In an incredibly rare move, Blizzard Entertainment announced moments ago that the company will be selling off additional Collector’s Editions of the latest World of Warcraft expansion. The company announced on its official blog that players can grab one of the few remaining copies of the CE from the Blizzard Store on a first-come, first-served basis.
@Warcraft WTS MoP CE $69.99
The physical Collector’s Edition includes everything in the Digital Deluxe version and then some. The exclusive art book, behind-the-scenes DVD, soundtrack and mouse pad are all packed in with the codes for in-game goodies.
Blizzard Entertainment did not detail why there are extra copies in the warehouse, but one could easily summarize that the physical CE didn’t sell as well as the company projected.
I’ve had a mixed relationship with pet battles. It’s a fun mini-game, but I’d rather not spend too much time grinding out battles to level my pets and progress in the system. Instead, I’d much rather pay for some pre-leveled pets to get to some of that end-game pet battle content. Much to my disappointment, I discovered that the level 25 Terrible Turnip that I dropped 10,000 gold on couldn’t be added to my journal because I didn’t have an existing level 25 pet in my journal. There was nothing in the UI to suggest that this was the case, just some big fat error text after the fact. The design intent is clear (don’t buy your way to victory), but the experience itself was pretty frustrating.
The question that immediately came to my mind after this epic failure was: “With this restriction in place, why can I trade a level 25 pet from most sources, but not from wild pet battles?” happened pretty late in the Mists of Pandaria beta because the developers felt that “the option to buy these pets on the AH would take away from the exploration/collection gameplay of the system.” The new Pandaren elemental spirits and raid pets being tradable kind of runs against that philosophy, so what is the right way forward? What risk is there in opening up the trading of wild pets?
For one thing, it seems that (currently) all pets that anybody might eventually trade start at level 1. It isn’t very difficult or time-consuming to catch wild pets, and you can imagine that trained pets from other sources that started at level 1 would be less expensive if you could get an equally effective pet for a hundred gold that took someone 3 minutes to produce instead of many hours to train. But is that really that big of a drawback? Do we really want people to only be able to sell their hard-trained pets? Continue Reading
World of Warcraft’s latest patch is on the horizon (almost certainly to be released next Tuesday, March 5th) and Blizzard has just realized the trailer for the new patch. Narrated by Lore Walker Cho, it briefly tells the story of the Thunder King in a poem. Written by game designer Dave Kosak, the poem is said to play a key role in story development.
“RegionSelectionTooltip_App - Region selection is disabled when Diablo III is launched from the Battle.net Desktop app.” (Diablo patch notes)
“Battle.net App – developing the next-generation Battle.net desktop client.” (Blizzard Career Site)
What is likely to be included in such a desktop application? What features do I hope make it in long term?
I think that Battle.net chat is undoubtedly going to be in the app to interface with their games. Already, RealID/Battletag allow for cross-client chat, so naturally, it seems like it shouldn’t be difficult to implement in a desktop client. What better way to decide what game to play than to see what your friends are playing before you even login?
A unified downloader/launcher for all three games. Already, StarCraft II has moved to the same launcher used for WoW, and Diablo III launched with it. They all support game “streaming”, that is, playing a game before the game is finished downloading. Having one program to manage the installations for all three games allows for cross-promotion as well: a single click to get a trial edition of a game and download it in the background while playing your other games is a no-brainer.
Ask Mr. Robot has been a great site for WoW character optimization for years. Many players have used it as their de facto gearing advise tool; every spec of every class has cutting-edge theorycrafting formulas built into an easy-to-use web interface. And if you disagree with some of their stat weights or caps, you can tweak away to your heart’s content. With the site in perfect working order since the launch of Mists of Pandaria, Mr. Robot (and his coder friends) has been hard at work on some features that have won my heart and made it as frequent a stop for me as WoWHead and WoWPedia.
My current favorite is the new “find upgrades” feature. It has multiple options: in one, you choose a currency from a dropdown menu (valor, justice, honor, conquest) and it tells you which items you can buy (or which items you have to upgrade) for the biggest improvement. Even better, you can sort by “most cost effective”, which weights the upgrades by their cost. It really helps squeeze out the best value of your hard-earned Valor (and other points) and takes a lot of guesswork out of choosing between multiple, hard-to-compare options (like upgrading an item, buying a cheap item, or saving up for a big upgrade).
A similar tool in “find upgrades” gives you recommendations on which bosses to spend your Elder Charms of Good Fortune on to get the biggest upgrades. Other menus advise which dungeons contain the most and best upgrades, as well as the BoE and crafted loot that will be the best upgrades for your character.
The photo to the right pretty much explains my Saturdays.
The conundrum is very akin to the one most people spout when talking about fast food jobs:
Either you work at a place you hate, and hate your life and the place you’re working at 10x more, or you work at a place you love and hate it after you leave.
I find myself game after game – starting with Dragon Age II last year – analyzing every single aspect of a game. From the amount of control I have to customize my character, to the very story.
Every gamer does it, it’s part of the experience of gaming – the reflection on the experience. Designers do it as well – right in the middle of it, though. I literally spend 15 minutes to sit back and discuss something like this with my wife: “Now that’s stupid. It feels [blank] and if they had done [blank] it would’ve been better,” to a 1 minute cutscene. Continue Reading
Spoiler Warning: This post contains potential spoilers for World of Warcraft gameplay. It covers the journey to Pandaria and questing through the zone of the Jade Forest.
First, a recap. Then, my review.
Upon setting off to explore the new world beyond the mists of the southern great sea, heroes of Azeroth land in the mysterious Jade Forest in Pandaria. Our first greeting to the continent comes in the form of a battle at sea as warriors of the horde and the alliance seek to conquer what could be theirs. Both sides wash up to the shores of the new world, friendless in a mystical world that they yet know nothing about.
Members of both factions set off to form alliances with anyone they can get help and resources from — the horde with the hozen, and the alliance with the jinyu — but the pandaren race, for the most part, remains unconvinced that either side is worthy of inhabiting their sacred lands. Certain individuals, however, are willing to give the newcomers a chance, teaching them the ways of the land and the people. Heroes of both factions lend their hands to assisting the pandarens however they can, and in doing so they earn powerful friends all across the Jade Forest.
But the uncertainty that the majority of pandarens hold is not unfounded. As the two factions continue their conflict, the negativity that they brought ashore affects the land in ways unexpected by the newcomers. Continue Reading