Bethesda’s E3 reveal of Fallout 76 had many gamers and franchise fans talking, no more so than out among MMO bloggers. After all, taking the series online for the first time is a pretty notable occasion, is it not?
“As I said before, I am all onboard with a Fallout survival game,” wrote In An Age. “Exploring the wasteland and looting all the things consists of about 80% of my gameplay in this series, and I am currently on an extreme survival game kick the likes of which I have not experienced since my high school JRPG days. All of that sounds fantastic to me.”
Leo’s Life isn’t as enthusiastic: “I was certainly interested last week. Now, not so much. It’s not the game that I wanted, but it’s probably the game that someone else did.” And Endgame Variable notes that, “The first thing they showed was your basic animalistic gankbox-style PvP. That’s got to be sending a message.”
A small, seemingly insignificant addition to Battle for Azeroth might have a positive effect on World of Warcraft’s modding community. Blizzard is adding a function that will allow reports on offensive behavior to be sent from within addons themselves, which finally allows the mod community a way to police its previously lawless empire.
The “SendAddonMessageLogged” function won’t be automatically instituted into every addon; mod creators have to enable and integrate it themselves. However, once it is functional, this tool can help players report toxic behavior that is taking place in mods right to Blizzard’s CS department.
In other news, with artifact weapons heading out the door with the upcoming expansion, the question of the hour is how Blizzard will handle the removal of these legendary items. Players on the public test realm got a look at the artifact retirement questline that will come with next month’s Patch 8.0, and if you’re totally fine being spoiled, you can peek at what it will entail over at Icy Veins.
Remember when everyone was very excited about how World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth was bringing back class buffs like Mark of the Wild? Yeah, that’s not happening any more, but the latest community Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas explains why. As he puts it, class buffs were an experiment and they want to make sure that every class brings utility to a group, but there doesn’t need to be a separate buff for each class and Druids already have plenty of utility. So long, Mark of the Wild, we were all excited to see you again.
Hazzikostas also explains that there are no plans to change the current spec-limited nature of artifacts (although special transmog cases are being added for artifacts players might otherwise not frequently be able to transmog), no more major spec changes from the current test realm for 8.0, and no plans to remove old pathfinder achievements for flight. You can watch the entire Q&A just below or read the summary on Wowhead.
There are a lot of elements to weave together to tell stories in World of Warcraft. You can argue over whether or not the team doing so is actually very good at that task, but the point is that it is quite a task, and the panel for the team at this year’s E3 was all about the challenges of weaving together the game’s story and keeping things consistent. That alone is a challenge when you’re telling a story across games, novels, and various other formats for an extended period of time.
The team is promising to try new things during the lead-up to Battle for Azeroth, along with more major lore characters waving farewell. And there’s a discussion of the challenges in doing just that, along with keeping things consistent and building on long-term stories. If you’d like to look more closely behind the scenes, watch the panel just below; it’s only about half an hour long.
We’re just (presumably) weeks away from the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch, and World of Warcraft fanatics everywhere are starving for a hit of the new expansion. To capitalize off of this period of time, Blizzard has released a new Warcraft novel that leads up to the events in the expansion.
Called Before the Storm, the prequel novel spans the time between the end of Legion and the start of Battle for Azeroth, focusing on Anduin, Sylvanas, and the relationship between them. “Anduin enacts a desperate plan aimed at forging a lasting peace between the factions. Azerite jeopardizes the balance of power, and so Anduin must gain the trust of Sylvanas,” the description reads.
The studio also clarified interview statements made at E3 about the possibility of Blood Trolls being an allied race. So sorry, troll fans: they are “not currently planned” to be playable.
Time to stoke the fires of your World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth excitement! Testers have uncovered another Kul Tiran Druid shapeshift form, this one being a wickedly creepy bird-thing. With the choice between dinos and wicker, Druid fans have a lot to look forward to in the expansion.
And if you haven’t gotten on board with the whole “island expedition” feature yet, you may change your mind once you see a list of all of the potential rewards that you can earn from them. YouTuber HazelNutty helpfully compiled all of the mounts, pets, and toys to make us salivate as we wait for the August release. Check them out below!
Who’s excited to romp around in some swampland! Woo! Battle for Azeroth really knows how to bring the fun that will get all the kids talking about on the TwittChats!
Actually, it’s the primordial swampland of Nazmir, one of the upcoming new zones for World of Warcraft’s summer expansion. According to a tour of the zone posted on the site, Nazmir used to be the center of troll civilization but has fallen upon hard times as of late. It’s a “bleak swamp” that has a ansty tendency to disappear visitors who try to wade through it.
Players exploring Nazmir will find blood trolls, plenty of ruins, overgrown vegitation, tributaries, rivers, and the incredibly cute Tortollans. There’s also a five-player dungeon, Underrot, to conquer in this zone.
“Keep a keen eye out for edible plants and other items throughout the region which can provide a small boost to your powers as you travel,” the devs said. “You may need all the help you can get as you make your way deeper into the swamp.”
Sometimes it’s debatable whether or not World of Warcraft needs more of its lore in-game. Obviously, the newest Battle for Azeroth lead-up comic focused on the reunion between the Windrunner sisters is relevant lore; the return of Alleria and dealing with that particular tangle is important. But it’d be hard to really have it in quest format. “A journey and reunion between three sisters… oh, and this Tauren Sylvanas really likes. That’s not awkward at all.”
Of course the comic is already filled with plenty of awkwardness, seeing as how Sylvanas is the Warchief of the Horde, Alleria is filled with the Void, and Vereesa is as sad about the death of Rhonin as most players aren’t. So you can imagine that the comic doesn’t end with a feel-good message of togetherness. Still, if you’d like to see how the reunion goes down, you can read the full thing on the official site.
Players who feel like tanking is too straightforward in World of Warcraft will definitely have to do more stuff in Battle for Azeroth. Whether or not that’s more fun is a different story, but tanks are having their threat generation cut to 40% of their baseline value in Legion and as low as 20% of the threat generated by a fully geared endgame tank. So expect to tab around a lot more and frantically taunt things to keep everything on you. Doesn’t that sound fun?
No? Well, it’s happening anyhow, apparently.
Speaking of thankless chores you didn’t want, the latest comic leading up to the next expansion centers around Magni, former king of Ironforge and current speaker for the planet of Azeroth. It’s a thankless job with long hours, low pay, and also the fate of an entire planet resting on your diamond shoulders. Learn all about it in comic form!
News is flying fast and furious as World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’s beta test continues. Let’s catch up on a few details, shall we?
We now know the achievements required for unlocking the Dark Iron Dwarves and the Mag’hard Orcs, which takes an exalted reputation and a multi-stage war campaign each to attain. Don’t expect to unlock these on Day One of the expansion — or even Week One, for that matter.
Testers also poked around with the new and much more official Azerite traits interface, which replaced the temporary one that had been used up to this point. It looks really slick, the way you’d expect from a Blizzard UI. Another way that players will differentiate themselves from the pack is with reinstated utility buffs and debuffs.
Lately my attention has been arrested by all of the news coming out about Battle for Azeroth’s mounts. I know it’s totally dorky, but I’m really intrigued by the notion of riding a giant bee. Seriously, I want that bee mount yesterday. Yes, it’s completely impractical and bordering on farce, but it’s right down my alley.
There have been many opinions over the years about mount selections and varieties in MMORPGs. Some people enjoy the diversity and creativity that these exude while others find them annoying and immersion-breaking. I can appreciate how LOTRO keeps its mounts somewhat more practical while still having a blast with RIFT’s eclectic array (racing snail, awayyyy!).
Which MMO has the best mount selection — and why?
Would you pay $500 to have access to an auction house anywhere in World of Warcraft? Based on the current prices for WoW Tokens, that’s what it would cost you to pick up the prestige mount available right now in the Battle for Azeroth beta, which is priced at a cool five million gold. To put this in perspective, the last “utility” mount added (which has a vendor and transmog services) cost 120,000 gold, or the price of one token (which would still leave you enough gold to buy other stuff).
Of course, the math there makes a couple of assumptions. It doesn’t include the discount for being Exalted, which is significant; nor does it take into account that token prices and the availability of gold are likely to change over time. Still, it seems like there might be better investments to make, such as… well, even just banking some tokens, yes? It costs a lot of money.
The header image may have clued you in to the idea that Drustvar is not the most welcoming spot in Azeroth. Once you head there in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, you won’t be exploring the brightest portions of Kul Tiras. But you can get some sense of what the zone will feel like with the latest preview on the official site, showing you exactly what’s to be found within these darkened reaches of the Kul Tiran forests.
There’s witchcraft afoot in the whole zone, and from the moment you land you’ll be surrounded not just by the naval culture of Kul Tiras but also by suspicion and dark magics. Work your way along cobbled paths and into darker woods as you head west to the snow-covered mountains, which stretch all the way to Iceveil Glacier in the south. It’s not quite the full foot tour you can get in the game, but it should give you some sense of how the zone will feel.