It’s saturday evening again, which means a new WoW Weekly podcast! This week we talk about the new client strings on the PTR that mention the “veteran bonus” and we talk about the update to the PvP Prideful gear for upcoming pvp season, as well as the concept of gear progression in general.
Patch 5.4.7’s first PTR build will hit the PTR soon and the folks over at MMO-Champion have already data mined it. It’s looking to be the patch that will be needed to allow players instant access to a free lvl 90 when they buy Warlords of Draenor and both the Mount and Pet when you buy the Digital Deluxe edition of WoD. The mount is indeed the flying version of the Raven Lord Anzu, which was posted a few days ago on Warcraft’s facebook page. Check out the images below, originally from MMO-Champion.
The karazhan “event” has also gotten a new name “Karazhan: Adagio of Misery”. This could either be to continue joking around with it’s name changing each PTR patch or blizzard might be attempting another go at getting the Karazhan event to work. Keep in mind though that they’ve already said that it just didn’t work out with their tech. So it’s unlikely that they are still putting resources into it, but we can certainly hope!
There were also some strings datamined, including the words “veteran bonus”.
CHARACTER_UPGRADE_NO_VETERAN_BONUS – No Veteran Bonus
CHARACTER_UPGRADE_PROFESSION_BOOST – |cff00ff00Veteran Bonus:|r |cffffffffLevel 60+ characters will also receive a skill level boost to their primary professions.|r
Now this could mean a few things, and remember this is all speculation.
- All level boosted characters get their primary professions boosted up to current content.
- All characters who reach lvl 60 (or are higher) get their primary professions boosted.
- We could possibly be seeing a “veteran bonus” for players who have been playing WoW for a long time, which would be easier profession leveling on alt characters.
- The “veteran bonus” could also be for everyone who has atleast an X amount of lvl 90 characters, making lvling professions on alts easier. X could of course be just 1.
As a final mention, the Prideful Gladiator items, which were put in for a possible and now confirmed extra arena season, have received and item level boost from 540 to 550. Putting it at a higher level than Siege of Orgrimmar Flex raid rewards. In an ongoing discussion on the US WoW forums about it making PvP items more desirable for raiding than Flex items, Community Manager Lore had the following to say:
You can follow the discussion on the US forums here.
No matter how it goes, this is another stepping stone towards Warlords of Draenor. Any new information is great and hopefully we’ll be seeing more shortly.
We’ve been working hard on the website and it’s content, and our Siege of Orgimmar guides from our youtube channel are now also here on the website and full transcripts are included! Check them out here or by clicking on Guides in the navigation.
As a side note, the Heroic Thok the Bloodthirsty guide, which has been delayed for quite a while, will be coming out within the next week. Should you want to learn about it sooner you can always watch Mezzy’s Aurum guild heroic Thok kill video to already get some idea of how it works.
This week the targeted nerfs went into effect for Siege of Orgrimmar, and although we already knew the general changes that were going to be made, the exact numbers were not known until the reset on Tuesday (US) or Wednesday (EU). So here they are:
- Reduced health on various ranking officials (High Enforcer Thranok and Korgra the Snake) and foot soldiers (Dragonmaw Bonecrusher, Dragonmaw Flagbearer, and Dragonmaw Tidal Shaman) by about 15% on Flexible and 10-player Normal difficulties.
Thok the Bloodthirsty
- Thok the Bloodthirsty’s Defeaning Screech now deals 10% less damage on Flexible, 10-player Normal, and 10-player Heroic difficulties.
- Thok the Bloodthirsty’s Shock Blast now deals 10% less damage on Flexible, 10-player Normal, and 10-player Heroic difficulties.
- Automated Shredders’ health has been reduced by 10%, and its Overload ability now deals 10% less damage on Heroic difficulty.
- Crawler Mines now have 20% less health on 10-player Heroic difficulty.
- Disassembled Crawler Mines, Deactivated Electromagnets, Deactivated Laser Turrets, and Deactivated Missle Turrets now have 20% less health on Heroic difficulty.
- Electromagnet’s Magnetic Crush ability now deals 15% less damage on Heroic difficulty.
- Laser Turret’s Superheated damage-over-time effect now deals 25% less damage on Heroic difficulty.
Paragons of the Klaxxi
- Hisek the Swarmkeeper’s Multi-Shot ability now deals 20% less damage on Heroic difficulty.
- Iyyokuk the Lucid’s Insane Calculation: Fiery Edge now deals roughly 10% less damage on Heroic difficulty.
Some changes are less significant than others, but looking at the list Siegecrafter Blackfuse took quite a hit. It will be interesting to see how raiding guilds progress over the next few weeks!
This evening Blizzard came out with a new blogpost giving some insight on how the new character models are being developed. They also released a character preview model of the Female Human model. Check out the screenshots and blizzard article below.
We’re looking at these model revamps as a sort of “spiritual update” to the art content that currently exists in-game—except we’re completely redoing them from scratch. That includes the base model, skin tone variations, customization options (e.g. wrinkles, scars, moles, earrings, etc.), hairstyles, and any skin variations for NPCs you see out in the world, like Iron Dwarves or Leper Gnomes. We’re pretty excited about some of the ideas you’ve given us for new customization and skin options you’d like to see, but our first goal—which is already a monumental endeavor—is to make sure that the visual content that currently exists is brought up to or surpasses the level of quality you see in current boss models, the Pandaren, and central NPCs like the new Vol’jin model.
With the revamp, we’re completely overhauling every aspect of the player models, but our goal is to do so while retaining the core look and feel that has always made them your character. We’ll feel like we’ve succeeded if you see the updated version of your character and it still feels like you’re looking at the character you’ve been playing for the past however many years—only someone has finally focused a lens.
To achieve this, we’re increasing the polygon count significantly (in some cases going from less than 1,000 to over 5,000), more than doubling the texture resolution, increasing bone count significantly to support updated animation and facial expression, and retouching nearly every animation for all of the characters. For animation alone, that’s roughly 180 animations per character, times 10 races in both male and female variants, equaling approximately 3,600 animations. We’re also incorporating the rigging technology we introduced with the Pandaren into every character to provide better posing, smoother animation, and the ability to pull off some fantastic facial expressions. In the weeks and months ahead, we’re going to be bringing you in for a closer look at some of the processes, challenges, and results of this revamp process.
“When developing the base model we keep the expression on the face as devoid of emotion or expression as possible”
What you’re looking at here for the Human female is a single face option and a single skin tone on the base model without any animation or posing. When developing the base model we keep the expression on the face as devoid of emotion or expression as possible, as that allows our animators a greater range of motion when they start posing and morphing the face into different expressions. If we were to put any amount of expression—even a slight smile or mildly angry eyebrows—in the base model, that would carry through to every animation, and we’d end up with some very confused-looking characters.
Joe Keller is a senior character artist on our team and was responsible for the lion’s share of modeling and texturing the Human female. Here’s what he had this to say about this challenge:
“Everyone is pretty familiar with the Human character models in WoW, but working on these updates gives us a chance to embellish and fill in the blanks. For the Human female this meant we could give her more muscle definition and personality in the face while still staying true to the overall look and spirit of the original. Hopefully this will also help show her as more of the capable fighter that she is.”
This process has been a welcome challenge for all of us on the World of Warcraft art team. We’ve all wanted to address the player models and bring them up to a more current fidelity for some time now, and we’re as excited as you are to get these models into the game. We hope you’ll enjoy this series as we invite you to meet the team and see more on our development process.
Thanks so much, and see you next time.
Late last night blizzard shared a new image on their social media, of a new flying mount. It looks like a flying version of the Raven Lord Anzu (and his mount) possibly indicating that this might be the mount you’ll get if you pre-order the digital deluxe edition of Warlords of Draenor. Check the mount down below or here on WoW’s facebook page.
As we’re still working on the website we haven’t been able to get out articles as new news comes out so here’s a recap of the last week’s Warcraft related news!
Greg Street(Ghostcrawler)’s new job!
We found out on monday what new opportunity ghostcrawler left blizzard for. He’s now a lead game designer at Riot Games, the folks who developed League of Legends.
Targeted SoO raid nerfs
Next up, starting the upcoming raid reset, some targeted nerfs will effect the Siege of Orgrimmar raid.
We will be reducing the health of the Kor’kron troops in 10-player Normal and Flexible difficulty, because smaller raid groups have fewer tools to deal with the various enemies, and are further impacted when a portion of the raid must break off to deal with towers. No changes to Heroic difficulty at this time.
Thok the Bloodthirsty
We will reduce Thok’s unavoidable Fearsome Roar and Shock Blast damage in 10-player Normal, Heroic, and Flexible mode – again, smaller raid groups have fewer raid cooldowns to handle the increasing damage as Acceleration ramps, and we’re seeing 10-player groups and smaller Flex groups having much more difficulty with this encounter than their 25-player counterparts.
This encounter’s Heroic mode is a huge step up in difficulty from the preceding 11 bosses. We’re looking to smooth out that spike somewhat, while still keeping the fight quite challenging. The following changes apply only to Heroic difficulty: We are reducing the unavoidable raidwide damage inflicted by Magnetic Crush and Shredders’ Overload, as well as the damage from Superheated (to make belt groups’ lives a bit less painful when an Overcharged Laser is active). We’re also reducing Disassembled Turret health. Finally, on 10-player Heroic only, we’re reducing the health of Crawler Mines, since 10-player raids have fewer available tools to keep them controlled.
Paragons of the Klaxxi
Moving on to Heroic Paragons, we’d like them to continue a steady increase in difficulty that culminates with Garrosh. They’re already pretty close to that, so we’re just making a couple of tweaks here, reducing the damage of Multi-Shot and Fiery Edge on Heroic difficulty. This should keep most of the coordination difficulty of the fight, but reduce some frustrating deaths due to burst damage interactions between different abilities.
Warlords of Draenor Scouting Report
Furthermore blizzard came out with a Warlords of Draenor Scouting report indicating a few things.
- If you want to opt in for the beta, now is the time to do so
- Digital versions of Warlords of Draenor will be available for pre-purchase soon(tm)
- Players will get an instant lvl 90 character at the moment they buy Warlords of Draenor
- Blizzard will be testing out buying extra instant lvl 90 characters on the PTR
- Players who buy the Digital Deluxe edition will instantly get the exclusive pet and mount
A new beast takes to the skies!
The Iron Skyreaver mount was put on the ingame blizzard store this week. Blizzard put together a nice little video showing off the new mount.