legion

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World of Warcraft eases up on flight requirements

Great news today for World of Warcraft players stressed out over the last batch of requirements to regain their pilot’s license. Blizzard announced on the forums that it is making the achievement easier in order to be more compatible with players’ schedules:

We’ve heard a lot of feedback and it’s clear to us that the cyclical Assaults schedule, and the design of the “do all 4” achievement for Pathfinder, weren’t compatible.

World Quests come and go all the time during the day too, while people are at work or asleep, and it’s not a big deal because they’re largely interchangeable. But that would change if we had an achievement required for Pathfinder that asked you to do a specific checklist of world quests. A lot of the stress and concern about “missing” individual Assaults is tied to this achievement, so we’re removing the achievement from Pathfinder via hotfix.

Once this hotfix is active, you will only need to reach Revered with the Armies of Legionfall and fully explore the Broken Shore to earn Legion flying.

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World of Warcraft activates the mage tower, starts looking ahead to Patch 7.2.5

Now that Patch 7.2 is out for World of Warcraft, what’s next on Blizzard’s plate? Other than last night’s hotfixes, that is. The studio isn’t talking (yet) about the anticipated Patch 7.3, but it has started to mention what players can expect to see in 7.2.5. It looks as if this smaller patch will be focused on class adjustments, starting with more changes to the talent screen.

In the meanwhile, the various features of 7.2 continue to be unlocked following last week’s release. Players can now build and access the mage tower in the Broken Shores, which is a handy structure that provides portals across the expansion and the ability to run artifact challenges for new appearances.

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Destiny 2 launches on PC and console September 8, ‘and there will be a ton of loot’

As teased and prodded and hinted at all week, Destiny 2 is official, and we’ve finally got a trailer to go with it. Expect the game to launch on September 8th on Xbox One, PS4, and yes — PC — retailing for $59.99 on up into the stratosphere for collector editions. Beta arrives this summer.

“In Destiny 2, the last safe city on Earth has fallen and lay in ruins, occupied by a powerful new enemy and his elite army, the Red Legion. Every player creates their own character called a Guardian, humanity’s chosen protectors. As a Guardian in Destiny 2, players must master new abilities and weapons to reunite the city’s forces, stand together and fight back to reclaim their home. The official Destiny 2 reveal trailer, Rally the Troops, shows two of the Vanguard, leaders of the Guardians, inspiring the people of the last city in an impassioned (and occasionally sarcastic) call to arms. In Destiny 2, players will answer this call, embarking on a fresh story filled with new destinations around our solar system to explore, and an expansive amount of activities to discover. There is something for almost every type of gamer in Destiny 2, including gameplay for solo, cooperative and competitive players set within a vast, evolving and exciting universe.”

I feel as if Bungie is hitting a nice chord here between “Forth Eorlingas!” and Guardians of the Galaxy in the new trailer, while also getting right to the point of what video games (and for that matter, war) are really about. Check it out!

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Why World of Warcraft’s item level scaling is really, really, dumb

This has been a very stupid week. I know this because any other week, World of Warcraft completely destroying the reason for acquiring new gear would stand out as the stupidest thing I’d heard all week. As it was, it was just the stupidest thing I heard on Wednesday. I heard it when I woke up, so it had an early chance to establish that lead, and while I couldn’t be certain it had no real way of losing that lead through the end of the day.

I don’t know if it’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard all week, but it’s definitely high in the running.

A lot of parts of Legion have produced some degree of controversy, and by and large, I’ve been on the side of these being good decisions that need to be made for the good of the game. This, on the other hand, is a terrible decision that does nothing positive whatsoever for the game. It hurts every form of content and reward currently in play, and it’s the sort of thing that seems so catastrophically ill-considered that your first thought upon hearing it is, well, that it can’t be real. But it totally is. And the eleventh-hour rolling back of several parts doesn’t exactly change the core problems behind the idea or why players immediately reacted with anger.

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World of Warcraft implements undocumented item level scaling in patch 7.2

The reward scaling in World of Warcraft has always been pretty straightforward. At the start of the expansion, everything at max level is a pretty close match for you; by the end of the expansion, all of that work you put into acquiring better items pays off because every enemy lies dead at your feet. It’s how things work. Sure, there are a larger number of things at your level in Legion due to scaling, but the way gear works remains constant. After all, if you made enemies scale with gear, you’d have no reason to actually get better gear, so you would… oh, wait, they actually did that with patch 7.2. Huh.

Yes, this is something players noticed, and according to Ion Hazzikostas on the forums it is completely intentional. The developer rationale is that it allows for creatures to scale more organically to various gear levels so that open-world enemies never became trivial or easy for players. The intent is for enemies to scale up slower than gear level (so gear still feels like a reward) but still scale with your power in terms of items.

So, get excited about the next set of world events! They promise to reward you with gear that makes everything else around you stronger as well, making the effort put into acquiring that gear a complete waste of time.

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WoW Factor: The good and the bad of World of Warcraft’s patch 7.2 date

Boy, this is a time I am glad to be wrong. I was outright worried that Blizzard was going to hold patch 7.2 for a much longer span of time, but no, it’s hitting World of Warcraft on March 28th. That’s good! It’s still squarely aimed at trying to kneecap something else going on that same day, arguably, but at least it isn’t being held for months. I’m going to count that as a good thing.

In fact, there’s something very good baked into the announcement, something that’s easy to miss. Of course, there’s also something very bad baked in as well, or at least the hint of something bad, a thought I’ve stated before in passing but I haven’t really elaborated on before. So today I want to examine both sides of this. Why this patch date makes me very happy and very worried at the same time. (Mostly the former, if you’re wondering, but the latter is relevant.)

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The Daily Grind: Will World of Warcraft hold its 7.2 patch until June?

On October 24th, World of Warcraft launched patch 7.1, which contained a lot of not-quite-ready-for-launch Legion features and a bit of content. Since then, the game hasn’t really launched any content. Sure, patch 7.1.5 launched in early January, but that just added the Brawler’s Guild back to the game for content (which, admittedly, has a lot of new boss fights). We’re looking at a content gap that’s starting to spread out a fair bit already, and patch 7.2 is coming out… well, eventually?

Of course, MOP’s Bree and I are in pretty close agreement about when it’s coming out: June. Because that’s when a new Final Fantasy XIV expansion and The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind both launch, so they’re going to want to try to kneecap both of those launches.

At least from this side of the fence, that’s a pretty dumb plan. It’s the same plan that was in place for patch 6.2 of Warlords of Draenor, which wound up with lots of complaints about the delays, and it doesn’t seem to have really crippled the launch it wanted to “intercept” there, either. Still, it’s the sort of plan that Blizzard has used in the patch, and with two big competing releases in the same month it seems almost absurd to think it wouldn’t be tried. So what do you think, dear readers? What do you think the odds are of WoW holding its next patch until June? And how much grousing do you expect if people are waiting that long for more content?

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World of Warcraft previews the Broken Shore experience for patch 7.2

The Broken Shore in World of Warcraft is no one’s idea of a vacation hangout. For one thing, it’s covered in demons; for another, it’s the site of a pretty horrendous defeat for all of Azeroth’s forces. But we’re headed back there in patch 7.2, and this time it’s going to be a different experience, with the official site taking a look at how we’ll establish a new beachhead at Deliverance Point and then start taking the fight to the Legion’s doorstep.

Aside from the continuing saga of individual class stories and the ongoing daily struggle, players will also be working to improve the local defenses by building up three different buildings. Each building provides different buffs and stays up for three days once complete, so players will need to work together across the region to contribute supplies and bolster construction. Players will also have reputation to gain and new storylines to explore, so you should be well and truly ready before you go knocking on the Legion’s door.

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World of Warcraft steps into the desecrated Cathedral of Eternal Night

The story of World of Warcraft: Legion is only just ramping up, as players prepare to move on to the Broken Shore to continue to fight against the Legion. Part of that fight will take place in Patch 7.2’s Cathedral of Eternal Night, a five-player dungeon that takes place in the spires of the Tomb of Sargeras.

“While the dungeon is, of course, rife with Legion presence, we deliberately focused the areas of fel contamination around the portions of the structure closest to the source of fel storm,” the devs said in a preview. “This amplifies the contrast and allows us to showcase large sections of untarnished elven architecture.”

Players will face off against four bosses in the dungeon, each with their own unique mechanics: Agronox (an angry treant), Thrashbite the Scornful (brother of Smashsmite), Domatrax (a demon general), and Mephistroth (leader of the Legion invasion).

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World of Warcraft makes regaining flight a bit easier

There’s a spot of good news for World of Warcraft players looking to regain their pilot’s license in Legion. Blizzard clarified a couple of points on the forums regarding Patch 7.2 that shows how this achievement is easier than anticipated to obtain.

First of all, the Legionfall Campaign is no longer part of the achievement (it once was), so scratch that off your mandatory to-do list. Second, players need only bring 2,500 nethershards to the table for the quest. This is not only down from the 50,000 nethershard cost that was kicking around on the PTR but also will result in players getting a refund of 2,499 shards to spend as they please after the quest concludes.

Another interesting addition in 7.2 is the class weapon arsenal, which allows players to collect and equip skins for every weapon their class can brandish. Check out the new Death Knight and Paladin armaments after the break!

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The Daily Grind: Does World of Warcraft need another new class?

During this week’s podcast, Justin expressed some frustration over his efforts to enjoy an alt in World of Warcraft. All of his characters, he said, just didn’t feel the same, and he wasn’t loving them. In the end, he rekindled his love for all things demonic with his Warlock, but what went through my mind — prompted by other topics on our agenda that day, like Black Desert’s Dark Knight — is this: Isn’t it time for a new WoW class altogether?

I ask this because I’ve shared Justin’s annoyance over losing my own emotional attachment to my WoW characters as they’ve taken so many twists and turns in what they can functionally do over the years. I really liked the Monk class because it didn’t have that baggage. (Demon Hunters, not so much, not really my thing — I thought they were a bit redundant in theme.)

A true bard class, however, would basically get my instant preorder, and this from a girl who hasn’t had an urge to play in a long time. And I’m not crazy: Go forth and google “WoW bard” and take a look at all the people anxious to see it happen post-Legion — and not just in April Fool’s Day fun.

Also, bards are the best class, period.

Do you think WoW needs a new class in the next expansion? Do you think it’s ever going to happen?

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Global Chat: What powerful memories come from playing MMOs?

Upon seeing how a friend was becoming disenchanted with MMOs, blogger Ravalation hypothesized it was because he was shying away from other players too much and thus failing to form the powerful experiences that elevate these games to a whole new level. She took it upon herself to conduct a community-wide survey that asked other writers to share their favorite memories from MMOs in order to try to nail down the “essence” of playing these games.

“I’m not saying it’s all sunshine and rainbows,” she wrote. “I’m sure we can all recall encounters with trolls, guild drama and misunderstandings. But there are also good times, and I would argue that these have the potential to transform into powerful positive memories, which in their turn make us want to login and expect us to have fun.”

We’ve got plenty of other interesting essays and articles on MMORPGs, including a look at Elder Scrolls Online’s housing, preparing for the worst in WildStar, and changing specs in World of Warcraft!

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WoW Factor: Where do we go after WoW Legion?

So at the risk of being dinged for spoiling the current World of Warcraft expansion, let me say this: Azeroth is not going to be destroyed or completely overtaken by the Burning Legion. That’s a given. The threat certainly feels real, and I hope more than anything that when our victory comes it feels like a natural outgrowth of the story rather than an arbitrary “well, the story says you win right now so the Burning Legion just got dumb,” but it’s pretty much a given that we’re going to win out in the end. The basic premise of the game doesn’t work otherwise.

The question, of course, is where we go next.

A lot of people have been speculating whether Legion is meant to be the final expansion for the game for precisely that reason, and while I think that’s obviously wrong on the face of it (it’d be silly to turn down that money, after all), the point stands that from a narrative perspective, this is it. This is the big confrontation that has been built up since Warcraft III, and if you have no doubt that there will be a next expansion, it still raises the question of “where does it go?”

Let’s explore the possibilities.

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