World of Warcraft: Legion isn’t quite finished yet. The green-tinged expansion has a few tricks left up its sleeve before players’ attention turns completely to the next chapter of the MMO’s lifecycle.
In addition opening up the new raid and adding in a few heavy story teasers for the upcoming expansion, Patch 7.3.2 is throwing in a new item that will allow players to upgrade their legendary items to ilevel 1000 for the first time. This is thanks to Awoken Titan Essence, which helps bootstrap legendary gear up 30 levels from 970. It probably won’t be easy to obtain; Blizzard Watch outlines a possible process for the upgrade with numerous bullet points that suggests a tad bit of a grind.
With four-digit ilevels becoming a reality, is it about time for Blizzard to consider another round of stat squishing? Or should the studio keep pushing bigger and more impressive numbers across the board?
Earlier this week, we wrote about Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss’ IPO and its grand plans for the future – among them, four additional MMOs. Sounds great, right? Except that the suspicion, at least in our comments, is that Pearl Abyss will just follow in the footsteps of Nexon, NCsoft, and Netmarble in that the games will mobile MMOs and not “real” MMORPGs at all. That may or may not be true; the games have fairly fast turnaround for a full-scale MMORPG, but then the company talked up the BDO engine for future games and expressed great ambition in the MMORPG market in the west and on console.
But the suspicion seems to turn off so many of us — the stigma is real. So for today’s Overthinking, I wanted to dig into that. Do you play mobile MMOs, especially any of the modern crop that are popular in East Asia and then ported here? What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs, and what would you want out of an MMO for a mobile device that would actually make you consider it a home MMORPG?
So, had you been hoping that at some point World of Warcraft would let you fly in the final zone of Legion? Best give up that hope. The official word is in from community manager Oryx that there will never be flying in Argus. Not now, not in the next expansion, not in a decade, never. Oryx also points out that this isn’t unusual, as things were the same on the Isle of Quel’danas, the Timeless Isle, and the Isle of Thunder.
Unlike all of the above, of course, Argus is not an island. But Oryx still stresses that the point of the zone is to feel dangerous even to players who can soar through the Broken Isles, hence keeping it dangerous for players who are stuck on the ground. Whether or not that argument holds any water for you is down to personal preference, but at least it’s not the entire expansion that’s been cut off from flight.
It’s been a little over a week since World of Warcrafteers (that’s a term, right?) jettisoned the world of Azeroth for that of Argus, the Legion-blasted realm that represents one of the largest content updates for the game to date. But how is it?
I’m on a bit of a break from WoW right now, having burned out more on the artifact grind and repetitive world quests than anything else. It was simply time for me to step back, although I’ve been keeping my eye on Patch 7.3 with some interest. I know that part of the update’s purpose was to draw players like me back with the promise of new realms to explore and goals to achieve, but so far the verdict is out for me.
For those of you playing, how are you finding Shadows of Argus? Has it rekindled your excitement for WoW, been more of the same, or proved to be a disappointment?
It’s been a year since the disastrous and controversial launch of No Man’s Sky, a game with failings that included, among many others, a lack of multiplayer when it specifically advertised itself as such.
But has the space exploration game finally arrived now that it’s sitting on several patches is far more robust than its launch incarnation? Virtual Bastion thinks this may be the case.
“The new updates, Atlas Rises included, appear to build greatly upon the simple notion of giving players things to do, from crafting homes to completing actual missions. Certainly, the game isn’t perfect: Slow progression is still a problem, dreadful inventory management remains, and promised in-game multiplayer has yet to be realized, but the fact remains that No Man’s Sky on August 2017 is a far cry from No Man’s Sky of August 2016.”
Remember back in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
, when a shave and a haircut cost you a nickel and a WoW token was selling for about 35,000 gold? Those days are long over, my friend, and it looks like it’s only going to get pricier from here.
Blizzard Watch reports that the cost for a WoW token is on the rise once again, nearly topping 166,000 gold on the North American auction house this week. This is most definitely due to Destiny 2’s PC beta — and it is not the first time that this upcoming Blizzard Activision game has rocked the WoW token economy.
WoW tokens took an expected uptick at the launch of Legion, but they didn’t really start shooting up astronomically until back in February when Blizzard allowed players to redeem them for store currency in addition to World of Warcraft gametime.
At last year’s BlizzCon, when Blizzard first announced World of Warcraft fans would someday be trekking to Argus, it seemed so distant to many of us that the narrative that bubbled up was more about whether or not Blizz could keep up that sort of cadence, not OMG Argus how cool is that. But here we are, with 7.3 launching today, and even I have to toss in my OMGs, if only because it means we’re that much closer to the next big thing. Or possibly a long pause until the next expansion?
“Following recent events in the Broken Isles, a link has been created between Azeroth and Kil’jaeden’s homeworld of Argus, bringing the Burning Legion closer than ever to destroying Azeroth. In order to stop them once and for all, Illidan and Velen are taking the war directly to the surface of Argus, where they hope to join forces with Alleria, Turalyon, and the Army of the Light to launch an all-out assault on the Legion’s primary base of operations. Board the Vindicaar, a vessel that will serve as your mobile base of operations on Argus, as well as one of your few safe havens on the planet. As you explore Argus, you’ll visit new locations across the planet, experiencing the epic conclusion to the Legion storyline and unlocking new world quests and other content along the way.”
We’ve rounded up some of our 7.3 coverage to date down below along with the survival guide and cinematic trailers and patch notes. Are you diving in for the patch, or holding out for some “and beyond”?
Displaying a level of pomp and hype that is normally reserved for an MMO expansion or perhaps the impending visit from the Queen of England, World of Warcraft is going all-out with the release of this week’s Patch 7.3: Shadows of Argus.
Just take a look at this landing page for the patch and revel in the grand finale for the current expansion cycle. In addition to the flashy presentation, there’s a pretty good overview of what Shadows of Argus contains as well as videos and screenshots.
The patch begins its multi-stage rollout tomorrow, August 29th. If you’re feeling called to come back to the game because of it after, say, missing this entire expansion so far, the studio is prepared to make you a tempting offer. Legion’s price has been slashed down to $30 for the standard edition and $50 for the digital deluxe edition. And remember, both of those editions includes a level 100 character boost, which is normally $60 in the store.
When players land on Argus in World of Warcraft’s next major patch, they will be walking through a place with plenty of history and loads of Legion presence. But that’s not to say that the Legion is the only entity therein. The Seat of the Triumvirate dungeon will pit players against the forces of the Void, giving players different foes to fight as they explore the long-ruined spot where Velen, Archimonde, and Kil’jaeden once held council together.
Players will be tasked with taking on four bosses, including the void-infused Broken Zuraal and the corrupted Naaru L’ura. The design notes specifically state that the dungeon hopes to get away from the monotony of fighting Legion enemies non-stop, but you’ll be able to judge for yourself if it’s a sudden swerve when racing through the dungeon on both Heroic and Mythic difficulty.
In keeping with its bizarrely predictable pattern of releasing a major update every 77 days during the Legion expansion cycle, Blizzard is about ready to push World of Warcraft Patch 7.3 live on Tuesday, August 29th.
Reportedly the last major update before the next expansion, Shadows of Argus has a wealth of content that will be rolled out to players over the coming weeks. These offerings include a trio of zones on a completely new world, another way (yes, another way) to level up artifact weapons, improved spell animations for some classes, more stories, a new dungeon, and eventually a new endgame raid.
It’s a lot to wrap your head around, which is why the team assembled a helpful and informative survival guide so that you can hit the ground running when the patch goes live. You’ll also want to touch base with this article about the Netherlight Crucible to understand how this sytem will work. We’ve posted the story and patch trailers for you below.
With World of Warcraft’s 7.3 Shadows of Argus mega-patch launching next week, speculation in the community has turned once again to what comes after Argus. WoW-watchers are wondering about the planned timeline since Blizzard has actually kept up the post-Legion pace it promised — much to my surprise. It certainly looks plausible that 7.35 will land later in 2017, that Blizzard could use BlizzCon to reveal the next expansion on its own turf, that testing could begin early in 2018, and that it could launch as early as next summer, given the game’s current pacing.
Where do you stand? Will Blizzard announce the next World of Warcraft expansion at BlizzCon 2017?
Usually when it comes to discussing world hemispheres of MMO game design, comments and observations are made about what western studios can learn from their eastern counterparts. MMO Bro, however, flipped that discussion recently to share four things that eastern MMOs can (and perhaps should) learn from western games.
“The problem, though, is that in most eastern games I’ve played, the story still feels like kind of a background element,” he writes. “There isn’t a lot of effort put into developing it or helping the player experience it in a dynamic way. It’s usually bland quest text. In the west, we’ve seen MMO games make great strides toward better storytelling in recent years.”
As we continue with our visits to MMO blogs, we’ll hear musings on Guild Wars 2’s direction, Standing Stone Games’ missteps, speed-leveling in World of Warcraft, and more!
We could practically copypasta last quarter’s Activision-Blizzard report to this one and nobody would notice. That’s because once again, it’s the Blizzard segment of the company driving the revenue flow; Blizz’s incomes rose 4% year-over-year to account for 42% of the revenue (with King and Activision itself trailing behind).
“Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history with a record 46 million MAUsB, up 38% year-over-year. The Overwatch community continued to grow more than a year after launch, setting another all-time MAUB record with the release of two seasonal events in the quarter. Hearthstone MAUsB grew year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter to an all-time record, driven by its expansion, Journey to Un’Goro.”
Blizz is also talking up its “time spent” metric and claiming that it’s increased in World of Warcraft year-over-year, which should shock absolutely no one given Legion: