- 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.
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.
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
Update: It is a Ring
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.
In 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 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
Frost – Icy Talons now increases melee attack speed by 45% (up from 30%)
Unholy – Unholy Might now increases Strength by 35% (up from 25%)
Well shoot, l like this recent patch – a few Dk dps buffs for Frosty attack speed and Unholy strength benefit. Always welcome.
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).
- 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.
- +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
- 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.
- more/better Archy information, & Profession changes to suit actual raid benefits
- Warlords of Draenor – World of Warcraft (psyckostinamuffin.wordpress.com)
- Blizzard announces World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (wired.co.uk)
Written first for the WoW Hammer website, re-posting here some time later. Please forgive the fact it has not been reedited for the past weeks. It’s been busy.
I’ve also not been playing much since then, but always endeavour to do so. I might need a “am I still playing” post soon. Grumble.
The content in the recent patch is excellent, and it will very likely hold the player base in thrall until Blizzcon where my guess is we will see another announcement to keep the WoWers wowed. Continue reading
“What is dead my never die”
It has been another fast and tiring few weeks around the TyphoonAndrew household, with far too much non-gaming malarkey. That does not mean that nothing news worth happened, but gosh darn it – I can’t give my usual degree of rant on the topics.
Here is a rapid fire round-up of some things that I thought to blog in detail about, but won’t get time to.
At best, make it an option. No way I want this as a forced change.
If you want it to be forced and no choice to stay high level then I can agree to disagree with you, and then also decide that you really must be a tad selfish. Games can be about fun options, and it should not totally destroy an existing fun to crate a new fun.
Frankly I’m beyond caring about Blizzcon, particularly where getting the information asap from the showroom floor is concerned. Australians are far too far from the noise and splendorous hype for me to worry about being current.
The general buzz is about the DOTA style game they are ramping up, but I really hope we do get an expansion announcement and then details about it.
Without one it feels like the end of Mists just sort of ends with a whimper.
I have no idea what it is (was) or it if it is worth downloading.The screenies I fond make it look like a side scrolling action game. Cool for some casual kicks. Continue reading
Don’t get me wrong, Thassarian is one heavy dude. I have a lot of respect for a fellow Death Knight, especially one who faced up against Arthas. But Thassarian, you’re doing it wrong.
Dual wielding in Blood presence makes no sense, but I’ll forgive him; he’s only level 72 after all. He has a long way to go before getting to 90.
This is one for the original DKs. Found while leveling my lowbie Shaman through Wrath content.
Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew.
At the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar the heroes of the story will have defeated Garrosh, and stopped his plans to use Sha powers to rule Azeroth. That is the expected outcome of the patch content. There is also some question on who the new Warchief of the Horde will be. I won’t spoil that for you.
I will spoil part of the story, as it is a part which I dislike. You have been warned if you read on.
To say it is an upgrade from the ilevel 530 dps cloak I was using is a shattering understatement. 530 vs 608 is a wonderful difference when you are on this side of the quest reward.
I chose the Tank challenge as I’d been told is was a little easier and I was short on time. Overall it was very straight forward, with the only trick being where the tank must stand in front of the incoming blasts from four directions. Cute mechanic for a mini-boss style encounter, but I’d be annoyed to see that in a raid fight.
It also means that I’m actually caught up on “current” for the legendary questline for the first time since starting it. Luck has a great deal to do with that.
I cannot wait to use it. Happy Killing.
Booyah, I’ve finally killed Oon, and got the pile of yuck that he drops when killed. It killed me more times that I killed it, but Oon probably stopped getting achievements for player death a long time ago.
Despite all the spite we still see poop jokes in wow. Good on em.
I’ve pruned dead, gone, missing, or content changed links and blogs from the my warcraft & pc gaming blog’s homepage (ya, this one you’re reading); and thought it might also serve as an invite to readers and subscribers to tell me about things that should be there. So many of the resources from 2007 through 2011 are gone.
So allowing that it is WoW or gaming related – what do you visit that’s worth linking, or should I link to you?
Maintenance is fun. TyphoonAndrew
Silly Authenticator Observation #1 – I’m only asked to authenticate now when my mobile is at the bottom of a bag or in another room. How does it know?
Yup, its Tuesday maintenance.
The final stage reward for the legendary quest might not be a weapon, as hinted by Bashiok in this little thread. Yep, I know that is a rumour, but it raises that question of expectation on rewards for effort. Let the conjecture begin…
It could be that we have a choice of trinket, or any other gear-slot. Given how the rewards through the quests have allowed a choice on reward it makes sense that WoW could reward players with an option.
Would that suck? Kind of, but mostly not. It might fit well.
Kind of sucky as I think getting to THE LEGENDARY is the goal. By tradition in previous expansions these have been weapons, and Pandaria has gone the Gem, Gem Slot, enhancement, and now Cloak route. It is easily conceivable to not be a final weapon.
Take the lore into consideration for a sec too and ponder why Wrathion would give another person a great weapon in the first place. He’s a Black Dragon and they are an evil selfish kind of lot. I wouldn’t trust him to not give us a cursed weapon, and then giggle about it while he attempts to subvert things to his own agenda.
But what if the item was something which is not a fixed mechanical advantage at all?
- Imagine the final reward is a ilevel “high” widget, which always continues to scale to the level to your other highest gear +5. You’d want it, and you’d always want it. Legendary. It could take a trinket slot, add gob-smacking a mounts of two stats, and be done with it. eg. Haste & Mastery +nnnn, with a proc on cast or melee to look swirls and wonderful. I’d want that.
- A reward that allows the wearer to assume a constructed illusory appearance. Like your own little transmog illusion over the top of whatever you wear. No more transmog costs, just this widget in your bags. I’d want that too, especially if I could turn it on and off.
And so on with all sorts of blisteringly cool features which will cause every player to want this item on all their characters. And despite my previous rants about legendary being a little washed out, or the process being odd – that is what they are: something that all toons should desire.
Just a thought, TyphoonAndrew.
I played the new content released in the WoW patch 5.3 last night, and here are a few observations (also here is Wowheads guide – which is darn handy).
Overall: Great to see new lore. Excited to have two new scenarios, specific quests to advance the story, and an experience across both the old world and Pandaria. Great too that the legendary quest keeps rolling, and I cannot wait (but will take months and months) to get the high level cloak.
Whatever comes in 5.4 will hopefully still value that cloak’s ilevel 600. Otherwise it seems a short term reward. Or imagine what the next jump after 600 will be, and how that will devalue all other gear for the patch.
But … no way in hell I’m doing the “gather 150×4 materials” every bloody week. I started the quest yesterday, and it took hours and hours to progress through it. I’ve got around 450 of the 600 drops needed, and I’m already really bored with doing the same four tasks:
- Kill mobs in one of the four areas, infrequently opening boxes too. At the moment I can kill and loot mobs faster than I can sneak past mobs to loot boxes. Druids however can loot the boxes in bird form and snaffle them quickly.
- Kill one of the special bosses which randomly spawn. After death they drop a better amount of each material, but they also can now (hotfix 223 May) be tagged to the alt faction and also take a bit of time to kill. That change at least means it is faster to gather the mats.
- Escort a caravan, so that it arrives safely and hope than a faction opponent does not dps it dead. The caravans as so easy to kill its a joke. Trust me – I took revenge on a horde group by nuking their caravan.
- Find the random exploded boxes. Periodically somewhere on the map a lot of boxes spawn all spread out. Run around looting them for 1 or 2 mats per box.
Dull, dull, double-dull is all I can say about this weekly quest.
I’ve already read comments from other players saying they’ll do this quest twice and then never again. My advice is to do this now while people still want the pet and the few other odd rewards so that you gain the advantage of big groups killing those NPCs. It is a blisteringly stupid move to create such a grind.
But apparently it is great for alts, as they can gear up this way? FFS no. Each weekly grants a 489 item when better rewards are in the new heroic scenarios, but only if you have also looted one of the special drops too. Derp.
Otherwise the scenarios and new quests are great. Fast, easy on normal, and fun to blow through. I get the impression that after a few times I’ll recognise all the lore elements and begin to get tired of them, but for now it is something new to play through. My last task is to get the end of the “help the lost old hermit” chain, for the boots, and then that will be all the lore done. A few nights and the content is “encountered”.
Regardless, I hope you’re liking it. TyphoonAndrew.
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.
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
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.
A small amount of luck goes a long way. Yesterday I got the LFR shoulder token, and today some Pvp boots. Rewards make the loot treadmill less crappy. Happy for this week, and hording my Valor points for a while to see what the cool kids buy at Revered rep with Shado-Pan.