World of Warcraft Dragonflight: An Expansion Like All Others

No laughing at my gear ok 😉

The day has arrived, like so many WoW expansion launch days over the past 18 years. I only joined WoW at Burning Crusade but that still means I’ve been here for WOTLK, Cataclysm, MoP, WoD, Legion, BfA and Shadowlands.

And of course, today’s launch of Dragonflight. Now, you’d think a company that’s launched these games over nearly two decades may have learned a little about how things tend to turn out on launch day, but once again we see:

  • World Server is down
  • Inability to start expansion content if you do get in
  • Lots of disconnects

I’m not unsympathetic, balancing server loads on a launch of new content is NEVER easy, but what I’m seeing here is an absolute wilful ignorance in communicating those issues. It’s coming up to three hours since launch, the world servers have been down on all my realms, and the official World of Warcraft Twitter account has no updates since this:

Given the overall player numbers are significantly less than at the game’s peak, it seems to me this lack of attention gets less defensible and perhaps explains increasingly why people give up?

Let us know your thoughts.

Post-script: 10 mins after posting this article, I made it to Stormwind harbour to join the queue:

This is slightly more understandable – I understand that there’s only so much bandwidth but this is where some improved queuing mechanic is needed methinks…

WoW Legion: Where is Akazamzarak?

Gotta love a new expansion with all its glitches. When you pick up the quest to bribe Akazamzarak the map shows you need to go to the Hall of Shadows in Dalaran. Trouble is, that’s the class hall for Rogues only and there’s also the issue that Akazamzarak isn’t there anyway for this quest.

He’s in fact located in the main streets of Dalaran here:

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Hope that helps!

Oralius’ Adventure Quest: Turn In Location

World_of_WarcraftThis quest had me stumped as far as where to turn it in. After some trawling of the forums it appears there are two issues at play:

1. Sometimes NPCs may not be in the same location if you don’t turn it in right away and server rolls over to a new day.

2. Oralius is in the basement of your garrison’s inn.

So for me, I checked the basement and he wasn’t there, but I waited a day and he then was.

So just be patient and you’ll be able to hand that damn quest in!

How To Defeat Gorespine With Standard Pets

World_of_WarcraftI love my pet battles but I have to say this Elite pet frustrated the hell out of me.

After about 20 attempts at Gorespine (who’s located in the Dread Wastes on the lower west coast), I finally stumbled on a combo of standard Level 25 pets that worked:

1. Alpine Foxling Kit

2. Emerald Turtle

3. Arctic Hare

The strategy that worked for me was: Dazzling Dance, Howl and Bite from the Foxling Kit, then Headbutt, Emerald Bite, Healing Wave, Emerald Bite from the Emerald Turtle. Finally Burrow, Dodge and Scratch from the Arctic Hare finished him off.

Hope that helps!

Soloing Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare on a Level 100 Mage

World_of_WarcraftAhh Ulduar, you’re one of those iconic raids that I’ve spent more time in than most. Now that I’m getting a little sick of doing Garrison quests I thought I’d go back and knock over some of the Ulduar quests I haven’t got yet.

As a Mage (ilvl 670) there’s still some fun challenges to be had. One of which is the Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare achievement. It requires you to have 25 Dark Rune Guardian Dwarves killed by Razorscale’s flame breath. I found as a mage the only tricky part was keeping the Guardians alive whilst preventing them killing your NPC allies who fixed the turrets.

After a few tries (I just hit invisibility when I wanted to try again), I worked out the quickest strategy, This was done for the 10-player version of the achievement:

1. Start the encounter.

2. Let all the Guardians, Sentinels and Watchers spawn and kill the NPCs. The first two turrents will be up before they are all killed, but don’t use the turrets yet.

3. Run around picking up all the adds as they keep spawning. The Watchers and Sentinels can be killed with any non-AOE effects of you want to thin the herd a little. You can safely run around for 3-4 minutes or more and still be at 100% health if you use stuff like Ice Barrier.

4. Once you’ve got a whole bunch of Guardians pounding on you, you need to get their health down so that Razorscale’s breath kills them on the first go (because remember all the friendly NPCs are dead so you get one go with the turrets only). After some trial and error I found using Frost Nova on the group twice got the Guardians down to around 8-10%.

5. Hit the turrets and wait for Razorscale to be grounded.

6. Position you and the mob of adds pounding on you in from of Razorscale and wait for Flame Breath.

7. Hit Invisibility and rinse and repeat if you didn’t get all 25 on the first go.

Frost and Arcane Mages may have different abilities than Frost Nova to achieve the reduction in health to under 10%, plus it’ll also depend on gear level. Obviously other classes could take this approach as well though a class with a decent taunt can probably do it more simply than described above.

Hope this helps you do what can be a bit of a frustrating achievement.

Blizzard Announce World of Warcraft: Legion

Cursor_and_▶_World_of_Warcraft_Expansion_Unveiling_at_Gamescom_–_Live_Stream_August_6_-_YouTubeAt Gamescom, Blizzard have announced the next World of Warcraft expansion.

Called Legion, it’s all about a demon invasion of Azeroth.

Here’s the key points:

1. A new continent: The Broken Isles

2. Level to 110

3. A new hero class: Demon Hunter

4. Artifact Weapons

5. Class Order Halls

And now some details:

The Demon Hunter

It’s all about the horns:

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Unique starting experience, starts at a higher level like Death Knights do.

Specs: Havoc (DPS) and Vengeance (tank)

Some abilities shown:

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Titan Relics

You’ll be tasked with finding ancient titan relics to help you close the demon rift.


It’s back! Now in the Broken Isles and the player hub for this expansion.


Val’Shara, Stormheim, Azsuna, Highmountain, Suramar


36 artifacts – one for each specialisation. Each artifact has its own story linked to your class and specialisation. Spend artifact power to unlock traits that empower your weapon and character plus some visual tweaks. Here’s an example of the UI for it:

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Some serious art resources have gone into the 36 variations! Druids get customised form appearances.

Class Orders

All about class identity and banding together by class. Example: Mages of Dalaran. Order Halls are spaces just for your class. Shaman Order Hall overlooks the Maelstrom, Paladin Hall is under Light’s Hope Chapel etc.


Evolution of follower system. Fewer followers but more meaningful, ‘think Knights of the Round Table’. More integration with the world.

Dungeons and Raids


Halls of Valor – level up dungeon
Black Rook Hold – max level dungeon
Vault of the Wardens maximum security facility
Eye of Azshara
Darkheart Thicket
Neltharion’s Lair
Helheim – set on a ship sailing through stormy seas
Suramar City
Violet Hold


The Emerald Nightmare – 7 bosses, face Xavius, pursue Cenarius
Suramar Palace – 10 bosses, take on Gul’dan. Reminiscent of Black Temple.

PvP Honor System Version 3

Big change here. Move from honor buying gear to a PvP talent system. Honor points allow you to progress through 50 honor ranks and pick up talents:

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And then here’s some pre-beta examples of PvP talents:

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You can also ‘reset’ your 50 levels and do it again, gaining a cosmetic prestige rank. Can lead to custom mounts and PvP artifact variants.

And that’s it! Over to you now – is the expansion what you expected it to be? Does it have more or less content that you thought it would?

World of Warcraft 6.2 Full Patch Notes


World of Warcraft Patch 6.2.0

New Content

Zone Unlocked: The Invasion of Tanaan Jungle

  • Heroes of the Horde and the Alliance, return to Tanaan Jungle and stop Gul’dan’s plan to drag the whole of Draenor into chaos while plotting to reopen the portal for a massive invasion of Azeroth. Embark on a new series of chapter-based quests putting everything you’ve learned on Draenor to the test.
  • One does not merely stroll into Tanaan Jungle. You’ll progress through a series of quests in which you’ll be asked to build a Shipyard and begin an assault on Tanaan by sea, culminating in the creation of a new forward base of operations. From this new outpost, you’ll go on the offense and launch assaults to undermine Gul’dan’s plan to drag all of Draenor into chaos.
  • Tanaan Jungle has open-world questing with rare creatures and hidden treasures scattered throughout the zone.
  • Learn more about the new zone in the Patch 6.2 Zone Preview: Tanaan Jungle.

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New Garrison Feature: Shipyard and Naval Missions

  • Take command of your forces in a whole new theater of war, fighting to control the red seas of Draenor and push back the twisted remnants of the Iron Horde.
  • Check out ‘Preview – To the Shipyard!’ for a closer look at the new Shipyard, ships, and Naval Missions.
  • Shipyard

    • Characters with a level 3 garrison can now construct a Shipyard to take the fight to the seas. Report to your Garrison and accept the “War Council” quest.
    • Command an armada and dispatch your ships on new Naval Missions.
    • Build destroyers, submarines, carriers, battleships, and transports at your Shipyard.
    • Upgrade the Shipyard to increase your maximum fleet size.
  • Naval Missions

    • Naval Missions require Oil, a new resource. Oil can be found from various sources but scouts report that the Iron Horde has stockpiles of it around Tanaan.
    • The seas around Draenor are treacherous. Ships that fail a Naval Mission have a chance to be sunk, lost forever at sea.

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New Raid: Hellfire Citadel

  • Assault the Hellfire Citadel, mighty fortress of the Iron Horde, torn asunder by fel energies unleashed by Gul’dan, and put a stop on his plans to launch a new invasion on Azeroth!
  • Hellfire Citadel stands at the heart of Tanaan Jungle, where 13 deadly bosses await you, including Kilrogg Deadeye, the monstrous Gorefiend, a reanimated Mannoroth, and Archimonde himself.
  • Players can earn items ranging in power from item level 675-685 in Raid Finder up to item level 735 in Mythic difficulty.
  • For an in-depth preview of the bosses, check out our blog titled: Raid Preview: Hellfire Citadel.

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New Dungeon Difficulty: Mythic

  • Draenor Dungeons now have a new difficulty level designed to challenge seasoned adventurers with a befitting increase in reward. Mythic difficulty is geared towards players that enjoy working together in smaller groups to overcome challenges, and is designed to provide an alternate progression path to Normal raiding.
  • Each Mythic Dungeons has a weekly lockout, and drops gear that’s item level 685 with a chance for Warforged loot that is item level 705.
  • All Mythic dungeon bosses offer a chance to use a bonus roll using a Seal of Inevitable Fate (the new bonus roll currency).

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Bonus Events

  • The Bonus Events system consists of a rotating schedule of seven different activities granting a passive bonus to a particular game activity.
  • Each Bonus Event offers a once-per-event quest with a noteworthy reward for accomplishing a goal related to the bonus activity.
  • The in-game calendar (located in the upper right-hand corner of the mini-map) will inform you of the type of Bonus Event and when it takes place

Timewalking – The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King

  • There are two Timewalking Bonus Events, each centered around an expansion: The Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King.
  • Characters can queue up for a randomly selected old-school dungeon with a twist: your character’s power and gear scales down to the dungeon’s level on Heroic difficulty. However, your character retains all of your skills and talents. Emerge victorious, and you will walk away with old loot that is scaled back up to your character’s true level!
  • Completing several Timewalking dungeons as a part of a quest during the event awards a Seal of Inevitable Fate for an extra bonus roll, which does not count toward the weekly cap of three Seals.
  • During The Burning Crusade Timewalking Bonus Event, the following dungeons are available for characters level 71 and up.
  • During Wrath of the Lich King Timewalking Bonus Event, the following dungeons are available for characters level 81 and up.
  • Learn more about this new feature in our blog: Patch 6.2 Preview – Timewalking.

Draenor Dungeons

  • While this Bonus Event is active, defeating enemies in any Draenor dungeon will award reputation with an appropriate faction. Completing several Mythic-difficulty Warlords dungeons as a part of a quest during the event awards a Heroic Hellfire Citadel Raid cache.


  • During the Battlegrounds Bonus Event, characters will earn triple Honor points from random Battlegrounds. Completing the event quest by winning a few random Battlegrounds awards 500 Conquest Points, which do not count toward the weekly Conquest cap.

Arena Skirmishes

  • Characters will earn triple Honor points from random Arena Skirmish matches during this event. A quest to win several random Arena Skirmish matches will award 500 Conquest Points, which do not count toward the weekly Conquest cap.


  • Apexis-dropping creatures in the world will drop up to triple the usual quantity of Crystals during this Bonus Event. Completing several area assault objectives during the event awards a sizable amount of Oil to fuel new Naval Missions as a part of the Shipyard.

Pet Battles

  • During Pet Battle Bonus Events, you’ll be able to take your pets out for a little exercise and earn triple pet experience from battles. Winning several PvP Pet Battles as a part of a quest during the event awards the player with an Ultimate Battle-Training Stone that instantly levels a pet to 25.

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Adventure Guide

  • An evolution of the Dungeon Journal, the Adventure Guide acts as a landing page for other in-game Journals to make it easier than ever to find content and activities that are relevant to your character.
  • The Adventure Guide suggests content based on a number of factors, such as character level, item level, quest progress, achievements, and more. The Guide is fully interactive, allowing players to accept relevant quests or search for a group via Group Finder with a single click.

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Legendary Ring Quest Line

  • Players that have completed Chapter III: The Foundry Falls will begin the final chapter to the Legendary Ring Quest Line. Khadgar sends you on a series of quests into Tanaan Jungle to discern the nature of the threat and put an end to Gul’dan’s nefarious machinations.
  • A summary of the final chapter (spoiler alert) as well as an overview of the previous three chapters are available in our blog, The Road Ahead: Legendary Ring Quest Line.
  • Check out The Road Ahead: Legendary Ring Questline for a preview of the final chapter and a summary of the quest line so far.

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General Changes

Garrisons, Followers, and Outposts

  • Chroniclers in the Garrison now allow players that have completed An Inside Job to watch the cinematic again.

Garrison Buildings

New Garrison Building: Shipyard


  • Mineral nodes should now only be displayed on the mini-map when a character is inside the mine. Characters with Track Minerals active will continue to see mineral nodes from outside the Mine.

Salvage Yard

  • Gray items obtained from salvage recovered from Follower missions may now sometimes drop a stackable gray item instead of a range of various gray items taking up lots of inventory space. The average gold value should remain roughly the same.
  • Big Crates of Salvage are no longer guaranteed from successfully completing level 100 Follower Missions.

Follower Missions

  • Increased the frequency for missions that award Abrogator Stones or Elemental Runes for the Legendary Ring Quest Line to appear.
  • Blingtron’s Secret Vault has moved to a new, even more secret location. But, his stash of riches has grown considerably because of the decreased number of raids on his vault.
  • Reduced the frequency of high-value gold missions appearing across multiple characters.
  • As Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry are no longer the latest tier of raid content, Mythic garrison missions for each zone no longer award bonus gold.

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Creatures and NPCs

  • Spirit of Harmony Vendors no longer offer Restored Artifacts for sale.

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World Environment and Events

New Zone Available: Tanaan Jungle

Darkmoon Faire

  • New Darkmoon Potions: A new set of Darkmoon potions can be purchased for one Darkmoon Prize Ticket from the Draughts and Tinctures vendor, Faldar Willowshade at the refreshments table.
  • Darkmoon Fishing: The elusive Darkmoon Daggermaw can now be caught off of the shores of Darkmoon Island. Return them to Galissa Sundew at the docks for a variety of prizes.
  • New Achievement: Whack-a-Gnoll has a new achievement that awards a battle pet, Hogs.

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Raids and Dungeons

Dungeon Finder

  • Players may now queue up in the Dungeon Finder while engaged in PvP combat.

Personal Loot

Personal Loot Mode Improvements

  • Overall drop rates when using Personal Loot mode have been increased.
  • Defeating a boss when using Personal Loot now awards a more consistent number of items based on eligible group size.
    • Example: For a party of five players, Dungeon bosses are now guaranteed to drop at least 1 item with a chance for 2 items to drop. The final boss of the Dungeon will now drop at least 2 items, with a chance for 3 items to drop.
  • The raid or party now sees when someone in the group wins an item on Personal Loot.
  • The last Dungeon boss on non-Personal Loot modes received an adjustment and now drops 2 items (down from 3 items).
  • Learn more about Personal Loot mode improvements and other changes to itemization in the blog: Dev Watercooler – Itemization in 6.2.


New Raid: Hellfire Citadel

  • A brand new raid, the Hellfire Citadel, awaits you with 13 new bosses. More information about the new raid can be found under New Raid: Hellfire Citadel.

Bonus Roll Changes

  • Seal of Inevitable Fate is a new Bonus Roll currency used for Hellfire Citadel and Mythic dungeon bosses. The seal can be purchased from Fate-Twister Seress (Alliance) and Fate-Twister Tiklal (Horde).
    • Garrison Resource cost for purchasing the Seal has increased from 300/600/1200 to 1000/2000/4000.
    • Apexis Crystal cost for purchasing the Seal has decreased from 1000/2000/4000 to 500/1000/2000.
  • Seal of Tempered Fate can now be purchased from the Fate-Twisters for gold and no longer has a cap on how many can be obtained per week. Additionally, characters can now hold up to a maximum of 20 Seals of Tempered Fate (up from 10).

Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry Changes

  • In the wake of the string of defeats suffered by the Iron Horde, all enemies in Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry on Normal, Heroic, and Mythic difficulties are Demoralized, reducing their health and damage by 20%.
  • The achievements, Ahead of the Curve: Imperator’s Fall, Cutting Edge: Imperator’s Fall, Ahead of the Curve: Blackhand’s Crucible, and Cutting Edge: Blackhand’s Crucible are no longer obtainable.


New Dungeon Difficulty: Mythic

New Dungeon Feature: Timewalking

Challenge Mode

  • Challenger’s Strongbox obtained before Patch 6.2 will all become rusted. Rusted strongboxes can no longer be opened and may be sold to a vendor for 50 gold.

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Warlords Season 1 Ending

  • Arena and Rated Battlegrounds Warlords Season 1 will be ending soon. Once the patch is live, we’ll begin a roughly two-week process to determine end-of-season reward eligibility.
  • For additional details on the transition into Warlords Season 2, please check out the blog Warlords Season 1 Ending Soon.

Level 100 Gear Scaling in PvP Combat

  • Level 100 characters engaging in PvP combat now have the following gear changes.
    • All gear between item levels 560 and 690 will now scale up to 690 in PvP combat.
    • Non-PvP gear above item level 715 will scale down to 715 in PvP combat.
    • PvP gear above item level 715 will not be capped in PvP combat.

Highmaul Coliseum

  • Winner of the Highmaul Coliseum will now receive 1500 Conquest Points instead of a piece of PvP Conquest gear.


New Area: Ashran Excavation and New Event: Apexis Marks

  • At certain times, spirits of fallen arakkoa haunt the Ashran Excavation. Defeat them and bring proof of their demise to Rukmaz, the ghostly caretaker of the Apexis vault. First team to show Rukmaz 50 marks wins.

Reward Changes

  • Winning an event now awards Honor instead of Conquest.
  • Defeating Grand Marshal Tremblade or High Warlord Volrath no longer awards a Gleaming Ashmaul Strongbox.

New Weekly Quest: Slay them All!

  • Defeat 200 enemy players. Awards Conquest.

New Weekly Quest: Ashran Dominance

  • Win 5 events in Ashran and defeat the enemy faction leader. Awards Conquest and a Gleaming Ashmaul Strongbox with a chance to contain Conquest gear.

New Repeatable Quest: Continue the Dominance

  • Win 5 events in Ashran and defeat the enemy faction leader. Awards Conquest.

General Ashran Changes

  • Players can no longer queue for Ashran while in a raid and are now automatically placed into a raid after entering.
  • Events now occur more frequently.
  • Event: Collect Empowered Ore now requires 20 ore to win (up from 10).
  • Event: Risen Spirits now requires 20 captured spirits to win (up from 10).
  • Event: Stadium Racing now requires 5 laps to win the race (up from 3) and the maximum speed a racer can reach is 300% (down from 500%).

Battlegrounds and Arenas


  • Capturing a point in the following Battlegrounds now takes 6 seconds (down from 7 seconds).
    • Arathi Basin
    • The Battle for Gilneas
    • Deepwind Gorge
    • Rated Eye of the Storm
  • Picking up the flag in Rated Eye of the Storm now takes 6 seconds (down from 7 seconds).


  • Arena matches now end after 25 minutes (up from 20 minutes). The amount of time before Dampening is applied remains unchanged.

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  • New Lightforge Heirloom plate armor pieces have been added for helm, chest, and legs to complete the Intellect plate set.
  • Two new PvP-centered heirlooms have been added to the arena chests in Gurubashi Arena in Stranglethorn Vale and the Deathmatch Pavilion on Darkmoon Island. Master Pit Fighters or Arena Grand Masters, hop into the arena and defend your title for a chance to loot these new prizes!


  • Argent Warhorse should now display correctly in the Mount Journal.

Toy Box

  • Silversage Incense now only applies its effect to the character that placed the item.

Pet Battles

  • Break out your traps and Safari Hat, new wild pets have been spotted in Tanaan Jungle and a few other places!
  • Fel-corrupted legendary pets have been spotted in Tanaan Jungle! Each pet can be defeated once per day for a bag of Fel-Touched Pet Supplies, which can contain pet charms, Battle-Training stones to increase a battle pet’s level, and even rare pets.
  • Expert Pet Trappers Giada Goldleash and Tiffy Trapspring have shown up at the Pet Menagerie with a variety of pets and toys for sale for Pet Charms.
  • Check out our Preview 6.2 – Pets Galore for a more detailed look at the new Battle Pets.

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New Ranks for Warlords Crafted Items

  • Two new ranks of upgrades have been added to Warlords Crafted items, “Mighty” for rank 5 at item level 700, and “Savage” for rank 6 at item level 715.
  • Crafting the new upgrade items requires Felblight, a new reagent that can be obtained from Fishing, Herbalism, Mining, or Skinning in Tanaan Jungle.
  • The new recipes can be purchased from visiting Garrison traders.

Upgrade Item Consolidation

  • “Greater” rank 3 and “Powerful” rank 4 upgrade items have been consolidated together. A rank 2 upgrade item can now be used to upgrade a Warlords Crafted item to rank 4.
    • For example, Burnished Essence can now upgrade a rank 1 leatherworking item to rank 2, a rank 2 item to rank 3, or a rank 3 item to rank 4.
  • Rank 3 and 4 upgrade items can no longer be crafted and existing items have become unstable. These unstable items can be used to create the appropriate rank 2 upgrade item and refund the materials used to craft it.
    • For example, Greater Burnished Essence can now be clicked to create a Burnished Essence, 50 Burnished Leather, and 10 Sorcerous Water.

Warlords Crafting Material Changes

  • Greatly increased the output of the following crafting materials created through a daily cooldown.
    • Alchemical Catalyst
    • Burnished Leather
    • Gearspring Parts
    • Hexweave Cloth
    • Taladite Crystal
    • Temporal Crystal
    • Truesteel Ingot
    • War Paints
    • Sorcerous Air
    • Sorcerous Earth
    • Sorcerous Fire
    • Sorcerous Water
    • Savage Blood
  • A number of recipes that use crafting materials created through a daily cooldown now require fewer materials.

Faster Profession Leveling

  • Many level-up crafting recipes that do not require materials created through a daily cooldown have been adjusted to give more skill points.


  • Reduced the material costs for Stone of the Earth, Stone of the Waters, and Stone of Fire.


  • Felmouth Frenzy, a new type of fish, has been spotted in the waters around Tanaan Jungle.
  • Players fishing from Felmouth Frenzy Schools also have a chance to fish up Felblight.
  • Masterful anglers with a Level 3 Fishing Shack have a chance to catch Felmouth Frenzy Lunkers. Nat Pagle in your Garrison will have an interest in these.


  • Withered Herbs harvested in Tanaan Jungle have a chance to drop any Draenor herb, including Felblight.


  • New recipes for mass milling of Draenor herbs have been added, allowing 20 herbs to be milled at once.


  • Added a new Immaculate tier of gems of epic quality that provides +75 bonus to a given stat.
  • Players can unlock the ability to craft the new gems by completing a short questline that starts at an Arakkoa encampment as soon as they enter Tanaan Jungle.
  • After completing the questline, Jewelcrafters can craft Versatility gems. To unlock additional gem recipes, players must find or purchase Gemcutter Modules from various sources.
  • Jewelcrafters also have a chance to learn one of the new recipes each time the Gemcutting Construct crafts a gem.


  • Players have a chance to find Felblight while mining from nodes in Tanaan Jungle.


  • Players have a chance to find Felblight while skinning creatures in Tanaan Jungle.

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Apexis Crystals

  • Apexis Crystals no longer have a cap.
  • The first four tiers of Apexis gear (Crystal, Exceptional, Flawless, and Ethereal) no longer cost Apexis Crystals and can now be purchased with gold.

General Item Changes

  • New zoning laws prevent the placement of temporary tents created via Leatherworking in capital cities.
  • Admiral Taylor’s Greatsword is now eligible for transmogrification. If the item has been misplaced, the sword can be repurchased in-game. There is also a Horde equivalent in a different color that could be found somewhere Tanaan Jungle as a treasure.
  • Pinchwhistle “Nitro Fuel” no longer triggers its effect in combat.
  • Sinister Spores now reduces healing taken by 50% (down from 90%).
  • Super Sticky Glitter Bomb‘s effect can now be dispelled and lasts for 15 seconds (down from 30 seconds).

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  • Improved banner notifications when the player receives an item with a Warforged, tertiary stat, or bonus socket.

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  • A Fungus Among Us completion credit is now awarded to the entire raid.
  • Exploration Mission Master achievement no longer requires completing treasure map Garrison Missions.

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Death Knight


  • Anti-Magic Shell now absorbs 100% of all magical damage (up from 75%). However, damage absorbed no longer contributes to Resolve.


  • Mastery: Blood Shield‘s Physical damage absorption shield from Death Strike now also counts as having an Active Mitigation effect active.


  • Frost Strike now deals 20% more damage.
  • Howling Blast now deals 25% more damage and deals full damage to other enemies within range.
  • Might of the Frozen Wastes now increases Frost Strike’s damage by 100% (up from 50%) while dual-wielding.
  • Obliterate damage has increased by 20%, but deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets.


  • Necrosis now deals 8% less damage.


  • Breath of Sindragosa now costs 20 Runic Power per second for Blood Death Knights.


  • Glyph of Icy Runes has been removed.

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  • Thrash now deals 10% more damage.


  • Mastery: Total Eclipse now provides a 2.5% increase to the maximum damage bonus from Eclipse per mastery (up from 1.9%). This buff is counter-balanced by reducing the damage of Moonfire, Starfall, Starfire, Starsurge, Sunfire, and Wrath.
    • Moonfire (all-specializations) now deals 4% less damage.
    • Starfall now deals 4% less damage.
    • Starfire now deals 4% less damage.
    • Starsurge now deals 4% less damage.
    • Sunfire now deals 4% less damage.
    • Wrath (all-specializations) now deals 4% less damage.


  • Rake now deals 10% more damage.
  • Rip now deals 10% more damage.


  • Bear Form now increases armor by 285% (up from 250%) for Guardian Druids.
  • Healing Touch no longer cancels Bear Form for Guardian Druids.
  • Savage Defense now also reduces physical damage taken by 25%.


  • Dream of Cenarius effect can now be held for up to 40 seconds (up from 20 seconds) by Guardian Druids.
  • Force of Nature‘s summoned Treant now deals 100% more damage.
  • Guardian of Elune (Guardian) now also passively increases the Druid’s chance to dodge by 10%.


  • Glyph of Untamed Stars is now automatically learned at level 75.

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  • Aspect of the Fox has been removed.
  • Tranquilizing Shot has switched functionality with Glyph of Tranquilizing Shot. Tranquilizing Shot no longer costs Focus but has a 10-second cooldown.


  • Aimed Shot now deals 15% more damage.


  • Mastery: Essence of the Viper has increased in effectiveness by 19%. This buff is counter-balanced by reducing Serpent Sting’s damage.
    • Serpent Sting no longer deals an initial “tick” of damage when the periodic effect is first applied.
  • Explosive Shot now deals 15% less damage.


  • A Murder of Crows now deals 75% of normal damage against player-controlled targets for Beast Mastery Hunters.
  • Barrage now deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets. Additionally, the ability no longer hits targets that are invisible or in stealth.


  • Glyph of Tranquilizing Shot has switched functionality with Tranquilizing Shot. Glyph of Tranquilizing Shot causes Tranquilizing Shot to cost 40 Focus instead of a 10-second cooldown.

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  • Amplify Magic has been removed.
  • Frostfire Bolt now deals 20% more damage.


  • Mastery: Mana Adept has reduced in effectiveness by 6%.
  • Arcane Missiles now deals 10% more damage.


  • Mastery: Icicles is now 13% more effective.
  • Brain Freeze now has a 15% increased chance to trigger on each multistrike (down from 25%).
  • Fingers of Frost now increases Ice Lance damage by 120% (up from 100%).
  • Frostbolt now deals 20% more damage.


  • Flameglow now absorbs up to a maximum of 20% damage from each attack (down from 30%).
  • Prismatic Crystal is now also attackable by the Mage’s pets or guardians.

Armor Sets

  • Tier-17 2-piece set bonus for Fire Mages has been redesigned. It now reduces the cooldown of Inferno Blast by 2 seconds.

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  • Provoke now has a 30 yard range (down from 40 yards).
  • Tiger Strikes no longer triggers from multistrikes, but now provides a 35% increase to Multistrike chance while active (up from 25%).


  • Blackout Kick no longer increases the Stagger amount for Brewmaster Monks.
  • Stance of the Sturdy Ox now increases armor by 125% (up from 75%) and provides a 20% base Stagger percentage. Additionally, the Stagger effect no longer works against attacks which ignore armor.


  • Battle Trance now increases Multistrike stat gains from all sources by 15% (up from 5%). This buff is counter-balanced by reducing the damage of Blackout Kick, Chi Explosion, Fists of Fury, Hurricane Strike, Rising Sun Kick, and Tiger Palm.
    • Blackout Kick (all-specializations) now deals 5% less damage.
    • Fists of Fury now deals 5% less damage.
    • Hurricane Strike now deals 5% less damage.
    • Rising Sun Kick (Windwalker, Mistweaver) now deals 5% less damage.
    • Tiger Palm (all-specializations) now deals 5% less damage.
    • Chi Explosion (Talent) now deals 5% less damage for Windwalker Monks.


  • Serenity now lasts 5 seconds for Brewmaster Monks (down from 10 seconds).

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  • Devotion Aura now reduces all damage taken, not just magical damage.


  • Mastery: Hand of Light has reduced in effectiveness by 6%.

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  • Devouring Plague now deals 12% less damage.
  • Shadowform no longer applies its visual effect to the Priest’s mount.


  • Surge of Light (Discipline, Holy) can now also trigger from Power Word: Shield and Clarity of Will.


  • Glyph of Shadowy Friends now extends Shadowform’s visual effect to the Priest’s mount in addition to non-combat pets.

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  • Cloak of Shadows now has a 90-second cooldown (up from 60 seconds).
  • Eviscerate now deals 10% more damage.
  • Sinister Strike now deals 10% more damage.


  • New items have been added to pickpocket from humanoids in Tanaan Jungle.
  • Added a new weekly quest for pickpocketing, Da Even Bigga Score.
  • Dingy Iron Coins now have a cap of 20,000 (up from 10,000).
  • Secretive Whistle now has a 15 minute cooldown (down from 1 hour).
  • Updated tooltip descriptions for pickpocketed items of value to help distinguish them from other items.


  • Envenom now deals 30% more damage.
  • Mutilate now deals 30% more damage.


  • Mastery: Main Gauche has increased in effectiveness by 10%.
  • Killing Spree now only grants immunity to root and snare effects and the effect is now cancelled if the Rogue is affected by other crowd-control effects.


  • Mastery: Executioner has decreased in effectiveness by 8%.
  • Backstab now deals 20% more damage.
  • Sanguinary Vein now causes the Rogue to deal 30% more damage to targets affected by Rupture (up from 25%).


  • Deadly Throw now reduces the target’s movement speed by 70% (up from 50%) but no longer interrupts spellcasting when used with 5 combo points.
  • Shuriken Toss now deals 53% more autoattack damage. Additionally, fixed a bug that caused hits made with offhand weapons to deal 15% more damage than intended.

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  • Elemental Overload now increases multistrike damage by 20% (down from 35%), but now increases Multistrike stat gains from all sources by 10% (up from 5%).
  • Lava Surge now lasts for 10 seconds (up from 6 seconds).


  • Chain Heal now heals for 25% more.
  • Riptide no longer increases Chain Heal’s effectiveness by 25% on the primary target.

Armor Sets

  • Tier 17 4-piece set bonus for Restoration Shaman now reduces the mana cost of Chain Heal by 50% for 8 seconds (down from 75% reduction for 10 seconds).
  • PvP 2-piece set bonus for Elemental Shaman is now the PvP 4-piece set bonus and has been replaced. New PvP 2-piece set bonus: Reduces the cooldown of Hex by 15 seconds.
  • PvP 4-piece set bonus for Elemental Shaman has been replaced by the old PvP 2-piece set bonus. While Ascendance is active, the Shaman is immune to silence and interrupt effects.

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  • Corruption now deals 12% more damage.
  • Dark Soul should now have its cooldown reset at the end of a raid encounter for all Warlock specializations.
  • Shadow Bolt now deals 25% less damage.
  • Doomguards now appear smaller to other characters that aren’t the summoning Warlock.
  • The following Warlock pets received a visual upgrade and are now using higher-fidelity models.
    • Imp
    • Felguard (Demonology)
    • Voidlord (Grimoire of Supremacy)
    • Wrathguard (Demonology Warlocks with Grimoire of Supremacy)


  • Agony now deals 12% more damage.
  • Unstable Affliction now deals 12% more damage.


  • Mastery: Master Demonologist now increases damage dealt by the Warlock and their demon servants by 1.25% per mastery (up from 0.96%), and further increases damage dealt by Touch of Chaos, Chaos Wave, Doom, Immolation Aura, and Soul Fire while in Metamorphosis by 2.5% per mastery (up from 1.92%).
  • Chaos Wave now deals 25% less damage.
  • Doom now deals 25% less damage.
  • Hand of Gul’dan now deals 25% less damage.
  • Soul Fire now deals 25% less damage.
  • Touch of Chaos now deals 25% less damage.

Armor Sets

  • PvP 2-piece set bonus for Destruction Warlocks has been redesigned. Getting stunned, silenced, interrupted, or feared now generates 1 Burning Ember. Can only occur once every 15 seconds.
  • PvP 4-piece set bonus for Destruction Warlocks has been redesigned. It now causes Incinerate to deal 50% more damage on targets affected by the Warlock’s Immolate.

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  • Mastery: Weapons Master now increases the damage of Mortal Strike, Colossus Smash, and Execute abilities by 5.2% per mastery (up from 4.5%). This buff is counter-balanced by reducing Mortal Strike’s damage.
    • Mortal Strike now deals 6% less damage.


  • Improved Defensive Stance now also decreases damage taken by 5%.


  • Gladiator’s Resolve (Protection): Gladiator Stance now also increases the Warrior’s Mastery by 50% while active.

Armor Sets

  • Tier-17 4-piece set bonus for Arms Warriors has been redesigned. It now reduces the cost of Mortal Strike by 5 Rage.

Come fly with me… or not

redridge1After years of debate, Blizzard has settled the fly / no-fly controversy with a resounding “Not going to happen.” Community reaction has been both overwhelming and unsurprising. No-flyers continue to cry “Flying hurts immersion!” while Flyers cries for “Freedom!” have been replaced with just plain crying.

Blizzard’s defence of their position has been mantra-like and I think was best summed up by Bashiok in April 2014 with his seminal ‘Knarity’ post. Seminal because his response has become gospel for the no-flight camp and, punningly, it also pertains to, contains, or consists mostly of semen… It’s one of those posts that makes you yell at your computer then argue your views with anyone nearby – even if they’re on your side.

So, to avoid family ructions, here’s the conversation I want to have with Bashiok… but can’t.

Jem: So no misgivings about putting the kybosh on flying in Draenor for good? Is this because you banked on the success of turning WoW into a MMSNPGwFAT (Massively Multiplayer Social Networking Platform Game with Facebook and Twitter) and now you got nothing but an acronym people think is a gold-seller?

Bashiok: It’s important to first dissuade concerns that we’re looking to slow down the game. We’re going to be making sure flight paths and other forms of travel are quick and efficient… Our goal is not to make travel time consuming or painful, and with players on ground mounts we know we’ll have to do more to try to ensure people can get to where they want to go quickly… BUT being able to lift off and fly over content compromises many of our goals in how the game world is approached, how it’s played and how it’s consumed.

Jem: So I dashed out of my garrison the other day… I was riding around joking and laughing with Commandojack when I saw a Large Tree. It was about 5 yards away on top of a waist-high embankment. I thought I’d be clever and just hoist myself up to grab it. I looked for my Hoist key… Climb key?… hmmm no Shimmy key either… Use Shoulder Muscles & Upper Arms key… mmmkay, I’ll run around. I opened the map. I immediately closed the map – no help there. I started off in the opposite direction of the Large Tree and, while my initial direction choice was indeed correct, I did make a few wrong turns along the way. So after 20 mins and 2 views of a Youtube video I reached the precipice opposite my arboreal goal. Just one short leap, a hearth back to my garrison, a chat with Justin and 4 hours later those 30 precious resources would be mine. But when I tried to jump… yep, Space Bar Fail. I got wedged on a rock, /stuck and next thing I’m back in my Garrison sans lumber where I can tell you Justin was none too happy. Is that how you want people to consume content, because it’s not very efficient?

Bashiok: Being efficient is great, being clever is great, and using your cleverness to be efficient is great, but how many of us have done the Tillers dailies up on the cliffside where the Hozen are, and waited for packs to pass by before setting down right where you’re supposed to, use whatever thingamabob you’re supposed to, and then lift off ASAP hoping-hoping-hoping nothing aggros? How many of us have become furious when we actually have to fight something!? Is that clever gameplay? Is that being good at playing the game, or is it using a mechanic to avoid having to play it? Is that what the game should be, and what our expectations should be as gamers playing it?

Jem: Yeah, but Bash… you don’t mind if I call you that do you?

Bashiok: urghh, no…

Jem: Bash, I fought those Hozen til my eyes bled out my ears. I must have killed like 245 million of them. But when it didn’t make a damn bit of difference to the sorry plight of the Tillers, I have to say my empassioned emnity waned. I thought to myself: is this good game design? Is this using cutting edge software technology and breaking ground in MMOs for gamers? Would this be better if I couldn’t fly? In the end it was Bill Murray, not a Talbuk, that got me through. I watched Groundhog Day and Bill’s hopelessness and frustration during the 452-day suicide montage made me see my spoiled, brat-like behaviour for what it was.

Bashiok: [sensing my sarcasm] …we want to try to keep that questing experience available at max level with something more robust than daily quests.

As an example, let us consider a quest to assassinate an enemy leader. From the ground you approach a fort with guards at the gate. You charge and are able to dispatch them and sneak in a side hallway. You methodically take out packs of roaming sentries, and some of them shout at you as they run toward you. You notice they’re in the middle of practicing dark and forbidden magics, and you take a moment to disrupt their ritual. Dashing into the main courtyard you spot your target, sneaking and fighting your way to him–and with a forceful slash–the fort’s captain is vanquished, and as guards are alerted you fight your way out, glorious and triumphant in your success!! Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Jem: Well first up, most classes can’t sneak but, yeah, once… maaaybe twice… C’mon though, do you really think your content is so engaging that I’m going to push play on that fantasy every time some NPC has lost his vegetable baskets? Don’t get me wrong, your sentiment is noble but, as a developer, you can only hope for that once.

I’m hard pressed to think of something that doesn’t become monotonous through repeated exposure. Sex? … but then there’s that saying about the jar. Heroin? … the first few times are supposedly a high but then it’s just Requiem for a Dream in Frankston with less attractive actors. Skydiving? Skydiving is something people never get sick of even when they’ve done it a thousand times!! Hey now… wait a minute… isn’t skydiving kind of like flying?

Bashiok: [ignores my cutting barb and continues] In Draenor we’re designing max-level content, portions of zones or zones in their entirety that will be dedicated to max-level gameplay—and not just the top of a cliffside… We don’t think having all of that content inside buildings, or constantly challenged by sky cannons, or with magical no-flying smoke, or within some kind of dismount bubble is the most straightforward or best solution.

Jem: Alright, I just need to stop you there! For one, our inability to fly on Draenor has never been explained by any in game mechanic, so it can’t be THAT much of an obstacle for your devs. For two, rich, engaging, max-level content that provides hours of play every day all due to the magic of no flight? I don’t buy it. Especially given that this no-fly expansion is widely regarded as the lightest on content and the most boring in the history of WoW. Quests continue to stick to the same old formats, gather stuff, kill stuff, or escort really annoying npcs. Chris Metzen hasn’t written a new plot line since Warcraft 3. And, if WoW players wanted Platform games, Facebook games or to see which one of six expressions my toon was emoting when trash dropped from Blingtron on Twitter, we’d all be playing Super Mario FB Edition.

But let’s say you’re telling the truth… with flying off the table, and your creative thinkers freed from the shackles of those pesky sky cannons, are you planning to give us sooo much new stuff to do we’ll exist in a constant state of role playing bliss and never have to repeat anything more than 5 times? I suspect you’re making a rod for your own back there.

Bashiok: Even at level 100 there will be no small portions of the game world intended to provide relevant content even to max-level players. These zones may even unlock over the course of the expansion, or the content in them will progress in story and scope throughout content patches. Ground-level content from the ground offers more compelling gameplay.

Jem: You know, you didn’t actually say anything there except ‘even’ and ‘ground’.

Bashiok: We’re going to be making sure flight paths and other forms of travel are quick and efficient.

Jem: You said that already.

Bashiok: World of Warcraft is not a flight sim.


Bashiok: [sighs] I hope everyone can agree, regardless of personal opinion toward flight vs. non-flight, that flying fundamentally alters how content is approached in a world where the gameplay exists wholly on the ground.

Jem: Yep, it allows people to skip it if they want. You said it yourself: “Not everyone that plays the game cares how quests and outdoor content are experienced… Some may begrudgingly trudge through the content just so they can get to the part of the game they do want to play…” So why not let them? Unfortunately for me I’ve been playing MMOs a bit too long to still get a kick out of imagining myself as Yerl’s sista suffragette as we hack and hoof our way through enemy lines. But I would never deny that experience to other players. And there’s still loads of other stuff I love about WoW. But I’ve grown up and matured along with the game, so why are you forcing me to experience it like its still Day 1?

Bashiok: I’m sure some of you see the fortress example with the flying mount and see nothing wrong, if that’s how someone wants to play the game they should be allowed to. We’re not trying to create a slow and laborious game, or expect people will be yelling “YIIIPPPEEEEE!” while fighting a mob that aggroed when they tried to pick an herb. But… as much as we let players choose how they improve their characters within the world; leveling through dungeons, or PvP, or questing; choosing to do Arenas, or raids, or both; we’re still always wanting to create a holistic experience that supports all of these things. That doesn’t mean we think it’s a good idea to force people to read all their quest text, or stare at and appreciate the pretty new models, or anything like that, but it’s not unreasonable to see that combat and content exist on the ground, understand that, embrace that, and make decisions to support it.

Jem: So I guess what you’re saying is, your dev team want to use existing zones for new patch content and you can’t think of way to make players experience it without flatout banning flying everywhere, all the time, forever. You’d think that with $1.3 billion profit you could hire some bright young things that could, but meh, honestly if you think that hindering my every move with a train of mobs that donks me on the back of the head so the majority of players can enjoy a late patch quest or two once and the vast minority can fake-RPG with NPCs over and over again – who am I to judge?

For me, the lasting engagement in WoW content doesn’t come from Blizzard at all, it comes from my fellow players. The jokes, the laughs and that special kind of ‘Woot!” you only get after downing a boss you’ve been wiping on for weeks or that time when you were the last man standing from 1% and got the kill as your fallen comrades rallied for you in vent. And let’s not that fateful day when Horde won an Alterac Valley “For STEVE! – the guy who wrestled alligators and died a warrior.” Whatever you enjoy about WoW, whether it be thrill of a gawd-awful transmog, collecting 1000+ pets, levelling 100 toons to 100 or Riinaa’s favourite pastime of ruining someone’s day with a good old fashioned gank, not being able to fly isn’t going to take away those precious moments – well, maybe it will for Riinaa – it’ll just take me longer to get to them.


Here’s the fine print: This conversation is made-up. Bashoik’s responses are wholly taken from: This article is intended to be a humorous reflection of some of the community’s views during these dark, dark days, to make a few salient points to Blizzard, and remind us all that despite the massive quality of life issues not being able to fly will create. The true joy of WoW doesn’t usually happen on the back of a Griffin… except for the guy in the transmog.

Loot Speak: World of Warcraft, Guilds and Loot

Lootspeak I put a squabble over loot right up there with going to the dentist – both are equal bottom on my list of ‘awesome things to do with my time’ and the longer you avoid it, the more it festers.

WoW’s new flexible raiding system has put an end to much of the nonsense surrounding team selection (see /g chat Aug 2012: Swings, Roundabouts and Blenders) but it’s created a few new problems too and how to divvy up the plunder is one of them. Now that raid sizes and team make-up can change at a whim, I’d thought we’d take a look at how some of the loot systems are holding up under the pressure.

Highest roll wins is a no-maintenance way for guilds to split up the loot and thus, the staple of many a raid team. It’s the Fox News of loot systems – fair and balanced. (And I mean by that, not fair or balanced in any way). It doesn’t distribute loot evenly, doesn’t reward people for putting in an effort, and doesn’t care that you altrusitically passed for someone you believe deserves the gear more. It’s RNG and, personally I think, way too popular for its own good – just like Fox News. RNG’s bell curve flattens out nicely over many thousands of rolls. However, over the hundred or so rolls your team will make during an entire tier, it’s near certain that a lucky third of your players will be sitting pretty and start pushing to move on to new content. The unlucky third will end the tier with one or two upgrades after weeks of raiding while the middling third will staunchly and rather zealously hold no opinion at all. I think you all know which group you’re in.

Bottom line, outside of dungeon PUGs, the only people RNG serves are guild officers and MMO developers. They’re the ones spared the effort of imagining, creating and maintaining better, more engaging and fairer mechanics and, because the system is inherently impartial, any disputes can be also be effortlessly dismissed with a quick “don’t blame me, blame rngesus” or a cheeky “sort it out amongst yourselves”. Enough RNG, I say! It’s time to rise up from our puddle of complacency and demand a little more from the powers that be.

Biggest Upgrade
Often coupled with rolling or loot council, this is unequivocably the worst looting system in existence and flexi-raiding has made it worse still – if that is even possible. The trouble is it seems logical. Surely giving loot to the person who needs it most is the most beneficial thing for the entire raid team? Unfortunately there’s a seedy underbelly to this argument that often gets obscured in the cloud of justice and piety that its supporters always seem to espouse. When you give loot to the person that needs it most, you’re actually rewarding the laziest, flakiest people first. In the beginning, loot goes to those who didn’t bother to farm heroic items or acquire crafted gear. Later, as gear levels progress, you’re dishing out the booty to those people who turn up least, fake switch mains four times to gear up alts, or joined your guild 10 mins ago. If you’ve got a regular team and everyone is conscientious – this system is great. If your guild is reveling in the freedom that flexi-raiding provides – this system will make absolutely sure that your least frequent raiders are wearing the shiniest suits.

Fixed Wins
This system limits the amount of loot a player can win within a fixed period. Win a roll and that’s your loot for the night or week. It’s not a terrible system, but any system based on rolling isn’t fair – it’s gambling. Limiting wins does offset the downside of RNG a little but brings a whole new mess of problems – psychological vexation being the main one. If your raiders are any kind of conscientious, one win per lockout can pretty quickly spiral into a crazy mental dialogue – Should I roll on the Pretty-Good Cloak? Or should I wait to roll on my Bad-Ass Weapon? But if the weapon doesn’t drop I’ve missed out on the cloak. So Ima roll on the cloak… but what if I win the cloak and the weapon doesn’t drop but the trinket does!!? Okay… brain avalanche imminent. Activating fail safe devices. Shutdown in 10, 9, 8…”

Suicide Kings
Suicide Kings is another very popular, low-maintenance system. Make a list of your list of raiders. The person at the top of the list has first dibs. When you get some loot you drop to the bottom of the list. If you have consistent group of regulars, gear gets distributed pretty evenly among them. In a flexible raid system, however, Suicide Kings loses some of its sparkle. Back in the days when getting and keeping a spot on a raid team was something you had to earn, the incentive to turn up for every raid was a lot higher. Now that failing to show doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll ruin the lives of 24 people, most are availing themselves of a healthier life balance (and rightly so!).

The maths of Suicide Kings, however, depends on a fairly even class/spec/tier split across your team and dictates that the people who turn up every night get about the same as people who only show up for farm night. Humans being humans, every guild will have a couple of ‘them’… the guys that only show up when their name is near the top of the list. The old system tended to spare us by limiting their exposure to raiding in the first place, but flexi-raiding doesn’t do that. If you’ve got more than one or two in your roster, Suicide Kings might quickly become Ninja Rape No-Reach-Around Kings.

Loot Council
What’s that saying… “Power corrupts and absolute power is crap for everyone who either isn’t on the loot council or cybering with someone who is.” Loot Councils are brilliant for hard-core progression guilds, where gearing up tanks, healers and key DPS are top priorities. In these cases, Loot Council is just a small part of the progression machine that also includes class analysis, performance benchmarks and attendance requirements. Plus the guild’s kills, server rank and general prestige act as significant component of the reward you get for your effort, making gear comparatively less important. However, instituting a loot council without the rest of that framework or the glory of ‘World Rank Shit-YEAH!’, can too easily fall victim to the sub-concious trials and tribulations of the day. Before you know it, the majority of loot has found its way into the inner core’s pockets and all you’re doing is crafting the world’s best recruitment messages to spam trade chat with. If you’re not a hard-core progression time but you like the idea of Loot Council, a good way to avoid the potential downside is to establish the parameters by which Loot Council awards loot with the whole guild. Publish that criteria on your website and be sure to include some checks and balances to make sure council member’s stick to the agreed rules.

Developed by the guild Afterlife in 1999, DKP awards Dragon Kill Points for attendance which can then be spent on gear. Within DKP there are lots of different subsystems – zero sum, relational, perfect, bidding. I could write a whole article alone on the pros and cons of each kind. But, at it’s core, DKP uses the following formula to arrive at a priority for loot: Attendance Points Earned – Gear Won = Priority. EPGP expands this system beyond attendance and winning loot using the formula Effort Points / Gear Points to establish priority. Effort points can be awarded for anything from attending a raid, to being on time, wiping a bunch, contributing gold to the guild bank, making pots and chants or insulting someone’s mother. Similarly, Gear Points can be deducted when you win loot, use guild repair money or bank items… or insult someone’s mother. The beauty of DKP & EPGP is that it allows people to set their own priorities and make the choices that suit them. You can save your DKP for the weapon or trinket that everybody wants, or replace crafted items and BoEs without reproach. You can distribute your DKP amongst four of your toons or super-gear one main.

Another huge benefit, of EPGP in particular, is the ability to give bonus DKP to players for making decisions that benefit the team or guild – like a person deciding not to play the FOTM to help rebalance classes or to give new raiders a little piece of sunshine fairly quickly.

The downside of these systems is their corruptibility. Busdriverx on Reddit says it best “… it’s a fair assumption to say that leadership is always corrupt and to find a system that most effectively eliminates that aspect.” Too much bonus DKP, or a system that was designed to support the minority’s definition of fair, rivals Loot Council and Biggest Upgrade for terribad systems. But a good system, designed by the majority of members and faithfully maintained by the officers, will not only help shape the code of conduct for your guild, but will compel people to make considered loot choices and live with the consequences.

One of the reasons discussions about loot are so difficult is the lootwhore brand people risk at the mere mention of gear. It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, absolutely no one puts in the time and effort to maintain a raid schedule for the altruistic reward of helping gear everyone else. Anyone who says they do is stright-up lying. There’ll always be those voices crying “People just need to be nicer and share!” but everyone’s interpretation of a fair share is different. And, as the moody, hormone-driven creatures that we are, even your own interpretation of fair can change from day to day.

The best loot systems are ones that reward players with the things they want, not the things they need – even if you think what they want is stupid. Your raiders should know what they need to do to earn rewards and be able to plan their toon’s gear progression with some modicum of certainty. Loot should be distributed by a means other than chance, as fairly as class and spec distribution in your roster allows and the guild as a whole should decide on that definition of fair. It’s the officer’s job to implement a system to support that definition. Is fair – first come, first serve? highest attendance? most liked? best team player? most even distribution? best for the guild? Only your members can decide on that.

It’s our fun time after all. No one should tell us how to spend it and a fair, self-directed loot system makes for happy players and ultimately a happy guild.

Facing Demons Quest: Where Is The Arcane Bomb?

World_of_WarcraftThis is in relation to the Facing Demons quest on Socrethar’s Rise. I spent ages looking through my bags for the damn arcane bomb mentioned in the quest description.

Except you’re not given an Arcane Bomb. All you need to do is walk into the dead centre of the Demon Gate and you can click on it to destroy it. If you’re off centre it won’t let you.

Hope that helps!

Hot Seat Quest Glitch: Solution

World_of_WarcraftIf like me you weren’t able to aim the turret at the Apexis Excavation in the Hot Seat quest, here’s how to get it to work.

Just hold down the right mouse button to aim, or if like me you’re on a Mac with trackpad, hold down the command key and you can aim and use the two weapons buttons. Hopefully the poor interface is fixed in future patches.

Warlords of Draenor Cinematic and Launch Date

Warlords_of_Draenor_Unleashed__Watch_the_Live_Stream_Now__-_World_of_Warcraft 2A big day today in World of Warcraft land, with a live stream provided by Blizzard to launch the Warlords of Draenor cinematic and to announce the launch date of the expansion, which has been set down for the 13th November 2014 – two days after Blizzcon.

There’d been some rumblings that an earlier than expected launch date would be announced, but it’s turned out to be a standard late year expansion launch. The livestream did a decent tour of the new zones:

And then unveiled the Lord of War lore mini-series and finished up with the cinematic:

Over to you: what did you think?