Fate of Theramore

I am slow getting the news sometimes.  I don’t read the big WoW news sites like I used to, they are blocked at work and at home, I’d rather spend that time playing the game.

So though it’s been in the news for some time now, I just found out that in MoP the Alliance city of Theramore will be captured by the Horde which will fuel the Horde vs. Alliance war again.  Apparently, the appearance of Deathwing was too much of a distraction for the Alliance leaders to be aware that they lost Southshore to the Horde in that expansion.

The loss of Theramore however, seems far more detrimental to me.  The only Alliance city you can portal to that isn’t on an island in Northern Kalimdor, Theramore was a nice waypoint for the Alliance to get to and from Kalimdor easily, the boat there was nice too.  This was good for those that aren’t level 85 and can’t port to Mt. Hyjal or Uldum.  Blizzard’s decision to have the Horde capture Theramore is a bold move.  My gut reaction is…”What is the Alliance going to capture?”  I was kinda pissed that though there’s supposed to be this war that will be triggered, where are my toons?  Why isn’t Elgar running off to help save Theramore??

Then the idea hit me… instead of just Blizzard deciding the fate of Theramore, it would be awesome if the players could decide the fate.  After patch 5.0 rolls out, Theramore should be a daily quest hub, that month before MoP is released should be the time of final decision of the fate of Theramore.  Make it a daily quest hub for Alliance and Horde players where the Horde are on the assault and the Alliance on the defense…make PvP quests as well.  Basically, make it feel like the setting of the war and make the outcome variable.

If through the number of daily quests completed the Horde and Alliance could shift the battle, right up to release date, that would really give a feel of war.  Which ever faction completed the most daily quests (or some other point system) by the time the release for MoP would happen they would gain or keep Theramore in the expansion.  This would be a per server outcome.  Either way, the war would escalate feelings leaving into MoP and the difference per server would be if Theramore belonged to Horde or Alliance.

I know people will say well if the population leans heavy one way or the other that will be the outcome, well, so be it.  There will be some that easily keep or gain Theramore and there will be servers where it is very close.  This type of event helps build server community as well.  There could even be a special event boss to kill a commander on the other side, they would drop loot that would be big upgrades easy in the last month (think of the elemental invasions).  This would really give the server a feel of battle.  In the end, Blizzard ends up with two different maps for Dustwallow Marsh that are implemented on a per server basis, but it would give a really awesome feeling when you went there, knowing you earned to keep/gain that city!

This also helps with one of the issues that WoW struggles, and that is a dynamic world that you feel part of.  There haven’t really been world events like this that seemed to change the world.  Even when we didn’t defeat the elementals in say IF during the elemental invasion, there really wasn’t much of a consequence.  Something like this changes the game, but not on such a large-scale that it disrupts too much game play.

I know Blizzard doesn’t have a plan for such an event, but to me, it would feel far more real if I at least had a chance to try to defend Theramore before it’s just lost overnight to the Horde.

Blizzcon 2011 Predictions

Okay, so Blizzcon is this weekend.  Rumors are surely flying about what sort of things will be revealed, things discussed, etc.  I haven’t been reading up much on it as I’ve had a busy schedule and Hallow’s End.  

Anyways, I’ll toss out some predictions just purely based on my own wishes/wants/knowledge.

Diablo 3:  They will announce a release date as tentative for next spring or summer.  I think beta invites are starting soon so we’ll see.  This is interesting to me as I’d like to try the game.  Otherwise I’m not expecting too much else there, maybe the beta will start this Blizzcon.

Warcraft:  Okay, this is the big one.  So my guess is they will reveal the next expansion.  They seem to be very active about developing and pushing content lately, the Firelands nerf indicated to me that they are pushing quickly from one patch to the next.  I think we’ll see the next expansion announced.  As it is, we’re all pretty much assuming it’s going to be Mists of Pandaria.  

Okay, so let’s say it is, they open some islands in the sea, perhaps the ones on the map since those are not part of anything right now.  The Pandaren tribes live there.  Yes, panda people.  Asian themed architecture, etc.  

Level cap?  I’m guessing 90.  Though I liked expansions that go 10 levels a bit better, 5 seems to be their new thing.  Probably because they don’t have plans to ever go above 100 and are trying to get in a few more Xpacs. 

New races?  I’m gonna go with no on the new races.  If they give Pandaren to one side or the other they will NEVER hear the end of it.  Though they have ties to the Night Elves and I think the dwarves too…I just don’t see it happening.  They will be neutral faction to run dailies for.

Big Bad Boss?  Deathwing will presumably be dead, LK gone, who’s left?  Well plenty of other demons.  We’ll see what happens from there.  

New classes?  Potentially.  With BC they did new races, LK new class, Cata new races…so it seems that the swing, should we continue this pattern, is new class.  Hero class?  Again, potentially.  Everyone wants to see the Brewmaster, but its role would probably be DPS and lord knows Blizz thinks there are too many already.  But maybe it would have a tank spec too.  A new class though is alarming for someone like me.  I have all 10 of my character slots filled, with one of each class.  If they add a new class, I think they will also add a new character slot, or two.  Another potential class addition for this expansion would be Monk.  Since these are the two classes most associated with Pandaren, it would make sense.  Though…if you can’t play a Pandaren then can you be a monk or brewmaster?  

Okay, so my guess is they will do a new class, it will probably be a hero class, but maybe instead of level 55…level 65?  Level 75?  Starting zone like DK would teach you your skills, part of the monk training?  Leave the monastery or the brewhall?  Both are feasible.  So that’s my official guess; they add Monks and Brewmasters as a hero class starting at 65.  

Professions?  It would seem logical that they would add a brewmaster profession as well, maybe instead of the class they add the profession, allowing you to be able to brew all sorts of things from all sorts of liquids and herbs.  Though it may be hard to really distinguish this from Alchemy or Cooking.  Another profession that has LONG been discussed is Woodworking.  Should the game add in monks, it would make sense that a woodworker could be added so that monks would have access to weapons in the way of staves.  Staves would also be useful for other classes.  Woodworkers could also provide wands and bows as well.  This would fill a craftable niche that is currently missing.  A DK for example can have every piece of armor crafted for him, from sword, to relic, to all pieces of armor including neck, rings and trinkets.  A clothie however, cannot have a staff made nor a wand.  Hunters too cannot have bows crafted, but they can have guns crafted.  Of course no need for these things to be “OMG EPICS!!”, but the other professions do make some things that can help boost your armor or such.  I wouldn’t put money on a new profession, but they have introduced a new one with each expansion, so there will probably be something…I’m just not sure what.

Okay, that’s it! 

I sadly will not be able to see any Blizzcon news until late tomorrow night, so while the rest of you are going “OMG!!”  I’ll be sitting around foaming at the mouth until I can get to a PC with such information.  It better be worth it.

I Feel Pretty

Okay, so you might have heard of it by now.  The single coolest thing ever.  The transmogrifier.

Check it out!

This future addition to the game reinforces my old saying that “WoW is 50% killing things, and 50% drag show”.  Now, for some of us, that will probably be 25%/75%. 

Now, some of my toons have been saving their Tier armor or otherwise just cool armor they come across forever.  Elgar has his T4, T5, and a few pieces of T6, as well as T7, T8, and T9 all hanging out in his bank bags.  I don’t have complete sets for all of them, mostly robes, helm and shoulders, but still.  He’ll have a great selection should it be required to have had the piece of gear or to still have it to transmogrify the item. 

I actually think that this will be most useful for belts and shoulders, which always seem to look hideous.  Seriously, belts are the worst. 

Now, from the initial sound of things, you won’t be limited to Tier gear, which means that I could find that hideous hobo picture of Elgar in the green pants with purple stripes, gold shirt, blue shoulders, and travelers hat from early days in Outlands and wear that.  Which is actually equally as awesome.  Might you be able to look like a farmer while raiding?  A chef?  A fisherman?  The possibilities are seemingly endless.  Even works on weapons, which is epic, I’m already envisioning Troutwort running around with that stingray bow from Heroic Steamvaults…yes, I still have it.

So, what’s in your closet that you’ll pull out?

Slice linked it in the comments, but this is an awesome website for some ideas on outfits!

http://roleplaygear.wordpress.com/

What if…

This is one of those hypothetical things, one of those, what if I had chosen the blue pill instead of the red one?  I mean of course, what if I had chosen to play Horde instead of Alliance?

I got into WoW when my brother asked for it for Christmas.  I purchased it for him, then tried it myself on the 10 day free friend trial.  His friend played WoW and was Alliance so he rolled Alliance as well, picking for his first toon a dwarf Rogue.  Weird, I know.  Since my brother had picked Alliance, I too picked Alliance, and thought I would enjoy playing a hunter.  My two options were Night Elf and Dwarf, and though the expansion (Burning Crusade) was due out that same month, I had no idea.  And so not being too keen on the short dwarves, I picked Night Elf.  And this is how it all started.

So I got to thinking the other day, just what if my brother had rolled Horde, I too probably would have rolled Horde.  So I travel back in time, to that January day…let’s say I stay with hunter, I would have had tauren, orc, and troll to choose from.  I am guessing that I would have picked troll.  So now I’m thinking how this would have impacted things.  I roll troll, and while showing the game to my friend, she originally rolled a dwarf paladin, if she had been influenced to roll Horde as well, paladin was not an option.  So who knows exactly how that would have turned out.  Perhaps she would have rolled a warrior?  My other friend rolled Kittykat a human warlock that turned out to be Rossini.  She was so vain that I believe she still would have rolled human to be hot.  Ha!  So when I think about it, that means that it’s possible that Rossini would have never existed!

Obviously who I know and don’t know in-game all would have changed, that goes without saying.  And I don’t believe any of the Horde races have the ability to have grand moustaches, so Elgar, the toon for which I am most recognized, would have definitely not existed in his current form.  Elgar and Schubert were both created before I got Burning Crusade, so those toons would have definitely been one of the original 4 Horde races.  But Elgar was born out of the idea that the guild needed healers and to assist Theanna the paladin in her leveling.  So Theanna becomes not a paladin, maybe even not a tank, and I don’t roll a priest because it would either be troll or undead (and I am sure I would not have any undead) and again mages were limited to undead and trolls at that time.  It seems to me that I really would have ended up with lots of trolls due to my aversion to the undead and how they appear.  I’m not just that into zombies!

Many of my other characters were born after BC, so I’m sure that I would have had many pretty, beautiful haired blood elves. 

Okay, so if I didn’t roll Alliance, it’s very possible that Elgar and Schubert might not even exist and definitely Rossini would not have existed in his current form at least.  It’s quite possible he would have race/faction changed. 

It’s a bit difficult to think how if I had rolled Alliance that some of my most beloved toons wouldn’t exist.  But at the same time other beloved toons may exist.  Like a giant tauren druid and an orc shaman.  And while I’m pretty much set in my Alliance now, it’s funny to imagine how it could have been so easily different.  And how would that trickle down to affect others?  Would Ado and Falahla play night elf and draenei if I had been playing Horde when they started?  Would Repgrind have still been playing her troll mage instead of a human one?  Would priest still be my preferred class? 

What if…what if…

Cataclysm

Well after spending a week in the great north woods, I have managed to return myself to reality and have been trying to catch up on the important happenings of the last week.  I’m actually surprised how long it took me to catch up on some of the news:  seriously, Brett Favre the Vikings?  Give it a rest old man, it’s over.

But in more important news I headed over to www.worldofwarcraft.com and just about fell out of my chair.  I figured the third expansion pack would be announced but never, NEVER did I expect what I saw.  Obviously you can get all the details you want from the actual announcements so I won’t review that but I will talk a little bit about the most exciting parts, to me anyways.

Old World Changes:
OH GOD OH CRAP!  Everything is changing, this good readers, is friggin’ amazing.  I know that some of my most beloved zones will be forever changed and perhaps some of my most beloved quests as well, but in a way, they are recreating the whole game.  This is awesome.  As someone who enjoys alts I am particularly excited about the changes to the old world.  This will revive what was dying about the old game.  The revamping of the world including flying mounts and weaving in new high level zones into the game is brilliant if you ask me.  It’s inspiring for low level toons to see higher ones out and about and not just in capitol cities accessing banks and hearthing back out.  I am very excited about the revamping of the old world, even if it means the destruction of some of my favorite areas, oh, and the new Desolace from the trailer looks amazing. 

New Races:
Well it was predicted and it was correct.  I am curious to see how this plays out for the Goblins most particularly.  Does this mean the Steamweedle Cartel is of no more or are they simply a different faction?  I am going with the later, but who knows.  As for the Worgen, if there is a human form alternative that is awesome.  The ability for a Worgen to appear normal as well is pretty sweet.  I will undoubtedly play one of each if for nothing more than seeing the new starting areas. 

The goblin and worgen classes were somewhat predictable?  Maybe, maybe not.  I was a little surprised by some of the combinations.  I didn’t expect the Worgen Druid, but now that I have read a little more about the history of the worgen and such it makes a little more sense.  I did know they were related in a way to the Night Elves.  In my other post on class speculations for Goblins and Worgen I was nearly correct in my “predictions” and what Blizz came up with.  They had more classes available to each of them than I originally thought and for Goblins, for example, they did include Shaman and Warlock where I didn’t have them making the cut.  This is great though, I’m always up for more class combinations available.  The speculated racials are not that far off some of the ones I predicted as well.  The cooldown on their gadgets are similar to what I thought might happen with the nets and the Worgen getting a speed boost and increased skinning only makes sense.  It’s predictable, but good in my opinion. 

New Class Combos:
The new class combos were apparently leaked prior to the event through data-mining, but I was unaware until the video and actually had to rewind through that part to view some of the new class combos.  For class balance it makes sense.  Lore is yet to be determined, but that’s always changing anyways, so it seems that as their world changes, so do the heroes and the races.  It makes sense.  I didn’t see some of the new class/race combos coming, but some of the most exciting to me are the dwarf shaman and gnome priest, I have a screenshot of a gnome priest from Gnomeregan somewhere…but I doubt I’ll change Elgar’s race to gnome, even though he’d be way cute.

Needless to say, I’m generally excited at the possibilities of the expansion, of course, there’s so much that is subject to change before its anticipated release in 2010.  But what they have proposed so far will hopefully bring a revitalization to the game as we know it.  I am certainly looking forward to those changes.

More Masks

More masks data files have been discovered in the latest build of the PTR test data.  The masks included Ogres, Nagas, Murlocs, and Vykrul.  Of course people claim this is a red herring added by Blizzard to throw off the rumors of the two new races being Worgen and Goblins.  I’m still up in the air.  Of course too, these races have traditionally all been neutral-ish, so there’s the rumors about the neutral faction as well–though I honestly don’t remember ever having a friendly conversation with a Naga, and a jumping animation for a Naga would be, well, awkward. 

To incorperate a new faction…a neutral faction would be…weird at best.  Who would it include?  Goblins and Worgen?  Ogres and High Elves?  Nagas and Vykrul?  Okay, that’s just plain messed up.  Besides they’d have to redo nearly all the battlegrounds to include a neutral faction.  They already have tweaked them so much…perhaps though, the neutral factions wouldn’t have access to battlegrounds, but instead their only PvP would be arena.  That would be one solution, a faction that doesn’t care about PvP and would be neutral and untargetable for PvP even on PvP servers.  And would the neutral faction be able to join parties for both Horde and Alliance?

Okay okay, gross, neutral faction idea:  no. 

It seems to me that they are just expanding the Halloween idea.  But then again we’ll see in Blizzcon.  And there better be a new model for Worgen if I’m going to tolerate them waltzing around Stormwind.  Like the Naga, I haven’t met a friendly Worgen yet.

Goblins and Worgen

Alright, it’s old news for anyone who is actively searching the internet for WoW news.  But the rumors are flying around that the next playable races will be Goblins and Worgen.  Goblins are assumed to be joining the Horde and Worgen assumed to be joining the Alliance.

Goblins have been a long time coming to the Horde if you ask me.  It was either going to be them or Ogres.  But with rumors that the next expansion will be South Seas and the huge Goblin city of Undermine is there it only makes sense.  We assume that much like BC release there will be a new capitol city for each new race and then a neutral capital as well. 

I’m a little rusty/misinformed/confused/possibly-just-making-it-up on the Worgen though.  I understand they brought here from their homeworld against their will.  So either they might be fleeing their homeworld again (on free will this time), or the humans that locked themselves off behind Greymane Wall (I think) have become Worgen and seek to rejoin the Alliance.  I’m not sure how that will all fit in, but hey, I’m sure it will work out.  I’m still a little confused and honestly will have a hard time thinking that there will be Worgen running around Stormwind and Ironforge.  It’s just hard for me to wrap my head around right now. 

Of course all this speculation is based off the data-mining of game files that found Halloween masks for male and female Goblins and Worgen.  It’s all just rumor and speculation at this point.  Blizz refuses to comment.  If it weren’t Worgen though, I can’t imagine what the next race for the Alliance would be actually.  There was all that Worgen lore in Grizzly Hills too.  Maybe I should have read that more closely…

So then of course we get to thinking about what classes will be available for each of the new races, here’s my best guess by race:

Goblins:
Warriors – yes, there are bruisers everywhere.
DK – all races can be DK
Rogue – yes, tiny rogues, I believe there are some currently.
Druid – no, just no.
Hunter – possibly, there are many that seem to use guns…
Shaman – possibly.
Mage – yes, I know I’ve seen these guys.
Priest – yes, I think I’ve seen Goblin healers before.
Warlock – possibly, though I’m not convinced.
Paladin – ha ha, no, seriously, no.

Worgen:
Warriors – yes.
DK – again, all races.
Rogue – possibly, though I’m not convinced.
Druid – slim to none, others think so, I’m not seeing it.
Hunter – yes, I seem to recall some shooting at me before.
Shaman – yes, this will be the healing class for Worgen.
Mage – possibly.
Priest – probably no.
Warlock – they seem to have lots of shadow affinity, I’m gonna say yes.
Paladin – I’m gonna go with no again. 

So my final vote is going to be 5 classes for each (excluding DK).  Goblins get Warrior, Rogue, Hunter, Mage, and Priest.  The Worgen get Warrior, Rogue, Hunter, Shaman, Warlock.  I decided to go with rogue over mage for the Worgen as they seem to be more the maul your face off than burn it off type.  That gives one healing class and one tanking (two with DK) class for each of the new races. 

So now what about the racials?  This gets a bit trickier.  Goblins might have similar abilities to the Gnomes, increased engineering, possible escape move, reduced chance to be hit, or maybe even something opposite of escape move, but instead a net on a cooldown – those Goblins currently all seem to have nets to toss on you.  That would be kinda cool, 3-5 second net on a 2-5 minute cooldown, hilarity.  Or else some short fear on a similar cooldown, Goblin scare or something.  I mean, the things are creepy.  Also for Goblins some sort of discount from vendors or a % sale increase when selling to vendors; or wave AH fees?  For the Worgen I’m seeing increased skill to unarmed (fist) weapons, reduced chance to be hit by shadow spells, some sort of activated howl to increase haste, and maybe some speed burst move as well or even a passive 5-10% increase to run speed (non-stacking), maybe increased skinning skill–he he.  I’m not sure how many abilities each race currently has but I think it’s in the ballpark of 4 with one that is activated and the others are passive. 

Of course it’s all just speculation.  If it happens I’ll have to remember to come back to this post and see if I got any of it correct.  I guess we’ll have to wait to Blizzcon to see if they announce anything there.