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.
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:
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
Happy Winter Veil!
I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by! I went to a Christmas party hosted by some friends of mine last weekend and it felt like deja vu, as if there had been no lapse in time whatsoever over the course of the year and I never left the party last year. It was a weird experience, for it was the exact same people attending, in the same locations they were in last year, with those hanging out in the kitchen, out in the backyard and within the front room. Don’t think it was due in part to holiday libations I was enjoying either. I didn’t even have anything to drink up to that point. It just seemed like nothing changed or altered what soever. Time, it seems stood still, and yet we have gone through a while year and are back to celebrating my favorite world holiday within Warcraft, that of Winter Veil!
‘Twas the feast of Great-Winter
And all through the land
All the races were running
With snowballs in hand.
The cooks were all frantic
And for those “in the know”
Swoops and owls were crashing
Like new-fallen snow.
Cookies and eggnog
Were consumed by all
As the snowballs flew freely
And drunks smashed into walls.
May your feast of Great-Winter
Be one merry and bright
And from all here at Blizzard
We wish you a fun night!
I still can fondly recall my first Winter Veil within the game, we had to take on the Grinch, but he was located at a different area, just around the way from where he current is now and he also had a different look or “skin”. It was then that I saw my first land mount that a player was on. It was a Tauren upon his Kodo and everyone within the area who was trying to complete the quest by killing the Grinch had stopped everything and were circled around this one particular player, admiring his spectacularly awesome Kodo mount!
I can recall one Winter Veil where I was particularly “notty”! I amassed a massive collection of snowballs and went into Alteric Valley to pvp, only my true intent was to peg everyone and anyone that I came across once I was at the Alliance “Bridge of Death”. It didn’t matter if it were my fellow Horde or Alliance, everyone was a open target. The thing is, the snowballs had a knock back effect, which as you could imagine caused total havoc to those fighting upon the bridge. Off they plunge below after getting hit! So many players complained on the forums that they eventually removed the knock back effect sadly. It was so much fun to have a snowball fight of epic proportions! I so wish they would restore that feature within the snowballs, for it really added a lot of fun and season flair to pvp, as well as just being playful around the major cities!
It is my wish that all of those who have enjoyed my WoW blog have a very festive Winter Veil and a blessed Christmas and a very peace filled holiday! I am very excited by the coming year for what Blizzard has in store for us! I can’t wait for Warlords of Draenor! I have several writes ups that I have to knock out for the coming year, so come back soon for I will have my next post up possibly later this week if all goes to plan. Until then, watch out for the Abominable Grinch and I hope the Great Winter Father brings you all sorts of wonderful presents under the tree!
Just read the news that Ghostcrawler, aka Greg Street who is the lead class designer will be leaving Blizzard.
I just wanted to make a simple post wishing him all the best.
I still can recall when he first came onto the scene at Blizzard as the new lead class designer, for he was unlike the previous fellow who held the job. He was much more open to communication and dialogue. It was ironic, for we within he WoW community were not even sure if Ghostcrawler was a he or a she. It wasn’t until at Blizzcon did I and everyone learned that GC was in fact a dude. He even made a opening joke about that, something to the effect of saying, “Yes, it is true, I am a hot female” or thereabout.
I may not have always agreed with the direction or design decisions, but that is always the case. Having played within all of the expansions betas, I do know that my feedback, as well as all of the other beta players was always read, evaluated and taking into consideration. There have been some aspects of the Warrior class talents and design that I would especially focus upon, since my main Kernhoof is a warrior. Over the years, those various ideas and proposals have been incorporated into the class. That tells me that Ghostcrawler and the others who work within the class design group really do listen to players feedback.
I wish Ghostcrawler all the best and would like to thank him for his candor and opening with the WoW community over the years, as well as his dedication to making WoW such an enjoyable game.
I /salute you.
For The Horde and For Blizzard!
It has now been a week since I sat within the hollowed halls of the Anaheim Convention Center, attending the seventh Blizzcon. Since then, everyone has been asking me what my thoughts and feelings are in regards to the announcements made about the upcoming expansion, as well as to the vibe that Blizzard gave off over the course of the two days that it was going on.
Having been fortunate enough to have been able to attend all of the past Blizzcons, I would say that it has given me a certain familiarity and underlying awareness as to how this Blizzcon stands in relationships to the previous ones.
First and foremost, I would content that this years Blizzcon was by the the most energetic, enthusiastic and overall encouraging Blizzcon in recent memory. The previous Blizzcon there came across a sense of weariness, defensiveness and an overall lack of energy from the panels. Having said that, I still enjoyed myself greatly and have some great memories from that year. It just seemed that the spark of passion was missing in a broad, overarching sense. It was as if Blizzard was going through the motions per se, so I was actually pleased to learn that there would not be a Blizzcon the following year. That was a smart choice for Blizzard to take, for it allowed them to focus upon their tasks at hand, to continue keep creating and crafting the beloved games that we love and play.
So what about this most recent Blizzcon? The few weeks leading into it, my buddy Matt and I each gave our speculations about where WoW was heading by way of our WoWNewZ podcast. Thursday, after picking up my friends Wisp and Thunder who flew in from Pittsburgh and then getting our Blizzcon tickets discussed over our “traditional” meal over at Denny’s restaurant what we thought Blizzard had in store for us. (As an aside, I had a chicken sandwich, since I have been focused on getting in shape and have lost eighty pounds…so no whole wheat pancakes or waffles this time.)
Friday morning, I woke up at five am, drove down to Anaheim and walked over with Thunder and Wisp to then wait in line for several hours before the doors opened. For those of us who like to sleep in, this might sound like not a whole lot of fun to do, but trust me, it is a lot like sleeping over on the sidewalk in order to watch the New Years Rose Parade in Pasadena. It is all part of the total experience! You never know who you are going to meet, but you know that everyone around, even those who are Alliance, are all friends!
One such Alliance who we struck up a friendly conversation with was with Arixan from Argent Dawn! We were poking fun at the lengths certain individuals were going to get at the very front of the doors. A few had donuts and coffee and made it seem as if they were brining them up to their friends, when in fact it was all just a clever ruse! At some point though, there boxes of donuts being passed through the mass of attendees, to which both Thunder and Arixan partook, I being on my “good behavior” declined, after which Thunder made the joke of saying what if there were poisoned after eating his!
That is one of the great aspects of attending a con, be it a comic, film or gaming con, it really does provide an easy means to make new friends, and so hanging out Friday morning with Arixan was a lot of fun. We were of course talking about all things WoW and Blizzard games, like everyone around us, which made the time pass quickly.
Then, it was time! The doors opened and we were usurer within. Well, more like a sea of bodies cascading within, where once the inner doors of the convention center were open was a mad dash to find the best seats in the main hall where the opening ceremony was to take place.
Sitting there, with Arixan a few people behind us, there was very much a palatable sense of anticipation and feverish buzz. One subtle difference I noticed and mentioned to Thunder was the fact that in all the years past, there was always Blizzard gaming music being played over the hall speakers, where as this year it was more along the lines of dance/trance/electronic genres. I was thinking that this has to be a Blizzards employees personal playlist. There were some cool, groovy songs on his or her collection!
When the founder and president of Blizzard Mike Morhaime came out on stage to do the introductions, the room was electric! He related a simple story of how he was profoundly touched by the unassuming and gentle gesture of a little girl, who came up to him and gave him a hug as a way of saying thank you for the happiness that he and his company have allowed her and so many others to experience.
I have my own Mike Morhaime story that I can share. A few years back, when myself and my friends were leaving the convention, I happened to spy him walking just aways in front of us! I bolted ahead, saying” follow me!” much to the obvious confusion of my friends. ‘Where is Kernhoof leading us now?!” I bet they were saying. Coming up along side Mr. Morhaime, I asked if he might take a moment to sign autographs with us and take a picture. He was so gracious and such a good sport. He took the time to stop and chat with all of us for a bit, his family off to the side. That moment spoke volumes to me about the type of person he is and the character of company that he founded. I am sure he doesn’t recall that particular moment, but for myself and my friends, it made a lasting impression upon us, one that we all cherish.
Rob Pardo was next on stage, relating some of his own thoughts and favorite moments of Warcraft over the years. It really hit me then and there that I have been playing World of Warcraft for nine years now. I still can think back to how excited I was to be within the original beta, it was much like the wonder and excitement of Christmas morning, I still wonder whatever happened to my first WoW in game friend named Wasabi. After the beta ended sadly, we lost contact with one another.
Then Chris Metzen took the stage. One of the past highlights for me at the previous Blizzcon was his “geek out” speech, which would be best summarized as “embrace being a gamer, revel in it and recognize the fact that thee are many other just like you who enjoy computer gaming, comics, fantasy, sci fi and old school, role playing games. We come in all ages, shapes, colors and backgrounds, but we are united by way of common appreciation and passion for the games that we play and enjoy.” I was able to get his and Samwise’s autograph last year, which was so cool to have a moment to shake both their hands and say how much I have approached the story and lore of the game, and how much it had meant to me as a player.
Metzen worked the crowd as only he can. If you have not watched any of the videos of Blizzcon, they are tons posted on YouTube, so after you finish reading this post, so check them out, so as to get a sense of the crowds reaction while he is making the big reveals as to what is next for Warcraft. As I said previously, there was such an energy and a high level of anticipation that I found myself entering into the moment with my own hoots and verbalizations during the “big announcement”. Talk about having a rush!
Oh, before I forget to mention, when they previewed the cinematic for Heroes of The Storm, the place went absolutely bananas! For those who may not be aware, Heroes of The Storm is a new game of Blizzards which will pit all of the various major and much loved characters found throughout all of Blizzards games and pit them against one another. So for example, imagine the Lich King up against Diablo! I don’t want to spoil the ending of the cinematic, suffice to say, it ROCKS!
So what are my thoughts and feelings In terms of the actual announcements made in regards to Warcraft?
I could not be happier!
As I mentioned a moment ago, it is so evidently clear that those working on Warcraft and Blizzard as a whole are really join g for the gusto! They have shown that they are not afraid to make the necessary changes to the game and to my way of thinking are being quite bold in terms of the direction they are taking.
In no particular order, some of the aspects that have me really pumped up about the coming expansion:
Garrisons: I can recall posting about wanting player housing back in 2005, along with a mirdred of others. Over the years, the Blues have said that it is something they would like to have within the game, but only it it were done right. Well, by all intent and purpose, this is player housing done right! I love the ideas that you can have followers who will be able to do professions, dungeons, raids, quests which will help your character, as well as being able to place it anywhere one would like within Draenor. This has been on one of my wish lists for a long time, so to have this finally a reality has made me really pleased.
Bag Space: For anyone who has followed my blog, you know well just how much bag space has been a challenge for me over the years, only to have it reach a critical point this expansion. I have not even played my main Kernhoof very much the last several months, for the simple reason that I do not have any more bag space and will not jettison any more items that I have worked hard to obtain or that are items that are really meaningful and cherished. To learn that heirloom gear, toys and possibly tabards are to all have a similar storage tab akin to the pets and mounts tabs has made me both relieved and ecstatic. I certainly hope that there will be a tabard closet, if not this expansion, then the next, for that would free up eighteen slots alone. So pretty please with Gnomes on top to make that happen!
Speaking of Gnomes, new character models. The preview of the some of the work done thus far looks so impressive. I, along with everyone else within the audience melted when they showed the new rendering and animation of the female Gnome. Absolutely awesome and so adorable! The orcs looks completely fierce, the forsaken look gnarly and the dwarves look as a dwarf should! They did show the Taurens briefly, though not to sound persnickety, I didn’t quite think they looked right to me. The old model looks more fierce and have a bit of grittiness about them. The newer model needs some slight tweaking and adjustment to capture the essence and sublet nuance of the older model.
Out With The Stats: This may seem like more of a “mundane”, under the hood change so to speak, but it will provide a much better and less stressful and confusing element which has hampered players and developers alike. Gone are stats like hit, expertise, dodge and parry. Reforging is also gone. I can’t tell you how often guilds would get a new item, then begin to stress over what has become the complicated process of then adjusting the gear in light of the new upgrade, let alone how much gold was spent to do so. This is such a welcome change and one that I know everyone will be so thankful for once it is in place within the game.
The Overall Story Arc: Having played Warcraft I, II and III, suffice to say that what drew to playing World of Warcraft was the universe and lore. I love the story elements and history of the game, though I am far from being as well informed as say Epic Red Shirt Guy. My contention about Garrosh Hellscream is that the whole mess that we are in currently within the game, has more to do with Thrall’s wrong decision with choosing Garrosh as the Warchief than anything that Garrosh has done per se. I think that this topic is best served as a future post, but suffice to say, I really how the story is being played out that Garrosh escapes imprisonment and goes back to Draenor so as to amass a pure and totally focused Iron Horde, with which to seek revenge and retribution upon the Horde and Alliance.
The Horde: One of the highlights for me was making it to the mic to ask a question at one of the panels. My buddy Thunder somehow manages to be able to get a question off during the Q and A’s after an panel and this year when he said he was going to go up to ask a question, I thought to myself why not join him and see what happens. Well, to my surprise, I got to ask a question, the last question to be asked! The question which I put forth ever so eloquently I might add (totally tongue in cheek here), was about the state of the Horde. Chris Metzen talked about how at the Alliance are now for all intense and purpose a “superpower” while the Horde is in complete disarray and shambles. I asked for a further explanation or to better expound upon the state of the Horde in light of all that has transpired with the ramifications of Garrosh’s defeat and of Vol’jin as our new Warchief. It was answered by none other than Metzen himself, which you can watch allele after the 47 minute mark on the YouTube link at the end of the post.
When I came back home that night, after driving up and logged into WoW to tell my friends and guildies all about Blizzcon, I was flooded with tells from a whole host of folks saying that they saw me while watching the live feed of Blizzcon! What a hoot!
Signatures/Autographs: One of the ‘Traditions” that I would do at ever Blizzcon was to take my program and have the front cover signed by the various Blizzard artists, programers, developers and anyone else who was present at the signing booth that worked upon the various Blizzard games. That has been for me one of the really cool aspects of attending Blizzcon is being able to take a moment and talk with the individuals who are responsible for making one of my hobbies so much fun and so enjoyable.
Sadly, this year, there were no programs to hand out. There was a simple map of the convention floor and an app which was released to take the place of the program. While I can understand and appreciate the cost and environmental cost of there bing no program, I was a bit bummed to not being able to carry on my little tradition. But much to my surprise, Blizzard had something even better in mind. They had little mini posters of their games which they passed out at the various signing booths. I was able to obtain a Diablo and a Hearthstone mini poster and have them signed by the very folks that work on the game. So it was really neat to make my way down the line of the people who worked on the game and spend a moment chit chatting with them. How cool is that!
The icing on the cake though has to be having my Blizzard art book signed by none other than Chris Metzen. Before leaving Friday evening, I happened to take a walk around the floor, where I came across Insight Editions, a book publishing company that published the Blizzard art book I purchased some time back. I stopped a bit and talked with Byron who was manning the booth and he mentioned to make sure to come back tomorrow morning, when Mr. Metzen would be book signing. I was not going to pass up that opportunity, so Saturday, I made sure to drive down early in the morning and stand once again in line with Thunder. Once the doors opened, I made my way back to the book booth, where I had the distinct pleasure of having my book autographed and being able to spend a moment talking with him. Similar to my brief encounter with Mike Morhaime, Chris Metzen is genuine, down to earth and personable. I hope in the future I get the chance to chat with him some more and at greater length. I would love to ask him about some of the D&D adventures he played in.
Obviously there is more that I can write about, but for the sake of brevity I think for now I will end this article and continue it within my next post. Just to finish for now with a final, parting thought was to once more reiterate, not only how much fun I had, but how optimistic I am in terms of where Blizzard is going with Warcraft.
Current Tauren Mode:
Updated, Work-In-Progress Model:
Link: Blizzcon 2013 World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues Panel…I am at the 47:55 Mark)
This week is Blizzcon!!!!
I am really excited to be able to attend once more. I have been very fortunately to have been able to attend all of the past Blizzcons over the years, which have always been really enjoyable and a lot of fun to be in the presence of so many fellow Azerothians!
I will see if I can nab some on the spot interviews with Blizzard employees, which I can share via the WoWNewz podcast I do with my good buddy Matt. Of course I all take pics too.
One of the aspects that I enjoy the most besides hearing what the various Blues and Behind the Scenes “Wizards” have to say about Wow, Diablo and Starcraft, is getting my program signed over at the signing booth.
Last year, I was able to snag the autographs of Chris Metzen and Samwise! It was really groovy to have the opportunity to meet them both. One of the fondest memories I have of any of the Blizzcons was listening to Christ Metzen give a talk about Warcraft Lore. It was both really hilarious in terms his stage persona, while at the same time so fascinating about all of the various aspects of the Lore of the Warcraft Universe.
The one year Matt and I went together, I was able to basically run down Mike Morhaime and get his autograph. He was so gracious and such a good sport about taking the time to chit chat with us, it really made a lasting impression on me.
So if you are also going to be attending Blizzcon this year, I will wear my Miami Dolphins hat, so look for me and say hi!
For The Horde!