Archive for the ‘World of Warcraft’ Category

No goblins were harmed in the making of this post

No goblins were harmed in the making of this post

For anyone who follows me over on Twitter they will have known that over the last few months since I returned to a part-time role in World of Warcraft that I fell out of “love” with my mage. Whether it was because I got bored with casting, or because I don’t like the way that Blizzard are taking the Mage class, but I was wondering if my return was short-sighted. Would I enjoy myself on the mage? Would I find another class? Or would I quit once more?

In short? The answers to those three questions were no, yes and no.

By ditching the mage after just over 7 years I found a class I now enjoy, hell it’s even melee! Yes it’s a fond farewell to Guillin and hello to my Tauren Monk, Straxxia. Why monk? Well it’s quite simple really. I enjoy it. It’s not like other melee classes. Other melee classes I find to be utterly boring and tedious, but with the monk I find every attack to be fun, from the animations to the pretty numbers.

With the new class, came a new guild. My other half recently switched her mage to horde and I decided to follow. I faction changed my human monk to a tauren monk (because “Moo” right?) and joined “The Royal Kilted Yaksmen” on Arathor EU. It’s one of those guilds where there is absolutely no pressure to do anything, which is utterly fine for me. I no longer have the time to commit myself so having a chilled out guild is perfect for me.

Don’t get me wrong. “Order of the Silver Dawn” on the Alliance side of Arathor EU is still a cracking guild, but it is definitely nice to be back on horde.

Apologies if this post is all over the place. It’s been a while since I blogged properly so might take a post or two to get back in the swing of things :).

Part 2 of my guest post on the wonderful Trollish Delver website has been made available.

Once again I’d like (once again) to thank Scott for the opportunity to write for him

The post can be found here

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Today I had the honour of writing for Scott Malthouse and his website “The Trollish Delver“. It’s in two parts with the second coming up tomorrow.

The post is called – “Guest Post: Who can be counted as a casual MMO gamer? (Part 1)

I want to thank Scott for the opportunity to write for him and if you’d like to follow him on Twitter or offer your writing services to him then I’ve included his Twitter handle after the break.

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Blizzard Europe
have just announced that their World of Warcraft Monopoly and Starcraft Risk games are now available to pre-order in the United Kingdom from GAME. They are both retailing at £29.99.

I was hoping to give you the posts from Blizzard but I’m getting a wonderful four-oh-four when I try to follow the link from MMO-Champion, so here is what GAME has to say about them :)

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Since installing Windows 8 a couple of days ago, World of Warcraft was working perfectly fine. This was until 5.0.5 was implemented, then every time I went to play WoW it’d log into game then constantly crash back to desktop with the following message :

NVIDIA windows kernel mode driver XXX.XX has stopped working, but recovered

Thinking this was going to be a major issue I thought I had made a mistake to upgrade. Luckily Blizzard posted a temporary solution that has fixed it for me and doesn’t seem to impact the game at all.

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For those who still play World of Warcraft (and there are millions of you), it’s been a pretty terrible content wise. I don’t think that I’ve seen such a long period where Blizzard have not released anything. (Even in Wrath they released a “filler” patch prior to Cataclysm. It looks like finally you guys only have to wait two more months.

Blizzard have announced that Mists will be released on September 25th. Now I say “only two more months” because a big prediction that was doing the rounds was that it could be an October release, but alas. On the 25th September you will be able to set sail to Pandaria, roll a monk, battle with your pets and become a panda.

It’s highly unlikely that I will get it straight on release. It’s only two days after my 28th and two days before I travel to London for Eurogamer. If I do get it, it’ll be in October and that’s still a big “if” as I haven’t really touched the game since Christmas.

Needless to say though. For those who are still totally hooked on the game or for those with still passing interest in WoW will have welcomed the announcement today.

We’ve all had them (well I hope we all have or I’m just a sad case). I’m sure people have had the odd one or two places they used to, or still do go to when parts of World of Warcraft is doing your head in. You want to get away but don’t really want to log out. You want some chill out time so you find a nice place and relax there.  Here are my two favourite places for when I used to play WoW all the time and things got too much but I didn’t want to log out.

Winterspring


On a mountain just north of Everlook. I would sometimes spend a few minutes here (pre-Azeroth flying). As you can see, the view isn’t too bad at all :)

My mouse must have been hiding in Darkshore somehow :D

Nagrand

On one of the first of the floating islands you reach when you come out of Shattrath. Looks over brilliantly my favourite zone in the whole of The Burning Crusade

What are/were your favourite places to take a time-out in WoW?

 I’m going to discuss a topic that has divided the user base (and former user base) of World of Warcraft, but it’s something that keeps rumbling and personally I think that it deserves being discussed in a blog. Back in August of last year I publish a post “Milking the Cash Cow – How’s Blizzard’s Attitude Has Changed“, and I guess that this post could be seen as “Part 2″.

 When Blizzcon was on back in October one of the first things that Blizzard announced was the World of Warcraft Annual Pass. This was a 12 month commitment to the game in which time you weren’t allowed to cancel. In return you’d receive and exclusive mount, a free digital copy of Diablo 3 and access to the Mists of Pandaria beta. The beta started a few weeks ago and just before it launched Blizzard made a post saying that “invites will be done in waves and will be based on when you signed up for the beta and how long you have been playing for”. This for me is where the problems arrive, to sum it up before I get going here is my opinion ..

I personally believe that Blizzard decided not to tell people about this until the last-minute so they could get maximum cash from the annual pass. I also believe that it can’t be justified that some people are being given more value for their annual pass (earlier access to the beta), then others who have the annual pass.

When I first bought this up on Twitter, one of the first comments I got, was from someone who to be honest doesn’t deserve to be named, however the tweet was …

QQ about people getting butt-hurt because they didn’t get in first when Blizzard gave no such promise.

The irony is this person doesn’t even play WoW anymore so why they had to stick their nose is will always be a point of confusion. Anyway! Whilst it’s true that they didn’t say “Sign up for the annual pass and get into the beta as soon as it starts”, they pretty much gave the impression at Blizzcon that it would be the case. At NO point did they say “you’ll get in the beta but it might be weeks or months before others”.

Another tweet I had sent my way which I can fully understand was..

They kinda had to do it in waves to protect the servers from crashing

This I can totally understand, but again in my opinion they must have known that they would have approach the invites like this but they kept quiet until the last-minute. Why would a company keep quiet until the last-minute? It’s simple. Keep on advertising the annual pass and if one of your main selling points is the beta, you’re not going to tell the people who sign up “oh you’re one of the last to sign up so you’ll be one of the last to get an invite”. Why not? Well simple because, said person probably won’t bother to sign up.

Invites will be based on how long you’ve been a WoW player for.

 This is another piece of information that was left out until the very last-minute. I’ve been a WoW player since 2005, but decided during Blizzcon to attach the Annual Pass to my US account which has only been online since September 2011. Why didn’t I attach it to my 7-year-old EU account? Because again, at no point did Blizzard state that invites would be based on how long the account has been active. Some people have also said that “oh but you got a free mount and a free game”. Whilst those are nice, that’s not the reason why some people signed up. Some signed up for the beta and at the moment are feeling screwed, especially when they know other people are inside.  The other comment I’ve seen a few times is “but people would’ve signed up for those 12 months anyway, so why not just be grateful for getting something free out of it”. Again this isn’t entirely accurate. Quite a few people who were sitting on the fence and probably would’ve cancelled for at least a little bit in 2012, were enticed by the promise of beta access and so signed up.

 I can’t help but feel conned by Blizzard regarding this. I know this entire post is me going on the offensive, but when you offer someone a service, when you say “make X commitment and get Y in return”, then you expect to get the same value for Y as everyone else. You wouldn’t expect to get a month less (or maybe more) of what was promised then someone else who made the same commitment. To me, this has Activision‘s fingerprints all over it. Everyone knows how well they like ripping people off (they learnt off the best, EA, but that’s another story).

 In my opinion Blizzard intentionally left out some vital pieces of information at Blizzcon and up until the last-minute of the beta going live.  They were more interested in getting maximum profits from the Annual Pass then being straight up and honest with the players. I know I’m not the only one in which this has left a bitter taste in their mouths, and whilst some people will defend Blizzard for their action (for which they have every right to do so), I for one think that they acted with intent to deceive, whilst keep an eye firmly on the only thing they care about nowadays … the amount of money you give to them. Had I known Blizzard‘s intent was to offer an entirely inadequate approach to this whole fiasco then chances are I probably wouldn’t have signed up for the Pass.

 I realise that this topic has a polarizing effect on the player base both current and former, but I wanted to get my opinion across. Thank you for reading.

Correction – I’ve been informed by the person who was involved in the little “set to” that is mentioned at the start of this post, that a slight part of it was misread by myself. While the general context is still accurate, the person in question is still technically playing WoW. I would like to apologize for that.

 With the Mists of Pandaria NDA lifted a lot of people have started to discuss what is coming in the next expansion. Even I have created a post, a scenario so to speak to do with the Siege of Orgrimmar and who I think would make a pretty awesome Warchief of the Horde. Today though I would like to look further, with a little brain storming of what I think would be a cool idea for a future expansion.

World of Warcraft – Unholy Alliances

Now that title sucks but anyway. The basic concept is that we are fighting against the Burning Legion on two fronts. A series of islands between the Eastern Kingdoms and Northrend that, like Pandaria were hidden before the Cataclysm have appeared and what both the horde and alliance have found is that the Burning Legion have secretly been rebuilding gates and forces on these islands preparing for a full-blown invasion of Azeroth. The location of these islands have been revealed by Thrall and as the two factions have now entered at tenuous truce following the death of Garrosh (there are of course still the odd skirmishes happening), focus has now shifted towards these islands, however the attention has to be split.

In Outland a piece of the former planet that broke away has been reconnected with. Here they find Burning Legion portals and soon both the Alliance and the Horde realise that if they can secure these portals, they’ll be able to launch an assault on Argus in future years. The burning legion however are aware of these and have sent forces to protect these portals, and with these being on Outland, the forces of the Horde and the Alliance are partially independent to orders from their capitals so let’s just say that territorial battles are common.

Now I know people will think that by having two areas like this to focus on it’ll create a disjointed feeling that doesn’t “flow”, like it failed to flow in Cataclysm. However this is where I think it would be the beauty of it. Both the islands in Azeroth (we will call the “Invaded Isle’s”) and land in Outland (which we will call “The Southern Lands”) would both be levelling zones. Let’s say for example the levelling was 90-95, then they would both have 7 zones and you could choose to level up in either.

Why now?

So why bring back the legion now, and why in those particular areas of the Warcraft universe, and why the title “unholy alliance”. Well, because I want to make things a whole lot more interesting. Firstly returning to Outland could give Blizzard the chance to re-do the 60-70 quests that are there, to update the flow like they did in Azeroth. Each zone would have its own little story but the entire 60-70 range would have a general arc. Once entering Hellfire or Netherstorm (two starting zones why not?), a mysterious person on interest seems to be “advising” both sides, directing them south to Shadowmoon, where these islands are discovered but require further study before our forces can enter (good excuse to not be able to go there until level 90 for example). Who is this mysterious person? We will find out later :)

On Azeroth the full extent of what is happening on the north islands has quickly dawned on both major factions. Whilst they have been able to establish footholds on each of the islands there, they are seriously outnumbered and outgunned. It would only be a matter of time before they were overwhelmed and the legion swept through the world unopposed.

Unholy Alliances

Now here is why it gets interesting. In Outland as soon as you enter the Southern Lands (the piece of broken off land), it’s quickly revealed that the “mysterious person of interest” who has been guiding the two factions to the portal is none other than Illidan Stormrage. Realising the error of his ways in the past he now has one obsession. To eradicate the Burning Legion from Outland, and eventually to launch an assault on the Legion’s stronghold of Argus (that can always wait a couple of expansions). For most of the expansion on the Southern Lands you end up fighting alongside Illidan’s forces, your former enemies who are now allied through the old saying “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. They aren’t the only ones either.

In Azeroth, as you complete the first starting zone of the “Invaded Isle’s”, it feels hopeless. It feels like even if both factions happened to put aside all their difference and fight together they still wouldn’t be strong enough to repel a Legion invasion. After years of fighting, the brutal battles of Northrend, the deaths ensued during the Cataclysm and the faction fighting, moral is low and manpower and resources are shrinking. The breadcrumb from the first island to the second could be that you are to take an order to the general in charge of the effort on that island. The order comes from the King of Stormwind or Warchief of the Horde, ordering a full retreat to the Azeroth mainlands to prepare the defence lines there. Just as your about to hand the orders to the General, you come under attack from a massive Legion assault, it’s looking bleak, when all of a sudden a new force joins in the battle. This wave isn’t attacking you or the opposing faction but are attacking the Legion. At first no one can believe what is happening but it’s true. The Northrend forces of Bolvar, the Lich King have appeared to lend their hand to stop the Burning Legion. It’s an extremely uneasy alliance as the memories of both the Northrend battles and the undead plagues still loom large, however with the undead forces of the Lich King the tide of the battle has been turned.

So what sort of things could be expected from this expansion?

  • 5 more levels to level but the choice of two “continents” to level up in
  • No new races or classes but instead the old races finally get their remodel.
  • The return of Illidan Stormrage
  • The Undead, whilst still evil are being controlled by Bolvar to fight the Legion. Some break free at times and have to be dealt with.
  • New aquatic mounts (turtles, boats) for the new Azeroth zones.
  • New captured legion mounts for the new Outland zones.
  • Aim of the battle in Outland is to capture the working portals, not destroy them.
  • Aim of the battle in Azeroth is to defeat the invasion and destroy the portals.
  • Faction similar to the Aldor/Scryer depending on where you levelled (Azeroth/Outland)
  • Original Outland zones “modernized” with an updated levelling flow and quests.
  • Perhaps, you could complete the other levelling zone in a “prestige mode” so to speak. Where everything is scaled to the max level, but would allow you to experience both levelling zones at your level.

What about the Argus battle?

Well I had some thoughts about this and I’ve came up with two conclusions. My first thought was that Blizzard could make people sweat. Throw in another expansion between this one and the Argus one, but I soon realised that most people would want the middle expansion to finish quickly so that this story can be concluded.

My second thought which I actually had whilst I was in the middle of writing up this post is that Argus could be a perfect stage for a Warcraft 4 RTS game.

The End

This was all a flash in the pan idea that I had yesterday and wrote down on the back of a few pieces of scrap paper whilst on my lunch at work, but the idea intrigued me enough to write a post about it. I hope you enjoyed.