May has been an extremely busy month, but there is always time of course for some warcraft and I’ve been smiting my way to 90 with my priest, not far to go now 88 and counting. Also in a bold move, our 5-man dungeon team have decided to strike out on our own and set-up a brand new guild! Never ones to be afraid of a bit of hard work we realise we’ve got quite a way to go to make level 25 but we’re going to have fun trying, it gives us a chance to do the things we always wanted: to make a guild that is fun and social attracting like-minded people, using our professions to help our fellow guildmates and stocking our guild bank and especially knowing who to go to by actually having a guild website as well as plenty of officers who are online regularly. We acknowledge that we’re not epic, we’re all about the learning experience, and encourage others to come learn with us and not feel that they’ll be letting anyone down… we do that for ourselves mosts instances! So, it’s time for us to run some of those classic dungeons, grab a tabard and grind that rep, I see good times ahead. So it’s great news that Blizzard have released their in-game events page to the World of Warcraft Game Guide, the page lists all the different types of regular contests and celebrations in one place.
Also on my radar is the new Elder Scrolls Online developed by ZeniMax Online Studios which is currently scheduled for a 2013 release, but you can now sign-up for beta access here: http://elderscrollsonline.com/en/. If you loved Skyrim and you love MMO’s then this is one not to be missed. Set 1000 years before the events of Skyrim, Tamriel is in the midst of a struggle for the emperorís seat. The world has broken off into three alliances, each alliance contains in itself a triumvirate of races. There is the Daggerfall Covenant in the west (Breton, Redguard and Orc), the Ebonheart Pact of the north and eest (Nord, Argonian and Dark Elf), and the Aldmeri Dominion of the south and south-west (High Elf, Wood Elf and Khajit).
You’ll see that it shares it’s fighting style in part with World of Warcraft in that there is an action bar with six abilities and the associated cooldown timers but this is combined with swordplay which means you’ll be doing a lot of left and right clicking for certain abilities. But unlike Warcraft you weapons will also gain XP, level up and be granted skills. In lots of ways I compare the Elder Scrolls Online to the best parts of my favourite MMOs, World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2, as with GW2 Zenimax are emphasising that sense of exploration which is something that I know will be a big bonus to a lot of players.
Confirmed features to pique your interest:
Player vs Player (available after Level 10)
Available in three different languages: English, French, and German.
Time-travel will be featured in the game.
Mundus Stones will be used to give characters special abilities.
Fast Traveling will be available through unlocked Wayshrines.
Mounts will be included.
Classes will be used, including Dragonknight, Templar, Sorcerer, Warden, and Nightblade. Classes will only define the special abilities of the characters, not the weapon choices.
Synergy abilities are those that naturally blend players’ abilities together to bring down tougher enemies.
Players will be rewarded for successfully attacking, blocking and dodging through the “Finesse” system. Once significant finesse points are earned, players are able to use a designated Finesse attack, called Ultimate Abilities, which level up the more it is used.
Ultimate Abilities are Class-based, meaning that each class will have different Ultimate Abilities.
Crafting elements can be done in cities as well as in the wilderness.
Players will be able to own a pet, which they can use in combat.
Daedric Artifacts will exist in the game, and will be tied to the Fighters Guild storyline.
Only 5 Abilities will be available at once, however these can be changed.
Abilities can be leveled up to become more powerful the more they are used.
6 Skills can be used at any one time: The first two are weapons skills. The next three are class skills. The final skill is the Ultimate Ability.
PVP: In Cyrodiil, combat will revolve around the capturing of Keeps and its surrounding buildings. It is designed for 10-15 players to take a keep, 10 for an Outpost, and 4-6 for a support structure such as a farm or Lumber Mill.
Fast Travel in Cyrodiil will be different from the rest of the game. Instead of the Wayshrines, players will travel to the Keeps that they control (Other than those currently under attack).
Siege Weapons will not only be in the game, but will be craftable and customisable.
Alliance Points: An Alternative advancement system, with 23 ranks at launch. A “lifetime alliance point tally”, each rank will give a new title and alliance icon. (Similar to faction ranks in Morrowind and Oblivion).
Guilds will exist in the game.
Guilds will be specific to a Faction’s campaign.
Public Dungeons will be instanced. That is to say, once you reach Level 50, new areas of the dungeon will open up, and you will be able to see the results of your actions previously in that dungeon. These are known as Adventure Zones.
Morality and Criminality will be added to the game after launch.
Emotes will be available, as will flags for the Megaserver to group players in.
Dragon Shrines will be in the game.
A list of wieldable abilities so far includes: Two-Handed, One-Hand and Shield, Dual Wield, Bow, Fire Staff, Ice Staff, Lightning Staff, Heal Staff, or One-Hand and Rune.
There are a total of eight ranks for increased character weapon proficiency.
Daedric Ruins are confirmed to be appearing in the game.
Crouching (Sneaking) will use Stamina, as will sprinting and blocking.
May 20, 2013
MMORPG Update: WoW Patch 5.3 and Dawn of the Aspects Releases
Patch 5.3 which is currently in PTR testing is due for release tomorrow, Tuesday 21st May 2013. For the PTR patch notes which tell you about all the changes that this patch brings to WoW you can get these from the battle.net site here. Also, just to remind you that the fourth installment of Dawn of the Aspects by Richard A. Knaak is now available for download, more details about both of these below.
WoW Patch 5.3 Key Patch Details
The experience required to level from 85 to 90 will be reduced by 33%.
The amount of Justice, Honor, and Darkmoon Faire tickets needed to upgrade Heirloom items will be reduced by 60%.
Heroic Scenarios require an average Item Level of 480; unlike normal Scenarios, you’ll need a pre-made party to enter.
An average Item Level of 435 is required for Heroic dungeons.
Outdoor world creatures level 90 and above now have a chance to drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
Rare spawns in Pandaria (except Zandalari Warscouts and Zandalari Warbringers) and bosses encountered as part of the Battlefield: Barrens quest event in Kalimdor will drop Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.
The 7,250 Conquest Point requirement to purchase non-elite Conquest Point weapons (PvP) is being removed with patch 5.3.
All PvP characters now have a base Resilience of 65%.
PvP Power bonus to healing is now based on class and specialization.
“Uncertainty plagues Azeroth’s ancient guardians as they struggle to find a new purpose. This dilemma has hit Kalecgos, youngest of the former Dragon Aspects, especially hard. Having lost his great powers, how can he—or any of his kind—still make a difference in the world?
The answer lies in the distant past, when savage beasts called proto-dragons ruled the skies. Through a mysterious artifact found near the heart of Northrend, Kalecgos witnesses this violent era and the shocking history of the original Aspects: Alexstrasza, Ysera, Malygos, Neltharion, and Nozdormu.
In their most primitive forms, the future protectors of Azeroth must stand united against Galakrond, a bloodthirsty creature that threatens the existence of their race. But did these mere proto-dragons face such a horrific adversary alone, or did an outside force help them? Were they given the strength they would become legendary for… or did they earn it with blood? Kalecgos’s discoveries will change everything he knows about the events that led to the… DAWN OF THE ASPECTS.” (battle.net website)
So, what’s part IV about?
A united group of proto-dragons have embarked on an assault against Galakrond and his undead army. The blue dragon Kalecgos continues to witness the battle through the eyes of his predecessor, Malygos. He and his new comrades: Alexstrasza, Nozdormu, Ysera, and Neltharion, soon find themselves struggling for survival. Their only hope for the future may lie with an enigmatic figure named Tyr, but perhaps even that is not enough to save them?
When will you be able to get the next installment?
Part 5: 17 June 2013
Go download (from Amazon or through iTunes) and read, NOW!
“One hundred years have passed since the Spellplague forever changed the magical and mysterious lands of Faerûn. Mighty empires fell and great cities toppled, leaving only monster-haunted ruins and survivors struggling to rebuild.” http://nw.perfectworld.com
The game actually looks quite interesting and I’m always ready to try something new to the MMO market. You have nothing to lose so why not watch the game trailer and take it for a spin? I’ve added this one to my Twitter feed so I can keep up-to-date as the game progresses.
March has been a super busy month, I’ve dedicated much of my free time to levelling my Worgen Priest, Lursaduras, through the available WoW dungeons and practicing healing on my 5-man group. Our group is pretty laid back when it comes to running dungeons but we must be doing something that works because wipes are pretty rare. This week has been great and I’ve only been finding totally amazing gamers on my WoW server, I’m just drinking it the good vibes and help instead of the abuse and it’s been great to share the good experiences with you all on Twitter, if you want to check out our streams you can find me @cat792k and all our blog posts @gamersblogbytes!
In addition to playing WoW, I’ve now become a total Warcraft fiction addict. I’ve recently posted about Richard A. Knaak’s most recent series on the blog, Dawn of the Aspects (http://www.thegamersblog.com/mmorpg-update-dawn-of-the-aspects) and the good news is that the second part of the series is now available for download. In the first part we saw how the former dragon aspects are on the brink of going their separate ways to find new destinies since their original purpose as the protectors of Azeroth seem to be no more. Kalecgos has uncovered a mysterious artifact that allows him to see through the eyes of his late predecessor, Malygos, and he has been sucked into the past, literally sharing Malygos’ body, where dragons must fight for survival and he encounters the terrifying alpha dragon, Galakrond. We left Kalecgos in the clinches of Galakrond at the end of the first part – will he and Malygos share the same fate? The answer is, of course not, but what he finds next leaves him more troubled, enter the undead. Alongside this new discovery a stranger from the past begins to appear in the present and Kalecgos fears for his own sanity. Part 3 of the series will be available for download on the 22nd April 2013. At the moment you can discuss this series and also The War of the Ancients series with @WowWellRead on Good Reads at http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/88038-warcraft-well-read.
Also on my radar since it was announced at PAX East is Hearthstone, the new Blizzard digital strategy card game (http://www.thegamersblog.com/hearthstone-heroes-of-warcraft). Fans of the amazing podcast, The Instance, will be excited to know that they’ve got an interview lined up for next with with the Hearthstone team, you can keep up-to-date with what’s going on with the game and the team @PlayHearthstone. Although the initial beta testing will only be available on the US servers according to the current plans, it’s possible this might change so stay tuned. If you do want to get signed up for the beta test just visit www.playhearthstone.com to opt-in with your Battle.net account.
“Earth was torn apart by the destruction of both the Firefall event and the coming of the Melding. The only animal life that remains are left-overs from the Alpha Prime missions or mutated creatures that emerged from inside the Melding. Some are peaceful, most are not. Knowing which one you face will determine your survival.” http://www.firefallthegame.com/.
Finally I’ve had time to sit down and get into Firefall (currently in closed beta testing), I’m currently downloading the beta game client as we speak and I’m pretty excited to be starting a brand new game which aims to mix the best of MMORPG and MMOFPS. Therefore, this is likely to be a part 1 of 2 update where we can delve a little into the Firefall back story and set the scene, we can also look forward to what the gameplay might be like.
The story so far
Firefall is a catastrophic world event that takes place approximately 200 years in the future, it is a direct result of an asteroid collision with the Earth and the impact throws humanity into a new dark age known as ‘the nine year winter’. Many governments fell which left a space for new alliance to form. At the asteroid crash site the Japanese found a new and powerful element called crystite, this element had almost unlimited potential and became the primary power source used on Earth – but humanity wanted more. To achieve this aim they built space ships and travelled to the source of the asteroid which had impacted the Earth, on that remote planet they found an abundance of crystite and founded a colony known as Alpha Prime. But the 8-year round trip required to source the new element was too long and in time a method of travel between Earth and Alpha Prime was established known as Arclight. Arclight folded the fabric of space in order to create a wormhole capable of transporting matter large distances in a short time. Although tests on Earth were successful, the first Earth-Alpha Prime test was not, the act of creating an arcfold tore a hole in the fabric of space causing the emergence of a giant energy storm which became known as The Melding. The Melding mutated and transformed all life that it encountered and even the planet itself. Humanity came under attack by a new race calling themselves The Chosen and now struggles in an attempt to push them back and rid the Earth of The Melding once and for all.
Classes in Firefall are called Battleframes and there are currently five available:
A ranged light class focused on using sniper rifles, it has the lowest health but makes up in speed and agility.
A medium healing class that uses a bio-needler gun as its main weapon, ability to heal is tied with damage primary through poison.
A medium technology class that uses equipment to deal damage and support allies, with the ability to repair equipment.
A close range heavy class that uses the plasma cannon as its main weapon, slow dispersal but high damage.
A heavy class that has the highest health of all the available battleframes, this is the tank and uses an immense chain gun.
As well as the PvE game there are also 3 PvP arenas: Sunken Harbor (a simple team deathmatch map), Orbital Comm Tower (a capture/defend style of gameplay) and Blackwater Harvester (a capture and hold type gameplay), with a fourth announced which will be Moisture Farm which is a team death match, similar to that of Sunken harbor.
I haven’t heard of any free beta keys being still available, but if you want access to the beta environment you can still get in by becoming a founding member. There are three packages available, Ensign ($20), Lieutenant ($50) and Commander ($100) – any of these will get you immediate access into the game.
Looking forward to playing and I’ll be back soon with the next installment of my Firefall adventure.
Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, has today put out a message on the blizzard.com website citing the discovery of illegal hacking into their systems. In the message he says “This week, our security team found an unauthorized and illegal access into our internal network here at Blizzard. We quickly took steps to close off this access and began working with law enforcement and security experts to investigate what happened.”
It is not believed that any financial information held on the system has been compromised, although a global address list for Battle.net users and, for players on North American servers, the answer to the personal security question and information relating to authenticators was also accessed. Blizzard are keen to reassure all subscribers that this information alone is not enough for anyone to access your Battle.net account.
As a precautionary measure Blizzard are advising players on North American servers to change their passwords and they will shortly begin prompting users to change their secret questions and answers; this will be done via an automated process. Additionally Blizzard will prompt users to update their mobile authenticator software. Blizzard are taking all necessary precautions, as always just be aware of any emails that come through which look dodgy and remember that Blizzard will never ask you for your password or login information.
For more information regarding this security update please visit the FAQs section on Battle.net: