We Didn’t Start the Fire

Tyrande Whisperwind

! All BiS All the Time

With WoD’s revamped loot system, it’s clear that Blizzard is trying to move us away from the BiS mentality. They’re gently encouraging us to go in a different direction with stats that are “good-to-haves” and not necessarily requirements. After playing this way for so long, it’ll be tough to break the habit. There was a huge response from the community – and input from the devs – after the Dev Watercooler was posted. I just had to Storify it.

& The Best Laid Plans

Last week, I’m not sure I would have remembered that I’m only one achievement away from Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider (what the??). But now I do. Not sure what to do next on your alt or which achievement to finish off? There’s an app for that. Wowhead just released their character planner. And it’s awesome.

# It’s Not the Destination

“Let’s say you’ve just hit Level 70 on a new Crusader. Bright eyed and bushy flailed, you’ve got your sights set on Torment VI. You know the build you want and the Legendary items that will help support it. That’s an awesome destination, but what about the journey? What kind of build should you focus on in the meantime, and what sort of gear will help you transition into those higher Torment levels?” Deadset Gaming’s video guide, “Beginning Crusader Gearing (1 Day to Torment IV)”, will set you on the right path.

' Rift it Forward

If you have a level 70 in Diablo 3, you may be interested in farming rifts. Or you may be all over it already! Rift it Forward is a community in which players pool resources to easily farm rifts. One player opens a rift, another clears it to the Guardian, and the group files in to kill the Guardian and collect loot. In exchange, someone opens the next rift for the soloer. That’s the gist of it, at least. There are definitely pros and cons to the system, and Dannie Ray of BlizzPro offers up a choice rundown of the Rift it Forward system.

& We Didn’t Start the Fire

Xfire is launching free web-based software to allow any player to create, host, and promote high quality tournaments. Custom branding management, player wrangling, and streaming are all planned features to be included in the release – which is pretty sweet. “The heart of competition is a burning passion to be the best. Complications and delays stomp out that fire. Xfire is making competing easier for players and organizers, and we feel that will grow the market substantially.” [a]listdaily interviews Xfire’s VP of Marketing, Matt Marcou, on their big plans for eSports.

% Elune Be With You

Camillepetrai’s fantastic cosplay of Tyrande Whisperwind is featured in this week’s header.

+ And if you create things, be sure to check out the Blizzcon art and movie contest – submissions are now open!

& Nerf Locks!

HearthStats released its May report on all things Hearthstone. Find out which class was the most played in constructed decks (Warlocks), which classes had the highest global win rates (Rogues and Warlocks), ranked win rate distribution, and more. You know, pretty graphs and numbers.

! New News

The WoD Alpha went into Friends & Family testing this week and the community has gone bonkers over it. Rightfully so, as we’ve been starved of any substantial new information. Since the invites have started to roll out, participants in the early F&F testing have been streaming, sharing, and gathering a ton of useful info. Check out the (work-in-progress) Storified collection of community-driven WoD updates.

' More Bones to Gnaw On

It’ll be… ten years already? Woah. It kind of blows my mind that later this year I’ll have played this game for ten years. There are kids that have never known a world without Warcraft. In honor of its ten-year anniversary, Blizzard is gifting players a mini Hogger companion pet. Ah, memories.

& Get to the choppa!

Azeroth Choppers has come to an end and the winner has been chosen. Spoilers: The Horde bike won. Although I’m not surprised – the Horde bike was just… better. And I play Alliance right now. I think a sweet Dwarven front fender would have suited the Alliance bike nicely. So yeah, here’s the winner reveal.

+ Did you know that Orange County Choppers created Horde and Alliance bikes long before Azeroth Choppers was a thing? Me neither. Although the Alliance handlebars are cooler, I think Horde would have won here, too. Does it bother anyone else that they refer to the factions as “Good Guys” and “Bad Guys?”

That’s for the Juggernaut


' Are we there yet?

“While in recent years Blizzard’s been in the habit of announcing BlizzCon in the first quarter, we haven’t yet reached two of the dates on that list, and we’re not far past March 25th. So really, just under half of all BlizzCon announcements happened right around this point in the year.” Blizzard has yet to announce the dates for this year’s BlizzCon and people are getting antsy. And hey, there may not even be a BlizzCon this year. Elepheagle gives a rundown of BlizzCon yearly announcements so I can worry about other stuff, for now.

% Will the real daughter of Argus please stand up?

Senior Art Director Chris Robinson revealed the team’s current progress on the new Draenei model. Thank goodness, because I don’t know how much longer we could have waited after that whole April Fool’s thing.

+ “On a certain level, how you move in the game is one of the most important things you experience as a player. It’s your main interaction with the world around you. For Warlords of Draenor, we wanted to improve the locomotion of WoW’s player characters with brand new rigs.” Steve Aguilar, lead animator for the World of Warcraft team, introduced the new male Tauren model and delved into the animation process.

' Golden

Esoth is embarking on an impressive journey: To complete the gold wave in Proving Grounds for all 31 specs in the game. He discusses his goals, what he looks for in a spec-agnostic UI, and how he plans on tackling this monumental task.

! But what about me?

Along with news of new heroes and legendary cards, Blizzard released Warlords of Draenor beta keys into the wild at PAX East. Given to attendees who play WoD, HotS, and Hearthstone demos, the keys grant a guaranteed spot in a later phase of the expansion’s development. But what about the rest of us? No love for the folks who attended BlizzCon? According to CM Lore, there will be other ways to get into the beta.

' Mo’ Money

The devs revealed that Engineering items like Nitro Boosts and MOLL-E would have BoE versions in the expansion. I’ll spare you my feelings on that here, but what about the effects for players in general? Phat Lewts discusses the implications and viability of Engineering as a gold-making profession in WoD.

" Mo’ Loot

“Loot is an incredibly important aspect of Diablo games and we will continue to keep a very close eye on it. If more problems arise we will continue striving to address them. It isn’t our goal to take loot away from people, we just want to make sure they are having as much fun as possible while finding it and these changes all support that goal.” Game Designer Travis Day revealed a hotfix in which the bonus legendary drop rate for rifts was increased from 25% to 100% and unique monsters will drop fewer items.

+ Grimiku posted about future quality of life improvements based on community feedback.

% Mo’ Awesome

The folks at Blizzard know how to get down. To celebrate the release of Reaper of Souls in Korea, the team put together an epic release party including awesome Diablo cosplay from the Spiral Cats cosplay team. Tasha’s fantastic Crusader cosplay is featured in this issue’s header.

' Make It Last

“We are creating an experience where a team has a chance to do a few things before people start dying.” Dustin Browder talks hero lethality in Heroes of the Storm. What, still think every battle should be 10 seconds long?

# That’s for the Juggernaut

Heroic Siegecrafter Blackfuse is a clusterfu… complicated fight with a ton of moving parts. But when you learn where you fit in to the encounter as a player, everything falls into place. The belt assignment can be intimidating as it’s a key assignment in the encounter. Reesi demystifies the belt team with her 10-man Heroic SCBF belt guide:

' Mathematical!

“None of that discussion addressed what would eventually be a crucial (and in the case of our beta test results, deciding) factor: what makes a good metric?” Theck and Meloree created the TMI metric with the goal of calculating the threat of spike damage to a tank. Using Simulationcraft, it’s relatively easy to determine the effectiveness of a healer during a boss encounter, but not as easy when it comes to assessing a tank’s survivability. Theck recaps the process of (re)-building the TMI metric in two parts.

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