Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's all Gone Pete Tong!

So there's no new continent to explore come the new Expansion. There's a Big Bad of course... and BOY is he mad. Mad enough it seems to take all that we are familiar and comfortable with and rip it apart, quite literally. The World of Warcraft, as we know it, will change forever.

When I first heard about the changes to Onyxia I was, as you will recall, a bit concerned. Changing lore like this has inevitable consequences... unless of course you're changing everything else to move with it. My main worry was that Blizzard would simply cherrypick certain events and amend the lore around them. The last thing I was expecting was for them to rebuild everything from the ground up.

There's plenty of videos like this around, which show just how much work Blizzard are going to have done to rewrite the original Azeroth. In the beginning, you were never going to fly, it was all about Public Transport, and the world was hastily created to accomodate that. Now that everyone wants to fly, the most logical solution is to start again, and at the same time mix the entire place up. Plus, in Lore terms, it makes really rather perfect sense. As Wowwiki points out, this is not the first time a Cataclysm has shattered Azeroth...

The Great Sundering, also known as simply the Sundering or the Cataclysm,[1] was a world event which reshaped Azeroth approximately 10,000 years ago at the end of the War of the Ancients. This was caused by the Well of Eternity exploding, due to it being too weak when Sargeras tried to enter through a portal fueled by the Well's energies.

Prior to the Sundering, there was only one continent on Azeroth, referred to as Kalimdor. In the catastrophic explosion, eighty percent of the land mass was destroyed[2] leaving behind the major continents and scattered islands that are known today: Northrend, Kezan, the Eastern Kingdoms, and the remnant still referred to as Kalimdor.

The site of the Well of Eternity became a swirling vortex of power known as the Maelstrom.

So, in a repeat of previous events we find ourselves in an Azeroth where EVERYTHING has changed, and everywhere has the possibility of new quests. This is perhaps the greatest masterstroke of all: we're used to having clearly defined areas to Quest in, that are well-signposted. If I read the information right, new quests are going to be available EVERYWHERE, you have to go find them. The aceness of this concept is still boggling my mind, as it means I'll be off to explore all over again, rediscovering places I'd long since forgotten which will be new, yet familiar. Frankly, this is possibly THE BEST THING Blizzard could have done with the Old World.

The seismic shifts also play a direct part on revelaing our two new races: displacing the Goblins from the South Seas and cracking open the Greymane Wall to reveal the Worgen for the first time. If the amount of enthusiasm for Worgen in our Guild is any indicator Blizzard got it spot on in terms of picking the right race for each faction. There was a flurry of activity yesterday where people were desperately trying to register Worgen names, most of which had already been taken. Clearly the enthusiasm for the new content is unabated.

The fact we're only going to 85 this time makes me think Blizzard are moving away from a fixation on levelling and XP and are shifting more towards time-based rewards. By far the biggest criticism of the process is that you have to do it to get to the most relevant content, after all... and why those gold sellers have a nice line in power levelling on the side.

I'm still getting my head around all these changes to talents and this Path of the Titans stuff, so more on that once the braincells properly align. For now... how long until Beta??? :D

Behind the Curve

The last few days have been, if I'm fair, all about the Guild. There's been a few things that needed sorting, and now they're done, I can hopefully start digesting the TONS of information that fell out of Blizzcon. I should also check my mail for my Marine Murloc Pet...

What I have done as a first exercise is some much-needed account sorting. I've had two accounts since the Recruit a Friend exercise allowed me to level my Shaman at speed (and grab the Zevra mount), and I've now transferred my Druid to the second account. More importantly both are now linked via Battle.Net, a process which is likely to become mandatory at some point in the future. It means only one login password and less than thirty minutes to transfer the Druid between the two accounts (though that may just have been lucky) This now frees me up some space to plan for a Worgen on my main account, and an 80 on both accounts to provide heirlooms for levelling. The Druid immediately converted her useless Emblems of Valor to shoulders and chest for the Shammy, and the next real task for me will be to level her to 80 and to get her Blacksmithing maxxed.

I've also set up a new alt on the secondary account who has access to my main bank alt's bank and Guild Bank, which will hopefully allow me to transfer anything between both accounts with speed, thus circumnavigating the 1 hour mail delay. In the end it is becoming increasingly easy to customise your gaming experience, and it seems sensible for me to take advantage of all this ease.

I ran a Naxx 10 with the Lock last night (and was second on dps on Patchwerk, which I'm very happy about, 3.5k dps is no longer a pipedream) and I'm 3 emblems short of the tier chest. The Hunter picked up the tier hat and also snagged the rather lovely Chestguard of the Ravenous Fiend (moar penetration!!!) from the Heroic 5 man Crusader Event, which is as good as it gets outside 25 man Ulduar...

Right, let's go sort some other things during Maintenance...

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Well, I picked the wrong week to go away ^^

I'm still reeling over the sheer amount of new information that fell out of California in the last few days: Cataclysm isn't at all what I'd expected or anticipated. Not that this is a BAD thing, you understand, it's just going to take a while to assimilate all the new information. No new main profession, but a secondary: ARCHEOLOGY!!!! Races as predicted but no new continent! Desolace becomes Nicolace! It's all... so... Sundered!

Once I've emerged from the Epic piles of washing and taken 'Do you want to Date my Avatar' off repeat play I'll be here to digest the news and to dish out the views... ^^