Mar 29th 2012 11:21AM My friend got in on the first wave and he's not part of the "press corp." However, he's been playing since Day 1 with zero lapse in his subscription regardless as to if he was actually in-game and he signed up for the Annual Pass almost immediately.
Q4tQ - I'm not in beta, but from what I am told, the major tank mechanic for Brewmaster isn't available until 70-ish. How would a fledgling Brewmaster tank lower level dungeons? Bears, I think, get their 400% from the start. Are there other mechanics at play before the Mitigation-over-time "drink" comes into play?
Mar 28th 2012 2:49PM The last boss of an xpac usually has NPC intervention. However, that is not to say that Garrosh will die at Varian Wrynn's hand. Several outcomes are feasible:
1) Wrynn defeats Garrosh a second time and motions to have Garrosh taken prisoner. Garrosh is poisoned instead by, most likely, the dark forces in alignment with the Dark Shaman. A fitting end to a leader who "earned" his title as Warchief through similar means.
2) Wrynn defeats Garrosh a second time ... yadda yadda ... Garrosh is inexplicably whisked away by force/s unknown, later to return in a future expansion as a "boss" of the Burning Legion. This would be a call-back to Grom's ties to the Legion *and* Blizzard could enact Garrosh's rescue and redemption (as a counterpoint to, say, Staghelm). Blizzard has several "rescue/redeem" bosses.
3) Wrynn defeats Garrosh a second time ... yadda yadda ... and Zul'jin kills Garrosh in open combat, knowing that Garrosh would be a wedge that would ultimately divide the Horde. This way, the Horde retains honor, the "mantle" of Warchief is passed in a Horde-acceptable manner and both factions save face. I don't see Baine doing this (even to "avenge" his father, but I do see Zul'jin offering himself as a proxy and ultimately passing authority to Baine (since I see Zul'jin as wanting the freedom to do what he needs to do and not be shackled by the burdens of Warchief).
What I do not foresee is Garrosh being held prisoner by Wrynn. That would be an unfortunate tableau. Also, Blizzard made great effort to tell Garrosh's story, and if they play their cards right he could still be extremely useful for quite a while. After all, Sunwell didn't so much "end" TBC as it set the stage for the next Legion-focused expansion.
Mar 28th 2012 1:08PM I cannot begin to express the level of win this article is. :D
Mar 24th 2012 3:28PM Two things (related) I would add:
1) You do not get to keep your beta toon. When the beta is over, your toon is wiped. No amount of begging or pleading or hair-on-fire is going to change that.
2) You don't get to keep anything you obtain on a toon you transferred into beta.
Anything that happens in beta stays there. You can power-level to 90 (theoretically) and when Mists comes out you'll have to do it all over again.
I can't stress this enough since I've seen TONS of people ask about it, especially towards the end of beta.
Beta is not early access, its part of the Q/A testing process for software production.
Mar 23rd 2012 2:48PM I think Garrosh makes for a very sad and poignant story, which is what Blizzard likes.
Here's someone players have interacted with, "grown up" with, in a way. A character with much potential.
But the reality is that Garrosh chose to take advantage of Cataclysm and invade the lands of people who had been in a Trade agreement with the Horde for resources, then proceeded to commit premeditated "war crimes" against non-combatants.
Actions have consequences, regardless of how we feel about the individual. Just now, as I write this, the AP is reporting that the soldier in Afganistan who is accused of killing 16 people is being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and could very likely receive a death sentence. And this is a guy who was a decorated soldier, a father and someone who most likely should have never been sent on that latest Tour at all. And yet he (allegedly) committed crimes and he is going to be held accountable for his actions.
So, too, does Garrosh need to be held accountable. And Garrosh's story arc is actually an interesting analysis of what happens to a person when they are given more power than they are ready for. Garrosh was far too "green" to be War Chief. That's like taking your neighbor and making him President of the United States. And it wasn't as if Garrosh proved himself to be mature in Wrath. There are plenty of emotes from Thrall telling Garrosh to shut up and sit down (just as Jaina did with Varian Wrynn). Simply put, Garrosh lacked the maturity and the depth to lead the entirety of the Horde. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
And now we get to see what that power is doing to Garrosh. And we can feel sorrow for the lost potential and that is good story telling. Some stories are tragic. Some characters do not get a happy ending. And Blizzard came right out and stated that in WoW, they want no one to get a happy ending.
But what we need to remember is that there are a lot of things that can happen in the Garrosh fight. Traditionally, players never kill an End End Boss alone, they always get help from major lore characters. It may be possible that the end result is that Garrosh is not slain, but incarcerated. It may be possible that in his final throes of rage, he is whisked away by Sargeras (thus playing in to the demon connection). Maybe part of the mechanic is to beat some sense into Garrosh, a la the Ulduar Watchers.
There are so many ways this story can go. So many ways Blizzard can make this fight happen and have it not be kill boss get lewtz.
I am curious to see what Blizzard will do.
Mar 23rd 2012 1:54PM I think that though the armor sets are wonderfully done, they are missing something that makes them feel like iconic class sets. They feel far more like a raid theme set than anything else.
I know that Blizzard didn't specifically state that they were going to theme for class, but this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Personally, and I know I'm going to get blasted for this, I'd almost rather see an update to the original dungeon sets and T1, T2 (selectively, of course), much like Blizzard redid Naxx-60 for T7. In this isnatnce, it's not being lazy - it's taking designs that pretty much defined most of the classes and updating the theme with the new technology, polygons, etc. Like what if the new Stormrage set had white glowing, ethereal antlers and claws on the shoulders? And the Prophecy tier is pretty much a perfect fit for Mists, especially given the extra bells and whistles Blizzard now has the capability of adding.
If Blizzard focused on theming purely on class flavor for Challenge modes and themed for content on tiers, both would stand out far more than one set being slightly less shiny content-themed than the other.
And it is no coincidence that a lot of transmog folks initially make a bee-line to the oldest tier content.
In any event, I want to look like a druid, not a dead tree. Did dead tree with the flaming unibrow waterbuffalo. Not a fan of that look. You would think that in such a lush land, the druid nature-themed set would reflect the lushness of the Pandarian lands, not it's wasteland.
Mar 23rd 2012 12:39PM I've heard numerous annectdotes. However, I also believe that Blizzard stated that length of subscription and quickness of signing up were two critera, but not the only two. There may be other reasons why someone "cuts in line" that we don't know about. Perhaps the person has a computer configuration they'd like to get feedback on.
We shouldn't try and second-guess Blizzard. Beta is NOT "early access." It's a Q/A function vital to production. What's more important? Blizzard screwing up beta to satisfy the qq and producing a buggy xpac or Blizzard managing the invites in a way that they get a quality beta and a highly polished end product?
Mar 23rd 2012 12:33PM I agree 100%
I've been playing since 2005, and my subscription up-time was 100%. I also opted in to the Annual Pass the day it was announced. I don't have a beta invite and I'm not upset.
This is beta for a game that is going to define my wow experiences for the next year. I don't want the beta to be treated half-assed. I am more than happy for Blizzard to manage the process so beta does what it is supposed to do, which is shake out the bugs and the weirdness and provide us with a polished end-product.
I just don't get the hysteria. Getting in now, or a month from now, has no impact. Unless people think they get to keep their "progression" or their beta toons, which you won't be able to do anyway. So what's the rush, especially for folks who can't/won't contribute meaningful feedback as far as quest, boss and class mechanics? You'll be able to roll your Pandas off cliffs just as much in July as you will in March.
Mar 23rd 2012 11:34AM Betas work differently for different companies.
My last experience with Beta testing in WoW was that once I got the invite and could log in, it was pretty much set for the duration of the beta.
There are a few things folks need to be aware of:
1) Beta is beta. It is not a finished product. There are going to be hiccups and glitches. You help the beta a lot by simply reporting the errors. That's what beta is there for - to report that your Goblin's eyebrow is floating 6" above his head.
2) You may or may not get access to certain things. For instance, right now, level 85s can't go to Pandaria. Also, things may change every build. A zone you can get to may no longer be available. A talent you like may be gone. Your Goblin's eyebrows may disappear.
3) You cannot keep anything you get, you cannot preserve any toon. Once the beta servers are shut down, everything you have done in beta is gone. Everything you do in beta will have to be done all over again in live. You'd be surprised by how many people keep asking if they get to keep their beta toons.
A lot of folks go into beta thinking they're simply getting "early access" to the finished product, and that's not what beta is at all. The best you can take away from the beta is experience.
Now, if you want to contribute feedback as far as game play and class mechanics at a time when Blizzard is still refining, then getting in early is a good thing. If you just want to test drive the game when it's mostly done, but not yet golden master, then you'll probably be happier towards the end of beta when Blizzard is stress-testing.
Mar 22nd 2012 11:10AM I loved the "mage tank" mechanic of TBC (and we had a warlock tank on the blue balls on Princes).
Glyphs may be more stationary, but they're not hard to swap. I used to flip between Rejuv and Regrowth on Chimaeron all the time.
However, I don't see clothies tank-tanking, just probably "tanking" for specific fights (cf Twin Emperors, Maulgar, Blood Princes, etc.)