Google+ ALT : ernative: 06/22/2014 - 06/29/2014

Saturday, June 28, 2014

#WCOW14 :: Today's Fixtures, June 28th



The group stages are over. We are into the last 16 playoffs, and there's still plenty of action and excitement to be had, despite some notable teams being knocked out already :D

Each 'game' of the Campaign will play in 'real time' to coincide with events outside Azeroth (you know what I'm talking about :D) Twitter and Facebook will link to this page, and Voting will be open until 9am TOMORROW MORNING to give people more time to support their favourites :D


HOW TO TAKE PART:

Vote for the Team you would like to win. 


Underneath each game is a link to a Poll. Please click on this to cast your vote.


At the end of the Voting period, the team with the most votes will be awarded the win. If votes, when tallied are within 5% of each other, the game will be declared a draw, and a coin will be tossed to determine who will win on penalties, because that's about as fair as the real thing ^^

Results will be added to this post after each game has been concluded. Remember to vote for your team!


Tonight's Games are as follows:





#WCOW14::
Final Group Places, Last 16 Games


Getting There :D

The Group stages are finally over, and the Goblins have collated all the scores. We can now present the final standings of the 2014 Group stages of the World Cup of Warcraft:



This means we have the fixtures for the last 16 all sorted, and those games will play out as follows:


'Voting' for these games will be conducted in the exact same way as the previous games, so look out for the two scheduled games for today to be available to view at 5pm BST today :D

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has voted in the games so far and for everyone who has contributed towards making this feature so much of a success :D

BETA :: Strange and Beautiful


Purple boat, purple boooooat....


Today's Beta post was going to be a lot more complicated than this, but my utter inability to stay in the Client longer than five minutes without lagging horrendously and being dumped out has caused something of a change of plan. I hope all the people I see swanning about on Elegon mounts are actually testing stuff and not treating the game as a demo, because frankly there are some of us who'd actually like to provide feedback that's useful. However, there's a lot that needs fixing and that was the case BEFORE a bunch of new people turned up... but I digress. I'm here to talk about in game 'treasure', and the fact that all across Shadowmoon (and presumably every other zone I'll eventually get to visit) you're going to encounter random items like the boat up here. They have a distinctive purple aura (assuming you have the feature on and it doesn't offend your immersive sensibilities.) Open them up, and you'll find a chance not only of Treasure, but of Garrison Resources.


Free dead Draenei with every chest ^^

These items function in exactly the same way as the Treasures of Pandaria: once you've looted one, they vanish from your 'game' and you can't loot them again on that character. I know this because I tried to go get another picture of this chest (without its unfortunate guardian) and its gone forever on my 90. That means there'll be the opportunity to track these as time goes on, so you can probably relax in the knowledge that someone's already considering this and there'll be an Addon for it not long after the game releases.



Bring out your dead! ^^

Garrison Resources will play a major part in the construction of that feature and collecting any spare that are lying about is not a bad shout. I'm not sure what else these purple items will yield (apart from the comedy Starfish) but if I find anything interesting in my travels as I progress, I'll let you know. Needless to say, I'm now keeping sharp eyes open for purple hues on inanimate objects. It's one reason not to turn that feature off just yet...

Friday, June 27, 2014

BETA :: This is Hardcore


You heard the Tree!

In a move that will now have statisticians running away to start calculating when the Expansion proper may be released, Warlords will go from Alpha to Beta today, and the waves of invites are already arriving. The client has changed overnight from 18481 overnight to 18482, and there's been a wipe of premades from the Server, meaning I'll have to start my adventures again from scratch at 90. Of course, this meant my first order of business was AGAIN to go to the Black Temple and grab myself the Hydra of Choice.


Another girl, another Hydra

Stormwind's the busiest I've seen it for some time (unsurprisingly) and I applaud the use of 'veterans' for invites because Trade Chat was more readable than I've seen it for many, many years. People matter, folks, never forget that. Oh yeah, and then there's that giant guy in the Trade District, sure he wasn't there last time either...


Nobody steps on a Mage in MY town!

Needless to say, there are some fairly serious stability issues currently that are not likely to be made any better by a massive influx of players, so I'd expect the servers to go down again later in anticipation of 'formal' launch. There will also be, for you PvP people out there, a dedicated L100 server where you can go beat the crap out of each other and see how much fun it is. I'm actually quite tempted to give this a go if I get the time.

The question then remains: if we have a 5 month beta, that's the game set to launch during November and Blizzcon? Will Blizzard aim for release the week of Warcraft's 10th Anniversary?

We're looking for a Goblin currently who'll take that bet...

To Build a Home :: Your Town


...as its a Friday...

Friday is normally when we do our Garrisons feature. Today, we thought we'd explain the latest Alpha Build with pictures.




Welcome to your Alliance Garrison. The gates here are actionable, and I may have spent five minutes on them clicking open and closed, you know, JUST BECAUSE. Needless to say, this place is considerably smaller than the Horde build we saw (which is deliberate, the entire plot has been scaled down for both Factions) but it is no less full of totally AWESOME STUFF.




Let's open the doors and see what's inside, shall we?




Welcome to the modest building which serves as your Barracks. This is the first building you construct, and the blueprints for it are inside the Garrison itself. Finding them and meeting your 'staff' forms part of your introductory series of quests. The Heroes Call board on your left is functional, and will provide you with quests that will reward Garrison Resources, which you'll need for construction as you progress. You'll also note a familiar armour of the Night Elf Watchers. Presumably she's here so there's no trouble ^^




I've had to go back and reroll in anticipation of Beta, so I took you a picture of the plot before the Barracks is built. Note the yellow-edged plans that are your quest item.




Your foreman is a Female Dwarf, an the workers are combination of 100% Stormwind beef and Ironforge grit. However, these men have an intelligent, sensitive side. They play Hearthstone on their breaks, and they're incredibly polite, and won't walk into you at all, I stood and watched them not doing that for AGES, so I know :D



I really ought to give a shout out to Baros Alexston, who Vanilla players will remember was a staple of one of the pre-Cataclysm quest chain in Westfall, and who is your Man in Charge. Needless to say, it is good to see him get out of his office in Stormwind and have some worthwhile employment :D




This is the back of the Garrison, but you can also see the side of the Garrison :D




The Keg of Glory is at the back of this group (read this post from Wow Insider for context), who are all destined to become your followers at some point in time. The guy on the left near the wagon is your Cook, and the two Draenei are here as Alchemy 'specialists' The bloke in the Lumberjack shirt is just loitering.




This modest building is, in fact, your Town Hall, with the Innkeeper outside. Inside is your Mission Specialist (Lieutenant Thorn, who is a Gilnean) who will grant you access to your Garrisons Missions and your Followers menu. If you want more on this, can I suggest my Garrisons Guide. There is also a Mailbox which does not as yet appear to function correctly.




In fact, here she is now. She looks a bit bored, with only the cat for company, plus this building's pretty cramped. BETTER GET GOING with a rebuild then :D




The plot on your left is empty at present, but will contain an Alchemy Building on Alpha shortly as I managed to learn the plans last night. They come from a 'Garrison Support' quest which is clearly marked as such in your Quest Log. Again, more on this later in the Garrisons Blog. Note the Dwarf with the green aura ACTUALLY WORKING.




There is also a space here to the right, but as you can now only build two structures initially in the Level One Barracks, one assumes it's just there for effect. However, NICE PLANKS.





Looking up from your Alchemy Building, that's the Barracks on the right and the Town Hall on the left. The guy looking at the map is clearly lost, or just embarrassed I'm taking his picture and is attempting to act cool.




There is also action outside your walls. This is a cave that you cleared out during your introductory Quest adventures, and it is now safely boarded up because HEALTH AND SAFETY PEOPLE. The Miner on the left has a quest, which I believe will appear when I am no longer 90. I'll be getting on that later today.




There are also areas which will clearly be 'absorbed' as your Garrison structure increases in size, marked ready for use as Building plots. Needless to say, you'll get there eventually. PATIENCE.




If I were a betting woman, I'd say this lady and her tent were related to Pet Battles, but I couldn't possibly confirm anything, because, YOU KNOW IN DEVELOPMENT.




However, this woman I do know, because she was one of the people I didn't kill in Pandaria ^^ Her tent is up by a set of Draenei standing stones in the spot where you originally claim your land FOR THE ALLIANCE, so I'm going to bet that will also be eventually absorbed into your final structure. Needless to say, I think I may have a girl crush on Bodrick Grey BECAUSE REASONS.

==

There's plenty more to see and do, but because in the time it took me to write this post the Expansion's stopped being in Alpha and is moving to Beta, I'm suddenly behind on pretty much everything ^^ When I have the details, you'll see them here first. I'm going to need a bigger camera :D

Thursday, June 26, 2014

#WCOW14 :: Today's Fixtures, June 26th




And we've reached the end of the Group Stages of games in the World Cup of Warcraft. Come back tomorrow where we'll have all the final groups, and details of who has made it into the last 16 :D

Each 'game' of the Campaign will play in 'real time' to coincide with events outside Azeroth (you know what I'm talking about :D) Twitter and Facebook will link to this page, and Voting will be open until 9am TOMORROW MORNING to give people more time to support their favourites :D


HOW TO TAKE PART:

Vote for the Team you would like to win. 


Underneath each game is a link to a Poll. Please click on this to cast your vote.


At the end of the Voting period, the team with the most votes will be awarded the three points for a win. If votes, when tallied, are within 5% of each other, the game will be declared a draw and each team will be awarded one point each.

Results will be added to this post after each game has been concluded. Remember to vote for your team!


Results for these games are as follows:







ALPHA :: Notes from a Small Island 25/06





Early mornings do me in, OFFICIAL, and I'm probably still not that awake even at lunchtime, truth be told. However, there is still STUFF TO DO because as you may have noticed, we have Alpha back. I started off in Stormwind this morning, and I'm actually rather glad I did, because it gave me a chance to stop and think.


Inspired addition.

There are an INSANE number of quality of life additions to the Expansion, this being only one of them. Being able to separately select graphic settings for raids is really a stroke of genius, and makes a huge amount of sense for those people who just want to reduce the amount of crap they have to look at in stressful situations.

However, I will admit to being more interested in the other thing I discovered in the Bank:


COMES AS STANDARD.

I'll never need a gathering bag again. I can probably lose a Bankalt, possibly two. The possibilities for reorganisation are, frankly, ENDLESS, especially as most raw materials will stack to 200 come the Expansion. This fact alone is so awesomely huge my brain cannot as yet cope with the consequences, so it has sensibly moved onto better things. There's also a metric crapton of Garrisons stuff I need to get my brain around too, because suddenly an awful lot of subtle things have happened inside by new feature that I'd kindof hoped were going to but didn't look as if they'd been thought of before. Now I'm wondering if the Alliance version was just better made than the Horde one, and they need to catch up. I'll have to consider that at length.


Look where you logged out ^^

There's one honking huge change I want to mention at this point: the Adventure Journal that was mentioned at Blizzcon is back, and it shows what has changed in game since you last logged on. I am now wondering if this means that this 'graphic' is the one you'll see when you log into 6.1 for the first time, or whether this might actually be 6.0. Of course, it could just be a placeholder, but part of me is REALLY hoping they give us the Inventory changes BEFORE the Expansion goes live because quite frankly it is going to take me three months to reorganise my bags anyway. Who cares about stat squishes and DPS I NEED BAG SPACE DAMMIT.

I also need to think about Garrisons more. BECAUSE REASONS.


NEEDS MOAR BEER.


ALPHA :: A Whole New World


DWARF SIGN!

They fixed the Alpha. I'm back to home turf :D

I'm also going to make a point, that I am going to continue posting pictures of content from the Alpha into my Twitter feed and here, because you can trust me when I say to you that no amount of static data will substitute for you actually playing the game live. Trust me on this, I just have for two hours and my MIND IS BLOWN.

Blizzard really have knocked this out of the park, you know. No amount of non-moving 'spoilers' is going to ruin this for you. You just have to wait for release.


ONLY HYDRA YOU NEED.

Before I went to Shadowmoon, I took a detour to the Black Temple, because this is the ONLY Hydra you'll ever want to tame ever when the game goes live. If I have to tell you why, you are clearly not getting Huntering. I know it's not purple or white, but really, BEST HYDRA WORLDWIDE. Once I'd checked in my pet, I went to the Alliance starting zone and BLOODY HELL. I have an Alliance Garrison.


I HAVE AN ALLIANCE GARRISON.



OMG FAMOUS ARCHITECT.

As was predicted, Baros Alexston is your Alliance Architect. He arrives in the portal from Stormwind that Khadgar conjures for you, and your Garrison is established in an area that seems a lot smaller than the Horde equivalent (and is, you only get three plots to choose from) It is a totally different beast from the its factional counterpart, the construction workers play Hearthstone in their breaks and don't sleep, and all in all it seems far more complete than the Horde equivalent, because one assumes it just *is*, mostly because of the extra amount of time this side of the game has had in development. I really do look forward to playing this more in the days that follow. Also, it is beautifully apparent that the Developers aren't taking themselves too seriously in this place. They just aren't :P


Outside your Garrison. OH THE IRONY.

The thing that immediately strikes you about this zone is the attention to detail: whether it is the NPC who stops as you travel to a Quest objective to chat to her friends or the sense of community the Draenai settlements immediately radiate I'm not sure, but there is something indefinably 'complete' about this place that was missing in Frostfire. However, the perennial purpleness was already frustrating after two hours play, and I found myself longing for frost and ice, which just goes to prove that sometimes, you just won't please everyone with your backdrop. Needless to say, this zone is already making me itch to explore it, but I'll have to admit that is with my Garrison hat on. There's been a lot of subtle change to elements inside that I'll detail on the Other Blog, once they've settled in my head. For now I am simply reacting to stimulus, of which there was much.


WHAT IS THE BEST PET FOR DPS

Then there is the creeping sense of familiarity about fighting with people that you know from TBC, that exist in one form in your mind but are now presented you as another. Without spoiling plot for anyone there are a couple of 'OMG is that who I *think* it is?' moments in the first couple of hours that make you do significant double-takes. Then there is the undefinable sense of standing in a place you have lived in as a wrecked shell that is now a living, breathing home to so many... and the sense of impending dread this instigates, at least in my mind, is quite significant indeed. Revisiting this place is oddly wrong but then right, that there is so much history that you already know has transpired... and the fact that nothing you do here will change the world you go back to is, at least for me, a definite concern. Trying to separate the two worlds I know will be a tough ask. I'm already boggling at the possibilities.


Still stuff to do :D

There are rares, and Bonus Objectives, and many, MANY things that I will now take the next couple of days to fully explore. I will be streaming (double figures again today, not bad for a mad middle aged woman) and faffing in Garrisons, and posting on the other blog, but for now I will be attempting to let sink in the realisation of what this Expansion means in terms of plot, because actually there's a fair deal more than I'm able to comfortably conceive.

I think I need moar caffeine...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#WCOW14 :: Today's Fixtures, June 25th




We're back on track today with four games in the World Cup of Warcraft.

Each 'game' of the Campaign will play in 'real time' to coincide with events outside Azeroth (you know what I'm talking about :D) Twitter and Facebook will link to this page, and Voting will be open until 9am TOMORROW MORNING to give people more time to support their favourites :D


HOW TO TAKE PART:

Vote for the Team you would like to win. 


Underneath each game is a link to a Poll. Please click on this to cast your vote.


At the end of the Voting period, the team with the most votes will be awarded the three points for a win. If votes, when tallied, are within 5% of each other, the game will be declared a draw and each team will be awarded one point each.

Results will be added to this post after each game has been concluded. Remember to vote for your team!


Please Vote on the Following four Games: