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?”
It’s time to clear out another one of the World of Warcraft apps that have been dwelling on your phone.
Following the retirement of the mobile auction house app this past spring, Blizzard has now announced that it is going to be taking the mobile armory offline next month. This is all being done in preparation for Battle for Azeroth, as the official World of Warcraft companion app will be modified to consolidate and incorporate many of the features from both apps.
“As a part of our commitment to providing WoW players with a living, connected experience on multiple fronts, we are transitioning away from the current World of Warcraft Mobile Armory app and will be converting the Legion Companion App into a new WoW Companion App in the future,” the studio said. “As part of that, we’ll be incorporating many of your favorite World of Warcraft Armory app features along with features for Battle for Azeroth into a new shared app for a more streamlined experience. Stay tuned for more information.”
Now that most schools are out and the heat has begun in earnest in the northern hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to retreat into sunless rooms and pour yourself into MMORPGs. It’s also the perfect time to get stuff done and accomplish everything that’s been stacking up on your gaming backlog.
Getting everything ready for Battle for Azeroth is a high priority for me, although I’m pretty much ready right now. Past that, I’d love to get through Star Trek Online’s newest expansion, enjoy my weekly DDO group nights, and find my way out of Northern Mirkwood in Lord of the Rings Online. There aren’t any summer festivals that are particularly calling to me right now, but that may change.
So what are your summer MMO goals? What do you want to get accomplished by the end of the season?
While World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is dated for August 14th, everyone knows that the real starting pistol fires for the expansion pre-patch, during which class changes and a story event will take place. Analyzing the event length on the test servers, players think that Patch 8.0 should be arriving either July 10th or the 17th.
The pre-expansion patch event is called War of the Thorns and according to Icy Veins, features “conflict in Darkshore for control of Teldrassil.”
Meanwhile, Blizzard put up a new article detailing some of the key changes to World of Warcraft’s PvP game. The expansion will be introducing new tiers, rating bands, skill rewards, and participation rewards. “In Battle for Azeroth, we want to increase clarity and offer a more structured progression that recognizes players’ accomplishments in real time as they climb through the ranks,” the studio said.
Bethesda’s E3 reveal of Fallout 76 had many gamers and franchise fans talking, no more so than out among MMO bloggers. After all, taking the series online for the first time is a pretty notable occasion, is it not?
“As I said before, I am all onboard with a Fallout survival game,” wrote In An Age. “Exploring the wasteland and looting all the things consists of about 80% of my gameplay in this series, and I am currently on an extreme survival game kick the likes of which I have not experienced since my high school JRPG days. All of that sounds fantastic to me.”
Leo’s Life isn’t as enthusiastic: “I was certainly interested last week. Now, not so much. It’s not the game that I wanted, but it’s probably the game that someone else did.” And Endgame Variable notes that, “The first thing they showed was your basic animalistic gankbox-style PvP. That’s got to be sending a message.”
A small, seemingly insignificant addition to Battle for Azeroth might have a positive effect on World of Warcraft’s modding community. Blizzard is adding a function that will allow reports on offensive behavior to be sent from within addons themselves, which finally allows the mod community a way to police its previously lawless empire.
The “SendAddonMessageLogged” function won’t be automatically instituted into every addon; mod creators have to enable and integrate it themselves. However, once it is functional, this tool can help players report toxic behavior that is taking place in mods right to Blizzard’s CS department.
In other news, with artifact weapons heading out the door with the upcoming expansion, the question of the hour is how Blizzard will handle the removal of these legendary items. Players on the public test realm got a look at the artifact retirement questline that will come with next month’s Patch 8.0, and if you’re totally fine being spoiled, you can peek at what it will entail over at Icy Veins.