Announcing the June Version Update

The next version update is scheduled to land in late June.

This update will not only see the climactic conclusions to some of Adoulin's questlines, but also the addition of new high-tier avatar battlefields.

In addition, plenty of job and ability adjustment in store, along with rank 5 monster rearing, style lock enabled for ranged weapons, and a plethora of other additions and adjustments.

Keep a look out for more details as the June version update approaches!

This Month in WoW – June 2015

The fortunate month of June is here once again. Unfortunately for the Iron Horde, the armies of Azeroth continue to muster in Draenor, and will soon be heading to Tanaan Jungle in Patch 6.2—now available on the Public Test Realms. You can check out the latest patch notes here, and once you’ve had a chance to try it out, share your experiences with other testers on the PTR forums.

Upcoming In-Game Events

Midsummer Fire Festival [June 21 – July 5]
There’s a fire in the sky and a dance around the ribbon pole. Flames will be ignited and tossed and caught and blessed. All of the fires will attract the Frost Lord, Ahune, who can only be battled during this event each year. Don’t forget that his Satchel of Chilled Goods is the only way to get a Frigid Frostling.

Darkmoon Faire Returns [June 7 – 14]
The wondrous Darkmoon Faire returns to Azeroth early this month. The new Darkmoon Races are now in full swing. Test your speed and agility on a variety of racing mounts as you dodge electrifying obstacles and zip all over Darkmoon Island for rewards and achievements.

The faire continues to be one of the best ways to acquire heirloom gear, and don’t forget all of the toys, mounts, and pets that can only be gotten here. Furthermore, legend has it that there’s a vicious rabbit on the far Southeastern corner of the island. This terrible bunny is said to have HUGE, SHARP TEETH!

Upcoming World of Warcraft Tournaments

Looking for something in the realm of eSports? Here are a few World of Warcraft Arena tournaments to keep tabs on.

GCDTV

Tournaments every Friday and Saturday at 9:00 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT / 3 a.m. CEST.

The GCDTV [(G)lobal (C)ool(D)own TV] tournament is hosted by DMachine and cast by Arena veterans Supatease and Venruki, and you can catch all of the action on the GCDTV Twitch channel. Catch up on previous tournament VoDs here, and follow their official GCDTV Twitter feed to stay up to date on all of the action.

MGN WoW

Don’t miss this 3v3 Arena tournament starting at 12:00 p.m. PDT / 3:00 p.m. EDT / 9:00 p.m. CEST on Saturday, June 20.

Check out their official tournament page for more details and entry instructions. Follow MGN WoW on Twitch.tv and Twitter for the latest.

ESL WoW (EU)
The Electronic Sports League presents a month of Sundays brimming with WoW action:
June 7 at 17:00 CEST – 3v3 Arena
June 14 at 17:00 CEST – 3v3 Arena
June 21 at 17:00 CEST – 5v5 Warsong Gulch
June 28 at 17:00 CEST – 3v3 Arena

For more information, head over to the ESL news site, and don’t forget to follow ESL on Twitch and Twitter.

This Month in World of Warcraft History

June 2005 – Ten years ago this month, World of Warcraft’s first two battlegrounds opened up. Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley gave players new places to fight as the war raged on in Azeroth.

June 2006 – The original Naxxramas raid dungeon appeared above the Eastern Plaguelands nine years ago. A furiously difficult set of encounters answered the call of only the most well-geared and determined raiders.

June 2008 – The first Blizzard Authenticators hit the scene. Check out this blast-from-the-past article by Chris Chester on Engadget.

June 2011 – Players entered the Firelands raid for the first time, challenging Ragnaros the Firelord for the very life of Nordrassil.IFrame

Related Reading: Charge of the Aspects by Matt Burns

10 World of Warcraft Dungeon Boss Encounters

We asked players on Twitter to name their favorite experiences facing down the big bad guys in dungeons. Here are some of their responses.

  • “What is this? You must forgive me, but I wasn’t expecting company.” (Nexus Prince Shaffar in Mana Tombs) —GwyndeWoW
  • Argent Confessor Paletress in the Heroic Trial of the Champion. So innocent and unassuming...POW, it's HOGGER! —Adam B.
  • Murmur in The Shadow Labyrinth. Seeing his initial health and thinking it would be easy, then realizing how wrong I was. —Ginger
  • Lich King in Halls of Reflection. Different, but still used the skills of the group, with a great sense of foreboding and fear. —Crow G.
  • Mutanus the Devourer. I remember the first time I completed Wailing Caverns with my friends, we were not expecting that! —J. Matheo G.
  • “Soldiers of Lordaeron, rise to meet your master's call!” (Falric in The Halls of Reflection)—Rulinus Thunderaxe
  • “I’ll paint my face with your blood!” (Ingvar the Plunderer in Utgarde Keep) —Kameron H.

What’s your favorite?

BlizzCon® 2015 Online Contests and Talent Contest Now Open!

The time is now for those eager to exhibit their masterful movies, astounding art, and terrific talents for a chance at BlizzCon 2015 fame in this year’s contests. Head over to our Contest pages to submit your entry and learn more about the fabulous prizes you could win.

Don’t delay! The deadline to submit your entry for each contest is July 22, 2015.

BlizzCon 2015 Original Art Contest to enter and discuss on the forums here.

BlizzCon 2015 Movie Contest to enter and discuss on the forums here.

BlizzCon 2015 Talent Contest to enter. Discuss this contest on the forums here and see the available music composition options here.

Any questions should be directed to BlizzConContest@Blizzard.com.

Good luck!

Dev Watercooler – Itemization in 6.2

In World of Warcraft Patch 6.2, we’re making some changes to our Raid itemization with the goal of improving the Personal Loot experience, creating more interesting distinctions among items, and providing rewards that more closely reflect the challenge players face to earn them.

Personal Loot Improvements

The Personal Loot system offers several advantages to certain group types, but there are still several areas where we think we can make improvements. Our goals with Personal Loot going forward are threefold:

  • Make Personal Loot more consistent and rewarding.
  • Bring Personal Loot up to be competitive with Group Loot, so players who prefer Personal Loot receive rewards comparable to those you get from groups using Master Loot or Need/Greed.
  • Celebrate rewarding Personal Loot within the group in a way that captures the excitement of receiving rewards in Group Loot.

First, rather than treating loot chances independently for each player—sometimes yielding only one or even zero items for a group—we’ll use a system similar to Group Loot to determine how many items a boss will award based on eligible group size. As a result, groups will receive a much more predictable number of drops when they defeat a boss. In addition, set items will reliably drop in Personal Loot, just like they do in Group Loot today. The end result is that groups using Personal Loot will acquire their 2- and 4-piece set bonuses at around the same time as groups using Group Loot acquire theirs.

We’re also increasing the overall rate of reward for Personal Loot, giving players more items overall to offset the fact that Personal Loot rewards can’t be distributed among group members. We know that finding that one awesome specific trinket to round out your gear set can be difficult with Personal Loot, and this should help increase your odds.

Finally, the most visible change is the new Personal Loot UI. Part of the fun of raiding is progressing and improving as a group, not just as an individual. The previous Personal Loot system celebrated your own rewards, but would bury what your groupmates received in the chat log. However, the moment when your friend finally wins that long sought-after sword can be just as important to you as that moment you won your boots—and we wanted the game to help you celebrate it, too. Now when you loot an item, everyone in your group will see what you won!

These Personal Loot improvements aren’t limited to Hellfire Citadel—we’re updating all of our Draenor dungeons, including Mythic dungeons, to use the same system.

DevWC-Itemization_WoW_ThumbL_JM_550x200.jpg
Loot distribution underway here

Secondary Stats

In the early days of World of Warcraft, Raid bosses didn’t have that many items to drop—there were only 150 items in all of Molten Core, and more than half of those were set items. This small amount of total gear in a Raid meant there might only have been one or two items per slot in an entire tier that were appropriate for your class—and if you were a Hunter or a Shaman in a place like Molten Core, that meant your only option for a belt in the entire Raid zone was your class set piece. On top of that, if an item wasn’t class restricted, it was shared between many other specializations with wildly different ideas of which stats were good or bad. When very few items were available to fill any given slot, the desire to make sure they were useful for many specs led us to keep from straying too far from a 50/50 split on secondary stats.

...we’ve decided to shake things up with how secondary stats appear on Raid loot in this patch.

As the game has evolved, we’ve increased the number of items that bosses drop per kill, as well as the variety of items they drop. We’ve made secondary stats more competitive with one another, and we’ve reduced the frequency of oddball items that were only useful to a few classes. This made more items useful to more people, but eroded the distinction and sense of identity that items held in the past. Too rare became the situation where you knew for sure that this drop was your awesome piece of equipment, and that feeling of finding a truly special item came less often than we would have liked.

To help bolster that sense of excitement, we’ve decided to shake things up when it comes to how secondary stats appear on Raid loot in this patch. Inside Hellfire Citadel, you’ll see a wider range of high and low secondary stat values on items than you have in a long time. Alongside some tuning adjustments that should ensure your attuned stats are the right choice, this change should also make it easier for you to identify which items are good for you in a more interesting way than just “equip the highest Item Level.” Our goal is to help make Hellfire Citadel Raid items more distinct and meaningful to you, and we hope you’ll let us know how things feel once you start collecting your new gear.

Item Level Ramp

As this expansion has progressed, it’s become increasingly apparent that there is a mismatch between challenge and reward for guilds that delve deep into large Raid zones. When the Item Level for rewards across a given difficulty of a zone is flat, a caster staff from Heroic Imperator Mar’gok is largely equal in power to one from Heroic Tectus, despite Mar’gok being the far more challenging boss. We often see and hear about guilds killing a late-zone boss like Blast Furnace for the first time, only to disenchant most of the drops because everyone already has loot from earlier bosses in those slots. On top of that, many guilds move on to higher difficulties before they fully complete a difficulty, because Heroic Darmac loot is stronger than Normal Blackhand loot—and you can get it for much less effort.

To address this, we are structuring Hellfire Citadel so that the Item Level of the loot awarded by bosses increases as players proceed deeper into the zone, culminating in Archimonde—providing both the ultimate challenge and the ultimate reward.

... it feels good to get higher-level items as you progress through a zone.

We’re doing this for a few reasons. First, it feels good to get higher-level items as you progress through a zone. One of the more prominent pieces of feedback we got about Blackrock Foundry was that it felt unrewarding for challenging bosses like Iron Maidens to drop loot that was just as good as—or possibly worse than—Gruul’s.

This also breaks up where your best items are in a good way. The power of the items that you can get in a particular slot will differ based on how far through the zone you are. The best boots for you will likely be different if you are on Normal Gorefiend than they would be if you’re on Heroic Mannoroth, which would be different than if you’re on Mythic Iron Reaver, and so on.


We can’t overstate how much we appreciate your feedback on topics like this, especially when you’ve taken the time to join us on the Patch 6.2 PTR and experienced the changes for yourself. As always, everyone’s encouraged to join us and other testers in the 6.2 PTR Discussion forum as we prepare to unleash Hellfire.