Shadowlands: Why I’m Not a Fan of the ‘Great Vault’ (and Why You Might Be)

In Shadowlands, the weekly mythic+ cache is being replaced with the great vault. I shared my initial reaction of their first post about it (and got a correction by a commenter), wowhead has gotten more information, including an actual example of how it works. I’ll summarize a bit of what they said, along with providing a link to the original post after the break. Having seen clarification, there are parts of what bothered me that were my misunderstanding, however, most of my main issues still linger…

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WoW: The Worst News of Shadowlands So Far

During Blizzcon 2019, it was announced that the Mythic+ weekly cache would now have multiple options we could choose from and possibly a currency option if none of the gear was desirable. This was to help solve the issue with our weekly disappointment box (such as how I once got the same exact piece of loot 3 weeks in a row and the same slot 7 out of 8 weeks). Sure, the options could all be bad, but it directly increases the likelihood of getting a piece of gear that is usable in some way. Truthfully, as far as new systems go, this was the thing I most looked forward to. There was a few weeks where I was getting a +15 on every single class and somehow still went 2 weeks in a row without getting a single upgrade, including on characters whose overall item level was under 460 (the box drops 475, for context). The idea that we were looking forward to was a straight-forward quality of life upgrade, not MORE loot or less effort, just a little more “player agency” as Blizzard is fond of saying right now. However, thanks to a Wowhead post… I’ve learned it isn’t quite that simple.

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Magic: Legends

It was probably a year or so ago when I first heard that Cryptic Studios was going to be working on an MMO based on Magic the Gathering. My mind was immediately inundated with World of Warcraft x MTG ideas. It seemed… like it could be something special. Cryptic Studios is the team behind Neverwinter, a Dungeons and Dragons based MMORPG and some others. I played that one a bit and thought it was pretty decent, so I was hopeful they could take their experience, add to it, and apply it to another game adaptation. Unfortunately, when actual information first appeared, it wasn’t the epic MMORPG that I had imagined, it was an ARPG. Now, action role playing games can be fun too, but my expectations (which was my own fault to have) were a bit dashed. Let’s talk a little about what has been announced so far. Also… I may have gotten invited into the beta, so, that’s partially inspiration for this post. Trailer, some links, how to sign up for the beta, and thoughts after the break.

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Shadowlands Beta: What I Hope to Accomplish

Click to go to their beta opt-in

This week I found out about two people in my social circle who have gotten invites to the beta. One, a good friend that is in a top 200 world raiding guild and has been, prior to this expansion, typically between top 100 to top 10 in his raiding progression. However, a friend of a friends mom got in and that player is very casual. So, perhaps they are starting to let in a little more diverse group. You can read more about my thoughts on who they invite in my last post HERE. In this, I’m going to talk a little about what I hope to accomplish when(if) I eventually get into the beta. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for things to focus on, or maybe you can suggest something I’m missing.

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Shadowlands Beta: Who Gets In?

While, this blog isn’t quite back up and running yet, I did want to talk a little about the Shadowlands beta and the access (or general lack of) to it.

The alpha test for this expansion was almost exclusively limited to streamers, youtubers and other such content creators. In addition to those type, the very top end of competitive content players also had a high rate of invitation (as is true historically as well). At first, this made sense to me. The very best get rewarded for their accomplishments. The content creators will create content with their access. Even further, WoW streamers and high end content runners tend to be very active and are very likely to spend a lot of time in an alpha test to either get an advantage for when the expansion goes live or, naturally, to have something in demand to stream. Win, win, win, right? Maybe… Some thoughts about this, and a tip about beta access, after the break.

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A Friendly, Beta-Invite PSA

I’ve been waiting patiently (I mean anxiously, angrily, cynically) for a beta invite into Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, their new MOBA game, for quite some time. My several of my guild-mates have gotten invitations to that along with the recent World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta. But little ole me has been left to my own devices and release level games only. Then suddenly, my roommate announces his WoD beta invite! “Blast”, I think to myself, then congratulate him (I mean called him things that I shouldn’t repeat on here). But wait!

It was a phony!

And I saved him from clicking on the links in his email and doing who knows what to his computer and account. After reminding him to check his battle.net and Blizzard launcher directly… there was no WoD beta account ready.

So, a friendly reminder to all. If you think you have a beta invite for any of Blizzards games (or really any other emails of any sort) go to the source directly and don’t click on things in your email.

Wildstar Online End of Beta Event

The 10 day Wildstar open beta ended recently to much fanfare created by the devs. I’ve yet to see such a massive end game event to sign off something as small as a beta test before, so it was pretty impressive to see. There were giant monsters, dev jokes, and an epic troll (they Rick Rolled the whole game by giving us a code to buff our players but it instead opened a browser with the music video). See below for some screen shots:

 

Why I Canceled My ESO Sub

ESO Game Time Canceling

When Elder Scrolls: Skyrim first came out, I played the hell out of that game. While I had seen other ES games, Skyrim was my first. It was gorgeous, flexible, full of freedom and adventure. I remember thinking…”this would make a great MMO”. My dream for ESO was Skyrim with other players in it. In some ways, I got my dream, but it was all too shortsighted. (more…)

The State of Things

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I’m not going to lie. My hopes for ESO are incredibly high. I love the MMO concept; the persistent, massive world; the social environment inside a game, but I’m running out of something to play. I’m a long time World of Warcraft player and it’s a great game, but… Oh, it’s such a but. The game is old. And I don’t just mean that the graphics engine is primarily 10 years old (which, honestly does get to me occasionally). The game is tired. It’s worn out. We’re on episode two hundred and whatever of Dragon Ball Z and while we keep getting new bosses it’s all the same. The interface and features are the best – there’s no arguing that. No other MMO out there matches the quality-of-game improvements that have happened over the years. But you can only polish the same gem so much. It’s still the same. This is where WoW finds itself, it’s the most polished MMO (excluding graphics) but it’s lacking something new to drive interest. So, what else to turn to? TERA looks great but the only unique part (live action combat) feels more gimmicky than a feature. The Secret World has basically the coolest premise out there, but the simple -fun- of game play is so much lower. A friend of mine described Knights of the Old Republic game play as exactly like WoW from 5 years ago. But look… on the horizon is a game that promises to exceed all of them. (more…)

Distractions – ESO

ESO Symbol

So, I haven’t and probably won’t end up playing much WoW this weekend, because, well. Elder Scrolls Online beta!! Not only am I playing it a bit, but also trying to make some handy youtube videos. For your viewing pleasure (or displeasure, but you can view them regardless), here are some of ESO Beta footage I’ve recorded and posted.

Here’s a video on all the character customization options. WoW players take note of what (more…)