Streamed Tournament!

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Alliance Tournament 12

Alliance Tournament XII

 

This is the season for fabulous explosions, the famous “Jita Cam” and all of it accesible from your favorite couch! The e-sport tournament “Alliance Tournament” hosted by EVE Onlines CCP games are in the 12th installment and is doing better than ever.

If you always dreamt of flying an internet spaceship (like most little boys do), then you’d be amazed at how welll some of these pilots do stuff.

Pop in to watch the stream!

Read More…

WoW News Roundup – 17th March 2014

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Today news comes in the form of news about future events featuring Blizzard Entertainment, with interesting speculation towards a possible Blizzcon 2014.

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The Blizzcon Virtual Ticket page has recently seen changes to its terms of service page and in doing so changed the title to 2014, rather than 2013. This could be an error internally, however it could also be that we could see another Blizzcon this year, allowing for possible reveals for the new ip’s and post release for Warlords of Draenor and Heroes of The Storm. This comes as a suprise to me after the event finally returning after it’s hiatus, however i feel that people will be particularly excited by seeing this, and if it’s true then we are likely to have a very good year for Blizzard News. Such News does mean there would be certain reveals of information to be posponed until the event, as Blizzard does enjoy giving information exclusively on stage at their own event. Early predictions for such an event would be of a possible open beta for Heroes of the Storm or a release date, and possibly information on Diablo 3 and future patches after this months Reaper of Souls release. The event usually sells out instantly when tickets become available, so keep your eyes open and we at Stratics will try and give you the heads up as soon as anything comes from this. Whilst we wait for any noise from Blizzard themselves to either confirm or deny such an event exists for the year, one event that is sure to be taking place is Pax East, a yearly event featuring tournaments in all areas and genres of video and table top gaming, it also features some of the most prominent developers and development teams from around the world, here to showcase their latest and greatest products for early feedback and testing.

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Today’s press release unveiled the presence of Blizzard Entertainment at the convention, where they are allowing visitors from 10AM-6AM on both Friday April 11th and Sunday April 13th to get hands on playtime with the Warlords of Draenor playable demo we have seen earlier last month. Visitors will also be able to visit various Q&A sections of the Blizzard schedule, including Developer talk for Diablo 3 : Ultimate Evil Edition for the Playstation 4, a brand new demo for Heroes of The Storm, with the developers present and on hand for interviews and questions.

Expect information from these Q&A sections and events to be reported on here on Stratics when new information becomes available for discussion, I’m fairly certain the amount of time players will have to access the demo, we will be sure to see more footage and screenshots float around the internet that we will be sure to collate into readable information for you. Heroes of The Storm’s demo will feature heroes never before seen or played outside the event and will be the first stage of hands on feedback before they are included into the technical alpha which is also presently being sent out to press and streamed over on Twitch.tv channels. It could also be a time for Blizzard to send another wave of access out for the technical alpha but don’t hold your breath.

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Not to forget that Pax East also provides certain rewards this year, in the form of Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft exclusive content, presumably in the form of the exclusive card backs we saw leaked earlier in the month, or possibly Pax exclusive cards that we may of not seen, many of the card packs have been confirmed for in-game rewards and achievements, however the card featured to the right has not, and it wouldn’t be suprising if this small cosmetic addition was the reward they are talking about. With the various press events and featured demonstrations of Warlords of Draenor in full swing over the past few weeks, we can be sure for more information on the beta soon, with our previous predictions in out bi-weekly podcast coming to an end and our estimates changing every week, we have to get news on even a closed alpha for the game at some point soon. This year does however look to be a wonderful time for both Blizzard Entertainment and those who play Blizzards games! If Blizzcon 2014 is confirmed at some point it would certainly be the icing on the cake for this year.

You can find more here about Pax East and a full schedule for the event. CLICK HERE

This about wraps up today’s World of Warcraft and Blizzard news, we expect information on future beta / alpha events and unveilings further this week or next, so be sure to become a part of WoW.Stratcis today! Fantastic rewards from the Sites with Benefits feature on the side of the screen, along with monthly giveaways on our forums and a great place to talk about all of the topics we feature. We are always open for guests and your questions on our bi-weekly podcast, so if something makes you opinionated, make a post and Get your voice heard today!

Warlords of Draenor Dev Watercooler: Design Philosophy

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Blizzard released a blog post on Warlords of Draenor, although nothing to new or huge is talked about, there are still a few interested parts more specifically the changes to CC in WoD.

A few of the key notes are.

  • Item squish will be coming in WoD because Blizzard feels stat scaling is getting out of control. The graph shows how much the numbers inflate with each new level and expansion and how it will look in WoD.
  • Racials are being changed in WoD as some contain Hit and Expertise which will be removed in WoD and others are unbalanced. So a revamp can be expected for some of the Racials!
  • Blizzard feels that players are becoming overwhelmed with abilities as with each new expansion new abilities are added. In Warlords of Draenor the ywill be compacting or removing some abilities, from what we know so far each class will lose around 20% of its current ability kit.
  • Crown control is literally getting out of control! There is too much CC in the game so many of the CC’s have been changed or even removed such as disarms. The PvP trinket has also been changed to grant immunity for a short period of a spell from the same spell cast such as Solar Beam.

 

It wasn’t quiet what we had hoped for but it is a sign that the WoD information will begin to pour in so keep an eye out for more updates!

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Development on World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is progressing well, and we’ll soon be ready to enter the first phases of public testing. To help prep you for battle, let’s break down some of the upcoming changes we’re making to stats, abilities, and crowd control for the expansion.

Stat Squish

Character progression is one of the hallmarks of any role-playing game, and naturally that means we’re always adding more power for players to acquire. After multiple expansions and content updates, we’ve reached a point where the numbers for health, damage, and other stats are so big they’re no longer easy for players to grasp. What’s more, a lot of power granularity is tied up in tiers of older content, from Molten Core to Dragon Soul—and while it was once necessary for your character’s power to spike up suddenly when you hit level 70, that’s not the case anymore.

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In order to bring things down to a more understandable level, we’ll be reducing the scale of stats throughout the game and smoothing out those obsolete spikes, so that power scales linearly through questing content from levels 1 to 85. This applies to creatures, spells, abilities, consumables, gear . . . everything. And while that means your numbers for stats and damage are being reduced by a huge amount, the same goes for creatures’ health and damage output. For example, a Fireball that previously hit a creature for 450,000 out of his 3,000,000 health (15% of its health) may now hit that same creature for 30,000 out of its 200,000 health (still 15% of its health).

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It’s important to understand that this isn’t a nerf—in effect, you’ll still be just as powerful, but the numbers that you see will be easier to comprehend. This also won’t reduce your ability to solo old content. In fact, to provide some additional peace of mind, we’re implementing further scaling of your power against lower-level targets so that earlier content will be even more accessible than it is now.

We’re also removing all base damage on player spells and abilities and adjusting attack power or spell power scaling as needed, making it so that all specializations will scale at the same rate.

Racial Traits

We want races to have fun and interesting perks, but if some of those traits are too powerful, players may feel compelled to play a specific race even if it’s not really the one they want to play. For example, Trolls’ Berserking ability was extremely powerful, and their Beast Slaying passive was either completely irrelevant or tremendously powerful, based on the situation, compared to other racial traits. On the other end of the spectrum, many races had few or no performance-affecting perks. On top of that, a number of racials that currently grant Hit or Expertise will soon need replacing, since those stats are being removed in Warlords of Draenor.

To keep racials more in line with one another, we’ve decided to bring down the couple high outliers, then establish a fair baseline and bring everyone else up to that. We’re accomplishing this by improving old passives, replacing obsolete ones, and adding a few new ones where necessary. Ultimately, our goal is to achieve much better parity among races.

Ability Pruning

Over the years, we’ve added significantly more new spells and abilities than we’ve removed, and the game’s complexity has steadily increased. We’re to the point now where players are starting to get overwhelmed, sometimes feeling like they need dozens of keybinds (in a few extreme cases, over a hundred). While the game is loaded with niche abilities that could theoretically be useful in some rare scenario, in reality, many of these are barely used at all—and in some cases, the game would simply be better off without them.

For Warlords of Draenor, we decided that we needed to pare down the number of abilities available to each class and spec in order to remove some of that unnecessary complexity. That means restricting some abilities to certain specs that really need them instead of being class-wide, and outright removing some other abilities. It also includes removing some Spellbook clutter, such as passives that we can merged with other passives or base abilities.

This doesn’t mean that we want to reduce the depth of gameplay or dumb things down. We still want players to face interesting decisions during combat, and we still want skill to matter . . . but we can achieve that without the needless complexity in the game now, and we can remove some of the game’s more convoluted mechanics while maintaining depth and skill variety.

One type of ability that we focused on removing is temporary power buffs (aka “cooldowns”). Removing these also helps achieve one of our other goals, which is to reduce the amount of cooldown stacking in the game. In cases where a class or spec has multiple cooldowns that typically end up getting used together (often in a single macro), we merged them, or removed some of them entirely.

The process of determining which spells and abilities to cut or change is a very complex one—we know that every ability feels vital to someone, and we don’t take this process lightly. Even if we ended up cutting your favorite ability, we hope you’ll understand why we did so in the context of our larger goals for the expansion. Ultimately, the point of these changes is to increase players’ ability to understand the game, not to reduce gameplay depth.

Crowd Control and Diminishing Returns

One other big takeaway from Mists of Pandaria is that there is currently simply too much crowd control (CC) in the game, especially when it comes to PvP. To address that, we knew that we needed an across-the-board disarmament. Here’s a summary of the player-cast CC changes:

  • Removed Silence effects from interrupts. Silence effects still exist, but are never attached to an interrupt.
  • Removed all Disarms.
  • Reduced the number of Diminishing Returns (DR) categories.
  • All Roots now share the same DR category.All Stuns now share the same DR category.
    • Exception: Roots on Charge-type abilities have no DR category, but have a very short duration instead.
  • All Incapacitate (sometimes called “mesmerize”) effects now share the same DR category and have been merged with the Horror DR category.
  • Removed the ability to make cast-time CC spells instant with a cooldown.
  • Removed many CC spells entirely, and increased the cooldowns and restrictions on others.
    • Pet-cast CC is more limited, and in many cases has been removed.
    • Cyclone can now be dispelled by immunities and Mass Dispel.
    • PvP trinkets now grant immunity to reapplication of an effect from the same spell cast when they break abilities with persistent effects, like Solar Beam.
    • Long fears are now shorter in PvP due to the added benefit of a fear changing the players position.

Additionally, we’ve significantly reduced the number of throughput-increasing cooldowns and procs in order to further reduce burst damage.

Whether your favorite class is losing an ability or taking a hit to its CC potential, we hope this discussion helped you better understand why we’re making these changes. It’s important to remember that other classes will be getting some of their CC removed too. We think this entire package will make exploring Azeroth and PvPing a more enjoyable experience for everyone, and we’re looking forward to having you try them out when we open up the expansion for testing.

In the next Dev Watercooler, we’ll explore the changes coming to health and healing in Warlords of Draenor.

EVE-Stratics Site Migration

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Greetings everyone! I am Kirthag, the Editor in Chief and VP of Publishing at Stratics. I simply want to let you all know that EVE.Stratics.com will soon be migrating into a new format with the rest of the Stratics Community Sites. Although we’ve been rather silent in recent months, our commitment to the players of EVE Online and CCP has not dwindled.

As with any sort of migration, we will have to stop services for a bit. There may be some articles that will require more attention during the migration than others and re-arranging of information will happen. We hate to have any downtime, but it is a necessary evil we cannot avoid. The plan is to have minimal interruption in short windows prior to February 15, 2014.

I want to assure you all that the team here at Stratics is seriously dedicated to ensuring we provide you with relevant content that you can find easily. Nikolaj Vincent, Managing Editor here at EVE.Stratics.com, will be the lead for restructuring the guides and statistics while our editorial team will be concentrating on news related to EVE.

As more information becomes available, and we settle on the migration schedule, we will let everyone know. Please take the time and “like” our Facebook Page, or discuss on our forum.

Season 15 Announced But What Does That Mean For Warlords of Draenor?

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The WoW community received some interesting news yesterday, although not the Warlords of Draenor info they had hoped and prayed for but close enough. Holinka the PvP Designer for World of Warcraft announced that there would be another PvP season (Season 15) before Warlords of Draenor is launched.

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This is great news for the PvP players of WoW as waiting for the prolonged season at the end of an Expansion can feel painful and cause interest to fall. This now means that the players will have something to keep them occupied while the Expansion comes to an end, well not all the players…  The announcement sparks a lot of questions and speculation, does this mean WoD won’t be as soon as we had hoped? Will it turn out similar to Dragon Soul, where casual and PvE players had little to do during the next expansion wait? Or do the devs also have something planned even though they previously stated in the Warlords of Draenor Developer Panel at Blizzcon

“Another MoP patch would delay WoD, so Patch 5.5 isn’t going to happen. The entire team is working on WoD right now, so any more MoP content would slow down development.”

The majority of the WoW community expected WoD to drop in Q2 of 2014 meaning we would have played patch 5.4 for around 8 months. This seemed to be a comfortable wait, a little longer than most would like but acceptable without seeing a patch 5.5. But now with the next season announced things aren’t looking too promising for WoD within Q2 so that leaves two options, will we see a 5.5 patch with new PvE content although that would mean they are taking people from WoD development to do another MoP patch or do they plan on having 5.4 for 9+ months and just hope that the players will stick around or return for WoD.

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Now after playing Blizzard games and following its potential rivals over the years, I’ve come to learn they don’t like to give their competition a chance if they have the opportunity to. The reason I bring this up is this year will see two new MMOs that have gained a decent amount of interest and for Blizzard to delay WoD without giving its player base an alternative wouldn’t seem like something they would do especially as they tend to learn well from their mistakes and wouldn’t give us another Dragon Soul repeat if it can be helped.

Personally I feel they have something planned in terms of WoD beta, instead of releasing a new patch for the current expansion why not make the next expansion be the thing that keeps people entertained? By this I think they will make WoD beta a lot more open than it has been before, doing large amounts of invites around the times the new MMO’s will launch. This seems the more tactical plan as it will build next Expansion hype, keep the current player based interested in the game and less likely to switch over to the competition without causing them to have to create content for an expansion that is due to end.

How would you feel about getting WoD beta access over a new patch, do you want a new patch instead and do you like the idea of an extra PvP season before the expansion ends? Let us know your thoughts on it all in the comments below!

Welcome to the New WoW Stratics

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Welcome to Stratics’ new World of Warcraft (WoW) community! We are in the process of re-launching this community, so mind the construction tape.

The mission of WoW Stratics is to publish fansite news, strategy guides, and statistics for the WoW community, with the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor in mind!

Some juicy bits hidden in patch 2.2.1… and no it isn’t Akk dog slobber.

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Our friend Werit over at http://www.weritsblog.com just passed me some info from a data mining run on the latest SWTOR Patch from earlier today.  I must say this seems… interesting.

From looking over the contents of the data dump it is safe to say that we have a new Toy coming in the future.  A Pocket Sarlaac.  Can you imagine all your pocket lint being slowly digested over the course of a thousand years. Read More…

Funcom Releases Issue #2: Digging Deeper

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The Secret World has successfully introduced its second major content update, Funcom announced on Wednesday. This update, titled Issue #2: Digging Deeper, promises to add “many more hours of fun and exploration.” Some of the new content is highlighted below:

  • Rocket launcher – the first of several new auxiliary weapons
  • Missions – four new investigation missions and one new action mission have been included, and two new Nightmare dungeons are now open for exploration
  • Appearance – players may now alter their appearance by visiting a barber ship, Ockham’s Razor, and/or a plastic surgeon, the Modern Prometheus

Read more about Issue #2 on Funcom’s official page here. Meanwhile, also check out the preview video below published and narrated by Funcom.

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Nexon Leaks Images of Possible New Fireteam Map

The Combat Arms Community Manager, Khali, leaked images (see below) of a new map on Wednesday.  The map appears entirely contained in an industrial building.  One of the images appears to show robotic figures, but it is unclear if these are a defensive mechanism or purely aesthetic.  Users speculate that the new map will be for fireteam matches.

Separately, Khali hinted that new “mercs” might also be featured in the map.  Users have speculatively posted images of new characters (shown below), but Khali has not confirmed that these are new mercenaries.  Alternatively, the new mercs may also relate to the assassin characters mentioned on the Spiders vs. Scorpion rewards page.

New Map

New Mercenaries?

Assassin Char. Male/Female

CCP developers puts a rifter into space

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Last nite marked a milestone for CCP Games, launching their first ever spaceship into the lower atmosphere over Iceland through their space program “Skyward Sphere”.

The launch progressed as planned, with the Rifter touching down again after reaching an approximate 100,000 feet altitude.

This is the second launch made by CCP Games through their space program, and more launches are expected in the future. The first launch was executed on may 9th 2012.

See more here.