blizzard watch

Our friends from WoW Insider now cover Blizzard’s games on Blizzard Watch.

Battle for Azeroth: Secret quests, island rewards, bug fixes, and cinematic tomfoolery

Done everything already in Battle for Azeroth? Oh, you lie, but when you are done, you might want to keep your eye out for a super-secret quest line that Blizzard confirmed exists somewhere in this new World of Warcraft expansion.

The studio also incentivized the new island expedition mode by saying, “There are so many things in the rewards bucket that chances are, you’re gonna get something today, which makes it pretty exciting for your first 300 islands or so.”

Meanwhile as everyone is in the fun trenches of the leveling process, you might want to be aware of a cinematic bug that kept some players from seeing an intro cutscene. Also, Blizzard has been hotfixing some minor issues as the week’s progressed, so hopefully that’s leading to a smoother experience.

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MMO Week in Review: Absurdly hyped for Torchlight Frontiers (August 12, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Gotta love a huge MMO week! Not only did World of Warcraft continue its ramp-up ahead of Battle for Azeroth’s launch (we had a few words about that), but Path of Exile announced Delve, we got our hands on Monster Hunter World’s PC version, Blizzard teased more Diablo games, and best of all, PWE finally announced that Torchlight MMO that’s been rumored for like a billion years. This thing better not have giant roaches.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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MMO Week in Review: Only you can prevent forest fires (August 5, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Proving they are indeed paying attention to the lore sometimes, World of Warcraft players went into what our own WoW columnist agrees is a justified meltdown over the expansion lead-in’s apparent storyline, which involves the world tree on fire, a lead NPC acting out of character, and half the playerbase aligned with genocide against their will. While designers have urged “patience” with the story, players are actively protesting, though some have taken it too far.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft’s creative director asks players to ‘be patient’ regarding the story

Why do people care so much about the story in World of Warcraft, to the point that they are rioting across social media and freaking out in the comments? That’s something WoW Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi has addressed in a rather timely new interview with him out on Aussie website Science Alert this week; he argues that story is what motivates players to do – and to justify – what they do in MMO worlds.

“If you look at story as a layer that we put atop the game, it’s a motivational factor in the things that you do and your actions in the world and it gives them consequence and weight,” he says. “It puts emotionality behind things. Why am I killing gnolls anyway? Just a bunch of furry dudes that are minding their own business. Without the story, that activity becomes meaningless – and in some ways potentially mean, right? Well, as soon as you find out that the gnolls keep raiding the orphanage and they’re eating children – which they’re not but let’s pretend they are. That suddenly gives you the urge to stop these gnolls at any cost! Story explains your actions as a player and gives you the ability to choose the things you want to do and the method you want to do them in. […] So it’s integral to the gameplay. Integral.”

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World of Warcraft’s newest cinematic shows a Horde deeply divided

With World of Warcraft players deeply divided on the build-up to Battle for Azeroth — especially in light of a recent war crime committed by a certain war chief — players were left wondering how the rest of the Horde was dealing with Sylvanas’ over-the-top actions.

Part of that answer was delivered today with a new gorgeous CGI cinematic titled “Old Soldier.” Taking place in the hours before the Siege of Lordaeron that was seen in the Battle for Azeroth trailer, this cinematic focuses on Saurfang’s distress over the lack of honor in the Horde to the point where he feels like quitting entirely.

“They will come for us now,” Saurfang bellows. “ALL OF THEM.”

It also stars the surprise cult star of the expansion, a Troll Shaman that fans have labeled “Zappy Boi.” Our favorite comment? “He is no longer Zappy Boi. He is now Zappy Man.”

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MMO Week in Review: WoW’s War of Thorns (July 29, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

World of Warcraft dropped War of Thorns this week, kicking off the commercials and prelude events for its Battle For Azeroth launch later this summer, and it hasn’t been without criticism, as players have pointed out significant plot flaws, community problems, and leveling slowdowns.

Meanwhile, No Man’s Sky launched NEXT to wide acclaim and refunded GOG players, Guild Wars 2 launched a throwback festival, Star Trek Online plotted a Discovery tie-in, Fractured successfully funded on Kickstarter, Camelot Unchained got a new beta date, and we took an extensive look at upcoming survival MMO Rend in three epic hands-on pieces.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft admits that it has a serious leveling problem

World of Warcraft’s expansion pre-patch kind of broke a lot of stuff that the devs are frantically rushing around trying to fix. One of the worst issues right now is a noticeably slower pace of leveling and combat, which has led to player dissatisfaction and efforts by Blizzard to figure out and correct the issue.

“We are seeing the same sort of discrepancies that folks in this thread and others have pointed out, but still have yet to pinpoint the exact aspect of scaling that we failed to account for,” the studio said. “The current state is not the game experience we intended, and it’s something we will fix.”

Whether or not leveling gets fixed, Battle for Azeroth is coming next month no matter what, and players will only have a few weeks to blast through content if they want to get ready for the expansion’s first raid. Uldir goes live on September 4th, with the mythic version going live a week later and various wings opening up on the raid finder over the course of September and October.

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MMO Week in Review: WoW’s seventh go-round on the expansion carousel (July 22, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

As MOP’s Justin Olivetti reminded me this week, there’s are good reasons behind Blizzard’s plan to pre-launch World of Warcraft’s expansion mechanics before its content, and some of those reasons manifested this week – let’s get the rough start and comparisons to old expansions out of the way now, while it doesn’t fully count and before the real hype begins, right?

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft confirms that allied race requirements aren’t changing any time soon

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.

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MMO Week in Review: Beyond ArenaNet’s ‘PR nightmare’ (July 15, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Guild Wars 2’s “PR nightmare” and the industry reaction to it dominated headlines and comments this week, but that’s not all that happened in the realm of MMORPGs. Defiance 2050 officially launched, Star Citizen players waged a protest, Wild West Online floated a reboot, Trion began compensating Marvel Heroes refugees, Crowfall announced plans to license its engine, and MJ brought back the Warframe goods from TennoCon. Plus, we got some useful dates for Monster Hunter World, Rend, and WoW’s expansion pre-patch.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth pre-patch arrives on July 17

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.

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Overwatch’s new looking for group system is a huge hit

Who would have ever imagined that a Blizzard game’s looking for group tool would be a big hit with players? Overwatch only recently expanded its mindset to include LFG with the late June update, and so far the multiplayer shooter has shot up in popularity because of the system.

“In the first week, instances of players grouping in six-stacks has doubled,” reported Jeff Kaplan. “The awesome part is, six stacks have seen a significant improvement in queue times. But the best part is, none of this has impacted any other group size queue times or solo queue times at all. So it’s been purely a positive in that regard.”

Kaplan promised “changes and improvements” to the looking for group system with Overwatch’s next patch. In the meanwhile, you can see the evidence for yourself about LFG’s popularity after the break.

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MMO Week in Review: Paying the price (July 8, 2018)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Undeniably, the biggest story this week – and it’s even on track to be one of the biggest of the year – is the story of how a bizarre altercation on Twitter wound up generating a massive flamewar across the MMOverse, landing on the front page of every gaming site, and cutting loose two ArenaNet employees from the Guild Wars 2 team.

But there was more to the week besides the still-smoldering dumpster fire! We got sweet news about Warframe from TennoCon (it’s coming to the Switch!), Camelot Unchained briefly delayed its beta one phase, and Defiance 2050 rolled into its launch head start.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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