Numbers Up, Blizzcon & the Iron Horde
Every time Blizzard announces a drop in subscribers, no matter how many, the internet lights up with some sort of blood lust seemingly excited that this could be the end of the unmistakable king MMO. Lucky for us (or maybe just me) we don’t need to worry about seeing this kind of tedious discussion anytime soon as Blizzard has announced an increase in subscribers by about 600,000 since the Q2 2014 earnings call bringing the current active user count to 7.4 million. This of course can be attributed to the recently released pre-expansion patch, the Iron Tide and even more so to the upcoming expansion which is now less than a month away. With great word of mouth spreading from those who have been active in the Warlords of Draenor beta, it’s a good bet these numbers will continue to rise.
Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide
The pre-expansion patch has been live for about a week and with it comes a ton of changes. Every class and specialization has been touched and tweaked in some way. Check out this survival guide video produced by Blizzard for an overview of the larger changes you’ll see.
The changes to inventory management and the new group finder tool are at the top of my list of favorite new features. Thanks to several new features in how items can be stored and managed, my bags finally have some space for all the new stuff I’m sure to come across in Draenor.
First, all reagents can be stored in the player’s bank in an all new reagents tab where a handy button can be found that deposits all reagents from a players bags into the bank with one click. Further, crafting items will now pull reagents directly from the bank no matter where you are - no longer do we need to have crafting materials on our characters when we want to make something.
In addition, the new toy box feature stores all toys in an account wide tab accessible from the new collections window where you can also find pets and mounts.
Items that are needed for quests no longer reside in bags either, so now you don’t need to pass on quests because you can’t carry something needed for it. Even more, void storage capacity has been doubled so all of the transmog gear you might be carrying around can find a new permanent home. The bank and bags now also have a clean up button where with a press all items are automatically sorted and stacked making organization a snap. You can even go as far as restricting what kinds of items a specific bag can be used for - as an example, one of my bags is for consumables only.
The new group finder feature that is being introduced with this patch is a powerful tool to help players assemble or find groups of others interested in doing just about anything in the game. Now there is an easy way to put groups together for things like classic raids or arena skirmishes without the need to endlessly spam chat channels. It works like this: First, you decide if you want to form a group or join an existing group.
If you decide to join an existing group, you must “sign-up” for it where the leader of the raid or party will receive a ping that you would like to join. The leader may then accept or decline your invite. It’s possible to attempt to join multiple groups at one time in the event that multiple forming groups interest you.
If you decide to start your own group you first need to fill out a few fields to tell the group finder what it is you’d like to do and then your party will be listed for those who search for any matching criteria.
For a full list of all the changes in the new patch, check out the official patch notes here.
Blizzard has posted the two day schedule for this year’s Blizzcon and to no surprise there is a one hour presentation on the upcoming Warcraft film. Duncan Jones, the film’s director, and Chris Metzen will take the stage to discuss the project and hopefully give attendees a peek at what they’ve been cooking up. According to the schedule the presentation will be “packed with surprises.” If I had to guess I’d suspect we’ll see some of the cast and an early look with a short teaser that is probably a more complete version of what was shown at Comi-Con earlier this year. But, here’s hoping we see a whole lot more.
For the full Blizzon schedule visit the official site.
Have you explored the patch yet? What are your thoughts? How do you feel about the new class changes? Let us know in the comments below!