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What Comes Next?

With the recent news that 6.2 is the last major content patch for Warlords of Draenor, I have begun to wonder what will come next for World of Warcraft.  This expansion has been a polarizing expansion across the board, with every change having its own share of celebration and derision, and with WoW now being a venerable game, almost 11 years down the path, what more is there for us the heroes to due in Azeroth and beyond?  Think about it, in the last almost 11 years, we have repulsed the Burning Legion, subdued the Nerubians, taken down the legion a second time, this time on a distant world, dealt with a fallen prince and the undead menace he created, dealt with a rogue dragon, found a long last land and almost destroyed it, and finally gone back in time to stop the threat created by the former horde war chief.  What more must we heroes do?  What would keep us interested in this game?

Here is my opinion on this.  I think at this point there are a couple of different options for what they might do.  It’s entirely speculation, but I think my leading idea on the matter is that we will be dealing with Azshara and a return of the burning legion.  We’ve pissed them off by ruining their plans in Draenor and they are going to want payback.  I don’t believe that they ever quit speaking with Azshara and I also think that she has the power and the capability to provide them a way back to the world.  We may see a new underwater zone, but I have the feeling that this may entail more a revamp of some of the current old world, with a naga invasion.  I think what we will see is the destruction of Bilgewater Harbor as the naga return to Azshara with a vengence.  At the same time there will be an increase in naga activity in Ashenvale and Stranglethorn Vale.  Phasing of these zones will introduce new leveling content dealing with the naga in those regions.  The eradication of Bilgewater will force the Horde to fight on their doorstep while at the same time move to reclaim Kezan and Undermountain for the Goblins, while the alliance moving to help the Draenai and Night Elves will stumble upon long lost Kul Tiras.   Additionally, the Zandarlari seeing an opportunity will make their return in an attempt to rebuild their nation.  This will leave both factions fighting a two sided war as they work together to deal with the newly risen threat.  This will be the first true test for Vol’jin as Thrall fades into the background and Vol’jin must now deal with his old nemesis and friends the Zandalari.

The name of the expansion?  Rise of the Serpent Queen

Just my idea, what do all of you think?

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An Acceptable Compromise

Rarely have I seen one issue cause so much discussion and venom in one community as the recent discussions about flying in World of Warcraft in Draenor and beyond.  So many of the people I’ve seen agree about other things in WoW were on opposite sides in this one and the discussion wasn’t always civil.  Personally, I am probably a rarity in the discussion, I didn’t care either way.  If flight was offered I might use it, if not then I’m ok with it not being there.  When I’m leveling whether it be main or alt, I do it without flight anyways.  I love the leveling experience and feel that I can only be totally immersed in the world if I’m in the world.  You don’t have the excitement of having to dodge that pack of Nagrand scavengers is you are flying above them.  I also realize that this is just my view on things and others don’t get the same enjoyment out of it that I do.  This is why I think that the way that Blizzard is introducing flying in this particular expansion is a good idea.

Gated flight is not a new concept in WoW, we have had it every expansion so far that I’ve played (I started in Wrath).  Up to this point, once you got your first character to max level you could purchase an unlock that would unlock for all you characters on that server.  This would normally mean that everyone would quickly push to max level then go back and experience what the rest of the content that they wanted to experience and avoid most of the danger, etc.. that came with it.  What they have decided to do now (incase you missed it, which I highly doubt) is actually gate the capability to fly behind content.  I like this idea.  The decision means that players will actually see the content that the developers have created (even if it’s forced upon them) and will hopefully get people out of their garrisons and actually doing stuff in the world.  I know this isn’t popular or acceptable for everyone (I wouldn’t mind seeing a PvP option for flight for those that don’t PvE), but I think it was the best way for the developers to give the community what it seems that most have been wanting while still staying to true to what they wanted from this expansion.

I look forward to 6.2 and all the new it brings and will see you all in the friendly skies when I’ve completed all the prerequisites.

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Thoughts on the Annual Pass

I’ve been watching a lot of what has been going on with the Annual Pass.  I’ve been watching Twitter, reading the forums and posts on other WoW sites and while a lot of what is being posted is the normal qq that always seems to happen when people don’t get things exactly the way they want, I see some legitimate issues with the way it has been handled by Blizzard.

I personally am an Annual Pass subscriber and no I haven’t been invited to the beta yet, however, I’m not upset about it.  I’m an experienced beta tester who has tested for multiple games through  the years and multiple MMO’s as well.  I understand that to keep servers stable you must invite in waves to ensure you are properly supporting everyone playing.  That is not one of the issues I see.  Below are the issues with the annual pass as I see them with my comments in-line.:

  1. Blizzard initially advertises the Annual Pass with the impression that those who signed up would get instant access to beta upon start.  Any of us who are experienced testers knew that this wasn’t going to happen, however most of those that signed up for the annual pass are not your normal testers they are players who enjoy the game and see the beta as a chance to play the new expansion early.  Blizzard could have stopped a lot of the initial complaints by knowing their audience and addressing this upfront.
  2. Blizzard announces that invites will come in waves, inferring individuals would be invited based off activity and when they signed up for the annual pass.  Based off what I’ve been watching from people I know on Twitter and what people are saying on the forums, there appears to be little rhyme or reason to the way invites are being handled.  (Let me emphasis, THIS IS BASED OFF WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING, not what I personally know)  I personally believe this could have been rectified by establishing the wave criteria, publicizing it and then sticking to that, none of which appears to have happened for this process.
  3. Blizzard started out with a small wave initially as is apt to happen when testing first opens up as you are testing only small areas, and then do to outcry seemed to very quickly invite a few very large waves.  This bogged down the questing areas as you had thousands of people all trying to complete the same quests at the same time, as everyone was stuck to one area and new characters. One of two things could have fixed this.  Either put up more servers to handle the load or keep invite numbers down until you can support them.

How would I have done this differently?  I personally would have set up a special beta just for the annual pass people.  It would have been a more stable client on a larger number of servers.  It would have been later in the Beta and would have been a preview, not a test.  I also would have made sure this was all stated up front.  Too much confusion comes from not having all the information on a program easily found.

I must clarify, these are just my thoughts on the situation and how I would handle things differently.  This is not meant to be a complaint post because honestly, while I love testing I understand that I’ll get in when I get in and it doesn’t bother me.

As always comments and criticisms are welcome.  Thanks for letting me rant a bit. (Steps down off the soapbox)

Thank you and a Status Update

First off I would like to thank Beru of Falling Leaves and Twisted Nether for featuring me on the Welcome Wagon today.  I’m glad you guys find me interesting enough to introduce me to your followers.  I hope to continue to put out the content that people enjoy.

Now for the status update.  I have been a little busy lately so I apologize that it has been a bit since my last post.  This week I transferred one of my two shaman on my main server over to Bronzebeard to free up room for a warrior and monk on Llane.  It may be the only server I do it on, but I want one of each class there at max level.  I will say that leveling on those will work for Mists as my intention is to level a Pandaren Warrior.  At this point I’m still trying to decide which race the monk will be.  I was initially thinking Tauren, but after seeing the animations, I may go Blood Elf instead.  The Tauren just looks silly to me, but at this point I’m still undecided.  I am working on a few new posts and should have at least one of them out by the end of the week.  I think part of the reason I’m taking so long on them is there are so many that are outstanding when it comes to lore that I tend to get a little perfectionist on my own lore writings.  I will try to tame this beast and realize that the story is important and as long as I do my research I’ll be fine.  Thank you all for reading my blog and thanks again to Beru and Twisted Nether for the intro to the community.  As always, comments and criticisms are appreciated.

Mist of Pandaria Press Release – First Impressions

Just wanted to do a quick first impression post on what my thoughts are on the information released last night.  Mainly going to just quickly hit the ones that stuck out to me.

1. New LFR loot system – I really want to take a wait and see on this one, to me it sounds like one roll per boss and if you win the roll you receive a piece of gear if it is on the boss.  Not sure what this means to roll bonuses and such as you won’t be rolling on individual pieces of gear anymore.

2.  Garrosh as the final boss –  I know a lot of people are looking forward to this one, myself included, but I’m looking forward to seeing the story leading to the raid, because currently I don’t see Garrosh as being much worse than some of the bosses I’ve had.

3.  Account wide pets – I’m just going to say it.  This will save me so much farming time as I always seem to want certain pets on specific characters.  Hopefully we will see account wide achievements and mounts soon as well.

4.  New minor glyphs – Very intrigued so far, will be interesting to see what they have planned for every class. Has me wondering if I’m going to be having to carry reagents again though, but we will see.

5.  New dungeons – Loving what I’m hearing so far.  I am looking forward to the revamped Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery, though I’m kind of sad to see Lillian Voss as a Dungeon Boss (Guessing based off Achievement leak).  I thought we might get more story for her.

6.  Challenge Modes, Scenarios, Pet Battles – I see these all as other things to do besides raid at end game and am really glad for the diversity.

7.  11th Character slot – I am glad to see this, I think we all are, however, was really hoping for the removal of the by server limit and just having the by account limit, hopefully that will be something we see in the future.

Just a quick run down of what I see. thanks for indulging me.  As always comments and criticisms are appreciated.

Still Here

Just wanted to drop a quick post to let you guys know I am still around and working on posts, the one I’m working on right now is taking me a little longer as I’m actually researching some things to make sure I have them right. I hope to have a new post out soon.

My Mists of Pandaria Wishlist

Blizzard has announced that the Press Tour for Mist of Pandaria will begin in March.  That got me to thinking about what features I would like to see in the new expansion, so below is my wish list for MoP.

1.  Revamp of BC/WotLK content to bring it up to current game time — I know this one isn’t going to happen, especially with how much work they put into old world content for Cataclysm, but would love to see the content for these two areas updated for events that have occurred in game.

2.  Removal of per character server limit — I really want this to happen, while I don’t mind creating characters on other servers to play with friends, I really hate having to go to another server just because I’ve filled all my slots on my current server.  With an 11th character class coming, this needs to change.

3.  Better gear Itemization — I understand that this isn’t an easy one, but it would be nice to as a shaman not to have to ignore most of the valor gear because the stats are the worst possible for me.  Most of my problem with this is it feels almost as my class/spec is ignored in itemization.  I know it’s not true, but as the minority class as far as stats, it does seem that way sometimes.

4.  Kul Tiras — Even as a hordie, I think it’s time for the alliance to have a big epic story line.  I think the introduction of Kul Tiras would present that opportunity.  Not only does this give us some insight into Jaina’s background, it also presents an opportunity to visit one of the unknown human kingdoms.

5.  Lore Progression — I know this is going to happen, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want it.  Looking to see more on what Sylvanas is up to, furthering of the ongoing tensions in the horde.  Some progression for Anduin, as well as with the Dwarven council of three.

Just a quick list, but I honestly think these are my top 5.  You’ll notice I don’t really talk about features, other than the server limit, I know Blizzard will bring a host of new features that will continue to make the game interesting.

As always, comments and criticisms are appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

 

Nerd Badges – Shared Topic

Akabeko over at Blog Azeroth has come up with an outstanding shared topic for this week, that I thought I should share my thoughts on.  His original post:

“How do you express your geekery? Do you own obvious paraphernalia like a Horde-symbol bumper sticker, in-joke tshirts like the dps/ups pun, or less obviously related items like a gift from a guildie? Rather than physical indicators, do you mix nerd lingo into your everyday speech or talk/post about geekdom in non-nerd spaces? How do you advertise your nerd tendencies? Does it help you to attract new nerd friends?”

I have to admit, I’m actually fairly new to expressing my geek in the clothes I wear.  I was more apt to choose things that allowed me to blend in rather than stand out.  That is not to say that people could not tell.  If you walked into my house my geekery has always been on display, with my wizards and dragons scattered throughout, and my Dungeons and Dragons books prominently in the bookcase.

Now, I tend to wear my geek badges quite proudly, mainly thru t-shirts but also in the things I talk about.  I think it helps that there are so many more geeks now then there used to be.  I also think we need to thank shows like Big Bang Theory and Chuck for bringing geeks more mainstream.  And it definitely doesn’t seem to hold the stigma that it once did.

Thanks all for reading my ramblings,  but, I think it is time for this Whovian, Trekkie, Star Wars Junkie, Brown coat, and Gamer to sign off.

As always comments are appreciated.