Theramore’s Fall available early

Update: Community feedback seems to dislike the scenario, I’m waiting to play it (obviously) but I thought this was interesting:

By a player: Theramore scenario completely underwhelming compared to other pre expansion events. It’s Meh.
Blue Post: Was never meant to be a world event. It’s the first Scenario of the game. Tons more content coming next week!

So expect content in the launch, no real “expansion special event”.

I thought I had an extra few hours after the Tuesday maintenance, but Theramore’s Scenario is being released quickly. Go grab two mates and get smashing folks, as the first scenario it will be interesting to see just how these play and what they might indicate for regular activity for characters at level 90. It’s good that it is early as more folks will get to see it. You’ll need ilevel 353 to queue up.

I’m expecting a few “what a piss poor expac launch” comments – and it really remains to be seen. We also do not know what will “hit” when the expansion actually launches too. There is an argument to say that the expansion itself might not need a launch event if the content and play style is good enough in the quest zones. Interesting times.

Bashiok – For US servers it will be unlocked today in the afternoon.

I was also creating a quick guide for it too and had the darn thing half written, but by the time I get to play and then write I guess so many other walk throughs will be released.

Cheeky Upgrade option in Character Screen

Aside

Those cheeky fellows working in Blizzard have plonked an ad for Mists of Pandaria in the character screen you see after login.

It is not subtle or unreasonable, and after my initial reaction of “what the f?” I considered using that to purchase my upgrade.

It makes me ponder if we will see character customisation, race change, name change and such in that screen too. Heck it would even be handy to be able to buy month-by-month time as well. The user is logged in, so might benefit from it. All the special offers for pets and such could be there too.

Are you pondering that already Activision?

One alt down, four to go

I’m on a leveling mission: Get each of my toons to the highest level possible before the expansion.

I recently ding’ed 85 on my Warlock – Arkham, which is the second character I ever rolled in World of Warcraft. Now I move onto the remaining four: Priest, Mage, Rogue, and Shaman. For leveling I am using only dps style, and only infrequently doing the 5-man dungeons. As while I know the Dungeons are fantastic for gear and XP, I cannot commit to playing very long due to kiddlet interruptions. I don’t want to be that guy, who goes AFK for ages and needs to be kicked from the team.

As far as the Warlock goes the updates for the class in Mists of Pandaria look very appealing from a cosmetic perspective. It is tempting to fusk around and see if they still play as ruthlessly as they did in The Burning Crusade.

Next highest character is the Shadow Priest at level 81, which I created toward the end of TBC and has almost (a brief journey into Ulduar) always been an alt for Alchemy and Herbalism. Yeirah, you’re up. Get to the face-melting.

New mounts in Mists

MoP will bring players a huge range of mounts, and while that is somewhat expected (being that an expansion should add a ton of new mounts, pets, monster models, etc) – when wowhead gathered them into a single area to preview it really makes an impression. Two favourites – the tiger and the disc mounts. The disc means the toons can fly around like they are those irritating mobs in the Eye of Eternity.

Banter about attunement

Aside

Chess Event in Karazhan

There are many blog posts at the moment about attunement; love it or hate it.

Like all things there is a benefit, and a cost to that choice – which changes as your playstyle and perspective changes. I like attunement as I can know that the player has at the very least done some content.

I dislike attunement as it means I cannot gracefully skip content to the stage my alt was/is at. There is no right answer, which is probably why attunements were removed. Too much of a grey area led to angst, which then absorbed far too much time.

Overall I like attunements more than I dislike them, and think that they could have a valuable place in world of warcraft.

While I agree that creating very large attunement paths is a barrier which is difficult for some, and could even be problematic for raiders who switch characters (or whatever) there was something great in the story aspects of the attunements.

eg. Getting the Karazhan key was interesting from a story perspective. It took a small amount of additional time and effort, but it was entertaining and interesting.

If the attunements were part of the general story, in content which was not repeat-gated (eg. one after another) then they could return with my support. Perhaps the attunement is for the 5man to raid step, rather than for each raid step?

Perhaps also start the stories and the attunement chains as the leveling experience (e.g. the Marshal Windsor UBRS key), and therefore the story plays through the experience, which leads into the raids.

Make it so that the players would be foolish not to take the opportunity (Wrath Gate questline, or the Battered Hilt quests) and you’ll see more game lovers than haters.

A small weekend

I went away on the weekend, kept my nose away from the news, and enjoyed being unplugged. We went to a beach, a few wineries, and a charity dinner.

When I got back I discovered that the inmates are running the asylum, and we’re to get Warcraft – Mists of Pandas as the next expansion.

Now I asked for Monks in a few blog posts over the years, so I can say I’m pleased about that. And yup, they are Tank, Dps, heal modes just like I thought as it was kind of a no-brainer to guess. But the rest of it I’m not sure about, to the point of thinking of stopping wow until after its live so I can avoid the long drawn out release and change in modes. Pandas? Seriously? No. Not as Player characters.

Lore wise … a big ocean battle discovers an island race of monks who wished to remain hidden. Now that they are discovered they don’t hide, or just open a slow trade, or ask to be left alone – they join both sides of an expanding war. WTF. That is like the Dali Lama using an assault rifle.

The mini-pet-combat seems a distraction that is not worth it to me, and it stinks to think they a re-vamp to the gear award system is half-hitched, but we’ll see mini-pet combat. That is misguided. And I can’t think that the new talent system will actually feel ok, but then they’ve got more experience doing this.

Overall – I’ll wait and see what this expansion planning looks like in March or June next year. For now, I’m more scared than excited.

Blog Azeroth has a shared topic for this too, some interesting thoughts.

Patch 4.4 in Expansion Prep

A note in an mmo champion post indicates that patch 4.4 will a prep patch for the next expansion. It has some confirmations from the rumours of the patch 4.3 Deathwing events, including the next 5 mans – but really the idea that 4.4 is a prep for the next expansion is the bigger news.

Patch 4.4 will bring a world event before the next expansion. The next expansion should be released with a “meaningful difference” in the release timeline compared to previous expansions.

Now if it takes ages to appear then its kind of a moot point, however I think this indicates that Blizzard are far closer to the next expansion that they would normally be.

I expect them to compete in some way with Star Was because of the number of folks who have declared that they will be leaving or have already left. Makes me ponder though – perhaps they would be better waiting 1-2 months after the SWToR release, so that the people know that the new expansion is coming, and those who are not happy with SWToR will return.