Deadly Cupcakes

Game Discussion => Outside Azeroth - General Chatter => Topic started by: Marco on November 03, 2017, 11:09:42 AM

Title: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 03, 2017, 11:09:42 AM
This is the name of the next expansion.  Uncharted Islands, Warfronts, and Allied Races seem to be the big new features; more details should be forthcoming in the panel starting soon.

Cinematic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSJr3dXZfcg
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 03, 2017, 11:49:34 AM
The initial announcement video made it seem like Alliance and Horde will have disparate questing zones in Kul Tiras and Zandalar. Don't have virtual ticket, so can't watch the full "What's Next" panel about this but that would be very interesting if true. (+ Probably some neutral "uncharted islands" for the rest of questing? Or Zandalar and Kul Tiras are both Really Big.) edit: This appears to be true. Leveling questing is Horde in Zandalar, Alliance in Kul Tiras, and then you can go to the other faction's areas at max level.

Not a huge fan of the faction war plot, but this will likely play out similar to Pandaria in that it starts off faction war, but then the Sha Void Lords.

Looks like there will be some shake-ups in the old world from this expansion. (Factions each losing a capital city? Hard to tell from Twitter.)

Allied Races are New Races. You interact with that faction on your main and are able to unlock the ability to make a character of that race. Allied Race characters start at level 20. Looks like Alliance get Void Elves, Dark Iron Dwarves, and Lightforged Draenei. Horde get Zandalari Trolls, Highmountain Tauren, and Nightborne Elves. (Sorry, Tweed. If you're coming back you gotta play Horde.) New Races have new racials, so like... That could make the min/maxing situation an adventure.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 03, 2017, 12:06:56 PM
Adding level scaling to the old world. Zones will have level ranges with caps. (Example, Northrend and Outland will both scale from 60-80). This is actually coming in 7.3.5?

We're losing our artifacts at the end of this expansion (as we knew), but it looks like there will be a similar system in a new amulet we'll get that will be used to upgrade certain armor slots? Idk, I'll have to see more on how this plays out. Could be shit, could be fine.

This wasn't discussed, but looks at character panes seem to imply we're getting another ilvl/stat squish? (example: https://twitter.com/sojogoes/status/926542165395701760 )

Uncharted Islands appears to be the return of 3-man scenarios.

New battleground will also be playable in 7.3.5.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Edalia on November 03, 2017, 12:20:51 PM
That trailer was super generic fantasy. It didn't make me care about the faction war at all, and both sides looked like dicks. God the faction war is so boring!
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Tweed on November 03, 2017, 12:23:08 PM
Horde get ... Nightborne Elves. (Sorry, Tweed. If you're coming back you gotta play Horde.)

This is actual horse shit and almost seems like it was designed for the sole purpose of keeping me away from the game with the next expansion.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 03, 2017, 12:25:17 PM
That trailer was super generic fantasy. It didn't make me care about the faction war at all, and both sides looked like dicks. God the faction war is so boring!

The faction war is my least favorite WoW thing.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 03, 2017, 12:26:36 PM
No more PvP/PvE server distinction. Looks like if you choose to flag in the open world, you get sent to a version of the map with other flagged people? Some quests PvP only. Some additional bonuses for doing WQs PvP-enabled to make up for the extra time you'll spend doing them.

10 dungeons at BfA launch. M+ continuing, with some updates. (To UI and probably to modifiers) 2 of these dungeons are already in a playable state at Blizzcon.

In addition to new arena (which will be playable in 7.3.5), next expac also will have two new arena maps.

First raid looks like a mash-up of Titan/Trolls/Old God shit. We will fight Queen Azshara in a raid later in the expansion.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 03, 2017, 12:49:53 PM
People getting a chance to play BfA stuff at Blizzcon are saying ilvl/stat squish seems to be real. Also, some buffs are back.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 03, 2017, 12:57:27 PM
Uncharted Islands seems to be the new scenarios (3-player role-agnostic).  They can be played either PvE or PvP, although I'm not sure if the PvP mode is a fight or a race.

Warfronts are 20-player PvE activities designed to feel a bit like playing an RTS game, so you're fighting an NPC army, building structures, and researching upgrades.  Could be potentially interesting.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 03, 2017, 01:27:10 PM
Race/class combos available for Highmountain Tauren, Nightborne, Lightforged Draenei & Void Elves here:
https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/battle-for-azeroth/features/allied-races
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: ghoselle on November 03, 2017, 02:41:31 PM
That trailer was super generic fantasy. It didn't make me care about the faction war at all, and both sides looked like dicks. God the faction war is so boring!

The faction war is my least favorite WoW thing.

Mine too.  Its sort of the thing I just wish they'd drop but never will.  I'd long thought night elves, trolls, tauren should go off and form their own faction...
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Piralyn on November 03, 2017, 03:12:12 PM
All the stuff I've heard/read about the announcement so far fills me with nothing other than "meh."

Guess it's been an expansion or two since there's been TROLLAPALOOZA or VOID EVERYWHERE.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Kharvek on November 03, 2017, 03:19:07 PM
Yeah.  The story I've not really cared about for awhile, and like everyone else I agree the faction war is the most awfully stitched together thing ever and if it's the focal point I will care even less than normal about the story.

I care far more about what exactly I will be doing, and what mechanical changes there will be to the things I like...which there hasn't been much info on.  I saw something that you give up your artifact, and the trait tree is somehow transposed into an amulet or some shit? 
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Snique on November 03, 2017, 05:52:24 PM
Did they announce a schedule? Beyond the usual "when it's ready" stuff...
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 03, 2017, 07:46:51 PM
Class raid/party buffs returning confirmed:
http://www.wowhead.com/news=275398/class-raid-buff-abilities-returning-in-battle-for-azeroth
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 04, 2017, 01:40:00 AM
More on the stat squish, which appears to be more of an ilvl squish/readjustment/normalization:
http://www.wowhead.com/news=275408/blizzcon-2017-battle-for-azeroth-item-level-changes-and-stat-squish
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 04, 2017, 10:35:35 AM
No random-drop legendaries in the next expansion.  Some of the customization aspects of legendaries will reappear in the Azerite-customized equipment slots, but it won't be RNG-driven.  Warforged/titanforged will still be a thing, but won't apply to the Azerite-customized slots.  (I still don't know very much about Azerite customization or what slots it applies to.)

https://www.wowhead.com/news=275473/battle-for-azeroth-legendaries-and-titanforging
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Kharvek on November 04, 2017, 11:21:45 AM
I'm somewhat blah on the class buffs returning.  I saw it coming since they were like "Yeah, we went too far with bring the player, not the class" ....but I honestly really liked in the normal/heroic tier it really didn't matter what Tank/DPS/Healer slots you brought as long as everyone enjoyed the class they had.  I also felt like they did a good job with spreading unique resources to make classes feel unique to play even if they weren't bringing something like that.  (Most of these are all in the passive "Everyone does more X" anyway, which are fundamentally uninteresting and just add pressure to spread classes out)

I *still* think it will be the case that normal/heroic won't need to worry about this, but I feel like it will put some unnatural pressure on certain people to play the buff that's missing rather than what they'd have fun playing.

Mythic will definitely need to do this, but I'm way more okay with that.

Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: HeidiB on November 04, 2017, 01:05:36 PM
....but I honestly really liked in the normal/heroic tier it really didn't matter what Tank/DPS/Healer slots you brought as long as everyone enjoyed the class they had.

I know that at least one member of TRR had trouble finding a class/role combination that satisfied both the player and the raid, and with the changes to Hunter class I contributed way less than I'd have liked to.  (In my case, they did too good a job of differentiating the three specs, so when it turned out I sucked at MM I wasn't comfortable switching to BM.)

Even if they give half the classes buffs with identical effects, it will improve my game play experience.  I get warm fuzzies from being useful to the raid, so putting another little square on everyone's buff list is an easy way to make me happy.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 04, 2017, 02:07:00 PM
I enjoy bringing needed buffs to a group -- it makes me feel useful even if I'm having an off-day too, Heidi! But it's definitely frustrating as far as building teams goes. But it might help me when it comes time to picking a main next expansion too.

It looks like all the buffs so far are only provided by a single class, and that all specs of that class provide the same buffs. There's no known party buff for shamans yet, and it's unclear if hunters will be able to contribute missing buffs with pets again.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 04, 2017, 03:42:55 PM
Here's Wowhead's coverage of the Q&A
http://www.wowhead.com/news=275490/blizzcon-2017-world-of-warcraft-q-a

Confirmed that the current legendary system won't be continuing into 8.0.

6 New character slots per server.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 04, 2017, 05:42:52 PM
Most classes aren't getting huge talent overhauls (at least so far), but some differences were noted in the classes available for demo at Blizzcon. For example, elemental shaman's talent Lightning Rod is being replaced by their current artifact ability Stormkeeper.

Here's a list: http://www.wowhead.com/news=275485/all-the-new-battle-for-azeroth-talents-and-calculator-now-live
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Kudger on November 04, 2017, 05:47:56 PM
I'm intrigued by some of the news from this expansion. I agree that the faction war is pretty terribly presented but too many fans are married to their faction's identity so I don't think Blizzard can/will ever get rid of it. If done right it might still be salvageable, especially if they get rid of the whole "we must unite for the greater good" plot device that first came about in WCIII and that they've re-used every expansion since WotLK.

I'm really curious what the driver was behind getting rid of true "always on" PvP servers. I suspect either sub numbers so low they need to put everyone in the same pool or sub numbers on PvP servers so low that they're being done away with?

Honestly though, I'm not sure where WoW goes after this next expansion. If we beat both Azshara and Zandalar, and the faction war comes to a climax, what's left? Whenever I think about the void lords I have an image of the raid being in giant Gnomish/Goblin mech suits in outer space and the void lords are flinging old gods at us like baseballs.   

Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 04, 2017, 07:00:46 PM
My suspicion is that the PvP server changes are a predecessor to connecting more servers. Not necessarily due to low sub numbers, but because people are continuing to consolidate on a few mega servers. (ie. I know a few people who have quit entirely, but more who have left ER for WrA or MG)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 04, 2017, 07:07:18 PM
We'll get six more per-server character slots with the new expansion due to allied races.  (That will mark the first time they've bumped the number of slots due to new races as opposed to new classes, and the first time they've bumped it by more than one.)

We will also be able to expand the base backpack size "slightly" if we use an authenticator.  For aesthetic reasons, I hope this is four more slots, but I bet it will be just two.

To answer Kudger: I don't think they need to eliminate the PvP server distinction based on subs.  There are still a lot of server clusters they could combine, and populations haven't declined significantly based on public numbers.  (For example, in this post from August 2014 (https://www.deadlycupcakes.org/forums/index.php?topic=3283.msg47638#msg47638) I noted that realmpop.com had Earthen Ring at 91K population, and today it has it at 198K.  It's possible that their methodology has changed, I guess.)  realmpop.com also believes that 40% of US players are on PvP servers.  I think the reason they gave is probably the correct one: that the current rule set doesn't work now that you can just group finder over to a PvE realm.

https://www.wowhead.com/news=275490/blizzcon-2017-world-of-warcraft-q-a-more-character-slots-larger-backpack-upright
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Kudger on November 04, 2017, 11:04:30 PM
That would make sense, Marco. I still think Blizzard is being driven by a desire to pool everyone together, whether that be due to a decline in subs or them considering the server distinction obsolete at this point (maybe both?).

I think it's more than simply because of group finder making it easy to go over to PvE; maybe they're also becoming more concerned about the predatory behavior of ganking lower lvl toons at choke points such as the dark portal in Outland, especially since this expansion is the first since Cata address the lower leveling experience.

I tip my hat to the current devs for not being afraid to shake things up, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 05, 2017, 12:31:50 AM
Some preliminary ability changes for BFA based on stuff from the Blizzcon demo: http://www.wowhead.com/news=275396/battle-for-azeroth-class-ability-changes-on-the-demo-floor

* There are a good amount of tank spell tweaks. I can't parse if these indicate a particular design direction in re: tanking because I don't tank, but that's the specs that seem to have the most changes thus far.
* Return of a few pruned spells: Soothe, Hibernate, Tranq Shot
* Looks like their current plan is to overall nerf AOE Stuns. Leg Sweep, Mind Bomb, Cap totem, etc. all have reduced stun duration in this list.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 05, 2017, 07:50:29 AM
Gleaned from an interview: there are no plans to have a follower mechanic (as in garrison or order hall missions) in the next expansion, as there isn't a compelling hook for it in the story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKhGEj3-y8o (about 4:35 in)

ETA: there's also some discussion about world PvP.  One possible driver for the changes is that each faction has its own new continent, but world quests will take you to the other faction's continent.  That might not be a good experience on a PvP server under the current rule set, but could be a cool experience with PvP opted into if things work differently.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 05, 2017, 08:55:56 AM
There may be a great description of the Heart of Azeroth / Azerite system, but I haven't found it.  In this interview there was a short verbal description.  What I took away from it:

* The Heart of Azeroth is itself an amulet; the upgrade system applies to helm, shoulders, and chest.

* Each item in those slots will have four "circles" (think talent rows) of abilities, where the circles are progressively unlocked as you level up your amulet.

* The abilities will be handcrafted and fixed per item name, not randomized like the Netherlight Crucible.  Better items will have more powerful abilities.  (Recall that these slots cannot be warforged/titanforged.)

* These slots can still hold tier gear (the Blizzard person mentioned tier shoulders as a possible item you might have in that slot), so they're not doing anything so dramatic as doing away with tier sets or taking head/shoulders/chest away from the tier slots.

No mention of whether you can respec an item.  It also sounded like the first circle might specialize an item into damage, healing, or tanking, in which case we might lose the ability to use a single set of tier gear and have it be equally good for all specs.   On the flip side, we will only have a single Heart of Azeroth, not a separate one for each spec as we do with artifact weapons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4lslLXhzrw (about 6:25 in)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Kharvek on November 05, 2017, 08:57:38 AM
So they've said the whole amulet/azerite armor thing is where some of the legendary stuff is going to live, and probably some of the artifact stuff, but for a lot of classes the artifact included a pretty important rotational ability that I can't imagine just dropping cold turkey the instant we fire this thing up.

IE: Assassination and Kingsbane.  Kingsbane is one of your biggest sources of damage and maximizing it is kind of the fun part of assassination right now.  I wonder if some of those just...become part of the class.  (It's what I'd assume anyway, just coming up with some lore'ish reason why the ability is no longer tied to the artifact)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 05, 2017, 09:07:44 AM
At least some specs will be having an artifact ability baked in, or moved to a talent selection.

* Elemental shaman will have a version of the current on-use Stormkeeper ability as a 100 talent.
* Retribution paladins will be getting Wake of Ashes as a talent as well.
* Fire Mages are getting Phoenix Flames as a level 60 talent
* Outlaw Rogues are getting Loaded Dice as a talent.
*  It doesn't look like Kingsbane is being made a talent at this time [although this could be a change that happens later in development], but Poison Bomb is becoming a talent.)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 06, 2017, 09:22:44 PM
From the dev interview with finalbosstv, I got the sense that follower missions might reappear in some form after all, partly because they like order resources as a world quest reward.  Or they might not.  Similarly, per-class raid buffs are an experiment right now; they might make it to release or they might not.  (These impressions were from the video, not the transcript.)

http://finalboss.tv/main/2017/11/5/blizzcon-2017-dev-interview-transcript
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 14, 2017, 03:31:32 PM
* These slots can still hold tier gear (the Blizzard person mentioned tier shoulders as a possible item you might have in that slot), so they're not doing anything so dramatic as doing away with tier sets or taking head/shoulders/chest away from the tier slots.
Or maybe they are.  In an interview with gameinformer, Ion said "We're currently not planning on carrying forward traditional raid class sets."

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2017/11/14/world-of-warcraft-removing-traditional-raid-sets-in-battle-for-azeroth.aspx
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on November 14, 2017, 04:10:59 PM
I feel like high end of Azerite armor may give the type of bonuses we normally associated with tier bonuses.

Looks like they're going to have more appearance sets that are dungeon/raid aesthetic based rather than try to make certain appearance sets match the feel of certain classes. Will have to see this in action b/c there's some worry for me it's gonna end up like TOGC where there was just one cloth look, one leather look, one mail look, one plate look. Although ,going off that, might mean they do a tier where Horde and Alliance have different looks out of the same raid.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Snique on November 15, 2017, 06:51:45 AM
In an interview with gameinformer, Ion said "We're currently not planning on carrying forward traditional raid class sets."

I question the value of set bonuses in a world with high-end Mythic+ gear. Right now all my tier slots are occupied either by legendaries or Mythic pieces that are 925 or 930. Is it really worth losing that many ilvls to put on a 915 heroic tier set?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 15, 2017, 07:17:22 AM
Generally yes in today's design, at least after you take into account the likely amount of warforging/titanforging bonuses on the set pieces acquired by someone who is regularly clearing heroic Tomb.  The combined 2-piece and 4-piece set bonuses usually add up to something like a +10% improvement, which is worth somewhere in the vicinity of 40 item levels on the four pieces of gear.  Set bonuses can also make a rotation feel better, which has a non-quantitative value.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Kharvek on November 15, 2017, 08:46:48 AM
Yeah, unless the bonuses are bad, they're generally way better than equivalent higher ilvl pieces.  I held on to my previous tier pieces for quite awhile since that set bonus was freaking awesome.  The current set bonuses are a little less good, but still good enough to be better than the gear I get from M+ runs.

I'd really like to see how this whole azerite system looks and feels since getting the set bonuses was one of the more fun parts of getting raid loot.  I don't really care when I get 300 more mastery since I don't actually feel the change there, but obviously in the numbers it matters.  Stuff like set bonuses and trinket perks can actually impact my rotation and how it feels to play the class, and that kinda thing is more fun on a progression side. 

Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on November 15, 2017, 01:09:28 PM
I feel like high end of Azerite armor may give the type of bonuses we normally associated with tier bonuses.
I've been watching some Blizzcon interviews with Jeremy Feasel and I think that's correct.  Since every helm, shoulder, and chest can have a completely new set of choices, we could find that the Azerite upgrades for T23 drops have a very different impact from the upgrades for T22 drops.  There could also be synergies between upgrades which encourage specific combinations of head/shoulder/chest items.  It won't feel quite the same, because they have to give us (I think) four choices on each item for each upgrade level, whereas set bonuses are fixed per tier per class.

Another new-to-me detail is that a higher-level head/shoulder/chest item might have a higher threshold for unlocking upgrades than a lower-level item.  So it won't be a closed system like the Netherlight Crucible where once you've hit 75 artifact traits you've unlocked all of the upgrade levels for all relics until the end of the expansion.  A danger with this system (depending on the tuning) is that you might get a really awesome helm upgrade that isn't worth equipping until you've spent a lot of time grinding out Azerite.  (Remember though that heads/shoulders/chests can't be warforged or titanforged in BFA, so there's no danger of actually liking an item less because it's titanforged beyond your immediate ability to unlock upgrades on it.)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Piralyn on November 15, 2017, 01:10:43 PM
Yeah, unless the bonuses are bad, they're generally way better than equivalent higher ilvl pieces.  I held on to my previous tier pieces for quite awhile since that set bonus was freaking awesome.  The current set bonuses are a little less good, but still good enough to be better than the gear I get from M+ runs.

I'd really like to see how this whole azerite system looks and feels since getting the set bonuses was one of the more fun parts of getting raid loot.  I don't really care when I get 300 more mastery since I don't actually feel the change there, but obviously in the numbers it matters.  Stuff like set bonuses and trinket perks can actually impact my rotation and how it feels to play the class, and that kinda thing is more fun on a progression side.

Yeah--I feel like if they do indeed kill off class sets, they're going to have to do something to make individual gear pieces more exciting--procs, something. With some kind of stat/ilvl squish happening again, it's going to be real hard getting excited about +30 mastery on a new item or something. Procs would help with that, but I imagine it would be tough to create a ton of those. The stat squish before kind of made gear feel shitty, but at least we had tier set/class bonuses then. Not sure that I like everything going into some ephemeral resource that powers up a single item that can do some stuff, and everything else is just a few stat points here and there.

We have some of that with artifacts now, sure, but--again--tier sets still add some variety.

Hopeful some kind of gameplay or engineering changes are mindblowing once they get to that point, because most everything that's dripped out so far has been super disappointing and makes it pretty likely I'll end up taking this expansion off.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Kharvek on November 15, 2017, 01:30:25 PM
Yeah.  I'm still gonna play and raid since I generally enjoy it and enjoy the folks I play with, but I gotta say this is probably the least excited I've been for an expansion.

Legion overall has been such a good expansion too.  I think they made mistakes with it, but I think they got way more right than they got wrong with this one and they've got the game in such a good place.  Nothing I see points to them ruining anything, but nothing they're adding has me really excited or intrigued.

Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on December 01, 2017, 10:52:08 AM
Important Void Elf update for Jeni: at least some of the hair options are glowing void tentacles
https://twitter.com/Wowhead/status/936667544269733888
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Jenilea on December 03, 2017, 08:33:34 PM
Important Void Elf update for Jeni: at least some of the hair options are glowing void tentacles
https://twitter.com/Wowhead/status/936667544269733888
Cool!
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on December 09, 2017, 01:17:01 PM
Wowhead's PTR dressing room now lets you look through customization options for: Void Elf, Lightforged Draenei, Highmountain Tauren, and Nightborne. Looks like the male void elves get glowing tentacle hair options too and omg I want one.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: **andius on December 22, 2017, 02:01:58 PM
So when do people think it is going to come out?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on December 23, 2017, 07:07:46 AM
All we have to go on so far is a Blizzcon announcement and a target calendar year (2018).  And of course it's very unlikely to be in Q1 of 2018 because there's been no alpha or beta release and Antorus is still pretty new.

Historically there has been at least a year between the announcement and the release for every expansion except Mists (which was 11 months).  But that's not necessarily reliable as most release announcements have been at Blizzcon, which is at a fixed point in the calendar year.  I recall interviews saying that Blizzard anticipated a Warlords release much earlier in 2014 than the actual November release, but experienced a roughly six-month delay to redo some of their leveling zones.  They also have a larger team, have had a pretty aggressive content release schedule for Legion, and have talked about wanting to shorten the end-of-expansion content gap.  If they had anticipated a late 2018 release for BfA from the get-go, they might have spaced out the Legion raids by another month each.

So, I will be surprised if the release date is earlier than early June, just because the alpha/beta cycle usually takes that long.  I will be disappointed but not terribly surprised if it's later than late August.  If it's later than early October, then I will think that something went awry in their production schedule, but that's not without precedent.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on December 23, 2017, 08:38:02 AM
I've largely seen speculation of August/September, but we have nothing concrete to base that on.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on January 12, 2018, 03:26:38 PM
wowhead weekly reports that allied race unlocks are account-wide, not faction-specific.  I believe this is based on what's observable in the UI on the PTR, not an official Blizzard announcement, so it could still change.  But as we understand things now, you shouldn't need to grind out Highmountain Tribe or Nightfallen rep and quest achievements on a horde character just to be able to unlock the creation of Highmountain Tauren or Nightborne characters.  (But any characters you create of those races must still be horde characters.)

Dark Iron Dwarves and Zandalari Trolls might be a different matter.  Not as much of the implementation of those races is visible yet, and it seems less likely that you'd even be able to do the unlocks for those races on a character of the other faction.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on January 25, 2018, 08:48:25 PM
BfA(*) testing is apparently about to begin, as there is a build available for downloads and the usual sites are datamining it.  mmo-champion is calling this an alpha, while wowhead is calling it a beta.  I think wowhead is in line with Blizzard as their recent class design post (https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/21366970) talked about upcoming beta testing.

The historical length of the testing period has increased with each expansion (if my notes and calculations are correct):

* BC: 95 days
* Wrath: 119 days
* Cata: 160 days
* Mists: 188 days
* Warlords: 224 days (85 alpha, 139 beta)
* Legion: 281 days (171 alpha, 110 beta; alpha began before December holidays)

But since we're evidently not having a period labeled "alpha", maybe we should expect the testing period to be shorter.

(*) Nobody can agree on what to nickname this expansion: "Battle", "Baz", "Bazeroth", or (from Taliesin and Evitel) "'froth".  "BfA" works okay in print but doesn't roll off the tongue.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 25, 2018, 11:42:19 PM
A relevant tweet in the "What do we shorten Battle For Azeroth to?" discussion:
https://twitter.com/frigbiscuits/status/956245023867179009

Personally, I think it's a winner.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 27, 2018, 02:51:13 PM
A lot of alpha stuff is being datamined right now and mostly all I feel is playable fat humans and skinny humans when, Blizzard? WHEN????
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: **andius on January 30, 2018, 10:57:52 AM
I see a upgrade option for Battle for Azeroth has appeared on the character select screen.
Given the anger people have felt about the changes to level having a 110 character boost shown as one of the three stand out point of upgrading is an odd choice.

Checking the site I learnt that : https://eu.shop.battle.net/en-gb/product/world-of-warcraft-battle-for-azeroth

Quote
Pre-purchase: Game is expected to release on or before September 21, 2018.

Yes there is a pet for the collectors Edition.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Piralyn on January 30, 2018, 11:53:22 AM
If you can get through the interminable queue to pre-purchase, you should be able to do the short quest(s) to unlock a handful of the allied races now, meaning you can play several of the allied races now.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Hotspur on January 30, 2018, 12:00:17 PM
I had several problems using a credit card directly, but using Paypal pointed at that same credit card worked just fine (a bit ago).
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 30, 2018, 12:03:36 PM
Does anyone know if new character slots unlock with prepurchase or on BofA release?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Hotspur on January 30, 2018, 12:05:10 PM
"The team is is working to get 4 extra character slots out to everyone in the next few days, regardless of if pre-purchase or not."
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: **andius on January 30, 2018, 01:44:25 PM
"The team is is working to get 4 extra character slots out to everyone in the next few days, regardless of if pre-purchase or not."

Not sure if it is to do with this but none of my characters now show up on the character select screen.

Edit: Seems from the forum I'm not the only one with this problem!
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on January 30, 2018, 02:09:18 PM
No more PvP/PvE server distinction. Looks like if you choose to flag in the open world, you get sent to a version of the map with other flagged people?
From the dev Q+A today, it sounds like on RP servers, you will only share zones with flagged people from the same server (except as affected by people using cross-server group invites).  On Earthen Ring, this design probably means your zones will be pretty empty if you go out with your PvP flag on, which could be useful at times if you don't mind the possibility of a fight.  But it also means if you actually want to do world PvP on a regular basis, a server like ours might not be the best place to be.

Of course, as they seem to be gearing up to do more realm connections, they could connect us with an RP-formerly-PvP server, at which point the expected number of flagged people from the same server cluster in a zone might rise substantially.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 30, 2018, 02:14:05 PM
A lot of the existing rp-pvp servers are on the Chicago datacenter and all except emerald dream are low pop, so I wouldn't be shocked.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Winston on January 30, 2018, 02:15:15 PM
How might this affect the Wardens Tower and FFA PvP World Quests? I presently used World Quest Group Finder to assemble parties for the PvP dailies. Are cross-server group invites the norm; can an add-on activate them?

I can solo the Wardens Towers easily enough, but Black Rook Rumble might get tedious if I WQGF could only potentially invite people from Earthen Ring. On the other hand, the other FFA quests might become tolerable if I rarely encountered any other players there. 
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: **andius on January 30, 2018, 02:31:36 PM
The thread (https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20761008137?) about the problem is 167186 pages long and growing rather fast. I predict some emergencyplaned maintenance rather soon and it will not be quick.
If you have a raid planned for tonight I do not think your going :/
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Snique on January 30, 2018, 02:54:01 PM
While we're waiting to be able to log in... here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDH0R8yFPmA
Have a video about the new allied races. The dude who made this is not someone I normally watch - it just popped up on my YouTube recommendations - and he seems to be pretty into the quest/RP part of the game. I do like the idea that leveling these new races will give heirloom gear, which I think is an excellent way to boost the leveling experience without having an impact on the end-game content.

Interesting that they may have finally cracked the nut of adding new races, meaning they could release a lot more. My guess is we won't keep getting character slots for them.

What do people think of the races that have been added?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 30, 2018, 03:07:55 PM
Note on Allied race unlocks: It looks like you will have to do the stuff on the correct faction to unlock a particular Allied race after all. :( So I guess I gotta get back on finishing Suramar Hordeside. :( :( :(

What do people think of the races that have been added?

Me, when Allied Races were announced: Void elves are so dumb. They're just there to keep the allied race number even between the factions and they basically came out of nowhere and personally I don't want them.
Me, today: WHEN WILL THE SERVERS BE UP SO I CAN MAKE GOTH ELVES BLIZZARD.

Anyway, Lightforged have nice hornz, so I'll probably level one eventually, but I don't care that much. Nightborne are rad AF, but I'm annoyed I have to do Suramar on a THIRD CHARACTER for them. Do not care at all about Highmountain Tauren. Very excited for Dark Irons and Zandalari.

Also, SKINNY AND FAT KUL TIRAN HUMANS BECOME PLAYABLE WHEN, BLIZZARD? WHEN?????
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: ghoselle on January 30, 2018, 03:26:03 PM
What do people think of the races that have been added?

Honestly, I think void elves should have been horde and the highmountain tauren should have been alliance.  The diet draenei (extra-light!) seem weird that they are even a race at all (do paladins become a different race when they dress in tier gear -- apparently if they are a draenei...).  Honestly, I'd probably have been more pleased if they just added highmountain tauren and nightborne and skipped the other 2. 

Its weird that I'm only really interested in races that ended up horde -- and I'm unlikely to get to see the horde side as my 110 horde character is my least favorite class so I've done no Suramar on them.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on January 30, 2018, 03:27:18 PM
Note on Allied race unlocks: It looks like you will have to do the stuff on the correct faction to unlock a particular Allied race after all. :( So I guess I gotta get back on finishing Suramar Hordeside. :( :( :(
That wasn't my interpretation of what Ion said in the Q+A.  He said you need a 110 horde character to run the intro quest to unlock an allied race, but the reputation/achievement requirements are account-wide across factions.

(https://www.twitch.tv/videos/224022383, 24:30 in)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 30, 2018, 03:31:28 PM
I'll have to check once I can log on & have purchased the pre-order (so like, probably not until tomorrow). I saw some people on Twitter reporting they couldn't unlock, with that situation but I might have misunderstood if they had a 110 of their alt faction to unlock the embassy.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Winston on January 30, 2018, 04:44:29 PM
My reaction to the new races: Meh. They start at level 20, which means they don't have unique starting zones. Frankly, as I've leveled up alts solely to get pets, it's been the starting zones that have been the most interesting part of the game. In appearance they're just reskins of the existing races. I strongly doubt that any of their racial abilities are going to be game-changers.

And I'll bet some of those races have unique pets like Goblins do, just to be make life a bit more miserable for pet collectors.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Jenilea on January 30, 2018, 04:45:48 PM
I'll have to check once I can log on & have purchased the pre-order (so like, probably not until tomorrow). I saw some people on Twitter reporting they couldn't unlock, with that situation but I might have misunderstood if they had a 110 of their alt faction to unlock the embassy.
My horde 110, who has not started the Suramar questline, has got the quest for the Nightfallen. I have completed yet due to raid time.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Winston on January 30, 2018, 06:59:35 PM
I just checked the first breadcrumb in the new-race plotlines. You have to be Exalted with at least one faction on Argus to go on them (Army of the Light for Lightforged; Argussian Reach for Void Elves). Just when I thought I'd had enough of Argus...
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Winston on January 30, 2018, 07:10:24 PM
On the Horde side, the Highmountain Tauren questline requires being Exalted with the Highmountain Tribe, while the Nightborne requires Exalted with the Nightfallen. However, it only requires any of the toons on your account to have earned Exalted status. Yungi (Alliance Monk) has Exalted with both; Grotar (Horde Warrior) is Exalted with neither, yet he was allowed to pursue both questlines.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Winston on January 30, 2018, 08:22:04 PM
I completed the Highmountain Tauren questline. It took about an hour. It's less interesting than Blizzard thinks it is; it involved too much searching through terrain to find the bosses to battle. Once complete, I saw I could create a new Highmountain Tauren character on the game's character-creation page (click "Allied Races"). I'll tackle the Nightborne tomorrow. It may be interesting, since Grotar never got far enough along the Suramar questline to have that disguise spell cast on him.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 30, 2018, 09:27:02 PM
The Nightborne quest only took about a half hour for me. The void elf quest was also pretty short although you have to wander around the Ghostlands a bit before you get to do the scenario. The Lightforged is all scenario, but the scenario is on the longish side.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Snique on January 31, 2018, 06:24:22 AM
I'm sort of surprised at people buying the new expansion this early. My usual pattern has been to wait until I can poke at it on a beta server to make a buy/no-buy decision. Realistically, I'm going to buy because sunk investment but I'm not eager to throw more cash at Blizzard until I know what I'm getting for it.

So my questions for folk who've done this: do you typically buy the next expansion early? Did allied races influence you to buy early? Do you know enough now about the upcoming expansion to feel it's worth your early cash?

Honestly, I don't have a lot of time to investigate things first-hand (I don't even follow blue trackers anymore) so I rely a lot on word from people I know, and commentators I follow.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on January 31, 2018, 06:48:39 AM
You need to pre-purchase the expansion to unlock allied races, so that's probably a factor.

I'm not immediately into allied races (I like the idea of void elves but I have plenty of alts already) and I usually don't pre-purchase until later on, but while there's no rush for me, there's also no reason not to.  My sub is paid up until mid-2021 with wow tokens, I'm maxed on battle.net balance from wow tokens (around $350), I'm in a raid group which plans to continue, and I've never not enjoyed the game--even during the Warlords content drought when the overall player base grumbling was pretty loud.  Blizzard would have to muck things up way more than usual to make me regret spending fake bucks on BfA.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Kharvek on January 31, 2018, 06:58:01 AM
I'm in general in no rush to pre-purchase an expansion, but I usually do it sometime before release so if there's any preloading that needs to be done, I can do it.  There would need to be some catastrophically stupid decision in an expansion to make me think about walking away from it and I think Blizzard knows at this point not to rock the boat THAT much.  (IE: I don't think they're suddenly during an expansion going to turn this into an FPS or a match-3 puzzle game.)

Like Marco said I enjoy the game and I've got a solid and fun raid team that I want to continue playing with.  I don't pay with fake money and I pay with real money but even then it's not all that expensive considering the amount of time I put in, even if I literally just showed up for my two raids days I'd feel like I'm getting more than my money's worth.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 31, 2018, 08:18:33 AM
In general, most of the time, I think pre-purchasing digital downloads for AAA games is a bad choice for consumers to make, and mostly we shouldn't do it. I usually only pre-purchase by a few days before the expansion drops for WoW.

However, my current plan is to be a Void Elf monk next expansion, and rather than pay for a race change for my current monk, I wanted to just get the unlocks out of the way and level one during this expansion's doldrums. Like Kharvek and Marco, I have a stable raid team, and have enjoyed the game enough to keep playing it even during low points like Warlords, so it's a fairly safe bet I'll get my $50 worth out of the BFA purchase.

Also, I'm a huge hypocrite.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Piralyn on January 31, 2018, 10:30:50 AM
I'm in a raid group which plans to continue, and I've never not enjoyed the game

I've got a solid and fun raid team that I want to continue playing with
I have a stable raid team, and have enjoyed the game enough to keep playing it

Wait. Solid and fun? Enjoyable? Stable?

Am I being voted out of BCP?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Winston on January 31, 2018, 10:56:09 AM
I pre-purchased the expansion. You can guess the reason. Hint: It begins with "p" and ends with "et".

In a potentially related question:

Out of curiosity, is there any word on how Allied Races will work for brand-new players? Will the new players forced to grind reputations in old Legion content before being able to play the new races in BofA and later expansions?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on January 31, 2018, 11:04:35 AM
For the moment yes, but in interviews they've said they could revisit those requirements as the Legion content fades into the past.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Fallowgrey on January 31, 2018, 12:37:09 PM
Quote
So my questions for folk who've done this: do you typically buy the next expansion early? Did allied races influence you to buy early? Do you know enough now about the upcoming expansion to feel it's worth your early cash?

I had substantial thoughts about using the final defeat of the Legion, the end of that massive storyline, as my out to finally retire.  Cut to yesterday at 3:30pm getting on and getting in line to pre-pay first thing.  What happened?

One, my spouse is still at the high end of the addiction: this is only his second xpac experience coming.  The man has been talking about getting his Void Elf every morning non-stop for the months since Blizzcon.  There are songs.

Two, I am still a slave to story.  I realize this makes me a sucker, esp. with all the retcons and dropped threads, etc.  But Legion was solid in my opinion, picking up lost threads and actually delivering story conclusions, so they get another shot.  I am worried about random-generated content creeping in, what with islands, etc.  But I think they'll go somewhere with characters and plot, too.  I got a feeling I made the right decision last night when I found my belf hunter in an all-elf scenario in Quel'thalas fighting alongside Alleria, me wielding her family bow, with the nightfallen I just helped free this xpac.  That Elf-a-paloosa makes me feel there will be lore/story rewards going forward, too.  Maybe not the ones you want, in the depth you want, but the little fun surprises and cool events that quests have been providing since vanilla.

Three, yeah, like others said, having a community like this one, and raiders to raid with, stable or insane, makes a huge difference.  What I do, how I improve in the game is important to *somebody* not me, and that's a draw when I myself feel a bit tired.

Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 31, 2018, 12:44:49 PM
Wait. Solid and fun? Enjoyable? Stable?

2 out of 4 ain't bad
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Piralyn on January 31, 2018, 01:20:12 PM
Wait. Solid and fun? Enjoyable? Stable?

2 out of 4 ain't bad

Do I want to know which two of the four I am?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on January 31, 2018, 01:21:44 PM
Nah. It's a fun surprise.

Anyway, the four new character slots are unlocked if you have the preorder. Rejoice.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Jenilea on January 31, 2018, 05:20:57 PM
You need to pre-purchase the expansion to unlock allied races, so that's probably a factor.

I'm not immediately into allied races (I like the idea of void elves but I have plenty of alts already) and I usually don't pre-purchase until later on, but while there's no rush for me, there's also no reason not to.  My sub is paid up until mid-2021 with wow tokens, I'm maxed on battle.net balance from wow tokens (around $350), I'm in a raid group which plans to continue, and I've never not enjoyed the game--even during the Warlords content drought when the overall player base grumbling was pretty loud.  Blizzard would have to muck things up way more than usual to make me regret spending fake bucks on BfA.
^ This is pretty much my situation too - well, except that after 13 years as a gnome, my warlock is now a tall elf!
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Fernia on February 01, 2018, 05:09:15 AM
Gotta say it's tempting to have a goth elf shadow priest....
Let's talk about the cost though:  $63CDN?!?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: jsoh on February 01, 2018, 05:29:29 AM
Maybe you shouldn't have splurged on that fancy car.

Btw. I mailed you some spare D-cells I had around the house. HTH.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Fernia on February 01, 2018, 07:13:22 AM
Might need them this summer:  Shawna is planning a road trip to the Maritimes.
I need to map out if there are charging stations < 200km a part all the way over...
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Jenilea on February 01, 2018, 09:22:38 PM
Gotta say it's tempting to have a goth elf shadow priest....
Let's talk about the cost though:  $63CDN?!?
It is CAN$63 for the xpac, which you will need at some point, and then CAN$32 to race change. That works out to be 5 tokens if you have the gold.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on February 07, 2018, 12:24:16 PM
BfA(*) testing is apparently about to begin, as there is a build available for downloads and the usual sites are datamining it.  mmo-champion is calling this an alpha, while wowhead is calling it a beta.
Testing officially began yesterday (11 days after I posted that, so not as soon as it seemed), and Blizzard is calling it an alpha.

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20761726635
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 07, 2018, 07:07:14 PM
Friends and Family invites for the alpha are out. My goal is actually do some playtesting on this one, but probably mostly Hordeside.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 09, 2018, 10:37:42 PM
Great news, BCP healers! Looks like the current alpha build has moved talent tiers around such that there are more options for survivability for Windwalkers now. (I could have Healing Elixirs and Diffuse Magic... AT THE SAME TIME.) We lose Dampen Harm, tho. I'm interested to see the math on some of these -- there's a talent I like that kind of works against taking Whirling Dragon Punch, which I also like. :\

Anyway, here's a great achievement that was in the list (for Horde characters, idk if this will also be an Alliance thing but I HOPE IT IS):
(https://i.imgur.com/gYXovVN.jpg)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on February 10, 2018, 05:01:09 PM
In Bazeroth, it seems like many more physical specs' abilities will scale with attack power, not weapon damage, or at least they're trying that out on the test realm.  I'm not sure if the intent is to balance out how much each spec relies on weapon damage, or do away with weapon damage as a substantial contributor to DPS altogether.

https://www.wowhead.com/news=281764/battle-for-azeroth-class-abilities-scale-with-attack-power-instead-of-weapon-dam

Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 10, 2018, 07:36:18 PM
Important shaman update from current alpha build: Earth Shield seems to be coming back as a talent (it also seemed to be a talent option for Ele, which i guess is interesting?) also Tremor totem, and Cap totem as baseline.

also @Fallow:
(https://i.imgur.com/KutmYfQ.png)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 11, 2018, 11:25:25 PM
Okay, let's type up some notes from my alpha experiences. I haven't done any of the dungeons yet because the queues are, obviously, quite long, and the one time I tried to sit through one, I ended up crashing the game trying to Far Sight into Zuldazar and then didn't want to sit in the queue AGAIN.

Battle For Azeroth when?
Taliesin & Evitel said in their video about the alpha that they expect the release to be closer to the "no later than September 30, 2018" on the pre-order than not, and I agree with this. There are only two zones and two dungeons up on the alpha right now, and Drustvar still has a lot of subzones missing textures. A lot of specs are clearly in design flux (survival hunters), etc. So, I'd work with the assumption that that "no later than" date is probably... gonna be the date itself. I would not be super surprised if early-live BFA has that "rushed AF" feel.

Heart of Azeroth/Azerite
This is very hard to gauge on the alpha -- there doesn't seem to be any UI to show your Azerite progress right now, and so little Azerite dropped Hordeside I assumed it wasn't activated yet. Alliance-side there were actually leveling quests that gave Azerite, so I was able to level up the necklace a bit. Here are my thoughts so far:

* The necklace itself seems to start at 265 item level (more on item level later), and increasing the azerite level of the necklace also increases the item level of the necklace by one. (ie. a level 2 necklace will be item level 266 and so forth.)

* No quest rewards filled the chest or head slots in my questing in Drustvar or Nazmir, and overall quests didn't seem to give very much gear (and only for a few slots, repeatedly) so I suspect we may be seeing some early questing azerite armor in these slots to get us used to the concept, but it just hasn't been implemented yet. This is totally speculation on my part.

* It's hard to tell what rewards Azerite given the current state of alpha, but here we go:
- Just randomly drops when killing things. Sometimes I'd just get ~10 azerite or so off a random mob while questing.
- Some leveling quests in Drustvar (Alliance zone) gave 100 Azerite, so I suspect there are some quests in Nazmir which will have Azerite added in as their rewards later on.
- Random dungeon queue for leveling dungeons claims to give 35 azerite on completion.
- It's impossible to say if killing rares or looting chests gives Azerite, since at this point of the alpha, they're just dropping placeholder loot.

* Since there's no UI, I don't know the exact number, since I wasn't keeping track, but Azerite amount needed to get from level 1 to level 2 necklace seemed to be ~200 or so.

Item level Squish????
There's a stat/item level squish in BFA.

* Premade 110s on alpha start in 185 gear in all slots except the Heart of Azeroth necklace. This is likely roughly comparable to the gear on a boosted 110, since Legion beta premade 100s were essentially boosted characters in terms of gear as well.

* At 110 greens are 200, at 111: 208, at 112: 216, at 113: 224. Items that proc blue quality seem to be +10 item level. Assuming we continue with a pattern of +8 item level per character level, max level greens should be around item level 280.

* Non-tank HP seems to start around 14.5k at 110 at a 192 overall item level. My Horde monk, who didn't get any items from quests after level 111 hit 18k health at 113. My Alliance warlock, who got more gear from quests rewards is sitting around 19k.

* Harder hitting abilities are hitting for a few thousand damage at 110. Filler abilities hit for somewhat less, usually around ~400-500. Without mastery taken into effect, Healing Wave heals for ~1.6k at level 110. Healing Rain is ticking for ~150/tick no taking mastery into account.

* Generally, I'd say expect numbers somewhere between late Wrath and early Cataclsym.

So... what's the story like? Is it any good?
====VAGUE SPOILERS FOLLOW====
* Nazmir (Horde zone) is about helping the Zandalari try to get help from various loa to fight the Blood trolls. You interact with Bwonsamdi, Hir'eek (bat), Torga (turtle), and Krag'wa (frog). You meet and ally with the Tortollans. You meet a Titanic Keeper. There's some Old God shit. Storywise, this felt more complete than the Alliance zone. I suspect this zone may be the location of that troll/titan/old god raid that was teased.

* Drustvar (Alliance zone) has this whole European folk-horror aesthetic. Witches (who are a real thing, complete with Disney-evil-witch models) are hiding in plain sight and therefore some witch hunts ensue. You gotta fight the actual witches and help clear the names of innocents falsely accused of witchcraft. There are some neat new enemy models that have this whole Wicker Man aesthetic. Actually, the whole zone has kind of a Wicker Man (the good one) aesthetic. I haven't totally finished this zone yet. It appealed to me less than Nazmir but... Nazmir was a lot closer to Shit I'm Into. It's hard to top "Making a pact with a death loa who is definitely gonna screw you over in the future while hanging out in his awesome lookin REVIVAL!polis." Sorry guys.

====END SPOILERS====

* Overall, the Horde zone felt more finished from a story & art perspective (the cutscenes were textually storyboarded in Nazmir, in Drustvar you're just told that something cool will happen here before the next part of a quest. There weren't regions that were untextured in Nazmir, although there were a few temporary models), but the Alliance zone felt more finished mechanically (Drustvar had more quests that rewarded Azerite and items). Both areas have terrain/clipping issues and broken quests.

How many bug reports have you sent Blizzard on the alpha so far?
Easily 20.

Got any good screenshots?
I thought you'd never ask. (https://imgur.com/a/yz2Oj)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Winston on February 12, 2018, 05:49:58 AM
Comment on vague spoilers:

Begin whining:
Witch-hunting in Dustvar is going to get some pushback from Wiccans. I remember, way back in Vanilla WoW beta, there was giant pentacle in Searing Gorge that they replaced with a more generic design by release. I always assumed they did this because Blizzard wanted to avoid any religious issues. I hope they wise up here as well.
End whining
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 12, 2018, 10:34:17 AM
Response:
1. I was listening to some videos where a guy dunks on the bad writing on the Game of Thrones television show while I did a lot of this questing, so I may have missed some of the exact details of this quest chain.

2. The actual "witch hunt" involves an innocent person being accused and about the be executed on the gallows and you stop them temporarily while trying to prove her innocence. You're eventually able to rescue her, and find out her family has a history of fighting corruption in this region and work together to find out what's going on for real in the area.

3. It seems to be heavily implied that the "witches" are not actual humans but genuinely something pretending to be human and occasionally acting as a corrupting influence on the humans in the region, and seems to largely be referred to as "witches" due to belief in evil witches being a part of the local vernacular. IIRC the further you go along in the quest chain, the less the term in used once it becomes clear you're dealing with something else.

4. The people whose families historically fight this bad stuff seem to also have occult trappings around them. (ie. you make potions, collect family relics, etc.) so I think it ultimately reads more as good witch vs. bad witch.

5. THAT SAID obviously if this reads super unpleasantly to you due to your religion, and I would recommend you look into the details yourself ahead of time if you're willing to do so/spoil yourself and giving your feedback on the subject to Blizzard, or to me to post to the alpha forums/in-game suggestion box. I am obviously not a member of this religion so it's difficult for me to gauge what is or is not offensive.

6. ALSO I had similar thoughts in re: some questing in Nazmir. Bwonsamdi is very clearly a WoW-style representation of Baron Samedi, an actual loa/religious figure in Haitian Voudoun and also some versions of syncretized Catholicism in the region. While ultimately I don't think it's significantly different from in-game representations of religious figures like Thor, Ra, etc. (all of whom are still worshipped by people in various strands of reconstructed paganism/heathenry), I genuinely don't know enough about Caribbean religions to know if this is culturally insensitive or fine. (The character obviously has some differences, but the inspiration is pretty clear.) I'm genuinely curious if the two zones they chose to put up are the two they most suspected may need re-writing for sensitivity reasons?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on February 12, 2018, 10:47:48 AM
Taliesin & Evitel said in their video about the alpha that they expect the release to be closer to the "no later than September 30, 2018" on the pre-order than not, and I agree with this.
Didn't the other two visible-to-the-public F&F alphas also start this way, though?  I remember running the Warlords intro scenario with a bunch of untextured terrain and placeholder text, and that was probably partway into beta.

That said, there are 236 days between February 6 when alpha began and September 30.  The combined alpha and beta period was 224 days for Warlords and 281 days for Legion, the latter including the 2015 winter holidays.  So releasing near September 30 wouldn't be surprising.  That possibility will become a likelihood if beta doesn't start before June.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 12, 2018, 11:11:24 AM
The initial F&F alpha for Legion was testing the DH class/starting zone, likely since that went live with Legion pre-purchase so it needed to be finished first. I didn't finish the zone (I suspect the untextured stuff was probably nearer the end of the zone), but there were definitely more class bugs/random errors on that part of the Legion F&F alpha.

There have been some people able to glitch out of the areas we're allowed into to look around (mage shenanigans, shaman far sight tricks, etc.), and the other zones do seem to be largely complete as far as art, although I think many have the same untextured situations in places. People were also able to glitch into the starting scenarios for each class for a period of time on the alpha. (The alpha right now is only the two available zones + dungeons, so it doesn't officially include the intro-to-BFA stuff to get you to these islands or to get the Heart of Azeroth yet.) They weren't completable, but seemed to be mostly finished in terms of art, and some objectives in them could be completed, so these are probably closer to done than not.

It's also quite likely that while the F&F alpha is a working/playable/"we're willing to have the public look at this" build of these testable zones, there's an in-house build that's further along in some respects.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 13, 2018, 01:19:23 PM
New M+ affix datamined for BFA: Blight. Makes you do more damage/healing when not at full health. Interesting, but also profoundly terrifying to consider tbh
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: jsoh on February 13, 2018, 02:07:29 PM
No Mitch, You got no healing in order to _help_ you, not because I dont heal rogues. Dont be ridiculous.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 13, 2018, 03:11:04 PM
So, here are my thoughts on Blight, having had some time to think about it, and why I don't like it, assuming we're not all reading what it does incorrectly.
* If it doesn't also come with a +health% for mobs, it's basically a non-affix for people casually doing M+ content. You could just ignore it and be fine.

* It discourages healers from doing their jobs, and depending on what tier of affixes it's on, may encourage no-healer M+ again. Healer damage just isn't high enough in WoW for this to be an appealing affix.

* It's potentially very interesting in the context of an MDI/timed race situation, though.

* Has potential for interesting play for people pushing high keys/trying to punch above their weight class, but at this point, survivability/abilities one-shotting people also becomes a possibility, so it gets fiddly

* Seems to target disc specifically as a healer that both prevents/lowers incoming damage and has trouble catching up when players get suddenly low health.

The INVERSE (You do less damage when not at 100% health) is potentially a much more interesting affix, although has the potential to seriously fuck tank specs like Blood where doing damage/self healing is a major part of their survivability, and I think would have to not affect healing because otherwise you could get in a situation where you could just never recover if you got low enough health as a healer. This version still targets disc specifically as a healer, though.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on February 13, 2018, 03:22:07 PM
* If it doesn't also come with a +health% for mobs, it's basically a non-affix for people casually doing M+ content. You could just ignore it and be fine.
The mmo-champion description is "Damage and healing done increased when injured, and reduced when healthy."  So I don't think you can just ignore it.

Hopefully it's mutually exclusive with grievous.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 13, 2018, 03:56:33 PM
Unless every healer magically grows Cleric Stance and does at least ~50% of the damage of a DPS in BFA, it's a bad affix because it discourages bringing a healer at all.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Fallowgrey on February 14, 2018, 06:31:20 AM
also @Fallow:
(https://i.imgur.com/KutmYfQ.png)

8-O

No channel, either.  Not sure why they're letting it get reduced by Word-spam; at 12 minutes cooldown to start, even given a lot of Word casts, I doubt you'll get in a second cast, except on really, really long fights.  And don't you want to hold something like this until late fight craziness anyway?

Anyway, still awesome.  I hope the animation is good.  Angels everywhere.

Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on February 15, 2018, 06:39:36 AM
In Bazeroth, it seems like many more physical specs' abilities will scale with attack power, not weapon damage, or at least they're trying that out on the test realm.  I'm not sure if the intent is to balance out how much each spec relies on weapon damage, or do away with weapon damage as a substantial contributor to DPS altogether.
Apparently data mining didn't tell the full story here, as the formula for computing non-caster ability damage changed.  The new formula has been reverse-engineered, and it looks like all non-caster abilities will scale with (attack power + 7 * weapon DPS).  Another way to think about this is that all non-caster abilities scale with weapon DPS, with every 7 attack power adding one weapon DPS.  This seems similar to how Diablo 3 scales ability damage.

https://www.wowhead.com/news=281913/battle-for-azeroth-new-formula-for-calculating-ability-damage
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Piralyn on February 15, 2018, 07:08:26 AM
In Bazeroth, it seems like many more physical specs' abilities will scale with attack power, not weapon damage, or at least they're trying that out on the test realm.  I'm not sure if the intent is to balance out how much each spec relies on weapon damage, or do away with weapon damage as a substantial contributor to DPS altogether.
Apparently data mining didn't tell the full story here, as the formula for computing non-caster ability damage changed.  The new formula has been reverse-engineered, and it looks like all non-caster abilities will scale with (attack power + 7 * weapon DPS).  Another way to think about this is that all non-caster abilities scale with weapon DPS, with every 7 attack power adding one weapon DPS.  This seems similar to how Diablo 3 scales ability damage.

https://www.wowhead.com/news=281913/battle-for-azeroth-new-formula-for-calculating-ability-damage

I think this is a vast improvement over the alternative (abilities all scaling off of attack power rather than weapon damage). As a Feral Druid for a bit this expansion, my major ability only scaling off of AP felt really shitty and like I was lagging behind as people started getting higher ilvl artifact weapons. I know Frost DK has some things that scale purely off of AP too, but it's not like the mission critical abilities. Standardizing this, assuming it also compensates for dual-wielding or whatever, will go a long way toward helping all classes scale relatively similarly.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on February 21, 2018, 09:56:45 AM
Honor and I were talking about the item squish yesterday, and I happened to hear these item level correspondences on The Instance (I don't know what their source was):

1000 -> 280
970 -> 250
940 -> 220

So the alpha premades at 180 would correspond to 880 gear.

In other news, data mining suggests that First Aid is going away--the achievements are becoming legacy achievements, and bandages are becoming tailoring recipes.  So if you have your heart set on being Field Medic Gandalfidan, better grind that out soon.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 21, 2018, 08:29:08 PM
Quick clarification:
On live, 110 boost gear is 870 item level. Presumably this corresponds to the 185 item level green gear that premade 110s start with on the alpha, but cannot confirm.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on February 23, 2018, 08:18:48 PM
wowhead has an article on the stat squish here: https://www.wowhead.com/news=282185/battle-for-azeroth-item-level-and-stat-scaling-changes

The data presentation probably could have been improved by interpolating fractional stat values, but that's not really important.  Two things of note:

* They appear to be squishing the differential power of the first half of Legion gear (up through Nighthold).  This is a departure from the first squish, but it seems okay.  Since it's easy to obtain 880-910 gear right now, it isn't important for there to be a large power difference between someone in fresh 110 gear (perhaps someone who hit level 110 and unsubbed) and someone in end-of-expansion catch-up gear.

* Secondary stat scaling in BfA may be linear rather than exponential.  (Primary stat scaling remains exponential.)  This makes some sense, in that you shouldn't really be gaining percent-of-haste and percent-of-crit in larger increments for later upgrades in an expansion than you do for earlier upgrades.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Piralyn on February 28, 2018, 12:31:05 PM
Sweet zombie Jesus the Zandalari Moonkin Form is nightmare fuel.

(https://media.mmo-champion.com/images/news/2018/february/ZandalariMoonkin.jpg)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on February 28, 2018, 01:05:44 PM
My Horde druid confirmed for Zandalari.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on March 02, 2018, 06:03:47 PM
No more PvP/PvE server distinction. Looks like if you choose to flag in the open world, you get sent to a version of the map with other flagged people? Some quests PvP only. Some additional bonuses for doing WQs PvP-enabled to make up for the extra time you'll spend doing them.
It appears the first of these benefits is that your PvP talents are always active in the open world if you're in "war mode", which can only be toggled in Stormwind or Ogrimmar.  PvP talents are being revamped so that there are no more talent rows; instead I think you pick one from the trinket row and three from the remaining pool.  PvP talent slots are unlocked as you level, so there is no more initial honor grind at max level to enable talents.

In completely unrelated news, data mining has hinted at a possible new "communities" feature.  Diablo 3 has a feature with that name, which I have used exactly once (to get a conquest done).  I think they are basically cross-realm chat channels, but that alone has a lot of potential.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Snique on March 07, 2018, 10:22:56 AM
I got an invite to the F&F Alpha today, a first for me. I've gotten beta invites before but never an alpha.

Is it OK to post alpha stuff here or do we want a (redacted) thread for people to avoid spoilery stuff or what?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on March 07, 2018, 10:35:43 AM
Me too, apparently.

For story spoilers I would suggest a separate thread.  For systems and technical stuff this thread is fine.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Winston on March 07, 2018, 10:53:51 AM
Me three. I'd try it if I knew I could keep any pets I captured.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Jenilea on March 07, 2018, 07:04:32 PM
Well, I got no email or notification from Blizzard, but I had a look at my region/account choices and there was an alpha wow listed. So I wondered if... and then clicked install. It quickly said playable and I started up to see the Legion opening cinematic. :(

However, after I was finally able to escape out of that, I got to the character creation screen and finally saw a BofA loading screen. I have created an alliance toon on Sylvanas.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Honorata on March 08, 2018, 07:08:11 AM
FTR I'm also playing on Sylvanas, but Hordeside, and haven't leveled past the initial 113 I reached when the alpha first launched.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: HeidiB on March 08, 2018, 07:55:31 AM
I'm Aspne on Sylvanus.  Level 110 and somewhat lost.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on March 15, 2018, 03:29:56 PM
A few notable takeaways from today's Q+A with Ion:

* We should expect personal loot to become mandatory for current-tier raids.  There won't be much remaining demand for group or master loot without set piece tokens, except for split-runs which are bad for the raiding scene anyway.  Split runs can still convey some advantage with personal loot, but not nearly as much.

* Mythic+ will move fortified/tyrannical to the +2 tier so that they don't create such a big breakpoint at +10.  The design team doesn't like the new affixes they've tried out so far and will likely be trying out new ones.  Josh Allen suggested "flocking," where seagulls constantly spawn and attack you, and was summarily fired by Ion.

* Professions will no longer have a universal skill number which grows with each expansion; instead each expansion will have a separate skill number.  This change does mean that if you want to make, say, Wrath tailoring gear for transmog, you might have to go level your Wrath tailoring in order to do so; you won't get that skill progression for free as part of the catch-up for a later expansion.  (I don't know what will happen in the transition; it seems likely that current tailors going into BfA will be grandfathered for Outland through Legion, but I didn't hear that specifically addressed.)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Winston on March 15, 2018, 08:11:10 PM
Is there any indication that crafting professions might be of more use in BfA? I don't think I crafted a single item in Legion that was of actual use on any of my toons; I only crafted for the skill level and for WQs. And does this "universal skill number" apply only to crafting, or to gathering as well?
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on March 15, 2018, 08:41:45 PM
That question was asked, and the answer sounded like we should expect more of the same, because all of the ways to make crafted gear more relevant don't make a lot of sense today.  Crafted gear has been of interest to a segment of players at a couple of specific points in the expansion, but mostly only players who were willing to pour lots of gold into obliterum in order to get a piece with just the right secondary stats when the max upgraded item level was competitive with gear from other sources.  Set pieces and legendaries cut into that as the expansion went along, to the point where the Argus crafted pieces were never interesting.

Alchemy, enchanting, and jewelcrafting are always in demand, of course.  Vantus runes from inscription were of market interest sometimes, but they don't sell very quickly on this realm, I think because raiders tend to forget they exist.  The raid groups I was in would use them when we ran into trouble on a boss, but not often.

The Q+A didn't address gathering.  Continuing the star system from Legion seems like the most likely approach for gathering in BfA, with no need for a points system on top of that.  But past expansions have used the scraps approach (you get a few things which combine 10:1 into the actual material until you skill up), so they will need to do something to bridge that gap.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Snique on March 16, 2018, 07:08:48 AM
It has seemed to me like WoW developers regretted putting crafting into the game and have done things every expansion to make it harder/worse/less relevant. At least for the past five or so years...
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: ghoselle on March 16, 2018, 07:25:11 AM
It has seemed to me like WoW developers regretted putting crafting into the game and have done things every expansion to make it harder/worse/less relevant. At least for the past five or so years...

I think they have a weird love/hate relationship with it.

To one extent, they like how it drives folks to go collect materials and wander the current content.  They like people going and collecting recipes.
They like how it can sort of provide a path to some catch-up gear for leveling.
They seem to actively like consumables (alchemy, enchanting, cooking).

To the other extent, they don't like it as a way to get relevant gear.  They don't want to make normal gearing paths irrelevant.  They've had multiple times when they've accidentally made a crafted piece disproportionately good, which they don't like.  And by default, they want to not make crafting required for anyone.

Personally I treat crafting recipes a lot like pets - I try to collect them all, but rarely use them.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Andraax on March 16, 2018, 01:26:24 PM
New item in latest build:
Pineapple Pizza: Use: Restores no health, and reduces Stamina by 5% for 30 sec.  (1 sec cooldown).  "Just terrible."

For once, a realistic item. :)
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: **andius on March 19, 2018, 03:39:53 PM
A lot of people must be doing the Alpha even I have got it.

From first play Beast Master hunter feel unfinished, Arcane mage feels a lot more done.
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on April 05, 2018, 07:02:16 AM
The release date for BfA will be August 14.  There's a new short trailer for it at the first link below, but it's not a big cinematic piece like we got in the Blizzcon reveal.  Asked when the prepatch would be, Ion's answer was (wowhead paraphrase): "Pre-patch is likely a few weeks before the actual expansion, similar to past expansion schedules. Ion said not to quote him directly on this, nothing is official."

This puts the total alpha+beta time for BfA at 189 days, shorter than Legion (281) and Warlords (224).  Mists had a beta period of 188 days and no alpha period.

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/21669948/battle-for-azeroth-arrives-august-14
https://www.wowhead.com/news=283326/bfa-press-event-talanji-cinematic-8-0-pre-patch-maghar-and-dark-iron-unlock-sche
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on April 05, 2018, 08:01:25 AM
The press event Q+A was a whole lot of the usual "that's an interesting question, and we can't talk about that except to repeat things we've already said," but there was this interesting tidbit from the wowhead summary of an interview with Jeremy Feasel:
Quote
When you unlock the Islands feature by completing the War Campaign, it will also unlock for all of your alts. If you want to level up your alts by doing Islands, they will let you.
So similarly to how we can level alts in legion invasions now, it sounds like we will be able to level alts using islands in BfA.  I would guess that this will be restricted to the lowest difficulty and there will be level scaling like Legion has for normal-mode dungeons.

https://www.wowhead.com/news=283330/battle-for-azeroth-muffinus-interview-island-expeditions-wrathion
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on April 17, 2018, 06:03:06 PM
Warfronts were tested for the first time today, giving people a sense of what they will be like.  They were really laggy and enemies would sometimes evade and people who leave the group weren't replaced and (given all of those things) there were too many attacking alliance waves to make progress, but the general shape of the system is clear.  (If you don't remember what Warfronts are, they are 20-player PvE scenarios where you fight against enemy faction NPCs, which will be available to one faction at a time while the other faction gathers resources to enable it on their side.)

Essentially: you spawn on an attacking ship and establish a foothold on one side of the map.  From there you can capture a lumberyard and a mine, allowing your team to gather wood and iron which is used to build and upgrade structures.  Individual players contribute resources towards goals to control the order of upgrades.  The general effect of these upgrades is to send more and stronger NPC troops out of your base towards the enemy base, making it easier to take map objectives and eventually the enemy base.  So, sort of like a versus-AI MOBA with twenty players.

Most of the feedback I saw was positive despite the poor play conditions.  There is some concern that the novelty might wear off quickly, especially as people gear up.  I suspect Blizzard's answer to that will be to add new warfronts in odd-numbered patches, with each new one tuned for the current average gear level.  Also, the system seems self-tuning to a point: if your team outgears the scenario, it can push further without waiting for upgrades, but will encounter more resistance as you won't have as much NPC support.

https://www.wowhead.com/news=283632/battle-for-azeroth-stromgarde-warfronts-testing
Title: Re: Battle for Azeroth
Post by: Marco on April 24, 2018, 04:38:48 PM
Blizzard announced the transition from alpha to beta test today, and did a character wipe on the test realms.  That leaves 112 days for beta testing, which is actually two more than Legion had.  (Of course the pre-patch systems have to be ready a few weeks sooner, as always.)  There has been a big push to add content to the alpha realms in the last few weeks, and they seem to be much closer to having a full-featured test now.

A couple of random things I wanted to note:

* There's a new in-game voice chat system, which I believe actually works this time.  I noticed that when I joined a group for a warfront, it asked me if I wanted to join the group voice chat; I assume that also applies to dungeon finder groups, LFR, island expeditions, etc..  This is a potential game-changer for matchmade groups; whether that change is good or bad remains to be seen.  You can always say no, of course, and I don't expect there to be a lot of pressure to use voice chat in matchmade groups.

* Bay from finalboss.tv has been doing a series of first-pass videos where he goes over each spec, how it has changed, and what he thinks the talent builds are likely to be.  There are of course likely to be more changes, especially in the numbers (and more than that to unholy/frost DKs and prot warriors according to a blue post (https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20762217984#4)), but these are really nice in-depth looks at how talents interact with each other and what gameplay will be like in different builds.  I believe he typically does a second pass closer to release.

https://www.youtube.com/user/finalbosswow/videos
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20762097798#1