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.

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The Trial of Garrosh, idiots.

A trial for Garrosh was bloody stupid. Likewise was any attempt to make the process fair and legitimate. I’m finding it hard to want to read the new Warcraft novel because I think the end of the Mists story and setting was utter balderdash. I like the Warcraft novels and can forgive a lot when it provides more lore to consume – but in all seriousness the axe should have fallen on Garrosh as soon as it could. Too many times inaction has let to disaster in WoW lore.

Has Warcraft become so soft that the heroes can only dispatch a foe if they are corrupted by an old god? It takes pervasive corruption to allow an execution, but the “heroes” can murder hundreds of opponents in daily quests with impunity? C’mon.

I think some players like to rationalise the setting to their own morals and ethics, but I think the setting has lost it’s way when a figure like Garrosh wasn’t killed at the first opportunity. That would make the setting less PG13 than probably desired, but it is needed. This is (was) Warcraft folks, and the idea that one faction or race has more claim to judge Garrosh is missing the point.

Those factions should be arguing about the division of the trophy head, axe and body, not still trying to for a delegate sub-committee to investigate the correct division of voting rights, for the membership to the partisan review group, in order to make a recommendation to the yet to be confirmed leaders…

Garrosh didn’t ask for permission to destroy Theramore with a mana-bomb. I’ll see if somebody I know grabs the book and perhaps I can borrow it for a while in a few months. It makes me wonder if the end of the Iron Horde will see them all placed in work programs to rehabilitate them back into “normal” society.

Grumble.

WoD release dates…yup. Told you.

Multiple sources tell me that WoD will be released for WoW on or before 20 December 2014, or “fall” in the USA. So anytime from late September (doubtful) through to Christmas (hopefully not that late). Sheesh, I was thinking about July. Ah well, many other games to distract me.

We can now also pre-purchase from Blizzard, and get a “free” level 90 boost. What the hell?

I can pre-purchase a digital version…why is that even a bloody option worth doing? It is digital. It gets “shipped” to you when you click the payment button. Oh, right, the level 90 character which can’t level past 90 till the new expansion launches at least 6 months later; probably more like 8-9 months later. I’d suggest that a 6-9 month window is plenty of time to level a character, and as we are going to get a gear squish most items will be of little benefit.

I guess you might farm the heirlooms in Siege, to help you level? But you can farm them on a 90 now – you don’t need the boost.

You could level to 60 and get some free professions later with the bump? Not really 6 months of game time there.

So some time in the next 6+ months I might pre-purchase, but for now I’d rather have that money in my wallet. This really has a funny kick-starter feel to it; cash now, game much later.

Oh, and I just have to say this because I’m a bit snarky about all the drama it caused – to those folks who were “building up” to raiding in WoD… go hard. Go soft, go whatever way you can because you’re in for a long wait. You’ve got 6-9 months more to get those kills. Months ago I said it was a bloody waste of energy to try and recruit players “for Warlords” as it would be too far away. With the news today I’m almost certain nobody has a roster of players that will be certain to be playing and at level 100 in 9 months.

Happy waiting, TyphoonAndrew

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What will be the Legendary in Warlords of Draenor?

I’m curious what will be the Legendary in Warlords of Draenor. Not if there will be one, but what item. I’ve already seen rumours that there might be two items up for grabs, and much discussion – perhaps one which will be like the People’s Cloak of Everybody is LeetSauce, and another as a much harder to get item, or an item which requires dedicated effort in Heroic or better raids.

Lets just push the us vs them, casuals vs hardcore, its not fair, and waste of dev hours discussions to the side for this post and enjoy some speculation. I’ve bloged some snarks about the Legendary before, but I’m holding that as an aside now. This is about what will work going forward.

The opinions of the Mists of Pandaria legendary quest chain has mostly been positive, and those who liked it tended to really like it. With that in mind I think the designers will again seek to tell a lore heavy story as the background to a Legendary item and achievement. I’m all in favour of that. It worked for me as a roleplayer and as a gamer.

Please make it link to both the history of the realm and the current story which is unfolding. Add some hooks which are quasi-role specific, like altering the challenges for the roles the characters might take (dos vs tank vs heals doing different things). And despite the fact I hated it the link into repeat raids and grinding drops is something that I think needs to stay too.

Konachan.com---100777-blue_eyes-blue_hair-elf-green_hair-long_hair-short_hair-weapon-world_of_warcraft-yao_renIn terms of gear slot the Necklaces, Rings, and Trinkets look to me to be an obvious next step, but any slot really could be used given that there were many versions of the final legendary in MoP to suit every spec. I think a trinket could be something really special. The lore aspects of many other games in having an uber-powerful-widget that enhances the characters matches a trinket very well. Say the a Ever-burning-vial-of-demon-blood which was going to be the thing which corrupted the Orcs, but instead is re-purposed into a trinket for our hero to use against the Warlords.

I saw a suggestion for a Helm but matching a helm to look right to all the other armour styles will be a bitch, and I cannot see that happening.

Another suggestion was for a Shield and as it would be useless for all the non-shield users I think that gets shot down quickly. Likewise I don’t think we will see another range weapon as it is too class specific. I’d love to see a weapon again, but I agree with many folks who have said that we have had many weapons before.

Happy hunting, and may all your legendary grinds be quick and uneventful.

(A few previous posts on mine on the Legendary items)

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Who changed the graphics? Impressed.

A few days ago I updated the graphics driver on my (old-ish) laptop, and last night I logged into to WoW. The change was immense. Where the old display was set for speed, the new one seems to be be set back to a max setting.

Translucent water and particle effects look wild, and the animations are so much more … fluid. Who knew the game had grass!

I had no idea the game could look so darn good. The bad (because there is always a bad…) is that now I want a new laptop. Time to start doing more overtime at work I guess.

Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew

Quick Impressions on Warlords of Draenor

Aside

Quick little re-post of my thoughts when asked on the Guild’s forums. Overall there is a lot of material in WoW Warlords of Draenor which could be wonderful (WoD is about as great as MoP for an expansion abbreviation).

Likes:

  • I’m pleased with the item stat squish, and the associated HP value changes, etc.
  • separate raid lockouts
  • added flex style to normal mode
  • stat / gear use simplification. Pally Plate’s often DE needs to stop, this addresses that issue.
  • reduced gear-sets. The gear model means that one item may serve multiple roles. Brilliant. The negative on this system is not as large as the negatives we already have in game with the current system.
  • removal of reforge, etc. It was a way to “fix” shitty complex itemisation, or the wrong stats on gear. It was also a gold sink. I won’t miss it at all. i.e. I think I reforged manually about three times in the expansion, otherwise I used a mod. If I am seeking to automate a function then why bloody have it. Just fix the itemisation.
  • free level 90 toon. Cool, more powerful bank alts.

Too soon to tell:

  • How much sense does Garrosh escaping into the time machine really make?
  • Garrisons might be cool, or might be the “farm” of MoP. Great at first, a grind, and then pointless.
  • 20 man Epic mode. Might cause issues. Might be the same problem we have now but a different number as the target. Moot.
  • character models. Increased polygon complexity is fine and good, hopefully we see more. What about a thin human male model which has actual fingers?
  • followers akin to Star Wars. Good system.
  • craft from your bank mats. Great.

Not fussed:

  • +10 levels vs 5
  • Orc vs ?? Lore. Frankly the lore is never going to be cohesive and congruent to what came before.
  • no flying. It was ok when we could, it was ok when we couldn’t.
  • time travel stories

Dislike:

  • the renaming of the raid types is confusing at the moment because of the re-use of the same words. It’ll be fine later.
  • why scrap “the blood” corruption of the orcs totally? It was a cool lore.
  • the trailer was meh, but I’m thinking we’ll get a better one when the launch the actual expansion.

I want:

  • more/better Archy information, & Profession changes to suit actual raid benefits