It’s March and that can only mean one thing, the beginning of convention season! The annual Game Developer’s Conference may usher in the video game convention period. But Penny Arcade Expo East is where the realm truly shines, inviting consumer and creators alike to rub shoulders. Recently, Blizzard joined the official attendance roster of PAX East and now Perfect World Entertainment and Neverwinter will make another appearance.
Cryptic Studios will be displaying its action-oriented Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG on 18 stations during the show. This’ll allow hundreds of aspiring adventurers to experiences the most recent closed beta content. In conjunction, convention and beta testers alike will get their first crack at the Great Weapon Fighter, the title’s latest class. Convention goers can once again earn physical rewards for participating and even permanent in-game items.
Too excited? Cyrptic didn’t just drop this news and walk away. The company just unveiled its latest trailer focusing on exactly how the heroes of Neverwinter will travel the lands. Some methods of transportation come with their own risks as the screenshots and trailer after the cut will showcase.
Perfect World International, the game that kicked off Perfect World Entertainment, has turned four years old this week. To celebrate, the game is doing what pretty much every other MMOG does, throwing a kickass party for players.
The party kicked off yesterday, September 10 and will award different prizes depending on each player’s tenure in the fantasy MMORPG. As part of the new player initiative, 500 registrants will be randomly selected to receive 500 Zen, basically $5, to begin, renew or continue their new career. Head over to the official anniversary page to put your name in the hat.
Current players should jump on the same link to guarantee themselves their time-sensitive award for playing the game for so long. All players will receive “an adorable rodent companion named ‘Marmot Style,’” while four-year members of PWI will receive “a hulking new serpentine ground mount known as ‘Doom’s Stare.’”
There’s something available for all players in between newbs and veterans. Hit the jump for images of all prizes, including the first year mount, two year cosmetic outfits, third year fox and details on all of the events.
In the only embargoed interview of the year to date, iTZKooPA stood up with Aaron Campbell, Senior Producer of LotRO, to discuss the title’s unprecedented festival. Created to celebrate the MMORPG’s amazing five-year anniversary, the gather is the largest celebration in LotRO’s history. Developer Turbine Entertainment took the issue to heart and created the largest event for an anniversary in its history.
Fireworks, unique mounts and costumes are just some of the additions. Most interesting is the veteran’s reward system, granting those that have been in it for the long haul much more grandiose rewards than a player that joined when the title went free-to-play.
Festival gifts, activities, rewards and more are discussed and shown below the cut.
With the first version of Patch 4.2 hitting the Public Test Realm less than 24 hours ago, the floodgates have opened on tons and tons of new content to feast upon. We hope to take a more detailed look at the items that most interest us, but for now let’s do a quick rundown of what’s available — both via official announcement and via datamining efforts at WoWhead– for players to enjoy:
First of all, for an early look at what the big upcoming content patch will bring, take a look at the official Patch Notes. They have yet to be updated since the opening of the PTR, but keep an eye out for inevitable changes that will come about as testing gets underway. Some of the big items that are getting early attention include: the ability to reorganize characters on the Selection screen, changes to many crown control abilities, and the usual back-and-forth on class balance.
WoWhead has put up a set of fun new models from the PTR, complete with four new mounts and four new pets (I’m especially loving the kittens in witch hats, the whelpling and the Horde war wolf). Also included are models for bosses, NPCs and a few select objects. And for those items that still lack a model, you also can browse through the WoWhead listings of more than 800 items added in the last day alone. Icons and maps are covered in a separate post. That’s a lot of cool new stuff!
Perhaps even more awesome than the Tier 12 armor previews that Kershocker covered earlier this week is the fact that we now know that each set has multiple color variations. We’re not sure exactly how or why yet, but the variations are significantly more apparent than slight color changes for higher-iLevel pieces that we’ve seen lately. I am really digging this option, as I’ve always loved the idea of a higher degree of armor personalization. Now we just need to wait to find out if the color changes by spec, by iLevel, PvE versus PvP — or maybe just player choice. But probably not.
Also regarding the Tier 12 armor sets, WoW Insider rounded up the set bonuses for each class. And given the theme of the Firelands, I must say the bonuses do not disappoint. I love how most of the bonuses have something to do with adding fire damage or some kind of fire-related ability. FIRE!
So much to go see! Out of all this information, the armor color variations are probably my most anticipated. I can’t wait to get more information on what this change entails. What are you excited to see in-game?
Beth'tilac, "The Red Widow" is one of the first bosses you will encounter in The Firelands.
Yesterday’s videos were only the beginning of Blizzard’s Patch 4.2 coverage. According to Bashiok, here’s the line-up for the next few days:
“The Firelands” Raid Preview
“A Legendary Engagement” Legendary Staff Preview
“The Regrowth and Molten Front Quest Hubs”
“Elemental Bonds” Quest Preview
Tier 12 Teaser
Dungeon Journal Teaser (Ama’s note: This is the integrated boss info thing they talked about wanting to implement at BlizzCon 2010).
As of this writing, only the first item on the list has been released, but it’s arguably the most exciting. The official boss descriptions (including hints as to their fight mechanics) follow my own summation of the features culled from both the official preview and an interview Cory Stockton recently did with Buffed (there’s even more info here, it’s worth reading in its entirety):
Seven bosses (including Ragnaros), the first four of which can be tackled in non-linear fashion.
No hidden or optional bosses, but Ragnaros’ Heroic fight is vastly different from his Normal one (indications that this will be the only way to see his entire body).
The raid instance will be about the size of the Alterac Valley sub-zone, and will take place mostly outside, so that players can mount up and attempt to bypass some of the mobs wandering about.
There will be more UI elements such as bars and meters to better track what bosses are doing, instead of having to always keep an eye on the debuff box. Also, there will be no fire resist required in the instance (and the bosses won’t have it, either).
“Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest” is the new Legendary Staff. It will have an offensive proc, take a long time to make, and require a few non-raiding efforts from the rest of your guild. Completing the staff will reward you with the item, a lengthy cinematic event, and everyone in your guild (presumably of sufficient reputation) will also gain access to a unique vanity pet.
Other dungeon rewards include the requisite Tier 12 gear, Epic recipes for all professions, and three new mounts (flaming Anzu likely being the rarest/most wanted).
I don’t think there is any real valid complaint about the new Call to Arms system: the reward bags, which offer a chance at rare mounts, are bind to account, meaning you can send it to any character you choose on your server after receiving it.
If you are a DPS player who thinks the additional Call to Arms system is unfair, level up a tank alt. You can send the rewards to your DPS main. I don’t think that “the rewards are too much, but not enough for me to play a tank” is a very strong argument against this system now that you can put them on any character.
I personally will be tanking a lot now and working on getting appropriate gear. I’ve heard from a lot of raid-geared tanks that they queue as DPS (since its so much easier and they can do other things while in the queue) or don’t run heroics. This system can entice great tanks into the queue. Yes, it will entice new tanks, but tanking takes time to learn. You can’t soundly say “we need more tanks” yet “we don’t need any new tanks.” Would you put up with new tanks for a 15 minute shorter queue? We have no idea on how this will pan out – but all the negativity around every change Blizzard makes is getting old.
The WoW community has been abuzz about one of the newly announced additions to the dungeon finder in patch 4.1: Call to Arms. This feature detects when queues are long for level 85 heroics (“more than a few minutes”) (read: always) and offers additional rewards to the roles that need more representation (read: tanks) in an effort to lower queue times for other roles (read: DPS).
The rewards include extra gold, a chance at a flask or elixir, rare gems, and a chance to get some difficult to obtain non-combat pets/mounts that are available through currently soloable means. The examples Blizzard gave for pets include the Razzashi Hatchling (previously dropped in ZG, now a Stranglethorn zone drop), Cockateil (purchasable in Booty Bay), and the Tiny Sporebat (purchased when exalted wtih Sporregar.) The examples for mounts include Reins of the Raven Lord (drops in Heroic Sethekk Halls), Swift White Hawkstrider (drops in heroic Magister’s Terrace), and Deathcharger’s Reins (drops in Stratholme).
Not surprisingly, there was much QQing. Many DPS players complained along the lines “why should tanks get extra loot? All this will do is get bad tanks in the queue. I’m a great player and deserve extra goodies.” Critics of the system also add that Call to Arms can be used as many times as possible per day, while most of the mounts can only be farmed outside of Call to Arms once per day due to the heroic lockout system. They also claims it will give tanks and healers free reign to act egotistical, because Blizzard is favoring their role.