Last week, Blizzard launched the World of Warcraft 7.3.5 update for the game. That in and of itself is huge news. However, in the days between then and now, a lot of smaller, but very noteworthy, things have happened that you may have missed. We aim to remedy that today.
One of the things that veteran 'mog hunters noticed after the deployment of the patch was that raid bosses across the board had received a significant health boost. That is a good thing in most cases, particularly in vanilla, Burning Crusade or Wrath expansions since some bosses died so fast that instances would bug out. That said, however, the over-tuned health pools of Warlords of Draenor and Mists of Pandaria raid bosses was so high (+300%) that many players found themselves unable to solo or even duo them before mechanics kicked in. Keep in mind that Blizzard has always said that old raids would be able to be soloed since they were no longer relevant other than as mog treasure troves or for mounts, pets, etc.
After much hue and cry on the forums and on other social media outlets, Blizzard acknowledged the issue and deployed a patch to remedy the situation. We're happy to report successful runs through the entirety of Hellfire Citadel (the final raid in Warlords) and Siege of Orgrimmar (last raid in Mists of Pandaria).
We want to be clear: our intention was never to greatly increase the difficulty of soloing old raid content for transmog or mount runs, but a side effect of the creature health tuning we did for leveling players. We’re currently working on a fix that will significantly reduce the health of Warlords and Mists raid bosses.
By far and away, the biggest and most welcomed change in the patch is the new, much more open leveling path that new players can take through the game. In case you missed Bill's great article about the new leveling mechanics in WoW, you'll definitely want to check it out. Here's a snippet of what he had to say:
I’m around level 23 or 24 with my Mage now, and I’m still tooling about Westfall. Normally, I’d have been too high to make playing there worthwhile, but now I can stay there until every last bit of content is done. Heck, if I felt like it I could grind mobs to level 60 there. There’s something absolutely grand about that freedom of choice, something that’s been missing in WoW for years once the rest of the genre started freeing us from the progression linear path.
Other big changes that arrived in 7.3.5 include:
- Cold Weather Flying (Lich King) and Wisdom of the Four Winds (Pandaria) requirements are removed
- Command Boards offer story-based quests that lead to Loremaster achievements when all completed
- new toys, pets and collectibles in Silithus
- increased reputation gains for Argussian Reach and Army of the Light for completing weekly quests
- killing Elite rares on Argus yields Argussian Reach or Army of the Light reputation
- profession world quests yield Army of the Light or Argussian Reach reputation
- Druid Lunarwing form has a /sit emote
- new models for Baine Bloodhoof, Nathanos Blightcaller, Saurfang, Gallywix
- heirlooms have been severely nerfed
- Mythic Blast Furnace nerfed
While not fully present in Legion yet, the underpinnings for the Battle for Azeroth expansion are beginning right now. The first series of quests attached to the discovery of Azerite, the mineable resource that has leaked out of the wound in Silithus, is already available to players. Horde Goblins have discovered Azerite and have determined it is a resource of value and one that might have military use as well....and the Alliance has discovered that the Horde is "up to something" in Silithus. Players are treated to a cinematic of each faction leader (Sylvanas for the Horde, Anduin Wrynn for the Alliance) being shown Azerite and the effect it seems to have on each. If you haven't seen them yet and you don't mind some spoilers, here they are:
It's not the most extensive tutorial series out there for 3v3 Arena PvP, but it's a good start. Blizzard posted the beginning article in a series that is intended to give arena newbies a quick guide to getting started. It appears to be part of the increased emphasis on PvP that developers are keen to explore through more tournaments and more chances for "rank and file" players to get in on the action.
In this first foray, players are given a bit of information and advice on what needs to be done before the match even starts.
Once your game plan is all ironed out, it’s time to think about how you’ll strike fear into the hearts of your opponents as you charge into battle. First impressions are everything, so Pika prefers to ride out upon his Crimson Deathcharger, or his daunting yet noble Magic Rooster. Alec sticks to the classics: either an Amani War Bear or an early Nether Drake from The Burning Crusade to remind his foes that he’s been at this for a long time.
For years, World of Warcraft players have been able to give a "leg up" to friends brought to the game through the Recruit-a-Friend program. Previous to today, recruited friends could gain 200% XP when playing with the recruiter. Due to changes in the leveling experience in 7.3.5, however, that XP boon is being reduced to 50%. "We are making these changes to ensure the XP boost doesn't upset game balance and undermine the experience, while still giving a significant XP boost".
The WoW site published the quick and dirty details of the "new" RaF program:
- The XP boost has been reduced from 200% bonus to 50% bonus*, effective today, January 22, 2018.
- If you’re already actively participating in the program, fear not! If you either sent or received an invite before the change went into effect today, once the invite is accepted you and your friend will still receive triple XP* (200% XP bonus) until the link between your accounts expires (90 days from the date the new recruit’s account was first created). Please note: RAF invites expire after seven days.
- Heirloom gear XP bonuses will no longer stack with the RAF boost (i.e., the maximum XP boost you will see from today onwards is 50%). If you were already on the program, Heirloom gear will still stack.
- All other rewards are unchanged and yours to enjoy:
- Summon your friend once every 30 minutes.
- 10% bonus reputation from kills that grant reputation.*
- Level granting: for every two levels your friend gains while the accounts are linked, they can grant one level to one of your characters.
- Recruiter rewards, including game time and epic mounts.
As you can see, it was a big week for WoW, a pretty cool thing considering it's a mid-tier patch.
What have you been up to in WoW this week? Let us know!