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WoWMar 9, 2016 9:15 pm CT

Blue posts on Legion’s March 9 alpha build

The blues have been busy today updating us on a lot of information about the recently released Legion alpha build. Of note is design commentary from Celestalon on:

  • Enhancement Shaman
  • Blood Death Knights
  • Survival Hunters
  • Fire Mages
  • Affliction Warlocks

As well as detailed alpha class and artifact notes. Check out all the complete blue posts and tweets after the break.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Post)

Hey all,
We have another alpha build going up today, with some exciting updates:

  • New Specializations Unlocked – 2 more additional specializations ready for testing. We’d love any and all feedback about gameplay, artifact quest line, abilities, etc.
    • Frost Mage
    • Assassination Rogue
  • Class Status – We’re continuing to iterate on our class abilities and talents, based on testing and feedback. This build has many revisions scattered around the classes, but here are some highlights:
    • Haste and Core Combat Abilities – We’ve taken a pass on core combat abilities, to ensure that Haste properly accelerates the pace of your rotation, and provides solid stat value. In many such cases, we made the ability’s cooldown slightly longer, but reduced by haste. (EDIT: *ALL* specs should now fall into either a 1.0sec GCD, or a 1.5sec GCD that is reduced by Haste. More clarification below.)
    • Multi-target Ability Tuning – While overall tuning is still not done, we’ve adjusted the relative tuning of many multi-target abilities to make it more rewarding to switch to them in 3+ target situations. This primarily applies to abilities that you actively choose to use in place of single target abilities (such as swapping from Templar’s Verdict to Divine Storm), not multi-target abilities that you’d use anyway (such as Keg Smash).
    • Demonology Warlock – Continued revision of talents and core rotation. Notably, Demonic Empowerment now buffs all pets, and Power Trip has been changed to a new effect.
    • All Hunters – In order to ensure that Haste can properly affect them, all Hunter specs now have a 1.5sec GCD that is reduced by Haste. Ability cooldowns have been adjusted to ensure a consistent combat pace.
    • Marksmanship Hunter– Some tweaks to the core rotation. Notably, Hunter’s Mark will trigger more often.
    • Beast Mastery Hunter – Tweaks to the core rotation.
    • Outlaw Rogues – Bribe adjusted and Sap returned. Roll the Bones tuning adjusted. Significant bugs fixed with Between the Eyes and Run Through damage.
    • Enhancement Shaman – Tweaks to core rotation.
    • Arms Warrior – Colossus Smash and Tactician revised. Many talents revised.
    • Fury Warrior – Enrage’s duration is no longer reduced by haste. Some talents revised and abilities retuned.
  • Artifact Trait Status – Many artifact traits have been revised in this build. The following artifacts have received the most changes in this build:
    • General – We’re in the process of transitioning all artifacts to provide 1 ability (usually an active ability) baseline, and the rest through traits, instead of 2 baseline. Many of the previous procs are being moved into traits. This has been done on most, but not all artifacts.
    • Marksmanship Hunter – Significant revision to many traits.
    • Holy Paladin – Revision to several traits.
    • Guardian Druid – Revision to several traits.
    • Demonology Warlock – Revision to several traits.
    • Destruction Warlock – Significant revision to many traits.
    • Shadow Priest – Several traits revised.
    • Elemental Shaman – Several traits revised.
    • Enhancement Shaman – Several traits revised.
    • Beast Mastery Hunter – Hati has a new model that varies based on selected artifact variant.
    • Unholy Death Knight – Several traits revised.
    • Arcane Mage – Significant revision to many traits.
  • Heroic Dungeons – Heroic versions of the Legion dungeons will soon unlock for testing.


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Post)

Clarification about haste and GCDs:

*ALL* specs should now fall into one of two categories of GCD:

  • 1.0sec GCD, not reduced by Haste. Provides an extra-quick and bursty combat feel, such as on Rogues.
  • 1.5sec GCD, reduced by Haste (to a min of 1.0sec). The standard GCD used by everyone else.

Since that’s a consistent game-wide rule now, we no longer mention the fact that Haste reduces some specs’ GCD in tooltips.


Originally Posted by Celestalon (Official Post)

Feral falls into neither of those categories. Haste doesn’t give us any discernible increase in our direct damage, and the rest of our damage (the majority) does not benefit at all. Are there any plans to address it?

Druids use a mix of the two categories. The first for everything within Cat Form, and the second for everything else. Haste tuning may be low on Feral right now, but there’s nothing design-wise that forces that to be the case. It’s just not tuned yet. (Further Feral-specific feedback in the Feral thread, please!)


Originally Posted by Celestalon (Official Post)

Enhancement Shaman Feedback

A few notable changes are coming soon but didn’t make it in in time for today’s Alpha build, but you can keep these in mind when giving feedback. Several talents are going to swap places to create more better choices among their talent row. Also, Spiritual Resonance and Fist of Stone are being replaced with two new talents. One will add a proc to make your next Lava Lash free and double damage. The other will replace Rockbiter with a stronger ability with charges and a short recharge time. This will provide a non-GCD-locked playstyle option, if you prefer that combat style. Keep up the constructive feedback, thanks!


Originally Posted by Celestalon (Official Post)

Blood Death Knight Feedback

While they didn’t make it in in time for today’s Alpha build, we’d like to share some upcoming changes so you can keep these in mind for feedback. Death and Decay’s cooldown will be halved for Blood, providing more reliable AoE damage/threat. Blood Strike will apply a snare. Lastly, Death Strike’s healing will be going up, and will be based off a slightly shorter slice of time (significant net buff overall). Keep up the constructive feedback, thanks!


Originally Posted by Celestalon (Official Post)

Survival Hunter Feedback

Several changes are coming regarding traps that didn’t make it in in time for today’s Alpha build. Traps will no longer share a cooldown, and their cooldowns are being significantly lowered. Additionally, many trap talents had placeholder damage numbers, and are being fixed to actually do respectable damage. Explosive Trap’s baseline damage is also going up massively, such that it’ll be worth using even against a single target. Keep these changes in mind, and continue giving us constructive feedback, thanks!


Originally Posted by Celestalon (Official Post)

Fire Mage Feedback

Undoubtedly, Phoenix Flames has dominated the feedback about Fire Mages. We’ve heard you, and have had plans to change it, just hadn’t gotten a chance to do so yet. We wanted to let you know that it will be changing, so that hopefully you all can focus on discussing any other concerns/feedback about Fire. The current plan is that it will become its own separate active button, with up to 3 charges (45sec recharge), and a proc on Ignite tick to generate an additional charge. In the next build, you should be able to give that a try. Thanks!


Originally Posted by Celestalon (Official Post)

Affliction Warlock Feedback

A couple important changes didn’t make it in in time for today’s Alpha build, but we wanted to share now, to help guide feedback. Grimoire of Supremacy’s effect is being replaced with the Demonic Servitude effect (permanent Doomguard/Infernal), and Demonic Servitude is being replaced with a new passive talent, Soul Conduit, which causes each Soul Shard you spend to have a chance to be immediately refunded (chance rolled individually per Soul Shard).

Additionally, there’s another change coming, specific to Affliction’s artifact. Souls for the artifact will no longer be targetable units; they will instead be just a soul that appears when you kill an enemy, plus occasionally escaping from the artifact. The artifact’s active button will consume all of the nearby souls, and grant you the buff for 5sec per soul consumed. No more targeting/killing souls required.

Thanks for all the constructive feedback, and keep it coming!


Originally Posted by Celestalon (Official Post)

Arms Warrior

Storm Bolt and Shockwave are no longer DPS gains. They’re now utility.

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