Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Azeroth in 5 :: February 5th, 2014 TRANSCRIPT

This is Azeroth in 5 for the seven days up to Wednesday, February 5th, 2014.

In breaking news, Blizzard has announced late Tuesday 4th that the scheduled conclusion to PvP Season 14 could arrive 'as early as two weeks from now.' We have as yet however no confirmation of a launch date for the Expansion. Keep listening for further news and developments as they are reported.

Blizzard continues to update and amend details on the PTR server: the latest push of Patch 5.4.7 adds a shop button to the Character Selection screen, has introduced a reduction in damage to the Rogue ability Nerve Strike on player targets, and an initial plan to amend the functionality of the Warrior spells Charge and Warbringer has been replaced with a new plan to make Disrupting Shout and Pummel partially share a cooldown. Season 15 Prideful items are now available for purchase on the PTR, while temporary consumables vendors have also been added to assist players in testing changes. Data mining has also revealed that Boosted level 90's will be provided with ilevel 483 gear on their creation.

Looking forward to the much-anticipated Patch 6.0, a Blue Post confirmed that Blizzard is working towards creating an 'always off' setting for PvE players to actively prevent any participation in PvP activity, including being zoned to a PvP realm or unintentionally flagging players by their actions. There has also been a commitment made to review low level PvP and the imbalances that exist therein. However, perhaps the most significant announcement came from Ion Hazzikostas, revealing via Twitter that Warlords-style raiding will implemented into the Siege of Orgrimmar Raid with Patch 6.0. This will include Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulty all available in Flex-scaling formats. Flexible difficulty will be renamed Normal, currently Normal content becomes Heroic and currently Heroic content becomes Mythic, which will only be available in 20 man format. In other Expansion news, the maximum level of Battle Pets will remain at 25 and the anticipated item squish is confirmed to be implemented with 6.0.

Both Hazzikostas and PvP Desiger Brian Holinka were interviewed by a number of European players this week, and revealed various details about what can be expected in the upcoming Warlords Expansion. Highlights include confirmation that the questing experience has been amended, with the main story line in each zone shown on the UI to encourage exploration. Outdoor max-level content is not based on daily questing as was the case in the first few patches of Pandaria. Raid bosses will continue to use a mix of well-known mechanics and innovation, with the latest technology helping to create different and engaging encounters. It was also reiterated that Blizzard intend to release additional expansions after Warlords.

The Blizzard Store has reopened this week for the sale of physical items, and has been renamed as Blizzard Gear. The ongoing programme of Connected Realms in the United States continues unabated, with two weeks worth of realms announced to be merged during a maintenance window between 5am to 1pm Pacific Standard Time starting this Thursday. There is also confirmation of upcoming changes to the desktop client, including improvements to friends list management.

The Darkmoon Faire is currently visiting Azeroth, and will remain until February 8th. Don't forget that riding the Darkmoon Carousel with the appropriate ticket will grant you the one hour, time-critical 'Wheeeeee' buff giving an all-important 10% to both Reputation and Experience, perfect for all of those attempting to complete those Bucket list achievements in time for the new Expansion. The Love is in the Air Event begins February 10th, and runs until February 24t.h.

And now, the scheduled Battlegrounds News: Call to Arms Isle of Conquest continues until the 6th. Call to Arms, Arathi Basin runs from the 7th until the 10th, and Call to Arms, Battle for Gilneas begins on the 11th.

And finally, Blizzard took some time this week to clarify what exactly can or cannot be won via boss fight bonus rolls in Pandaria. Bonus rolls do not work for Garrosh heirloom weapons, or raid mounts inside Instances. However Sha of Anger, Galleon, Nalak, and Oondasta mounts can be obtained with a bonus roll, as can battle pets with the partial exception of the Quivering Blob, which can only be won by using a bonus roll in LFR difficulty. 

That was Azeroth in 5 for the seven days up to Wednesday, February 5th, 2014.

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