The rumors and speculation are true, according to the most recent World of Warcraft live Q&A. Ion Hazzikostas revealed that both Mag’har and Kul Tiran Humans are on the list of allied races planned for Battle for Azeroth, in addition to Dark Iron Dwarves and Zandalari Trolls. If you feel like your old non-allied race is being left out in the cold, not to worry; while older races won’t be getting heritage armor per se, the developers do want to do something cool for veterans of the core races.
The discussion also ranged to Artifact weapons, which will still be usable at the beginning of the expansion; you won’t have all of the traits associated with it, but it will still be a good and usable weapon. It will sting to not have access to the old traits, but the design position is that it’s necessary for the longer term in the game. There’s also confirmation that crafting will now be split up by expansion rather than in an ever-ascending number, so you’ll have classic Blacksmithing, Northrend Blacksmithing, Outland Blacksmithing, and so forth. While it’s short on hard details at the moment, it’s enough of a nod to spur speculation as the expansion continues on in testing.
When can we start playing allied races in World of Warcraft? Probably as soon as we can pre-purchase Battle for Azeroth, based on current expectation. And when will that be? We just don’t know. What we do know is what the collector’s edition appears to be packing. Yes, it’s mounts and a pet, that’s always what we get, but it looks like it’s going to be two mounts based on faction and the previously spied Tortollan pet!
It looks like Alliance players will be getting an armored Seabraid Stallion (there seem to be new horse models out there) while Horde players get an armored raptor (representing the Zandalari Trolls). Obviously, nothing has been confirmed yet, but that’s what everything is pointing toward… and if that’s showing up in datamining, it might not be that far off.
As far as the actual game rather than the box for the game? Yep, WoWhead is datamining the heck out of that too – check out the mounts and beasties, music, pets, maps, and talents for just a taste of what’s available. Or don’t spoil yourself. You choose.
When Legion was on the way, World of Warcraft had a whole series of explanations about the broad and varied changes coming to every single class and spec. Some of them were relatively minor (Frost Mage), some of them made big changes to the spec (Enhancement Shaman), and some of them were huge reworks (Survival Hunter). The good news is that Battle for Azeroth isn’t making changes that large according to the latest development watercooler on the upcoming class changes. Instead, the expansion will be focusing more on diversifying specs in more meaningful way, including utility.
One of the big elements that is being tweaked for Battle for Azeroth is that all classes are getting more utility (either adding abilities or returning old abilities) to make groups have some advantage for each individual class; there’s more emphasis on making the various character options feel a bit more diverse again. There’s also a push to make talent choices less reliant on major match or specific types of content, but instead letting you play a character the way you want to play. Check out the whole thing for a top-level overview of the philosophy going into tweaks and adjustments with the game’s next expansion.
When are the first four Allied Races arriving in World of Warcraft? They’re a big feature of Battle for Azeroth, but evidence increasingly points to them being playable before the expansion launch, and the latest bit of datamining for patch 7.3.5 reveals another important piece of evidence. Yes, the starting cutscenes for all four races have been mined out, with each one getting a new narration from their respective racial leaders explaining what the race is doing and where it stands with its allies.
You know, the ones you get when you create any new character and log in for the first time. They’re familiar enough.
You can watch the cutscenes below, although you can expect some minor spoilers; they also are not necessarily finalized cinematics, so caution and suspicion is advised. Just the same, it seems to be more than enough evidence that you’ll be seeing them running about sooner rather than later. And hey, it’s been two expansions since any new races were added to the mix; we’re sure that people will be excited to see some new arrivals.
It’s long been known that the next Destiny 2
DLC will be out next year, with most players figuring on early in the year, but beyond that there has mostly been rumors and speculation. Now… there’s more than that. A page for the next DLC showed up on the Japanese and American PSN stores and was swiftly taken down, but as you no doubt surmised, fans took all of the necessary screenshots and have already spread the information
. Short version? It’s going to be called Gods of Mars
, and it’s sending you to… some planet.
Fine, it’s Mars, yes. Specifically, it’s the Frigid Vale of Mars, where players will find new quests, new landscapes, and perhaps most importantly new enemies to shoot. (And hopefully fewer bits of content retroactively locked behind the expansion.) You can check out the screenshot of the store page below, although you should be warned that any of these informational tidbits could be subject to change before its actual release date in March.
People who enjoy playing or watching competitive Hearthstone
will probably be excited about the recently announced changes to the game’s competitive play circuit
. The game is significantly upping the prizes for playing in official competitive events as well as instituting a point-based “Masters” program to keep solid players in the tournament circuit. If you’ve been around the competitive card game block before, the structure is more than a little reminiscent of some other card game that seems to have done all right for itself over the years
. And it means more matches and more incentive for players to take part, which is all good.
Of course, if you’re not into the competitive scene but still really enjoy playing it, you may be feeling a bit more of a pinch for the game; the title is still free-to-play, but it’s also getting more expensive year-over-year as the title moves away from single-player adventures toward more card sets. Of course, that’s also the price of getting every card rather than just the cards you want… but then, you can’t really control which cards you get from randomized packs, can you? But you can choose which cards you craft as you open more packs. So it balances in several directions.
When Andie “CCP Seagull” Nordgren
walked onto the stage at EVE Fanfest 2013 and delivered her long-term vision for the future of EVE Online
, the excitement in the room was palpable. EVE
was riding its highest peak concurrent player numbers in the game’s history following the overhauls of the Crucible
, and Retribution
expansions, and players were ready for a new blockbuster feature to fire their imaginations. CCP delivered its ambitious five year vision to hand the reins of EVE
‘s living universe over to its players, with player-built stargates and deep space exploration in completely uncharted star systems.
We’re now about four months away from the five-year mark on that vision, and many parts of it have now been completed, but no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy. We’ve seen some big feature drops such as the release of citadels, the industry overhaul, and the recent moon mining overhaul, but that deep space colonisation gameplay still seems far off. Some players feel as if EVE is currently in a holding pattern, with everyone waiting for the next big feature or overhauls to their favourite part of the game before deciding what to do next. So what does come next?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down the progress toward Nordgren’s 5 year vision so far and talk about the possible next steps I think CCP could take to make it a reality.
Speculating is fun, as I’ve opined in the past. We’re a while away from the next Final Fantasy XIV
expansion, obviously, but one of the interesting things about the game as it stands is that we have already nearly exhausted the usual suspects for likely future jobs. Seriously, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I keep databases about these things; most of the jobs that show up in multiple games with job systems or the equivalent have already showed up by now or have fundamental structural issues with FFXIV
So, for this bit of future speculation, I want to start by talking about the jobs that I imagine are still on the table from the past. I’m leaving out the ones that are almost certainly off the table, either for reasons that I’ve discussed before or because they don’t really work with job mechanics as they stand (don’t hold out hope on getting Onion Knight). From the remaining jobs we could turn to, which ones have some odds of showing up?
It’s hard to imagine that anyone is going to be upset about the idea of no lockboxes in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. Sure, Blizzard makes use of them in several other games, but at this point there are no plans to bring them into Azeroth, according to a new interview. (Whether or not that will change in the future remains to be seen.) Of course, the same interview that confirms that also confirms that we will not be getting our own personal boats, so it’s sort of good news, bad news.
Other interviews have indicated that the team wants to bring forward Mission Table-style content, so that doesn’t mean we won’t have anything similar; it just means it won’t be a boat.
Last but not least, there’s another “no” on the list that will either make you happy or sad depending on how you feel about the Legion mechanics for classes. While every class and spec will be adjusted and altered moving into the next expansion, there will be no major overhauls on par with the Legion shift, certainly nothing like the large-scale rework of Survival Hunters. Exactly how things will be balanced remains to be seen, but this is good news if you like your current spec’s playstyle. If you don’t… well, it’ll be adjusted, not wildly changed.
The release of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is going to bring with it a lot of core system changes. This is neither surprising nor unwelcome. We’ve also been warned for ages that we won’t be carrying Artifacts forward, and at this year’s BlizzCon we got our first glimpse at the system that will ultimately replace that system in terms of gameplay, the Heart of Azeroth.
I usually find what works pretty well as a quick litmus test for systems like this is to see how fast we all “get” the system in the newsroom. If some of us are confused as to how the system is supposed to work, it’s not being explained all that well. And I can’t tell you that the Heart of Azeroth has been particularly well-explained so far; it’s a straightforward and positive change to the game, but we’ve had better-explained systems. So let’s take a look at how things are meant to work, based on what we know now.
So let’s be honest with you, folks: We are writing this before we actually know what happened in the BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremony. We know that in all likelihood, this panel is going to be all about World of Warcraft: Expansion Titles Go After The Colon, but we don’t actually know what title goes after that colon. All we know is that it’s probably not National Lampoon’s Vacation.
It’s been a while since the classic RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
first launched, but Xbox One players are just getting to jump in on October 24th. Of course, odds are high that anyone playing Star Wars: The Old Republic
is already familiar with that game… but have you played the sequel expansion where you go and beat the snot out of Revan a few hundred years later?
Look, it makes sense in context. You can find out yourself by taking part in the MMORPG’s new promotion, which is giving away the first two expansions (Rise of the Hutt Cartel and Shadow of Revan) and a KOTOR-inspired speeder for all players. So there’s something fun even if you already have the expansions.
BioWare is also opening direct sales for SWTOR stuff inspired by KOTOR, including Darth Malak’s outfit, the Revan’s Heir title, an Ebon Hawk model for your personal stronghold, and a pack of multiple armors. So why not celebrate a new group of people playing an old game by dressing up like the characters?
First of all, a disclaimer for those who need it: Using datamining to figure out what’s going to be in the game in the future can be a mug’s game anyhow, and doubly so in World of Warcraft. Datamining can point the way to future content, but it can also point to Azshara Crater. Still, the prospect of four new sub-races in the game’s files may well mean that players can try these races out… or it may mean that Wowhead’s datamining just found a new way the game is organizing data.
Still, the possibility of having four new subraces is enticing, isn’t it? The four options found are Nightborne and Highmountain Tauren for the Horde, and Void Elves and Lightforged Draenei for the Alliance. They all make a certain amount of sense, but their inclusion is far from certain; these might be racial files stored differently or even just an abortive effort. We’ll know more once BlizzCon rolls around and we find out about that next expansion.