Not that all of the information is good, mind you. Every time I think about Atma my hands instinctively ball into fists.
Still, there's stuff to chat about, there's good stuff in with the bad, and perhaps most importantly there's enough to fuel some speculation and some off-the-cuff reaction before we dive into the meat of E3 and we learn even more about the future of the game. So let's get right into it, starting with the bit of news that I already foreshadowed in the intro.
Last time on WoW Archivist, we reviewed the first half of the Tier 0.5 quest line, including the controversial 45-minute Baron run in Stratholme. As we left off, the ghost of Anthion Harmon had asked us to assemble the pieces of Valthalak's medallion. He sent you into Blackrock Depths with an enchanted banner to challenge the gladiator Theldren.
Laying down the law
The next step required a 5-player group to enter the Ring of Law inside Blackrock Depths. As you were being sentenced, you summoned the Banner of Provocation. Theldren and his team stepped in instead of the usual BRD bosses. Now you were in for a scrap, and it was a wildly different fight that any other in classic WoW.
And that got me thinking about the ideal level cap for an MMO. Even if two games require roughly the same amount of time to cap, a bigger number can seem so much more intimidating. Asheron's Call's 150 levels and Anarchy Online's
What do you think -- what's the ideal level cap for an MMO with levels?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!
Yes, all of these guides are for DPS; you'll find no detailed tanking walkthroughs here. And each guide just picks a particular spec, so if you were hoping for insight into playing an Enhancement Shaman, you're out of luck. But if you've boosted a character and totally can't figure out what you're supposed to be doing now, it's a good crash course on playing well enough to fake it in LFR.
- Which encounter will "cause the most tears"? That'd be Avatus, the last boss of Datascape, Scheinert says, but the elemental pairs in Datascape will be rough too. "Because [they] change every week (and there are 9 possibilities, each of which is almost an entirely new encounter), guilds will spend an entire week reaching then learning a pairing... then the instance will reset and they'll be back to ground zero."
- At least at launch, raid tools will be "in the hands of the addon developers."
- "Voice chat definitely helps but is not necessary."
- Additional post-launch raid content is "in development," so raid tiers will be flexible.
- The team won't "admit defeat that easily" should 40-man raids prove unpopular.
- Enrage timers "just feel lame," so the devs are using them sparingly.
- Casual players won't be able to extend lockout timers at launch.
- Carbine is still sorting out how latency will affect Oceanic players in raids.
Patch 2.6 will also bring with it the Tower of Peril, rewarding players for how far they can climb and generally challenging any high-level high-intensity players. There will also be numerous improvements to in-game text, bugs, and the like. If that sounds like just what you want to see, you can take a look at the blog post for a few more details and then jump in and start playing right from there.
So guess what's past the cut? Go ahead, guess.
Very good, it's the raiding video (something you could have concluded from the headline, yes), but there's more besides. We had a chance to sit down and talk with Brett Scheinert, the dungeon & raid lead developer, regarding these high-end encounters and what will set WildStar apart from other titles offering a raiding endgame. And despite what those opening lines might have made you think, it's not just about size. (It's also Spinal Tap references. You can guess which ones.)
What? I know what side of the bread my butter's on.
A bit of discussion with a friend the other night reminded me that I can't think of a single game over the past four and a half years that I really thought launched at the right time; either they launched a bit too early or a bit too late, at best. So today, with launch less than a month away, I'd like to talk about the things that make me most displeased about the game... and the bits that make me the most hopeful.
- There are plans to revamp PvE after the New Frontiers content is properly tweaked. First on the PvE list is the top 10% most rewarding and difficult encounters.
- On the flipside, the devs agree there's too much PvE emphasis in the RvR Frontiers.
- The team is still looking at incentives for keep, tower, and relic defense.
- Shards will not be usable in housing zones.
- Legendary weapon updates are still on the table.
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Kronos also marks another important milestone for CCP, as the company will be switching from releasing two major expansions per year to a more agile strategy of releasing 10 smaller updates each year. The Kronos release was originally planned as a full expansion before the changeover to a 10-release schedule, so it's as packed as a full expansion. In addition to a deluge of industry overhauls, we'll be getting a shiny new mining ship, major pirate faction ship revamps, an enhanced new player experience, and a cool new effect when players warp into or out of an area.
Read on for a breakdown of the EVE keynote presentation and to find out why CCP is moving away from its usual two expansions per year.
The article explains that having a static group hitting the same content for quite some time stays engaging, while hitting a raid finder group is more or less the same each time. As a result, raid finder loots will be altered to lack set bonuses and have different art from the normal raids while also dropping more loot than other modes. Each raid difficulty will also have a separate lockout, while changes to Valor and the caps on same will diminish the importance of re-running old content that no one needs. Take a look at all of the changes in the new article.
Cataclysm removed the difficulty gap between 10-person and 25-person raids, but the side effect was a pressure to produce smaller raid groups rather than grow to bigger groups. It also introduced the raid finder as a mechanic, encouraging more people to experience the content. Mists of Pandaria, on the other hand, suffered from bottlenecks that prevented non-raiding groups from making any progress, although flex raiding was deemed a better way to get groups in and playing. Take a look at the full article for more details on the ups and downs, with part 3 set to address the future of raiding in Warlords of Draenor.
Paid betas appear to be an unfortunate trend cropping up in MMOs as of late. And I know I'm going to sound like a hater, but I don't like to pay for beta. Yet being the idiot that I am, I still bought the $60 alpha for SOE's Landmark. I'm a sucker; I'll admit it. But that doesn't mean that I don't feel the shame that pours over me like gooey green slime -- a bucket for every dollar spent. Perhaps it's because I am not max level yet, but I'm starting to feel like a sucker when it comes to pre-ordering ESO. Don't get me wrong: I believe it's a great game. I just feel that it's not done, and I'm paying to participate in the console beta test.
Posted on Aug 26th 2014 6:00PM
Posted on Aug 26th 2014 5:00PM
Posted on Aug 26th 2014 12:00PM