Top 5 Witch Doctor Builds for Season 9

The Designing a New Reno Card for Standard Card Design Competition

Patch 7.2 - Mage Order Hall Campaign
Patch 7.2 continues the Order Hall Campaigns! You can check out all of the quests on the WoWDB PTR site: Death Knight, Demon Hunter, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior.

Completing the new part of the campaign rewards a follower and Champion's Salute.



Blue Posts

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP Feedback
Specific questions are generally easier for us to answer than broad "please talk about "-style posts, but this one actually gives a good opportunity to share some of our general thoughts about PvP at the moment.

Regarding overall class balance: in Arenas, we're overall pretty happy with it at the moment. We've been hearing a lot about the prevalence of Rogue/Mage comps lately, and may end up making some changes, but we're more likely to focus on buffing some underperformers than specifically nerfing anyone right now. To put it another way: Rogue/Mage is (and should continue to be) a strong comp, we just want to make sure there's a good number of other strong comps as well.

We made some changes not long ago to Random BG matchmaking to help with healer balance, and have been very happy with the initial results. There's still some edge cases we're looking to iron out (specifically, we're sometimes seeing games where one team has 2 healers and the other has none), and so we're still working on some additional improvements. So far, though, there's been a very noticeable difference overall.

Lastly I'll mention that we're planning another PvP-focused Live Dev Q&A, probably sometime around early to mid March. We'll get a proper announcement out once we've finalized all the details. (Official Forums)

Patch 7.2 - Heirlooms
Will 7.2 add the ability to upgrade heirlooms to 110?
No. (Official Forums)

Battle.Net Facebook Integration
To each their own on this topic. Many folks want to connect with their real-life friends and have a way to share their achievements and moments with others easily.

The forum community really isn't who these features are targeted towards, so the sentiment you'll see around here will more than likely agree. In that vein, if you don't want to use social features, good news: you don't have to! You can go about your day as normal. (Official Forums)

Balance Of Power ....
Personally i would like it if they would upgrade the drop chance on the friggin essences from EN
Swithed character in november (was a feral druid and the RSI just wasnt worth the output) But now ive had 2 essences drop per full EN heroic clear. Just make it 100% from EN heroic that way even alts can speed it up a tiny bit.

Good news, we're looking into increasing the drop rate of Corrupted Essences in the future, to avoid having players stalling out for too long on this step. I don't have an ETA right now, but it's definitely something on our radar. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)




Ghostcrawler Tweets
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
This question is strictly asking about during your time at blizzard. On a scale from 0-10, 0 being useless and 10 being perfect, how useful are player-made tools like simcraft. For myself, I use them because even though I feel like there could be glaring mistakes/oversights, we have no other way to determine the difference between gear sets. Do you think tools like simcraft are good or bad for the game? I ask you because you have mentioned before that you had the actual data instead of sim.
I’ll answer using WoW as a reference point, but this is relevant to other games as well.

Sims were originally a tool players used to try to solve problems like itemization choices, optimal rotations, or even talent selections. For answering those problems, the simulations can be really powerful tools. They are very sensitive to having good input though. If the theorycrafter misunderstands how a particular mechanic works, or just introduces a bug somewhere, the sim may come up with bad results. Because they are generally a bear to work with, it’s often hard to get peer-reviewed results, so sometimes a player would do a ton of hard work, and it would be taken as gospel. Other times there was a strong enough community of theorycrafters to challenge assumptions and offer improvements. It just depended on the spec/class at that point in time.

Sims struggle a lot more when they’re trying to represent reality. They are good for answering relative questions (”Should I choose a dagger with haste or crit?”). They are weak at answering absolute questions (”What will my damage be on boss #2?”). The reasons for this are probably obvious, but sims generally assume low lag and player perfection. Furthermore, they struggle to capture things like high movement, lots of adds, target switching and so on. They also tend to provide an answer (usually “What is my DPS?”) when DPS isn’t actually the real question on some fights, say one where it’s easy to pad meters, or killing / controlling the adds is the trick to the fight instead of the boss, or when DPS during Phase 1-3 isn’t important, but it’s critical in the brief Phase 4.

Where sims are terrible and cause developers a bunch of pain are when they are used to compare the (already inaccurate) absolute numbers from spec to spec or class to class. When a player would email me a stacked rank table of simulated DPS and ask me when they were getting buffs, I admit that my eyes would sometimes roll. The accuracy of the sim (which I’ve already argued is not accurate) is really dependent on the quality of simulator. If one player is simming Fury Warriors and another simulator is simming Shadow Priests, there is no way to tell if they are handling data the same way or even making the same assumptions.

Developers have enough on their plates just building the actual game, so when presented with data that seemed odd to us, it was easier for us just to say “Something seems off” than to try to debug a third party tool or process.

Logs (i.e. what actually happened in a fight) are generally much more useful than sims in answering questions like “How important is my class for this particular fight?” There are a lot of things you have to consider with logs too (”Did the group overgear the encounter? Is this encounter even a blocker for progression?”) but they are better than sims, unless you’re just asking a question about stat weights. (Source)





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FinalBossTV #127 - Restoration Shamans
FinalBoss covered Resto Shaman this week!



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