This week on the WoW Factor we touch on the World of Warcraft PvP Season 14 transition and the current state of Patch 5.4.7 on the Public Test Realm. Then we check out what some Hearthstone devs have to say about where the game is and what’s to come.
A quick update on the current state of WoW: Blizzard announced during their Q4 2013 earnings call that WoW is up 200 thousand subscribers since Q3 2013 bringing it to 7.8 million active users. Is it possible that former players are coming back to prepare for Warlords of Draenor and/or did the killer holiday discounts have something to do with it? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
PvP Season Ending, 5.4.7 Beginning
Blizzard recently published a post on the official World of Warcraft site stating that the end of of the current PvP season, season 14, could end as soon as two weeks from the posting which would land on February 15. Approximately one week after season 15 will begin and presumably bring patch 5.4.7 along with it. Typically the end of a PvP season occurs around the time of a new patch going live so it’s reasonable to assume patch 5.4.7 could go live in the next few weeks.
The end of this current PvP season will bring along with it the usual Conquest and Honor Point conversions; All unspent Conquest Points will be down converted to Honor Points and all Honor over 4,000 will be converted into money at a rate of 35 silver per point. Additionally, all Season 14 gear will now be sold for Honor Points at the same cost as their former Conquest price point. The only exception is for items that carried a rating requirement which will no longer be available for purchase so for you transmogers out there, get ‘em while they’re hot!
Heading into Season 15, the Honor Point cap will remain at 4,000 per character and players will have the opportunity to earn Prideful Gladiator gear which carries an item level of 550!
Patch 5.4.7 is not only bringing Season 15 to players but also a few minor changes to the game. As of right now, Warriors and Rogues are the only two classes receiving minor tweaks. From the current test realm patch notes:
- Nerve Strike now causes a successful Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot to also reduce the damage dealt by player targets by 25% (down from 50% for player targets). No changes to the talent when used against non-player targets.
- Disrupting Shout and Pummel now both share a 15-second cooldown when either ability is used. Disrupting Shout's 40-second cooldown remains unchanged but the ability will be unavailable for 15 seconds after using Pummel.
Some changes are also hitting the Timeless Isle - The Celestials will now drop Season 15 Prideful Gladiator gear and the following items sold by Mistweave Ai will receive a minor item level boost from 476 to 489:
- Cloudscorcher Greatstaff
- Contemplation of Shaohao
- Daylight Protectorate
- Featherdraw Longbow
- Hozen Can Opener
- Ordon Sacrificial Dagger
- Pandaren Peace Offering
- Scavenged Pandaren Dagger
- Shield of the Eternal Noon
- Yak-Herder's Longstaff
There are a few other changes, such as a 4% base resilience increase for level-90 characters, that are on the way with this next patch but keep in mind it’s still on the test realm so anything can change between now and when it goes live. For the most current patch notes, keep an eye out on the official site.
Hearthstone Devs Speak
When discussing the current rate at which players are rewarded gold and card packs, they seem to be pretty happy with the current pace. Right now there is a 100 gold per-day cap on what players can earn via wins in ranked mode. Every three wins awards 10 gold so thirty wins will bring players to this cap. The idea behind the cap isn’t to prevent players from progression or earning gold but rather to prevent certain players from taking advantage of the system. There are currently no plans to modify this cap, the rate at which gold is earned or the rewards from daily quests.
Moving on to Adventure Mode - one method in which Blizzard will add new cards to the game - the devs state that these modes will be single player experiences against AI opponents. It’s unclear if these Adventure Modes will be like the existing tutorial or be completely different and unique experiences. The Adventure Mode is currently planned to be how small 20-30 card “expansions” will be added to the game. No pricing has been announced and exactly how these cards will unlock in the game is still unknown but I expect to hear more soon after the game officially releases.
Speaking of release, there is no definitive date just yet. They did however mention that they are currently planning to have alternate card backs and golden hero art as ranked play rewards by the time the game officially releases. They’re also working on implementing the long overdue reconnect feature which will prevent players from scoring a loss when their internet drops out for five seconds. I personally can’t wait to have this feature as my ISP is garbage and ultimately prevents me from attempting Arena runs.
Check out the rest of the interview over at Hearthpwn.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Heathstone and what are you hoping to see by its release? Let us know in the comments below!
This week’s throwback item: Gauntlets of the Soothed Soul
Heartstone card of the week: Keeper of the Grove
Reza Lackey / Reza is a giant nerd who loves video games, board games, film and way too many other things. Works in the film industry, on some startups and thinks science is cool. Also launches rockets.