Siori sat at her desk, signing off on several papers that made their way in front of her. Some were recruit applications (some of which did not get a signature), others supply orders for certain tasks. A select few held details that only her and two other people would see or know about. Today, however, this task was to be interrupted by a page.
“Yes Tobias, what is it?” As a guild leader and rogue she had a penchant for being calm, yet strictly to the point when need be.
“Well Miss Siori…um…well, it’s this.”
The young ones were always afraid to interrupt her. It stemmed from a day she had received mail from her sister for the first time in months. A girl came in excited to speak to her, and quickly ended up across a table with a dagger and a warning. Okay, so she wasn’t always calm.
Siori took the envelope and noticed the wax seal immediately. Rarely did she get sent anything in an envelope and when she did, his seal was never on it. Hand written notes, signatures. Even pseudonyms. But in the years since Deathwing, she had only seen the seal once. She disposed of Tobias and turned on her heels, envelope in hand. Siori headed over to the closet, opened the door and then stuck a dagger point into a crack in the corner. After two clicks, she pushed the back open to reveal a smaller room. Making her way over to a chair and desk across from the cot, she slipped the dagger through the base of the envelope. There was but a single piece of parchment in it.
“You made it clear to me that in the future you wished to remain on the sidelines. You wanted to focus on the tactical side of things. I vowed to not ask you to come back into the field and I’ve stuck to my word. In the future, I will continue to do so. But this isn’t the future. This is the past, and we need you there.
Siori read the note over several times. She then walked over to the candle and burned it. The last act before she left the room, was taking her sword off the wall.
A few days in and we’ve definitely got a feel for the new flavor of WoW. Yesterday I talked about the many immediate changes that bombarded us in the first minutes we logged in, but now the details can be absorbed a bit better.
Class changes are interesting. The only thing I had to do on Saintvache was choose two new talents. His action bars went nearly untouched. I could not say the same for Tumunzahar, Siori, and Liouxpold. Perhaps it’s an Alliance thing. Speaking of classes, many people found Burnt Glyphs in their possession now. Rest assured that’s just for Glyphs that are no longer in the game.
I completed the Iron Horde invasion on the Horde side, and while I don’t know the details of what is to follow, I really hope it isn’t done now. I came out of it with a title and a new pet, but incredibly underwhelmed. That and agitated because Thrally-Sue (which I think I’ll call him far more often now) had to be the one running around on the front line. Really? There couldn’t be anyone else? The guy had a whole expansion dedicated to him (Deathwing was merely supporting cast) and still we get him shoved down our throat. Not to rant too much, because up until the later parts of Cataclysm I actually liked Thrall. It’s just that Blizzard has overplayed him. Getting back to the Iron Horde, it seemed pretty linear and to the point. I’ll have to flip over and give the Alliance side a try before I really assess it but I can’t imagine it is all that different.
One no longer has to spend so much time in Pandaria. I logged into a toon and found it sitting at 100% XP, but hadn’t dinged yet. There’s no way in Dire Maul I would ever let that happen. The OCD in me would have to ding before I logged. Particularly because that’s less than exploratory XP. That’s more along the lines of “you dinged because the wind changed direction.” Now, to confirm this is the case, I played for a little while and had six bubbles in half an hour. At 88. Hrm, this place really might not be that bad anymore.
The final nugget of “huzzah” is stacking. Imagine my surprise when I had the bank open and decided to top up my stack of Dreamfoil and sell the rest. Suddenly I had a stack of 28! I began playing around with this immediately, finding eventually that stacks cap at 200 now. Between that and the Toy Box my bags are bordering on empty (and the bag sort feature is fantastic). But what it really excites me for is my guild banks. For Claws, it just means having a cleaner bank. For the auctioneer in me, it means more room to store goodies. I mean, just look at the difference in one tab.
It wasn’t 100% good news, though. On top of shelling out gold for some face lifts (I think I spent about 200g or so in total. Obviously someone with more 90’s than I spent even more), I found that some gear held onto its transmogrification, while others reset. Needless to say, many of my toons look incredibly goofy so I will have to correct that when given the chance to.
I’m sure many people knew about these changes already, from playing the PTR or reading about it. For me, I have been incredibly removed from these details of the game as I’ve been merely puttering in it for the past few months. I vaguely kept tabs on what’s going on and really didn’t read the changes ahead of time (of course I knew about character models). Thus, it’s all a surprise. It feels like a good surprise, and I have a feeling I’m not the only returning player to think so.
Patch 6.0 is now live and with it came many changes, but none more than the vast amount of visual ones. Almost everyone I spoke to yesterday was headed straight for the Barber Shop to see what they had to work with. Many weren’t keen on what they saw when they logged in, while others didn’t mind the initial look when things went live around 1:30 EST. Personally, Tum was far more angry than I wanted. To be honest, almost all of the dwarves are surly/angry looking. Not that it doesn’t fit the race, because it most certainly does. It’s just that it wouldn’t hurt to have one lighthearted option. As you can see by this image, I did the best I could with what I had.
I had to change Saintvache as well, as logging on to him I was blinded by an albino. I just wish we had more hair options for the Tauren. As for the rest of the team, I’ll check them in due time.
It wasn’t just character models that changed. From what I saw last night and this morning, nothing sparkles anymore. No quest items, no nodes. Nothing! Instead, you’ll get a faint outline that gets stronger once you mouse over it. Even characters gain an outline now (green for friendly, red for not) when targeted, though I’m sure there’s an option to turn it off. Still, at a glance it took me a second to complete a couple of quests because I was looking for the shiny.
Action bars have obviously changed, with some spells removed and others simply changed. But speaking of spells, they even look better visually. The animations are fantastic, though I’ve only seen Paladin, Mage, and Warlock. Once again, I’ll get to them in due time…or simply see them amidst my travels.
This isn’t even documenting some of the bigger changes that came with the patch either. Things like the new level UBRS, the Iron Horde invasion (which I’ve started Horde side…so far so good), Garrisons, Premade Groups in the Dungeon Finder, all the class changes, etc.
With the game seeing an increase of over half a million players, this patch is well timed. Many of the changes brought the game up to relatively modern standards and introduced a lot of things the players have been yearning for, for quite some time. Will it translate to more than 7.4 million players and sustain them for a while this time? Hard to say, but you can’t say the new expansion isn’t setting up to take a big swing at it.
In a rare move today, Blizzard held a mini-event, the sole purpose of which was the cinematic and release date for the next expansion in WoW. As always, I got goosebumps as soon as it started. I really got goosebumps at the end when I saw the construction of the Dark Portal. That was just one of those jaw-dropping moments in the grand scheme of things, which is good because the developers have made it clear the Dark Portal plays prominently in the expansion more so than it did during The Burning Crusade.
The release date is a little earlier than I expected. I know their original suggestion was sometime in December and so that’s not a huge stretch. Still, based on the latest numbers (which showed another 800,000 subscribers lost) Blizzard no doubt at least wanted to get players talking about the next expansion’s release date. I don’t normally put stock in subscription numbers, but it seems strange for Blizzard to have a day like this that isn’t BlizzCon. It says to me they might recognize numbers are still strong, but almost half of what they were at peak. So get the community talking even more than just the beta, and perhaps some of those lost numbers will be reconsidering their November gaming plans.
November 13th and the cinematic weren’t all we were shown this morning, though they were arguably the most important. I enjoyed the first episode of Lords of War, and have long thought a WoW animated series would do well. The dark tone definitely makes it hard for a television sell, so making it a digital series works well. It makes me hopeful they’ll do more than just this series.Without going into things fully about what we saw and heard, I’ll share just a couple thoughts:
- I’m not a hardcore PvP’er, but I love the idea of Ashran! Being able to loot half of someone’s currency just screams cheshire grin. It almost makes me regret selling all my Owned! loot cards. UBRS. Dead Leeroy being hilarious and all, I’m excited about the chance to try out the new dungeon before the expansion launches.”Death Knight like start zone.” I better have the option to skip this after the first go. To this day I like the Death Knight class, but going through that great zone more than 3-4 times is like onion juice poured on my eyes.Garrisons. This feature I really don’t want much to do with. I haven’t followed much about the beta information thus far, but I will be disappointed if it turns out to be a “must do” in order to play and enjoy the expansion.
As of late, I’ve been pretty quiet around here, mostly due to being busy. I’ve been playing WoW sparsely, but enjoying it enough. My thoughts have wandered plentifully towards Warlords. I wouldn’t have had Pandaria if not for the kindness of others. At no point did I really look forward to the contents. This time has been different, but by not tapping into the beta information I haven’t had anything to enhance my excitement further. Until today. What I saw, for the most part I very much liked. Most importantly, with my son going to school in September I will have a couple of months for any further preparations for the game, should I desire to be there on launch day.
The news came out today that the first Adventure Mode for Hearthstone will go live on July 22nd, which is this coming Tuesday (note: Blizzard, stop doing all your stuff on the same day). During the “launch event” the first wing is completely free. The remaining wings, as you will recall, are 700 gold each and once the launch is over the Arachnid wing will no longer be free. How long the launch is, remains to be seen.
Whether you are a meta gamer with a Zoo Lock or just someone who enjoys puttering around with the game, there’s a good chance this new feature will be of interest to you. If nothing else it’s something different. You don’t have to just practice against the computer nor do you have to face other players. This computer mode is both challenging and rewarding…and apparently if you go Hard Mode then you seem to have sanity issues. So yes, I am looking forward to it.
I haven’t decided which deck I’ll use first against the Necropolis. Leaning towards Shaman, but that could quite easily change. What about you? Now that we know Naxxramas is coming next week, are you ready? Do you have a class deck in mind?
If you’ve put in any time making gold, then you should know of one of the biggest assets for doing so: The Undermine Journal. For the past four years, the site has been an amazing resource for deals as well as just a great source for pricing on everything. Whether it’s your server, or game wide, the financial info and item availability was a click away. Unfortunately that appears to be ending this month.
According to the website, you can no longer subscribe and auction information is no longer updating. Whomever hosts the servers for TUJ is not able to meet the needs of the site and as such it is going to close by the end of the month. Whether it’s an official closing is yet to be determined though. The folks there seem to want to keep it going but time will tell.
There will probably be a period where this site is completely closed. We may be able to find a new dedicated host, but there are a number of improvements that should be made here before Warlords of Draenor is released anyway. So if WoD is released and The Undermine Journal is down, it’s probably not coming back.
While I haven’t used the site nearly as much in recent months, I refuse to downplay how important it was and what an amazing resource it was for those serious about gold making. Some days it’s hard to remember the days prior to it existing. Heck, if not for the Undermine Journal I wouldn’t have my Deathcharger. I certainly hope it comes back, not only because I was a fan of using it but because I think it’s incredibly valuable for the community. I never like to see any part of the community permanently log out, and this is no exception.
Having said that, there’s going to be a shift in power for gold making for the next little while. Add-ons are great, but they can’t run in real time on all servers like the Journal did. Great deals and rare listed items can’t be accessed outside the game right now and that gives those with a little more time the advantage. With nothing much to do before Warlords, the Auction House PvP is open for more aggressive folk. So while we hope the Undermine Journal isn’t down for long, your opportunity just went up.