Hey everyone, Mezzy here. This video is a bit different from the other videos. My guild Aurum is recruiting for heroic and mythic progression in Hellfire Citadel. For those of you who don’t know, my guild tried out a merger for Hellfire Citadel. Sadly the merger did not work out and thus we’ve gone back to our own guild and have started recruiting again. We’ve cleared 11 out of 13 on heroic and nearly killed Mannoroth as well.
We are currently looking for good players of all roles and classes. This is a chance for you to be part of our progression and thus getting the footage for the WoW Weekly raiding guides.
If you would like to join our guild with myself as the raid leader you can find the information on our recruitment forums as to how to apply. You can find the forums at aurumguild.net/forum. But you can also add our officers battletags to contact them. They are Satariel#2157 and Naathwen#2738. I will also add the links and battletags in the description below.
Our raiding days and times are 20:30 to midnight European server time on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and I hope to see you there!
“We’ve reached a point in 6.2 testing where going forward, builds deployed to PTR are going to be flagged as “release” versions.”
This makes an end of June / start of July release a lot more likely.
Recently the first bit of patch 6.2 hit the background downloader causing a lot of speculation as to when the patch will be released. As it’s a quiet Sunday night, I thought it would be good to tackle the subject of the release of patch 6.2.
Since the background download has started there have been 2 camps of speculation. The first one being that the patch will already be released within the next week or two. You’ll mostly find these players in-game in the trade channel, whenever the background downloader gets mentioned.
The second camp is one you’ll more likely come across in the online community and social media. You’ll more likely hear from this camp that it’ll take 1 month – 4 weeks for patch 6.2 to be released. Let’s take a look at each of the speculations and then I’ll do some speculating of my own.
Speculation of 1 week
When it comes to addressing this particular time frame we can be done pretty quickly about it. Before a major patch is released there is always at least 1 release candidate pushed to the PTR, if not more than 1 candidate. We’re currently getting 1 new PTR build a week and the content itself isn’t done yet (which we’ll go into more deeply shortly). There is no way in the emerald nightmare that we’ll see 6.2 release in 1 or even 2 weeks.
Speculation of 1 month
One month – 4 weeks would seem more reasonable, but at the current state of things it would mean just a meager 4 more PTR builds. They could (and likely will) increase the amount of new builds they do per week, but there’s still a lot that has to be done to make the 6.2 patch complete.
The shipyard can’t be upgraded to even level 2 yet, the quest(s) to get more than 2 ship blueprints still do not work properly (beyond having used a bug in previous builds to obtain the submarine), the way shipyard missions work still don’t seem to be final (the mission requirement changes in the last build indicate that at the very least) and the new reputations for Tanaan Jungle Watcher recently talked about in an interview haven’t even made it onto the PTR yet. In fact, they’re still being fleshed out. They’re not even fully designed yet.
So while 1 month seems reasonable and puts 6.2 at a end of June release, I feel it’s unlikely with the amount of time and effort that undoubtedly still needs to go into 6.2. After all if there’s one thing we learned from the delayed release of WoD, it’s that game design takes time.
So if it’s not 1 week, 2 weeks or even 1 month, when can we expect the release of 6.2? Well given the pattern Blizzard has shown in the past, I feel there are 2 possibilities that take the “soon” comment from the recent interview into account.
The first possibility is mid July which would put the wait time at 6 to 7 weeks. The second possibility is mid August. Which would put it at another 10 to 11 weeks. So you might be wondering, why the gap? Well at the start of August Gamescom takes place from the 5th to 9th of August. Whenever these events occur, the week before and the week after nothing usually happens.
Speculating the release of a new patch is a very inexact science. No one actually knows how far 6.2 is in the development process outside of Blizzard themselves. So while we as a community enjoy the guessing, in the end we’ll just have to wait for the official announcement. 1 month is possible but unlikely, let’s just hope it isn’t actually another 2,5 months!
Welcome back to WoD: TBC 2.0! Last time I covered my experiences as I leveled through Draenor. Today we’ll be taking a look at max level content, mechanic/philosophy changes and the general world.
Max level content
This is the one part of WoD that worries me. Now of course it’s still in beta, so not everything is in yet. However I am very concerned as to how much and how long max level content will last. Let’s look at what we know for WoD:
Heroic Dungeons (Don’t forget you’ll need to acquire silver in the Proving Gronds to queue for it)
Challenge modes, doing the daily will give you a chance at a LFR quality piece of loot
Raids with a difficulty for everyone. LFR, Normal (flex), Heroic (normal) and Mythic (heroic). If you are in a dedicated raiding guild you’ll be doing these om specific nights in the week.
Reputations, still not fully in the game but it does not seem like there will be that many, nor is it known yet how you will level the reps and what their full rewards will be.
These are the natural sources of content you will go through to gear your character. They are expected, what other sources of fun are there?
The open world of Draenor. 7 time-lost proto drake style mounts are being added so you can farm those. Hopefully they won’t be the only cool max level things you can find in Draenor.
Daily Quests, or rather just 1 quest. Every day you’ll be able to earn 800 Apexis Crystals via a daily that starts in your garrison. You’ll have to go to a max level area and kill stuff (or interact with items) until the progress bar reaches 100.
Your Garrison and it’s related quests. You will want to level up your buildings, get their rewards and get profession materials from your herb garden and mine. The medium and large buildings have some pretty cool rewards. The stables, for example, lets you train at least 6 new mounts to add to your collection!
Weekly story quests, the quest content is the big winner of the expansion and blizzard knows it. We’ll have weekly story quests to keep us busy at max level as well, the question is if these will be different from the extra garrison quests or if they are the same thing. For example you’ll have to help a dwarf in your garrison out as an alliance player, once you’re done with the series you’ll be able to use a mole machine in your garrison to get to Gorgrond quickly.
Professions, you will want to level these to max in the new expansion like you do every expansion. The question is how will it provide lasting end game content? Will professions be improved? You’ll need more materials and materials from other professions to craft your items. You will also be able to upgrade your crafted items with your profession. Other than that, time will tell if it plays out for the better.
When you look at the list there is actually a lot to do. The question is will it last for longer than a month or two? If blizzard finds a way to make it last Warlords of Draenor will be one of, if not the best expansion in WoW history.
When you have a 10 year old game you’re going to see some things turn ugly. Which means they need to be cleaned up, and that certainly happens in WoD.
Bag space is such a major issue for those that have played a long time or are just collectors. MoP added to the problem with all the toy items that became available through quests, rares and the timeless isle. The toy box should have been a feature of MoP but thankfully is one in WoD. I did not keep all MoP toys because of said bag space issues and I was still able to put about 40 toys into the toy box. But it did not stop at 40 new bag spaces!
Two surprises were added in WoD. First of all a reagents tab was added to your bank. Allowing you to store lots of reagents and materials in your bank. Add to that that a lot of mats will stack up to 200 instead of 20 and you’ll be able to craft new items while the reagents are still in your bank!
The second surprise was an additional void storage tab, allowing you to put away a lot more transmog items. This was done though because some things were pushed back. So let’s move on to the wishlist which has those pushed back items among them.
First off the heirlooms collection tab has been delayed. This was something that was supposed to be in WoD and would be quite useful for altoholics among us. I really hope this is one of their priorities as I do feel it should have been in WoD, considering the 6 month delay it had.
The transmog system that was teased will also not be in at launch. Now this was something that was only an added bonus and I’m not surprised that it is delayed. But with my many armor sets I hope to see this feature ASAP.
And finally, along with it the tabards need cleaning up. Tom Chilton has said in his past Gamescom interviews that these would likely be solved along with the new transmog system.
Button Bloat Reduction
Every class and spec are going to have some spells removed to reduce the button bloat on your action bar. This was needed. It really was… The bottom line is you’ll have to get used to it and you won’t agree with every change. I don’t think they should have removed scare beast for hunters, but it’s still gone and I’ll mourn the loss. I can’t speak for all classes but when it comes to hunters they’ve streamlined the specs. They did however fail at making each spec feel different enough. Although with all the pushbacks, delays and possible cuts from WoD it’s not really surprising.
Stats are finally being squished in WoD, reducing player health and stats. (Relatively speaking you don’t lose any power compared to current/old content) A breath of fresh air, and at the same time they seem to be inflating numbers pretty quickly. Player health was doubled due to PvP reasons and as a PvE player it annoys me greatly. The player health will inflate back up to rediculous numbers quite quickly with 4 tiers of gear in raids and that means another squish will be needed within a few years. Blizzard needs to find another solution for PvP in my opinion so that we don’t have these rediculous numbers again so quickly. Just for reference: At level 90 my hunter had 90k health, at level 100 with 3 crafted items, a few garrison reward items and the rest quest items he has 180k.
Garrisons are a huge part of Warlords of Draenor, almost everything is connected to it. There’s even a building with PvP objectives (Gladiator’s Sanctum). For everything Garrisons you should check out our guides for both buildings and followers. There are so many elements to the Garrison that in this review I’ll take a look at the best and/or worst points. For the grand overview, if it hasn’t been released yet, we will soon have a brand new overview/guide for everything related to the Garrisons. They are quite the fun addition to WoW. From the leveling of your followers to later earning gear for them it’s fun to have your own personal army.
The 20 follower limit, to be frank, takes the fun out of collecting them a bit. It feels like a punishment for collecting ’em all. Once you collect follower #21 you will be unable to send them on anymore missions until you put one on inactive. Once a day you’ll be able to reactivate one for a gold cost. The feeling of collecting your own private army is great until you reach the cap.
The profession buildings are a nice bonus, however you can’t make all the profession items with it if it’s not one of your primary professions. You’ll be able to create the materials for that profession and the first stage of the crafted items for it. (The epic items you can craft with professions will have 3 stages of item level.) The rest, such as mounts and bags you will still have to do with your own character’s professions. An advantage of having both the profession and the building is being able to speed up your material production greatly.
The invasions are alright, if you’ve sent a lot of followers on missions they get harder. Followers that had to stay at home will help you defend the garrison which is quite fun because you’ll see the element of your own private army come back in the defense of your garrison.
Some buildings seem to be close to mandatory. As it stands right now the Salvage Yard is by far the best way to gear up your followers. Other thant hat there’s only the occaisional item reward from a mission to gear up a follower. Whether this is good or not is really up to Blizzard. Is it their design intent to need the Salvage Yard to be able to gear up your followers the quickest? If so then that’s something we’ll just have to live with. They’ve already stated that it is their intent you have to make hard choices as to which buildings you choose to build, so this could just be a part of that.
As far as endgame content out of the Garrisons go, it seems to be mainly the weekly(?) garrison story quests and the one daily quest for apexis crystals. Outside of that the main gameplay seems to be leveling up followers, gearing them and earning things like gear from them. An added mention should be the quests/achievements to get tier 3 Garrison buildings if you haven’t already gotten them.
Overall the Garrison is fun, you will want to keep logging in to send your followers on new missions. At the same time if you can’t log in throughout the day, that’ll be ok too. New missions come in slowly so as long as you log in atleast once or twice a day (with a good chunk of time between them) you’ll be able to keep up with leveling up your followers. The use of the profession buildings feels quite limited if it’s not for one of your character’s primary professions but from tweets that seems to be the intent of the developers.
With a lot of the resources being put in to the Garrisons for WoD the challenge for Blizzard will be to keep them interesting for endgame content for the long run, and I certainly hope they succeed in doing so.
Rare spawns and events
While you level up in Draenor you will come across many many rare mobs. On average there’s about 20 rare mobs per zone, if not more. (Be sure to check our location guides for them) They’re a good distraction from regular quests. And that’s pretty much that’s all there is to say. It’s worth exploring the zones and look for rares that might be hidden away and they just make leveling up more fun.
Conclusion for initial WoD Experience
It’s no secret that I favor The Burning Crusade when it comes to WoW expansions, and as you can tell by the title I feel like this is TBC 2.0. WoD feels like a breath of fresh air, where leveling has become a lot more fun and significant. The storyline is good when leveling and the world feels more dynamic just due to the addition of the rare mobs and events. The garrison initial experience is very enjoyable but it shares the concern I have for max level content: Will it last? If it does, we’re going to be in for a great expansion. If not, we’ll probably continue to see a decline in subscription due to the lack of content longevity.
Warlords of Draenor is coming out in 3 months time and at the time of release we’ll have had 14 months of Siege of Orgrimmar, 2 pvp seasons, the timeless isle and countless heroic scenario runs. While usually I look at something game design/philosophy-wise with the Mezzy Talks series, instead I’ll review Warlords of Draenor as an expansion. Keep in mind that it’s still in Beta, so anything that might be a concern could very well change before release.
Anyone who has been lucky enough to get a beta invite will probably agree that it’s a breath of fresh air: Back to leveling, building a base for the first time in WoW, building up your own personal army and a lot of story integrated in the leveling experience.
Before we get into a zone by zone analysis, the general feeling: While questing in Draenor it really does feel like you’re back in Outland, playing The Burning Crusade expansion, except even better. The difference is that the story is much more cohesive and the graphics blow it out of the water.
It’s hard to get everything across so let’s go zone by zone what makes it good or bad. After that, in part 2, we’ll take a look at the features/changes to game mechanics that come along in WoD.
When questing in Shadowmoon Valley as an alliance player you really feel like you are on a strange outlandish planet. The draenei have their own problems they have to deal with and you have to prove yourself to them as an ally. The flaura and fauna are beautiful and are not quite what you would find on azeroth. You’re just as foreign to the locals as they are to you. There is one thing you might get annoyed by though, and that’s the amount of hills you have to get around while questing. Although in most zones I did not miss my flying mount, at some points I did on SMV. If you read quests or pay attention to what happens during the RP this zone certainly brings some shocking story progression, which you would not expect from just questing. As an alliance player this is a good zone to start Draenor with and you’ll certainly enjoy it.
Whereas Shadowmoon is the re-envisioning of a zone in outland, Frostfire Ridge is a brand new zone. You get the same type of feeling in Frostfire Ridge, except you’re helping Thrall’s ancestor’s clan. FRR (Frostfire Ridge) is a cold desolate vast plain, a similar feeling to Hellfire Peninsula, except much much grander. The Bladespire Fortress alone is a testament to how the environment team has continued to grow after Mists of Pandaria. Most of the zone is quite fluid when it comes to questing here. There is one particular quest that comes to mind though that you can’t pick up until level 92, which rewards a follower, but you’ll come across it at level 91. Meaning that if you forget to come back after leveling up again you’ll miss out on a follower. Between the two starting zones it’s hard to pick a favorite, both are quite enjoyable to play through and I certainly won’t regret using my lvl 90 character boost to get a lvl 90 horde character.
Gorgrond is a mixed bag of feelings for me, the start of the zone is hard to get in to, the story did not really feel engaging. On the other hand you build your first outpost which is your garrison away from your garrison. You’ll get to choose between the lumber mill and sparring arena for your outpost. Each gives a different garrison ability for you to use in the zone. The LM gives you the ability to use a shredder which has 2 dps abilities and can fly for a short while. The SA gives you the ability to summon a gladiator. It’ll be a different one each time on rotation. When the gladiator leaves you’ll have a buff for a short while. By far the worst was the chance on hit reduced damage taken and the best was the chance to stun your target. So the usefulness of this ability will vary each time you use it. This is also the first zone where you’ll get different followers depending on which outpost building you choose.
Once you get past the initial quests it will start to feel more fluid. There is a lot of traveling here so prepare yourself for it. It’s not a bad thing however, as while exploring (or using this guide) you can come across 2 events which give you unique looking followers to add to your personal army. Another perk is that there are bonus objectives everywhere. These are quests on location that give A LOT of experience compared to regular quests (3 to 5 times as much), which make them very much worth doing. You’ll have already come across bonus objectives in your starter zone, but this is where you’ll want to do as many as possible if you haven’t yet, and that’s because of the next zone.
Oh Talador, how you remind me of Terrokkar forest. While the nature of the zone is for the most part nice, the quests are scattered. It doesn’t feel coherent and it’s just a lot of traveling that makes you long for your flying mount. I’m painting a bleak picture here, but it is compared to the other dreanor zones because they are just that good. Once you get to the main questline for Talador things turn around and things actually get quite epic as you get your first big series of encounters with the burning legion. The story is engaging, the quest flow is good and you get a good follower out of it at the end.
When it comes to your outpost building choice, I feel that the artillery tower/ armory is by far the best choice. It gives a cooldown with 3 charges that bombards an area for roughly 300k damage and each bombardment stuns those hit.
The mage tower gives you a 5 minute cooldown that summons an arcane orb for 30 seconds. Although it looks cool as it reminds you of Algalon and titan technology, it has a pretty weak AoE for the duration as it follows you around.
Overall this zone will feel rather slow for a while but once you get to Auchindoun you’ll enjoy yourself when kicking some demon butt.
Spires of Arak
The spires of arak is another completely new zone where you’ll encounter the Arrakoa, both with the old and new models. If you’re into lore then you’ll want to pay attention here as you get into Terokk’s past.
A fun addition to this zone are the archeaology treasures that you can loot through the completion of jumping puzzles that you’ll encounter here. As of right now the treasures show up on your mini map, so you’ll come across these naturally if you just quest. They’re particularly good because of the amount of fragments they give. Allowing for a quick headstart on solves while questing, and if you’re lucky enough (like I was on the beta, meaning I won’t on live) you might even already get a rare solve.
Your outpost choices consist of the inn and the trading post. The inn gives you a extra hearthstome which brings you back to your Spires outpost and a passive 20% experience bonus. Which is nice if you want to level quickly. There’s a price you pay for this choice though, as you can not currently switch outpost buildings. The trading post allows you to summon a trader who sells rare goods, including a follower with a sun guardian model. Choosing the inn currently means sacrificing the chance to get him.
Due to the arrakoa pressence this zone continues your feeling of being in another world and the meaningful outpost choice and archeaology jumping puzzles make this a meaningful zone.
Nagrand is the last of the leveling zones and it feels just like the original one, except that it’s so much bigger. It has not only expanded on the ground level, it has also expanded towards the sky giving you a lot to explore. The latest beta build added new flightmasters, making it easier to get from one side of the zone to the other.
You continue the Iron Horde story and encounter Highmaul, the ogre raid. You also get to tie up some loose ends in a questline. For the outpost you get to choose between the siegeworks and the stables. The siegeworks gives you a siegetank which does plenty of damage and is definitely the way to go if you’re a hunter. The stables gives you a talbuk mount that you can ride in battle. You’ll be able to cast while moving at a 100% movement increase.
The pacing of the zone feels good, there’s a lot to see and you’ll feel good being back in Nagrand. Again with exploring (or with our guide) you’ll be able to find some interesting followers to add to your garrison. Exploring is highly recommended for Nagrand just because of it’s grand scale and it feels like a good last leveling zone.
The leveling in Warlords is a lot more fun compared to previous expansions, the zones and quests are more interesting and the many rares and garrison interactions give it a breath of fresh air. In part 2 we’ll take a look at the features/changes to game mechanics that come along in WoD.
Welcome to Mezzy Talks! The editorial where I take an indepth look at something within World of Warcraft culture or game design.
Due to the Easter holidays there won’t be a podcast tonight and there isn’t much in depth stuff to talk about due to the lack of news this week anyway. So while the Easter bunny makes his yearly visit I thought I’d write a piece on something that has bothered me within the culture of WoW in the last few expansions. While the start of this article will go where you might expect it to, at the end I’ll tackle a similar issue in which I think people should get off their high horse! (Surprising right?)
If you feel I overlooked something in the below discussion, feel free to comment and tell me! I’m someone who enjoys the discussion and am always willing to readjust my opinion.
Now if you’re a regular viewer of the podcast you’ll know that I am on the more elitist side of the player base spectrum. I believe that loot and rewards in general should be earned through genuine effort, and not given out freely. Loot should mean something, which as you might agree has not been the case for a while now.
Let’s take a look at history and the general dungeon/raid content that was available for the more casual crowd, starting in The Burning Crusade. In TBC heroic dungeons were first introduced as a harder difficulty setting for all TBC dungeons, which could be done on max lvl(70).
Welcome to another Mezzy Talks! This time I’d like to talk about the screenshotted price of $60 for the lvl 90 character boost, ahead of Saturday’s podcast.
So on Tuesday after patch 5.4.7 hit the US servers for a short while you could see the following in the ingame blizzard shop:
On first glance this seems a bit much doesn’t it? It doesn’t come close to any other blizzard service in terms of price. And as expected a part of the community became mad over the price. And I in return, am frustrated beyond belief with those very people who refuse to think it through. Why? Because it’s a perfectly reasonable, maybe even cheap price. Let’s break it down shall we?
The original concept of the lvl 90 boost and it’s intent
The original lvl 90 boost when it was presented at blizzcon was to give a chance for new and returning players catch up to the current content and play with their friends when Warlords of Draenor was released. You would get the lvl 90 boost with Warlords of Draenor, the expansion. Now a rightfully so good question came up, what will prevent people from buying multiple games (accounts) and the expansion along with it, to get an extra lvl 90 which they can then transfer to another account on their battle.net account? The solution blizzard presented and are moving forward with is the instant lvl 90 also buyable in the ingame shop as a service to prevent the mass influx of what would really be dummy accounts, just for the extra lvl 90.
So without that solution, what would people have to buy to get an additional lvl 90 on top of the free one they’re getting when they buy Warlords of Draenor for their main account? They would have to buy:
The battle chest, which is currently $20
Mists of Pandaria, which is currently $20
Warlords of Draenor, which will likely be $40 for the normal edition and $60 for the collector’s edition
So until Mists of Pandaria gets added to the battle chest, to get the extra lvl 90 on top of the one they’ll already get on their main account they’d have to pay $80 for getting another account up to Warlords of Draenor. But we’re not done yet! They’d still have to buy the character transfer to transfer the character to their main battle.net account. Which as of right now, costs $25. So now we’re up to $105.
Assuming MoP gets added to the battle chest pretty quickly it will go down to $85. And that’s just from all the things you would have to buy to get that far.
Compared to the current situation
Instead of having to do all that, people will get to pay $25 less than it would require without this service. Then add to that the fact they do not have to spend any time lvling a character up. Time after all, is also a different kind of cost. Which for an extra one on top of the original one you’re getting, would be fair to add in the price. Anyone who is whining about the current price has absolutely no right to. Not only is it cheaper than the alternative that would’ve been without the service, it saves you time if you really want another instant lvl 90. If you don’t want to pay for another instant lvl 90, lvl a character up like you’re meant to do.
In closing, the instant lvl 90 is meant to catch up to your friends if you’re returning to WoW for warlords, or if you’re joining as a new player so you can play current content. The character service is only a measure to make it easier for you to get another instant lvl 90 character if you really want to dish out the cash in favor of lazyness. It is not meant for everyone to massively buy lvl 90 boosts when they play new characters.
So a couple of weeks back on WoW Weekly we talked about the posibility of Mythic Dungeons and I tried to shortly explain how I would like to see the nonraid pve instanced content be set up next expansion. It became quite obvious from LJ’s and Viv’s reactions that quickly explaining it within a few minutes wasn’t going to work. So as I said I’d do a Mezzy Talks episode on it, and here we are. You can watch the video version or read the blog down below.
So first the background again. It started on the mmo-champion forums where someone posted a post about adding mythic dungeons to the types of 5man dungeons you can do. These would be for those who like challenging 5man content like in TBC and the start of cata but don’t like the time trial hasty challenge modes.
A few days later someone reposted the idea on the official WoW EU forums and surprisingly it actually got a response from a customer support blue poster called Taepsilum. The surprising thing about it that he was actually quite sympathetic about it. That they understand not everyone likes the time trial challenge modes but still want challenging 5man dungeon content and they do intend making heroics harder next expansion but not as hard as the TBC and some of the start of cataclysm ones. He also asked for everyone to give feedback on how they would like challenge modes to see changed in Warlords. So naturally I responded to it as you’ll know if you watch WoW Weekly, it’s something I’m quite passionate about and I like to think game design wise how I’d want to add or change something.
So first of all, I do think they should add mythic mode dungeons. And here’s how they should be designed. Have Mythic dungeons be:
The hardest 5man content, parallel with challenge modes, each giving a different type of gameplay.
Mythic dungeons should be in line of the hardest dungeons in TBC, requiring teamwork, strategizing, CC and all that good stuff to complete succesfully.
These, just like challenge modes, need premade groups.
Mythic dungeons should give actual gear that progresses your character, which is on a lower ilvl than raiding gear, but still an upgrade over heroic 5man gear to be useful.
They should have mechanics that won’t be as easy even if you do have raid gear.