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All Things Warcraft: A New Year

By Reza Lackey on January 05, 2015 | Columns | Comments

A New Year

Happy new year, everyone! It’s hard to believe that it’s already 2015 and that World of Warcraft is entering its eleventh year! There’s many things to look forward to this year, the planned content patches for Warlords and the possibility of the next expansion being announced. While I don’t have high expectations for a new expansion announcement, Blizzard has been strongly suggesting that the development time of future content has been substantially reduced and that work on the follow up to Warlords is well under way. Expansion or not, there’s still a ton of patch content on the way with patch 6.1 hitting the PTR soon.

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Play to Play

In an official post on the WoW site detailing features in development for Warlords, Blizzard stated that they are exploring the idea of selling tradeable game-time tokens to players. Similar to some other MMO’s, these tokens can be purchased outside of the game with real world money and sold to players in game for gold. Now you’ll be able to spend some of your hoarded gold to pay for game-time!

No timetable for this feature was announced in the post and the big question of how much will the token cost and how much game-time will it buy were also left out. I personally think adding this feature to the game would great. I’m having a hard time thinking of any reasons how this could potentially hurt the game. From a business standpoint this feature would help retain customers as it provides a way to essentially play the game for free should you be wealthy enough in-game. It also provides a safe and legit way to purchase gold should you need any in a hurry.

Legendary

In the same post Blizzard stated that the legendary quest line will continue when the Blackrock Foundry raid opens some time in February. The exact date has yet to be decided as they’re waiting to see how progression in the current raid tier continues. In patch 6.1, which may not coincide with the release of the Blackrock Foundry raid, players will be able to earn the first Legendary Follower for their garrison. Who this follower is and what their abilities are is unknown. Perhaps there could be several that players will be able to chose from?

More Garrison Features

It seems that Blizzard has a whole lot more they’d like to add to the Garrison system in Warlords. It’s so great to see them taking this game system and really running with it. Here are some of their plans right from the official post:

Garrison improvements, tweaks, and additions are on the horizon. While we’re working on some bigger additions for later on, we have a lot of other changes and additions you’ll see on the next PTR. We’re working on making visiting your friends’ Garrisons even more rewarding, with a daily visitor to set you and your friends on a fun random task (complete with rewards, Achievements, and a meta-Achievement for finishing all of the tasks). We’ll have awesome new items to spend your Garrison Resources on, new Missions to complete with fun new rewards, new items to change your Followers with, a new tier of Garrison-invasion difficulty for the most tenacious of defenders among you (can your Garrison withstand a world boss?), new profession-building Missions, and a whole lot more!

Two bits from this post stood out to me in particular. The tasks that you and your friends can take on and the new Garrison invasion difficulty that could send a world boss for you to defend against. Not only is it awesome to have a Garrison but it’s even more special when you can invite others into it or visit theirs for gameplay reasons and not just to say “hi.”

It’s really exciting to look forward to and anticipate what Blizzard has planned for the Garrison and Follower system. It’s clear that both are a success and that players are really enjoying them so it will be very interesting to see how much further they’ll take it.

Heirloom Collection

Patch 6.1 will finally bring with it the Heirloom collection tab. It seems that this new system will be similar to the recently added Toy Box and offer an easy way to access all of the Heirloom gear you have purchased on your account. All of your Heirloom gear will automatically be moved into this new Collection system and presumably out of your bag or bank space further alleviating inventory clutter. If the new UI element for this system also shows which pieces you do not have on your account it means one thing, I’ll need to go collect everything just like I’ve been doing with toys thanks to the Toy Box.

Looking Back at BlizzCon 2014

2014’s Blizzcon was quite possibly the best con we have seen from Blizzard so far with tons of announcements, esports events and many great panels including a look at the upcoming Warcraft film. Blizzard recently posted a large gallery of over 700 photos from the con with more than half showing off some of the awesome cosplay. Check out the full gallery here.

What do you think about purchasing game-time with in-game gold? Do you think there is anyway this could hurt the game? Let us know in the comments below!


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