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World of Warcraft Column: Adventure Time

By Reza Lackey on December 16, 2013

One of the long term design goals for WoW has been to have players spend more time in the game when they're playing. It's common practice for us to tab out several times to access resources outside of the game to help us with our quests, tips on defeating bosses and what to do next. For example, the recently added dungeon journal offers dungeon and raid maps, boss information and the ability to sort through loot tables. While add-ons have offered similar features, I'm of the belief that the fewer add-ons that I need to use, the better. This week on the WoW factor we're checking out the upcoming Adventure Guide that will ship with the Warlords of Draenor expansion. But first, some news.

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News

Last week Blizzard flipped the switch for the in-game store on the live servers. The store allows players to make real-money purchases in the game. Currently only mounts and pets are are being sold but it's a safe bet that we'll see other convenience items being sold as well. Perhaps the boost to 90 feature coming with Warlords of Draenor will be sold for those wanting to boost more than one character on their account. The interface is very straight forward and has room for plenty of expansion. Sale items are easily identifiable and a check mark will indicate which items you already own. Making a purchase is incredibly easy; funds will be drawn from your battle.net account or your account linked payment method. The purchased item will be deposited instantly into your bags or if you're short on space it’ll be sent to your mailbox. Obviously the most interesting aspect is what will be offered down the road. We’ll see!

Film Update

As you’ve probably read all over the internet, Universal and Legendary Pictures have closed deals and announced some of the cast for the upcoming Warcraft film. I’ve put a simple list together with links to their IMDB profiles so you can check out their body of work.

Filming is still set to begin this January in Vancouver.

You Will Find Adventure

At BlizzCon the developers announced the Adventure Guide, a new in-game feature that helps players figure out what they could be doing next to advance their characters. Anyone who's played an MMO knows that at some point you hit a wall and find yourself asking, "I'm not sure what the best thing for me to do is right now or where I should go next." The Adventure Guide aims to solve this problem. No matter what your play style, PvE or PvP, the guide will recommend several things you can do to aid in your character's progression.

The Adventure Guide will analyze your character taking into consideration your level, professions, quest progress, item level and play style and then recommend content. The guide doesn’t just recommend where you should go next but also what you can do. For example, the guide will let you know what new key crafting items you can make as you level your professions. In the screenshot below, you can see what the guide looks like for a PvE focused player.


Adventure Guide for PvE focused players.

In the example image above, you can see a row of icons at the bottom representing different locations you can visit or systems (LFR and Scenarios in this case) you can partake in. Each has a colored border representing the difficulty as it relates to your character as well as the quality of gear upgrades you’ll be able to earn. Green borders represent easier content with lesser upgrades, yellow for ideal content with moderate upgrades and red indicating more difficult content with substantial upgrades.


Adventure Guide for PvP focused players.

The Adventure Guide is also a great tool for informing players of new content being added to the game. For those who don’t always read every letter of new patch notes, the guide can let you know what’s new and where to experience it. In the past it hasn’t always been clear how to start or find new additions to the game without having prior knowledge of what exactly has been added or changed.

While there are certainly more things to do than what the Adventure Guide may recommend, it's a great tool to have for when we're overwhelmed with content, returning to an old alt lost to time or simply needing a little advice. While I’m sure many players will cite this as another instance of "dumbing down the game," they're looking at it wrong. It's not a hand-holding tool but rather a much better alternative to googling and drilling through forums for the same, if not less accurate, answers to “what’s next?” I'm very excited for this feature and glad something like this is being added to the game. With all there will be to do and all the options players are presented with as they level, this feature is a no brainer.

What do you think about the Adventure Guide? Let us know in the comments below!

This weeks throwback item: Emerald Dragonet Choker

Reza Lackey / Reza is a giant nerd who loves video games, board games, film and way too many other things. Works in the film industry, on some startups and thinks science is cool. Also launches rockets.

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