Filed under: Diablo 3
Let me put it on the line - LFR and Flexible raid sizes are the most important raiding experiences currently available in World of Warcraft, and the upcoming Mythic 20 person raid difficulty is an atavism, barely even an appendix, that only a vanishing few players will experience when it is current. It exists for a sense of achievement and prestige that only a few players really have the time for anymore, and every year, that group of players gets smaller.
The reason for this is simple - as Tom Chilton put it, the demographic is getting older over time. People like me who played for the raid game back in classic are older. They have jobs, kids, schedules that don't permit the kind of time investment hard modes currently demand, the kind Mythic will demand. And it's not that you can't do cutting edge raiding in, say, six hours a week. I'm not arguing that you will have to put in 20 hours a week to do Mythic. I'm arguing that even scheduling one or two nights a week and being there reliably is actually really hard when you have other commitments that can often demand your time on a moment's notice - in essence. being able to go when you want/need to raid instead of when the group is scheduled to go is a huge boon to that aging demographic. For all the elitism, all the sneering, and all the slurs directed at the LFR player base, the feature allows people who love raiding but who can no longer commit to scheduled WoW play a place to do it.
You can ask if this is healthy for the game as a whole - whether or not your answer is yes or no, though, there is no escaping this simple fact. WoW is a decade old. Many of us playing it have been here for years now. Even players who started in Wrath or Cataclysm have now been playing for years. This is an aging game with aging players, this is the reality of the situation. And this means that more adaptive raiding solutions are going to keep presenting themselves.
The latest patch notes for the Warlords of Draenor beta are much less about sudden, massive changes and much more about getting damage and healing output where it needs to be for the live release of the game. So what are we looking at?
- The pandaren racial Epicurean now increases the effect of buff food by 75%, down from 100%.
- Typhoon's range was decreased to 15 yards, down from 30 yards.
- Pretty much every single class saw some damage adjusted up or down.
Filed under: Warlords of Draenor
It's good news to hear about how excited Kazinsky is about the Warcraft movie project. He was once an avid WoW player himself, and I'm sure it was a real thrill to be part of the project. Many of us are eagerly awaiting the film's release, so it's good to know that the people involved share our enthusiasm.
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.
Let's dive into the deep end of the pool today and start tackling some of these questions and views.
Before the release of Wrath of the Lich King, a Blizzard developer talked about how they had some extra content planned in case the release of Wrath did not go they way they wanted. Now, we've had a very large dry spell of content without a peep about Blizzard having a back up this time around. Why did the company not have some extras? If Chilton is to be believed, they admitted to being "slowed down." Would it not be prudent to have something to fall back on?
Filed under: The Queue
"What finer way to relax than trying to fish up a pony or two and some of Azeroth's larger specimens?" asks submitter Ucagru of Saurfang (US-A). "I also had the chance to do some impromptu stat taking; less than one in five people shot out of the cannon landed a bulls-eye. Seven gnomes, three belfs, one troll were harmed in the taking of this photo.* **
* I don't include undead, because they're already dead so I figure they don't count.
** One tauren also acquired a new nose piercing, but seemed to be quite happy with the look."
Gallery: Around Azeroth 3
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Filed under: Around Azeroth
Well, of course none of us know. But we can speculate. Where do you think we're going next?
Filed under: Breakfast Topics
Restore Balance sounds like it's just for druids, but anyone can earn it. The achievement asks you to "Visit the Shrine of Fellowship in the Jade Forest and follow in the footsteps of Chen Stormstout." What these cryptic instructions really mean is to find the in-game location where the Mists trailer happened.
Head northeast from Grookin Hill toward the mountain on your map. When you see Shrine of Fellowship pop up on your screen, you're in the right place. It's a flat, misty plateau with a prominent jade bell (it was featured in the cinematic).
Look for the Broken Incense Burner. You'll notice it's a bit crooked, just like in the trailer before Chen straightens it. Click on it to "restore balance" and you'll earn the achievement. I wonder if there will be a similar achievement for the Warlords trailer...
Filed under: Mists of Pandaria
Filed under: Hearthstone Insider
This echoes what other developers have said in interviews and it interests me because one of the things we've bemoaned is the huge drought in content between the end of Siege of Orgrimmar and now - if they'd intended to have Warlords out in June, that would have been a fairly reasonable amount of time for a new expansion, really. (September to June is 10 months, long, but much more reasonable) and the idea that just throwing people at development doesn't immediately bring more content because they have to learn what they're doing makes sense.We did a good job earlier in Mists of Pandaria, having the content come at a more frequent intervals, and certainly we had hoped to have Warlords of Draenor out a couple of months ago. The reality is that scaling up the number of people that we have, to work on multiple projects at once has slowed us down. Honestly, it should have not come as a surprise to us. We increased the size of the team by 50% and the majority of those people had never worked on World of Warcraft before or any other MMO, so it is really difficult for them to create content right away, without getting up to speed.
I still feel like it's been a heck of a dry spell, all things considered. I really would like to see the alternate timeline where Warlords released in June.