WoW p5.3 this week, highlights include

Patch 5.3 notes are out, for the Prod drop on May 21st. Ref: MMO-Champion – Patch 5.3 Live This Week for a full summary. I expect downtime to be bigish, with the downloader churning away. This means the cycle is less than three months between patches, and if the next patch comes quickly we might see a staggeringly fast end to the Pandaria story-lines. Blizzard’s website also has a nice prep summary.

garrosh Hellscream image from Blizzard's website

I’m pondering the amount of ilevel 500+ gear which is being made available in one time rewards, and perhaps it is time to consider the offset as a priority.

A few highlights for me are:

  • the return of the Item Upgrades, via that vendor. Yes, we can again decide if an existing upgrade is better than buying off-loot (” items upgraded with Valor will now cost 250 Valor Points to upgrade per 4 Item Levels, for a total of 500 Valor for 8 Item Levels per item “). Cool. Mr Robot and others will have their systems ready too if what I read is true.
  • the ilevel 600 cloaks from the Wrathion quest chain. ilevel 600 is huge, and worth it for everyone. I want it, and want three of them.
  • the Heroic Scenarios is a boon I’m looking forward to, not because I want to see that older content again, but because of the chance for the ilevel 516 gear. Including a quest that has a reward of a 516 built in. Wowhead has a comment which lists the rewards by armour type. Why on earth are these using the Pandarian models for blue and green loot? Lazy. A re-colour at least might have been nice – all emeralds and ruby.
  • the Heroic scenarios need item level 480 to enter, and use a pre-made team of three. Still hopefully should be not too hard at ilevel 510.
  • the new scenarios for the lead up lore/story to the Siege of Orgrimmar. Assuming that is the big deal in patch 5.4, this should get all the players happy with killing Orcs and agreeing that the War Chief is a bad guy, not a good-bad guy.
  • a quest has been added that reveals the final Sha and some ilevel 502 boots. Nice upgrade for the slow and unlucky guys like me. Shamefully I’m planning on getting better than this, so I might just take the Tanking option instead of the Dps option.
  • I know I should try the brawlers guild soon.
  • the Darkspear Rebellion Quartermaster will sell re-colour of popular old Tier gear, upgrades to ilevel 489 which is nice for the alts and new main toons. I don’t mind at all they the stuff is available in a different way. They’ve chosen some nice sets, and as a DK I had access to my set anyway.
  • we can now transmog from the Bank and Void Storage directly. Good. Nice change.
  • the Heirloom Shields are in. Great news for alts. I’ve been saving the odd Justice Point for this.
  • Lastly – I’d love a Hearthstone Beta. I’ve ripped on it recently as a distraction, but I am curious. HINT. Too strong? Nah. HINT HINT.

King Wyrnn and a Panda, they all look alike

Overall I’m looking forward to the 5.3 patch. It is not a huge patch for content, rather is a prep patch. It is a great patch for gearing your toons. The folk who don’t get much are those who are already geared up beyond 522 or higher. Sorry guys, only the cloak for you.

I did not finish collecting the Wrathion tokens from boss kills in patch 5.2, but will get there soon. I also don’t run the downloader often, so I’m going to kick that off before bed tonight.

Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew

Pet Battles and HearthStone are distractions

Aside

I think Pet Battles and HearthStone are distractions. Darn good, but distractions. I’d try and play these games on my iphone or ipad, but can’t take it seriously while actually in World of Warcraft.

I will certainly try HearthStone when it is live, and perhaps when this expansion is ending I’ll try a pet battle too.

I have a fair pool of pets all of whom are level one and never been used. It seems a waste in a way to have some rare stuff but never use them in game. Alas time online actually playing my main is rare enough for me, so spending that time swapping cards or poking pets is not justified.

But on a portable device while I wait for a late trains or have a quick lunch? Ohhhh yeah, I’ve got time for that. I know HearthStone is going to be delivered to portable devices, and I’d think that Pet battles could be valuable there too.

pet-battle

Helping a player, or facilitating laziness?

Aside

While wandering through some daily quests on the weekend a random player asked me about where to find motes of harmony. I thought it was funny that I’d written a post about this, and that Google keeps telling me it is one of the most popular (or at least often clicked) items I’ve written.

When I tried to speak to the player I found him a little…(ahem)…daft.

Where you get motes? .. Try the farm. Or kill the turtles in Karasang Wilds.
What farm? … The Tillers faction farm.
What do I do? …. Plant the songbell seeds
Then what? ….. (at which time I decided that the player was pulling my leg and I stopped responding)

Arrogant or not, there comes a point where I think a reasonable person will just stop responding. I was not sure if I was helping a player, or actually facilitating their ongoing laziness. If that player cannot google an answer, and also knows so little about the current expansion to know how to use a seed on the farm, then I’m not sure there is a point of reference.

It also makes me consider how many of these things I have, and so far I’ve crafted well over 5 items, which take 6-8 of the Spirits of Harmony. Then I have a bank with 100, and about 140 which I carry. That is around 240 motes left after spending around 350 motes on gear; total around 500 motes. If I’d actually been farming each day the number would be in the thousands but I gave up long ago after the gear was almost meh.

I think that a player should have found a use for them, or looked up where they come from after having them drop from random creatures.

Helping or hurting, I’m not sure.

golden-pagoda-golden-lotus-wow-daily-quest-hub

Piss off Perfect World, your sales spam sucks

Perfect World, the trickster parent company behind a few MMO games that I have looked into (most recently Neverwinter) are offering a 15% discount on a store purchase.

rippoff-zen-perfect-world

Geez thanks. I can spend money to play your essentially free game. In the case of Neverwinter I’ve barely moved beyond the starting beach and you’ve already got offers for my wallet. Sheesh.

Piss off Perfect World. I hate getting “offers” like this in email and I am slightly obsessive about avoiding this junk. My SWToR account email regularly gets special offers from those folks, despite the fact I have not logged on for other six months. Maybe you’re just trying to make a fair dollar, and it is certainly plausible to offer, but it stinks to me. My inbox is not a place I want borderline spam for games that are dead to me.

I intend Free-to-Play to be free. Continue reading

Recent 5.3 PTR changes for DKs and Legendary reward for Blacksmiths

dk-symbolFor Death Knights the May 14 tweaks have some relevance, and the new “Reborn” style weapons can now apply the Legendary upgrade.

As I said, it was very disappointing that the Reborns were same as the LFR drops – and they still are disappointing. This brings a 30 day crafting slog up to the scale of a random LFR drop. I’m seriously contemplating dropping Blacksmithing for Enchanting or some other profession with regular solid buffs beyond Bracers and Gloves socketing.

More after the break. Continue reading

Popular content observation

Aside

I read recently that WoW will be concentrating on scenarios rather than 5 mans. It started a pleasing debate over on the wow forums.It is worth a read through.

Quick thought – I think that the only reason people do scenarios and even 5 mans more than a few times is because they reward Valor points. The time/valor point is good, the experience is repetitive in the extreme. I know this is how I play, because as soon as I cap my Valor points each week I stop doing 5 mans and Scenarios.

Not true? So test this by removing the Valor reward from Scenarios and 5 mans for a patch and see how many people do them every day. Just because people are doing the content does not mean it is good, it means it is a means to an end.

(this was interesting from that thread – Sharmarli):

At this point I’m not really doing Scenarios or Heroics.  I have never done heroics this expansion (total of 9 I think when I got drug into guild runs) While I did a large number of scenarios initially to help gear up this Char the only reason I’ve been running since about the end of  November has been for quick valor points.

With the release of 5.2, however, I haven’t even been doing scenarios for the most part.  If I need extra VP I just go and kill the Isle rares for the 15VP books (made 135 VP last night in about 30-40 min of actual play time:  killed 6, went and made dinner, came back and killed 3 more).

Building new content should be an inbuilt part of the expected dev cycle. I know there is less money in the pot then before, but 8.5 million players is still a heck of a lot of players by any stretch of the imagination.

The devs have done great things by giving players more choice on how to earn these points, but we still need them. The old statement that Valor grinding is not “mandatory” is as silly today as it was before, we just have a wider range of ways to perform than grind.

TyphoonAndrew

mogu-wall-carving

Warcraft subscribers drop

Aside

Blizzard revealed that it has lost 1.3 million subscribers to its flagship game World of Warcraft in the first quarter of 2013, a 14% drop.

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrggg, run in circles, fleeeeeee, who’s got the lifeboat and flares? Quick, set something on fire!

Yup WoW’s numbers dropped again. I think any current subscriber will agree that the population is slowly dropping and it is making some things harder in-game. Other things are fine. Blizzard to their credit have added more ways to play with previously divergent groups, which helps players get to content but is in no way going to reverse the trend that the player base is dropping.

  • Is it the end of the world? No.
  • What can we as current WoW players do? Not much. Keep having fun and playing. Just because something is less exciting for most people has never been a reason I’ll like it. Like sports for example – I’ve always thought that chasing a ball was a somewhat futile endeavour.
  • Are new games the culprit? I don’t think that is a major factor, but maybe a small one. D3 didn’t much dent the population for long. Neverwinter might be worth a look, or many of the free-to-play games arriving soon. Such is the way of things.
  • Could you play the same game for years and years? No, eventually I think I’ll leave. At the very least I’d consider returning for a new expansion, but everything has a ending. Just accept it and enjoy.
  • Somebody pointed out that if the rate continues then the game is really dead by late 2014. Um, yup, could be true. So what?
  • Will Titan and the next WoW expansion line up to help Acti-Blizz keep the revenue rolling in? Yes, I’d bet a coffee on that. That makes sense, and that is something that we should be expecting. They are a company for pity’s sake.

I still like the game, its fun. Factually this tells us something that we already knew. Emotionally this tells me that I don’t care, but is a little depressing to see in black and white. No biggie.

(snark) Is it possible that WoW will become hip when the subscriber numbers get so low that only hipsters are playing it, and then only playing ironically? Well maybe, but those hipsters would need to stop playing SWToR first; ironically.

Or was it Age of Conan / Warhammer / LOTR / Rift / etc.. that killed World of Warcraft and it has just taken this long for it to finally die? Dumbass.

Via – Warcraft numbers plummet; 14% drop in Q1/13 – Boing Boing. Continue reading