Dragonflight Alpha Phase 5 starts today with Ohna’ahran Plains available for testing. Holy Paladins and Warlocks received new talent trees, The Azure Vault and Brackenhide Hollow are available for testing, and more.
Hello everyone! Here are this week’s Dragonflight Alpha development notes:
DISCOVER THE DRAGON ISLES
Developers’ note: Throughout the testing period, character levels will be scaled when entering Dragonflight dungeons. When this happens, the amount of talent points that your character will have available will reflect the original level, not the scaled level.
The Azure Vault
Developers’ note: With each phase, we encourage players to make a new template character and avoid using their previous characters as they could potentially be in a broken state. After making a new template character, make sure to talk to Questzertauren and he will prepare you for any available content.
Level 62 Character Template
Maximum Level: 65
Mechagnomes have been re-enabled.
NEW TALENT SYSTEM
Switching Talents and Talent Loadouts no longer requires being in a rested area.
Developers’ note: In this Alpha build, we’ve removed the rested area requirement for changing Talents and Loadouts. Players are now be able to change their talents anywhere out in the world, as long as they’re not in combat. Additionally, previous restrictions such as not being in an Active Mythic+ instance or in a Rated PVP match still apply. In tandem with loosening this requirement, we’re adding a 5 second cast time when players change their existing talents/loadouts to prevent players from immediately swapping between different builds. This cast time does not apply to any new Talent points gained, those can be spent and activated immediately. Please let us know your thoughts on this change.
Soar – Cooldown reduced to 4 minutes (was 5 minutes).
Familiar Skies now reduces Soar’s cooldown by 1 minute on continents that you have fully explored.
Developers’ notes: We want to add additional utility-focused talent choices to the Evoker class tree to diversify talent builds. With that in mind, some additional control and self-healing options are now available:
New Talent – Grovetender’s Gift: Emerald Blossom instantly heals you for 125% spell power when cast.
New Talent – Walloping Blow – Wing Buffet and Tail Swipe knock enemies further and daze them, reducing movement speed by 70% for 4 sec.
New Talent – Regenerative Magic: – Source of Magic forms a bond with your ally, causing 20% of their healing to also heal you while you are below 50% health.
Ancient Flame moved to a new location in the tree, next to Attuned to the Dream.
Developers’ notes: These latest talent changes for Preservation are aimed at improving Temporal Anomaly’s synergy with the rest of the kit, and balancing Bronze-based builds against Green-based ones. We were also unhappy with some talent nodes (Essence Strike and Grove Tender) and replaced them with talents that should encourage a wider variety of spell usage.
Life-Giver’s Flame is now a 2 point node, and moved down one slot in the tree.
Essence Strike has been removed and replaced by Essence Attunement.
New Talent: Essence Attunement – Causes Essence Burst to stack twice.
Temporal Anomaly now heals every 2 seconds (was 1 second). Healing doubled to compensate.
Convergence has been removed and replaced by Resonating Sphere.
New Talent: Resonating Sphere – Causes Temporal Anomaly to apply Echo at 15%/30% Effectiveness (2 point node). Does not apply Echo’s direct heal. Affected by Time Lord to become up to 60% Echo effectiveness.
Temporal Disruption now causes Temporal Anomaly to tick twice as fast (was healing for more).
Grove Tender has been removed and replaced by Ouroboros.
New Talent: Ouroboros – Each person healed by Emerald Blossom increases healing of next Echo by 15%, stacking 15 times.
Time Keeper has swapped positions with Time of Need in the talent tree.
Survival of the Fittest removed from Tenacity pets.
New Tenacity active button – Fortitude of the Bear: Increase the maximum health of you and your pet by 20% for 10 seconds.
Hunter’s Agility changed from Avoidance to 4/8% Dodge per rank.
Thick Hides removed.
Fogged Crystal removed.
Born to be Wild now works with Survival of the Fittest and is now a 2-rank talent, reducing cooldowns of affected abilities by 10% per rank.
Improved Tranquilizing Shot changed to a 1-point node.
Survival of the Fittest added to the tree.
New Choice node for Survival of the fittest:
Reduce the cooldown of Survival of the Fittest by 60 seconds, and increase the duration by 2 seconds.
Increase the amount of damage reduction from Survival of the Fittest by 20%.
Several talents on the class tree have had their positions adjusted due to Thick Hides and Fogged Crystal being removed, as well as Survival of the Fittest being added.
New (NYI) Talent – Sentinel Owl: Call forth a Sentinel Owl to the target location, granting you unhindered vision. Your attacks ignore line of sight against any target in this area. Every 200 Focus spent grants you 1 second of the Sentinel Owl when cast, up to a maximum of 12 seconds.
New Choice node for Sentinel Owl:
Sentinel’s Perception: Sentinel Owl now also grants unhindered vision to party members when active.
Sentinel’s Wisdom: While Sentinel Owl is active, your party gains 5% Leech and 3% Avoidance.
Serpenstalker’s Trickery is now a 1 point talent.
A large amount of talents in the bottom left of the tree were adjusted to fix dependency problems.
Explosive Expert changed to 2/4 second reduction per point.
Kill Command for Survival only now has an innate 10% chance to have its cooldown reset.
Predator’s Kill Command chance reduced to 15% (was 25%).
Fury of the Eagle lowered to 30% crit chance bonus against targets below 20% health.
Fury of the Eagle now deals reduced damage beyond 5 targets.
Tactical advantage had its tooltip split to a separate number for Wildfire Bomb and Flanking Strike. Wildfire Bomb’s values reduced to 4/8% per point, Flanking Strike values unchanged.
Developers’ note: The Holy Paladin Talent tree is now enabled in this Alpha build. For Dragonflight, we want to give Holy Paladins more options for caster-focused playstyles by bringing back the Power of the Silver Hand passive effect from the Legion Artifact, in addition to the active button Tyr’s Deliverance.
Afterimage now correctly only triggers on a Word of Glory cast.
Incandescence damage increased by 300%.
Developers’ note: This talent was extremely under tuned and did not feel rewarding as a point investment in the talent tree.
Changed positions of Strength of Conviction, Resolute Defender, Faith’s Armor, and Guardian of Ancient Kings.
Added several additional node connections in center section of tree.
Faith’s Armor increased to 10% (was 5%).
Blessed Hammer now correctly overrides Crusader Strike.
Long Arm of the Law
Developer’s note: We recognize that movement is fun and feels good when attached to short cooldown buttons. That said, our goal for Retribution Paladin is to keep their strengths in removing things that hinder their mobility, or to charge into battle on their Divine Steed, not to give them a short duration burst of movement on a very short cooldown.
Holy Crusader – Increases mastery by 2%.
Seal of Wrath – Judgment has a 25% chance to cast again and deal extra Holy damage to its target.
Empyrean Endowment – Judgment empowers your next Templar’s Verdict to automatically trigger Divine Storm with 25% more effectiveness. This effect can only occur every 30 seconds.
Executioner’s Wrath – Execution Sentence now instead deals 15% of the damage taken from your abilities to the target and nearby enemies within 8 yards.
Sanctified Ground – Your Consecration is 15% larger, and you cannot be slowed below 80% of normal movement speed within Consecration. This effect lasts for 2 seconds after leaving Consecration.
Sealed Verdict – Your Holy Power spending abilities increase the damage of your next Blade of Justice by 8/16%.
Highlord’s Judgment now has 2 ranks and increases Judgment damage by 8/16% per rank.
Calm Before the Storm now causes enemies hit by your Divine Storm to take 100% more damage from your Consecration for 8 seconds (was 50%).
Inner Power now grants Holy Power every 12 seconds while you are in combat (was 10 seconds).
Developers’ note: This is aimed to tune the Holy Power generation overall and to balance against Sanctification.
The area before the 1st gate has been restructured in a way that allows players to bypass the talents that they do not want and save a talent point while trying to go down all 3 sides of the tree. Also, the importance of the new talents such as Timely Judgment and Condemned Blade has been heightened so that players consider them more often when creating a build.
Zeal and Blade of Wrath have been moved up and put before the 1st gate.
Zeal and Blade of Wrath positional changes are aimed to solidify the foundation of Retribution Paladin. The new positioning will allow the players to get these talents in a simpler and more satisfying way for both leveling and end game content.
Crusade and Avenging Wrath: Might choice node has been moved up and put before the 2nd gate. This choice node is now located where Execution Sentence was in the previous build.
Execution Sentence and its improvement node has been moved down and put after the 2nd gate.
The positional changes to Crusade/AW: Might and Execution Sentence are aimed to provide gameplay defining options after the 2nd gate. The change to Execution Sentence will allow new gameplay options and is now heightened with its improvement nodes aimed at both single target and AOE situations.
The area after the 2nd gate has been reconstructed in a way that aims to increase build diversity and choice.
Not all rank upgrades are implemented.
New Talent – Heat Wave: Casting Primordial Wave triggers Lava Surge immediately and every 3 seconds for 12 seconds.
Primal Storm Elemental no longer moves slower than other Elementals after engaging in combat.
Earthquake damage reduced by 40%.
Developers’ note: This is not intended to be a nerf, but a damage profile adjustment. Earthquake dominates Elemental’s AoE damage profile in Shadowlands. We’ve also added talents in Dragonflight that improve Earthquake’s output such as Unrelenting Calamity, Eye of the Storm, and Mountains Will Fall which would have continued this trend. The goal is to allow for abilities like Chain Lightning, Lightning Rod, Frost Shock (with Electrified Shocks), Flame Shock, and Lava Burst to contribute more towards Elemental’s AoE.
Rolling Magma’s Lava Burst and Lava Burst Overload damage now reduces the cooldown of Primordial Wave by 0.2 seconds/0.5 seconds (was from 0.5 seconds/1 second).
Developers’ note: The interactions are with Primordial Wave and Ascendance are intentional, but the cooldown reduction was initially tuned too high.
Cloudburst Totem now converts 30% of stored healing (was 20%) and cooldown increased to 45 seconds (was 30 seconds).
Developers’ note: With some new talents that interact with Cloudburst Totem like Call of the Elements, Totemic Surge, and Totemic Focus, we feel its effectiveness needs to be decreased. We started with its healing effectiveness initially but after some feedback believe it’s more important for each totem cast to feel meaningful rather than having more uses of the totem.
Developers’ note: In this Alpha build, we are unveiling the talent trees of our favorite curse slinging, shadow bolt hurling, demon summoning class: the Warlock. These trees were built to emphasize the strong thematic and rotational gameplay that is already present with each specialization.
That said, we are making a few changes to address the pain points we’ve experienced while playing and concerns that have been brought up by the community. You can read more about these changes down below and our thoughts regarding why the change was made.
Spell Lock in the talent tree
With Dragonflight, we’ve removed Spell Lock from Felhunters and Spell Lock is now available for Warlocks to learn themselves. With this change, we are aiming to allow for more pet diversity in content where Felhunters feel required like dungeons and PvP.
Dark Soul is not in the talent tree for Dragonflight intentionally. There are a few reasons for this:
All Warlock specs have access to a powerful summon cooldown that interacts with the rest of their spells where Dark Soul increases a stat by a large amount. We prefer to keep the interactive spell.
With cooldown stacking, a high percentage of overall damage is boiled down to the cooldown window. While this can be useful for bursting, but damage output outside of this window tends to be lackluster.
Across the classes there are new active spells which we are both excited about and equally cautious of causing keybinding issues by adding. Finding times to pull back on active spells is something we’re on the lookout for.
Shadow Bolt and Incinerate base damage has been increased
We’ve increased the damage of Shadow Bolt and Incinerate significantly and lowered modifiers from various talents. Our goal is for these spells to feel more powerful without having to ramp to see benefits from casting it.
Shadowflame is returning; however, we don’t want a short-ranged cone spell to be a rotational for a caster, so we’ve removed the damage from the ability.
Vile Taint revamp
Vile Taint has been reworked – Unleashes a vile explosion at the target location, dealing X Shadow damage over 10 seconds to 8 enemies within 10 yards and applies Agony and Curse of Exhaustion to them.
With this change, we aim to allow Affliction to ramp up faster in dungeon gameplay especially in combination with talents like Agonizing Corruption and Sow the Seeds.
Deathbolt is now a base talent
Through Deathbolt and its modifying talents we aim to give Affliction an interesting alternative to Malefic Rapture when the situation calls for single target damage.
An Alternative to Havoc
We are exploring an alternative to Havoc called Mayhem. It’s a passive that gives your single target spells a chance to deal 60% of its damage to a random nearby target. The goal with this talent is to give a more passive two-target option for players who would like to opt out of Havoc gameplay. For tuning, we intend for active Havoc gameplay to be rewarded over playing with Mayhem.
Along with these changes you’ll see both new spells and some old friends returning. Soul Rot and Decimating Bolt will be coming with us from the Shadowlands, Dimensional Rift returns from Legion, and many more.
While the core rotations of each specialization will remain familiar, these talents offer new options that will allow you to modify your gameplay and choose what’s important to you.
Welcome back to Azeroth, Warlocks. We look forward to hearing tales of the chaos you’ll rain down across the Dragon Isles. Be sure to let us know your thoughts, our Eye of Kilrogg will be actively watching your discussions.
Developers’ note: As the Warrior trees were just recently put on Alpha, we’re still processing the large amount of great feedback being provided, so please keep giving us your thoughts as we’re collecting feedback from a wide variety of sources and it all helps!
Even though we’re still processing the feedback we’ve received, we did want to take some time to respond to a few points of feedback:
Multi-level stat nodes in the Warrior tree serve as gates that you need to spend into in order to access the classes ultimate abilities. The intention of the Talent system is that there are choices and not that you can obtain every point. Using multipoint nodes is a way to control that, but also to direct the flow of certain specializations towards groups of talents that are likely better for them. However, we’ve been reading your feedback and are endeavoring to make them more interesting and varied where we can.
Players have expressed some negativity around buying back components of old abilities. We’re trying to keep this to a minimum where we can in the warrior class, for example Rampage’s full functionality now comes from one talent. However, in some cases these talents are used for teaching new players during the leveling up process to play their class correctly.
We also wanted to clarify some concerns Fury players have regarding needing to obtain 4 weapons to perform optimally in the game. Current tuning aside, our expectation and plan is for Titan’s Grip to be the most competitive specialization for those that engage with progression related content of all forms at the highest levels. However, for those looking for a more relaxed playstyle that is less stressful and skill dependent but still competitive then they have that option also.
New Talent: Concussive Blows – Reduce the cooldown of Pummel by 1.5 seconds and successfully interrupting an enemy increases the damage you deal against them by 5% for 10 seconds. This may only occur once every 30 seconds.
Rearranged some talent nodes and created more interweaving paths to try and create more build variety.
Removed Die by the Sword from the Class tree and returned it to the Arms tree.
Improved Heroic Throw should correctly override Heroic Throw.
Reduced ranks of Two-Handed and Dual-Wield Specializations to 1.
New Talent: Skull Banner – You throw down a Skull Banner at your feet, empowering your allies. Increases critical strike damage by 20% for party members within 20 yards of the war banner. Lasts 10 seconds. Removed Concussive Blows from the Arms tree.
New Talent: Die by the Sword – Increases your parry chance by 100% and reduces all damage you take by 30% for 8 seconds.
Changed some pathing to try and make synergy groups clearer.
The Aura applied to enemies by Fatality is now named Fatal Mark and now lasts 60 seconds, refreshing by new stacks.
Fatal Mark caused by the Fatality talent can no longer critically strike.
Cleaned up the tooltip for Exploit the Weakness.
Built old ranks of Colossus Smash into Colossus Smash correctly.
Built old ranks of Sweeping Strikes into Sweeping Strikes correctly.
Reduced ranks of Improved Mortal Strike and Improved Overpower to 1.
Updated Icon for Martial Prowess.
New Talent: Unbridled Ferocity – Rampage has a 10% chance to grant you Recklessness for 4 seconds.
New Talent: Slaughtering Strikes – Raging Blow causes every strike of your next Rampage to deal and additional 10% damage. Stacks up to 5 times.
New Talent: Raging Armaments – Raging Blow gains and extra charge.
New Talent: Skull Banner – You throw down a Skull Banner at your feet, empowering your allies. Increases critical strike damage by 20% for party members within 20 yards of the war banner. Lasts 10 seconds.
Removed Concussive Blows from the Fury tree and moved to the Class tree.
Changed some pathing and node positions to try and make synergy groups clearer and add build diversity.
Titan’s Grip and Single-Minded Fury is now a choice talent.
Moved Rampage closer to the top of the tree.
Fixed a dependency issue with Meat Cleaver.
Cold Steel, Hot Blood should now generate 4 rage and references this in the tooltip correctly.
Bloodcraze’s Aura tooltip should now display the correct values.
Improved Rampage is now built into Rampage.
Reduced ranks of Improved Bloodthirst and Improved Raging Blow to 1.
The recipe panel has been updated for better ease of use and clarity:
Unlearned & pre-Dragonflight recipes are now found via filters.
Favorite recipes are unchanged and are expansion agnostic, so you’ll always see them even if the expansion is not filtered.
Recipe skill up chance is now represented through icons instead of recipe name text color. This change is more in-line with the new Recipe frame design while being more accessible to individuals with color vision deficiency.
Unlearned recipe names now show a gray color instead of a white color.
Recrafting Equipment has its own dedicated section in the recipe panel.
Please note that for this Alpha build, Recrafting is not yet implemented.
In this Alpha build, players might notice that there are a large amount of mining & herbalism nodes spawned in the Ohn’ahran Plains. While we’re eager for feedback on how these feel, we’re still in the process of setting up the Mining & Herbalism professions and players will not be able to gather these nodes until the Professions have been enabled. In the meantime, please let us know if there are any nodes in unusual positions and are not easily accessed!
In this Alpha build, Engineering has been enabled and can be trained by the Associate Professor Instructaur in Orgrimmar and Stormwind. There are a few new concepts that we’re exploring for Engineering in Dragonflight:
Engineers are able to craft Wrists for each Armor type, which can be socketed with different Tinkers that have a variety of on-use effects (such as temporary invisibility or summoning an Alarm-O-Turret).
We’ve added a combat resurrection consumable for non-engineers: the Convincingly Realistic Jumper Cables. These are weaker versions of the engineering variant, the Reusable Jumper Cables, and we’re very interested in hearing feedback on how they play out over the course of Alpha.
Various Safety Components can be used as Optional Reagents for crafting Engineering items – these Safety Components can reduce the chance of tinker malfunctions or outright prevent catastrophic malfunctions.
Speaking of malfunctions, the chance for engineering items to blow up in the users’ face now scale their success chance with Engineering specialization traits and Engineering Skill level. There will be a meaningful difference in success rate between new engineers that have lower skill and specialization traits and engineers that have maximized their knowledge of the profession.
In addition to the above, there’s a plethora of new bombs, tinkers and consumables that the Engineering profession can make. Please send us your feedback!
In this Alpha build, Tailoring has been enabled and can be trained by the Associate Professor Instructaur in Orgrimmar and Stormwind. Tailoring, much like the other armor-crafting Professions, has a plethora of new set & item equip effects and we’re particularly interested in hearing feedback about how these new effects feel. Spellthreads are also making a comeback as leg enchants for Intellect users.
Unlocking Specializations requires 25 skill in that Profession. Once unlocked, players can spend Specialization points to unlock various bonuses for their Profession.
Developers’ note: For the purposes of Alpha we’ve added a consumable, Professor Instructataur’s Top Secret Guide, on the Associate Professor Instructaur vendor that gives players 50 Specialization points. Below are a few Specialization paths.
Explosives – Improve in the production of bombs of all types, gaining +1 Skill when crafting bombs per point in this specialization.
Short Fuse – Specialize in the creation and use of bombs without safety fuses. Gain +1 Skill when crafting bombs in this specialization.
Optimized Efficiency – Specialize in the general precautions and techniques that are invaluable skills for all Engineers. Gain +1 Skill to all engineering crafts per point in this specialization.
Scrapper – Specialize in making the most of seemingly useless junk. Gain +5 Multicraft for all Engineering crafts per point in this specialization.
Draconic Needlework – Source the magic of the Dragon Isles to craft exceptional clothwear with reagents such as Azureweave and Chronocloth, gaining +1 Skill per point in this specialization.
Azureweave Tailoring – Focus on the Arcane nature of the Blue Dragonflight in your tailoring, gaining +1 Skill per point in this specialization when making and using Azureweave.
Garmentcrafting – Improve at tailoring Cloth Armor to take on the most powerful foes in the Dragon Isles, gaining +1 Skill per point in this specialization.
Outerwear – Improve at tailoring the major aspects of an outfit, such as Chest and Leg pieces of armor, gaining +1 Skill per point in this specializations.
Inscription: Draconic Treatises are infinitely consumable, this will be fixed in a future build. They will be single-use items that refresh each weekly reset for a small boost to your Profession Knowledge.
USER INTERFACE AND ACCESSIBILITY
New HUD UI
Unit frame art updated
Added Cast Bar
Added Encounter Bar