Friday, August 29, 2014

Warlords of Draenor, the Backstory

During the big announcement on August 14th, Blizzard provided us a glimpse into the background of one of the Warlords, Kargath and how he came to lead the Shattered Hand clan.

Last week (8/21), Blizzard posted a great short story by Robert Brooks, Hellscream. This short story starts off a few days after the events of War Crimes.
Kairozdormu had advised him to expect a few strange discoveries. I've spent my life studying the timeways. If you try to count and compare blades of grass, you'll drive yourself mad, he had said. My plans require a few… favorable conditions, and we'll find them here. This is the perfect timeway for us. Not a perfect mirror image, but perfect nonetheless.
Read the full story online here, or download the PDF.

I found the story shed light on a few items. I think you'll really enjoy getting some further insight into some of what is going on in before we show up in Draenor.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why NOT Grommash? (as end boss of Warlords)

During Blizzcon 2013 and a few weeks ago, Tom Chilton has let us know that the 'end-boss' of Warlords is going to be Grommash Hellscream. This caused a bit of outrage as people also heard "not another Orc" as the end-boss. Some are translating this to "not just any orc" or "not just an (single) orc" to justify Grommash as the end-boss. If you look at the story leading up to where we are now, Grommash actually makes sense.

In our timeline (with spoilers from War Crimes):
  1. Grommash, father of Garrosh, kills Manroth and finally ends the Orc's (self inflicted) demon blood infection.
  2. Garrosh, "saved" by Thrall in Nagrand comes back to Orgrimmar to see what his father helped build.
  3. Garrosh is recruited as a military leader during the fight against the Lich King.
  4. He comes home to a hero's welcome and takes over as Warchief Pro Tempore while Thrall helps elementals. Deathwing happens.
  5. Garrosh goes a little power crazy.
  6. Garrosh is put on trial, then escapes before judgement is declared. 
  7. With help of Wrathion and Kairoz, he escapes to the past; to a time when Orcs were powerful and full of potential. 
  8. Garrosh's influence helps divert the initial 'incident' of drinking of the blood. Encouraging Dad to seek power, not slavery.
  9. Garrosh get's dealt with some how (in WoD); probably a scenario, I'd really hope he wouldn't rate as a WoD dungeon or raid boss. 
  10. Grommash see's how evil we (i.e. from Garrosh's Azeroth) are and wants to avenge his son's death. 
  11. He unites the clans and plans to send them through the new dark portal. 
Now from the "in action" video that Blizzard put out, you can spot multiples Warlords.

2:15 and 4:32 - Guldan? Warlock spells, horns.
3:09 - Blackhand?
3:12 - Giant Orc with blade hand, Kargath's influence.
4:34 - Killrogg? (it's long-shot and only a flash on screen).

Sadly, I haven't done anything in the Beta, otherwise, I would probably know the answers to who all these people are. I believe we'll level through the various zones in Draenor, opening up our garrison and the various dungeons in these areas.

Am I disappointed that it's Grommash?  No. Would fighting Wrathion or Kairoz be better choices? Not really sure. We've had dragon bosses before. We've killed Deathwing, now Wrathion is going to avenge his dad?? Or maybe Chromie helps us as we flit through time chasing Kairoz ending in an epic battle.

(not me)

End dream sequence. WotLK and following expansions never happened. We return to Azeroth and find that we're still fighting the Burning Crusade.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blizzard Robin Williams Memorial

Over the weekend the Robin Williams memorial character came up on Twitter. Personally, I think their revealed model is a bit Uldum, but maybe he can make a special appearance somewhere else in the game.

From the conversation, it came up that this NPC should have something to share from his immense filmography.

Me, spinner of tangled webs, thought at first that that this Genie, should pass out a nice flying carpet mount. Having only a single tailor, I thought it would be awesome if this was a non-tailor specific mount. They already have the model, but could color this one differently than the 2 already in game. Sadly, I didn't think this would happen.

As with the last celebrity in-game character (Mr. T and his mohawk grenade) it was a short-term item. I felt if Blizzard added this mount it would probably be treated more like Halloween and the flying broom. There for a week, then gone.

This got me thinking, how about a pet. Blizzard seems to love pets. Pets are everywhere and everyone can have hundreds of them. How about a "carpet" theme'd pet? I personally love the looping animation of the "spirit of" dragonkin. How about a mini-carpet pet that does flips randomly as he is flying around you?

This morning, I started thinking, hmm, genie needs a lamp. Maybe a mini-quest, or maybe sitting right near him. I'd love to make interacting with this lamp (mouseover and little gear pops up) do something like Mr. T's did. I was thinking about costume changes like the Blingbot, but they'd be the other 'Robin' models that WoWHead data mined. As with the 'Dressed to Kill' buff, it would only stick around 2-hours or until your first death.

Long shot ideas for Genie. 
  • He sells a new tailoring pattern for a flying carpet that's BOE. 
  • Genie has a monkey pet for sale, that wears a little hat. 
  • Genie quotes various one-liners from various movies.
  • Genie breaks out in song, tap shoes and starts singing...
  • Something else that uses trademarked material directly from the movies..

As a memorial for a comedian, there is a lot of material that could be covered. I think Blizzard's choice on "Genie" model versus Mork, Patch Adams, or Adrian (Good Morning Vietname), etc. is a great choice. They will have a ton of PG material to work from and hopefully not get in trouble with Disney. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Legendary Acquired!

In the 8 something years playing Warcraft, this is my first Legendary. The single reason why this was possible is the LFR. Without the LFR, I wouldn't been able to get into enough raids to gather the stones, secrets and runestones to complete the quest chain.

Last weekend, I had 11 of the 12 necessary Titan Runestones. With this, I only queued up for Halls of Flesh-Shaping and luckily I got my last stone from the first boss (Durumu). Lei Shen was easy as usual. Quick three bosses and back to talk to Wrathion. Purple i600 cape is now on my back.

Challenge of the Celestials. Ugh. Not easy, but not the green fire PITA. I was able to finally win the fight after about 7 tries. In this you have to fight Wrathion. Void walker as my tank, all buffed up, ring the gong (like in proving grounds) and get yourself ready. He has some attack that the VW soaked up for me. The one item that I had to avoid was the lava pools that he'd spawn. If I pulled them off my VW, the pools would chase me down, getting faster and faster. Stun, aoe pools as quickly as possible. I found standing as the very edge of spell range, I was able to avoid most of the pools. Wrathion runs around the Jade Temple a bit, so you will end up taking down the pools. Second phase, he splits into dozens of spirit doubles, like second dungeon boss of Scholomance. Little AOE (rain of fire) on each and they disappear. Kill a few and they do some aoe damage at roughly 300k-400k health. So cast your AOE, then backup, go back to see how many left. You may have to respawn your VW. Good thing, those duplicates won't move to hunt you down, so sit under Yu'lon and do as you need. When all the spirit doubles are dead, you'll need to have your VW right there to pick up Wrathion again. He runs pretty fast to you if he's not picked up quickly.

You win this fight and you're now in the home stretch. Fight all 4 celestials is the final step. I was really happy to hop into oQueue and find a group planning on doing this very quest. There were three (warlock, priest and mage) of us that stuck through all 4 fights, pulling in new people as they dropped from each round. Within the hour, we had all down and legendary cloak on my back. Queue for Garrosh fight and entire chain was complete.

Now that I can successfully bridge the gap in Timeless Isles, it's time to take down Ordos. Multiple attempts and then finally, we all stacked at his feet, quickly taken down. While on that side of the island, I realize that there's a chest I haven't opened yet. This chest is deep inside Ordo's sanctuary surrounded by 92 and 93 level elites. After a few attempts I was finally able to access it.

When you die on this side, you  re-spawn on the green circle. Mounting up here, I was able to run all the way around to the end of the line. Here I died because of all the ordos followers that I've managed to aggro. Soulstone or corpse run and revive in that back corner. From here, I had one summoner (ugh) and one of those giant fire elemental dudes. I had a an alliance mage killing off all the wandering npcs. I only had to kill off the ones immediately around me. Once the ones closest to the chest are taken out, it's possible to open the chest without aggroing anything else. To escape, I ran back out and jump off the cliff into the ocean below. This did net me yet another Burden of Eternity. According to Mr Robot, I used it to replace the 522 necklace that I had been wearing since patch 5.2.

Friday, August 15, 2014

More Dungeons in Warlords?

Based on this interview at GamesCom, it appears that Blizzard may be excited about bringing 5-man dungeons coming back a bit more. With MoP, I personally was disappointed that the scenarios tended to be more useful (while at max level) than dungeons. It sounds like the focus will be moved back to dungeons (regular, heroic, timewalker dungeons (aka downscaled older TBC dungeons)).

Personally, I loved the dungeon experience in Wrath. You'd level up a little bit, then end the zone with a quest to run a dungeon. In Wrath this was hard because you had to spam chat to gather people for the dungeon. Remember, no Random Dungeon Finder back then. Looking at some of the beta videos, it looks like that is what's going on. For example:

What do you think? Are you going to miss the quick scenarios?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Warlords Release Date of 11/13/2014

If you missed the big reveal today at 9:30 PDT.

First we got to see the new animated backstory for one of the Warlords.

(Definitely not a fluffy, goody-goody panda backstory)

Then they shown us something akin to the Blizzcon announcement.

Finally ending 40 minutes later with the cinematic

(where's Garrosh's influence?)

Like with the Blizzcon Virtual Ticket, I missed the first 3-4 minutes of the announcement. A couple browser refreshes and it leveled out.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Quest for Green Fire Continues

This morning I decided to give the Green Fire quest line another try. I believe I was approximiately i505 last time I attempted, today Elk is sporting a 535 level gear.

This time was completely different. Elk was able to burn through the giant baby head in no time at all. Howl of Fear on the Lost Souls. Gateway across center to give a second avoidance of them. One interrupt of the AOE, but mostly just stayed far back. Soul Leech provided all the healing for the fight. One healthstone in my pocket, just in case..

What I hadn't considered was what came next. The scenario continues up until you fight the big boss Kanrethad Ebonlocke. I had watched a few of the strat videos, and read some strategies, but hadn't actually thought it would continue on.. Top it off, I didn't give myself enough time to research and complete the Ebonlocke fight. A few attempts, where I managed to die on his first chaos bolt, one time I had a soulstone and revived from it, to die from a swarm of imps.

Now that I know I can easily beat the bouncing baby head, I'll try it again; sooner this time.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Funny

I have been enjoying the CarBot WoWCraft cartoons! This 3-part series actually made me laugh out loud.

Taming MOAR Pets

WFH means Work Warcraft From Home Monday was a work from home kind of day, so I worked on a little project of my own. I saw this on Twit...