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BlizzCon!

I broke down and bought a BlizzCon virtual ticket the day BlizzCon began, so I could binge watch the panels over the weekend.

Of course I’m still sifting through all the videos in the archive, but I’m pretty happy overall with the convention this year. They managed to bring us some awesome stuff despite no new expansion announcement. Number one on my list of cool stuff I can’t wait for is the new bear form coming at some point in the future. I mean look at this thing!

That’s amazing! WEREBEAR! This is gonna get Sylv back into the tanking game, which he hasn’t touched since the end of Warlords. The ghostly cat form looks amazing, too, but it’s really just a spectral variant of the forms we already have. The werebear is totally new and totally wicked and you can bet I’m gonna put in the time and effort to get it. I’m glad it has been announced as a solo adventure for druids – I’m less and less interested in grouping with people these days.

The announcement of Argus in a future Legion patch is really intriguing to me. We have zero information about it other that it’s Argus and it will be an outdoor questing zone. I assume it will follow along the same lines of the Timeless Isle and Tanaan Jungle, with a large zone devoted to questing, reputation grinding, and storytelling. I really can’t wait to hear more about it.

It was a great BlizzCon, but I did feel that Chris Metzen’s presence was sorely missed. His personal brand of hype and excitement was definitely lacking during the opening ceremony. None of the other developers have quite his energy or genuine enthusiasm, or his ability to fire up a crowd. I hope his retirement has treated him well; he has certainly earned it.

I hope you’re all enjoying the post-BlizzCon lull. We have a lot of neat stuff coming soon to the game!

 

 

 

BlizzCon

I have been buying myself a virtual BlizzCon ticket every year for a few years now. It’s so much fun! I can’t watch in real time, so I come home and watch the panels after work, but that’s fine. It’s still a great experience to plop on the couch with food and flip through the panels at my leisure.

No joke, the big reason I order the tickets is for the little in-game pet. Some day I would love to attend the con in person – I live in California, and not horribly far from the convention center. I think it’s about a 5 hour drive. It’s just cost prohibitive to rent a hotel and pay for the tickets. Some day, though. It’s a goal.

But with Legion launching before BlizzCon this year, I’m not sure what WoW news will be revealed. A BlizzCon without WoW news leaves me…almost nothing to watch.

I love Diablo but I haven’t played in years. I don’t even own the expansion. I liked Hearthstone well enough but I stopped playing after I got the WoW mount. I’m just no good at it. And I have a blast playing Heroes, but…again, it’s one of those things I don’t put a lot of time into. WoW is my main squeeze – what’s going to draw my attention at BlizzCon if the major WoW event of the year has already passed?

So do I plunk down $40 on a virtual ticket for the pet, knowing that the panels this year will be less than interesting to me, or do I skip it and feel left out and petless?

What if they DO announce something WoW-related and amazing? What if they drop a big WoW-sized bomb on us? With the new Legion expansion and the (kind of) successful WoW movie that recently released, they’d be nuts not to have something WoW-related lined up to reveal at the con.

I’m hoping for something cool, like patch info or some big reveal we haven’t sniffed out yet from datamining. But I’m not super hopeful. What is going to be the draw this year? The movie is already out, Legion will already be out…how will they get our attention?

I’m still debating buying the ticket and finding out for myself.

Legion Spoilers and Alpha Testing

I am so super excited for Legion I can hardly contain myself. I’m anxious to see my class hall, experience the artifact quest lines, explore the Broken Isles…all of it! I purchased the digital BlizzCon package and spent a couple of days back in November nerding out and getting excited over all the possibilities.

That said, I have decided to decline participation in the alpha/beta testing phase. The biggest reason is that my play time is limited right now (and will be for the foreseeable future) and I want to spend it playing the live game. I don’t have the time to help properly test a beta version of the game.

My second greatest motivation is to avoid burnout. I don’t want to play the Legion alpha and/or beta and then feel like all that content is old hat when it is finally released live. No matter how you slice it, testing content in the beta phase is still playing it, and I’d like to have that content feel fresh and amazing when it comes out.

I beta tested Cataclysm, way back eons ago. It was a lot of fun! But I remember also that I was sort of meh about the Cataclysm stuff when it finally released. I’d already seen a good chunk of the content and it just wasn’t shiny and new anymore. I’d like to avoid that with Legion.

I am also trying to avoid spoilers. I’m not going out of my way to avoid everything Legion related, but I’m trying to tiptoe around any major lore/story spoilers as best I can. I’m not concerned about little things, but I don’t want to know the big stuff. I still have zero idea who the big bad is in Legion (I’m assuming Sargeras, but I have no clue), I don’t know who any of the major players of this expansion are (the cinematic leads me to believe that Sylvanas and Varian will be involved) and I don’t really know what the plot is aside from demons invading. I’m happy with my ignorance for now. Things will be that much more interesting if I haven’t discussed them to death months before Legion hits.

I am eagerly awaiting the next expansion, but even so I’m trying to focus on Warlords. It bugs me how an expansion announcement almost automatically renders the current game obsolete and boring. People start discussing the new content and dismiss the old. There’s still a lot left to do in Warlords, at least if you’re as casual as I am. I still have pets to collect, achievements to work on, a moose mount to get….there’s still stuff left for me in Warlords. Not enough to keep me busy for 5 or 6 months, but still a lot.

I’m enjoying farming up rare mounts. I got one of the drakes off of Malygos, and the drake off of Deathwing a few weeks back. The real prize is Invincible’s Reins, but I doubt I’ll see that any time soon 😉

I hope y’all are enjoying the end of the expansion lull, whatever that means to you. Whether you’re still playing or taking a break or only just now beginning your journey to Draenor, have fun and keep your fingers crossed for an amazing Legion expansion.

 

 

 

Mists of Pandaria! Aka, MoP…

We got a crapton of information dropped on our heads today, so I’m going to take a minute to try to make sense of it…

The new expansion:

PANDAS. Who doesn’t like pandas? Ridiculous people, that’s who. People have been requesting Pandaren for a very long time and I’m happy to see such a popular race brought into the game…even if it never really existed before. I really want to see female pandaren…if they even exist. They have to exist right?

The new graphics:

Maybe not “new” per se, but definitely improved. The new island looks fantastic. I don’t care if WoW ever updates its graphics to mimic Aion or Rift or any of these newfangled games these kids are playing nowadays, but seeing them put the effort forth to make the art and the animations really come to life is great. It’s a double edged sword though…time will tell if my computer can handle anything too lavishly updated.

The new class:

MONKS! Really excited for a whole new class to play. And a new hybrid class to boot? Yes please! I can’t wait to try it out. Not sure if I am enamored with their choice of armor class though. Freakin’ loot competition. I’m just glad they start at level 1!

The new talent system:

I haven’t looked it over much yet. A step in the right direction? Maybe. I’ll reserve any further comments for when I actually get to play with the thing. But I have high hopes! The talent system in Cataclysm was great.

The new pet battle system:

Uh…okay, I’m on the fence. For one, it looks like a shameless and rather disturbing replica of Pokeman. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with Pokeman. I loved Pokeman (and, okay, I still do. Sue me). It feels kinda ripped off. But on the other side of this coin, I’m super excited to get to do something with my mini pets besides hoard them all in my bags and show them off with my nose in the air. I can see this being the type of thing I’m going to be massively addicted to (as if I need anything else…) and this is another thing I think I should reserve judgment on until I get to play with it. I’m also curious how pet collecting achievements will work now if you can just go out into the wild and “capture” critters or whatever. It kinda takes the challenge out of collecting large numbers of pets, but at the same time it also opens it up for us to collect a wider array of things.

In conclusion:

I’m super duper excited…but there is one thing dampening my enthusiasm. The number of characters currently allowed per server. I’m maxed, and almost everyone is level 85. Now if push comes to shove, I can deal with having to delete (or, if funds permit, transfer) a character to make room for a panda…but I feel that it is now well within the bounds of reasonable for us to ask Blizzard, seriously now, for more characters per realm. As a friend said to me, it would be poor design on their part to give us 11 classes and only allow us to play 10 of them on one server. Some folks will rail against that notion and try to stomp on those of us who like to play multiple characters, but I stand firm. We need another character slot. And until we get it, I’m going to curb my enthusiasm for a class and a race that will, at best, become a neglected alt on another realm.

Also, I signed myself up for the new Annual Pass thing. If you’re craving a beta invite as badly as I am (I got in once and now I cannot fathom not doing so again) then you might look in to it. You don’t pay any more money than you would normally for 12 months of WoW, and since I’m certain I will still be here chuggin’ along in a year it was a no brainer.