Editorial: Holiday Updates in Mists of Pandaria
We've been wanting to try out editorials on Wowhead for a while, and we're excited to publish our first one today! If you like it, we'll consider doing more.
As our guide comments show, Wowhead users feel passionate about holidays, so the timing seemed right to talk about why holiday updates are important, especially in light of the lack of updates in Mists of Pandaria.
Players are always so excited by new holiday vanity items, but regret that there's not more to do in Mists of Pandaria. Between account-wide changes letting people finish holidays faster and the lack of updates, big or small, players long for excitement associated with past holidays.
There would have been so many opportunities for holiday development in MoP too--like Pandaren-themed Brewfest content, or even a completely new holiday, as we joked about on April Fools with
and the Angler's Deep Sea Dive[/u
In with the Newb, Out with the Old: The Future of World of Warcraft
It was an interesting week for outside sources, with
an interview featuring Tom Chilton on IGN
a very in-depth examination of WoW's subscriber woes at Gamasutra
The catch? Both of them deal with the future of Azeroth in different ways. Gamasutra analyzed the shortcomings of Cataclysm, interviewing players and even Blizzard employees to figure out what's in store. IGN took a more basic approach, going directly to the source with both Tom Chilton and WoW's art director explaining everything in their own words without leaving room for speculation.
IGN With Tom Chilton on 4.3
Chilton didn't waste time getting to the point in
. He immediately started dropping juicy tidbits about the Deathwing encounter, saying: "The fight takes place in multiple different environments, you'll actually potentially get loot at different points in the encounter so it's broken up into larger scale overall. Players will start at Wyrmrest Temple and then eventually it progresses to players fighting on back flyin
Cataclysm Soundtrack: Reviewed
I don't bring this up all the time because I know it's not something that everyone shares with me, but I
video game music.
This started long before video game music was actually good enough to be worth of love. I'm the guy who settles in for long car trips by listening to music from the original
Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack
. I love the soundtracks to the NES
Toejam & Earl
. I'm a big fan of the
Descendants of Erdrick
So with that in mind, about two years ago I wrote a blog about the soundtrack to Wrath of the Lich King. If you're interested in reading it, you can find it here:
With this in mind, I'd like to talk a little bit about the
If you're interested, you can join me after the break.
How's the Cataclysm been treating you guys so far? The expansion added a ton of new things to do, including new dungeons to run, quests to complete, raid encounters to defeat, items to craft and otherwise acquire. Despite all of those substantially more "important" things, a new secondary profession was added, available to players who have purchased the expansion.
lures players to spend the substantial amount of time grinding out digsites and completing artifacts with promises of odd, quirky and even downright amazing blue and epic quality items. Other secondary professions offer an expected, substantial benefit, such as the valuable food buffs obtained by
, and who doesn't love being able to bandage? But
is a bit different.
Read on for Archaeology information, including lists of all of the rare artifacts, and my own personal impressions of the profession!
Dungeon Finder: Friend, Foe or Fail?
Recently, a player on the official forums brought forth a strong opinion regarding the use and abuse of the Dungeon Finder. I'll admit, I haven't been using the Dungeon Finder much lately to find groups as I've been solely doing Heroics with my guildmates or premade server groups. Apparently, though, many players are reporting cases of abuse of the system, ending up in groups which are ruled by seemingly tyrannical leaders / groups who call the shots in rude and unfair ways. That is, when they're actually playing. Players are also reporting groups where people will queue up as a majority or tank / healer role, then refuse to actually
play the game
. I'm sorry, but if you're going to sit there and go through the trouble of logging into the game and queueing up for a dungeon, why the hell
How should players deal with this? Is it our responsibility to have to deal with attempting to kick players (which won't always work), or are changes to the Dungeon Finder by Blizzard the answer? Do you think the problem is in the Dungeon Finder's lack of penalty for such players? Would a karma system
work? Read on for a full look at the Dungeon Finder system and learn to
Are Heroics Too Hard? Blizzard Doesn't Think So (And Neither Do I, Hah!)
As many players hit level 85 and begin to queue for Heroic dungeons, there has been a resounding echo among the users of the official forums and pretty much everywhere else, all preaching a single thought: Heroic dungeons are too damn hard! Many of these players are skipping straight into Heroics as soon as their item level average permits, since (after all) this is the intended "ready" point for the content. But is it too low? Or are the Heroic themselves too difficult?
Today, Blizzard poster Zarhym responded to an angry poster, admitting that Wrath of the Lich King content was actually
and the Heroics are supposed to be as difficult and as much of a test of skill as they now are.
Players were conditioned at the end of Wrath of the Lich King to mow through Heroics at lightning speed. Not only were they too easy to begin with, by the time Dungeon Finder came out players greatly out-geared the majority of these dungeons.
The reality is that it makes sense for Heroics to be a true and necessary stepping stone into raiding. They are more difficult
Ding: Realm First! Level 85 Rogue
For those of you who have not been following my escapades on
, a few months back I personally decided I was going to attempt the "impossible" and obtain
. Since I actually managed to achieve this amazing feat two weeks ago, I've had quite a few people ask how I did it and what was going through my head in the process. So here I am, fully rested after several days of recovering from little to no sleep during the launch.
First off I want to put a disclaimer here, doing a Realm First is not for the faint of the heart. It took a lot of hard-work, dedication, and the help of some awesome guildies. To name a few of the people who really helped out and encouraged me during the attempt:
and the rest of my
buddies. I couldn't have done it without you!
But now let's get back to how it actually worked.
Guilds, Lockouts, and a Buyers Market
The moment Blizzard announced the changes to raid lockouts, I rejoiced. I cheered. There may even have been some standing up and dancing involved, maybe. You see, I'm a 10-man raider and I am one by choice. The idea that I can raid what I want without feeling pressured into doing 25-mans because of the better loot is a change I fully approve of. It is not, however, a change without consequences or without controversy. This change will impact each and every one of us on an individual level.
The changes to Azeroth because of this may be as significant as the sundering itself, and my thoughts on them continue after the break!
Guest Post: Who Leads Your Raids?
I've been sending emails back and forth with
for a little while now, and he's expressed a desire to do a little WoW-related sociological research. Specifically, he's wondering whether there is a gender bias between raid leaders, as compared to the normal WoW-playing population.
So what do you think, readers? Take a moment to join us for a little highbrow discussion, and let's see if we can't do a little scientific inquiry!
Join us after the break!
BlizzCon 2010 Recap and Summary
So the team is straggling back in from BlizzCon, and slowly but surely catching up on our sleep and resuming our normal duties!
For those of you who are looking for our minute-by-minute coverage, you can find it on our
page. If, however, you're looking for a recap and summary of the festivities—and of course all the pictures we took—then this is the place!
Check after the break for thoughts, news (summarized in a more readable format), and pics!
Just a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend an event called "Afroshoto", held at Boardners down in Hollywood. The event featured a small invitational Super Street Fighter 4 Tournament—8 total players, single elimination—as well as a small concert by a group called the Miles Mosley Band (which I recommend highly).
It was all in all a very successful event, especially for a Sunday night, which is hardly a major bargoing night. The band was excellent, the tournament was impressive (and watching Justin Wong go all the way with
, my character of choice, was nice), and it was awesome as always to be at a public gaming event.
The band leader said something interesting, though, as they were setting up. I can't remember well enough to quote exactly, but the sentiment was something like this:
For the first time in history, technology has advanced to the point that the toys of our childhood have evolved enough to remain our primary form of recreation as adults.
This stuck with me, long after the event itself. The more I think about it, the more I realize not only how true it is, but how
Happy "One Year Since Cataclysm Was Announced" Anniversary!
Well, it's been one whole year now since World of Warcraft's Cataclysm expansion was announced on August 21, 2009 at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California! Since then, we've learned countless of new things about the upcoming expansion and all of the wondrous features we have to look forward to - the drastic changes to Azeroth, the return of Ragnaros, new playable races, guild leveling and so much more! Sadly, the one thing we haven't learned of in all this time is quite possibly one of the most important details of the upcoming expansion - the
. Recent interviews have allowed us to speculate of a late 2010 release (as they originally intended) but we're running out of 2010! I'm about to choke from my nerdy mouth frothing so long over here!
I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you guys the news that we've
! It's now even more chock full of glorious screenshots of the changed world and extensive, up-to-date details on major Cataclysm changes! Of course, we're gonna keep updating this guide probably until Cataclysm is ready to hit, so be su
The Expansion Agenda—Where To Begin?
In 2006, when the release of the Burning Crusade was not too far away, I remember feeling rushed to level my paladin to the level cap before it was raised. I didn't think I'd manage to make it in time, but luckily for me I did, and with very little time to spare. In retrospect, this was also a bad thing, too, because by that time almost everyone had very little need or interest to go to instances like
, which I needed to do for the quest chain to get the
. Despite the setback, I was ready for the Burning Crusade expansion like most other people, and couldn't wait to start leveling my paladin again.
And then came the day of the expansion's release. As soon as I picked up my preordered copy of the Burning Crusade, I remembered thinking, "Forget my paladin, I want to play the new races!" That's right, the level 60 paladin into which I had put countless hours of work was abandoned because of a brand new Draenei Shaman on my character list. I spent a month or so leveling my shaman before I finally realized that all the time that I had put into my new shaman should have been used on my paladin instead.
Games to Teach the Youth
For most of my life I have been unhappy with the education that has been offered to me. Few countries know how to deal with gifted or troubled students, and only a few teachers are able to act properly when they find one. The bane of the genius and the idiot is to never be understood, they say. Well, I did a little thinking, some more talking, and finally decided to do some writing on the topic as well. Why do we often find education inadequate, and why are students growing increasingly uninterested in the classroom activities?
A simple answer would be something like "They are not interesting." Well, let's stick with this and try to figure out how to make learning more interesting. After all you can be the greatest teacher the world has ever known and will ever know, but if your students are not interested in the stuff you are talking about, almost all of your talent is wasted. We can look at neurobiology, or at religion, or at psychology, or at philosophy, and we would probably find some pretty good answers. However, I would like to offer you a drastically different approach to the problem - let's look at games.
Thoughts on Battle.net 2.0
has posted a very interesting story about the new improvements to
There are some very interesting improvements to the Battle.net system coming up with Battle.net 2.0, but there are also some strange—and some would say glaring—omissions. Got some opinions on the subject? Let us know!
The full story is here:
Wrath of the Lich King: Exhausted?
I have been playing WoW for close to 3 years now, I think. One of the main things that has kept me
in the game so long was a basic MMORPG concept, that Blizzard developed to great heights - there is always stuff to do. If it's not leveling, then it's questing. If it's not questing, it's money-making. If it's not money-making, it's gearing up. If it's not gearing up, it's raiding. If it's not raiding, it's achievement farming. I could probably go on for a while (without mentioning PvP, I don't really do that).
So okay, there is always stuff to do. The game is endless, and that's one of its charms.
Personally, I prefer
Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Advance Wars 2
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
(Never really played the first
), and I'll tell you why.
In Advance Wars: Dual Strike (AWDS), as you play, you unlock skills (+8% attack, faster movement through woods and grass, etc.) that you can equip on your commanding officers before a match. If you get all the highest level skills, and equip them on your two commanding officers, much of the normal campaign becomes incredibly easy. I'm capable of playing through it without paying too much attention, and using it to unwind when I don't want to have to think about anything too hard.
On the flip side, it also has the hard campaign, which assumes you have the best possible COs and the best possible skills, and is still designed to give you a challenge. None of the other Advance Wars games had this ability t
Gaming Can Make a Better World
Seeing that you have found this blog post, you have probably seen our last one as well -
Wowhead Interview on the Rawrcast
. I would like to bring to your attention a video that was posted on the
. It's a video published by
, which is a non-profit dedicated to spreading ideas that can change the world. Here is the direct link to the video on TED:
Jane McGonigal: Gaming Can Make a Better World
Catchy title, isn't it? Feel free to watch it there on the TED site, or you can view it here after the break.
Which Direction Is Our Game Heading?
As many of you know, the original pitch for World of Warcraft was an epic adventure where you would band together with your peers and defeat a common enemy, be it a huge dragon, or an opposing faction's army. This is the reason that a lot of players initially bought the game, but it's also one of the aspects of the game that seems to be disappearing.
Free Gear! Just Click Here
So in a lot of the Blizzard interviews and editorials and
, I've been noticing a similar theme cropping up, and it seems to have informed Blizzard's game design philosophy a great deal. It goes something like this:
People go where the gear is.
Blizzard, it seems, has finally pegged us players for the greedy bastards we are. So what does this mean?