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Warcraft Movie Box Office Numbers

Yesterday, 09:20 PM

Warcraft Movie Box Office Numbers

Outside of the US, the Warcraft Movie is performing really well. It has one of the biggest openings this year in Russia and Germany. In the US however it only had an opening of $25 Million, comparatively bad for its $160 Million budget.


MMO-Champion Link

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  • Deadline is reporting that in 19 of the 20 markets it opened in, it was the #1 movie.
    • In Germany, the movie had the biggest opening of the year so far, with 45% market share.
    • In Russia, the movie had the second biggest opening, with 65% market share.
  • Variety is reporting that the Russian opening was only behind Deadpool this year, with the seventh biggest opening day of all time in Russia.
  • In China, ticket pre-sales for the release night are already the sixth highest ranking movie of all time.
  • Unfortunately the news isn't as great in the US, with an opening projection of only $25 million.

World of Warcraft Now Includes Warlords

19 May 2016 - 04:09 PM

World of Warcraft Now Includes Warlords

Official Blizzard Quote:

Warlords of Draenor was added to World of Warcraft on Tuesday. We took a similar approach with the previous expansion prior to the launch of Warlords of Draenor, and the response was very positive. This makes it easier than ever for new players interested in the upcoming Legion expansion to get into the game, and gives returning players a chance to catch up on content prior to the new expansion’s launch.

Level 90 character boosts are no longer available (though players who purchased Warlords of Draenor prior to this change this will still be able to claim the included boost). Players who want to boost a character can either pre-purchase Legion, which includes a level 100 boost, or purchase a standalone level 100 boost.

Legion Beta Patch Notes

13 May 2016 - 04:37 AM

Legion Beta Patch Notes

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Official Blizzard Quote:

Welcome to the World of Warcraft Legion Beta! This is an early look at the patch notes for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion: Legion. If you’d like to participate in the testing process, be sure to opt-in to future beta tests from our Beta Profile page; check the box next to the games you're interested in testing.

Beta Reminder: Content in the Legion Beta Test are still in-development and details may be subject to change before release of the live game. Not all of the content listed may be available for testing or may only be available during a limited testing windows during the Beta. Keep an eye on the Beta forums for more information when specific tests may be taking place.

World of Warcraft: Legion Beta Patch Notes
Updated: May 12, 2016.

New Hero Class: Demon Hunter
Dominate your foes as a Demon Hunter, an elven outcast shunned for daring to wield the terrible powers of demons in order to combat the Legion. Exhibiting superior mobility, great martial prowess, and a preternatural ability to detect demons. Demon Hunters can tap into forbidden powers at times of dire need, metamorphosing into terrifying demonic forms. Demon Hunters may choose between two specializations:
  • Havoc: This damage-dealing specialization allows you to demolish any who stand in your way with fiery demonic attacks that emphasize rapid melee strikes and battlefield mobility.
  • Vengeance: This tanking specialization allows you to go toe-to-toe with even the most powerful demons, withstanding massive punishment by channeling the pain of battle and the souls of your enemies.
New Starting Experience for Demon Hunters
  • Start your journey as a member of Illidan’s most elite disciples, an Illidari. Venture out from the Black Temple to lead an assault on the Legion world of Mardum in a desperate attempt to recover the key to defeating the Legion, even as the heroes of Azeroth march against the Black Temple and Illidan.
Level Cap Increased to 110
  • Level cap for characters has been increased to 110.
New Continent: The Broken Isles
Brave the epicenter of the demon invasion—the Broken Isles, a land rich with ancient wonders. Explore lush forests, colossal mountain ranges, storm swept cliffs, and night elven cities older than human civilization. But beyond the Legion’s marauding army, native dangers lurk here too: twisted satyrs, savage drogbar, and cursed Kvaldir are but a few of the danger’s awoken by the return of the Burning Legion.
Explore the Broken Isles with areas such as:
  • Azsuna
  • Val’sharah
  • Highmountain
  • Stormheim
  • Suramar
Wield Powerful Artifacts
Wield weapons of legend against the Burning Legion. Set out on quests to claim the myth-forged artifact weapons for your class, then grow their power as you continue their legend. Your choices will change their abilities, appearances, and carry them to new heights of power. Fashion your artifacts into the perfect instrument of battle for your specialization, and guide your faction in its most desperate hour.
  • Earn Artifact Power by completing nearly any type of content, ranging from outdoor world questing to PvP.
  • Spend Artifact Power to unlock powerful traits and customize your weapon’s capabilities.
  • Find ancient relics, socketing them into your artifact to further augment your artifact and customize its traits.
Class Halls and Champions
Claim a Class Hall unique to your class. Recruit champions and armies into your order to send on missions and fight along your side on the Broken Isles.

Missions and Champions
  • Class Campaigns: Unlock an epic class-specific story that takes your character through a variety of content in the expansion as you seek out new champions to join your order in the fight against the Legion.
  • Combat Allies: Call upon mighty champions to assist you in combat either as bodyguards or through powerful call-down abilities.
  • Order Advancement: Research improvements to your armies and champions as well as personal, class-themed perks.
New Dungeons
Ten new dungeons are available in Normal, Heroic, and Mythic difficulties.
  • Assault on Violet Hold
  • Black Rook Hold
  • Court of Stars
  • Darkheart Thicket
  • Eye of Azshara
  • Halls of Valor
  • Maw of Souls
  • Neltharion’s Lair
  • The Arcway
  • Vault of the Wardens
New Raids
Two new raids to challenge the mightiest heroes of Azeroth as you try to combat the Legion invasion and the effects it’s had on the native inhabitants of the Broken Isles.
  • The Emerald Nightmare
  • The Nighthold
New World Bosses
  • Challenge yourself against ten new deadly world bosses located throughout the Broken Isles.
World Scaling
  • Forge your own path through The Broken Isles. Level-up zones no longer have level ranges and instead creatures, foes, and rewards scale to your character level allowing you to play through those zones and their dungeons at any level. Zone and dungeon content will still be both challenging and rewarding at any level and allows you to play with friends seamlessly even if your levels are far apart. The max-level zone of Suramar awaits adventurers at the end of their journey.
World Quests
  • World Quests send players out on a variety of quests such as defeating world bosses, world PvP, special dungeon activities, crafting for a profession, story-driven content and more.
  • World Quests become available for characters that reach level 110 and are displayed on the map to see what's available in each zone.
  • World Quests rotate throughout the day and over longer periods of time as well.
  • Emissary quests become available upon reaching level 110 as well. Emissary quests are a daily call for help from a specific faction in Legion.
  • Completing missions in support of a faction from which you have an emissary quest awards a lucrative cache of loot.
Revamped PvP Progression and Honor System
  • Honor Points and Conquest Points have been removed as a currency. At level 110 players now receive Honor for completing PvP objectives or scoring Honorable Kills. Additionally, players at all levels who complete PvP battlegrounds are awarded a cache that can contain equipment, gold, and transmogrification tokens appropriate for their level along with artifact experience once they’ve obtained their artifact weapon.
  • Earning Honor increases your Honor Level. Increasing your Honor level unlocks Honor Talents which can provide passive bonuses and new abilities that are enabled whenever players engage in PvP combat (including out in the world).
  • Players at Honor Level 50 can receive a special reward (a mount, a title, a pet, or a toy) and can Prestige. Electing to Prestige will increase the player's Prestige Level by 1, unlock a special PvP badge, and reset their Honor Level.
  • Items that were purchased using Honor or Conquest are now available for purchase with Marks of Honor that can be earned from Battlegrounds, Arenas, and Skirmishes.
  • Learn more about upcoming PvP changes in our Legion PvP Preview.
Equalized PvP Gear
  • Gear has been normalized in PvP combat. Characters entering a Skirmish Arena, Battleground, Rated Arena, Rated Battleground, or Ashran now receive an aura called Principles of War.
  • Principles of War removes all stats gained from gear (Strength, Stamina, Haste, etc.), disables gear related bonuses (like trinket effects and set bonuses), and gives the character stats based on their specializations, and increases based on overall item level. The goal is to provide a much more finely tuned and balanced PvP experience.
Arenas
  • The pennant attached to the back of characters now changes its appearance based on the player’s best rating in the Arena bracket.
Battlegrounds
  • Characters below level 110 winning a Battleground are now awarded Crates of Battlefield Goods. The crate contains a piece of armor appropriate for the character’s level and specialization with a chance for the crate to contain additional rewards such as weapons or relics.
New Transmogrification Collections System: Appearances
  • New Collection tab: Appearances
  • Unlock new appearances by collecting Soulbound weapons and armor your character can equip.
  • Unlocked appearances are account-wide and usable for transmogrification by other characters that can equip the item.
  • When first logging into a character after Patch 7.0, the appearances of appropriate items in your bags, bank, and Void Storage are learned automatically. Additional appearances will be unlocked based on previously-completed quests.
  • Transmogrifiers located in most major cities have been improved with additional features.
    • Got a look that you like? Save the entire transmogrification set as an outfit. Create and swap between outfits at the Transmogrifier.
    • Additionally, transmogrifications can now be associated with your current specialization. Your outfit automatically changes when switching specializations if you so desire.
    • Added a new option to hide shoulders.
    • The option to hide helmets, cloaks, and shoulders has been moved into the transmogrification system.
New Boosted Character Experience
  • Newly boosted characters will receive a lesson on the basics of how to play their new class, as they embark on an airship heading towards the Broken Shore.
Class Trials
  • Try out a new level 100 character before consuming a Boost with the new Class Trials! Class Trials allows a player to create a new level 100 character, learn how to play the class, and get to experience what it feels like to play the class and their artifact weapon.
  • At the end of the trial experience the character is saved but locked. Players can use a character Boost to unlock the character and keep the character permanently.
Raids and Dungeons

Mythic Dungeons and Keystones
  • Mythic difficulty is available for all Legion dungeons. Players who complete a Mythic dungeon may earn a Mythic Keystone pointing to a random Legion dungeon, enabling access to progressively more challenging levels of difficulty, with commensurate rewards.
  • Completing a Mythic Keystone dungeon within the specified time limit awards a higher-level Keystone, pointing to a new random Legion dungeon, and allowing its holder to access an even higher difficulty and reward level.
  • At higher Mythic levels, random modifiers are introduced, transforming the rules of the dungeon and the way you play to provide a dynamic experience.
  • At the beginning of each weekly instance reset period, players receive a special reward based on the highest Mythic level completed in the prior week.
Legacy
  • Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj now resets daily instead of every 3 days.
Items and Itemization

Itemization
  • In an effort to reduce the amount of gear swapping between specializations, the following changes have been made.
    • Legion cloaks, rings, and items worn on the neck are no longer tied to a specific primary stat, and will remain relevant between specializations.
    • Spirit and Bonus Armor have been removed.
  • Multistrike has been removed. Items that had multistrike have had it replaced with another secondary stat.
  • Trinkets obtained from Raids, PvP, and world drops in Warlords were overtuned and have been brought back to intended power levels.
  • Set bonuses for item sets from expansions prior to Warlords of Draenor have been deactivated, though the text describing their former function still remains.
Legendary Items
  • Legendary items drop from places all throughout Legion. In addition to stats, these items confer powerful effects and modify abilities. Only a limited number of them can be equipped at a time.
  • Check out the new Loot tab in the Dungeon Journal to see which Legendary items are out there for you!
Character Changes

Specialization System Changes
  • Characters can now change between any of their specializations at most any time for a progressive gold cost. Action bar configurations are saved for each specialization. As a result, Dual Specialization has been removed.
  • Characters can queue up as any role that is available to their class and will automatically switch to the suitable specialization when entering the Dungeon, Raid, Battleground, or Arena without any gold cost. For example, a paladin might be questing as Retribution but queue up in Dungeon Finder as a Tank. When the paladin enters the dungeon, they will automatically switch to Protection.
Updates to Combat Visuals and Audio
  • Updated and improved on the animations, visual effects, and audio on core combat interactions like auto-attacks as well as many melee class abilities.
Talent System Changes
  • Players are now able to switch talents while out of combat without the need for reagents.
Glyph System Changes
  • The Glyph panel has been removed from the game. Some minor glyphs that had a cosmetic effect that does not apply to a specific spell have been converted into cosmetic items that provide the same effects as before.
  • Some minor glyphs that made cosmetic alterations to a specific spell have been added to the spell itself in the spellbook.
Draenor Perks Removed
  • Draenor Perks have been removed from the game.
Armor Changes
  • Hunters and Shaman can now equip Mail armor from level 1 (down from level 40).
  • Warriors and Paladins can now equip Plate armor from level 1 (down from level 40).
  • New Mail and Plate reward options have been added to low level quests.
Racial Abilities

Human
  • Every Man for Himself now removes all Stun effects and shares a 30-second cooldown with other items or abilities that have a similar effect.
Class Changes
All classes and specializations have undergone changes to abilities and mechanics. Check out our class preview logs for a better understanding on the thought process behind these changes.
Collections
  • Many new mounts and battle pets to collect!
Toy Box
  • A number of items with novel effects have been converted for inclusion in the Toy Box.
  • Orb of Deception now lets the character retain features like armor that’s worn when transforming.
  • New toy: Soft Foam Sword, sold by Jepetto Joybuzz. The toy mortally wounds (but does not kill) an enemy of trivial difficulty.
Professions
  • Increase profession skills to an increased cap of 800.
  • Hundreds of new recipes and patterns have been added.
  • Profession content is more closely tied to the world. Many of recipes will be learned by completing quests, finding hidden trainers, and going on adventures out in the Broken Isles.
  • Recipes can now have multiple ranks. As you become more skilled in your profession, you will learn to craft or gather more efficiently.
  • Equipment limits on the amount of crafted gear that can be worn have been removed.
  • The Obliterum Forge, unlocked with a questline at level 110, will allow players to destroy their crafted gear and obtain Obliterum. Obliterum, in turn, can be used to make crafted gear more powerful.
Inscription
  • Major glyphs, along with many minor glyphs, have been converted or removed from the game.
  • Scribes can now craft Vantus Runes, a consumable item that allows a player to perform more effectively against one particular raid boss each week.
UI
  • Character nameplates have been reworked and have been upgraded to show class resources. Players may select a larger version of these nameplates from within the Interface Options menu.
  • Enemy nameplates now provide additional information on status effects.
  • Added class resource bars that display directly underneath your character.
  • The character sheet has been trimmed down, though fully verbose stats are still available via the API.
  • Interface options have changed and been further streamlined.
  • Tab targeting logic has been reworked, and should now behave in a more consistent and predictable manner.
  • A buff icon has been added to make it easier to tell when a character has XP gain disabled.
Account
  • The maximum amount of gold that can be held at once has been increased to 9,999,999 gold. Guild bank maximum has also been increased to 9,999,999 gold.
  • Maximum number of characters on a realm has increased to 12.
Graphics Engine
  • Maximum draw distance has been extended greatly for Legion content.
  • 5 additional levels of graphics presets have been added with 3 above the previous ‘Ultra’ setting.
  • More advanced rendering techniques for fog have been added.
  • Modern techniques for rendering color and other post-effects have been added.

On Pruning, PvP, and Our Goals for Legion

17 April 2016 - 09:13 PM

On Pruning, PvP, and Our Goals for Legion

Lore recently made a post on Blizzard's goals for Legion, with an in-depth answer towards pruning.

Official Blizzard Quote:

So, let’s talk about pruning. I’d like to give some clearer insight into what we’re trying to achieve, and the type of feedback we’re looking for. Warning: there are likely to be many, many words here.
What you’re seeing in Legion falls under one of two different goals:
  • Refocusing each spec around their core concepts
  • Reduced reliance on cooldowns, both offensive and defensive
I’ll explain these one at a time.

On refocusing: Over the years, as we’ve attempted to add new toys for every class in each expansion, we feel that the gameplay of quite a few specs has drifted away from the philosophies and ideals behind them. For some classes, such as Rogue, the specs don’t really feel very different from each other. For others, such as Priest, the differences are purely mechanical; Discipline uses absorbs, and Holy uses direct healing, but it’s not really clear why.

So, in Legion, we’re taking a hard look at what each spec should make you feel like when you’re playing it, and making sure that the abilities you’re using tie into that. When we talk about “class fantasy,” that’s more or less what we mean. It’s also made us realize that, frankly, we’ve made some mistakes over the years. Each spec is supposed to have some strengths and weaknesses, and as we’ve added abilities to shore up those weaknesses, we’ve diminished the value of their strengths.

Compare a Mage to a Warlock, for example. Mages were supposed to be highly mobile, but very squishy if you can lock them down; Warlocks were supposed to be able to take more direct punishment, but have a harder time getting away. But then we started giving Warlocks more mobility, which meant we had to give Mages more survivability, and nowadays those differences are subtle at best. The two classes should feel a lot more distinct than they do, both to play as and to play against. That means dialing back the mobility for Warlocks, and dialing back the survivability for Mages.

End result: Yes, you’ve probably lost a couple tools in Legion. But so have other people. So, when we get feedback along the lines of “Now I don’t have any way to deal with X”… we might actually think that’s a good thing. In PvP, this means you’re going to rely on your teammates a little more often. In a raid or dungeon, it means you might not want to purposefully stack Warlocks just because “they have the best numbers.”

On cooldowns: We’ve gotten a ton of feedback over the past couple of expansions that players feel like they aren’t able to do much without cooldowns active. When a Ret Paladin uses Avenging Wrath, Holy Avenger, and Execution Sentence all at once, they hit like a freight train carrying a truck full of bricks, but as soon as those effects end, they just kind of… keep themselves busy until their cooldowns are back up. “Your class is fun and exciting 17% of the time” isn’t awesome.

We’ve also gotten to the point where there’s entirely too many “get out of jail” cards in PvP. The Mage is in trouble… Ironbark. In trouble again… Nature’s Swiftness. Then Ice Block. Then another Ironbark. Then a trinket. Then Nature’s Swiftness. Then maybe, if you’re really good, you can get the Mage’s second Ice Block before Ironbark comes up again. He had to use Cold Snap, what an amazing play!

I’m obviously exaggerating here – most of the time, your goal is to force several of those cooldowns at once – but that kind of illustrates the point. In order for a kill to ever happen, things have to get excessive. So, in Legion, we want to chill out on just how strong those cooldowns can be, so that we can let you be more effective once they’ve worn off. Theoretically, we could accomplish that by just making the numbers on those cooldowns lower, but that quickly gets to the point where each individual cooldown just feels flat. “Increases damage by 5% for 20 seconds” just isn’t that exciting. Our only real alternative is to reduce how many cooldowns you have available, so that the ones that are left can still feel substantial.

Now then, on feedback: We recognize that all of these changes are pretty scary, and we’ve been in the MMO business long enough at this point to know better than to assume we’ll get everything right on the first try. So, let’s talk about feedback, and what you can do to help us make Legion an amazing expansion.

Many players have already been providing great feedback and bringing up good points of discussion, which we’re extremely grateful for, and have already made several changes that were influenced by that feedback. For example, pretty early on in the Legion Alpha, we decided against our original thought of removing resurrection spells from non-Healer specs (such as Shadow, Enhancement, or Balance). A lot of you thought that felt weird, and we agreed. More recently, several PvPers have expressed concern that Legion is currently too focused on simply dealing damage, and there aren’t enough opportunities for a skilled player to shine. That’s a big concern of ours as well, and one we’re doing our best to avoid.

However, sometimes good feedback gets so bogged down in hyperbole that it’s hard for us to tell if the point you’re making is based on actual concerns and testing, or if you’ve just been misinformed. For example, one complaint we see a lot is that “classes only have 5 or 6 spells in Legion.” That’s simply not true – as of this post, most specs have between 20 and 25 baseline abilities, with talents, Honor talents, and your Artifact active skill adding up to 5-10 abilities on top of that (and yes, we recognize that not all of those skills will be useful in all situations).

So, the biggest thing that can help us understand your concerns is to be as specific as possible. “I have too few abilities” is certainly a reasonable opinion, but that doesn’t tell us why you feel that way. Instead of leaving at that, try to expand on it a bit:
  • What specific ability do you miss, and why do you feel it’s important?
  • If you’re concerned that your spec will be too weak in a given scenario, what makes you feel that way? Do you feel you shouldn’t be? Why?
  • If you want more abilities, but are taking passive talents instead of active ones, why is that?
  • Are the new abilities your spec has in Legion not doing it for you? Why not?
Those are obviously just some examples, but that’s the sort of feedback that lets us really understand what your specific concerns are. And while there are certainly going to be cases in which we just disagree (we’re always going to do what we feel is right for the game), pointing out the underlying issues goes a long way towards making sure we recognize when we need to improve.

Blizzcon 2016 November 4 and 5, Esports World Championships at Blizzcon 2016

08 April 2016 - 12:02 PM

Blizzcon 2016 November 4 and 5

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Official Blizzard Quote:

Summon your mounts, open up a portal, and set a course for Southern California for BlizzCon 2016! Blizzard’s tenth epic gaming convention and community celebration is returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5, 2016.

Group up with your fellow Blizzard gamers and get ready for two days of in-depth discussion panels with our developers, hands-on play time with our latest games, and intense esports tournaments featuring top pro gamers from around the world. We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate 25 years of Blizzard games—and you, the players everywhere that have helped bring them to life.

BlizzCon 2016 Tickets

BlizzCon 2016 tickets will go on sale in two batches on Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. PT and Saturday, April 23 at 10 a.m. PT through the online event ticketing service Universe, priced at $199 each (plus applicable taxes and fees). Check out the BlizzCon Ticket webpagefor all the details.

We’re also planning a special pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner the evening of Thursday, November 3 in support of Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), where guests will have a chance to raise a glass and geek out with developers, artists, community team representatives, and other members of the Blizzard family. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. PT, priced at $750 each, and attendance will be limited—visit the Charity Ticket page for more information.

Virtual Ticket and Goody Bag – Coming Soon!

If you can’t make it to the show in person, don’t fret! You’ll be able to participate in our tenth BlizzCon from the comfort of your home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multichannel Internet stream. Once again this year, Virtual Ticket buyers will have the option to purchase a special BlizzCon Goody Bag filled with a cache of loot to mark the occasion (while supplies last). Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, programming info, and Goody Bag will be announced at a later date.

Check out the BlizzCon Ticket page for more information, and be sure to visit the Universe ticket page at the dates and times above for a chance to purchase a ticket to the show. We hope to see you there!

Esports World Championships at Blizzcon 2016

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Official Blizzard Quote:

Pro gamers from all around the world are currently putting their skills to the test, competing to secure a place on one of esports’ biggest stages. BlizzCon 2016 will once again mark the culmination of multiple Blizzard global esports championships—but you don’t need to wait until November to start following the action. The StarCraft II WCS Circuit and WCS Korea leagues are already underway, Hearthstone Spring competitions commence in May, World of Warcraft Arena competitions start in the summer, and the Heroes of the Storm Summer Championship kicks off this month! How do you get in on the action? We’re glad you asked.

2016 World of Warcraft Arena World Championship

World of Warcraft Arena teams from around the world will be heading out on the Road to BlizzCon soon. The World Championship will once again culminate on the BlizzCon stage, where a prize pool of $250,000 is up for grabs. Last year’s all-Europe final saw SK Gaming claim the title against Skill Capped EU in a thrilling five-game series. Will Europe dominate the competition again this year, or can we look forward to seeing teams hailing from the Americas, China, Korea, Taiwan, or ANZ in the final?

Keep an eye on the official BlizzCon site for more information on the 2016 World of Warcraft Arena World Championship in the coming weeks.

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