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Posts with tag world-events

Could WoW have an expansion without raiding?

I have raided in World of Warcraft since the beginning. Raiding has always been a big part of why I play the game. If not the reason I play, certainly a reason. So when I was sitting up last night and it occurred to me that I've never gone an entire expansion without raiding, I didn't initially think anything of it -- to me, raiding is what you do in WoW. But then I started really thinking about it. Because lots of people don't raid. Before the rise of LFR and flex, a lot of players -- the majority of players, really -- never set foot in a raid at all. They had 5-mans, and that was basically it for group content for them outside of PvP.

So I started asking myself if it would be possible to release an expansion with little to no raiding content at all. Would players accept it? It's a cliche (and an overused one among the community) that Blizzard didn't do this or that 'because it would cost us a raid tier' but let's really consider -- what if we could have the expansion next month, but it wouldn't have any raids? Would that be an expansion people would be willing to play?

One of the reasons I consider this a more controversial question that it would have been at the end of Wrath is because now, raiding is far, far more accessible than it was even then. With the advent of LFR and the recent development of flexible raiding, it's never been easier to raid than it is. While Warlords of Draenor is changing the raid game, those changes will only make mythic raiding in any way more restrictive -- the rest of raiding will remain very accessible.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Why Warlords of Draenor needs a pre-expansion event

Lately I've been thinking about Warlords of Draenor and how I hope it returns to the tradition of pre-expansion launch patches with big world events. Let me tell you a story.

I was talking with a friend about the period at the end of Burning Crusade when the crates began spawning in major cities. He reminded me that neither of us had really paid much attention - his guild was in the process of breaking up over M'uru/Entropius and I was tanking for a guild working on clearing Black Temple at the time. We were busy, is what I'm saying. So busy, in fact, that one day we found ourselves running for our lives from an Ironforge that was completely infested with the walking dead. Other players were now zombies. The auctioneers were dead. It was all chaos and madness.

Now, for a lot of people, the zombie invasion was a load of fun. It was new and different, something you didn't see in game every day. Some of my guildies went over to Orgrimmar and joined forces with Horde players they knew (Norgannon was a smallish and incestuous server in those days, all the Alliance and Horde players seemed to know one another) to form roving gangs of undead, laying waste to all, Horde or Alliance. They had great fun.

For me it was a huge pain in the rear end.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Have you gotten your Springstrider yet?

Image
I may be just the teensiest bit obsessive about collecting mounts. So when I heard this year's Noblegarden featured a new mount, the Swift Springstrider, I might just have logged on and waited until the event started to start gathering chocolates like a madwoman. And I might have gotten all 500 chocolates in about an hour and a half, because after so many years of Noblegarden celebrations, I know the egg spawn locations in Tirisfal Glades like the back of my hand.

Might? Who am I kidding -- the Swift Springstrider took its place as mount #145 in my collection at about 4:30 or so in the morning. I've heard complaints about the tallstrider mounts here and there, but I love them myself. They're ugly, naked birds that nobody in their right mind would ever love, and therefore I love them to pieces.

While my Noblegarden 2012 goals ended the moment I got the bird (I finished all the achievements for the event years ago), there are still plenty of people scurrying around the various starting zones this morning looking for dresses, tuxedos, bunnies, and other Noblegarden prizes. Do you have things you definitely want to get done with this year's Noblegarden celebration? Have you gotten your Springstrider yet? Or have you decided to let this poor unfortunate bird pass you by?

I wouldn't let it pass by, if I were you. I mean come on, who doesn't want to gallop around Pandaria on the back of a naked green ostrich?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall events over

Blizzard just ended speculation that the two pre-Cataclysm world events for the gnomes and trolls, Operation: Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall respectively, have entered "stage 2" and are no longer available for players to complete. Here is the official blue response:

Re: Operation: Gnomeregan
Quote:

I don't see it in the 4.0.1 patch notes, but it's been in the 4.0.1 PTR.

Is the next phase of Operation: Gnomeregan going live today as well?

The next phase does start today, but it's a passive phase. There will not be anything for players to do outside of Gnomeregan, or on the Echo Isles, until the new bases of operation for gnomes and trolls are complete, and the new level 1-5 starting experience is added in patch 4.0.3.


If you missed either of these two events, it looks like you're out of luck. As mentioned, the new leveling experiences for trolls and gnomes is coming with patch 4.0.3.

This is it! Patch 4.0.1 begins the slide into December's upcoming expansion. It's a whole new game from here on out. Get oriented with our roundup of everything there is to know about patch 4.0.1 and how it changes the game until the launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Pre-Cataclysm world events live on the PTR

As we speak, fires rage in Orgrimmar, the Alliance leaders have called an emergency meeting, and new enemies have been revealed all across Azeroth. The cataclysm is on our very doorsteps! The pre-expansion events are now live on the public test realms.

So far, here are some cool things we are hearing about:
  • New bosses are in some 5-man dungeons, including quests for Grand Ambassador Flamelash in Blackrock Depths, Crown Prince Theradras in Maraudon, Prince Sarasun in the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, and Kai'ju Gahz'rilla in Zul'Farrak.
  • These instances are much like the holiday bosses -- queueing for them takes you to a special version of the instance, where you fight alongside a faction leader. These instance bosses are dropping ilevel 251 necks and rings for brave adventurers.
  • Horde and Alliance towns are being attacked by waves and waves of elemental adversaries.
  • The Twilight Cultist quest lines are active.
  • Orgrimmar is on fire. Like, all of it.
  • Magni Bronzebeard has called for an emergency meeting of the Alliance leaders to discuss what he believes is a horrible event that's about to occur -- in his words, dwarves are "close to the ground" and can feel that something's going to happen. But what can they do? Maybe these tablets Brann found in Ulduar could help ...
  • And much, much more!
We will continue to update the site with more information as it becomes available. Also, check out our write-up of the Tablets of Fire quest line, and the Twilight Cultist event gallery below. Get excited, folks. The reckoning is almost upon us.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Operation Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall events now available

Players who're able to log on after maintenance is over today will discover that the Operation Gnomeregan and Zalazane's Fall world events are now available! These are two of the introductory Cataclysm world events. Head to Kharanos in Dun Morogh or the Echo Isles in Durotar to take advantage of these limited-time experiences.

To start the Echo Isles quests, you want to talk to Vanira, who is right next to Voljin in the Sen'jin village in Durotar.
To start the Operation Gnomeregan quests, you want to talk to High Tinker Mekkatorque, who is located in the Tinker Town district of Ironforge.

These quests are counting towards the Loremaster achievement.

More information on the event:

Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Operation Echo Isles: Transcripts and details


WARNING: This post is chock full of spoilers. Spoilers like you would not believe. If you'd like to be surprised about anything involving the Echo Isles and what is contained within, I wouldn't recommend continuing onward. If, however, you are clamoring for more information, read on!

There is a lot of great information about upcoming world events in the current patch 3.3.3 PTR. We've already posted about some of the story inside the Ruby Sanctum as well as what is being referred to as "Operation Gnomeregan". However, the trolls have their own operation underway in trying to take back the Echo Isles from the evil hex master Zalazane. There are lots and lots of spoilers about the quest line and the story behind it. Please note that this is just an assembly of transcripts from all of the sound files put in what appears to be a proper order.

Dere be some dark voodoo inside. Do ye have what it takes?

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Filed under: Events, Lore, Rumors, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Day of the Dead ends today

Whoosh. Well, that went by rather quickly, didn't it? Day of the Dead ends today. Two days is most certainly a short time for a World of Warcraft holiday, but fortunately, there was little to do. Just a visit to Catrina, buying a bread recipe, sharing it with some dead folks, and that's it. It didn't exactly go off without a hitch, either, as there were some known issues with the event. But everything was fixed, eventually, and the short event is now about to finish.

How did everyone find the short holiday? It mirrored the short holiday it was based on in the real world, and even similar holidays all over the world. In the Philippines, we got a non-working holiday for November 2, where most folks are off to the provinces visiting their dead. How did everyone's Day of the Dead go? Were you able to take a gander at the lovely dancing Catrina? Were you able to bake some (presumably stale) bread? What's your take on these short holidays? Personally, I think it's a nice touch. These blink-and-you'll-miss-it events similar to Pirate's Day are nice nods to our real world happenings. Hopefully, all of you got a chance to enjoy this new but brief world event.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Breakfast Topics

Patch 3.3 PTR: Love is in the Air Valentine's Event may get a new boss


While most of us are probably still downloading the massive PTR files, as usual, some people have had more time than others to download them and root through them for gems and treasures. MMO Champion's database of new spells has revealed something pretty intriguing. Note the following list of spells:
Perfume and Cologne, as you may recall, are two of the main parts of the Love is in the Air Valentine's Day related world event, wherein players exchange tokens with NPCs for fabulous prizes. Given that we now have a set of spells coming up that put those two substances in the context of damaging abilities that can be protected against, it seems like Kisirani and the world event team are ready to deliver again, and we'll possibly have a very interesting new boss this coming February.

Unfortunately, we can't tell much else about it right now, although hopefully we may learn more as the PTR progresses and more data is found. It's worth noting that if the world event design team is creating a new level 80 boss for a February event, they may not be expecting Cataclysm to be out by then.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Bosses, NPCs, Rumors

Breakfast Topic: Harvest Festival


The Harvest Festival is kind of the garbage holiday. It's the holiday that all the cooler holidays like Hallow's End and Brewfest make fun of, trip along the hall, and ostracize in the cafeteria. Harvest Festival is the weird kid who doesn't have any friends, smells funny, and whom teachers forget when making a headcount on the school bus. As far as holidays go, it's kind of the nothing holiday. It's there, but nobody really knows what it's all about and very few people bother to participate. I mean, hey, feast table outside of Orgrimmar! Then what?

Then nothing! Well, you see all sorts of ghosts all over the place (which is creepy, but hey, it's almost Hallow's End, anyway), but there's really nothing that stands out. At least the ghosts from the Lunar Festival had those cool moonbeams. No, Harvest Festival is the half-baked holiday that doesn't even have an Achievement. Yep, it's so bad that even a one day event such as Pirates' Day trumps it with an Achievement, and was even cool enough for WoW.com to organize some shenanigans around it. No wonder nobody hangs around that smelly kid!

So today, on the beginning of Harvest Festival, let's dedicate a word or two to World of Warcraft's most unimpressive holiday. What are you planning to do? Without any Achievements, you can even ignore it! If you're Horde, there's that quest to visit Grom Hellscream's monument in Ashenvale, but his son Garrosh has been such an unbearable asshat that even that has lost its charm. Unless Blizzard plans to hotfix the event and dredge it from the murky depths of suck, here's a Breakfast Topic to welcome the holiday that's so uncool that even artwork of a Harvest Golem looks better. And man, Harvest Golems are ugly mothers.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Breakfast Topics

The future of the ingame Darkmoon Faire


Larisa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn misunderstood the news we posted the other day about the Darkmoon Faire live event in France being canceled, and instead thought that the actual ingame event had been shut down for good. And that brought up an interesting question to her: so what if it was? The original Faire was an interesting idea, a way to bring the fun of a regular holiday (along with the usual quests, special items, and even a reputation to grind) around every month or so. But just like having Christmas every month would get old after a while, the Faire has sort of worn out its welcome -- players really only go there for following some arcane questline, and when they do get there, they're undoubtedly disappointed by how barren the place is.

So what to do? Larisa suggests that the Cataclysm might just claim the whole thing -- Azeroth gets rocked, and no more Darkmoon Faire. I'd actually like to see the story go the other way: if there's a traveling group of performers with vast magical powers that's allowed to move at will between Horde and Alliance lands, wouldn't it be great if they were actually part of a secret society that had bigger interests rise to the top in a disaster situation? I'm sure Blizzard has more than enough on their plate for the next few content patches, but the Faire itself is due for an update, too, and it'd be nice to see it included in the larger storyline somehow.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs, Cataclysm

WoW as a channel for news from Iran?

Normally, this wouldn't rate too high for us -- lots of people have ideas about how to use World of Warcraft, and many of them never actually come about. But then again, this is in the Wall Street Journal of all places, so we'll give it a look. If you're on Twitter, you've probably heard about what's going on in Iran right now -- there was an election, the "official" results given were judged as rigged by many involved, and the government seems to be cracking down on both news media and citizen journalism, as well as protesting citizens, to very sad results. How does World of Warcraft fit in to all of this? Andrew Lavallee of the WSJ's Digits blog points to this report by Craig Labovitz, which talks about how Internet traffic has been filtered out of the country around the election. At the very end of his analysis, Labovitz points out that channels for videogames, including both Xbox Live and World of Warcraft, have shown very little government manipulation. That suggests that if the government in Iran does continue to shut down certain channels, citizens there might be forced to spread the news through any virtual route they can, including possibly Azeroth.

This is obviously all just analysis and speculation so far -- while there clearly (from those charts) has been interference in the media, no one (as far as we know) has yet had to resort to chatting in World of Warcraft to get their message out, and though what's happening in Iran is made up of some very serious (and seriously unfortunate) situations, the fervor online about using brand new channels like Twitter to share real-time news is often overstated. Personally, I believe that even if Twitter didn't exist, this information would find another way to get out. Still, the interesting thing to take away here is that even our "silly" video games today are actually media on a global level.

Thanks, Cedars!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, News items

Disappointment with the patch 3.1 game world

The last few days I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why I'm not particularly enjoying Patch 3.1 when I'm doing something besides raiding Ulduar. I should be enjoying it! When I first checked it out on the PTR, I was extremely excited about it. The Argent Tournament especially. The whole jousting deal, the Arthurian themes, the potential for story progression, the whole thing. It looked great! Unfortunately... I'm finding it pretty boring.

The Argent Tournament feels lifeless. Completely and utterly lifeless. I say it all of the time, but patch 2.4 was my favorite patch of World of Warcraft thus far, no contest. Patch 2.4 brought me more joy than even the Wrath launch. Not only did it have content for absolutely every aspect of the game, but it also actually changed the world. Storylines progressed in an in-your-face way. Sure, patch 3.1 moved the Ulduar and Yogg-Saron story forward, but would you know it if you didn't read fansites or watch the patch 3.1 cinematic? What's different? What indicator is there that something new is happening in the Storm Peaks?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Lore

Noblegarden may get delayed

Well that'll teach us to assume -- earlier this week when mentioning the upcoming Noblegarden holiday, we pointed out that considering it was being tested on the PTR right now, we'd likely see 3.1 hit the live realms by the time Easter came around in the real world. But Kisirani has appeared on the forums saying, "Not so fast." Blizzard has apparently gained the power to cancel Easter, because they say Noblegarden and 3.1 will start when it's ready, not because there are kids hunting for eggs on the White House lawn.

So basically, if patch 3.1 isn't done by Easter, we won't see the holiday ingame until it is done. And while it'll be a little strange to be looking for eggs in May (if it comes to that), we have to agree that's the right decision: we all know what happens when Blizzard releases a patch that isn't fully tested.

We can wait. Noblegarden might not match up with the real-life holiday this year (if the patch does come late -- Kisirani still says this is a plan, so maybe the patch will be done by April 12th), but hopefully when it does appear, it won't be broken.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling

Breakfast Topic: All's faire in love and war


Once again, those funny little circus guys are coming to town. They'll be right outside Shattrath this week, so the ghost town which used to be bustling with activity will see a few visitors swing by if only to claim their new Darkmoon Cards. After that, Shattrath will be empty once again, echoing only with the hooves of Deathchargers and the synthesized laughter of Death Knights. The traveling circus will sell drinks, frogs, and have some amusing games for about a week and then merrily pack up and disappear again. Anyway, so, the Darkmoon Faire is coming around.

Does anybody else feel like these guys deserve something a little more than being just a stopover for epic trinket turn-ins? I mean, there aren't even any Achievements for them. Shouldn't getting shot out of the cannon without dying be an Achievement? How about sampling all the crazy food and drink they offer? That should be an Achievement, too, right along with owning a frog or a Darkmoon Card. These guys have entertained us, stuck with us for years, and they don't get so much as a welcome or a thank you whenever they roll into town.

Considering it's a monthly event, what else do you think can be added to the Darkmoon Faire to make it more of a stop? I think Achievements are in order, at least. Professor Thaddeus Paleo receives more visitors than anyone in the faire, but nobody ever remembers him. Silas Darkmoon may be a gnome, but he's everybody's circus gnome. Who doesn't know Jubjub? Let's give these hard-working guys some love. What's your best memory about the Darkmoon Faire? What would you like to see? Would it be cool if they visited Northrend, too?

Filed under: Events, Breakfast Topics

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