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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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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WoW: Top 5 Ways to Improve the Garrison

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Let’s face it – Garrisons are a huge part of World of Warcraft now. They’ve been made a focal point of Warlords of Draenor and, overall, seem to be a pretty big hit. My guild is constantly joking during raid about needing to go back to the garrison to check missions. Okay sort of joking. Well, fine I just hearthed during our break. It’s okay we have a warlock to summon me back. But, even with a feature that’s actually doing well (See: Not Ashran), there are always some areas we’d like improved. While personally I had hoped that this feature would be account or server wide so all of my alts could play in the same space others have asked for things such as more plots for more buildings. While, expansion is likely to happen eventually (6.2), there are probably some ways it could be improved now. Let’s discuss! (more…)

Blizzard Reacts to Wildstar Launch

Wildstar chua wow Illidan wildstar VS wow

Let’s face it: World of Warcraft is the standard to which other newly minted MMO’s are compared. It’s the elephant in every room in every competing developers office. Because, as we’ve no choice but admit, every other major MMO is competing with WoW. Sure, to some extent with each other as well, but the prize is the amazing subscriber numbers that Blizzard has been able to amass.  While we’ve seemed to move on past the point where every significant launch is heralded as the ‘death knell of WoW’ (Aion, Rift, SWTOR, etc), there’s always still that cautious eye raised towards the king of the mountain. Will it be dethroned or will the latest challenger fail to even shake its lofty perch? Of course, even with its pet behemoth, Blizzard has to be concerned when a new contender arises. And they’d be fools to not take a few preemptive strikes… (more…)

Daily Thoughts: Did MoP Really Kill Alts?

I’ve read a lot of posts since Mists of Pandaria was released that Blizzard killed players ability to have max level alts (multiple characters) and have to wonder what merit there is to those arguments. As a player who had leveled one of every class to max level I can safely say that I feel a similar burden of almost any altoholic. My goal is always to have my characters raid ready (at least entry-level raids) and took all of my 10 characters into raid finder at least once. So here we find ourselves in Pandaria, a land with endless adventure (or work as some call it) and an additional class. Blizzard removed the cap on daily quests and made reputation gains important, added pet battles, added challenge mode dungeons, put 3 raids in the first tier, added scenarios, added a farm (ridiculously addictive somehow) on top of what we already had. With so much to do, is there any time for alts? The answer that I’ve found: Maybe. (more…)

Daily Thoughts: The MMO That Could Beat WoW

It’s 2011. World of Warcraft is hailed as the largest (and argued by some to be the best) MMO on the planet. WoW boasts 11-12 million active subscribers. Brighthub lists Aion as WoW’s closest competitor at 3.5 million users, which is only a third of the player base. Though if we bend the definition of MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online – though usually requiring a permanent world)  just a little, we find that Blizzards behemoth already has been trumped and by no small margin. Zynga’s Farmville, the Facebook app, has somewhere between 60 and 80 million users – easily 5 times the player base of WoW. So, hasn’t Zynga already beaten Blizzard? Not quite.

First, we need to remember that Farmville isn’t truly an MMO. Is massive and has many players and is online, but it doesn’t have a true persistent world such as WoW or Aion. Second, FV clearly isn’t trying to be even the same type of game. It’s more so a social networking past-time. A place to loiter for a few minutes a day in between status updates, as opposed to an hour sucking beast that WoW or other MMO’s can be. But MMO gaming companies need to realize, it’s 2011 and social media is king.

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