Just when you think you’ve seen everything that World of Warcraft’s massive Patch 7.3 has to offer on the test server, here comes even more to explore. The team announced that the last major batch of content was unlocked on the PTR for testers to try out, including the patch’s final zone and its anticipated five-player dungeon.
The public test realm now has Stygian Wake and its world quests open for business on Argus, and teams can poke around the new Seat of the Triumvirate instance to see if it meets their liking. Other additions to this round of testing include updates to the Frost Death Knight and the new Netherlight Crucible system.
So what is that crucible thing? It’s more artifact advancement, because you really need to get that weapon as powerful as possible before Blizzard ditches it in next year’s expansion. “The Netherlight Crucible is a new way to upgrade new and existing artifact relics by adding additional effects and item levels. As your artifact grows in power, the system will expand to allow more and more customization.”
If you’ve missed the memo, World of Warcraft is taking players to Argus in patch 7.3. That’s the former home of the Draenei, a stronghold of the Burning Legion, and probably not a great place to stop if you’re looking for the best boneless wings money can buy. Previews for the areas of Mac’Aree and Krokuun are now available courtesy of WowHead, and you can check out the tours just below if you can’t wait to explore the landscapes offered by this alien world.
Of course, you might want to know a little more about how you got here in the first place. That’s also fine, and it’s something covered by the next installment of the Warcraft Chronicle series coming out in March 2018. While we don’t know the details, it looks like it’ll cover events around the time of Warcraft III, so it may be useful to bone up on that information once you’ve gotten through the threats available on Argus.
Once the gates of the World of Warcraft Patch 7.3 test servers opened up, no secret or scrap of information was safe from the prying eyes of the playerbase. Of course, the curiosity is understandable, as this update will take players to the planet of Argus — and beyond — for the first time in the game’s history.
Icy Veins has been dutifully documenting many aspects and areas of the patch, and we’ve selected a few of them to share with you after the break. What do the new invasion points look like? Will Argus’ zones show off visual variety? What kind of mounts can players collect? Find out below!
People seemed to quite like my piece last week about how my wife and I wound up married in no small part due to World of Warcraft. Of course, I also alluded in the column to the fact that World of Warcraft was hardly our final destination, and we’re currently playing Final Fantasy XIV quite happily together. We’ve also gone into Final Fantasy XI, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Fallen Earth, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic… a lot of different games, in other words. And I’m just counting the ones we’ve tried together.
I don’t think that there’s any one surefire way to always find the right game for a couple to enjoy, but I have had a fair amount of experience with it now, and it’s helped that we’ve both spent a lot of time working on finding what works and what doesn’t in this field. So here’s some (hopefully) helpful tips about finding a game that you and your romantic partner of choice can enjoy together.
There’s a line drawn between MMO cities that mostly exist as empty set pieces and ones that live and thrive with NPCs, details, and touches of personality. I usually am more critical of urban areas in video games because, for the most part, they aren’t that exciting to explore and merely function as a maze to confound me.
But that isn’t every MMO and it isn’t every city. World of Warcraft’s Dalaran might be small, but it is brimming with cool little nooks and fascinating sights. LOTRO’s Minas Tirith is an absolutely amazing multi-tiered metropolis with lots of buildings to enter. And I would be remiss by not mentioning Divinity’s Reach in Guild Wars 2, which straddles both of the former examples in its offerings.
What’s the most interesting MMO city to explore for you? What makes you recommend it as a tourist destination?
Outrageous. Ridiculous. Exciting. Exploitative. Controversial.
This past week’s announcement of Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor’s launch date and pre-order packages set ablaze discussions and arguments among the community, both in-game and without. World chat was streaming by quickly as players debated the pros and cons of the reveal, while the forums blew up with huge posts defending and criticizing the pre-order packages.
While this is not the travesty that some are making it out to be, I definitely agree with those that say Standing Stone Games misstepped with this announcement and needs to take some action to rectify the confusion and value of the upcoming expansion. While LOTRO players seem united in their anticipation for Mordor, some of that enthusiasm has been dashed with how the dating and packages have been handled, and that is a shame.
Let’s break it all down and see what we’ve learned and what pre-order might be best for you!
There’s a lot of lore behind World of Warcraft. Part of that is because the game has had plenty of time to develop it, and part of it is just that licensed tie-in novels offer lots of space to expand the lore and provide another few thousand-year histories to track. But there exists a space between “I know all of the lore inside and out” and “I don’t care about your story, I’m killing this guy with fire magic because I can so I probably should,” and WoW Lore TLDR aims to make that slightly more straightforward with incredibly succinct lore summaries.
Each era of history gets a very brief summary which can be expanded into similarly brief bullet points, and those individual summaries can also be further expanded. It never becomes a comprehensive guide that will let you know all of the fine points, but if you just want to know what the hell characters are talking about, it’ll get you a quick refresher for veterans or a quick guide for new players. And it’s still better written than several of the tie-in novels, so that’s another mark in its favor.
We’ve certainly remarked several times on Massively OP how much like an MMO Master X Master is, even though it firmly checks the “MOBA” box on its census form. With so much similarity and bleedover between the gameplay genres, is there something that MMOs can learn from this title?
Occasional Hero seems to think so and has pulled out three lessons from his experience, including altaholic pride: “As someone who loves playing an army of alts rather than a single character, I really like the idea of a game with a whole bunch of characters that I can switch between as I feel like it. It’s one of the reasons why I love Marvel Heroes so much, despite the fact that the gameplay revolves around doing the same content over and over. And the reason why playing a bunch of different characters/classes is fun in a game like Marvel Heroes or Master X Master is that they each have a unique gimmick.”
Join us for more interesting MMO discussions from gaming blogs after the break, including a strange revival for EverQuest Online Adventures, a new way to experience World of Warcraft, and first steps into Secret World Legends!
Will there ever be a mobile MMORPG that handles the complexity and delivers the fun of a desktop or console experience? There have been many games have tried to crack this nut, like Order and Chaos, Pocket Legends, and AdventureQuest 3D, to varying results.
A new challenger in this market appears this week, as Crusaders of Light launched its “true mobile MMORPG” on the Apple iOS store. Don’t worry, Android users, your day is coming next week on July 20th.
Crusaders of Light looks like a colorful, stylized game in the vein of World of Warcraft. It sports three classes, lots of quests, and 40-player raids. Is this the mobile MMO for you? Watch the launch trailer below to figure that out!
Imagine one day sitting down at your computer, firing up the Blizzard
launcher, and choosing to play World of Warcraft
or Diablo III
… offline. Yeah, it’ll probably never happen, but how weird would that be?
The Blizzard community is scratching its head this week off of some datamined commands in Hearthstone that allow the player to set his or her account to “appear offline” to friends. While this may indeed merely be a privacy toggle, it’s gotten some musing whether this indicates that Hearthstone — and any other Blizzard titles — might include an actual offline mode in the future.
While we ponder that, there is one thing we know for certain: You can use the Blizzard launcher today to link up with the Destiny 2 community prior to the game’s release this fall. By linking a Blizzard account with a Bungie one, Activision players can be eligible for giveaways and hook up with clans.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s July newsletter is one of its better ones, featuring a Q&A with Visionary Realms’ Brad McQuaid himself. A few highlights:
- McQuaid is touting vertical interdependence, the idea that lowbies and highbies in a game have something to offer each other and can even play on some level together “in a way that’s not exploitative, but still meaningful.”
- Community is at the core of his game’s value system; it sounds as if he believes large communities erode that small-town feel and make relationships too easy to shirk, and consequently, Pantheon’s servers will be sized to be both “lively” and the kind of place where everybody knows your name (and takes into account your bad reputation).
- He even weighs in on the purported shift from group-centric gameplay to solo gameplay, pinning it on the mass-market appeal of World of Warcraft and the subsequent industry me-toos. “These mega-expensive attempts to create a WoW killer did indeed harm the MMO gamespace and MMO developers,” he writes. “The player who is really focused on community, challenge and long-term investment has been orphaned.”
The newsletter also includes a peek into the game’s AI design as well as a bit on the challenge on just how to “explain to all of the other gamers what kind of game Pantheon will be” — in other words, how to reach out to non-MMORPG players, including the “younger players who are gravitating to [Visionary Realms’] type of game”:
Here’s an interesting little movie that may have slipped by your notice. There’s a Comic Con trailer out for a film called Game Changers that follows the (presumably fictional) story of two childhood friends who used to compete professionally in online games.
As time goes by, the two grow up and apart, taking dull IT jobs. Then they decide to attempt to reclaim their fame by forming a team to — what else? — score world first accomplishments in World of Warcraft. It looks more to be more on the drama than the comedy side of things, but the geek spirit is strong with this one.
You can give it a watch after the break!
World of Warcraft is giving e-sports another go. In a blog post going live this afternoon, Blizzard has announced the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, an e-sports competition themed around Mythic Keystone dungeons with a $100,000 prize pool.
“Teams aspiring to battle on the global stage must first push themselves through a gauntlet of Mythic Keystone dungeons, taking on increasingly difficult Mythic Keystones and earning the best scores on the Proving Grounds,” says the studio. “Top scoring contenders will be invited to join as one of 32 outstanding teams from around the world, competing for a share of the $100,000 prize pool—and ultimately claiming bragging rights of the #1 spot. Once chosen, 8 teams from the Americas, 8 from Europe, 8 from China, and 8 from Asia-Pacific will be tapped to face the challenge, proving they have what it takes to go all the way to the finals.”
Would-be participants should complete Mythic Keystone dungeons between July 25th and August 8th, submitting their best score to Blizzard, which says it will be “be judging performance across the 5 dungeons in which the team achieves the highest Keystone Level during those two weeks.” The top groups will be welcomed to a single-elimination bracket invitational event around in September. And yes, the rest of us will get to watch.
Source: Press release