Robin loves RPGs, MMOs, JRPGs, Action, and Adventure games... also puzzle games... and platformers... and exploration games... there are very few games she isn't interested in. When it comes to MMOs she focuses on WoW and GW2 but will pick-up other games as they catch her fancy. She's a habitual returner to FFXIV because that game is an all-around great MMO.
When last we met, we had finished with the end of the Living Story Season 2. The Pact fleet had been destroyed, Caithe had once again absconded with the egg, and we had no idea where any of the members of Destiny’s Edge were, or if they were even alive. We were at least lucky because with the Heart of Thorns teaser we found out Rytlock would be returning, so that was a bit of relief.
We’ve now crossed into the “under a month until launch” threshold for Classic World of Warcraft, so what’s better to do while waiting, other than speculate on the effect it’ll have and look back at some of Beta?
Well, 8.2 has been out for almost a month now, and although it was shaky at first, there have been some improvements. Additionally, season 3 has started, the Mechagon dungeon is open, we’ve had our first week in Azshara’s Eternal palace, and Mythic & LFR difficulties open this week. With the patch in full swing, I thought it’d be a good idea to look at how everything is going at this point and some areas where things still fall a bit short. I’m saving talking about the lore aspects specific to the raid and the Mechagon dungeon for later, though the story in the zones themselves is fair game at this point.
Let’s look at where World of Warcraft 8.2 gets things right and where things are either a miss or just not quite right. There will be some spoilers because the story is a big part of this patch. Now that you’ve been warned let’s start with what’s right about 8.2.
In my last column recapping the story of Guild Wars 2 so far, I left off discussing Scarlet and the role she played in forcing us into direct conflict with Mordremoth. While Scarlet did speed up our confrontation with Mordremoth, she probably did us a favor since he had the potential to be a real pain considering his powers after just one Elder Dragon was killed were already almost enough to do us in. As with before, if you haven’t played through Season 2, this will contain spoilers.
World of Warcraft was the dominating MMO on the scene for years, but in the last decade or so there have been a few other MMOs which have managed to carve out a solid piece of the MMO pie. One of those, Final Fantasy XIV, has seemed to be on a real upswing lately while it feels like World of Warcraft is faltering a bit. The upswing has been steady in the last few years. Since I play both, I thought it would be a good time to look at some of the things I believe WoW could learn from FFXIV.
Back at the beginning of May, I took a look at the first go around of the new Heart of Azeroth questline and some of the early Nazjatar questing. Since then, Blizzard has wiped characters and implemented everything in a way which seems to be more representative of how they will be when 8.2 goes live. With everything having received a fair number of updates, it seemed like a good time to check back in with the PTR. I’m going to stay away from story spoilers mostly, though there will be some minor ones which are unavoidable.
GW2 has only been out since 2012, and we are just a few months shy of it being seven years since then. However, the first tendrils of the GW2 story came with the release of Ghosts of Ascalon in 2009 and then continued in earnest with Edge of Destiny in 2010. There’s also some threads and questions which have only gotten the answers to recently, while others we sort of have an answer to? Let’s take a closer look at the long winding story of GW2 so far.
This past week we not only found out WoW Classic will be live worldwide August 27th, but the Beta test for it has also officially started. There’s no NDA or streaming restriction on this Beta test, as is generally the case with Blizzard, but I’m hopeful this will function as a real Beta where issues which arise can be dealt with before the game goes live instead of Beta being treated more like marketing for their upcoming thing.
Earlier this week Blizzard opened up Nazjatar for testing on the PTR, and since it is another big piece of content coming with 8.2 I wanted to take some time to talk about it. Firstly, much like my post about the Heart of Azeroth changes I’m not going to discuss the story aspects of Nazjatar. I’m mostly focused on how being in the zone feels and if the new elements it brings will help everything stay fresher than it is currently.
Recently ArenaNet talked about how one of the ways they are planning on keeping things feeling fresh is by doing more events between content updates. One example of these events is the no downstate in WvW event they did previously and has recently come back. Now we get our first look at the newest event World Boss Beat Down!
With the release of a ton of information about World of Warcraft Patch 8.2 recently and it being on the PTR now we can finally look at how the new Azerite system will work. Today we'll take a look at how the system works so far and how it may help or hurt the issues we are currently facing.
One of my biggest struggles with World of Warcraft currently is finding stuff to do outside of raiding. I’m pretty much wholly unmotivated when it comes to everything outside the realm of raiding; which is depressing when you consider I was fully engaged throughout Legion. I never felt the grind of leveling my artifact weapons, I was pretty much always enjoying doing what I wanted to get that done. As I’m sitting here waiting for 8.2 I’m wondering, why does everything feel so difficult this time around?
This week there was a blog post from Mike Z, Game Director, to let all of us know a bit more about what ArenaNet’s plan moving forward after the recent layoffs and to give us some idea of what we have to look forward to in Guild Wars 2 moving forward. If you haven’t read it yet you really should because aside from there being some specific things on the horizon there’s also a lot of exciting potentials set forth here.
Recently my guild was talking about all the things in World of Warcraft which have been frustrating us in BfA and the comment “it should get better in 8.2” was made. It seems like many of us are looking forward to the next major patch to improve the game substantially. Plus with 8.1.5 out and Crucible of Storms on the horizon, it seemed like an excellent point to recap some of the things which will have the biggest impact in the 8.2 Rise of Azshara patch.