RSS Feed

Tag Archives: world of warcraft cataclysm

Blizzcon 2011: Predictions, Please! Mists of Pandaria, Races, New Classes, What Have Ya?!

Well lads n’ lasses, I believe that we have crossed the twenty-four hour threshold.  In less than a days time, Blizzcon 2011 will be streaming ‘cross Teh Interwebz and minutes later onto youtube.  People will attend for loot bags and a chance to talk to the Devs, as well as watch some pvp competitions spanning multiple games.

But thus far, minus a very mysterious title, we have nothing to go on.  Last year was horrendous, I must admit.  Reading MMO-Champion and hearing goblins and worgens and all that actually made me laugh aloud and think MMO got duped somehow.  And then nearly every line posted was mentioned months later at Blizzcon.  Rather disappointing, it were.  Was more shocked these terrible predictions were true.  (“Tauren Paladins, whaaat?”)

Much like MTV botching a live event, last years no-no’s have made this year rather dull.  (No offense, Mr. McCartney.)  This has also lead to a great deal of predictions and venomous declarations as to what is going to happen and what is not.  As I haven’t seen a WoW-playing psychic just yet (but based on sheer numbers there is bound to be at least one), how about we throw up some of our own ideas?  Keep it light, of course.  No need to bash anyone else, but feel free to gloat if you are correct ^_^

My zany predictions lie with in-game and book-related goings on meshed with previous expansions’ history.

  • We are ‘due’ for a new class as we got two races recently.

Not only would this co-inside with the beliefs that if Mists of Pandaria is the next expansion we will not be able to play an actual panda as it keeps with the ‘no new race’ idea.  So, if is a new class, which will it be?

  • Last time talk of a new Hero class was mentioned, they stated they would like the next one to be ranged.  Possibly a healer.

The common idea is that ranged + healer, plus hero class mix (as Death Knights are like arms warriors mingled with warlocks and a dab of necromancers) tends to be a Shadow Hunter which is pretty much a blend of shaman and hunter.  Meaning the next xp might focus on Vol’jin.  (Hopefully off-ing Garrosh just in time for Thrall to retake the reigns, but a man can dream…)  But this is a common thought, and as Cata’s ideas were really out there when I first read them, how about I take a stab at the darkness and throw out a different prediction?

  • In the new Lionheart book a certain Warden is mentioned.

Yes, the crazy metal hula-hoop weapon chick that had a dominatrix fetish on Illidan.  Among other things, they mention she is actively training a new batch of Wardens, which is quite curious.  Could this be the new class?

But what about Horde?  They have no connection to Warden stuffs at all!  Aye, that is true.  This is when I got another out-there idea.  What if all those Dark Rangers that have popped up since Wrath and even more in Cata?  One just yesterday told me in Scarlet Monestary that Vishas tortured her mother.  We saw Lil’ Vishas in the Caverns of Time when we free’d thrall.  The guy can’t be that old, meaning this chick is a relatively new addition to Sylvanas’ arsenal.

So if the Night Elves are training new ranged hybrids, and the Forsaken are training new ranged hybrids…

In a weird way I think this kinda fits.  Cata was all about bringing the game back to Classic with increased difficulty, more ‘balanced’ health pools, and sparking up the ol’ faction hatred.  Why not go the extra step and bring back the old Shaman and Pally model of one side not having the other?  Likely to happen?  Nearly “not a chance.”  But wouldn’t it kinda be cool , anyway?

So there’s my hair-brained and drooling idea.  Two new faction-dependant ranged classes.  What’s your crazy idea?

WoW 4.3: Rockin’ Nozdormu Picture (Or Is It Murozond?)

A massive slew of info and pictures outta MMO Champion today.  One in particular I focused on was a shot of an actual, updated Dragon-form model of Nozdormu and the less-than-curious and more-than-obvious similarly shaped Murozond. (As I already touched on this a few posts ago, Murozond = Evil Nozdormu.  Or, more accurately, “already existant in the future, Evil Nozdormu.”)  But as visuals go a lot further than words alone, here are the two snappies to prove it.

Nozdormu

Murozond

Anyone else note the resemblance?  (Is that racist to dragons?  Dragonism, or something?)

Now, at first glance I thought that Murozond was merely a negative swap of Nozdorumu’s original colors which would be cool yet incredibly lazy on the graphics department.  For the record, if you DO invert colors it comes out pretty close XD  They did tweak a few things here an there, like his eyes stay blue and the tail and chest actually get brighter instead of lighter.  I still think they at the very least wanted to mimic the Inverted Nozdormu look, but what I found to be way, WAY cooler is an Inverted Murozond!  Check this image out!

WoW 4.3: Murozond Inverted

I’m a huge fan of the albino drake mount, but I would TOTALLY ride a mount that looks like this until the end of time.  Doesn’t he look wicked?

WoW 4.3: “End Time” Anagram Isn’t Too Hard

You might have caught the ginormous update on MMO-Champion yesterday, and it was a doozy.  First off, the Diablo 3 beta has kicked off, so that’s awesome.  Secondly, they laid out all the new five mans, that is what they will be about and likely bosses and all that.

Something that caught my attention back in BC was that no one could figure out who this nasty time-altering dragons were.  Bronze dragons who just *know* everything and when it will happen had no idea how or where these Infinite Dragonflight dudes were coming from.  Suspicious.  In Dragonblight you even have a quest to help out your future self in killing some of these which culminates in revealing the leader of the bad guys are….

Nozdormu suddenly appears instead.  How odd, your future self says, that he would appear instead of the big-bad in charge of them all.  Also curious is how often ol’ Noz has been AWOL since Burning Crusade…

But then right in the first new five-man named “End Time” they state that “…the maniacal figure blocking Nozdormu’s vision will be revealed at the Bronze Dragonshrine. None of the Dragon Aspects could have predicted what entity would have such power to interrupt the sight of the Timeless One… the ability to create a new and infinite dragonflight.”  Then to seal the deal we get this impossible anagram: “Only by destroying a mysterious dragon known as Murozond will you give Azeroth’s protectors the opportunity to avoid the potential outcome to which your eyes bear witness.”

Nozdormu. Murozond.  Happen to notice all those letters are present, buddeh’.

I know they state this is only one potential outcome… but those dragons already DO exist.  We’ve been fighting them for like four years now at least, in-game time for over a decade.  Their existence is not probable, but definite.  This will lead to a whole bunch of questions that you much approach fourth-dimensionally, but in the short of it: Noz will go bad, in time.  Quasi-intentional pun.

There’s a whole lot to read, but that detail caught my eye.  Reminds me of when someone noticed one of the vendors near the new Void Storage was named Warpweaver Hashom which is a cheeky anagram for “A WoW Rehash/Revamp.”

World of Warcraft: Schadenfreude Is the New Emo

“…They found you amusing for a little while. … But the one thing they love to see more than a hero, is to see a hero fail. Fall; die trying.  In spite of everything you have done for them, eventually they will hate you.

Why bother?”

-Green Goblin from Spider-Man (2002)

Everybody loves an underdog.  David n’ Goliath. Rebels n’ the Empire.  The Chicago Cubs n’ the game of baseball.  You name it, people will generally go out of their way to root for the ‘Little Sister’ instead of a ‘Big Daddy.’

Fight the good fight, viva la whatever your slogan happens to be, etc.  I get the general appeal.  So and so is huge, and the other guy is tiny.  If you are going to lend a hand at all, might as well give the tiny guy a boost.  He’ll likely lose anyway, but you did your part.  And if he wins, hot dog!  It doesn’t take a horse-betting fanatic to know how well an upset pays out.

Enter the biggest subscription-based game to date.  World of Warcraft has somewhat in the range of over 11,000,000 active subscribers, but you wouldn’t know that based on the current ‘news’ on the web.  Every Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Sue online is not only stating the sky is falling, but that they are rejoicing the ‘fact.’ This ‘fact’ is not only law, which they will repeat constantly as if it really were, but it is also expected to be common knowledge because anyone who still likes that game is clearly behind the times.  Nearly all of those comments need to be read with a flared velvet top hat, smoking pipe, and a well-polished monocle accompanied with a drolling, nasal voice for the full effect of smarm and smug.

WoW has been so big for so long that it is now not only fashionable to hate on WoW, but to do so is an almost a right-of-passage-like fad.  (Apparently it is guaranteed to make your e-peen huge and your crits even crittier.  I haven’t seen the ad for it, but that’s what I gather from the commotion.)  Granted, I have raged about the game quite a bit in the past and I always joke that it’s my inner-Warrior burning through.  While I disapprove the direction it was headed, I don’t think I’d ever see myself gleefully doing the worm on its casket as it is lowered ceremoniously into its final resting space.

The game has been going on for quite some time now, I am well aware. I also know that if it was not for a two month time card I got for Christmas and the Misses wanting to play the game, my account would have likely remained frozen since a month after Cata came out.  Believe me, I understand the problems with the game.  (Personally I think this is more of a Powers That Be issue more than Blizzards losing its touch.)  While I dislike a lot and can easily see the formulas in place, I will not outright pray to the flying spaghetti monster wriggling in the heavens above for the game to fail, nor will I sadistically cheer it’s death throes for several reasons.

One, you’ve got a long, long time for that to happen.  Admitting ‘victory’ now is at best ignorant and a clear sign of your favoritism, be it conscious or not.  As everyone was mentioning recently, they are opening markets in Brazil and China and all that. Even if all of the US/EU subs magically disappear into the Nether the game will live on for at least another five years easily without a moment’s pause.  They will continue to do what they are doing until it is no longer tangible to generate revenue.

Note: Remember WAR and how that was the next game changer?  Remember how terribly fast people flocked back to WoW spouting “it burns us!” ?  WAR is still hanging on.  It is in a full body cast with an erratic pulse,  but the life support is still plugged in.  Heck, from what I hear it’s coming out with a DotA mode.  Good luck with that but hey, I’m not gonna cheer if/when it does actually die off.

Two, cheering for anything’s demise?  Not a silent nod that it’s pain is over, but blatant jubilation?  The last time I heard someone do that was Jon Stewart openly admitting he was too biased to cover Bin Laden’s death.  Ignoring the admission of bias for the sake of comparison, you have inadvertently placed a man who thought up plans to kill thousands in the same category of an online video game.  Bravo.

Not everyone is jumping on the Schadenfreude Express, though.  Syp made a very good post two weeks back which didn’t throw a single jab WoW’s way.  It was a casual and friendly look at WoW and how it might be the end of an era.  Not the end of a game as some read it, but an era.  Zee proof:

Just because the WoW era might be over doesn’t mean WoW is, and even after this next year’s worth of releases, it’ll still be alive and strong.  I just hope that as it rejoins the MMO crowd, WoW will forgo an ego about its former position and embrace a new, smarter attitude.  I think we could see great things if it did.

-Syp

For better or worse the game will continue as long as it turns a profit.  Any diehard anti-WoWers out there know three magical words that can bring even the dead back to life:  Free. To. Play.  (If it worked on a dreadful, dreeeadful game like DDO, it’ll do far more than just keep WoW afloat.)

As for my thoughts on the game itself, I remain unsubbed.  Till the Misses gets back into the game, I will not touch it.  The 4.3 changes did pique my interest though, and that alone is a milestone.  Since virtually December, nothing has been going on in WoW that interested me in the slightest iota as everything seemed teeming with greedy intentions on the developer(s) part.  But, seeing Actiblizzard revoke the charge on Real ID grouping and then follow it up with LFRaid, that did capture my attention.

It is fairly safe to say I’ll give it a go for a month once it arrives, but I am more than happy to play Minecraft and wait for the adventure patch 1.8.  Or design symbols and songs in APB.  Or shoot it up in Team Fortress 2.  Or read up on news for Guild Wars 2, or look forward to playing Twisted Metal in maybe February, or whatever else I’m interested in.  Will all of these games make a mistake somewhere?  Most already have.  But it doesn’t mean I’m going to sign my name with the blood of the innocent just to clamor and cheer at a video game’s funeral.  As David Jaffe recently said via twitter:

It’s all so f—ing Win/lose with people. What have we been conditioned into?!? It’s like the gamers and the biz folks have been so trained to only care about who wins and who gets their a– kicked that there is no room to appreciate a game can do well enough to turn a profit and please many fans. But doesn’t have to win awards like ‘most money made in a weekend by an entertainment product’. Sure we all want that success but it’s not the only definition of financial, social, creative, or execution success. There ARE still some shades of gray.

WoW 4.2 Release Date

According to MMO-Champion, the devs have stated that the current Arena season will end on the 21st, likely the same time as the next big patch.  Again, this is according to Blizzard Time which is never exact nor accurate, but at least there’s a decent ballpark to aim for.  The 4.2 patch will unlock the new Firelands raiding content, a new daily quest hub in Mount Hyjal, and possibly the most awesome feature: Balloons!

  • The new raiding content will obviously include the new raiding gear, specifically Tier 12.
  • In order to access the Mount Hyjal daily quest hub, you might just have to complete the original Mount Hyjal quest lines.  Might wanna get those out of the way now during the wait ^_^
  • And the balloons are just awesome.

Patching Problems: WoW 4.2 – Frost Mage vs Frost DK

Now, I know that patching predictions change constantly so what MMO-Champion lists on one day might not make it to the next, just the mere idea of this change bothers me.  As in, not only did it get conjured up in some dev’s brain, it was uttered aloud.  Then other devs thought it was just fine, so it got so far as to be given the green light and actually placed in the current PTR.

These two tweaks specifically bother me, as they are very similar, but two completely different play styles:

 Mage – Frost

  • Ring of Frost is now instant, down from 1.5 sec cast time.

Death Knight – Frost

  • Hungering Cold now has 1.5 sec cast time, up from instant

Just… what?!

Frost mages *really* needed a buff to that ability, well… any of their abilities?  But the one that prevents people from getting to the flag in the far-too-popular Node capturing BGs?  The by-far most annoying fight for a melee class gets another buff.  Amazing.

I’ll be honest, DKs are a lot easier to play than my ol’ faithful class: Warrior.  You got death grip, bunch of slows and just plain cool abilities.  I am aware a DK crying foul doesn’t hold much water… but this is about Frost mages here.  That supersedes all complaining about a mere DK in comparison.  Let’s see the pros and cons of this terrible idea.

Mages get an instant-cast, persistent, ranged, aoe-lockdown.  DKs have a one time use melee-based lockdown with a 1.5 second cast.  Both can be trinketed out of, only the Mage one will be instantly re-applied.  The mage one also remains intact while the person takes damage, while the DK ability breaks to any additional damage instantly (barring existing diseases) and cannot be re-applied.

If the Mage version is Mass Dispelled, the Mage can pop Cold Snap and place another down, instantly.

Not including Frost Nova, the ever-present and constant lock-down procs from their numerous instant-cast abilities, that they crit insanely high when you *are* locked down, or that they can also cast a one-shot version of this abilty via their pet.

Death Knights have one Death Grip.  That can resist or be immune.  They can slow with Icy Chains, or if they glyph for it, apply a short immobilize with IC and a slow with Howling Blast (if frost spec’d). Other than that, all they have are slows.  If you fire off the DG too early, or slip and use it right after your glyphed immobilize, it’s spent and you do not have a chance at all against the mage, while that mage has gobs of backup abilities to keep you right where you are and a shield that not only absorbs a great deal, but can be reapplied far more often than the DK counterpart, AND it generally locks down any melee that got ‘lucky’ enough to break it.

Oh, the agony of playing a ranged class…

Zee’ Summary

Aye, this could very well be voided tomorrow, but I still call “Shenanigans!”
 on it.  The abilities are quite similar, yet the ranged class that can choose precisely where they want it, gets to use it in an instant.  But the melee class that has to constantly run around to hit they very ranged class, has to stand still for awhile to cast very similar ability?  (Thus negating the ability entirely when attempting to catch up with a runner.) If I find it annoying on my pvp geared out DK, I can only imagine the amount of frustration and rage (lawl class in-joke) I will have when my Warrior gets up to level cap >.>

Cataclysm: She’s-a Launched

I was originally planning on just picking the game today, as I am not addicted (enough) to WoW to stand outside in sub-freezing weather (if we hit 40 degree’s we’ll dance around naked in the sun) just to pick up a box that will unlock the data Blizzard made us all install weeks ago.  I got the call from GameStop two days ago from an overly perky girl who not only was clearly reading a script, but probably never even spent a day inside one of the stores she was speaking for.  She told my answering machine with a smile bigger than the Cheshire Cat, that they will be having a celebration starting at 10pm for this momentous occasion.  I checked out what that was, and according to the main site, it would involve trivia and dance contests.

With the Gamespy trivia I linked to a few days ago, I probably would have fared well at that, but like hell I’ll dance around unless an abundance of currency is involved.  If I refuse to play DDR at any time at all, like heck I’m going to do that round my peers for sport.

After stewing it over, I thought about the current events and how things are panning out.  My mother pre-ordered the game for my birthday months ago.  Since then a digital download has been offered, not from various brands and the like, but directly from Blizzard itself.  If not for the money already spent on the pre-order, this would have been how I purchased the game myself.  (I could always buy the box for my ‘collection’ later, I doubt they will disappear any time soon.)  But this new option and my reaction to it is what sparked my only real interest into going to this midnight release event.

If any Gamers in their right mind had all these options available, why would any bother going out at all?  If you could just sit back, wait for the servers to come back online before getting your new gaming goodness on, why would you even waste time going outside?

Valid questions, and all correct.  If you had the option, in my opinion, you should have downloaded the game from Blizz and been set and ready to go from the first moment. 

And while this made perfect sense, this bothered me.

If everyone else did this efficient method of upgrading their account, there would no longer be these midnight releases.  Blizzard is rather large since WoW first started six years ago.  So large that others are ripping off quite a few of their ideas, both in-game and in business.  If this was a success, and by all means it already is, other companies will start focusing on just digital sales.  And then others, and others.  (I am curious to see numbers of sales, but to be more precise: How many bought directly from Blizzard.  How many went in person at any store, and how many people that put money down on the game did not come to collect their copy within three days of release.  The latter suggesting they left their money rot and got the game digitally once they found out that was an option.)

The idea of gamers grouping up for this mini semi-annual and extremely short conventions is now in serious danger of going the way of the dinosaur.  I have never gone to one of these releases, much like I have never gone to midnight movie releases.  I do not feel the need to get it instantly.  (I have some self-control, for goodness sake.)  But, if these release events are going away, I would appreciate at least going to one before the die off.

But bollocks to the pre-release party.

I left my house five after Midnight, arriving just about ten after.  There was a line that wrapped the outer edge of the inside of the store, forming a boomerang-like design (the store is on a corner of this mini-mall strip…but that makes it sound smaller than it is) that went from counter to counter.  I stood in line, the counter behind me, and slowly, jerkily, wound my way with the other customers towards our intended destination: the other counter just feet away from my starting position.  The room was warm, but not overly-so, even with my jacket on.  (I was sporting a Murloc t-shit, which I swore has shrunk in the wash since the last time I wore it a week ago.)

People were chattering about skills and classes, to item sets and other bragging points.

“Ah, man.  Mage armor.  Did you guys see that?  The new tier armor for Mages?  It is awesome!”

He was right, it is.

“…so I took points out of Chilblains and put them into [unintelligible].”

Frost spec’d Death Knight.

“Dude, I pop my wings and it’s like every hit: ‘Eight k, eight k, eight k.’ “

Ret Paladin, more than likely attempting to explain how he is not completely over powered.  I do like the changes to the class, though.  Has a pseudo-holy Samurai feel at the moment.

I ended up being the second to last customer to get their game.  I received a regular game box (was not sure what my mom pre-ordered exactly as the name on the receipt was cut short, making me worry if she got the expensive Collectors Edition, which is double the regular price), receipt, and a poster for pre-ordering.  While walking back to my car I saw people waving to one another as they departed, one mentioning that the other didn’t even tell him their name.

As the car warmed back up and the frost quickly faded away, I could see the store manager spiritedly jog over to the door, changing the “Open!” sign to “Closed.”  With the parking lot already almost deserted to begin with due to the time of day,  I saw the last person hop in their car and drive off.  Quickly getting their game unwrapped and beginning to conquer the elements in a struggle against Deathwing, no doubt.  (Kudos to them if they brought their laptop along.)

That was it.  I was at a midnight release event.

Will this still exist come next expansion, due in about a year from now?  The idea of Blizzard selling the game digitally was somewhat sprung on us fairly close to the last-minute.  Some of the people present that night might have gone only because they already paid for the game, but they will not be caught unaware next expansion.  Others might need more coercion than just a poster to get out of a cozy home during the middle of winter.  I am not even sure if I will attend it next time, as I came to witness the event and get the game; both plans were successfully executed.  What reason do I have to do this again?

I think it largely depends on what brick-and-mortar’s offer next time.  Not that they have to bribe me to give them my money, but if the clear winner is to just get the game from the company that produced it, why would I bother going to a store that is not connected to it in any way?  Most pressing question of the night would be:  How could anything even compete?  Blizzard not only recently announced the Digital Download option recently, but that the game was going to be ten bucks cheaper than normal.  Did GameStop know this?  Did they pay Blizzard the wholesale price expecting the Retail Price to be ten dollars higher than that it came out to be?  What could they offer us to go through them instead of Blizzard?  T-shirts, hats, stuffed figurines of the monsters we fight with in-game?  That does sound appealing, I might add, but even if they did hand out those items as incentive, Blizzard owns the rights to those products and will get paid either way.

Here, if you’ve read through my “Deep Gaming Thoughts” all the way you should be rewarded, so here is the official Cataclysm trailer (now don’t get addicted to it, Mr. Foucault!):

-Edit-

Seems like I am not the only one pondering the future of these ‘events.’  Mmogamerchick and her commenters also think the Fate sisters are not smiling upon retail sales against the Direct Download option.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.