Instance Gratification is the return of one of our premiere video outings. Originally featuring the cast of founder bloggers thrashing World of Warcraft dungeons and viewer runs of Dungeon & Dragons Online, the reinvigorated column heads to the realm of the Twitch channel. Come join us every Wednesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.
Being completely honest with everyone there have only been two MMORPGs that have fully grasped by cerebral cortex and sucked me in for any lengthy time in 2014. And while I’ve documentedplenty of my return to World of Warcraft lately, the other has seen less op-ed attention (but plenty of on-air play, interviews and news pieces). That being the world of Dungeons & Dragons, the Forgotten Realms section specifically and, to be even more specific, Neverwinter. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Cryptic Studios has been in the news quite a bit lately. What with the upcoming Xbox One version of the action MMORPG and the next module hitting the newswire yesterday.
Neverwinter hasn’t ever been dropped, steadfastly soaking up precious space on my small SSD main drive that La Juega contains. Yes, my computer has a first name. Its action combat is thoroughly enjoyable. The gameplay is perfectly designed for my lizard brain; getting in, getting something done and getting out. Let’s not kid ourselves, Cryptic Studios (and Perfect World Entertainment behind them) know how to keep us hooked. The development studio consistently pushes new content patches or teases the next as soon as the general community begins to hunger. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the marketing/product meetings as they review metrics and come to those decisions.
At any rate, it’s out with the new Warlords of Draenor and WildStar and in with the old. At least for this week on Instance Gratification.
Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream. The show will kick off around at its new time, 7:00 PM EST, and continue until approximately 9:00 PM! The floggings will continue until the level has improved! Continue Reading
Let’s get straight to the point. The trailers. Hit the jump for the gameplay teaser and Crusader class demo. Not that I believe for a second that these three bits of video goodness will hold you over until the 2014 release date. Continue Reading
Nexon is a new comer to E3, but the F2P company has no problem creating its own buzz inside the company’s less-than-modest booth. This year, the company focused its efforts on the Vindictus, the recently released hack-and-slash MMORPG from devCAT that has Mordil in a love/hate relationship (read emo) with, and Dragon Nest, a more typical Asian fantasy MMORPG developed by Eyedentity Games being released this summer.
The booth showcased an astounding eight videos for the tandem. Dragon Nest, being the unreleased game, had center stage with its own specially-made E3 trailer. The montage combines gameplay and cinematics. The second batch of DN trailers feature various abilities from the four playable characters.
Vindictus highlighted Karok, a playable character coming two the F2P game on Wednesday, June 15. Karok is shown alongside two new raid bosses, Succubus and Glas. The second video displayed new skills coming to the other three playable classes. The third and final video shows off character transformations for the Paladin and Dark Knight (Batman?!) classes.
Catch Dragon Nest’s E3 trailer above, followed by the other seven videos after the cut. Continue Reading
Lately, Blizzard has been releasing a ton of information in regards to Patch 4.2, “Rage of the Firelands.” So far, everything looks amazing. The new quest hub sounds like a good concept and all the phasing that is being implemented with it is going to make it 100% cooler. Oh yeah, Firelands (The raid) also looks a.w.e.s.o.m.e. I can’t wait!
Over the weekend, the World of Warcraft community website released one of the things I was most anticipating about Patch 4.2 — Tier 12 Armor Set previews. Only 6 classes have been covered so far, but that’s fine because 4 out of those 6 are classes I have at level 85!
Here, I’ll cover each of the new Tier 12 Armor Sets, and I’ll also let you know what I think about them. Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment to let me know. Now on to the loot:
1. PALADIN [9 out of 10]
I love it. In my opinion, it looks pretty similar to the Paladin’s Tier 2, which is considered by most people as the best looking armor in-game. I’ve heard a few people complaining on how this set doesn’t look like plate, but it looks more like cloth instead. That is true, however, you can’t deny the fact that it’s a very nice model.
What do I think about wearing a skirt again? First of all, it’s not a skirt, it’s a kilt. Erm, anyway, I really think kilts look much better than actual pants when it comes to Plate DPS, but that’s just my opinion.
Whether you need a refresher or just haven’t been keeping up with it, Blizzard has put up a full post detailing every nook and cranny of the upcoming content patch. Despite my current disappointment with the state of World of Warcraft, I can’t deny the fact that packing 4.1 with new features at least partially redeems the lack of a new raid dungeon (it certainly shows they’ve been working on something). Here’s a quick summary of what to expect, with the full notes on Blizzard’s site:
Rise of the Zandalari
The days when great troll empires stretched across ancient Kalimdor are long past. Millennia of war and internal strife have stripped these nations of their power, lands, and glory. As Azeroth recovers from the destruction of the Cataclysm, the world’s divided troll populations face a bleak future. These dark times have spurred the trolls of the Zandalar, the historically wise and scholarly tribe from which all trolls originated, to take drastic action. They have embarked on a bold crusade to save their race by uniting trolls into a single mighty empire. With the Zandalari’s aid, the fallen capitals of the Gurubashi and Amani nations—Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman—are already rebuilding, replenishing their forces for a bloody campaign to expand their territories.
Yet Vol’jin and his Darkspear trolls are not aligned with the Zandalari. They have sworn to stand with their Horde comrades—and even work with the Alliance—should the trolls ignite a new war on Azeroth. Soon, Vol’jin might be forced to act on his promise, for if the Gurubashi and Amani are left to their own devices, the world will know the legendary strength and savagery of the ancient troll empires once again.
Built into the Info panel of the guild user interface, Guild Challenges are weekly tasks guild groups can tackle for additional guild experience, achievements, and gold. At the top of the guild user interface Info pane, a new Guild Challenges section is displayed and broken into three categories: Dungeons, Raids, and Rated Battlegrounds. Any guild group will qualify for Guild Challenges credit and there is a set number of times each challenge can be completed per week.
Guild Finder is a new system designed to enable easier and faster guild recruitment. Guild leaders and players who are looking for a guild to call home will use the Guild Finder to meet one another and begin communications that can lead to a prosperous membership. Whether you’re a guild leader looking to fill your ranks or a player looking for a guild that meets your strictest requirements, the Guild Finder provides an easy way to make new friends!
Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms
A new system intended to lower queue times, Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms offers additional rewards for queuing as the currently least represented role. To be eligible for the additional rewards you must solo queue for a random level-85 Heroic in the role that is currently being Called to Arms, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss. Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you’ll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/potion, a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount
Clearly the most important thing, though, is that this is a good indication Blizzard is ready to release the patch itself. There is a high chance we will see “Rise of the Zandalari” this coming Tuesday.
A paladin was my first character in World of Warcraft. Kershocker the Holy Paladin. I know what you’re thinking: “LOL u leveled as holy, noob l2p.” I admit it, I was definitely a noob [Proof], but one day, while spamming Holy Shock and Exorcism, I decided to learn how to play my class. Boom! Retribution Paladin!
When it comes to DPS, I’ve always loved the Melee classes. Inflicting as much damage while standing right in the middle of all the action is good times. When you want to gear a Plate DPS class, all of them share one thing in common: Strength. That’s why it’s quite simple to identify an upgrade, if it has more Strength than your current item, it’s probably an upgrade. Still, there are a few other stats you need to consider if you wish to maximize your DPS. I’ll try to make a priority stat list for every single Plate DPS class and it will be followed by gear you can and should get before stepping into heroics.
Retribution Paladin:Strength > Hit Cap = Expertise Cap > Mastery > Critical Strike > Haste
Dual Wield Frost DK: Strength > Hit Cap = Expertise Cap > Mastery > Critical Strike > Haste
2-H Frost DK:Strength > Hit Cap = Expertise Cap = Haste > Mastery > Critical Strike
Unholy DK:Strength > Hit Cap > Haste > Mastery > Expertise Cap > Critical Strike
Fury Warrior:Strength > Hit Cap = Expertise Cap> Critical Strike > Mastery > Haste
Arms Warrior:Strength > Hit Cap = Expertise Cap > Critical Strike = Mastery > Haste
Only a few days after revealing the Guardian profession (a Paladin archetype) for Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet has been inundated with complaints that they’re catering to the Trinity crowd — those that favor classes capable of fulfilling any of MMO gaming’s three key roles. For a game that aims to break genre paradigms, such a concession would understandably be a big no-no. Game Designer Jon Peters believes this backlash to be the product of a lack of familiarity with GW2′s combat system.
In a blog post seeking to catalog all of that information in one place, Peters quotes fellow employee Isaiah Cartwright: “Our professions aren’t dedicated healers, DPS, or tanks because frankly, we built a combat system that just doesn’t allow it.” It sure isn’t easy attempting to break both the jack-of-all-trades class system and the traditional tank/healer/dps combo, so how exactly does ArenaNet plan to do it?
Healing Skill Slot — Every class has a Healing Slot where they must place an appropriate skill. Sure, not every profession will have access to the best heals, or even those with special, conditional uses, but ArenaNet plans to make using them the best way to sustain yourself. Added bonus? It should make you more aware of what’s going on in battle.
Downed, Defeated, and Revival — Any player can revive any of their allies, provided that they can get to their buddies in time. And the “Downed” state insures that just being incapacitated doesn’t mean you’re entirely out of the fight, either.
Shared Boon System — This is Guild Wars 2′s version of buffs. Though they can be applied in many different ways, those available always boil down to the same seven: Regeneration, Might, Fury, Swiftness, Protection, Vigor, and Aegis (you can probably guess what most of them do by name). World of Warcraft now does something similar, but is set up so that at least one of two or more people bringing the same buff is less useful to the group. Boons, though they don’t stack in effectiveness, do stack in terms of duration, meaning that everyone is able to contribute.
No Allied Targeting — Guild Wars 2 features a semi-action-based combat system. Though it doesn’t seem as flexible as TERA’s at the moment, it is still highly dependent on positioning and spatial awareness. That’s to say that you won’t be able to directly target your allies, and will have to rely on movement and skill to effectively deliver your helpful spells.
Diversity — That’s a bit of a loaded word, isn’t it? With Guild Wars 2‘s weapon-switching mechanic allows roles to be switched on the fly. Think “Warrior stances,” but for all classes, and with an automatic swap to appropriate equipment. Undoubtedly, there will be some restrictions, but the key is to allow players to adapt to constantly-changing situations.
Mobility — Movement. Is. Key. Skills and spells work in conjunction with movement instead of against it, and that means you might be playing GW2 more like a first-person shooter than your typical MMORPG. You’ll be able to dodge and find cover while enacting more interesting tactics than “sit in one spot and spam fireball.”
The basic philosophy seems to be, oddly enough, that all classes are Trinity classes. But instead of giving every profession access to every skill, ArenaNet is simply democratizing the more critical aspects of traditional roles — those bits that would otherwise slow down or stop the flow of combat because they are dependent on time or certain archetypes being present. In the same turn, no profession will be able to accomplish such things as healing and buffing in precisely the same way, preserving class diversity. Continue Reading
As sweet as this water looks, it's the least of the changes being made in 4.0.1.
[Update: Servers still aren’t up, so why not freshen up on those stat changes?]
Whether through the internet or the game client itself, you’re probably aware by now that the massive Patch 4.0.1 for World of Warcraft is set to hit live servers today. While it needs to be reiterated that this is not the patch that forever changes the world, it will change yours. And by that, I mean everything you know about how the game, and your class, should work.
There’s simply so much to consider that it would be a waste of space to reproduce the entirety of the changes here (though we may post official patch notes when they’re up). Instead, we’re going to run down the litany of new features and, if applicable, let you know where you can find out more about them. Look ’em over while you wait for the servers to come back up:
Major Classes Changes: In an official Blue post, Bashiok clues us in to the most critical, paradigm-shifting class changes such as Eclipse for Balance Druids, Soul Shards for Warlocks, and switches to alternate power sources for Hunter and Paladin.
Minor Class Changes: As the bulk of the update, individual changes to spells and whatnot are hard to track down. Chances are, if you play World of Warcraft, it’s safe to say Blizzard changed something critical about your class! The link provided will take you to Elitist Jerks. If you can parse the theorycrafting jargon, check your class forum, as they’re already diving deep into the tweaks.
Talent Changes: This one’s huge, too! Remember that Blizzard has actually shrunk the talent tree, changed the way in which you spec into multiple trees, and added Mastery! Most of the “useless” talents have been removed, changed, or replaced. The EJ link above probably has a lot of information, but if you’d like to play around with the new system in a sandbox, this WoWTal link has you covered.
Glyph Changes: As skills and talents shift, so must Glyphs. Prime glyphs have been added and you now only have to use a glyph once to “learn” it, after which it can be switched in and out when not in combat. Blue Lylirra gives us the lowdown.
Currency Changes: Badges are out, points are in. Any Honor or high-tier badges will be immediately converted to the new system. Low-tier badges and other non-monetary currency will be converted to gold. The system applies to current raiding and battleground content, but will come into its own with Cataclysm.
User Interface Changes: Improvements are coming to just about every aspect of the UI, which is great but means that you’ll probably have to reorient yourself over the next few days. Check out many of them in the linked video, put together by our very own Mordil. It’s worth taking a look at the one he produced for the Druid UI, as well.
Flexible Raid Lockouts: Bashiok comes at us again with more learnin’. Flexible raid lockouts mean that even if you missed some days in your raiding week, you’re not completely out of the game. It’s being put into the game now, but will make even more sense when the Cataclysm comes.
Stat Changes: Don’t fret if you log in and all your gear has changed. Some stats have been changed, converted, or removed in order to simplify the system a little bit. Remind yourself what’s been done to your precious gear by following this link.
Reforging: NPCs in major cities can swap secondary stats with other secondary stats on your equipment. See if you can squeeze a few more points of awesome out of your gear.
Power Auras: The popular third-party mod has been co-oped (read: copied) by Blizzard. The basic idea is that custom graphical effects will pop up around your character when it’s kosher to activate an ability or when it comes off cooldown. While some may still opt to use the original, the rest of us will get the functionality built in.
Socketed Relics: Relics now have stats and sockets for gems. Rejoice, relic-using classes!
New Water Engine: Those shiny, new water settings we’ve seen in previews for the expansion are coming in 4.0.1, but make sure your rig can handle it first.
New Guild Member Cap: Mega-guilds, beware! If you’ve already listened to our most recent podcast, then you’ll know we look like fools talking about the 600-member cap. Bashiok followed up the initial announcement stating that feedback had caused them to “re-evaluate” the decision and bump it all the way up to a cool 1000. This is now a had cap and necessary to accomodate all the new new guild features.
Can’t wait to check out of this stuff, myself, but I still don’t expect to be playing hardcore until 4.0.3, myself. While all the new changes are cool, there still isn’t any new content (well, beyond the impending pre-Cataclysm events which should be a part of this patch, as well). Tell us what has you pumped (or disappointed), and if I’ve missed anything, please let me know.