Gaming is a lifestyle

Posts tagged “blizzard

Just another WoW rambling

I have been playing World of Warcraft since April 13, 2007. Almost every day, with a few exceptions, and I’m still going strong, playing 5+ hours every day. I recently got asked why the heck I still play, since the game was dead and/or ruined and it was a waste of money and time. I’ve been getting this question a lot, especially since Mist of Pandaria got released, and honestly, I don’t understand it. Sure, I have been playing the game for over 7 years and I still love it as much as I did back then and it still feels as good to play and achieve certain things in the game.

When I first reached max level in The Burning Crusade I instantly fell in love with the endgame raids, and within long I joined up with the 3rd best raiding guild on the server <The Dragon> and started to do the hard raids such as Mount Hyjal and Black Temple (never got around to Sunwell Plateau). In Wrath of the Lich King I had a 6 months break when I moved to Denmark for half a year, and when I returned I found myself guild less.
I soon found a new guild and <Viri Fortuitus> was what I called home and family for the years to come, and still is today, even if I play under another guild tag. With Viri I saw the game from different perspective. We did serious raiding, without the hardcore raiding guild attitude that I had known before, and I had much more fun playing the game than I ever had before. In WotLK we had amazing progress and kept up with the top guilds, and even though we slowed down a bit in the following expansions we still had fun. Sadly, nothing lasts forever (except Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, that shit won’t die!), and in May 2013, the guild died completely. People lost interests in the game or got otherwise occupied, and we had our last official raid attempt on April 18, 2013. In the year to come I found myself wandering Azeroth alone or AFK’ing in Trade District, waiting for just anything to happen. I got lucky though, in November I found another guild, that had the same mentality as my old guild, and even though it was painful to do a /gquit for real, I was now in a new guild and back in raiding.
However I quickly found out that even if the guild reminded me of my old guild, it just didn’t feel like anything I could call home, so 2 months after I left the guild, had a server transfered and joined up with a new guild: <Indecisive>, and I’m now back to the old hardcore raiding, doing Siege of Orgrimmar 25m Heroic, trying to get rid the last threat of today’s Azeroth, and to show the might of the Alliance in the upcoming Warlords of Draenor. But it still saddens me that Viri Fortuitus is no more, and I am worried that even though I’m loving my new raiding guild and it feels amazing to do 25m raiding again, it might not last forever. With Viri Fortuitus I raided because of the people in the guild, and played for the people in the guild, and that’s not what I’m doing in the new guild, and I’m not 100% sure that I’ll enjoy it as much in say 3 months or perhaps in a year.

But as for now, I’m still enjoying the game just as much as I did 7 years ago, and I cannot imagine it getting worse in the next 2-3 years, unless Blizzard really screws up somehow.
Alitaliho the Light of Dawn will always be here to protect and serve the Alliance!


Blizzard Allstars get’s a name change, and BlizzCon moves closer!

 

Finally there is something new about Blizzards MOBA game! It’s been a very long time without any information whatsoever, but now it is official. The Blizzard Allstar has changed name to Heroes of the Storm, and even has their own section on Battle.net!

With the name change and the new website, they released an announcement video, made by non other than the famous SC2 fan artist Carbot, and do I really have to say how awesome it is?!

 

Together with the announcement, they have also released the schedule for BlizzCon 2013. It is looking really good so far, although it doesn’t look like there will be any big surprises. Some Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls information, along with what’s next in the World of Warcraft and then a better look at said MOBA. All in all a really interesting schedule, but sadly no big surprises – yet.

With BlizzCon moving oh so close, I am still keeping to my predictions: Hearthstone released at BlizzCon, Heroes of the Storm will be announced and released in May/June 2014, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls to be announced for 2014, although they don’t want to set a date, and a new look into what the next World of Warcraft expansion might look like!

All in all, quite exciting news, and more to come in the near future! I will keep up with the updates and post anything new here, as my predictions will be confirmed, so keep an eye on it!


The Dark Below

Blizzard recently trademarked a new title The Dark Below. Of course Blizzard haven’t said anything about this just yet, but that does not mean we can’t be excited and start the never ending speculation right?!

First thing first though… It’s been roughly a year since Mist of Pandaria was released, and if we look through the history of expansions we can see that it’s been 3 years ish between every expansion, so we really shouldn’t expect anything just yet – although they did say they would put out more expansions with less time between them, so maybe late next year? Either way, I’m sure we’ll get some insight on this at Blizzcon later this year.

So what I’m the most excited about is what is the expansion about? I mean.. We’ve killed C’thun, we slayed the Betrayer, banished the undead, and destroyed the Destroyer.. We’ve been all over the place and they just keep coming. In the past few months a few scenarios have been voiced on the internet… ideas and suggestions for the next expansion pack – The return of the Burning Legion, the Emerald Dream and the wrath of the Nagas, and to be fairly honest, all of these are exciting as fuck and I can’t wait to see all of them in game. But alas only one scenario for each expansion… and for this one it is most likely gonna be the wrath of the Nagas.

To fully prepare for a world of perfection, all the imperfect must be swept away.

A few years back, before the announcement of Cataclysm me and whole bunch of other people expected this expansion to come out… The Naga’s have been roaming Azeroth for years, but have never been a real threat.. at least not since the days of Warcraft 3 or the Serpenshrine Caverns, so it would seem like a perfect time to release it. There are numerous islands around Azeroth that are hidden or not accessible. But as we all know this didn’t happen.
In Cataclysm we kinda started to feel the anger and power of the Naga’s in Vashj’ir, even though it was easily beaten. It was also here that we for the first time ever heard of the “Dark Below”, it had never before been mentioned (as far as I know at least). It was the great and powerful Ozumat, Fiend of the Dark Below. The last boss in Throne of Tides, whom will has been overtaken by the Nagas.

If this is the scenario and idea for the next expansion it would mean that we could finally get to see the realm of the Nagas… we could see the great (I assume it’s great) city of Nazjatar at the bottom of the Maelstrom, and who knows.. we might see the resurrection of Lady Vashj!

But of course it’s all speculations, and we wont know anything for sure till Blizzard reveals something, either at Gamescom this weekend or at Blizzcon later this year. For now I’ll stay dreaming of the depths of Azeroth!


World of Warcraft as a competitive game?

http://vachhas1.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/world_of_warcraft_logo.png

As a long term World of Warcraft player I am sad to see where the game is today, and by that I mean the fact that less and less people are playing it. Blizzard recently released the subscription numbers and it was around 8 millions subscribers world wide (Still the biggest MMORPG by far), but it’s quite a drop from the glorious days of 2010 when there were 12 million players.

Personally I don’t understand why this drop in numbers has hit the game. Blizzard has really made a lot of improvement to the game and added loads and loads of new features in the past years, such as rated battlegrounds, looking for group system and not to mention the pet battle! Yeah, some might say that the game has become too easy, that in Vanilla and The Burning Crusade you needed lots more skills and whatnot to even have a chance to finish up the end game raids, and I do agree to a certain extent, but I don’t believe that’s what “killed” World of Warcraft. What I believe gave the game a massive blow are 3 things:

Heirlooms:
With people running around with heirlooms at any level in the game has had a huge impact on it. Everyone runs around with heirlooms, whether it be in the instances, the battlegrounds or questing. You no longer need to get that one helmet that will help you out. You no longer need to farm Scarlet Monastery to get Morgraines’s mighty Mace. No, you got it all from level one. By farming a little bit of instances/battlegrounds on your main you’re able to give your new character whatever gear you need from level 1. Levelling a new character has become ridiculously easy… I mean, I still remember when I levelled my main, it took me several months to get from 1-70 and it was an amazing feeling when I finally made it. Now levelling is just something that has to be done to get to the farming process at level 90.

Flying in Azeroth:
This is something that I’ve hated from the start, why would they add this feature? Sure, you can get from Stormwind to Scholomance in no time… great! But why?! Yeah, I remember when I had to get a group from Shadowfang Keep and we had to decide who went to summon the rest of the group.. Now that was a hell of a walk, which most often ended with 2-3 ganks, but it had its charm, as our dear friend Bilbo Baggins would have said “I’m going on an adventure!”. Yes, I do realise that flying in Azeroth is for the high levels, so it wouldn’t have had any impact on me running to Shadowfang Keep, but my point still stands.
Another thing with the flying in Azeroth is that you rarely see anyone more. There is no interaction with other players, especially not cross faction. I’m sure that most of the people that played in “the good old days” remember the endless ganks and ganking in zones like Strangelthorn Vale and Hillsbrad Foothills and it was FUN, even if you were the one ganked. All you see now is, if you’re lucky, a player flying somewhere high above. It starts to feel like you’re playing alone.

And arguably the BG/Instance queue system:
So this pretty much goes with the flying in Azeroth thingie. You don’t have to go out there. You don’t have to interact with people. You queue up, you kill some mobs and then never see the group again. I don’t know the locations for half the dungeons any more… Where the hell is the Siege of Niuzao Temple?! I don’t bloody know, because I don’t have to! All I need to do is to hit that lovely queue button and some magic happens and I’m in a group. Lovely right? No, because this group might as well have been an AI, no one is talking, there is no communication whatsoever.
When people had to run out to find the dungeons it added a lot more… life.. to the game, you saw a lot more players around. Same goes for the Battleground instances. I miss the days when people gathered in Stormwind Keep to queue up. There was always a lot of talking and people showing of their newly acquired PvP gear. There was a gathering point for like minded players.

ihealalotIhealalot, the greatest Paladin in The Burning Crusade era, misses the good old days

Now, I don’t know what Blizzard should do to make up for this fatal mistakes. You cannot simply remove the features, it doesn’t work like that. But I might have a few ideas that could help out. Or at least I wish it would. But here is my favourite one:

Competitive play:For those of you who have read my blogs know that I love the eSport scene, and I believe World of Warcraft has a lot of potential. In both aspects of the game, PvE and PvP.

PvP
I love the idea to see a better PvP competitive scene. Admittedly I don’t watch the arena sections and I find the insanely dull. But I honestly believe that if Blizzard put a team together to work out a tournament for battlegrounds it would have a massive success. The eSport scene has the great 1v1 games (Starcraft 2), it has the 3v3 (WoW Arena) and then it has the 5v5 (League of Legends and DOTA2). But it doesn’t have the huge 10v10, or even 15v15 if you dare. Yeah, it might be insanely difficult to make it work, to get 10-15 like minded players to work together in perfect synergy, but if there is one community there can do it, it’s the MMO community. We see it all the time, the top guilds of World of Warcraft going for that world first, and if they can do it in PvE then they can do it in PvP as well.
All Blizzard needs to do is to add some sort of spectator mode for battlegrounds. Not sure if it should be a 1st person view like Counter-Strike, 3rd person view like WoW arena, perhaps the spectating system from SC2 and LoL could work, or maybe a combination of all 3. And then Blizzard needs to make it attractive to the players. Give it a lot of talk, put bigger prizes out there, give the players a chance for fame. You have done it with Starcraft Blizzard, now do it to World of Warcraft.

PvE
So this one is somewhat already ongoing… The Race to Worlds first (Great documentary by the way, you should watch it), where the top guilds in the world tries to be the first to clear the content, to get the fame and glory. So what I think should be done here is to have tournaments, both for worlds first, but also fastest clear of a certain dungeon/raid. Have two teams/guilds facing each other and see who has the best strategy to clear it the fastest. This has already been done at several BlizzCons, where Blizzard has invited top guilds to go on scene and play, so why not go a bit further? Have a monthly tournament where you give the players a chance to get their 15 minutes of fame.

As I said, I don’t know what should be done with the game, but I strongly believe that this could help it out, make it more attractive to players, both the current one and people looking for an alternative competitive one.
Hope you guys like my idea and I wish we could get the word to spread and make it happen!


Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Oh god I have NEVER been so disappointed in an announcement as I was for the Blizzard one at PAX East today… I admit I might have hyped it up a little bit, but I expected Blizzard to have a huge announcement, but alas I was wrong.

Before getting into the what it was, here is what Blizzard said about the announcement before PAX:
“Blizzard has a little something new, and they’re bringing it to PAX East! It’s different from their other games, so it’s not a sequel, expansion, or that rumored next-gen MMO. Be among the first to see what the legendary development studio has been working on in this presentation.”

How can you not be over hyped about that one?! Yeah okay, I guess it might just have been me… But then let’s move on!

That’s right! Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a Free-to-play strategy card game from Blizzard! Yeah, see why I’m disappointed now?! Okay,  after I managed to calm down a little bit after the announcement, I have to say I am a little bit excited about this.. The ingame footage (and shoutcasting) made it look a lot more fun than I actually anticipated.

So just some quick facts about the game:

  • The game is an Online CCG. It’s free to play.
  • The game will be available on iPad as well.
  • The Beta will come this summer and the game will be available this year.
  • You can already sign up for Beta!!!
  • HearthStone will launch on Windows and Mac.
  • Over 300 cards in the game, 5 per pack, can earn and buy packs, many types of cards.
  • A pack of cards will be around $1, but it’s nothing set in stone yet.
  • You’ll be able to earn cards o build them yourself by disenchanting the spare ones.
  • We will have common, rare, epics, and legendary cards.
  • The game will be played as a hero: druid, mage, warlock, hunter, etc.

With that said, I am still hoping to see the Blizzard Allstar to be announced soon(ish)! But meanwhile I’ll wait patiently and cross my finger’s that I’ll get into the Hearthstone beta! But that’s it for me now guys, Mike is over and out!


Is the game imbalanced?

I have been following the Starcraft 2 eSport scene since I saw my first Starcraft 2 back in 2010, and I watch it every chance I get, whether it be at home, in school, on the train or even taking a dump. And I pretty much watch anyone play, from the hardcore pro’s like LiquidTLO, EGIdrA and MarinKingPrime to community streams like Day[9] and Temp0.. oh and obviously every tournament I can find (GSL, IEM, MLG and every other 3 digit tournament out there).

https://i0.wp.com/media.pcgamer.com/files/2012/09/Starcraft-2-Heart-of-the-Swarm-preview-2.jpg

On every stream chat, no matter who is streaming and what they are streaming, I see the same damn thing over and over again… The endless useless talk about how the game/races/units is unbalanced!
“Oh my god Marines are OP”
“NERF INFESTORS”
“Look, GGLords incoming!”
“WTF Zerg OP!”

And this is everywhere.. as soon as a race/player has a win streak you’ll see the constant whining of imbalance. You especially noticed it in the months leading up to the Heart of the Swarm, where zergs pretty much dominated everything and took 1st place in almost (if not all) any tournament, and most of the time there were several zergs in the top of the bracket. Now, you have to understand that I’m no pro nor do I have in any specific knowledge about the game, I’m just a Silver league Starcraft 2 fan, soaking in anything the commentator/streamers wants to share. But what I do know is that the game is not as imbalanced as people keep whining about. Yes there will always be a unit that beats the other and some races will be better in different stages of the game, but I believe that if the player is good enough they can win, OP races or not!

https://i0.wp.com/i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news-700/MLG-2013-Pro-Circuit-Winter-Championship-Starts-Today-Full-Streaming-Available.jpg

Okay, so with Heart of the Swarm we saw a switch in the race dominance. MLG kicked off this weekend and let me just share the race distribution:
Round of 32: 12 Protoss, 10 Terrans, 10 Zerg
Round of 16: 3 Protoss, 8 Terrans, 5 Zerg

By now people should be screaming that Terrans are OP right? I mean 8 of 10 got to the next round?! And Protoss so underpowered, yeah? No…

Round of 8: 3 Protoss, 4 Terrans, 1 Zerg
Oh my god Zerg needs to be buffed and Terrans still OP! Only one left, someone call Blizzard and complain already! Hold on a minute people, let’s see how this goes.

Semifinals: 1 Protoss, 2 Terrans, 1 Zerg
Finals: 1 Terran, 1 Zerg
Oh, wait… Maybe Zergs aren’t that bad..?

And guess what.. The Zerg won the bloody thing!

Yeah yeah, you summarized the tournament, so what? Well… As I said earlier, I don’t believe the game is so imbalanced, and even if they are the really good players will find away to counter them. Terrans were praised by the commentators the entire tournament and almost guaranteeing us a Terran champion, but Life (the Zerg that won) is such an amazing player and managed to rip apart every Terran he met on his way to the finals.

So basically what I’m trying to say is that the game is NOT as imbalanced as the community keeps complaining about, and even if there could be done some minor adjustments, the real pro gamers will find a way to conquer the scene.

So I guess all there is left to say is enjoy the bloody game! And if you want to compete then you have to practice to beat the “overpowered” races. But that’s it for now peeps, Mike is over and out!


BlizzCon 2013

Happy New year peeps! And what  a glorious year it looks to be! Few hours into the 2013 the first good news from the gaming news arrived. Mike Morhaime announced on twitter that there would be a BlizzCon this year! BlizzCon is a yearly event for Blizzard Entertainment where they most of the time announce upcoming games, expansions packs and whatnot.

I am quite excited about this one, for a few reasons. First of all the event is amazing! The show is awesome, the WoW Arena and Starcraft 2 tournaments are great and not to mention the Q&A with the game developers! Then there is the main point of BlizzCon: the games! One of the games I hope to be announced is the expansion pack for Diablo 3. Seeing as it’s been almost a year now, and still 10 months to go till BlizzCon, I can almost (but just almost) guarantee that there will be an expansion announced. But what I am more interested in and excited about is if the expansion would be the rumoured Project Blackstone!
I’m also wondering if we’ll get to hear about a new expansion for World of Warcraft. Yes I know Mist of Pandaria just got released ½ year ago, but they did say they would release new expansion more frequently, so this could happen.. Maybe we’ll finally get to see the Emerald Dream! And then there is Blizzard Allstars, which they have been mentioning oh so many times before. I really hope this games will be released soonish, I mean.. Who wouldn’t want to beat the crap out of Arthas with the Queen of Blades?! Or teach Diablo a lesson with the magnificent Jaina Proudmoor? There were rumours that it would be released with Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, but that was shut down by Dustin Browder, “the game will be released when it’s ready” – boy have we heard that one before!

Now to the most exciting stuff. Project Titan! Okay, it’s been a few years since it was mentioned for the first time, and I honestly doubt that we’ll see a release date any time soon. But I am still hoping to hear a bit more about it, to see what it is.. A new MMORPG? A FPS? Or something completely else? Shame it’s so long to BlizzCon…

Hopefully I’ll win the lottery so that I get the chance to go to Anaheim and actually see it! But, that is rather unlikely as I don’t play the lottery… Perhaps I should start to remove people for money.. or hope one of you lovely people want to buy me a ticket! ❤ No..? Oh well, was worth a try! BUT that is it for me now, Mike is over and out!