The greatest sport in the Troll world is coming to Andorhal--get ready to throwdown in the Gurubashi Blood Bowl!
First introduced in Season 2, the Gurubashi Blood Bowl is a unique event that occurs spontaneously in the Stranglethorn Arena. When it begins, an announcement will ring out across Azeroth, calling competitors to the Gurubashi Arena.
The Battle be Starten’ Soon, Mon’!
Once the brawl begins, step into the arena to receive the Gurubashi Gladiator buff. As long as you stay inside the Arena, you’ll get [Mystic Orb Shards] for slaying other players. With each player you slay, you’ll get another stack of the buff, and for every stack you have you net even more orb shards from player kills. See how high you can stack Gurubashi Gladiator, and get tons of [Mystic Orb Shards]!
But be warned, heroes: if you leave the arena for any reason, voluntary or forced, your stacks will be reset to 0. Stay strong, and don’t get slain!
The Gurubashi Blood Bowl is a gladiatorial competition: when it ends, the Hero inside of the arena with the most stacks of the Gurubashi Gladiator buff will receive a chest that only they can open filled with loot, gear, and prizes. It pays to be the champ!
The Gurubashi Arena is outfitted with everything players need to fight to the death: Banks, Arena Queues, and Vendors let players gear up from losses, and get back into the fray. Additionally, the area around the arena is a Sanctuary, meaning players can’t attack each other as long as they’re outside the ring, so feel free to equip some really great gear before diving into the Blood Bowl!
Just be careful on the walk there--the rest of Stranglethorn is fair game!
Mystic Enchantments are a huge part of Ascension--both in customizing your hero and powering them up.These magical effects can drastically increase your strength, and due to the overwhelming number of new players on Ascension, we wanted to review just exactly what Mystic Enchantments are--what they can do, and where you can get your hands on them:
Add Unique Effects to Weapons and Armor
Mystic Enchantments are magical effects that bind themselves to weapons and armor. Obtained by finding them on gear in the world, or by infusing them into equipment yourself, they can augment your Hero’s abilities, improving certain skills or increasing your natural strengths.
Every enchantment has a unique effect. By collecting Mystic Enchantments that improve the abilities you use most often, you can take your hero to new heights of power.
In order to make use of Mystic Enchantments, you’ll need to find a Mystic Altar. These pedestals of power allow you to utilize [Mystic Runes], [Mystic Extracts], and[Mystic Orbs]--the three items you’ll need to improve your hero.
A Mystic Altar: Good Luck Finding Them…
[Mystic Rune] - Rare stones containing the power of a Mystic Enchantment. Break the stone over a piece of gear atop the Altar, and see what enchantment rests within.
[Mystic Extract] - Obtained after breaking enough Mystic Runes, Extracts allow you to harvest the power of an Enchantment, removing it from your gear and adding it permanently to your collection. Once you extract a Mystic Enchantment, you can use [Mystic Orb]s to place it onto a piece of gear--as often as you like, as many times as you like.
Break Enough Runes to go up a Level, and Receive a [Mystic Extract]
[Mystic Orb] - A rare orb pulsing with Arcane power. Can be used to place an Enchantment from your collection onto a piece of gear you own.
Choose the Power YOU want, and Get it
...of the same name stack to a maximum of three(3) (Regardless of Rarity)
...do not stack if they are Legendaryor say Does Not Stack
...can be applied with [Mystic Runes]
...can be harvested with [Mystic Extracts]
...can be placed from your collection onto your gear with [Mystic Orbs]
...have tiers from White(Common) to Legendary(Orange)
The Current Active Enchantment will Appear in the Bottom Right Corner of an Item
Hover Over it to See How Many of that Enchantment you Have
To really power up your Hero, you’ll need to collect Mystic Enchantments relevant to your build. Snatch them up by using Mystic Runes, or by finding them on a piece of gear out in the world, harvest them, and apply them multiple times to your gear. The strongest Heroes will utilize Mystic Enchantments to rise above their peers, and truly power up their heroes.
We’re here today to talk to you a little while on our recent balance updates and our upcoming ones, so let’s get right into it.
Let’s talk a little about some of our recent changes. First, there have been many changes in the past few weeks to hunter pets. At first it was apparent hunter pets were a bit underwhelming after some scaling adjustments and a few pesky bugs which made their way through. Recently there have been some updates to some of the most popular pet damage increasing talents like Unleashed Fury, Ferocity and Frenzy, which you can read about in our changelog. These changes should help bring the power level of heavy pet investment builds to more acceptable levels while also giving those build types more room to invest into other areas like utility, sustain, or self-damage improvements. All that said, the state of these builds will be monitored to ensure their power level reaches our standards and will make make additional adjustments as needed.
Also, there has recently been some minor adjustments to improve the functionality of some talents and abilities, to help bring up the power level of some underperforming builds, and to bring down the power level of others. Lately Thunder Clap based builds, both the pure dps and 2H tank variants, have been over performing. So much that other tank builds have been falling behind, and so adjustments were made to bring down their damage to more acceptable levels. An important thing to account for in the power level of Thunder Clap specifically is the cleave it provides, which cannot be avoided, and the utility it offers with and AoE attack speed slow. Again, the state of this build archetype will continued to be monitored to ensure its performing to our standards, particularly in PvP.
Water Shield, Frostbrand Weapon, Improved Mind Blast, Cheap Shot, Shadow Protection and Dirty Deeds are a few of the talents and abilities in which have seen some improvements this past week to help them feel like they better fit their purpose or so they simply feel better to play with.
Water Shield now has 5 charges baseline, up from 3.
Frostbrand Weapon now grants Frost spell damage.
Improved Mind Blast no longer requires you to be in Shadowform to trigger its healing reduction effect.
Cheap Shot now costs 50 energy, down from 60.
Shadow Protection now lasts 30 min and Prayer of Shadow Protection now lasts 60 min, up from 10 and 20 respectively.
Dirty Deeds now also gives your Shadowstep a 50/100% chance to generate 30 energy when used.
Now let's see what’s planned for you in the near future regarding balance on Ascension.
For some time now we’ve seen a handful of casters become a prominent part of our PvP meta, while occupying varying positions in the PvE meta. In fact, many builds became outclassed by their caster counterparts as they were able to outsustain most other build variants while still being able to put out some of the highest amount of burst damage. There are some big changes coming to help shake up the PvP meta once again and to help properly adjust the power of casters in PvP and PvE.
Spell Mastery was originally introduced as a blanket fix for solving a few problems.
Before Spell Mastery, engaging in PvP combat with a Shield equipped was the only way to go--you simply could not gain the same benefit from using an Off-Hand or even a second weapon as a caster.
Staves had no place in the game and were objectively worse than other options: less stats, and players lost a Mystic Enchantment slot when using one.
Casters used to be much weaker than their melee counterparts.
Once Spell Mastery was added the strength of casted spells revolved heavily around it--so much in fact that builds were determined by how much benefit they received from Spell Mastery. This meant the power of spells was coming from Spell Mastery rather than the spells themselves.
For that reason, we’re moving the power of Spell Mastery onto individual spells in the form of lower base casting speed, or damage increases. Here’s the specifics:
Spell Mastery as a single 2 AE Ability is being removed.
Damaging spells, and several utility spells, with a cast time are being individually changed with either a damage increase, or a lower base cast speed.
Spells which require additional adjustments through PvP damage modifiers will be changed accordingly.
This change will allow for large scale rebalancing of casters in both PvE and PvP, and will let their strength come from their own combination of talents and spells, rather than relying on a custom, third party bandaid. Additionally, end game PvE content will have adjustments made to ensure these changes do not interfere with progression, and PvP adjustments will be made on a case by case basis to ensure the meta settles to a healthy spot.
Rather than relying on a general talent that affects all casters equally, players should see a lot more attention being given to the individual spells that comprise their build. These changes will help adjust builds that are over performing PvP, and improve the power of underperforming builds. Specs that rely on Shadow DoTs, which historically have overperformed in PvP but underperformed in PvE, are expected to fall in line in the new meta with power levels increasing in PvE, but decreasing in PvP. Other builds like Balance druid, which had issues going under the GCD with Wrath in PvE but had to deal with long Starfire casts in PvP, will come better to their own in both environments as well.
Individual spells weren’t the only problem which needed to be solved with the removal of Spell Mastery. We also had to find a way to still discourage all casters to run around with shields in PvP for massive Physical damage reduction, but also to ensure Off-Hands and Staves remained viable picks for casters instead of simply dual wielding weapons with enhancements. To solve this players will have a few new passive auras applied to them. First, players will have a global 10% reduction in all magical damage and healing while a shield is equipped. To address the innocent bystanders of this change, tanks, there will also be a baked in 15% total threat increase while wielding a shield. This will subsequently also make Sword and Board and Bear tank closer to on par with 2H tanks and also allow their threat to scale better through content to make the ever scaling dps. There will also be two more global auras as well, one for Staves and one for Off-Hands. While a Staff is equipped you will get a flat 6% damage and 4% healing increase and while and Off-Hand is equipped you will get a flat 4% damage and 2% healing increase. This should help offset the power lost by not dual-wielding and the additional power lost from the RE slot you have to forgo with using a Staff.
While our main objective at the moment remains to complete the changes regarding Spell Mastery, there are a small amount of additional things we are looking into as well. One of which is to close the gaps between our three most prominent tank builds: Bear, 2H, and Sword and Board. A bit of this work has been done already when he AP scaling and threat of Swipe was increased and when the threat and 2H scaling on Thunder Clap was reduced. Some of the things we are looking at changing as well are additional talents and REs used by tanks. Blademaster currently provides a bit more power proportionally on average to 2H tanks than to Sword and Board builds. We’re looking to increase the power of Sword and Board tanks to bring them more in line with 2H tanks. We’re also looking at lowering the amount of power provided by the Tactical Mastery talent to 2H tank builds. When the talent was originally reworked it needed to have a lot of power baked in to ensure 2H tanks would not only be viable, but to ensure they were appealing enough to play. Now that 2H tanks have established themselves as the premier PvE tank there is some room to wiggle in regards to its power. Bears have also seen several reduction in power levels over the course of Ascension release, and now find themselves at a point where they can’t quite compete in high end raids. We’re looking to increase the amount of dodge Bears have available to them to make up for some previous Agility nerfs and we’re also looking to bring back some mitigation which Bears have lost over the course of release.
And lastly, before our discussion comes to an end, there are a few other miscellaneous changes we’re looking at as time progresses. Stealth is something that has remained a major factor in high-risk PvP since the long ago time of beta. We have recently spent some time looking into some adjustments we can make to Stealth and its corresponding talents. We believe we have a solution which will move power into Stealth based talents so players looking to play Stealth based builds can improve their Stealth, and have it feel meaningful, when they invest into it. We’re also taking a look at the Spirit Dash RE and the power granted by caster weapon enhancements and their respective talents.
In conclusion, there are a lot of big changes happening on Ascension. We will continue to update you guys on our direction and philosophy when it comes to balance and we look forward to seeing you all on Season 3!
Hedge your Bets
Hybrid Risk System Overview
Season 3 will be here in less than two weeks, and with it, the debut of our new Hybrid Risk System. With this new system, players will be able to experience both High Risk and No Risk rulesets on the same realm. Not only will this allow more players together in the same place, but it will also let individuals who have different preferences in playstyles enjoy the game their way without splitting up the population. Additionally, the system goes one step beyond bringing High Risk and No Risk together, and actively lets players swap between game modes at their leisure, allowing individuals to experience eachwhen they want, if they want.
With the season beginning in just 10 days, it’s a good idea to catch up on the nuances of the Hybrid Risk System. You’ll be better prepared when you throw yourself into the season on April 12th.
The Hybrid Risk System
The Hybrid Risk System is a phasing system that allows players to choose what types of players they encounter in the world. At level 20 players choose whether they’d like to continue as a High Risk player or a No Risk player by selecting their preferred style from a menu. Once selected, they’ll join that phase, and only be able to see and interact with others in their selected phase; High Risk players will see High Risk players, and No Risk players will only see other No Risk players. Even if they’re standing next to each other, or in the same group, players in separate phases won’t see each other in the open world, or be able to interact.
Choose your Risk!
The Phasing system is only active in the Open World. Any place where a player would be able to drop gear if slain is where they enter their preferred phase. That said however, in safe zones--such as towns, cities, battlegrounds, dungeons, etc.--players of all phases will be able to see and interact with each other. Additionally, High Risk players will be able to see players outside of towns while they are inside in order to avoid potential ganking tactics.
Depending on the phase you’re playing in, your hero will gain the benefits of that ruleset. High Risk players will enjoy bonus EXP and the ability to find Dungeon and Raid loot off of world monsters, and no risk players--though they won’t receive the former--can relax knowing that their gear is safe from bandits. Also, both phases can look forward to FFA PvP and the Karma System, and Non-Soulbound items. Regardless of your chosen phase, you’ll be able to engage in FFA PvP (although no risk players still will not drop loot if slain), and become a Protector or Outlaw. Similarly, players will be able to buy and trade all types of gear without worrying about soulbound items.
Finally, players will be able to swap between playstyles by speaking to an NPC in their capital city. This NPC can shift players between High Risk and No Risk phases, allowing each type to try out the other, or move into one strategically. Keep in mind that this NPC will have a cooldown--choose when and which to swap too carefully.
That’s it for the Hybrid Risk Overview, heroes! We hope you’re looking forward to Season 3’s official launch on April 12th!
Get ready to roll the dice and trust in Lady Luck: Season 3 is almost here, and it’s going to be Wild! Today, we’re bringing you up to speed with everything you need to dive into Ascension’s next season. If you’d rather catch up with this info in video format, be sure to check out our Season 3 Overview video. If you’re more of a reader-sort-of-folk, then this article is just what you need.
Season 3 Features:
Scourge Invasion Throughout the Season
New Achievements, World Firsts, and Seasonal Rewards
Get ready to put your skills of adaptation to the test, heroes: Season 3 is a Wildcard season. Roll the dice and gamble with fate as you pick up each and every one of your Hero’s skills entirely at random.
Each time your hero has 2 Ability Essences, they’ll pick a card (any card) and be randomly assigned an ability from all currently available spells (you won’t be able to grab a spell higher than your current level). Once they have it, it’s theirs forever. The challenge players face here is seeing just how powerful they can make their random hero, crushing foes with a chaotic assortment of skills, and choosing talents that best suit the abilities they’ve been assigned (players will still be able to assign talents). It’ll be up to you to take a hard look at your hero, and decide what direction is best to take them.
Hybrid Risk System
For the first time on Ascension, both High Risk and No Risk players will be able to play with each other on the same realm! Introducing the Hybrid Risk System!
The Hybrid Risk system is a brand new mechanic that will allow players to choose whether they want to play with High Risk or No Risk rulesets. At level 20, each player will decide which life they want to lead: High Risk or No Risk. Once they make a selection, they’ll be placed in that style’s ‘Phase’. While out in the open world, questing or slaying monsters, players will only be able to see others who have selected the same phase. If you chose High-Risk, you’ll only see other High-Risk players. Similarly, if you chose No-Risk, you’ll only see other No-Risk players. Additionally, players in their phase will recieve all of the benefits that phase has to offer: High Risk players get more EXP and bonus loot from World Monsters, and No Risk players can safely explore the world without fear of a ganker stealing their gear.
That said, many players on one risk style enjoy occasionally jumping into the other. Players on No Risk might want to try their luck at High Risk, and High Risk players might feel the need to duck into the safety of No Risk on occasion.
With the Hybrid Risk system, players will be able to swap between No Risk and High Risk phases at their leisure!
In major cities, players can find an NPC that can swap their phase, allowing High Risk players to take a breather in No Risk, and No Risk players to dip their toes into High Risk. Essentially, players now have the choice, at all times, of which type of realm they want to play on.
In Season 3, High Risk and No Risk phases only apply to players in the open world.Cities, Battlegrounds, Dungeons, Raids, Guilds, etc will all be activities that all players can engage in, regardless of what phase they happen to be in. If three high risk players want to run a dungeon with two no-risk players, they can, although the two groups will be unable to interact or even see each other until they phase into the dungeon. Additionally, Battlegrounds will be a place where everyone can test their PvP mastery regardless of phase (for a visual representation of Phasing, check out the Seasonal Overview Video at 4:47)
Finally, players will be able to enjoy FFA PvP and the Karma System, as well as Non-Soulbound items, regardless of which phase they happen to be playing in.
The Scourge Invasion
The Scourge Invasion is an exciting, temporary in-game event leading up to the release of our final vanilla raid, Naxxramas. Like the Silithid Invasion before it, it’s been completely customized on Ascension. The event will be running throughout Season 3, so be sure to look to the sky and push back the Scourge!
Here’s how the event works:
Every so often, Kel’thuzad will send out a Necropolis to plague a certain zone, spawning dozens of undead zombies, skeletons, and necromancers to terrorize the area. As heroes from around the world combat this evil, the Necrotic Crystal summoning the undead will weaken, becoming vulnerable after enough undead have been destroyed. Once vulnerable, a Scourge Commander will spawn--a big boss baddie that will take a larger group to slay. If the boss is slain, the Necropolis is destroyed, returning peace to the area. Players who contribute are awarded a Scavenger’s Crate based on their contribution, containing all manner of fantastic gear..
The more you damage undead while the Necropolis looms, the higher your Hero’s contribution score. Make sure to deal a lot of damage, and heal a lot of allies, to achieve a high score, and get the best rewards!
New Achievements and Seasonal Rewards
To wrap up, Season 3 is bringing a slew of brand new Achievements and World Firsts that heroes can attempt to obtain when the realm goes live on April 12th! We’re also adding two new quest types to the Hero’s Call and Warchief’s Command boards so that players have all sorts of ways to power themselves up.
As with Season 2, many of our new World First achievements are hidden or difficult, and when a player accomplishes them, they’ll be given a shout out in chat as a reward. Completing these achievements is a great way to gain fame on Seasonal Realms, and if you haven’t tackled the Achievement System in past seasons, this is a great one to start on.
Additionally, Season 3 will feature brand new cosmetic items that players can get ahold of with Seasonal Points themed around the Scourge Invasion. New pets, a new mount, and tons of creepy toys will be yours to collect.
That’s it for the Season 3 Overview! We hope you’re excited to roll the dice, and see what type of hero you’ll be playing Season 3 launches April 12th, so start getting your builds ready--April Fools, you have no idea what you’ll be playing.