warcraft

August 28, 2015

The Final Verdict on Garrisons

Horde and Alliance Level 3 Garrisons

When I heard that Blizzard were introducing Garrisons to WoW I was initially excited, the concept sounded great and the idea of character housing had been something players had been after for a long time. So, we now had this home base all of our very own to go back to, with everything you could need under one roof, banking, professions, quests, all in the comfort of your own Garrison. But something was terribly wrong, the Garrison got tedious very, very quickly.

Apart from your Garrison making you feel extremely isolated from everyone else in the game, one of my particular bugbears is that by incorporating the professions into the Garrison it felt like you just had all these boring tasks to be completed before moving on to something more interesting – log in, you’re in your Garrison, go to the mission table and send out followers, time to go to the mine, time to go to the herb garden, time to go and collect timber for your mill and so on. By doing this it took something away from having to go out into the world and actually look for things which is part of the enjoyment of the game, it somewhat bypassed exploration for the fun of it and running into random events and other players on route. I honestly miss logging into a tavern somewhere in Azeroth and being surrounded by other players, at the moment I log in, I’m in my Garrison and it’s time to go to the mine, sigh!

Now, how about the Garrison and Shipyard mission tables? Each mission takes between 30 minutes and 12 hours to complete on average, so you basically log in and then depending on the level of your followers you assign them to missions aiming to get an 100% chance of success – there is very little strategy here and once you have the hang of it (which takes no time at all) it’s just another boring task to complete at your Garrison in the hope of getting Garrison supplies, gold, or other items. You do not interact with your followers, you just assign them to tasks, wait till the time is up and collect your loot, think microwave popcorn, ding, take out popcorn put in next batch. And, that is not even mentioning the Shipyard’s policy on completely destroying ships that you’ve taken the time to level up should you not complete a mission, therefore, for every mission it is just better to make sure it has a 100% chance of success otherwise be prepared to kiss your Destroyer goodbye.

 

Garrison mission table

I guess it’s a bit of disappoint that it hasn’t worked out as I initially thought or as Blizzard had planned, but it was a good idea and I accept that some good things did come out of it, it just didn’t work in the game for me and a lot of other players, particularly as end-game content. At this point in time, the idea of levelling a new character and then having to level another Garrison for each new character makes me cry a little inside. I’m glad that the new expansion, Legion, is moving away from the Garrison and getting us all back out into the world and interacting with other players. I have no doubt that Blizzard will build upon everything they have learned from the Garrisons and the feedback received from players and I’m optimistic that Legion’s Class Hall will be a much better fit for the game dynamics as a whole.

 

Class Hall image

From what we know, the Class Hall is going to be similar in some ways to Garrisons, building on its good points, and as their name suggests they will be unique to each class. At the Class Hall you will be able to get class-specific quests and missions and customise artifacts. However, the main difference is that they will also be available to other members of your class which takes away that complete sense of isolation and inactivity experienced within your current Garrison. We also know that instead of just picking up followers to send on yet another mission via your Garrison mission table, we’ll have select champions of our class who will assist us in our own quests. The information available on the Class Halls are not set in stone but it has definite potential and to be honest, I’m not sure it can be worse that the current Garrison set-up.

So, what will I miss from my Garrison? Well, the second Hearthstone was pretty handy.

August 12, 2015

The Return of the Burning Legion

WoW Legion Image from Blizzard Website

These are exciting times for all World of Warcraft fans, with the announcement of the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Legion. The expansion was just announced at Gamescom 2015 and since then Blizzard has released a raft of information which includes the key features and necessary lore to enable all fans can get up to speed before jumping into the action.

Legion will be set on The Broken Isles, which is a new and expansive continent comprising several small islands in the heart of Azeroth: The Broken Shore, Suramar, Stormhein, Highmountian, Val’sharan, and Azsuna. In Warcraft lore, before the Great Sundering, the region that would become the Broken Isles was a part of Ancient Kalimdor . It was here that the ancient forest of Val’sharah, home of Cenarius, was located, as well as the city of Suramar, hometown of Tyrande Whisperwind, Malfurion Stormrage, and Illidan Stormrage.

The Broken Isles Map

In this new expansion, the mutual enemy of the Horde and the Alliance, the Burning Legion, has returned. In order to combat the armies of the Legion invading Azeroth, both Alliance and Horde must secure mighty artifacts and join forces with a new hero class, the Demon Hunter – an elven outcast shunned for daring to wield the terrible powers of the Legion. The objective is to find the Pillars of Creation which are the secret to Azeroth’s salvation.

Apart from the setting and the familiar addition of new Dungeons and Raid, World of Warcraft Legion will also be bringing plenty of additional content into the gameplay. The new features are summarised below:

  • New continent: The Broken Isles
  • New class: Demon Hunter (Tank and DPS available)
  • Artifacts: customizable weapons that grow in power as you do
  • Class-specific Order Halls and followers
  • All New Dungeons and Raids
  • New World Bosses
  • Level cap raised to 110
  • Re-vamped PvP progression system
  • Improved transmogrification system
  • Improved social features
  • Character Boost — immediately raise one character to level 100

 
You can sign up now to opt in for Beta testing later this year. All you have to do is log in to your Battle.net account, go to Beta Profile Settings and check the Warcraft option, making sure you click Update Preferences to save your choice. You will then be eligible to be randomly selected for a Legion beta invitation once the testing process begins.

I hope you are looking forward to seeing what Legion has to offer as much as I am.  For more information on the latest expansion and more details about the new Demon Hunter class, new artifacts and expansion lore you can visit Blizzards dedicated Legion site at www.battle.net/wow/en/legion.

March 15, 2014

WoW Lore Series: Draenor

Map of Outland

Many thousands of years ago there was a solitary planet in the universe unknown to Azeroth of which the Orcs were the native inhabitants. The Orcs lived simple lives, grouped into clans they held a belief in the elemental forces of nature and followed the path of the Shaman. The Orcs needed nothing more. However, fleeing from persuit, a group of aliens known as the Eredar came to the planet and set-up a colony. This group of Eredar called themselves the Draenei and they named the planet Draenor. Led by their prophet Velen, they were a splinter group from the rest of their race who would not serve Sargeras and the Burning Legion, hey had been mercilessly chased by Kil’jaeden, a powerful eredar demon lord, and finally believed that they had found a place where they would be safe. For the most part the Dranei and the Orcs kept a distance from each other, only sometimes meeting to trade in items that they needed. The Dranei, who were talented magic-wielders, kept their main city hidden and the two races co-existed peacefully on the planet.

However, that peace was not to last. Agents of the Burning Legion found Draenor and picked up the tell-tale signs of Draenei magic there, but when Kil’jaeden found out about the Orcs he immediately saw that they had the potential for destruction and wanted to add this race to his army. He cleverly deceived the Orcs into believing that the Draenei were plotting against them by disguising himself as the deceased mate of one of the elder Shamans, Ner’zhul, and so the Orcs fell into his trap, not only would he add them to his Burning Legion, he would use them to take care of Velen and his followers once and for all. Kil’jaeden gave the orcs dark magic, they had never seen such power and eagerly threw away their shamanistic ways, Shamans became Orc Warlocks. Ner’zhul finally realised what was happening, but it was too late, Kil’jaeden stripped him of the power he had bestowed upon him and instead allowed Ner’zhul’s eager apprentice, who craved power, to take his place as leader.Now that Gul’dan was in place, the Pit Lord Mannoroth was instructed to give his blood to the cheftains of the orc clans to drink to show their loyalty to the Burning Legion. Most Orc cheftains drank the blood which caused their minds to be altered and a strange bloodlust decended upon them, with their new power and lust for death and destruction the Orcs destroyed any Dranei in their path and their main city of Shattrath. Many Dranei were killed and many of those who did not fall to the Orcs bloodlust were infected by the fel energy of the new Orc warlocks and became corrupted.

Now hungry for more, Gul’dan with the help of Medivh of Azeroth, who was possessed by Sargeras at the time, opened the Dark Portal linking Draenor and Azeroth. Gul’dan saw a whole new world for the taking and this was exactly what Sargaras wanted. The Orcs went through the Dark Portal and destroyed anything in their path including leaving Stormwind in ruins. This was the first war and the Orcs had triumphed. But their victory was short-lived, the races of Azeroth rallied, the humans, elves and dwarves formed the Alliance of Lordaeron and thus began the second war. In the second war the Alliance pushed back the Burning Legion and attempted to close the Dark Portal, through the efforts of the Alliance it looked like the Portal had been destroyed, however a small tear between the worlds remained that could not be closed.

On the other side of the Dark Portal, now cut off from Azeroth, the clans fought against each other, unable to quell the bloodlust and with no enemies to fight – something had to be done. Ner’zhul, who had been injured during the destruction of the Dark Portal, was visited by the Orc deathknight Teron Gorefiend. Gorefiend had a plan to open more portals on Draenor to other worlds, but he needed two things: Ner’zhul to lead the horde once more and some rare artifacts – from Azeroth. Ner’zhul agreed to the plan and recovered the artifacts, but he was followed back to Draenor by the Alliance who sought to retrieve them, unfortunately the party from the Alliance were too late and Ner’zhul had already started to open portals to other worlds and by doing this Ner’zhul was destroying Draenor, the planet was literally ripping itself apart under the strain. The Alliance could only do one thing, they needed to break the link between Draenor and Azeroth before it was too late and both planets were destroyed. Ner’zhul quickly abandoned the horde and escaped through one of the portals just before the planet was ripped apart sending pieces of the shattered planet to float in the Twisting Nether, the Alliance party sent through the Dark Portal were presumed dead. The bits of Draenor that remained became Outland and though many perished in the destruction, those that survived lived on.

Years later, the Dark Portal between Azeroth and Outland was re-opened, but there was little for anyone in Outland anymore and the draenei were happy to remain on Azeroth with their newfound Alliance allies.

March 12, 2014

Pre-purchase Warlords of Draenor Now and get a Level-90 Character Boost

Warlords of Draenor graphic from battle.net

You know you are going to upgrade to the next World of Warcraft expansion, so why not take advantage of the free character boost now – usually £40.00/$60.00 from the battle.net shop. Be one of the first to play through levels 91-100 and get the added bonus of upgrading all your professions to 600 if you choose to boost a character that is level 60 or higher. The standard edition is priced at £34.99/$49.99 and the digital deluxe edition at £49.99/$69.99

  • Drop into the action at level 90
  • Build and customize your own Garrison
  • All-new character models and animations
  • Unleash powerful new abilities
  • Brave the untamed orc home world of Draenor

 
Upgrade to the Digital Deluxe edition and enhance your adventures in Draenor with epic in-game items including the Dread Raven mount, StarCraft II portraits of Grommash Hellscream and Blackhand and a Diablo III Warsong Pennant.

Boosting a character couldn’t be easier and Blizzard have put together a quick video to show you how:

Warlords of Draenor is expected to release on or before 12/20/2014.

November 8, 2013

BlizzCon 2013: Warlords of Draenor Revealed

“When past and present collide, the fate of all worlds hangs in the balance.” The Prophet Valen, Blizzard.

warlords of draenor graphic

Day one reveals the fifth World of Warcraft expansion ‘Warlords of Draenor’ and with this comes some big changes to the game, not to mention the ability to explore Warcraft history by going to Draenor and living that time of the Draenei and the Orcs that up to now has only been possible through the Warcraft lore. There we find that a merciless new Iron Horde has been forged from the historic orc clans and heroes from Azeroth will be called to save their own world from impending invasion. There is so much on offer from this expansion, aside from the opportunity to go back in time, Blizzard has taken onboard feedback from the community and implemented a whole host of upgrades to the game (upgraded character models, better organisation of bags, no quest items held in bags to save space, new in-game guide based on your character, etc) the following was announced at BlizzCon 2013 for Warlords of Draenor:

  • New level cap of 100
  • New level 100 talents
  • The ability to construct your own garrison
  • The ability to customise your garrison
  • The ability to recruit followers and base them at your garrison
  • Your followers can be sent on missions and use their skill to assist your cause
  • Instantly boost one character to level 90 to join the battle for Draenor
  • New dungeons and raids
  • Flexible scaling for raids
  • Upgrades to existing dungeons
  • New monsters
  • New quests
old character models new character models

The expansion is available to play on the floor at BlizzCon 2013, but there is no release date as yet.

When I’m not stuck to the live feed via my Virtual Ticket I’ll post updates on what’s going on as it happens, please do follow us on Twitter @gamersblogbytes. And to everyone at BlizzCon 2013 – enjoy it!

September 11, 2013

WoW Patch 5.4 is now live!

patch 5.4 graphic

WoW patch 5.4, Siege of Orgrimmar, is now live and it’s packed with new features and updates.

New Raid
The tensions stoked by Garrosh Hellscream’s arrogance have reached a boiling point with the devastation unleashed upon the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Now it’s time for leaders of the Alliance and Horde to lay siege to Hellscream’s capital and topple the ruthless Warchief once and for all!

New Area
Timeless Isle. A mysterious island, lost for millennia to the currents of time, has emerged from the mists off the eastern coast of Jade Forest. Players seeking to explore the Timeless Isle should visit their faction’s shrine in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

New Features

Proving Grounds
This is a new feature where level 90 players can test their mettle and undertake trials designed for Damage, Tank, or Healer roles to test and improve their combat skills in a safe, controlled environment. To access the Proving Grounds, speak with an NPC in the Temple of the White Tiger in Kun-Lai Summit or a class trainer.

Connected Realms
Connected Realm is a set of two or more standard realms that have been permanently and seamlessly “linked.” Players on the same Connected Realm will be able to trade, send and receive mail, join the same guilds, access a single Auction House, run the same Raids and Dungeons, and join other adventurers to complete quests. Blizzard haven’t yet confirmed when this new feature will be available, but expect it will be some time after the launch of Patch 5.4.

For full details of everything included in the patch visit the WoW Patch 5.4 notes on battle.net.

May 20, 2013

MMORPG Update: WoW Patch 5.3 and Dawn of the Aspects Releases

TK MMORPG Update PicturePatch 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.

Mists of Pandaria Logo

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.
  • For more visit the battle.net website.

 

Dawn of the Aspects Part IV Now Available

Dawn of the Aspects Dragon Fight

THE AGE OF DRAGONS IS OVER.

“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!

April 15, 2013

MMORPG Update: WoW Patch 5.3

TK MMORPG Update PictureAs most of you know, WoW patch 5.3 is now available for you to test on the Public Test Realms (PTR), the patch includes a host of new content and bug fixes. All you have to do is copy your character and download the PTR client. You can visit battle.net to see the full 5.3 inventory which includes class, profession and PvP changes, but in this post I wanted to share my top 5 that I’m most looking forward to seeing.

WoW Patch 5.3 image

1. Transmogrification available from bank and void storage

Are you a fan of transmogging? Then it’s good news for you, instead of having to carry round the items you want to transmog in your bag you will be able to transmog items that are sitting in the bank or in void storage. No more accidentally selling an item in your bag or carrying around items and taking up valuable bag space.

2. Pet battles come to dungeons and raids

You can now duel with your pets in dungeons and raids, there is sometimes a little downtime in a dungeon or raid… toilet breaks, someone wants to get a drink, you’ll be missing a member or two so what better time than to pet battle while you wait.

3. Changes to the hit rate in Pet Battles

Patch 5.3 removes the base 5% to dodge. This means that without making any additional changes some pet abilities would have had a 100% chance to hit. This has been fixed by giving some abilities a base chance to miss – but in return the damage has been increased when they do hit, this should even out the playing field.

4. Pick your loot specialisation

You can now pick a loot specalisation that is different than your current spec for Raid Finder, Bonus Rolls, and Pandarian quests.

5. New battleground, Arena and Scenarios

Deepwind Gorge: the new Battleground situated in the Valley of the Four Winds; The Tiger’s Peak: the new Arena where gladiator hopefuls have a new location to test their mettle in the Kun-Lai mountain tops; and new scenarios: Battle on the High Seas, Blood in the Snow, Dark Heart of Pandaria and The Secrets of Ragefire.

April 5, 2013

BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Dates Announced

blizzcon image

“We love having the opportunity to hang out with our players at BlizzCon, and it’s always awesome to see the greatest gaming community on earth swarm Anaheim. We look forward to delivering two full days of gaming, activities, and other entertainment, and we can’t wait to show some of the exciting projects we’ve been working on.” Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment.

Are you planning on attending this year’s BlizzCon? If the answer is yes then you need to know that BlizzCon 2013 tickets will be going on sale in two batches this year:

First Batch: Wednesday 24th April at 7pm PT
Second Batch: Saturday 27th April at 10am PT

Tickets will be priced at $175.00 and are available from www.blizzcon.com. In addition there will also be a small number of tickets to the pre-BlizzCon dinner in aid of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, which not only allows you to rub shoulders with the Blizzard Staff but also gives you full access to the main two-day event – these tickets will be on sale from Wednesday 1st May at 7pm PT, also available from www.blizzcon.com. The event will be held this year at the Anaheim Convention Center on the 8th and 9th of November.

If like me you’re not fortunate enough to be able to attend in person, Blizzard haven’t forgotten you, there is also going to be the option to purchase a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket which will give you full live coverage of the event. Details of this virtual ticket have not yet been announced, but we’ll be posting more information as it becomes available.

For more information visit: www.blizzcon.com.

March 22, 2013

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone wallpaper

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft wallpaper available at: http://eu.battle.net/hearthstone/en/media/#wallpaper

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the the upcoming release of a new free-to-play strategy card game for PC, Mac and iPad which will be called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. There will be a hands-on demo at PAX East this weekend, but beta testing is coming soon. To make sure you are ready for the beta just make sure that you sign up for this in your beta profile settings on battle.net.

In the game, players build card decks baed around one of nine WoW character classes (we don’t know what the nine will be as yet out of the available classes here: warrior, paladin, hunter, rogue, priest, death knight, shaman, mage, warlock, monk or druid) and play each other for the chance to win new cards… oh, and for the win, we can’t forget about that! The game is designed so that all players, even if they have never played WoW before, will be able to pick it up and start playing straight away. You will be able to play against the computer in practice matches, pitting your wits against some of the great strategists of Azeroth, and take on your friends via your battle.net friends list. You will also be able to play in two competitive game modes:

Play Mode
A typical head-to-head with a chance to increase your ranking and earn new cards.

The Forge
Players start with a new deck of cards and use that to play other Forge challengers. Players will not only be able to win new cards but add to their collections by buying new card packs or disenchanting existing cards to craft ones that they might be missing.

There will be hundreds of different cards to choose from featuring all your favourite characters from WoW, their spells and weapons, but it will be up to you to build your deck and create winning strategies.

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