Slowly leveling, very impressed

I’m about 5% away from level 93 now, and still loving Shadowmoon Valley. As a zone it is well put together. The rares spawn often, they drop interesting and sometimes useful things, the monsters are squishy enough (especially if you overgear the zone), and the travel time between hubs and quest locations is enough to get you “into” the zone and exploring without being tedious. There are the odd special things found along the way, like the quest to kill animals for steaks, or the special events for the garrison.

It is also a little morbid to look at this zone and think about what we know of the alternative from our character’s own timeline. I can see parallels in the geography and that helps make the story’s impact stronger. I wish I was able to level faster, but not at the cost of missing the experience.

ShadowMoonValley-Draenor

More WoW Round-up

  • Subscriber news – Polygon is reporting that WoW is back over 10 million paying players at the moment. That means Warlords of Draenor has returned WoW back to The Burning Crusade subscriber numbers. Fantastic. More players means more diversity and options. 3.3 million sales at launch.
  • Observation – Local Australian severs have made a huge difference in the game to me in terms of latency. No longer to monsters infrequently “stagger-jump” or rever to a place slightly when they are fighting. I love it.
  • Observation – It appears that the massive login queues are (mostly) gone too.
  • WoW’s 10th Anniversary event starts soon in Molten Core – see rant below… It contains foul language, so you’ve been warned in advance.

Continue reading

Quick WoW round-up

Fair to say WoW is aborbing my thoughts and time again, so here are a few things which happened recently.

  • A WoW periodic table of personalities, because re-thinking organisation of these personalities is kind of fun. Good stuff.
  • Subscribers have been gifted 5 days free from Blizzard for the launch issues, which is a nice way of saying thanks and sorry. Good on them. I want to say to that the posts and comments everywhere ranting about how this is “expected” or somehow not enough make me a little ashamed to be the same species as the whiners. Just a little.
  • Garrisons are fun, even for the short period I’ve been in mine, at level 91. What I seeing and what I’m reading are looking good.
  • A WoW Paladin guide for preparation for Warlords, how-tos, and such.

Happy hunting, farming, killing, looting, and roleplaying – TyphoonAndrew

Wow ain’t dying.

Aside

WoW Nagrand oceanic. Position 3642 in queue, 126 mins. Dead? Right.
I’m kind of happy it’s like this: we have players everywhere.
Perhaps the Ddns attack affected times, perhaps it’s all the returning players. A bit of realm maint and the odd tweak we might see more capacity. I’ll wait. The content isn’t going anywhere.

Updates:

  • Position and time flings around a bit; from 45 mins to 450 minutes. Yikes!
  • 2 hours later, still a 2+ hour wait estimated.
  • 3 hours later, 45 min to 1.5 hours to wait. And I think the queue is going down because we all need to go to bed to sleep.

WoW subscriptions and resubscription

After a day of chatting about WoW to the nefarious gamer who first recruited me to World of Warcraft; I’ve resubscribed. It took a day to break my will, which means one of my favourite sayings by Oscar Wilde applies totally, “I can resist everything except temptation”.

Last night I ran Karazhan’s first boss five times to try to get the mount, UP once, and solved the archaeology Horn which makes your character bigger. It was great.

Related old news says WoW subs have increased again too as players return for Warlords (MMO Champ 14 Oct). We’ve seen this increase occur once before with the pre-Mists subscribers. It isn’t news in itself, but I think we will see a slightly different result from the Mists pre-sub drop off. My hunch (based upon only my gut feel) is that this time the subs will take significantly longer to drop away. They will drop away, but I’d not be surprised to see them climb upward again before doing so, and certainly expect the initial downward drop to take longer than it did in MoP.

Why? Part of my hunch is that the simplification from the item changed and the squish will remove a gearing attitude, and thus make it easier to maintain multiple sets, and therefore grant flexibility. There is also the appeal of WoD as something new, which is also a return to something that was popular back in the day. The Burning Crusade really built the WoW player-base, and many of us look fondly on Draenor.

Lastly I think they know how to make reasonable content, and many players and companies know that this formula works well. Yes, it is grindy, and a themepark, and often unbalanced, and also affected by a vocal minority … but everything is, especially in computer games. If Blizzard deliver quality the players will play. So far it looks promising.

wow-subs-Oct-2014

A great garrison overview by AskMrRobot

Aside

AskMrRobot’s blog has a great guide for Garrisons (thank you Ask Mr Robot). I knew almost nothing about them, but after skimming through the basics I think it will be a major feature I’ll use in Warlords. Truthfully I can see garrisons being played on many alts and mains from day one, to acquire what they have to offer. It appears that Garrisons will have a straight up advantage to using them (very much like the Farm in Mists) and a wide breadth of game-play too. The fact that you could have a main with a raiding garrison, then alts also generating gold and materials is excellent.

Impressed, especially the chat sheet at the end which shows which garrison feature selections are better for raiding, farming, alts, or pets. The guide indicates that a full garrison will cost around 39,000 gold. Holy snap!

garrison pic from MMO Champion

Thoughts on the pre-WoD events

An hour in the Blasted Lands of questing to kill a few generals, gather some (un)important items, and harassing the new (old) baddies didn’t feel especially profound. I kept wanting to understand why what we were doing would actually help in the long term. Sure, a strike at a few generals and supply lines will hurt the Iron Horde in the short term, but not stem the flow of the attack; or will it? Did it?

Were the quests enough to push them back through the portal, and then take the fight to them on the other (new?) Draenor? I know that is what we are doing, but the landscape didn’t change after the quests were done. A switch might happen when the expansion is released, but it would have been great to see a phased approach to the area akin to the Death Knight starting area which used phases to change over time as the quests were completed.

If we can shove them back through the portal, or control at least this side of the portal, then why not just destroy the damn portal? Or bury it, or nuke it with a manna bomb. I’m sure more will come from the release to help answer these questions.

So effort wise the quests were a little short. Great for people with multiple alts though.

The rewards were good – a boost for new level 90s, but nothing to make the current end gear redundant, which is good. In a few days there will be “green” gear to replace most of the high level items anyway so its really zero impact in the long term. I’m doubly thankful to have an heirloom weapon to carry through the expansion leveling. I just need to decide when to buy Warlords. At the moment I’m looking forward to it, but not in a mad rush kind of way. I know its (soon to be) there to be experienced, and I get to pick when I eat the cake.

ironHordePortal