Tag Archives: world of warcraft

Blizzcon 2017 Round up

So Blizzcon is coming to a close once again, and our favourite developer hasn’t disappointed despite not having a whole new game to show off. So what did they have for us?

Warcraft

First up, it’s probably strange to most that the big news for Warcraft wasn’t the new expansion. Battle for Azeroth is the latest in a long line of expansion for the ever-popular MMO, but perhaps the fatigue is starting to set in and now news of a new pack is more like the start of a new season rather than something to really get excited for. That being said, we usually find the first few weeks of a new expansion to be the most fun while people actually get to explore and try new things out. Battle for Azeroth focuses on the war between the Horde and Alliance, taking place in whole new continents called Kul Tiras and Zandalar. It features new enemy types, a new level cap, dungeons, raids, new islands that looks like little procedural dungeons, 6 new allied races (new create-a-character options unlock once you have recruited those races in the story) but these are mostly variations of existing races, and a whole new levelling system that means you can choose from a lot more zones to level up. So now when you get to level 57 you don’t have to go Outland, you can head on straight to Northrend if you’d prefer and level up there instead.

Overall, it’s pretty standard for an expansion with nothing as exciting as a new class, but it seems to be setting up for what might become the real endgame of WoW, the war between Alliance and Horde. We wouldn’t be too surprised to see Blizzard abandon the expansion pack model after this one, instead supporting the game through content patches until they eventually move on to whatever will come next.

The big news for World of Warcraft was the announcement of official support for the vanilla version of World of Warcraft. We don’t have a timeline yet, but Blizzard will be making the original game available, complete with ammo counts, 40-man raids, having to walk to dungeons, LFG chat, and consumables for literally everything anyone ever wants to do. Seriously, if you didn’t play World of Warcraft before TBC, you might have a shock coming as to how hard and time-consuming the game used to be.

Starcraft

Starcraft’s surprise announcement was that the game is going free-to-play. Soon Starcraft 2’s multiplayer and Wings of Liberty Campaign will be entirely free, with the game being supported through micro-transactions connected to the popular co-op mode. The game is getting plenty of balance updates and more content for c-op mode too in order to keep the older players interested while the (hopefully) huge influx of new players find their feet. This could be a way to ensure the competitive scene stays alive by removing the barrier to entry for more casual players. As big fans of WCS, we’re hoping this works out well for them.

Heroes of the Storm

As expected, Heroes of the Storm is getting two new characters, with Overwatch’s Hanzo and the dragonflight’s Alextrasza joining the Nexus. We always want more dragons but couldn’t be more indifferent about Hanzo. He’s dull in Overwatch and he’ll be dull in Heroes, I can’t see what they could possibly do to differentiate his skillset from the other DPS assassins. Maybe Blizz will surprise me!

Other than that there’s not a lot new coming for Heroes, but considering the steady flow of content we’ve had over the year it’s hard to complain!

Overwatch

Overwatch is getting a new hero (of course) along with a brand new map set in Blizzard-style theme park. As massive theme park nerds we’re probably more excited about the map (and dreaming of it becoming real) but Moira (the new character) is fairly interesting too as a kind of shadow healer who can kick out a lot of damage while healing at the same time. Currently she looks like a Mercy who can also kill everyone, which sounds horrifically overpowered. Blizzard even joked about this, saying you spell her name ‘OP AF’ – but we’ll have to see what they can do to balance her or buff the other supports to fall in line.

Hearthstone

It feels like there’s something new every month for the insanely popular card game, but Hearthstone is getting another expansion, Kobolds & Catacombs, that’s themed around the idea of a choose-your-own adventure game. Everyone can get in on the fun with a free card out now and a quest coming later in the month.

 

And that’s your lot for this year! Sadly there was no news of Diablo 4 or any new titles like the rumoured Warcraft 4, but for the games you know and love there’s plenty to keep you occupied. We’ll be following the updates to Heroes of the Storm closely and potentially World of Warcraft if they can convince us to sign up (again)!

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Blizzcon 2016 Updates

We’ve got our Virtual Ticket so we’re going to be following all fo the news and updates from Blizzcon, especially news for our favourite games Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. Keep stopping buy to see our thoughts and opinions as the show progresses over the next two days!

Opening Ceremony: November 4th 6pm GMT

 

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What we want from the new World of Warcraft Expansion

So next week there’s going to be a new World of Warcraft expansion announced. It’s safe to say after Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor that people are wary after 500 days with no new content after Pandaria’s last patch and then the severe lack of content or new gameplay in Draenor. Garrisons quickly lost their appeal when you realised it was no more engaging than a 3d Farmville and even the shipyard featured more timers than actual things to do. We, like so many others, cancelled our subscription not long after reaching the max level, so what will it take for us to renew?

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New Hero Classes

Notice that’s plural. We know balancing classes is one of the most difficult things in World of Warcraft, you don’t want raids to be forced into taking 20 paladins or all healers to just be priests, but levelling up a new class is definitely one of the more exciting things to do in an expansion. We loved exploring the world as a Death Knight in Lich King and starting from scratch as a Monk in Pandaria – lets introduce more than one this time and really give the new expansion some longevity.

We think they should both be hero classes, so it gives the designers a little more freedom to create something that’s not only powerful but makes sense as starting off that powerful. For starters we’d like a Witch Hunter anti-magic class. It’d function like a cross between a Hunter and Rogue but with a strong focus on debuffs, particularly around magic. Silences, spellshields, counters, as well as a suite of movement-based escapes. While it might not do as much damage as pure dps classes, it would make up for it with survivability and debuffs. Imagine a spell nullification field during a raid boss, where the raid can gather to be entirely protected from a raid-wide damage aoe.

Secondly we’d like to see something a bit more unusual, a void shifter. This would be a magic-based tank that would rely on a giant health pool and rather than having mana, damage absorbed would power their attacks. They’d be more agile than the current tanks we have and work on intercepting as much damage as possible, jumping into aoes to absorb all the damage, then unleashing it as a channeled beam that would leave the opponent more vulnerable. It would be an interesting new playstyle, to try and throw yourself in the way of everything and fight in phases of damage gathering and then dishing it out. The chance to have a magic based tank would also mean we could have some new art styles in terms of armour.

More meaningful factions

Factions have always been a grind to be feared more than anything else, and while the grind can pay off with some special enchants, a mount or some tabards, it’d be nice if they did more. We’d like the factions to be tied in with the story, changing the path of cut-scenes you see and which parts of the world you use. This was experimented with in The Burning Crusade but we’d like to see it go further with some really meaningful decisions to be made. It’d be nice if it was reflected in your garrison too.

Keep garrisons

As controversial as garrisons have been, we like the idea. We wish they didn’t provide resources of every type for everyone, we wish they were more interactive, but we like the basic principle of them as a place you can call your own. Hopefully you’ll be able to bring your garrison over to the new areas and customise it a little more this time around. The professions buildings should be gone, except for the professions you actually have, all it does is isolate people

Make all the professions useful

A fairly simple way of achieving this is to make all professions create an important consumable. Obviously alchemists have flasks and potions, scribes have glyphs, enchanters have… enchantments, but we’d like to see this expanded. In vanilla WoW Engineers made ammo and every professions seemed to make something everyone else wanted. Perhaps Blacksmiths, Tailors and Leatherworkers could be the exception as they will be making armour and weapons, but everyone else should have a way to consistently make money from what they are doing, no matter how many other people are doing it.

Overhaul the UI

It’s hard to play WoW at a high level without a plethora of add ons, so it’s about time the most popular ones were incorporated into the UI itself. A modular UI with huge numbers of official plugins would be amazing and Blizzard have been quite good about updating things as they go with the LFG and LFR tools and bags, lets just see them take it to the logical conclusion.

Improve the engine

While many will say WoW has looked the same forever, in fact the engine has been upgraded many times, with new water, weather and animation effects as well as better textures and geometry. We’d like to see another wave of optimisation, making World of Warcraft one of the first games to embrace DirectX 12 and the efficiency it brings. New particle effects, sharper textures and better draw distances would all help to improve the look of the game, without damaging the world they have already created. Let’s make this one a big leap Blizzard, not a tiny improvement to the quality of leaves.

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So that’s it, those are the things we want from the new expansions. We haven’t mentioned PvP, Raiding, Dungeons or the story, because those are the things Blizzard are already good at . Every story to the expansions has been engaging, if anything we’d prefer it if they pulled back a little and told a more intimate story, like the excellent Deadmines quest chain or what happened with Onyxia back in Vanilla. We’ve already saved the world, saved Pandaria, and now saved some alternate dimension, lets hold back and deal with some character stories, while Blizzard inevitably drop more hints about the coming of the Burning Legion and the Old Gods.

 

We’ll be reporting on all the news from Gamescom next week live from Germany so keep checking the page and Twitter for regular updates!

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World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

It’s time to save the world…. of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria is the fourth expansion to the massively successful World of Warcraft and takes us to a new continent, the mysterious land of Pandaria. The story goes that Pandaria is a world of balance and magical mists have kept the island a secret, until Deathwing came and ruined everything with the C ataclysm. The beta doesn’t include every part of the new expansion, but lets us have a look at the new class, race, and starting zone.

Continue reading World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

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