This weekend I hit 20,000 achievements points on my account! Thanks to mythic Hellfire Citadel for pushing me over that threshold. And thanks to Mooglegem for tagging along to the run. There’s still many more to earn!
World of Warcraft: Legion, the next WoW expansion, was announced last week at Gamescom. After having a few days to think about the information, I wanted to talk about my initial thoughts. I’ll admit, I might not have anything completely novel to say, but I think it’s important for the community to be vocal. Plus, I enjoy the writing too!
Here’s a brief recap of what Legion’s offering:
- The Broken Isles
- Level 110
- Honor system 3.0
- Artifact weapons
- Class Order Halls
- The Emerald Dream and Emerald Nightmare
- Demon Hunters
- Queen Azshara
- The invasion of Azeroth by the Burning Legion
And we can’t forget this teaser:
The tomb of Sargeras is opened, and Azeroth is faced with the largest invasion of the Burning Legion ever. Okay, that’s cool. I don’t really have a strong reaction either way to the Broken Isles themselves, and while I would have preferred to fight the Burning Legion on a different world, this works too. Throwing Queen Azshara and the Emerald Nightmare into the mix seems like overkill a bit, but I assume it’ll be integrated nicely. I’m honestly a little surprised, but Blizzard has been getting better at running concurrent stories. In Warlords, I felt like we had separate stories that pieced together for a single narrative, and I predict (and hope) Blizzard’ll be even better at it in Legion.
Honor system 3.0
The new honor system is kind of strange. You gain honor to move from rank 1 to 50, unlocking PVP abilities. This allows PVP to be tuned separately from PVE. That’s cool I suppose, but does that mean that I’ll have abilities on my bars that only work in PVP? That kind of sucks. The ones I’ve seen have all replaced current abilities or are passives. If that’s the case, I’m good with it! It also introduced prestiging. Once you reach rank 50, you can prestige, earning cosmetic rewards while resetting your rank to 1. I like that system in general, but I wonder how that’ll change competitive PVP players. If you do arenas, you can’t really prestige back to being weak, right? That doesn’t matter to me, but I’m sure it matters to a lot of people.
Artifact weapons are special, lore-heavy weapons that every player will get. There’s one for each spec, and there will be no other weapon drops. You can increase their power through the expansion through something that looks reminiscent to the Path of the Titans (and to Final Fantasy X’s sphere grid). This actually sounds fairly exciting to me, but it has some interesting ramifications. In Warlords, I was the commander and eventually called a general by Vol’jin. In Legion, I’ll wield some powerful lore weapon. What happens next? Does this keep getting upped? Some examples they gave were frost DKs using the shards of Frostmourne to build two swords, ret paladins getting the Ashbringer, and enhancement shaman using the Doomhammer. Um, why isn’t Thrall carrying the Doomhammer? Why doesn’t Tirion have the Ashbringer? Are these characters going to die? Also, I have to add that Matticus on World of Matticus brought up the idea of priests getting Fearbreaker. Yes, please, please, please! That’d be pretty awesome.
I’m not all that excited to be a Demon Hunter, but I’m pretty excited to see their story. Of course, that means playing through their intro, so yes, I’m excited to play them in that sense at least! I think the Demon Hunter lore is pretty interesting, and Illidan has always been a fan favorite. This should be really awesome, I think.
Class Order Halls
Class Orders are the most exciting part of the expansion so far. Each class will get a class order hall, sort of like Acherus: The Ebon Hold was for Death Knights. It’ll be shared, but in the story, the player character will be the leader of the Class Order. This sounds incredibly neat and will really give flavor to each class. I love being a priest, and I never really felt like I had Horde priest lore figured that my character would respect and strive to emulate. I guess now that figure is me. While garrisons had way too many followers and only a few that seemed cool, Class Orders will have far fewer and much more important followers. Each class will have a different name for their “followers,” with champions being the paladins’ followers for example.
This seems like the progression of garrisons, although maybe more accurately the progression of Vol’mar and Lion’s Watch. Vol’mar is a shared location, but inside, the NPCs treat me as their leader. Regardless of how you see the evolution or whether you see them as related, Class Order Halls are what they are, and they sound fascinating.
Class identity is supposed to play a much bigger role in Legion, and I’m all for it. Even spec individuality is going to be explored. I think this is a fantastic idea, but one small thing seems odd to me. During the discussion of the new PVP system, Blizzard said that when you think disc priests, you think dispels – or something along those lines. If that’s the the most iconic part of being a disc priest, I wonder in what direction they will take discipline. To be fair, if many specs are getting overhauls, I’m not against the idea of switching to holy. We’ll see!
It really sounds like they’re giving us a lot. They’ve already dumped a lot of other interesting information that I didn’t even mention – Dalaran run by Khadgar and now floating over the Broken Isles? I’m really hopeful and expectant that the story is going to come together better than ever, and I can’t wait to see it unfold.
Now, where’s the dance studio?
It’s been a few weeks since patch 6.2 released, and I’ve been pretty happy with a casual consumption of the content. Overlooking the idea that the Horde and Alliance somehow forgot how to build shipyards and ships, the introduction quests were exciting and well done.
Once in Tanaan Jungle, the new daily system works well in my opinion. The focus is still on assaults on various locations with a progress bar that fills by performing various tasks. I liked these in Warlords first launched, and I still like them now. You go to the location and can space out and take care of things, whether in a group or alone. It’s nice that I can very easily drop from the group in the middle, stop playing, come back, and pick up another group. There’s no start or finish for the group as a whole. While there are a couple other objective-based daily quests, they can be done alongside the assaults and don’t seem overwhelming.
As for Hellfire Citadel, I’ve done the first six bosses in the first two wings of LFR. For some reason, the aesthetic doesn’t really stand out to me. Hellfire Assault, the first boss, tasks players with using the Blackfuse company’s Hellfire Cannons against Hellfire Citadel itself. Sounds cool, but it wasn’t so cool when I did it. The Iron Reaver fight is interesting mostly because I think the boss looks cool – a bit like Samus Aran. I liked taking out Kilrogg Deadeye eventually! My favorite fight so far is the disgusting, glutinous Gorefiend. Going into his stomach and dealing with the souls of draenei that he devoured? Awesome.
Everyone has different goals, and I had a few for this patch.
Draenor’s Last Stand – Complete the Tanaan Jungle daily objectives.
In Pursuit of Gul’dan – Complete the Garrison Campaign.
Legendary Chapter IV: Darkness Incarnate – Complete Khadgar’s legendary quests.
Hellfire Citadel – See the fights through on LFR at least.
Things have gone pretty fast so far, and I admit that I like the pace. Draenor’s Last Stand and In Pursuit of Gul’dan went quickly and were fun. Obviously I don’t really even need to think about Hellfire Citadel LFR; it’ll happen as soon as it’s all released. As for the legendary, I’m working at it. On that subject, if anyone chooses to comment on talk about it, I avoid spoilers, so I don’t know what happens in the legendary quests and don’t want to know until it’s revealed.
We’ll see how everyone else feels about patch 6.2 and if it lasts long enough for them. As for me, I don’t like it when I get overwhelmed with too much. I know I don’t have to do it all, but I prefer when it feels manageable. I’m also fine completing all my goals and then not playing WoW for a while, but that’s just my opinion. Right now, WoW feels very leisurely for me, and I like that!
I was too amused by my hopping to actually contribute to combat.
Lantresor of the Blade is so badass that he doesn’t even use a pick. He just punches the rock until it gives up its ore.
I’ve earned a couple monuments recently that I didn’t mention. First, I earned the Master Draenor Crafter monument for crafting 50 epic items with an ilvl of 600+. There was one thing I could craft – the gun through the engineering building.
I also earned the Master of Apexis monument for collecting 100,000 Apexis Crystals. Now I have three distinct monuments, so each pedestal can display a unique monument. I think the Mythic Draenor Raider monument is far away from my goals, and I don’t have any max level pets, so Draenor Pet Brawler is out of my immediate reach as well. My eye’s on the legendary ring monument for next patch though!
Today’s Mooglegem’s last day with an active account. In fact, by this time the subscription has already lapsed. She just doesn’t have the time to play. She raided during Highmaul, but never even had a chance to finish questing let alone enter Blackrock Foundry. Last night she wanted to make the final push toward the Nagrand finale.
There were a few quest lines she hadn’t completed in Nagrand, but most importantly, Thrall was offering her “And Justice for Thrall.” She was so close this whole time. I was happy I got to witness her witnessing such an amazing moment.
I made her do this emote, heh.
She also went through her bags a little. There were a lot of old memories. One included a letter from my bank alt.
Thank you for the stuff. How are you? I heard you were far away, south of here. How is it there? I’ve never left Mulgore. I live at Thunder Bluff.
I guess I liked RPing in letters.
Or how about this one I sent to her hunter?
The fight against the Lich King is slow but progresses well! I look forward to the day when we put him down for good!
Congratulations on reaching Outland! I hope you’re enjoying Nagrand; it really is quite beautiful. I’m surprised [Nesingwary] remembered me! Someday you’ll surpass him as a hunter, I’m sure.
Chompsky and Sumo are both very cute. Give them my love! Mooglegem says hello too.
Hope to see you in Northrend soon!
It’s been a while since we’ve really played together, but it’s weird to have her account inactive. On the plus side, she got to see the Nagrand finale. Afterward, I summarized the events of Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry, and the legendary quest, and then I showed her the finale of the Garrison Campaign and the 6.1 legendary cutscene. At least she’s caught up on the lore!
Hurry and come back, Mooglegem, so I can take you on a tour through Ashran and we can slay Alliance like old times.
The Iron Assembly, the third wing of Blackrock Foundry’s Raid Finder, opened Tuesday. Wednesday night are raid was cancelled, but I ventured into the new wing. I’d already done Beastlord Darmac on normal, but I’d never seen Operator Thogar or The Iron Maidens.
I have mixed feelings about The Iron Maidens. I think I’ll learn to dislike that fight only because LFR will struggle with it (and it’s a long ass fight). It was honestly kind of fun once I got into the swing of dodging bombs. That’s great the first week of LFR, but I know I don’t pay close attention in LFR usually. This will grow to annoy me.
Operator Thogar is an awesome fight! According the the Dungeon Journal, he “oversees the operation of the Grimrail.” The fight takes place on train tracks. Periodically trains come into the station with additional troops or weapons. It’s a cool looking fight and fun too. Again, who knows how I’ll feel in a month, but I was pretty happy with it last night!
Of course, there had to be a douche taking selfies in the middle of the fight.
Last night we attempted Hans’gar and Franzok for the first time, taking the fight onto their huge treadmills. After a few attempts, we were able to handily defeat the cardio bros.
We pushed deeper into Blackrock Foundry, stopping to struggle against Flamebender Ka’graz. This took a decent number of attempts, but we bent the Flamebender so out of shape that she dropped and gave us her loot.
Our new raid progression was celebrated with selfies! Hopefully next week we can down Kromog!
We made some more progress in Blackrock Foundry last night! Gruul went down without too much of a fight, but then we spent the majority of the night on Oregorger. The problem was just execution, but I think we got it now.
Our night ended with us slaying Beastlord Darmac. Last week we hit a bit of a wall, so I’m glad we managed to progress with two new kills this week. I got some new loot, too!
Five thousand Alliance have fallen before me in battle on Draenor, earning me the Defender of Draenor achievement. A monument now commemorates this, standing next to my Gladiator’s Sanctum!
Speaking of the Gladiator’s Sanctum, I finished Nemesis: Worgen Hunter this weekend and have continued to Nemesis: Draenei Destroyer. I have four more races to slaughter, counting the draenei. I also became exalted with Vol’jin’s Spear. It was a productive weekend.
Ashran was incredibly fun at the start of the expansion, but eventually people stopped PVPing, opting to do events. Luckily the group finder makes it easy to find a Nemesis group – perfect for direct PVP. I’ve been having a wonderful time in Ashran, although part of that has to do with my own circumstances. I hurt my wrist a few months ago and didn’t like prolonged computer gaming. I wish I could say it got better, but actually, I just bought a wrist brace. Regardless, I can now spend hours in Ashran again. I’m not looking forward to the rarer races, but I’m definitely looking forward to “Warlord of Draenor.”
The Garrison Campaign was a pretty fun way of prolonging the game after reaching the level-cap. I enjoy the staggered release of solo content like this. It allows me to stay current without putting in more time that I’d like. It’s not for everyone, but it was perfect for me.
I finished a week or two ago (I forget exactly), but I’ve been working through uploading old videos. The events here were obviously building on the idea that we were in charge of raising an army. Here we are with that army, bring the fight to the Iron Horde.
I’m very interested to see what happens next with the continuation of the Garrison Campaign!
This post contains spoilers. If you don’t know anything about this, then don’t watch unless you’re cool with spoilers!
I enjoyed this quest although you can tell just by the length of the video that I struggled. Once I realized where to go hide to avoid that ability, things got a lot better.
Before doing the quest, I already knew generally what happened, but I particularly liked bits of the dialogue.
“Sorry for all the times you’re about to get killed,” says Chromie before beginning the fight. “If it’s any consolation, you won’t remember any of them.” Not true little Bronze friend, not true. While I did die a number of times, I totally remember them.
During the fight, Khadgar addresses Kairoz. “Kairoz! What did you want? Why did you need an army?”
He responds, “Not just one… An infinite number of armies, across an infinite number of worlds… I WOULD BE INFINITE!” I love it! The Bronze and Infinite dragonflights are the most interesting hooks in the game currently, and I’m glad to see a bit more about it.
Blackrock Foundry opened this week, and we had a chance to enter Wednesday night. We were short a few people, but we managed to pug and have a nice time. One boss went down – Gruul. Yay, progression! We put a decent amount of time into Beastlord Darmac, but we weren’t able to defeat him. Hopefully next week!
I really like the look of the raid so far. It’s reminiscent of many past set pieces. Mostly I just like that it feels like such a big, bustling city. It’s pretty cool!
Oh, and I killed Rukhmar too. Take that!
This post contains spoilers for Nagrand in Warlords of Draenor. I know most people have likely finished it, but I know not everybody has. My guildmates should specifically take note that Mooglegem has not finished Nagrand. Please don’t spoil it for her.
I really enjoyed that the leveling experience felt like it’s own complete story arc. Obviously, Blizzard has been getting better and better at storytelling, but I was particularly impressed with how it went in Warlords of Draenor. Even if you don’t raid at all, you still get a exhilarating conclusion to the story by questing through the zones (and later the Garrison Campaign, but that’s a post for later).
The video embedded above is the end of the final quest chain. I didn’t include the cutscene that plays after that part because it’s easy to find (and you can replay it in your own garrison). Now I know that if you’re avoiding spoilers, you shouldn’t be reading this far, but I’ll still avoid saying exactly what happens. What I will say is that I’m happy that it happened in the quests and not in a raid. Leave the rest of the threats for raiding; close this chapter through quests, allowing us to move on as well as giving non-raiders the closure they deserve with this plot. Plus, that frickin’ cutscene. Wow.
This week was our second week of raiding in Warlords of Draenor. Last week we only managed a single raid night, but we got our full two done this week. We’re 6/7 normal Highmaul; couldn’t quite kill Imperator Mar’gok.
Next week we plan to try a boss or two on heroic and hopefully fully clear normal!
While visiting Greenburg’s garrison, the death knight Kanora challenged me to a duel. As we scrapped and brawled across his paths and through his town hall for thirteen minutes, two things became clear. One, we should really battle in Ashran together. Two, Kanora should really fight Nahcho, who claims to be the number one DK (never mind the fact that Darkdk#1).
It was an epic duel.
Warlords of Draenor has been out for a few weeks. I’ve been waiting to make a proper post about it in general until I got some time with it. I think there’s been enough time. This isn’t meant to be comprehensive on every aspect of the expansion, but it does cover my general thoughts.
Questing and Story
Loved it. I know a lot of people were confused by the alternate timeline, but it didn’t seem confusing to me. Then again, I’ve also read WoW books that contained multiple timelines. This isn’t anything new to WoW. The quests feel really immersive and important. Not everything is incredible, but I didn’t feel like the quests were a grind like they were in the past. It seems like Blizzard just keeps getting better and better at this.
The introduction through Tanaan Jungle is exciting and sets the stage for the expansion. Frostfire Ridge was simply amazing; maybe my eyes watered at the end. Maybe. Although to be fair, that tends to happen something seems really awesome to me, so all three zone cinematics did that to me. Looking back on Gorgrond, it doesn’t stand out in my mind, but I enjoyed it while I was questing through it. Talador dragged a little, but it was still fun, and I enjoyed the cinematic a bunch. Yrel makes me want not only to play Alliance but also to play as a dranei specifically. Spires of Arak definitely takes a detour from the Iron Horde story, but I found it extremely fascinating to learn about the gods of the arakkoa. The culmination in Nagrand was terrific. The mood of the last cutscene… wow.
Garrisons were engaging right from the start, but they also took the most researching I think. It was a brand new mechanic with a lot of choices. Luckily wowhead had some great guides. The missions are a fun bit of minigame, but more importantly, the garrison system as a whole makes me feel powerful and important. I still have a couple buildings that aren’t level 3 yet, but they should be done very soon.
Professions and General Ease of Use
Choosing the right profession is less important than it was previously, and I like that. There’s still something to gain by choosing a specific profession, but none feels like a requirement. I’m an enchanter and miner, and I chose the Enchanter’s Study and Engineering Works as my profession buildings. I like being able to dabble in the other professions. Being able to level everything in Draenor seems like a cool change, although I wasn’t behind in professions, so I don’t know how well it worked. I’ve also enjoying fishing with the baits, three different sizes, and garrison daily.
Dungeons and Heroics
Dungeons were fairly interesting, and I haven’t learned to hate any of them yet. Healing them was a little challenging at first but no where near the difficulty of Cataclysm.
Auchindoun – Not particularly memorable, which is a little sad considering it was a cool place in BC.
Bloodmaul Slag Mines – Interesting place. I like the aesthetic.
The Everbloom – I don’t know. Sometimes I found it a tad annoying because it felt like it was spread out, but it’s not bothering me much now. Come to think of it, maybe now that groups always skip trash makes it better!
Skyreach – I’ve probably done this least of all the dungeons. I feel like groups struggle with it more often.
Upper Blackrock Spire – This one was one of the more challenging dungeons at first – especially Zaela. Now that it’s fine, remembering how challenging it was makes me like it more.
Shadowmoon Burial Grounds – This is a gorgeous dungeon, and it makes me want to see the Alliance story in Shadowmoon Valley.
Iron Docks – This dungeon sounded super cool, and I was excited to see it. I like that kind of rough technology in the setting, so I was expecting to find it amazing. It’s a fine dungeon, but it’s disappointing in that you’re not really interacting with the ships much.
Grimrail Depot – This is another one that I thought was going to be amazing because of the technology. And yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The second boss was really difficult for a while, but groups seem to have it now.
I think the most important thing about heroics is that they don’t seem as vital. All of my gear is now the ilvl of heroic dungeons or better, and you don’t need to do a daily heroic for valor when there isn’t valor. They’re not getting over-used, so I haven’t grown to hate them.
I’ve done the first wing of LFR and the first two bosses of normal Highmaul. Somehow they’ve made LFR even easier. I suppose I like that. I know LFR was easy before, but that just made it all the more frustrating when groups couldn’t do it. If you did know what you were doing, it didn’t help others. I’m all for LFR being a cakewalk.
Normal, on the other hand, was surprising. I expected to get through a lot more than two bosses the first week, but maybe my expectations were just off. Thinking back to flex, there’s no way I would get only two bosses done in Siege of Orgrimmar, but we were also coming from the previous raid tier rather than gearing as new max-level characters. I didn’t think normal gear would be important, but it is. I’ll be curious to see how the next tier is done. I’m hoping that if you’re heroic geared, you can just step into Blackrock Foundry heroic without needing normal.
Max-level questing content came as a pleasant surprise. I’m actually enjoying the apexis dailies. In addition, the Garrison Campaign quests are very interesting. Staggering them out weekly is a superb idea too, because it ensures there’s more content spaced longer. I love it. On that subject, garrison invasions are pretty cool too and give additional content!
I’ll probably talk about PVP more in a different post, but I haven’t enjoyed PVP this much in a long time. I don’t understand every little bit of Ashran, but I have great time in there. The Gladiator’s Sanctum is a superb source of honor, conquest, and PVP gear, and the Nemesis quests that reward you with a title for each race of which you kill 500 is awesome. The Highmaul Coliseum is really awesome too. Now that battlegrounds drop lockboxes, it actually pushes groups to try to do well even when they’re going to lose. Having a set of PVP gear lower than honor gear that can be obtained randomly makes entry even easier. In addition, it’s more fun; who doesn’t like upgrades?
All said, I’m incredibly happy with Warlords of Draenor. It’s my favorite expansion yet.
This garrison worker never skips leg day.
While I was working on bonus objectives in Nagrand, I came across Big Pete. I knew I had to get a screenshot.
I don’t normally talk about my life outside of WoW, Blizzard, and MMOs on this blog, but I need to give some background information. My name’s Peter, and my mom remarried a man named Pete. Within the family, he was known as Big Pete, mostly for the benefit of my younger brother. (Funny side note – my brother once got mad at me for simply calling him “Pete” because he didn’t know which one I meant. You know, because maybe I was talking about myself in the third-person.)
As this was the morning of Thanksgiving and I was going to see him later in the game, I thought it especially important to stop and take the screenshot.
Big Pete summons three adds – Lil’ Peter, Pete Jr., and Petey. Wow, there are a lot of Peters in this family.
Okay, back to background on my family. Pete’s son, my step-brother, is named Peter. His ex-wife remarried a Peter. My dad’s middle name is Peter. His dad’s name is Peter.
It’s a popular name.
This is the really satisfying part of the upgrade that no one ever mentions.
In all honesty, I do enjoy the Blizzard mousepads. When I get a new Blizzard game, I always enjoy switching mousepads. Sometimes I might find myself thinking, “wait, what was the latest release?” and then I can just look under my mouse. Okay, that never happens.
As for Warlords of Draenor, I don’t want to dwell too much on it here. I’ll probably talk about it more over the weekend. However, I’ll briefly discuss my initial thoughts. Despite server troubles, I’ve really enjoyed it. The introduction experience in Tanaan Jungle is sweet, and I love the cinematic way of introducing the warlords (or buildings in the garrison). I love feeling powerful and being recognized as a hero. The garrison is super fun. I’m very happy.
It’s hard to concentrate. I’m too excited about Warlords of Draenor. With the game releasing very soon, there are a lot of feelings swirling inside of me.
For the past week or so, there’s two conflicting feelings. First, there’s excitement, which is mainly what I’m feeling. I can’t wait to push the story forward and see the new content. Once I get to playing, I know I’ll experience a lot of boring filler, but the overall story progression is always so exhilarating. I also love the feeling or triumph over progression raid content. The other feeling that conflicts slightly is the constriction of my life by raiding. We’re starting in January (and I’m very thankful for that delay to enjoy the other content), and that means that two nights per week my time is already allotted.
(I’m sorry, but I had to include this. It’s
stolen taken from Hyperbole and a Half, and even though it’s not really applicable here since I wasn’t using the false word, “alot,” I like the alot a lot.)
Anyways, in addition to raid time, there are other commitments as well. I feel responsible for a lot of other things in WoW that need to get done, so it’s not just a leisurely game. Raiding is worth the stress for me – the challenge and the friendships are amazing – but there’s stress all the same. Maybe, just maybe, I can keep it more under control. If I don’t enjoy something, I shouldn’t do it… but when I’m part of a raid team, it’s hard to justify that thinking. I don’t know how it’ll be this expansion though without a plethora of dailies or Valor Points.
Now that that Warlords of Draenor is this close, the responsibilities are actually draining from my mind as the hype fills it. I’m just excited.
I pre-ordered Warlords of Draenor Collector’s Edition from Amazon this time. Two years ago I pre-ordered the Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition from GameStop and was not happy when they didn’t have my game for me. I don’t want to try them again. I did use GameStop for the Reaper of Souls Collector’s Edition, but I used a different location. This time I decided to try something different. While I’m not in the mood for midnight launches like I was when I was younger, it does mean that I’ll have to wait for the package to come on Thursday. This also seemed appropriate though because I’m working and didn’t want to take time off for the game. I’ll have all night Thursday and plenty of time after that to enjoy the game. Still, I can’t help but be sad now. Most of my guildmates will be playing tonight at midnight.
I’m also annoyed that there wasn’t a proper way to pre-purchase digitally and then upgrade to the Collector’s Edition. I liked what they did with the WoW annual pass and Diablo 3. You got Diablo 3 for free with a WoW annual pass, and if you purchased the Collector’s Edition of Diablo 3, they credited your account with the difference. This time they said that if you bought Warlords digitally and later added the Collector’s Edition, they’d issue you a standard edition Warlords key to give to someone else. I’m sorry, but that’s terrible. Everyone I know is already purchasing the game. That means I can’t play right at midnight, and more importantly, I couldn’t use my free boost-to-90 when I actually had the time to do so. Oh well.
I didn’t mean to get side-tracked with negativity. I’m super pumped! Soon I’ll get to see a smorgasbord of new content as well as many of my friends back in action. I can’t wait!
Patch 6.0.2, The Iron Tide, brought a number of changes and a bit of new content.
Iron Horde Invasion
The Dark Portal turns red, and the Iron Horde begins to attack. The Horde and Alliance settlements in the Blasted Lands fall, and we’re tasked with cleaning up. It was interesting, but it seemed to lack zest. It was just a bit anti-climatic. I never really got the feeling that we were in much danger. The questline did more to introduce mechanic changes than anything else. For example, quest objectives are clearly marked on the map and are outlined differently in the world. This includes locations that are targets for items; instead of going to where you think you need to plant a flag and clicking it, you right-click the outline of a flag. I like it. Still, I would have liked the event to feel more important. I think what I liked most was Thrall’s new model. He’s finally integrating the aspects of being a shaman and a warrior. Awesome.
Updated character models
I didn’t care previously, and I still don’t think this is a big deal. I’m looking at numbers. I’m watching health and mana, looking at buffs and debuffs, and tracking adds. I’m not looking at my cloak. At first, I certainly did. My troll runs stupidly. Honestly it seems normal now though.
Upper Blackrock Spire
It’s much more straight-forward, but it didn’t seem like it was anything special either. I suppose that could make sense because it’s only the first half, but why show us the first half if the first half isn’t awesome?
Flexible raids are great. Losing Renew and Void Shift sucks. Having to choose between Spirit Shell and Power Infusion sucks. Losing Heal wasn’t a big deal.
Now we’re even more OP in earlier content. That’s cool.
Void Storage and Toy Box
Oh, goodness. This was awesome. With a whole new Void Storage tab and the nifty Toy Box, I actually have free bag space again, allowing me to go do past raids for transmog. It’s wonderful. I don’t understand why they didn’t try to patch this in a couple months ago so we could actually do something in WoW. I can’t say enough good about this, although I know I’m going to fill it up soon. Mmmm old tier sets.
What have I done in the patch? I did the questline and UBRS of course. Besides that, I’ve mainly been going after old tier sets. That’s what I was doing months and months ago before I filled up all my bags, so it’s nice to be able to continue it again. I also got my heroic Siege of Orgrimmar heirloom – the staff. Unfortunately, I was hoping for the mace or offhand. The mace is shaped like a Horde symbol, and the offhand is a book with the Horde symbol on the cover. Maybe I’ll get one of them in normal mode!
When the servers went down early Tuesday morning, it was effectively the end of Mists of Pandaria. When they come back online, we’ll be starting Warlords of Draenor even if the expansion hasn’t actually released.
I enjoyed this expansion. Unlike some people, I had no problem with the setting. It was beautiful, the story of the sha was original, and I liked both the Alliance and the Horde’s character development. Yeah, it would have been better if we didn’t know Garrosh was going to be the end boss, and the expansion had a couple problems such as too many dailies and the feeling that LFR and flex were both requires for normal mode raiders.
As a healer, I found scenarios boring. However, I discovered Proving Grounds and Challenge Mode dungeons too late in the expansion. Of course I knew they existed, but I wish I cared about them earlier. I didn’t even touch the Brawler’s Guild unfortunately.
I’m obviously excited for Warlords of Draenor, but I’ll admit, I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I keep busy, and as much as I do love raiding, I’m not looking forward to the time sink.
On Sunday, I finished earning silvers in the Challenge Mode dungeons. Monday night I spent my currencies, and then Mooglegem and I said our goodbyes to the Kor’kron. I know they were the bad guys this expansion, but they weren’t always that way. They were once the elite soldiers and guards, and this blog is named after them. I’m kind of sad to see them go entirely.
Here we are with a couple more Kor’kron.
And finally, a ton of Kor’kron! Woo! I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this spot immediately.
Next I decided to visit the Dark Portal while it was still green.
Obviously I was not alone in this endeavor. Lots of other Horde were here along with a few Alliance as well. Why the one or two Alliance members that came decided to try to engage in PVP, I’ll never know.
What’s that? A line of Sea Turtles, jumping into their shells? Count me in! I know it seems silly, but this type of thing is one of the best aspects of MMOs. This isn’t part of the planned content. Visiting the Dark Portal after the patch might be, and coming here to quest is, sure. But everyone coming together to chat, emote, use fun items, and celebrate might be expected but it was not planned content. It was just a bunch of players having fun. I love it.
When the server’s come back online, these same players will be ready to stop the Iron Horde!
It’s been a while since I posted, but what kind of WoW blogger would I be if I didn’t talk about this cinematic? Like most of Blizzard’s lore-rich trailers, this really got me excited. I enjoyed the fact that in both the original timeline and the Warlords of Draenor timeline, Grom gets to kill Mannoroth. I also particularly like Garrosh saving him. And Grom’s last lines? “We will never be slaves. But we will be conquerors.” That’s a terrific line, especially the pause between sentences.
Not all of the dungeons jumped out at me, but two really did – the Iron Docks and Grimrail Depot. I guess I like industrialism, but how could you not like Grimrail Depot? Part of it is actually on a train. Now I realize that when it comes to gameplay, it’ll all likely feel the same. Similarly, the idea of fighting on Deathwing’s back was really cool, but when it comes time to do it, I’m so focused on mechanics and numbers that it feels the same. Still, I really like this.
Image courtesy of the @Warcraft Twitter account.
The 10th anniversary event sounds cool too. Tarren Mill vs Southshore is a great PVP throwback, and I’m super interested to see a deathmatch-style battleground. All I really want to do when I PVP is fight, so why has it taken so long to get a deathmatch battleground? Temple of Kotmogu is close. I’ll be curious to see what this is like.
Molten Core is also a pretty iconic raid to reinvigorate also. It’s a 40-man LFR, so everyone at endgame should be able to see it easily. And a Molten Corgi? Adorable.
My only issue is that it’s for max level characters. Warlords of Draenor drops 11/13/14, and the anniversary event starts within a week and a half or so. Does that mean we’ll need to rush to level 100?
@Celestalon Hey celestalon when warlords hit are we going to be in a rush to get to lvl 100 for the anniversary? because it seems like it
— carl christopher hal (@yeulx) August 15, 2014
@yeulx Nope. You will have plenty of time. Stay tuned for more precise dates.
— Celestalon (@Celestalon) August 15, 2014
We’ll have more details on raid release timing, 10th Anniversary event duration, etc., soon. But don’t worry, we don’t want to rush you.
— Watcher (@WatcherDev) August 14, 2014
They claim we won’t. I hope they’re right!
MMO-Champion user Mojo Risin posted a pretty neat idea that I had to mention here. He proposes a Mount 2.0 system with three things:
- mount names
- mount traits
- new riding skills
I’m sure you can guess what mount names are. Mount traits are special abilities that each mount has such as providing a temporary crit bonus when the player dismounts or healing the player while riding. Each mount has one specific major trait and two empty minor trait slots. Once you have a mount, you’ve unlocked that trait. You can use unlocked traits in a lesser form in minor trait slots. In other words, you can’t change a mount’s major trait, but you can equip a mount with two minor traits, which are lesser forms of other traits you’ve unlocked. It’s an interesting idea, but there’d be balance issues. I’m not saying it couldn’t be done, but it would be a decent chunk of work.
How about new riding skills? His proposed Mount 2.0 system would allow you to train a new riding skill that increases land mount bonus speed to 125% as well as giving your mounts an additional 25% movement speed bonus when riding on roads and 10% on paths. I think these are fantastic ideas!
The system offers a number of interesting improvements. The traits sound fun, but there could be ramifications. The road and path system, however, should be implemented immediately!
WoW: Fiction Has a Horde Bias, Talarian, Gamer By Design, 11/18/13.
Talarian gives an interesting look at the favoritism in storytelling.
Wowhead adds zone music, character quest tracking, Adam Koebel, WoW Insider, 11/27/13.
Some pretty cool, new features were added to Wowhead!
Blizzard: Gearing in Warlords of Draenor, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 11/26/13.
Gearing will be a bit different in WoD, and this post explains the current mechanics.
Know Your Lore TFH: Sailing to Oshu’gun, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 11/20/13.
Rossi provides some very interesting speculation about the draenei and their dimension ship.
What’s going on with Karazhan?, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/22/13.
It looks like Karazhan is getting restored. What could it mean?
Ghostcrawler to leave Blizzard, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 11/27/13.
Conan plays WoW, talks to the devs at BlizzCon, Adam Koebel, WoW Insider, 11/21/13.
This is hysterical! You should definitely watch it.
Exclusive first look at Christie Golden’s new novel, War Crimes, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/18/13.
Christie Golden writes fantastic Warcraft novels. I can’t wait for this one.
Diablo III transmogrification coming to WoW, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/14/13.
Doodlegnome answers all of your Warlords of Draenor questions, Scott Helfand, WoW Insider, 11/17/13.
Here’s everything you really need to know about WoD answered in cute doodle form.
Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Timelines, timeways, and Karazhan, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/17/13.
Another article on time travel. It basically explains, yet again, that Garrosh will be creating an alternate timeline that interacts with ours and not changing our past.
Flying Can Take A Hike, Rongar, BlizzPro, 11/14/13.
Rongar doesn’t mind waiting for flying.
Outlandish Memories, JD Kenada, Amateur Azerothian, 11/14/13.
JD Kenada looks back at the good and bad in Outland.
Warlords of Draenor: The Story So Far, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 11/10/13.
If you missed what the expansion is all about, this will tell you!
Warlords of Draenor Systems Panel: What We Learned, Booka, BlizzPro, 11/9/13.
Booka provides a quick overview of the features and changes coming in Warlords.
Warlords of Draenor Open Q&A: What We Learned, Booka, BlizzPro, 11/9/13.
More quick bulletpoints.
Know Your Lore, TFH: The Aspects of the Titans, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 11/6/13.
Rossi has some very interesting theories about the Titans and time. He speculates that they’re from the future, and that they want to preserve the “true” timeline to ensure their own creation.
Know Your Lore TFH: The Big Lie, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 11/13/13.
Just how do the timelines work, and what has Nozdormu been up to? Rossi speculates.
Know Your Lore: The warlords of Draenor, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/9/13.
Who are the Warlords of Draenor?
Know Your Lore: The History of Draenor, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/8/13.
A look at Draenor’s current history.
Bashiok on flying mount delay in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 11/14/13.
No flying until 6.1? In my opinion, it’s a great idea.
The cosplay of BlizzCon2013, Elizabeth Harper, WoW Insider, 11/9/13.
There’s some very cool cosplay in the gallery!
How does a 25 player guild handle Mythic raiding?, Matticus, World of Matticus, 11/13/13.
The leader of a 25-player heroic guild talks about what’s going to happen come Warlords of Draenor.
BlizzCon 2013: Updates on the level 90-100 questing experience, Adam Koebel, WoW Insider, 11/9/13.
Take a look at what’s changing.
Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: What are the Old Gods?, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/3/13.
What if the Old Gods aren’t what we think?
What We’ll Miss About Mists… And What We Won’t, Booka, BlizzPro, 11/7/13.
The best and worst aspects of Mists of Pandaria.
Warlords of Draenor sounds very cool and seems to be bringing a lot of great things. I don’t intend for this post to rehash all the news released at BlizzCon, but I still want to talk about my reaction.
I love the direction of the story; Garrosh escapes and, with the help of the Timewalker Kairoz, travels back in time to Draenor. He stops the orcs from becoming corrupted by the Burning Legion and forms the Iron Horde. He then builds his own Dark Portal connecting that Draenor to our Azeroth. I know that anything relating to time travel can be confusing to people, but I kind of like that Blizzard basically told us not to worry about it and that there wouldn’t be any time paradoxes or consequences. I like it. It’s just an excuse for us to visit Draenor and interact with all the old orcs. Of course, this gives us a lot of potential. Seeing ruthless, old-fashioned orcs should be fun, and of course, experiencing Draenor will be great.
It could also be a vehicle for some interesting character development. What if Garrosh finds his father’s not what he expected? What if Grom thinks Garrosh is a failure? It’ll be fascinating. I also think Blizzard has a chance to do something great with Thrall. Thrall never had the chance to know his parents. We know Durotan is going to side with our Horde, but what if he’s different than Thrall imagined? Even if he’s a good guy, what if he’s still ruthless? What if he thinks the Horde is too soft? In addition, some characters could stick around after the end of the expansion. For example, Durotan could come through the Dark Portal to live on Azeroth.
I’m also fascinated by the idea of circumstance shaping a person, and I hope Warlords of Draenor examines this. I’d like to see some characters act very differently than they did in the original timeline due to the changed events in their lives.
Stats and itemization
Hit was always a boring stat to me. There was no strategy or choice. You just had to get hit-capped. I’m glad to see it and its fellow not-fun stats removed. Movement speed could be a fun stat on gear as well. Plus, being able to move quickly and get back to DPSing or healing means a DPS/HPS boost.
Having gear change to match the wearer’s current spec is very interesting. It means you can use more gear but that there’s more competition. Ultimately, I think it’ll make the game much more offspec-friendly.
Reforging seemed more needless than useful. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to change from a haste build to a crit build without changing gear. I almost feel like it would work better like changing specs. When you’re out of combat, you can could change builds. Oh well. We’ll have to see what it’s like for gems and enchants to be less common as well.
Garrisons are effectively the Sunsong Ranch farm crossed with the companion mission system of TOR (or other games) with a dash of Warcraft RTS. Sounds intriguing. I liked the farm even though it felt like a grind at times, so I’m optimistic about this. Honestly, it’s more of an evolution of the idea of keeps and followers from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It could be pretty fun.
Updated character models
Honestly, I don’t really care about this. I don’t understand it. My character is a pretty portion of my screen. When I play D&D, my representation is, at most, a small metal figure that isn’t even using an accurate weapon half the time. However, a lot of people do care, so I’m glad Blizzard’s doing it.
Boost to 90
I completely understand how some people are bothered by this, but I’m not at all. I’ve never had two characters at the level cap. With the character boost, I’m more likely to get a second to level 100. It’d be nice to check out some other styles of play, because I’ve only ever had my priest at endgame. In addition, being able to boost to 90 combined with updated character models mean that people who haven’t played WoW before can immediately begin playing what is effectively a new, modern game. That’s great.
Collections and quest items
These might be my favorite changes. Currently, mounts and pets are in collections rather than items. In Warlords of Draenor, toys, heirlooms, and possibly tabards will be in collections as well. That’s so much bag space I’ll be regaining. In addition, quest items won’t take up bag space. Finally. I’m pretty excited. The only downside is that I lost all those toys I earned previously. Maybe Blizzard could check that I did those quests and award me the toys. Please, Blizzard?
LFR is still LFR. Flex will be called Normal. Normal will be called Heroic. Heroic will be called Mythic. LFR, Normal, and Heroic will all be flexible (1o to 25 people) and cross-realm. Mythic will not be cross-realm and will be 20 people. As a normal-mode raider currently (so a heroic-mode raider next expansion) in a guild that struggles with attendance, this is great news. We recruit so we have 15-20 people, and then we take everyone every week. Awesome! I do feel bad for current 10-man heroic guilds, but it won’t be my problem at least.
Dailies and dynamic events
Dailies will not be widely used. Great. Dynamic events like those from the Timeless Isle will exist in the world. Also great if not overdone. In addition, they talked about wanting to combine the ideas behind the Isle of Thunder and the Timeless Isle. I think Blizzard is on to something, and I like to see them iterating on the way content is delivered. A combination of these two is exactly what I want.
The map will tell you where the next story quest is, and it also indicates how many story chapters you’ve completed. This is awesome news. In Mists of Pandaria, I finished all the zones before I started raiding, and I only did a dungeon once I got to it in the story. It made for a nice, cohesive experience, but it also meant I took longer to get raid-ready. In Warlords of Draenor, I’ll skip all the non-story quests and come back to them. This should speed up the process significantly.
PVP interface updates
I don’t know how anyone could have a problem with being able to see capping progress on the map and on the flags themselves. This is a welcome change.
Warlords of Draenor
I’m pretty excited about all the aspects of the expansion. I’ll admit, things could go wrong. The quests could be boring, or the new content delivery mechanisms could be boring. I won’t know until I see the content. But I’m feeling hyped to experience it. Of course, I’d like to defeat Garrosh in normal-mode first!
BlizzCon was this weekend, and I found the announcements pretty exciting. Despite living just twenty to thirty minutes from the convention center, I didn’t go. I think it feels less special as a convention because it’s so close, but I do watch the stream. I’ll be posting about some of the announcements and my feelings about them later. I have something more important to mention first!
What would World of Warcraft be without people with whom to play? Some of my guildies came down, and got to hang out this weekend. I’m second from the right, in the red shirt. I stole the pic from my guild leader, so hopefully she doesn’t mind. I went to dinner with three out-of-towners and Mooglegem on Friday night, and Saturday night the group of us above went to dinner. That includes four people I met (in person) this weekend, which was great.
In the photo, you might notice a cookie jar between a glass of water and a beer. Moogle baked cookies and brought them with her in that jar. While we in line at a restaurant, she handed them out to us. A girl behind us got excited, asking where we got the cookies. Moogle explained that she baked them and brought them with her. She seemed sad, and Moogle offered her a cookie. She got really excited, accepted, tried it, and then told Moogle how good it was! Later, when we were seated, Moogle offered cookies to our waiter and waitress. The waiter took one fairly early and thought it was great. It was later in the meal when the waitress accepted, and she also told Moogle how good she thought it was. A few minutes later, a different waitress came over to us, telling us that she didn’t know who baked the cookies but that her coworker shared a piece with her and she thought they were amazing. Moogle gave one to her too. Everyone loves cookies!
As for the content from BlizzCon itself, I was pretty impressed. I think Warlords of Draenor sounds very exciting and the changes are, generally, good ones. I’m also pleased with what I saw of Reaper of Souls. I’ve never played a MOBA, but I’m optimistic about Heroes of the Storm (and the trailer was fantastic). I’d actually not played Hearthstone in a while, but the convention made me excited to play once more. Adventures sound particularly cool! And I guess StarCraft was there. I don’t play it. I’ll post more in-depth about the announcements in the future!