Warlords of Draenor Release Day

Today is the release of Warlords of Draenor. I am totally excited that it has finally been released, and am very much on board with the storyline and the direction that WoW has taken with this new chapter of the lore and overall narrative.

It has been five months since I have posted anything new here, for that I apologize to those  who come to the site and enjoy my “Kernhoofian” take on things.

Suffice to say that events in my life have been unfolding in a manner which has been both awesome, uncharted and allowing for greater possibilities for not only forward movement personal growth, but also for personal growth.

I have my Collectors Edition of WoD on its way, which I can’t wait to have arrive so I can go through the newly opened portal and take the fight to the Iron Horde.

With that in mind, I will come back over the weekend and sit down and write out a much longer and more detailed post covering some of the aspects from the last five months and how they have fit into gaming/Warcraft for me.

Until then…

Lets take up arms to battle the Iron Horde!!!!!

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Posted in Expansion, WoD | Leave a comment

Chilling…Blizzcon, & Heroes of the Storm Beta

It has been a a couple of months since I have posted, just been busy with the busyness of being busy. I have logged into WoW to say hi to guildies and to do some daily quests, though due to the interim time while waiting for the WoD expansion, there is not too much to “do” per se. I am ok with that, for by the looks of what Blizzard has been revealing and sharing with the community, along with those who are within the WoD beta, it looks like it will be way way way cool! I am so looking forward to this expansion.

Hopefully at some point, I will be able to get into the beta. I was fortunate enough to have played within the original beta, along with all of the other betas. I primary would provide Warrior class feedback, along with some quest feedback and “environmental” thoughts on the lay of the land and mobs/creatures and look/vibe of the particular zone I was within.

The beta I did get into is that of Heroes of the Storm! I will do a much more extensive write up next week, suffice to say, it has been a lot of fun and it will definitely be a game (like Hearthstone) which I will be playing once it is “officially” released.

Lastly, I was able to get a ticket for Blizzcon! Way super excited to be going, for last year (and the previous years) were a lot of fun to be present during the announcements, panels and to soak in the overall “Blizzard” vibe of it all!

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and lovely weather. I will return next week with my thoughts on Heroes of the Storm. Until then…For The Horde!!!

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Posted in Beta Testing, Blizzcon | Leave a comment

The Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent and Grand Expedition Yak Mounts

With the release of every expansion, I take some time to think out my approach to the new content, as well as the the various unique drops such as mounts, fun items, and now non combat pets. I really enjoy questing and making my way through the particular zone that I find myself adventuring in, so I am not one of those who rushes through the content to reach the maxed out level, so as to then go all “hardcore out” in terms of raiding or pvp/arena.

For me, it is the storyline and lore that really engrosses me in terms of WoW, so I take my time to read through every quest write up and what the various npc’s have to say and relate. It is only after I have cleared out all the quests for a particular zone that I would then move on to the next zone and new quests available. Once that is all completed in terms of the total zones of the new expansion, then I go about getting into raiding and pvp/arena.

Once those “end game” aspects are well worked on, where as I have decent gear and whatnot, I then go about pursuing the various unique mounts, fun items and pets. For example, during the Lich King expansion, it was the ever rare and illusive Time-Lost Proto drake that I patiently hunted for every day, until finally I was able to obtain him. To me, that is fun! It is all about the thrill of the hunt!

Within the current Mists expansion, there are a few mounts that I have been working towards. Two of them I have secured, one is still allusive, though I imagine he will be mine soon enough given some time and luck. The two that I went for and now have are the Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent and the Grand Expedition Yak. The Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent was quite the challenge, which I obviously enjoy. You must first obtain a total of ten Skyshards which you combine to form a single Sky Crystal, which then allows you to remove the intolerable bubble surrounding Alani, the Ruby Cloud Serpent flying over the Eternal Vale. Obtaining this beautiful mount is not for the fainthearted, for it will take much time and a lot of effort to gain all ten Skyshards. Though once you do, you will be rewarded with your very own way super gnarly Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent.

The good thing about going for the Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent first is that you will make a lot of gold through the mob drops that you take out in order to try to acquire the Skyshards. A tremendous amount of gold is needed in order to purchase the big, fluffy and lovable Grand Expedition Yak! You can purchase him from Uncle Bigpocket, a very kindly Grummy who will let you him for $108,000 gold if you have the Guild Perk Bartering. While it sounds like an astronomical amount of gold, it will come fast enough by way of doing both your regular zone quests, as well as daily quests. Also, all of the mob npc’s that drop loot will fill your purse with an abundance of gold, so just be patient and don’t go buying items on the Action House. In no time, you will have enough gold to purchase your very own fetching and adorable Grand Expedition Yak.

Just as an aside, I love the Grummies. Something about them makes me always smile and puts me in a good mood when I come across them. I very much really find them a fun and cool addition to the feel and vibe of the world. There is a music video by WoWCrendor, called the Luckydo Rap, which is so full of win!

So go get your own Thundering Ruby Cloud Serpent and Grand Expedition Yak. It is so worth it! Good luck and may the Earth Mother bless and keep you!

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Posted in Achievements, Mounts | Leave a comment

Excited By Upcoming WoD Warrior Class Changes

Back in January of this year, I wrote a post about some aspects of changes that I was hoping for in terms of what we will see happen within the (Arms) Warlords of Dreanor expansion.

Recently, there has been some new information released in regards to specific alterations taking place throughout the various classes. In looking over the list of modifications and reworking of the Warrior class, Arms spec in particular, I have to say not only how impressed I am by what the Dev’s are doing, but I think it is a positive movement forward overall in terms of the class design.

What we know so far, along with my two coppers within parentheses.

Upcoming Warrior Changes:

Battle Shout now lasts 1 hour and no longer generates Rage. (Good Change, nice to no longer have to be micro managing the buff duration of Battle Shout)

Berserker Rage no longer generates Rage or increases Physical damage dealt. (Seems kinda strange, why was this altered?)

Berserker Stance has been removed. (I rarely used this stance while in Arms, so fine with me)

Cleave has been removed. (Nice pruning, I didn’t even have Cleave on my Action Bars)

Commanding Shout now lasts 1 hour and no longer generates Rage. (Makes sense, glad it has a long duration)

Demoralizing Banner has been removed. (Banners seemed more of an afterthought to me, they need to be reworked still, having said that I rarely ever used Demoralizing Banner, so good riddance)

Hamstring is now a passive ability that causes Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Revenge, and Raging Blow to also reduce the target’s movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds. (Nice, glad another ability is removed from the Action Bar…very happy about this)

Rallying Cry is no longer available to Protection Warriors. (I actually make use of this while in raids as an Arms Warrior, so glad it is not being totally removed)

Recklessness is now available only to Fury and Arms Warriors. (Makes sense, I am ok with this)

Skull Banner has been removed. (Again, I rarely made use of this particular Banner, fine with me)

Throw has been removed. (Throw does seem to have a use every so often, so I would like this to remain)

Thunder Clap is no longer available to Fury Warriors. (Makes sense, I am ok with this)

Whirlwind is now available only to Fury Warriors. (As an Arms Warrior, I am ok with this change, helps to make Fury feel unique and difference from Arms)

Charge now Roots the target (instead of stunning). (I can understand why this change is taking place, but I am still opposed to it, this has been a core ability of the Warrior design, so my wish is that it would be left as it is)

Disarm has been removed. (Happy with this change)

Intimidating Shout now has a 6 sec duration in PvP. (Too much CC in PvP, so I am ok with this, just as long as they keep all class CC down across the board as well.

Haste has long been a problematic stat for Warriors, usually being of little value. As part of our commitment to ensuring all secondary stats are valuable (except Bonus Armor for non-tanks and Spirit for non-healers, of course), we’re making a significant change to Warriors, to ensure that Haste has strong, competitive value. We’re giving all Warriors a new passive, which lets haste affect their global cooldown, and the cooldowns of their very-short-cooldown rotational abilities. (Finally! I have disliked Haste ever since it was introduced, for it just never did anything for our class per se, so quite happy to see a total reworking of how it will benefit us. Thank you!)

Draenor Perks for Arms Warriors:

Improved Charge – Increases the range of Charge by 10 yards.
Improved Heroic Leap – The damage radius of Heroic Leap is increased by 2 yards.
Enhanced Sweeping Strikes – Sweeping Strikes now lasts 5 sec longer.
Improved Mortal Strike – Increases the damage of Mortal Strike by 20%.
Enhanced Slam – Increases the radius of the splash damage dealt by Slam while Sweeping Strikes is active by 3 yards.
Improved Overpower – Increases the damage dealt by Overpower by 20%.
Improved Die by the Sword – Increases the damage reduction from Die by the Sword by 10%.
Empowered Execute – Increases the damage of Execute by 50%.
Improved Colossus Smash – Colossus Smash now generates 10 rage when hitting a target.

I really like what they are doing here in terms of adding “value” and ‘capability” to ones toon. Now, when a player levels up from 90-100, there is unlocked a new random Perk to be gained. It is a brilliant way to address the sense of making a player feel like there is something actually being gained when leveling, as well as a further enhancement to the ability of the class itself. This is a really interesting, fun and cool design approach, so kudos to the Dev’s for implementing it.

There will be obviously more changes taking place, for that is the nature of the working of a pre release of an expansion. This expansion is looking to be one that I am really jazzed about, from gaining more open bag space to the really epic garrisons that they are including, along with the overall storyline of going back to Draenor, I just can’t wait to run amok and carry forth of a whole host of new misadventures!

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A Game Tip I Didn’t Know!

Even though I have been playing WoW for a long, long time, I am still learning things in terms of how to better play my class, nuances in terms of game play, as well as those little aspects of the game that seem obvious to all, though they are in truth not readily know.

A prime and perfect example of this is something that I learned earlier this week from my buddy Tabarnac, who rocks in PvP and Arena let me tell you! Unbeknownst to me, you can have up to three “currencies” showing up in your primary backpack, where your gold is “stored” and shown. I never knew this! Did you know this? Holy Moo Moo!

Tabarnac gave the simple instructions on how to make them show up and in no time at all, I added PvP honor, Conquest and Warforged Seals.

It is super simple! Here is how you do it…

1. Open your Currency tab

2. Left Click upon the particular Currency you would like to show up in your Primary Backpace.

3. You may choose up to three Currencies.

Now, if you just want to quickly view how much of any particular currency you have acquired, it is just as easy as clicking upon your primary backpack!

How cool is that!

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Hi, I Am A Hoarder

Hello, I am Kernhoof…I am a Hoarder…

Can’t wait for the expansion to be able to have bag space. I certainly hope they do add in tabard storage as well.

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Posted in Loot and Items | Leave a comment

Happy Valentines Day and AV Getting Some Love???!!!!

Kudos to Blizzard!

I learned a few days back that there are changes to AV that are within the current PTR. One of the “unofficial” changes that has been made has to do with the Horde base, whereby the Alliance will no longer be able to jump over our wall!!!!

Holy Moo Moo! Earthmother be praised!

This has been something that I (and my other Horde players) have been asking for years! Ironically my last Kern blog post dealt with changes to AV that would help balance out AV to make it more fait for those of the Horde in taking on the Alliance.

Here are some screenshots of the changes made:

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I am SO excited and pumped up to see these changes being made. Credit is given where credit is due and the Blizzard Dev’s deserve both acknowledgement and recognition for listening to players feedback and implementing changes into the game that are rightly called for.

Thank you!

It means a lot to the player bases to know that the Dev’s do listen to us. I have made mention of the fact in previous posts that the Dev’s really do take player feedback into consideration and adjust the game and game design. I have seen this firsthand by easy of the WoW betas that I have been fortunate enough to participate in throughout the years.

For this expansion I basically have taken a long break from PvPing, following the more “chill” and relaxed vibe of the Panderian culture and way of life. Though I have found myself feeling the call to get back into the fray against the Alliance come Warlords of Draenor!

Lastly, I want to wish everyone a very happy Valentines Day, with plenty of flowers, chocolates and romance! For those of us adventuring within the lands of Azeroth, we have been celebrating the Love Is In The Air holiday. If your like me you have been trying everyday on multiple alts to acquire the Big Love Rocket. I have been trying for this mount for several years now. Perhaps this year will be the one in which you and I finally obtain it!

One of my favorite quest chains within Pandaria involved Riko, a Hozen who is smitten by the Foresaken Rogue Kiryn. If you have not played through the quest chain, especially for those who may play Alliance, make a Horde toon to check out this epic romance unfold!

Just as an aside, Riko even took part within the Siege of Orgimmar so as to not only help defeat Garrosh and help the Horde forces, but to also impress Kiryn! Now that is true love indeed!

Wishing everyone a very “Tom Jones” Valentine/Love Is In The Air!

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Posted in Game Design, PvP, World Events | Leave a comment

AV Balanced? I Think Not

PvP is one of of the aspects of playing Warcraft that I really enjoy a lot. Sadly, it is not something that I have done much within this current expansion. Mainly because I have been focused playing more through the PvE side of things, while leveling several alts up to 90, so as to finally give them some much needed love.

I even sold all of my PvP gear to make room for the various toys/fun items that have been added throughout all of Pandaria. Sad I know! I still have a ways to go to complete the 250,000 honor kill achievement, which has been one of my long terms goals since the devs first added it into the game. Once Warlords of Draenor is released, it will solve one of the biggest and most longstanding hindrances for me enjoying the game fully, that of bag space! With the toys and other such items made to go into a new storage closet (please make it so for Tabards as well, I beg of this!) I will get back to PvPing.

The coming expansion also lends itself to more of a PvP vibe. What I really enjoyed about this expansion was the fact that there was no major world catastrophe that needed our immediate attention. I was very much feeling like Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles film, when he shows his exasperation during the pre movie interview, when he declares, “I just cleaned up this mess. Can we keep it clean for ten minutes?” It was a nice, much needed break. I greatly appreciated the “slow down” mentality of the Pandarian culture, though with the rise of the Iron Horde, it will be time to get back into the fray and get my “Bloodthirsty” title.

So, what does this all have to do with Alterac Valley or AV for short? Well, there is going to be a massively cool new battleground released with the new expansion and I can not wait to get into just such a battleground that will feel truly epic once again! Long story short, the battle will last hours. It will be what AV once was. Av was my favorite battleground because it actually felt like this massive, impactful battle being waged! Not some “lets lose and get it over with for fast honor lawlz” as it is now within its current and sadly lacking monumental incarnation. I so wish for the dev’s to go back and make AV what it once was, with a long drawn-out battle waged, with a prodigious number of npcs all over the map. I so miss the grand scale of epicness of what Alterac Valley once was.

What brought about this article for the week was the release of statistical data about the win loss ratio for both the Horde/Alliance within the Battlegrounds and a corresponding comment by one of the Blizzard Dev’s saying how there is no real favoritism within the Battlegrounds in terms of map layouts or design implementations. Good thing I was not drinking my green tea at the time when I read that, for I would have “phhhhssttt” it all out!

What came immediately to mind when reading that statement was AV. All the hours upon hours of playing AV throughout the years has made it evidently clear that there definitely is a favoritism towards the Alliance. A few years back, I came across an article that included  different pics taken from AV that highlighted the very key aspects of how AV is favored towards the Alliance. I downloaded the various images and kept them as a good reference point so as to clearly show in a very easy fashion what myself and many others within the Horde community have been expressing for so long throughout the years of Alliance favoritism within AV. Granted, these are now several years old, but the crux of the particulars are still very much valid.

Thus, one of my long standing desires of AV game design changes which I very much would like to see are:

1. Make it so the Alliance can no longer jump over our wall to get into our base.

2. Change the Horde guard towers so they are open, thus allowing our guards to shoot at Alliance when trying to take them.

3. Allow for the Horde guards to be able to be positioned, so as to be better suited to agro Incoming Alliance, as well as range guards to be able to shoot as Alliance move throughout our Horde base.

4. Bring back components of the old AV that made it so epic. Restore the multiple npcs that gave it such an interesting flavor and feel. Allow it to feel like an actual battle again, not just some mad dash to the finish line.

I know Blizzard only has so much time and resources to work on the various aspects of the game. Obviously, I want the game (and story) to move ahead, though having said that, there are some aspects of previous game designs and features that I contend would be good to go back and make some adjustments/additions to, AV being one of them.

AV “balanced”? I certainly don’t think so, but regardless it is still one of my favorite battlegrounds within the game. Hopefully at some point a few of these changes can implemented.

Until them, For the Horde and For the Frostwolfs!

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Posted in Game Design, PvP | Leave a comment

WoW Loyalty Program For Long Standing Players

A few days ago, I came across an article on WoW Insider entitled Should WoW have a customer loyalty program?, which gave me some pause in thinking. As mentioned within the various comments, other mmo’s have similar reward systems in place to honor those who have been a loyal player, so why not incorporate it within WoW. I think that raises a great question, one that I have thought of from time to time, even having discussions over guild Vent about having such a reward system in place when we have celebrated in game the WoW anniversaries over the years.

Obviously, as one who has played since launch (original beta if you want to be exact), I would totally welcome this type of aspect into the game. It goes with a simple business lesson I learned years ago when I worked for Trader Joe’s. You want to keep your returning customers happy, for they are the ones that come into the store on a regular business and are the lifeblood of the store. Sounds simple, but there really is straggly and method to ensuring that the loyal customers remain loyal. The same holds true for any company, including Blizzard.

It goes without saying that there must have been thought out the years a lot of internal discussions about what type of “perks” or things would be available for those who would qualify as one who was a long standing player if such a system was put in place. Obviously, special mounts, tiles, gear, non combat pets, tabards, toys are all simple categories that come to mind. Maybe a unique structure for one garrison. Perhaps a special quest line involving certain racial faction leaders or certain historical figures of the Warcraft canon. There are a lot of really interesting, fun and cool things that could be put in place for such players.

I think at this point after playing for so many years continuously, it really would rock to see Blizzard implement it within the game. There are enough of us to warrant such a loyalty program. Obviously, it would open up to those players who would play long enough to met the requirement to take part within it, so there would be yet another incentive for players to keep enjoying the game. It’s high time for Blizzard to introduce such a welcomed perk as a sign of thanks for those who have been so steadfast and constant to WoW.

I, for one would love to see it happen!

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Warrior Wants For Warlords Of Draenor

Hopefully everyone has had a wonderful and blessed Christmas and a festive New Year. Now that the holiday season has come to a close, daily life has returned to its more normative state and with that, I can once again spend some time in writing out some thoughts I have had for a while now in regards to what changes and alterations I would like to see the Warrior class procure within the upcoming expansion.

In no particular order here are some aspects of change I hope for:

1. Rage Generation-While I can appreciate the dev’s adjusting the rage mechanic so that there is no longer the “feast or famine” spectrum that was par and parcel of how Warriors lived with the unique resource that rage is, it really needs to be tweaked so that the mechanics works with a much better flow. As a decently geared level 90, quite often I feel rage starved. I understand the reality that rage, similar to energy or mana is a resource to be managed though it seems to me as I have played my Warrior over the course of this current expansion that there is an erring too much upon the side of rage containment.

What is a solution? Why not take a step back and allow for one of the original properties of how we gained rage be reinstated, that of obtaining rage when having damage delt to us. I can fully appreciate the tricky balancing act that the rage mechanic encapsulates and how it can sway too far one way or the other in terms of too little or too much rage. I just believe that at this point and time it needs to be honestly examined at by the dev’s going into the expansion and adjusted or reconditioned the mechanic so as to make it a more enjoyable and less frustrating class mechanic.

2. Healing-While there are three healing talents to choose from currently within our talent tree, I would argue that Warriors need a minor boost within this particular area. Earlier on at the beginning of the Pandaria expansion, I noticed that Bloodhoof Village was under attack by an Alliance. Obviously, I went to go check out what was going on and to see if I could lend my steel to help ward off the particular Alliance aggressor. It was one lone Paladin who was running amok. I figured that I would go down swinging, since there was no other Horde who was there to lend assistance, let alone a healer who could provide me the heals necessary to take on the Paladin and potentially win.

But something happened which was unexpected! To my utter amazement and ecstatic, unabashed joy I found that I was going toe to toe with the Paladin in a solo fight! This was a battle royale! We fought for over fifteen minutes. I remember looking at the in game clock right as I landed to engage him just on a whim to see how long I could last against him. Holy Moo Moo! We fought back and forth for over fifteen glorious minutes!!!! I would get him down and he would heal back up. He would get me down and I was able to heal back up. IT WAS SO AWESOME to finally feel like a Warrior again. Meaning that the victory could go to either player, but it was in a very tangible sense all about “skill”. I can’t answer for what was going through the mind of that Paladin player, I suspect he was nerd raging over the fact that I was not going down and actually not only holding my own but giving it to him in return. When I finally landed the killing blow, he must have been utterly incredulous!

I relate this totally stupendous moment not to gloat over the fact that I actually, finally beat a Paladin, but to highlight the fact that what allowed me to do so and to do so with so much glorious fun and full relish of battle was being able to go up against a Paladin in solo combat and potentially win. It goes without saying that soon after there was a nerd to Warrior heals, for the community of players practically had a meltdown with this utterly ridicules and preposterous notion that Warriors could be self sufficient in a one to one fight.

As much fun as it was to plant my Flag of Ownership in that Paladins back, it really didn’t matter per se. What was so awesome was that I could go toe to toe and finally have a “fair” fight in a sense. I am not looking to be overpowered or “A-Number 1″, but my hope is that Warriors can be provided with an innate, perhaps passive healing talent along with which ever particular healing talent we choose from our class talent tree.

Allow us to be more self sufficient and to be feared on the field of battle.

3. Nix Redundant Abilities-It goes without saying that this will happen, for the dev’s have made mention of it for quite some time now, both before Blizzcon and on numerous postings afterwards. Sunder Armor and Cleave are my top choices off the bat. I don’t even have these on my action bar to be honest. Obviously, I am sure there will be some pruning of abilities, so it will be interesting to see which ones are kept and which go poof.

4. Warrior Banners-I remember when banners were originally announced to the Warrior community and there was a mixed response as to those who thought that the idea was interesting and cool and those who thought it was lacking and unimaginative. I was “ok” with us getting banners, though I think there needs to be a refinement and modification to the banner system per se in so far as at least visually.

Why not have the banners fly upon our back. That would look way wickedly badass! Back in the days when playing Warcraft 2 and 3, there were units that had banners positioned on their back, even within the Seige of Orgimmar you have Orcs that have banners upon their back. Visually it is really cool and impressive and would give Warriors a feel and vibe of being more “Warriorish.”

On a side noteI would love to see Heroic Leap adjusted a bit to allow us to make use of it in a more free fashion in various environments.

5. Duel Wield as an Arms Warrior-Why do you ask? Simple! I have some weapons that I would like to not only be able to wield so as to show of, but to be able to use them for fun.

As an Arms Warrior it makes no sense as to why I can not equip my Twin Blades of Azzinoth. Moreover, I have Thekal’s Grasp and Arlokk’s Grasp. I spent so much time farming for them back in the day that I would like to enjoy them within the spec that I play.

I think that those who choose to play Arms will be smart enough to know that our primary weapon is a two hander. This is an outdated mechanic, which places a hindrance or unfounded limitation on our class. It is high time to remove this weapon impediment and allow us to enjoy our hard won weapons.

6. Uniqueness-What is unique and different about the Warrior class these days? I remember when wearing plate provided us with a larger hit point pool. I remember when as an Arms Warrior, I could reduce the healing of my opponent by Mortal Strike which was an exclude and distinctive Arms ability. With there being so much class homogeneity we have lost that element which provided us as playing the Warrior as something which felt distinct and contrasting to the other classes. We need something fun, distinctive and class specific to retain that which has been lost.

Suffice to say, I love my Taruen Warrior. Realistically, no matter what happens to the Warrior class within the expansion, for better or worse, I will be playing my Warrior as my “main” just as I always have. While I have leveled up other classes to 90 and do enjoy their particular play style, it is my Arms Warrior Kernhoof who is the cornerstone of my WoW playing experience.

I am eagerly anticipating this upcoming expansion and have been totally jazzed for it since attending Blizzcon. When the expansion is finally released, you can bet that my beloved Warrior will be representing the embattled Horde charging ahead upon the lands of Draenor against those of the Iron Horde!

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Posted in Class Design | Leave a comment