azeroth, aren't going to start with the Exodar.
  • The Broken Isles version of Dalaran is upgraded, you will find out the secrets that are protecting it, they are big.
  • The team wants to get around to resolving old stories from Cataclysm at some point.
  • Keystone affixes are standardized globally for the week, so no need to try and find someone with one that is slightly easier.
  • The new transmog system should help with the inventory space problem.
  • Titan's Grip for Fury warriors is not dead. Artifact is too small, will be sized up. Holding 2 x 2H is a cool distinctive thing.
  • Legion will get into the details of multi Legion vs singular Legion.
  • One more character slot is coming in Legion.
  • No new scenarios in Legion that you queue for, but lessons learned from MoP scenarios used to create scenarios that are part of the leveling and questing experience.
  • You can pre-order, buy the collector's edition, and contact customer service to get the difference.
  • The team doesn't want the Artifact to be a blocker for playing multiple specs. There are lots of catch-up mechanisms in place to help you bring 2nd or 3rd weapons up to speed with your main one, as well as people who took a break from the game. You will have to decide what weapon you will use your Relics on though.
  • Legion will allow you to use all the specs, no longer limited to dual spec. No such thing as no spec anymore.
  • Multistirke is just another form of crit, doesn't appear in many of the class fantasies.
  • Versatility has a defensive component, useful for PvP, tanks, not a fantasy problem. Each stat should have a special identity and purpose. Do people hate Versatility because it is not strong enough or because of how it works?
  • The team doesn't like account wide things, because the point of having an alt is playing the alt, but things should be a bit faster the second or third time you do it. More and more people want to play and maintain alts, so the team is aware of the need to make things faster when you play it again.
  • Nothing like the AQ gate opening is coming. There will be the invasions around the world, taking server level participation. A large event would be nice, but it needs to be the right time and place.
  • Karazhan will be relevant in Legion. The secrets we need to beat the Burning Legion are in Karazhan. Karazhan could be a 5 player dungeon in Patch 7.1.
  • One of the Artifact quests will shed some light on what is going on in Tirisfal Glades.
  • Wrathion may have some interest in Highmountain and Neltharion's lair. Don't expect him to look the way he did before.
  • The team could make old world materials relevant again, but Legion is going to focus on new materials. Not sure you would enjoy old materials being relevant again.
  • New lore is coming for Tauren, Forsaken, Worgen, maybe even something for Gnomes.
  • Old Gods will play a role in Legion.
  • Some of the huge raids the team made in the past were awesome, but they might be better if they were broken up. More smaller raids, different environments, part of the same tier.
  • The team has tried to use non-linear layouts to make things faster for guilds that only raid a couple of nights a week that still want to progress.
  • Reforging isn't coming back. It isn't needed anymore.
  • You won't be using Artifacts forever, maybe display them on your mantle in a future expansion.
  • Part of the coolness of older rewards is how rare and cool they are. If you were guaranteed to get something it wouldn't be as cool. There is a difference between mounts / pets and power items.
  • Dance Studio - Still don't have the animation time for it.
  • No plans for Vanilla realms. Lots of emotional desire for it, but when other MMOs tried it, it didn't work out. Lots of complexity, old code, old hardware, old data, old bugs. Players would expect things to be fixed.
  • You can transmog other things to look like Artifacts, but you can transmog Artifacts to look like other things if you really don't like it.
  • Alliance and Horde are coming together in your Class Hall to confront a common enemy.
  • You will still have the language barrier in the Class Hall. You can see the other faction, but doesn't mean you can speak their language.
  • Demon Hunters of either faction can speak Demonic to each other!
  • OpenRaid is a great site, group finder has worked out well so far, team wants to continue to expand on it and social tools.
  • No AU heroes at the start, after that TBD.
  • Genn Greymane and some Gilneans will appear.
  • Gear from strongboxes will be similar to gear you get out in the world, what you get based on ratings.
  • We will see Gul'dan before the boss encounter, it is a big part of the storytelling.
  • Mythic flex would be too hard to balance. It is challenging in lower difficulties now, would be much harder with Mythic and people trying to optimize group sizes.
  • Mythic being 20 players is the right number, especially with another class on the way. It allows for certain designs that require a decent number of players. Maintaining a guild roster is a struggle no matter what the raid size is. Ideally they will make it easier to find players and for players to find guilds, rather than changing the raid size again.
  • No new roles (tanking Warlock) for existing classes are planned in Legion. Legion is about enhancing the fantasy of the existing classes and roles.
  • Legion Challenge Dungeons won't be part of the random matchmaking system. One person is putting their Keystone at risk. Guilds, social circles, and group finder will be where you find players. Having an unused keystone is a desired commodity. People will be lining up to use your Keystone on a Sunday, shouldn't be hard to find people.
  • The team hates split raiding, high end guilds hate split raiding, but there isn't a good way to solve it yet. Forcing personal loot would solve it, but that isn't something that some players would enjoy. Open to suggestions.
  • Nefarian will get an update for a Demon Hunter class call, maybe using double jumps.
  • Melee got some new effects and animations in Legion, hopefully people will enjoy them.

Heroes of the Storm State of the Game Blizzcon 2015 Panel

Na Heroes of the Storm State of the Game Panelu govorilo se o Overpower herojima, balans aplikacijama koje blizzard koristi, bugovima, velikim problemima i matchmaking sistemu.
Originally Posted by Blizzard 
Who's considered Overpowered right now?
  • Lili and Murky have the highest win ratios.
  • Lili has seen increased win ratio due to heroes like Thrall and Raynor being picked more often.
  • Murky has had a high win ratio for a year now. So even though he isn't picked often in competitive, he isn't the highest priority right now.
Recap 2015
  • Technical Alpha > Beta > Launch on June
  • First year for E-Sports on Heroes - Heroes of the Dorm (nationally broadcast and vert big) and Road to Blizzcon Tournaments
  • 11 new heroes added this year - 43 total heroes!
  • 4 new battlegrounds - 9 total!
Balance Tools & Their Uses
  • The win ratio they strive for Heroes to have is 45-55%.
  • Heroes like Lost Vikings are at the top, while Abathur and Stitches are more towards the bottom.
  • Talent pick and win ratio are also an important indicator of hero balance.
  • Tournaments and E-Sports serve to identify the future meta beforehand - very important to determine necessary balance changes!
  • Player Feedback is another tool for game balance - Forums, Reddit, Twitter. So keep sending your feedback!
Big Issues
  • Kerrigan - melee assassin, initiator for her team, all-in aspect getting in the middle of enemies and bolstering her survivability.
    • She had an extremely low talent diversity - with even low win rates for less picked talents.
    • Improved Talent Diversity - by sharpening her role, giving her build options, and making her viable in competitive play.
    • Changed 8 talents, cut 4 previous ones, created 3 new ones - much improved talent diversity!
  • Uther - melee support, has lots of burst healing, very strong and complete kit. Very stable win rate (across most skill levels) at 50% win ratio.
    • BUT he's always picked or banned in competitive games.
    • They believe his strongest trait is to "disrupt coordination". Which is what competitive play is about.
    • Divine Shield - cooldown from 70 to 90 seconds.
    • Eternal Devotion - ghost duration decreased from 10 to 8 seconds.
    • They are meant to be minor changes, to bring him down a notch. They don't want to overdo it!
  • Cho'Gall
    • Two-headed hero, controlled by two players. One player is the warrior Cho, who controls the movement, and the other is the assassin Gall, who's responsible for the damage and combo'ing his abilities for maximum impact.
    • They cannot balance based on a previous template like with Greymane or Lunara. They don't have a "two heroes in one" template.
    • Playtesting games with Cho'Gall often ended in a snowball, either in favor and against him. Early game advantage / lead grows out of control.
    • Really hard to balance because he's 2-in-1. If he's ahead then he can wreck havok really easily, and if he's behind he can be picked off and the team immediately loses TWO heroes!
  • Scaling Changes
    • 65% of the games are really close! (only decided towards the end) ... they wanted more of this.
    • Cho'Gall helped them realize that scaling was an issue, and what lead to snowballs - hence why they implemented the "Test Map" released on Morales patch.
    • Benefits
      • Players can still fight while behind!
      • Roles were sharpened. Your character feels like what they're supposed to be from the start.
      • Wins feel more meaningful. It doesn't feel like you're stomping other teams.
    • Consequences
      • Early game matters less - which lead to "increased death timers".
      • Takedowns should be a "power play", which gives you map control and allow you to take objectives more easily.
  • This is all coming with the Cho'Gall update in a couple weeks!
Future Balance Updates
  • Gazlowe Updates
    • Improve E-Sports viability.
    • Enhance his zone control.
    • Couple crazy ideas (not sure if they will make it): talent that makes your turrets shoot a laser while you're charging yours; another crazy idea is an active that he starts throwing scraps around and he has to run around and pick them up.
  • Nova Updates
    • Improve talent diversity.
    • She walks a thin line (balance) between casual vs competitive.
    • Increased skill cap on her skills/talents - one of the ideas being analyzed is "if you land a Snipe, it increases the dmg of your next Snipe by a %".
  • Tychus Updates
    • Increase his win rate - it's kinda low now.
    • If they're only going to make him stronger (flat buffs) he might simply push aside other assassins (Valla, Raynor).
    • They want him to be a Unique assassin on his own.
    • Might become a "tank buster" assassin.
Matchmaking & Online Updates
  • 80% of their games are "even" on their matchmaker. That means the MMR numbers are at least well paired.
  • 65% of the games are at least close on levels.
  • 20%~ are launched with the matchmaker knowing that the match is not very well paired.
  • These are averages, but may vary from player to player. Some player might experience a 95-5% variation, while another experiences bad matches 50% of the time.
  • Improvements in 2015
    • Early on for New Users, MMR was inflated (slightly more than "bottom"). They didn't get matched by games played. Now both factors are fixed!
    • New User win ratio was 38%, which is bad. Now after changes, it's 48%.
    • Rank was a combination of skill and games played - now there are more placement matches, where rank reflects player skill.
  • Rebuilding the Matchmaker
    • The original matchmaker came from Starcraft 2 - but the two games are very different! It's much harder to put together a "fair" match in Heroes due to variation.
    • Old system builds games quickly, takes into account the thousands of players searching for a match, then starts swapping players to find a "good match". Complicated system that doesn't work when they add rules (similar matchups, parties, not having a support).
    • The new 10 minute limit (up from 6) does not help that scenario! That's why people are still experiencing bad matches.
  • New System
    • Builds games to be good. Relies less on player swapping around. Creates a queue!
    • On simulations the new system looks much better.
    • They WANT to release it over the next couple weeks. They cannot promise it, but that's the plan. It's their TOP PRIORITY right now!
  • 2016 Goals / Fixes
    • Improve MMR accuracy.
    • Mirror team composition in quick match (not same heroes, but same categories).
    • They have months of data for calculating "Team MMR".
    • Use match performance to adjust MMR.
    • Per Hero MMR adjustment.
  • Ranked Play
    • Their original system was a mix of Starcraft + Hearthstone.
    • The current system is a little bit too harsh. If they want to be accurate (MMR), you're always prone to dropping in ranks.
    • Right now there's not enough transparency for players (why they ranked up or dropped in ranks).
  • Death Recap Screen - likely coming early next year! Will contain heals and shields too!
  • Bans were tested throughout this year on competitive, and the devs loved it. Also coming very soon!
  • Grandmaster League
  • Talent Gating (requiring hero or account level to unlock talents) = removed.
  • Free Hero Rotation from 7 to 10 heroes.

Q&A

  • They don't really manipulate players' perception on things. If the community tells them a hero is weak or strong, they might wait to either see if the community figures it out, or wait for the community to just PROVE the devs wrong. Both cases are a win-win scenario for them.
  • The decision to remove 3-4 parties from Hero League was based on the intention to improve the matchmaker - sort of a defensive stance from them. Ideally they want such a good matchmaker that they can re-add 3/4-player parties back to Hero League. Or maybe do an unranked draft.
  • On Twitch viewership and sheer game popularity - the devs are aware of that, and everything they do (new features, heroes, matchmaker changes) is with the intent of improving the game and making it better.
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