Posts Tagged ‘WoW’

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Bugged Love

07.02.2011

I’m sure you’re all aware of this, but in case you’re not: There are a few bugs with ‘love is in the air’.

I find it kind of hilarious – I’m usually not one to participate in world events (save for Noblegarden), but the one time I think to myself “well, nothing better to do, let’s go hunt some achievements” – they’re bugged. It started with not being able to buy anything from the vendors. Okay, so maybe there’s something weird going on and Worgen can’t buy these thing in Darnassus. But the same happens in Stormwind.

Never mind, let’s go and do the Nation of Adoration dailies. High Priestess? Check. Prophet? Check. King Wrynn? Check. King Bronzebeard? Uhh… no, not really.

 

The reason I find this pretty funny instead of annoying: There are certain achievements that I couldn’t complete with this character anyway, so the meta is out of reach no matter what. Still, it surprises me how many bugs there are in the world events year after year. I think that they actually do fix all these bugs – but until the next iteration comes around, so many other details in the world have changed (if you can call the Shattering a ‘detail’) that their fixes just aren’t up to date any more.

 

Anyway, the event runs almost two more weeks, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that Blizzard fixes it in time. Even if not – it’ll be there next year.

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A casual 2010 in Azeroth

04.01.2011

Each year (apparently, as I can’t tell you much about previous years), WordPress.com sends out a report on how your blog did. Everybody around seems to be posting some sort of yearly recap, so I figured, why not, let’s try this.

 

Blog Health

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

 

Truth be told, I have no clue what they’re measuring. Consistent posting and visitors, presumably. From what my stats tell me, there indeed seem to be regulars, feedreaders and a surprising amount of linkage coming to this little blog, so while ‘Wow’ may be exaggerated, I’m pleasantly surprised.

 

I’d like to thank all of my readers at this point, as well as my favourite commenter, Saga – it’s been a pleasure so far and I’m hoping all of you will stick around a while longer.

More stats and a quick review of my year in Azeroth after the break.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Fort Livingston, I presume

01.12.2010

A week has passed since the Shattering, and coincidentally, I’m back from a week of much-needed vacation. So instead of blogging about every single change that I noticed, here is a collection of impressions from my shattered Azeroth.

 

Phased Zones

They said that they wanted to make heavy use of phasing, and they didn’t disappoint. I’ve only seen it now in the Plaguelands, but it is simply epic. Actually seeing a difference you make in the Battle for Andorhal, later the recapture of Tyr’s Hand – that is truly fantastic. The journey along Fiona’s Caravan isn’t too bad either, and serves quite well to keep the quests flowing.

It’s not quite on the level of interaction you get from single player game like the Fallouts, but it really keeps you immersed in the game.

 

Bugged Quests

Sadly, the new, phased zones seem to be plagued with a few bugs. Actually, the first quest bugs I’ve encountered so far.

One, the Battle for Darrowshire, seems to be now hotfixed – though I’ll have to try for myself later today.

Two, Into the Flames can be completed but not turned in – I’ve already opened a ticket and am awaiting a response.

Other than that, NPC’s in phased quests seem to behave strangely sometimes, especially when multiple players are doing the same quest.

 

Stormwind rebuilt

Deathwing almost destroyed Stormwind. But that’s okay, they rebuilt it, bigger and better than ever. Did you notice the subtly applied new textures? How the pavement changes between districts? The old park may be gone, but the new outskirts area is so much more open, and in my eye, even more beautiful than the old park.

Also,  the castle. It’s like the completely tore down the old one and build a new one instead. With a proper entrance and everything.

And if you were complaining about the lag in the marketplace and auction house – head on over to the Dwarven district – I like the bank and auction house there. Ideal for smelting and blacksmiths, and with almost nobody else there (yet).

 

Worgen now in!

Of course, with Worgen PCs coming in just a few short days, there are already Worgen NPCs around. And the nice touch: You can already gain Gilneas reputation! And don’t you just love the accent? Granted it’s a bit exaggerated, but which of the accents in the voice acting of WoW isn’t…

 

New music is kind of meh

Entering Stormwind the first thing you’ll notice is the changed music. But, sadly, like the old one, it gets annoying rather quickly. So listen to it once, then turn of in-game music and switch back to your favourite iTunes mix. But points for effort.

 

New flightpaths are sometimes overkill

In some zones, like the Wetlands, it’s nice to have a few more flightpaths scattered around. In other zones, it seems like overkill. If you can’t stomach a short 40 second ride (or shorter depending on your riding skill), maybe questing isn’t for you? But then, I probably shouldn’t talk – I’m lazy as hell myself and yes, if there is a flightpath, I take it. I may immediately smack my forehead for wasting 20 copper (25 years of living in Swabia will do that to you), but I ride the taxi nevertheless.

 

Zone specific quest achievements

Not much of a change for those of you coming from Northrend, but the new achievements mean a lot less bookkeeping for potential loremasters. They also provide some sort of progress bar when questing through a zone. I’m German. I like statistics and forecasts and whatnot. So yay for a more detailed breakdown of questing achievements.

 

New questlines – epic!

Really. I don’t think anything else needs to be said. The new, remade questlines are well written, gripping and generally much more involved and character driven than the old ones. Instead of the old “Kill ten Defias thugs”, followed inevitably by “You’re back? Oh well… go and kill ten Defias muggers, then.” you get to know the questgivers, the reference you to others who then have already heard of your exploits and maybe you can help with this much more pressing problem they’ve got.

 

A new leveling experience

This is a combination of the phased zones and redone questlines, really. But leveling feels much smoother, much less grindy, much more story-oriented than previously. It also feels a lot faster, which in some ways I regret. I’m a big fan of the “there are much more powerful enemies and dangerous areas out there” feeling. The smaller zones mean that in many cases the mobs are more tailored to your level – changing it up sometimes with a couple of rare but powerful mobs would be nice.

Of course, most of the time you’re so deep in the storylines that it doesn’t matter. Questing through the Plaguelands was the first time that I didn’t want to stop playing not because of “just a couple more mobs and maybe I get a cool quest reward” but “I won’t stop playing until I know what happens to this character”.

I just hope that when I outlevel Azeroth and move on to Outland and later Northrend that the quests there hold up to the new standard.

 

 

The world lies in shambles. But what a world it is!

Well done, Blizzard!

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Cataclysm is not Entropy!

19.06.2010

Wowhead has recently published a comprehensive list of updates about the upcoming Cataclysm. Besides the usual class specifics, one article caught my attention: A lot of the changes previewed have been cancelled, while new additions are being developed instead.

I won’t comment the whole article, but there are a few highlights that seem important for solo players and casuals alike.

Path of the Titans

Blizzard has scrapped the entire Path of the Titans progression system.

Well. That was something to start the article with, wasn’t it? It was heralded as the next big thing in player progression. Apparently, however, it turned out to be too similar to the current Glyph system. I still think that some parts of it could end up in a future expansion – there is a huge void where spiritual aspects are waiting patiently for there time.

As for the Path of the Titans – if it really would have been too complicated, or if dumbed down too similar to the Glyph system, then I understand the scrapping. The question remains, will a revamp of the Glyphs be enough to keep players happy? I’d say yes, but read on, the next point could change your mind.

Glyphs

they’ve added a new tier of glyphs: Medium Glyphs.

More variety, more choice, more outlets for creativity and personal style. I like it.

the glyph UI now lists all the possible glyphs for your class.

A nice change in the UI, although I think that even this is inferior to having a database ready at Wowhead, wowwiki et al.

There was also talk about making glyphs permanent rather than consumable-so that as soon as you used a glyph for the first time, it was added to your “list”, and thereafter you could rearrange your glyphs later on as you chose.

Now, this we have to talk about. Yes, it is very convenient. Yes it suits a casual player like me, actually. But good heavens, would it wreck the economy. Once you buy all Glyphs, you never need to buy more. I predict, in my humblest opinion, that Blizzard will think long an hard about this change and quite possibly not go through with it.

Guilds

the whole guild currency idea has been scrapped

Why am I talking about guilds anyway? Because I’m a guild. That means I hope I can get some benefits from this guild system extension, enabling me to solo more content.

As it is, guild currency? Not a huge fan. Scrapping thereof? Yay. We have enough different currencies, tokens and turn-ins as it is, Cataclysm will add more, be sure of it. It is quite confusing what you can buy with which currency, especially if you’re casual and / or solo and those tokens are hard enough to get in the first place. Keeping the system clean and simple is always the better solution.

The whole guild talents idea has been scrapped as well

This is of course only the half truth. There are now guild achievements. I think it’s a fair change, even if I’m less likely to qualify for the achievement requirements. Again, this keeps the system simple and in line with personal achievements. The whole overhead of having to distribute the talent points, respec and what-not wasn’t worth it, according to Blizzard, and based on the information I have, I have to agree.

New Zones

Stormwind

A second trade district-mailbox, auction house, bank, etc.-has been added to the Dwarven District.

Nice. Stormwind is big enough to house two trade centres, and the market place was awfully crowded.

They’ve added some new areas in the back-some lake area, as well as a city cemetery. Some quests have been added here to help flesh them out.

Well, they’re gone and flattened the park district, so getting another scenic view instead is nice. Plus quests centred in and around the city are a welcomed change.

Other Juicy Tidbits

The Shimmering Flats is mostly submerged, but the majority of the gameplay still takes place above water.

Hope you can swim.

When you gain a level, an announcement appears in the centre of the screen letting you know what new abilities you have access to, and advising you to see your trainer. Skills you’re levelled for but haven’t trained yet will be marked as such in your spellbook.

This is an enormous time-safer for those who don’t have the wiki open all the time. How often have you seen the message about reaching an even level, dropped everything you were doing because you thought “with those new skills I’ll blaze through my current quest!” only to find out that a talent you never used anyway now lasts twice as long? Now you know when to hurry back to your trainer and when to wait until you reach yet another even level.

Archaeology will let you find two types of items – Common Artifacts, which are kind of a collection game where you’re trying to find all of the artifacts for a particular race, and Rare Items which will produce actual usable items. Most Rare Items will be cosmetic only, but a few will have actual effects.

Cool. Archaeology suddenly got some meaning!

Wrath of the Lich King had about 1000 new quests. Cataclysm has over 3000.

Wow. Seriously. If they are as detailed as the Wrath quests I hear about, wow again.

All in all, I’m happy with this update from Blizzard. Cataclysm is turning out to be about change, not entropy as some feared.

Now on with the Worldcup!

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Sometimes I miss thee, Britannia!

26.04.2010

My last encounter with MMORPGs was Ultima Online, back in the day. Well, ’00/’01 anyway. There is no doubt that World of Warcraft is far more refined and a lot more addictive than UO was. Proper questlines and instanced dungeons have a huge impact on playability, as do a myriad of other differences.

But sometimes I find myself thinking: “Well, right about now, I could really use that cool feature from UO.”

Some examples include:

Player housing. Now, players allowed to build houses in an uncontrolled way as it happened in UO was just a bit shy of a complete disaster. But players being able to set up their own shops (granted, that was in a world where there was no Auction House), a Guild Hall, maybe even a castle. That meant something. I’m sure if Blizzard wanted, they would find a way. Right now they don’t want to, but I’m still hoping they’ll eventually include it. There’s so much potential for customisation, player creativity – and the Blizzard Store as well, make no mistake in that regard.

Ships and boats. The size of the world is a problem here. In Ultima Online, you could board you own ship and sail all around the world, explore strange uninhabited islands, find a friendly port and then sail back again. In Cataclysm, they’re bringing flying mounts to the Old World, so I have my fingers crossed that maybe ships are next.

Runes. That is, without a doubt, the feature I miss most. Runes or Runestones were initially calibrated to the caster’s location and you were able to teleport (or open a portal) back to that location from the rune. From anywhere, to anywhere. Runes of the most dangerous and hardest to get to parts of dungeons were highly sought after and went for absurd sums on player owned vendors. There were players that had a whole library of runes open to the public, and finally marking your rune with the last chamber of some dungeon was a huge personal achievement.

I know that Blizzard has very good reasons for not including those features, at least not yet. And I know that they might even be completely inappropriate for Azeroth or would wreak havoc on game balance.

Still…

Even if I just want to hear “Rule Britannia” upon entering the capital city – sometimes I miss UO.

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WTF?

23.04.2010

Yesterday WoW crashed on me. Actually, it froze the whole PC. That has happened before, and I suspect some heat issues on my GeForce – I’ll probably switch back to my open case setup I had before.

However, this time was a bit different: When I started WoW back up, I was greeted by the intro video. Which I have disabled. Then the screen was in 1024, while I play in 1680. At this point, I could already guess what would greet me when I logged in. Yep, all settings and keybindings were gone and a few addons welcomed me with their basic setup routine.

Fortunately, the keybindings were restored in a few minutes, as were video and sound preferences. Most addons still had their settings, and for ArkInventory (the one addon that did loose ALL customisation) I had a slightly aged backup that I made when I manually edited the lua file. All my Auctioneer ScanData is gone, though. The DataStore for Altoholic is still there, curiously enough.

All in all, about 45 minutes worth of setting everything up again. And making a proper backup of my WTF folder. Not quite the relaxing evening in Azeroth that I wanted.