It took me a long time to identify what felt off about World of Warcraft’s upcoming expansion. Something was definitely bothering me, but the thing was is that we know exactly what an expansion with the bare minimum effort looks like now, and it sure as heck didn’t feel like Battle for Azeroth was Warlords of Draenor But Again. Yet something kept nudging at me, some comparison that was just slightly eluding me as I dutifully tested new quests, new system revisions, and so forth.
Then I realized that the whole thing was basically Cataclysm and it clicked.
Mind you, I say this not as an indication that the expansion is nearly as bad as Cataclysm was. (There’s still far too much of the actual game to see, for example.) But far from my own optimistic excitement, it feels like the expansion is making a lot of the same missteps as that particular black mark, and it doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
The prepatch for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is out now, but the expansion is still a bit further off, so players have questions about it. For that matter, players have questions about the changes made since the prepatch hit. The latest Q&A video just below covers a number of questions, but if you don’t want to watch the whole thing, you can get caught up with the summary of events. And several of the issues with the prepatch are ones that will be remaining in place. For example, Legacy loot mode? That’s working as intended and shouldn’t be available for Legion dungeons and raids in BfA.
The issue with artifact appearances changing your offhand as well as your main-hand is also a limitation of how Artifacts are coded; that having been said, transmog limitations are being examined, especially for Fist weapons. The developers have also considered doing a level squish instead of just a stat squish, partly in response to the perception of more levels without much actually happening during them (there’s a desire not to add more talent bars, for example). Check out the full video below or the full summary on Wowhead.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin mull over how necessary it is to actually provide MMOs with those icky, wonderful girlie-types. They deliberately deliver a light-hearted episode after last week, full of funky fresh frivolity. Will gaming ever be fun again? It has to be!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Today is the day of World of Warcraft turning to the first page of Battle for Azeroth with the expansion prepatch going live today. Next week sees the story buildup kicking into high gear. But if you’ve been holding off on trying the expansion until the Allied Race requirements (added several months ago) were eased up… well, you’re going to be waiting quite some time, as the official word is still that there are no plans to ease the requirements for unlocking Allied Races.
Players who wish to unlock Highmountain Tauren, Nightborne, Lightforged Draenei, or Void Elves will still need to reach Exalted with a specific reputation for each and finish a story achievement, just as before. (The other allied races will have other requirements and can be unlocked once the expansion is live.) Of course, this isn’t actually a change; players have had these requirements in place since the pre-purchase bonus was announced, and that means several months to unlock the races. If you’ve waited in hopes that it would be easier by the expansion launch, though? Not going to happen.
While the expansion won’t be here until August, World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth officially begins today. That is thanks to Blizzard’s tradition of releasing a features pre-expansion patch with many of the changes that will help to usher players into the new era.
Patch 8.0 is live today with a lot for players to explore and experience. The highlights include a wide array of class changes, PvP War Mode, Communities, upright Orc postures, and a Legacy loot mode (who’s going transmog hunting this week?). Also, next week will see the debut of the Teldrassil and Lordaeron playable scenarios, both of which lead right into the expansion.
And since your Battle for Azeroth fever is burning bright, why not add a couple of degrees by watching the new trailer to a trio of upcoming animated shorts that Blizzard is making? Check it out after the break.
Say goodbye to your artifacts and hello to War Mode, because World of Warcraft’s expansion pre-patch is almost here. When July 17th rolls around, players will no longer be able to earn artifact power or have access to artifact traits; the plus side will be that your artifact will automatically power up for new characters leveling through Legion. Players can also access War Mode, benefit from PvP talents, and even start exploring some new content that’s meant to be time-limited until the launch of Battle for Azeroth. Onward!
Of course, one subgroup of players will be a little more negatively affected by the change, as it turns out War Mode will disable the /follow command and make multiboxing less viable in PvP. Those of you who don’t multibox will likely be unaffected, but it’s useful to note that this is a notable change when Blizzard has previously been fine as long as it’s not automated. New policy, or just a War Mode-specific quirk? We’ll see over time.
The common consensus in the World of Warcraft community is that Patch 8.0 — the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch — is due to arrive next Tuesday. And speaking of community, one of the features that will arrive with that update is Blizzard’s own take on Discord.
The Communities tool will allow players to “create, manage, and join multiple groups of friends and family.” This feature works across realms and even Blizzard games, although apparently we’re still not allowed to talk across factions because reasons.
Blizzard notes that while players are encouraged to use the Communities tool for voice and text chat, the feature can also be used to pull quick join groups together among friends and like-minded souls.
Can’t wait until August 14th to get your hands on World of Warcraft’s upcoming Battle for Azeroth expansion? Then you might be in luck: Today, July 6th, from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. EDT, Blizzard is holding the Battle for Beta giveaway contest. To enter, all you have to do is take to Twitter between the designated times and post an in-game screenshot of a slain enemy or NPC of the enemy faction with the hashtag #BattleForBeta. The lucky winners will be chosen randomly and contacted by Blizzard within a week of the giveaway.
And if you’re not much for tweeting, Blizzard wants to remind you that there are still ways to get your hands on a Battle for Azeroth beta key. Chief among them is Wowhead’s beta key giveaway, where players can enter for a chance to win a key by completing in-game achievements. For all the contest rules and details, you can check out the full post on WoW’s official site.
It seems only fair that World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will give players a bit more reason to go to war. So it seems like the right time to roll out the newly robust war mode, which is all about turning on a PvP experience at all times. You place yourself in more danger, but you also have PvP talents available at all times, and you get new gameplay options like chests and bounties to contend with.
If you’ve been gone from the game for a bit, though, you might be more interested in a video going through the history of every single WoW expansion up to the present in a short span of time. Dedicated fans and players will probably find all of this information to be old hat, but anyone who took a break will probably benefit from the walk through time. (Not Timewalking, that’s different.) You can view it just past the break. Read more
If you felt like World of Warcraft: Legion hit the random chance button too hard (likely as one of the many players who waited for a random legendary for a spec that never dropped), you will likely be happy to see that recent interviews with Ion Hazzikostas feature the game director admitting that the expansion was too random at the start. The two-part interview is helpfully summarized on Wowhead, and Hazzikostas hopes that the new Azerite armor will alleviate that randomness by dropping in consistent spots. Assuming that it drops there, anyhow.
Hazzikostas also revealed that the Burning of Teldrassil will be available over roughly a week or two, while the Battle for Lordaeron will likely be a bonus for those who purchased Battle for Azeroth a week before release (which certainly does hint at the order in which these events occur).There’s also a bit more detail on splitting up profession leveling between expansions and offering separate skill levels. You can check out the summary, or you can pick through each individual interview.
With the Midsummer Fire Festival roaring through July 5th and artifact weapons on their way out of the game, World of Warcraft is heating up this summer. Additionally, the nearly 16GB Battle for Azeroth pre-patch is now available to download in the launcher background.
In the second part of a Forbes interview, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas has a few suggestions for what players should be doing to get ready for the expansion. His suggestions include grabbing your class mounts, running Chromie’s time hopper events, securing artifact appearances, running the Mage Tower, capping your crafting skills, and getting your Keystone Master achievement for mythic+ dungeons.
And to keep your anticipation stoked for Battle for Azeroth, check out MadSeasonShow’s excellently produced history of World of Warcraft video that takes players through the history of the game from 1999 to today.
Players who have logged into World of Warcraft since yesterday have discovered that doomsday has finally arrived for their artifact weapons. Yes, these weapons that they have spent so much time leveling up in Legion are on their way out for Battle for Azeroth, and the questline has kicked off to retire these powerful artifacts.
There’s “Heed the Speaker’s Call” quest right now that begins this process, fully powering any artifact weapons that haven’t reached their full potential as part of an effort to counter this giant sword that’s hurting the planet. In so doing, players’ artifact weapons will start to become unstable. The good news is that players won’t have to give up their artifact’s traits just yet — that happens with Patch 8.0. It should also be noted that players will get to keep their artifact weapon appearances to transmog now and in the future.
Time is running out to finish a couple of Argus achievements as well as the Mage’s Tower, as these will be disabled with the expansion pre-patch goes live.
World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas sat down with Forbes this week for a two-part interview about some of the big changes with this summer’s Battle for Azeroth expansion, such cross-realm mythic raiding and its new community tools.
Hazzikostas said that despite the common belief, Blizzard isn’t trying to compete against Discord with these tools: “I think they complement each other […] It’s more about lowering barriers and adding convenience. The one thing Discord can’t do is let you right click invite someone to your party from it. That sort of thing.”
Not all is happy in WoW land, however. There are some rumblings that useful WoW mods won’t be operational with the upcoming patch. “Just read that UI changes heavily impaired the automatic group finder add-ons,” said player Doug Hill on Twitter. “I am terribly confused. Most players used it. Clearly this is a sign of how players WANT to play moving forward. Are there plans to do something to replace this for non-elite quests?”