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Posts with tag game-discussion

Breakfast Topic: Happy birthday, WoW!

Admittedly, we're sending World of Warcraft its birthday wishes a little early -- the game officially launched on November 23rd, 2004 -- but since the 10th anniversary event kicks off today, it seems fair. Ten years is a good long run for any game, but Blizzard certainly isn't calling it quits yet.

Since we're celebrating it seems like a great time to look back on our time in WoW, so today let's talk about our favorite WoW memories. How long have you been playing? What's your first memory of World of Warcraft? And will you be joining in the anniversary events to celebrate the nostalgia?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The Warlords surge

The other night, while recording the WoW Insider Show podcast, we talked about the general feeling we had that subscriptions to World of Warcraft had gone up. The basic consensus was that our friend's lists were full, we were seeing lots of people online for the first time in a while, that in general WoW had almost certainly seen a sub bump. We weren't expecting a three million sub jump, though. And it seems likely that Blizzard wasn't expecting it either - while some of the launch problems were the fault of a DDoS attack, some were undoubtedly the result of this unprecedented player surge.

This got me to thinking about what it means that Warlords saw this many people come back. We've talked a lot about the plot being hard for some folks to follow, but just as clearly, that didn't stop people from coming back. WoW dropped below 10 million subs back in 2012, during the Cataclysm expansion.

I don't personally think that WoW needs 10 million subs to be viable - not even close, in fact. Even at its lowest sub numbers this year it had more than two million subs over its Burning Crusade number of 5 million subs, and more than seven times its competitors. WoW is a phenomenon, and one that will continue as long as Blizzard wants to support it. But it's interesting to see this jump - what is it about Warlords that got players to come back?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Old familiar faces

One of the biggest thrills of this expansion for me has been running into slightly different versions of people I already know. If you rolled a draenei shaman (as I did) back in the BC days, one of the big figures is Nobundo, the hero of the Unbroken short story. He's one of my favorite characters. So going to Draenor and seeing him still as a Vindicator, not affected by the fel energies that twisted him into a broken, it was an emotional moment for me. I really had a moment of 'aw, Nobundo' when I saw him.

Have you had any such moments in Warlords? Or do you barely know who any of these guys are?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite Draenor characters

With Warlords of Draenor, we have a whole new cast of characters in WoW... as well as the return of some classic characters of Warcraft lore. And while we haven't had quite enough time with the expansion to play through every quest and turn over every rock, we've probably played long enough to have decided on some favorites amongst the cast.

So this morning, let's talk characters. Who's your favorite member of the cast of Warlords? For my part -- and the part, no doubt, of many alliance players -- I've got to nominate Yrel, who is going to push me over the edge into making a draenei paladin so I can help bring the Light to the Iron Horde. (In 90 levels, anyway.) But what about you, readers? Do you have a favorite of the new characters Warlords has brought to the game? Or are you enjoying an old character that particularly shines?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Are you a returning player?

There are a lot of people wanting to play Warlords of Draenor. A lot of people. So many, in fact, that it has been brought up by more than one CM on Twitter. Considering how much of the past expansion has been spent connecting realms and smoothing out the population, it feels a little odd that we're seeing this kind of feedback from Blizzard -- maybe odd is the wrong word. To be perfectly honest, it feels kind of like the original launch, where new servers were being rapidly thrown up because the sheer number of people that wanted to log on and play far exceeded what Blizzard had anticipated.

Which makes me wonder about the numbers for Warlords, of course -- but we haven't seen those numbers yet, and until we do, it's almost not worth speculating about it. However, the feedback from those that have been able to play has been incredibly positive -- people love this expansion. They love it so much they really want to keep playing it, and not being able to do so is making them understandably cranky. Which, again, reminds me of vanilla, and the original launch. What Warlords has going for it is remarkably similar to the original release of WoW.

It's got the appeal of the characters first introduced in the original RTS games, it's got new, stylized character models that are a far cry from most anything else on the market, an engaging, at least partially familiar story to those that are familiar with early iterations of the original game. It's got the kind of mass appeal that vanilla did, ten years ago. Which makes me wonder -- how many people are making a return trip to the game for Warlords of Draenor? Obviously there are plenty of people that took breaks in Mists, but I'm wondering how many have returned from lengthier absences. Until we get real numbers, we won't really have a full idea of what's going on -- but I'm curious, how many of you are returning players? What brought you back? And are you liking what you see, when you can see it?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: All around me are familiar faces

Let's face it: This has not been the smoothest launch we've ever seen. By now, server maintenance should be well underway to address issues that have been plaguing everyone since the expansion's release. Hopefully, once the servers are back up and running again, they'll be running pretty smoothly. I've definitely done far more waiting than playing over the past couple of days, and it's pretty frustrating.

But oh, those few glorious hours I was able to get on and play. Draenor is amazing. It's beautiful. The music is fantastic. Garrisons are ridiculously fun. And I think what's been the most fun have been the random encounters with familiar names from our version of the universe -- not necessarily the big guys like Akama, shown above, but the little guys. The ones who were minor players, the ones who had smaller, more supporting roles in prior expansions, and have decided to just show up and help out.

It's like a highlight reel of every NPC I ever helped out and liked, suddenly popping in to pay me back for all those favors I did way back when. So far, my favorites have been fond friends like Fiona and Mulverick, but I know I'll run into many more as I continue leveling -- hopefully without the long wait times to get in. What about you guys? Is there anyone in particular you've been overjoyed to see?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Gigantic Bummer

We all know by now that the Warlords of Draenor launch was marred by a big surge of DDoS attacks, because some people are jerks. For me, this basically meant not getting to play at all Thursday - by the time the servers were stable enough, I had to get some sleep. I logged on briefly this morning, saw that everybody was level 96 or 97 while I was still 92, and felt vaguely unhappy like a kid who'd missed Christmas because he'd been sick.

I don't blame Blizzard, and I don't blame my friends for getting to play the game, but there's this vague sense of being left behind in situations like this. I have friends who haven't even tried to log on yet, but my goal was to try and get at least to 95 today, and I haven't met it. Sure, it's because of circumstances out of everyone's control, a combination of bad luck and a simple biological need, but it's a bit of a bummer for me.

Here's where you get to commiserate or berate me in the comments.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Relatively painless

If you know anything about the first night of a new expansion, you should know this - they rarely run completely smoothly. Tons of people all on and playing at once, servers strained to the breaking point, bug you thought got fixed on the beta back in new, destructive forms. That's why last night's midnight PST launch of Warlords of Draenor was so surprising to me - it had some server crashes, but really, for the first night of an expansion it was pretty painless. No gyrocopter quests to get in the way, just a lot of people running through Tanaan and into Draenor. Once I got into Shadowmoon Valley on my draenei warrior, I didn't notice any real stability issues. I played for two and a half hours, got sleepy, called it a night, and only had three server crashes. So yeah, relatively painless.

How was your night? Did you go see what you could see? Or did you wait?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: I hate you, Ordos

I have been killing Ordos over and over again on three different warriors since he came out. Over a year now. You know what's never dropped? Not even once, not on three different warriors? These. I have killed Ordos almost weekly for nigh on a year and blow a Warforged Seal each time, and yet, never once have I see the shoulders that have my name on them. And now, after today's last kill of Ordos, I can safely say that they will not drop before the end of Mists of Pandaria.

So yes. I hate you, Ordos. I'm coming back at 100 and I'm going to step on your head every single week until World of Warcraft doesn't exist any more. I don't care at this point if you drop them or not. I'll just keep killing you. Forever.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Scrambling

We've been waiting for this for months and months, and yet, now that it's here and we know exactly when we'll be going to Draenor, I suddenly find myself with so many things to do - alts to level, characters to get just that extra bit of gear on, lesser charms to farm up, old raids to run for achievements and gear. After all, it's important to look your best when you first meet a homicidal band of conquering warlords. I don't want Grommash to think me uncouth.

So, what're you planning to do with yourself until Warlords drops?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: So now that BlizzCon is over...

And those of you who went are presumably back home, and those of us who didn't go are done pouring over the streams, one question becomes clear - did you get what you wanted? Did you get what you expected? For me, I was surprised (outright shocked, really) that they announced Overwatch, but not the next WoW expansion (especially when Tom Chilton said on his interview on the stream that they were working on it - I already knew that, but I figured it was a hint, and man was I wrong) and I couldn't believe how ready Goblins and Gnomes is - a month till release? Shut the front door!

So now it's your turn. What surprised you? What excited you? What depressed you? What got your jaw dropping, and what made you dismayed, because let's be honest - as a whole it was an amazing BlizzCon, but for World of Warcraft it felt kind of thin. (Maybe if I'd gotten to see the sneak peak for the Warcraft movie I'd be singing a different tune, but that wasn't for us stream watchers.) I was also absolutely blown away by the winning Costume Contest entry, and was very sad she didn't get to show it off during the con. Sound off, let us know.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: BlizzCon down, Warlords to go

So, in terms of big deals, that BlizzCon certainly was that. It was also one of the most diverse BlizzCon's we've ever hard - while World of Warcraft certainly had its moments (the cinematic development panel was pretty amazing) games like Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and the brand new Overwatch were front and center. It's not surprising, since Overwatch is the first new IP Blizzard's put out in seventeen years, and it is a departure for Blizzard in both content and type.

Now that BlizzCon is over, we move on to the next big event, the one most of us WoW players have been waiting for since Siege of Orgrimmar launched over a year ago - this Thursday at midnight Pacific, we'll finally have the chance to go to Draenor and confront the Iron Horde directly. Are you excited? I'm excited. And a little nervous, to be sure. Pandaria's been my home since late 2012, and saying goodbye is always hard. Still, level 100 awaits and it's time to kick some Iron Horde in the slats.

So, let's wrap this up - what excited you most this BlizzCon? Goblins vs. Gnomes? The Legacy of the Void trailer? Overwatch, with its Team Shooter meets The Incredibles vibe? Or are you just waiting for Warlords?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How about that Overwatch?

I did not see that coming. Yesterday at BlizzCon we got an announcement very few were expecting, I think - Overwatch, a new IP from Blizzard. It looks to be along the same lines as Team Fortress 2 but with an interesting high tech future feel. I know I didn't expect it - I had thought they might announce a Heroes of the Storm closed beta (which they did) or StarCraft II's Legacy of the Void (which they also did) but this I absolutely did not see coming.

Are you excited for Blizzard's first foray into new IP in 17 years? Are you a team shooter player looking forward to a new game, a complete newcomer to the genre excited by the trailer, or just wondering what all the fuss is about?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: BlizzCon begins

Today at 11am Pacific the BlizzCon opening ceremonies will begin. From there, we'll get the whole experience - the panels, announcements, e-sports, contests, etc. The people at the convention, and the people watching it at home will finally get to see what Blizzard has in store for this year's con. Will we get an announcement about a mystery game? The next WoW expansion? A potential expansion for Diablo III or Starcraft II? Hearthstone news? I really have no idea. But we'll find out in a few hours.

Before that, though, it's your chance to speculate. What does the extremely near future hold?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The pros and cons of faster expansion release

We complain a lot about the length of the last expansion patch - the point has been made that we've been in SoO for an entire year and more besides by now. But one of the things I've been thinking about lately is this - if they actually managed to ramp up to an expansion a year, that would mean buying a new expansion every year. I don't know if I want to do that. To be honest, I'm really used to the way it has worked so far - from The Burning Crusade on, we've had a new expansion about every two years. TBC released in January of 2007, Wrath in November of 2008, Cataclysm on December 7th, 2010 (it was my birthday), and Mists in September of 2012. That's a very regular series of releases.

If Blizzard starts releasing expansions faster, I think we'll have to curb our expectations of what you see in an expansion to a degree, which might be all for the good - the idea that an expansion has to have a new race or class or both, for instance, would have to go. You can't possibly add one of those to the game every year. Well, I suppose that's not technically true, but the amount of work it would take to have a new one ready to go every year seems daunting.

It would also mean that every BlizzCon would be about World of Warcraft now. As it's highly unlikely that Blizzard is going to have another Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm ready to go every year, much less expansions to Starcraft II and Diablo III every single year. Whether or not that's good or bad is up to you.

So, let's discuss. Leave out for now the idea of whether or not Blizzard can do a new expansion every year, and discuss instead - should they?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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