WoW

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 18, 2015

Earning your wings in Draenor

WoW Soaring Skyterror

As you know, there has been drama, there has been uproar, and after a lot of spirited discussion Blizzard announced the reversion of the original plan to restrict flying in Draenor. Although they still firmly believe that keeping your feet on the ground is a key part of discovery in WoW, they also understood that for many it was an important aspect of the game and something that wouldn’t necessarily compromise their objectives for exploration. So, they came up with a compromise. Unlike other flying achievements which just rely on hitting a level requirement and buying the flying ability for a sum of gold, players would need to complete the achievement ‘Draenor pathfinder’ released in Patch 6.2 which would award the ability of flight as well as a chromatic rylak mount, the Soaring Skyterror. Once achieved and with Patch 6.2.2 flying in Draenor would become possible for all your characters at level 90 or above.

In a blue post earlier this year Blizzard said that: “We believe this strikes the right balance between ensuring ground-based content lives up to its full potential, while providing players who’ve already fully experienced Draenor’s outdoor world extra freedom to “break the rules.” This also provides a general blueprint going forward for content to come. Players will explore new and undiscovered lands from the ground, and then once they’ve fully mastered those environments—a notion that continues to evolve with each new expansion—they can take to the skies and experience the world from a new vantage point.”

What is the achievement?

The Draenor Pathfinder achievement is a multi-step achievement that can be tracked via the achievement page in-game. It does take some time to complete and so now is the time to get started if you haven’t already. It is comprised on the following:

  • Explore Draenor: Explore all of Draenor’s zones
  • Master Treasure Hunter: Collect 100 Treasures
  • Loremaster of Draenor: Complete all major story quests in Draenor
  • Securing Draenor: Complete 12 specific Apexis Dailies
  • Tanaan Diplomat: Hit Revered with the three new Tanaan Jungle factions – Order of the Awakened, The Saberstalkers, and Hand of the Prophet (Alliance)/Vol’jin’s Headhunters (Horde).

 

For a complete look at every step of the Draenor Pathfinder Achievement, Wowhead have produced the Draenor Pathfinder guide which will provide you with everything you need to know in order to make getting the achievement as easy as possible.

Tracking your progress

You can track your progress in two ways:

  • Track your objectives in-game by opening the achievement window, searching for the Draenor Pathfinder achievement and selecting the ‘track’ option which will add the objectives on-screen underneath your quest list.

 

Wowhead Flying Tool for WoW

The good news is that the achievement is account-wide for the most part, meaning that you can complete the objectives towards this achievement on different characters. The exception to this is Securing Draenor, for this you must do all of the quests on one character only.

Logging in this past weekend it was great to see everyone hard at it, working through those questlines for the achievement. Good luck, I look forward to seeing you in the skies of Draenor very soon.

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.

August 15, 2014

Warlords of Draenor: Launch Date Revealed

Image Source: Battle.net

It only seemed like yesterday that Warlords of Draenor was revealed at BlizzCon 2013 and now we have a launch date for this new expansion which was announced at gamescom 2014 in Cologne, the world’s largest games convention. Get ready because the new expansion will be available to play as of November 13 2014 with a new level cap of 100; new talents, dungeons and raids; flexible scaling for raids and much more. If you are at gamescom this week, be sure to stop by the biggest Blizzard booth to date in Hall 7.1 (B051) and check out Blizzard’s latest offerings: Warlords of Draenor and Heroes of the Storm on PC, Hearthstone on PC and iPad, and Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition on PS4.

On Thursday at gamescom Blizzard unveiled both the Warlords of Draenor opening cinematic and the first instalment of a new animated lore mini-series, Lords of War, in a live-stream event. I know how impressive Blizzard’s cinematics are on the big screen, so if I’m feeling the awesome power of the Draenor storyline here in the UK, the atmosphere would have been electric at the Koelnmesse on Thursday – check out both of these below. Lore buffs can also get their teeth into the new lore mini-series over the weeks ahead at www.worldofwarcraft.com where Blizzard will release more episodes following ‘Lords of War: Part 1 — Kargath Bladefist’, perhaps generating more questions than answers, but a must see for Warcraft fans.

Don’t forget that you can pre-order Warlords of Draenor now to prepare for the November 13 launch, with that level 90 boost to get you right into the heart of the action. And if you 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.

Also in the news, Blizzard CM, Kaivax, reveals that “over the next few weeks, we’ll be testing a pre-expansion patch that will bring players to the brink of great peril, as the Iron Horde begins to aggressively gain a foothold on Azeroth. As part of this patch, players will encounter fierce new opponents and get their first chance to experience a number of updates we’re making to the game. In addition to changes to the skills and abilities for every class, this patch will introduce brand new features such as 20-player Mythic-difficulty Siege of Orgrimmar, as well as systems adjustments including stat squish and diminishing returns on crowd control”. Be prepared to see an advance party of Orcs coming through the Dark Portal and making their way to Blackrock Mountain. For a short time there will be a specially re-vamped five-player version of Upper Blackrock Spire sets the stage for the coming counterstrike against the Iron Horde.

For the Horde or Alliance, it’s time for our forces to unite and push back the Iron Horde before Azeroth falls.

Archive Warlords of Draenor stories:

BlizzCon 2013: Warlords of Draenor Revealed
Pre-Purchase Warlords of Draenor Now and get a Level 90 Character Boost
WoW Lore Series: Draenor

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.

February 22, 2014

Upgrade to the desktop App for Battle.net

Blizzard Beta Launcher

In the months ahead, the game launchers for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III will be automatically updated to Blizzard’s new desktop app for Battle.net. This update is designed to improve the launcher experience and streamline Blizzard gameplay. But you don’t have to wait until then to check out the new launcher, the open beta test is underway and you can download and install the app now – I would highly recommend doing this, I love the app is absolutely brilliant: http://www.battle.net/en/app/

So, what does this app give you?

Single Sign-On
Log in once to access all your games and stay logged in for up to 30 days, easy.

Install and Auto-Update Games
Install games directly through the app and, you can leave the app running on your desktop and keep them up-to-date automatically even while you’re away from your computer.

Get the Latest News
No need to check elsewhere for the latest news and update information, the app is a central hub for this information. You can filter news based on the games you play.

For more information about the launcher visit: https://eu.battle.net/support/en/article/launcher-update-testing

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!

October 21, 2013

Countdown to Blizzcon 2013

tattooed kittyWe are now on the final leg in the run up to Blizzcon 2013, 8-9 November at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. It’s a great time to be Blizzard fan with so much being offered up this year whether you are into WoW, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm. Whether you’re joining Blizzard at the Anaheim Convention Center or taking advantage of the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, you can find the schedule of events here: http://eu.battle.net/blizzcon/en/event-info/schedule/friday-schedule and ensure that you don’t miss a thing.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
“Malthael, the Angel of Death, grows restless. Having sieged the historic city of Westmarch, he now sets his sights on a new metropolis: Anaheim, California — the great gamer haven of the West” Blizzard.com. There will be 300 stations set-up to demo Reaper of Souls where all five original Diablo III classes will be playable, as well as the new Crusader class, a fierce mid-range melee warrior. It has also been confirmed that there will be a playable version of Reaper of Souls on the PS4 at Blizzcon this year, players will also be some of the first in the world to get their hands on a DUALSHOCK®4 controller to enhance their monster slaying rampage through the Nephalem Rifts.

reaper of souls crusader class

Heroes of the Storm
Blizzard All-Stars, formerly Blizzard DOTA is notably absent from Blizzcon 2013, the reason being because it’s changed it’s name to Heroes of the Storm. If you remember, about a year ago Blizzard and Valve engaged in a legal battle over the DotA name after Valve revealed that it was going to title its sequel to DotA, DotA II. That battle was eventually won by Valve and led to Blizzard naming its DotA sequel Blizzard All-Stars. And in true Blizzard style they have produced a trailer for Heroes of the Storm which can mean only one thing – we are bound to be seeing more about this one at BlizzCon.

Hearthstone Innkeeper’s Invitational
“The idea behind the Invitational is simple: Take some of Hearthstone’s most passionate players and pit them against each other in a no-holds-barred deathmatch” Blizzard.com. Blizzard have lined up Day[9] Vs. Reckful and Hafu Vs. Kripparrian in the top bracket and Trump Vs. Husky and Noxious Vs. Artosis in the bottom bracket, each player brings three decks with three different classes and play each other in a set of best-of-five matches – but if one of their decks loses then they will be eliminated, only one player will survive to be named ‘Grandmaster of the Hearth’, all live on stage at Blizzcon.

If you don’t have the option of going to Blizzcon in person, pick up your Virtual Ticket now and be part of the action http://www.battle.net/blizzcon/en/. Tickets are £24.99/€29.99/$39.99 and include: panels, interviews, and exclusive content; contests; the closing ceremony; in-game goodies and on-demand replays. Learn more about the ticket at http://www.battle.net/blizzcon/en/virtual-ticket/faq.

Don’t miss out, get your virtual ticket now! See you in November.

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.