warlords of draenor

Weekly Wrap-Up: it’s the season!

christmas french

“Christmas” by elgunto

November came and went, along with Movember, NaNoWriMo (which we will discuss in a future post) and many other things. Now, December will reign, and you all know what that means: effing Christmas time! But before we dive head first into my favorite season, let’s re-cap the last week in this short Weekly Wrap-Up!

  • I had a blast in Riga with my friends, drinking and sight-seeing through a great experience. If you want to see lesser known part of Europe, make sure to visit this Baltic capital!
  • Gaming-wise, my Troll monk Umaru has made it to Pandaria. With four levels left to the level cap, I’m starting to formulate my goals until Warlords of Draenor hits, while also thinking about sharing my opinions about the current expansion.
  • Furthermore, one of my friends has been pushing me to give Awesomenauts a try. The game has been sitting on a my harddrive for a while now, and I’ve been trying it cautiously. It’s MOBA nature is not appealing to me, but the 2D graphics look attractive. Only one way to find out if it’s my cup of tea, right?
  • The Steam Autumn Sale is still on, but there hasn’t been anything attractive for me on sale yet. However, I’m keeping an eye on The Wolf Among Us, and that Legendary edition of Skyrim is still on my mind. Valve, why do you want to rob me of my money so much?
  • Finally, the Playstation 4 has made it to Europe last Friday. Of course, I wrote about it.

Well, that’s this week for me. I’m tired and Monday is on the horizon. Let’s dive into another week full of potential, shall we?

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Gear: make me care about it, Blizzard Edition

“Warcraft 40k vol.1” by Dio-Dong

Less than a week ago, I wrote about how you could make me care about gear in RPG’s again. I think I made it quite clear that gear should be something personal and not just a sheet of numbers waiting to be replaced by bigger numbers. Well, today’s blue post from Crithto reminded me that there’s also another way of making gear interesting to me, namely by giving me choices.

Before I dive further into that, let us analyze the aforementioned blue post. As already announced during this year’s Blizzcon, Warlords of Draenor will bring significant changes to stats found on gear in World of Warcraft. We already knew that stats like Hit and Parry would go the way of the dinosaurs, and new stats like Movement Speed and Cleave would add some new colors to the itemization palette. Today’s post by Crithto went into further detail, explaining the differentiation between primary, secondary and tertiary stats, while also making clear that armor pieces and weapons will harbor different stats.

This post is the harbinger of great change, fundamentally changing the way gear will work in WoW. Especially the fact that primary stats will change depending on the specialization your character has active means that gearing will take less time, as one set of armor will most likely be enough. This leaves room for choices, which leads me to the reason for this post.

Many MMORPG’s participate in the gear treadmill, where every new dungeon forces you to slay a dozen bosses hundred times to get the better items with the better stats and the better looks (at least you hope they’ll look better). It’s not a matter of choice to go after these new stat-sticks: if you want to be part of the endgame, you’ll have to get them or you’ll underperform and hold back every raid you join. Imagine a world where, at every raiding tier, you would have a choice. Sure, you’ll need that basic set of items to keep up, but what if there was enough room for differentiation and hunting for unique variations of your items? I hope Warlords will bring WoW one step closer to that world.

The removal of stats like Hit and the end of reforging might be seen as a shot in the knee of customization, but what use is customization if you can go only one way? Why not give every character the necessary stats to be competent, while still allowing the powergamers to go that extra mile? Reforging could have a place in this world, offering a way to add tertiary stats, but I guess Blizzard does not see it like that.

We’ll only know how well the new itemization will work once Warlords hits (which I predict to be February 18, because I am an optimistic moron with no sense for reality), but I sure can’t wait to see the end of off-spec gear and the need to hit that hit cap (pun intended).

Three reasons why I look forward to Warlords of Draenor

warlords of draenor

In case you’re living under a rock or have been doing your best to ignore it, but last weekend, Blizzard announced World of Warcraft‘s fifth expansion Warlords of Draenor at Blizzcon. And unless you’re just not involved with the MMORPG community, you will probably have an opinion about this. Everyone and their mom are writing about it, so it can’t hurt to join the conversation. So, what do I think about the announcement?

Freakin’ awesome.

And that’s coming from a guy who reacted to the previous two expansion announcements with one word: “meh”. I’m actually amazed that the announcement of Warlords got me so hyped, so in order to put some rationality behind the irrational fanboy raging inside of me, here’s my top three reasons why I’m looking forward to Warlords of Draenor.

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A quick update

Yes, I am still alive. Yes, I’ve been doing stuff. And yes, I’ll give you a quick rundown:

  • NBI is over now, and I have to honor to have been awarded the Good Monicker Medal this year. Thanks and shout-outs to all the other participants and winners, it was a blast! 😀
  • NaNoWriMo is in full swing, and my project “Digital Dragonslayers” is trudding along. I have to admit, it’s pretty hard to write a piece of non-fiction, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I won’t make it to the 50.000 words at the end of the month. Still, I have this special NaNoWriMo feeling again, caused by just writing, writing and writing.
  • BlizzCon is also on, and we’ve been introduced to the new World of Warcraft expansion. I will give you the full monty later, but here’s my opinion so far in a few words: cautiously hyped.

Well, that’s it for now. Have a great weekend!