Category Archives: World of Warcraft

Up All Night in Leuthilspar

Syl wrote about day/night cycles in MMOs a couple of weeks months years back.  Clearing of the drafts fodler here, as you might guess. Of course, one aspect of that is how long such a cycle should be.  At one end of the spectrum is World of Warcraft, where Azeroth turns on a literal 24 hour cycle, and server time is in-game time.

EVE Online also runs on a real-world 24 hour clock, though I am not sure that a day/night cycle makes much sense there.  It is always night in space, right?

Anyway, in Azeroth that means if you are like me… I live in the US Pacific time zone but play on a server in the Easter time zone, 3 hours ahead of me… you might spend most of your time in WoW playing at night.

Not that night is all that big of a deal in WoW.  Every single instance group screen shot has been taken during the night cycle and most of the time you couldn’t tell it was night.

The lair of Lockmaw

This is night. Stars in the sky.

There is, as Syl noted, a nice sunset period if you are on at the right time, and likely a similarly pleasant sunrise, though I’ve never seen that.  I’ve been online when it has happened, I was just deep in Uldaman at the time.

Other games have a much shorter cycle.  In EverQuest you passed through the day/night routine every 72 minutes if I recall right, 3 minutes per in-game hour.  That could leave you running around in the dark a few times in a single long play session.

Scarecrows in West Karana

Night, when the Scarecrows come out in West Karana

And at the extreme end is Minecraft, which has a 20 minute day/night cycle, which means if you play for an hour… and who plays Minecraft for just an hour when you’re into something… you will spend half that time in daylight and the rest in the dusk, night, and dawn portion of the cycle, during which time the night life will be coming for you.

Coming to get me...

Coming to get me…

Of course, the Minecraft example brings up what is probably the key question when it comes to a day/night cycle; should it have impact on game play?

In World of Warcraft there is almost no impact on game play.  As noted, you can barely tell it is night as the moon over Azeroth apparently reflects 80-90% of the sun’s luminosity during the night time hours.  And I am hedging by even using the word “almost” there, because something in the back of my brain believes there was a “night only” spawn at some point.  But that could be me.

At the other end of spectrum is Minecraft, which isn’t an MMO but is MMO enough for this discussion, where the transition from day to night changes game play dramatically.  It actually gets dark out, so lighting matters.  But even more so, as noted above, things come out at night.  Bad things.  Things that seek to kill you or blow you up.  So you either hunker down and wait out the night… or sleep if you’re alone on your server… or get out there and fight the encroaching zombie/skeleton/creeper menace.

Maybe that is an extreme example.

But I do hear calls now and again for not only a day/night cycle in MMORPGs, but that the cycle should impact game play, that night should be different than day, and that NPCs should behave in a way attuned to the cycle of the world and their lives.  They should go to bed at night.

That last bit… that is one of those things that always sounds better in theory that it does in reality.  And I say that as somebody who has lived a bit of that as reality in an online game.

Back we go again, back through the mists of time, back to TorilMUD and the days of text, triggers, and ANSI color characters as a substitute for graphics.

All text, all the time

All text, all the time

I’ve written about TorilMUD many times before, and specifically about the hardship of the elves of Evermeet, stuck until recently in their own little corner of the game until level 20 with few zone choices and not much in the way of gear available.  The sorrow of the eldar is never ending and all that, as my Leuthilspar Tales series has illustrated.

But we did have one advantage there on Evermeet, and especially in the city of Leuthilspar.  For the most part elves don’t seem to need any sleep.  Shops were open all night long and even the city gates, which the guards closed and locked at sunset, could be passed through after hours if you spoke the right word. (It was “peace.”)

The rest of the world however…

It was a sure sign that a player was fresh through the elf gate and in Waterdeep for the first time when, locked outside of town, they would stand there saying things like “peace” and “please” and whatnot trying to get the gates to unlock so they could pass through.

And imagine to confusion in the a poor elf’s eyes when a vendor in town suddenly announced they were shutting up their shop for the night and wouldn’t be serving customers until the morning.

Outside of Leuthilspar, shops had business hours!

The vendors wouldn’t go away… though I think one in Baldur’s Gate used to move into another room… they would just stand there as usual.  However, when you attempted to interact with them, they would announce that they were closed and admonish the player to come back later.

In a way, it sounds quaintly archaic in today’s world.  But TorilMUD, measuring from its predecessor Sojourn MUD, is past the 20 year mark as well.  It was a simpler time and a different audience in an era when game devs sometimes felt the user ought to conform to a much more rigid set of rules.

I couldn’t imagine a MMORPG today putting something like that in place.  But TorilMUD was smaller than even the most niche MMORPGs we’ve seen.  I would guess that maybe 10K people created accounts on the game over its lifetime.  During its peak it could get a couple hundred people online at the same time, which was considered quite the crowd.  In that sort of small, self-selecting environment, you can set different rules.

And the vendors didn’t just have hours, but would also only deal in specific goods at times.

But, at least the day/night cycle was short.  The ration was one real life minute to one in-game hour, so a day went by in just 24 minutes.  Not as fast as Minecraft, but close.

Anyway, such were the was of the past.  How niche would a game today have to be to get away with that sort of thing?

WoW Legion Sales Numbers Stacked Up Against Past Launches

Today, Blizzard announced that players have forged a truly formidable defensive front—as of the expansion’s first full day of launch on August 30, more than 3.3 million copies of Legion had sold through, matching the all-time record achieved by previous expansions and making it one of the fastest-selling PC games ever. In addition, World of Warcraft’s launch-week player concurrency climbed to its highest point since the 2010 launch of the Cataclysm expansion…

Blizzard press release, September 8, 2016

WoW Legion launched, which almost requires that there be some celebratory press release in which Blizzard referred to itself in the third person.

WoW Legion coming to a server near you

WoW Legion has been up for a week now

My guess is that they had that press release ready to go for a bit now, as they didn’t even bother to fill in the date before they posted it.  I imagine they will fix that before the day is out, so here it is a screen shot for the record.

Roman numerals maybe?

Roman numerals maybe?

So we got some numbers.  Blizzard kept to its promise not to mention subscription numbers ever again, so they had to make due with vague claims about concurrency. (No numbers = vague in my book)

The number we did get was 3.3 million copies sold in the first 24 hours. (Yes, they said “more than 3.3 million” in the press release, but if it had been 3.4 million they would have run with that number, so it is likely 3.3 million and change.)  As usual, with any number standing alone, I start looking for context.  Fortunately, the internet provides context if you look for it.  The first day sales track record looks like this:

  • WoW Legion – 3.3 million
  • Warlords of Draenor – 3.3 million
  • Mists of Pandaria – 2.7 million (first week)
  • Cataclysm – 3.3 million
  • Wrath of the Lich King – 2.8 million
  • Burning Crusade – 2.4 million
  • World of Warcraft – 240,000

So, for first day sales, WoW Legion ranks with… I don’t want to say “the best,” since its peers at that level are not my favorite expansions… past top sellers.

Warlords of Draenor did just as well according to the Blizzard press release from its launch, which included a mention of exceeding 10 million subscribers, a mark that would soon drop precipitously.

Mists of Pandaria, which in hindsight was a pretty good expansion, maybe my second favorite, and which held on to the player base admirably compare to WoD, had to go a full week to get to 2.7 million sales, which put it below every expansion save Burning Crusade.  The pleading for a new expansion towards the end of Mists of Pandaria now seem almost quaint given the mass exodus from the game that came with WoD.

Then there was Cataclysm, which I am going to say was probably the first point when digital sales made up a significant portion of the first day sales, setting a record as yet unbeaten, with 3.3 million sales.  There were some good things in that expansion, but the destruction of the old world still stings.

Then Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade check in at 2.8 and 2.4 million units sold on the first day.  That was back when Fry’s was open at midnight to sell you a copy and they had pallets of boxes out on the sales floor.  That was the era of growth, which Cataclysm put paid to.

And finally, just for completeness, there was World of Warcraft back in 2004, which sold 240,000 copies on the first day, which was a record at the time.  No digital sales in that number I bet!

So that is how the list stacks up.  WoW Legion sold well enough, though judging from what I have seen… or not seen… on store shelves, it was almost all digital. (I was at Best Buy on Monday and they had a single standard edition, wrapped up protectively in an anti-theft device and sitting alone at the bottom of a shelf.  No display.  No signs.  No big deal.  How times have changed.) That likely means WoW Legion sold directly into the currently subscribed base in the US/EU.

It would be interesting to know what the subscriber base jumped up to with the launch.  I suspect that if it had passed 10 million, Blizz might have mentioned it.  But maybe not, and we’ll likely never see a number to prove it either way.

I will have to hang on to the two WoW Legion boxes we got at our house.

Retail Boxes! Old School!

Retail Boxes! Old School!

Given the state of the retail channel for the expansion, those might be collectible in a few years.  I mean, a DVD for WoW Legion?  I am not sure why they even bother.  The patcher had everything in place already.  All I needed was the code off the label and I was upgraded and playing.  Modern times.

Slowly into the Broken Isles

It took me a few days to get rolling with WoW Legion.  I was facing a bit of choice paralysis.  Which character did I want to play?  Which of the zones would I start out on?

I rolled out with Vikund, my paladin initially, getting him to his artifact weapon, but then turned aside from him and did the same with my alliance druid Alioto and then my alliance warrior Makarov, getting each their weapon and exploring their order halls a bit.  I must admit to liking the warrior hall.  The leader is fun, even if borrowed from Norse mythology and spiffed up a bit.

More like Mech-Odyn!

More like Mecha-Odyn!  Still with a single optic input.

Also, getting in and out of the warrior class hall is pretty funny.

I was less impressed with the druid class hall.  It is pretty… the graphics overall in the expansion so far are very well done given the system requirements… but somewhat generic in that “seen one redwood tree, seen them all” sort of way.

And if that wasn’t enough, I also decided that maybe I should start a demon hunter.  So I ran through the starting area with one.  A decent melee class I suppose.  But I am sure, somewhere in some post at some point, I said that Blizzard should steal fae glide from EverQuest II.  Well, mission accomplished on that front.  Double jump is great, but getting glide on the third jump seals the deal.

Then, on top of that, I found that I was not entirely done with Draenor.  There is still one garrison shipyard achievement I am working on, which meant Vikund hanging about in the Lunarfall and running missions now and again.

I will be called "Captain" before this is done

I will be called “Captain” before this is done

Those naval bonus missions just haven’t been coming up often enough, and I can’t do this on another character without starting pretty much from scratch because Vikund is the only one with which I went all out on the shipyard.  So just 13 naval bonus missions and I can wrap that up.

So basically I pottered about and didn’t do much with the expansion except hang around Dalaran or the various order halls waiting for a sign.  Fortunately, Dalaran had such a sign for me.  As Darkmoon Faire is up this week I decided that I had best get Vikund setup with Legion level professions.  So I wandered about Dalaran speaking to the various trainers, stopping for a bit to fish in the fountain.

I spent so much time fishing there during WotLK

I spent so much time fishing there during WotLK

As it turns out, the goldfish from the fountain are decent food to have around… also, the vendor now sells bonus items to add to your fishing pole to scoop up the coins from the fountain for the achievement… though I am not sure they work on THIS fountain, as opposed to the fountain in the Dalaran that is still floating above Northrend.

But I digress.

When I hit the engineer trainer, as Vikund is an engineer… which must be why he is my main… he told me, after a bit of running around, that I needed to go to Azsuna to finish setting myself up.  So, choice

Destination: Azsuna!

Destination: Azsuna!

And even then it took me a bit to get into things.  You launch straight into killing demons and I might have been a bit burnt out on simply killing demons after three weeks of leveling characters up via demon invasions.  However, after a bit of just killing demons for a bit, the zone did start to get going with what Blizzard does pretty well at this point: Story lines that are actually engaging and lead you across the map.  I spent most of Sunday afternoon running around Azsura and enjoying myself.  I made it through what I would guess is a large chunk of the zone and ended up just shy of level 103.

Along the way I also acquired a bunch of items for Ashbringer, leveling that up or whatever we want to call it when you get to upgrade it.

Artifact notification

Artifact notification

The artifact weapon is good and completes my ret pally.  Rotation and skills felt awkward after the pre-Legion revamp, but now things are better.  I am sure this was by design.  However, that does make me wonder about the whole 1-100 experience.  Does anybody really want to run that many levels with a “not quite done” set of skills?  Does anybody actually go from level 1-100 any more?  Is that a significant portion of the population?  Or is Blizzard just hoping everybody will buy level 100 boosts?

Anyway, Ashbringer and I get along nicely, though I have a couple of additional nits to pick.  First, running back to the order hall to change things up is probably the right plan, but it does remind me a bit too much of the legendary weapon thing from Lord of the Rings Online, which is not a happy association.

The second is the little bits and pieces the drop which you can click on for artifact experience.  It would be cool if they were not seemingly a random set of reused icons, as I lose them in my bag all the time.  Every once in a while I am mousing over items in my bag and find some artifact experience item hidden away in there.

Neither are big items, just minor annoyances.  I’ll live.

Meanwhile, back in the order hall things were moving along.  I started off with the first couple of followers and the missions thing, which is clearly a product of the Draenor-era in some ways.

Looks familiar enough

Looks familiar enough

Missions themselves are a little more tied into the story line of the expansion as opposed to being so very focused on being an ecosystem in and of itself.

There was a funny bit of time when the status icon on my mini-map went away, no doubt because I was still running missions back in my Draenor garrison as well as order hall missions.  Eventually it seemed to sort itself out, and even showed me what my other characters were up to… which was all Draenor stuff.

The usual suspects

The usual suspects

The names are color coded for what class they are… or so I gather.  And it does show characters across servers, which is nice.  The one anomaly is Selirus/Hurmoo, which are the same character, my druid that I moved over to the Horde.  Somebody is having problems letting go I guess.  More fun.

Having hit level 102, I was also offered the option to obtain the class artifact for another spec, which I am posting here to answer a question that came up for a couple of friends who seemed to be unhappy with their initial choices.

I can go get the others

I can go get the others

I figured there would be such an option, given the fact that there is an achievement for getting all of the artifacts for your given class.  I passed on this option for the moment, primarily because you have to change spec to get the appropriate artifact weapon and I was finally getting into the groove for retribution and I didn’t want to screw that up by changing specs.

All in all, I am pretty happy with the expansion so far.  I think my plan at the moment is to carry on with Vikund now that I have the ret pally rhythm going.

Vikund out in Azsura

Vikund out in Azsura

My last grumble is about transmog.  I remain mildly annoyed that it applies to gear as opposed to slots, so when leveling up your chosen outfit is pretty much constantly disrupted and there is never a transmog NPC handy when you need one.  This wouldn’t be much of an item to me… I just went back to showing whatever gear I was wearing… except that Blizz seems to have gotten rid of the “show helm/cloak” options from the settings, so to not show helm… and the helms are astonishingly ugly so far… you have to do it through transmog.  It is free to not show helm, and I made a transmog set that is just that, but you need that NPC around.  I’ll have to check, maybe engineers can create a deployable transmog bot.

Finally, I saw somewhere along the line this weekend a complaint that leveling in WoW Legion was too slow, something that would have made me do a spit-take had I been drinking something at the moment.

Given the number of 110s I saw in Dalaran this weekend, I might suggest that leveling is a bit too hasty.  Even I am just shy of 103 and I haven’t even finished my first zone yet.  I know that some people are keen to get to heroic dungeons and raids as they become available, but remember, we’re likely going to be playing in the Broken Isles for the next two years.  There is no need to wear it out on the first weekend.

All in all, I am happy enough with the expansion so far.  It feels like a “lessons learned” expansion in some ways.  We’ll so how it weathers over time.

WoW Legion? There’s an App for That!

Coming soon… like Tuesday… to an iOS or Android app store near you, the World of Warcraft: Legion Companion app.  With this you will be able to manage your order hall and, upon reaching level 110, see what world quests are available, all from your desk at work or your couch at home.

Of course, two questions spring immediately to mind for me with this.

First, where was this for garrisons in Warlords of Draenor?

Second, is this going to make me long for an addon like Master Plan?

August in Review

The Site

I guess the site news this month was participation in the annual Blaugust event.  This year is was a more chill Blaugust.

Blaugust_2016

For the Relaxed Edition of Blaugust, you got to choose what sort of posting goal you were going to pursue.  You didn’t HAVE to do a post a day.  So, feeling a bit worn, I chose the “weekday posts” plan, which is what I usually do anyway.

And the, of course, I posted every day of the month anyway, this being post number 36 for August.  Go OCD Wilhelm.  I actually have leftover posts I didn’t finish.

I did manage to post them all to the Blaugust forum on Anook as some sort of proof that I was in the event.  Anook seems kind of dead this year however.  Gamer social network sites, still not a viable business plan yet.

Anyway, I should go nudge Belghast, the founder and administrator the Blaugust event, and see if I can bump up my commitment on the list to “every day,” since that was what I ended up doing.

I will likely do a further post-event summary next month, but Psychochild already has his up if you need something like that right now.  Be sure to leave a comment!

One Year Ago

It was Blaugust and a lot of people played along.

I told the strange tale of my first automotive test drive.

Project: Gorgon had Kickstarter success at last, then there were stretch goals, the grand total, and mapping out a plan going forward.

Blizzard, on the other hand, was facing bad news as WoW subscriptions dropped to 5.6 million, the lowest since December 2005.  In order to drown that our, Blizz had a big WoW announcement planned later in the week.  There was much anticipation.  I speculated on what it might be, but it turned out to be the WoW Legion expansion announcement, sans cinematic.  Of course, once they announced it, everybody wanted to know when we would get it.

In EVE Online, it was all about Fozzie Sov.  People were complaining.  We had to take sov from allies in order to transfer it, at which point MOA temporarily scooped up a couple systems. Crazy days!  The Galatea expansion addressed some of our issues.

Then the Imperium went to Providence to test out the new sovereignty mechanics… and to purge the Jamylites with the blessings of Maximilian Singularity VI.  The resulting conflict is all under the Provi War tag here.

Meanwhile, CCP was doubling down on VR, adding EVE Gunjack to their lineup.

Turbine was warming up for the great LOTRO server upgrade and merge effort.

Daybreak was also planning server consolidations, these for EverQuest II.  They were also working on a server for misfit players, which seemed like a dubious idea.  And on the Stormhold server, the first expansion unlock vote came up.  The players said “no” to the unlock.  And in EverQuest, on the Ragefire and Lockjaw servers, the inevitable enforced raid rotation schedule was implemented, with an eye to keeping out casuals it seemed.

In Minecraft, I was discovering fire and putting our world up on a hosting service to share it with friends.  Xydd joined up and began working a lot on the nether, while Skronk began his own building project, as I tinkered with dungeons.  We had a setback with our hosting service.  It was a good thing I was keeping backups.

And I wrote a little something about the passing of Robert Conquest.

Five Years Ago

Blizzard announced some crazy idea that you would have to be logged on to Battle.net at all times to play Diablo III.  Glad that never came up again.  Oh, wait

SOE finally got a comprehensive server status page, and Scars of Velious opened up on Fippy Darkpaw.  I was wondering if they had “made good” with customers after the great hacking in April/May of the year.

I hit 70 million skill points in EVE Online and prepared to check out after the summer or rage.

I was back playing LOTRO for a bit.  I made it into Moria, then went looking for hoes.  I also wrote a post summing up my relationship with LOTRO up to that point.  It’s complicated.

Wargaming.net announced World of Battleships.  They have since changed the name to World of Warships, because we cannot have enough games we can shorted to WoW yet.  This got me musing on battleships and related games.

Meanwhile, World or Warplanes (another WoW) got a web site with cool pictures and stuff.

David Reid was telling people that Rift had ONE MILLION CUSTOMERS.  How one actually defines a customer was left as an exercise to the student.

I was still playing some Need for Speed World.  I was enjoying destructible terrain, though the weekend the police broke lead to some different destruction.

I mentioned some of the little things I liked in MMOs.

I was wondering about World of Warcraft Magazine issue 5.  It seemed to be very late.

And Namaste put out a Very Short History of MMOs video.  Wasn’t there a follow up video?

Ten Years Ago

This is the last time I have to do this before I can simply re-run five year old “Five Years Ago” segments, which is good, because bugger all seems to have happened a decade back this August, judging from what I was able to scrape up from Wikipedia year and month entries.

AOL, which apparently is still a thing even today (I strongly suspect my mother-in-law still gives them money every month), bought the GameDaily site which, in a case of foreshadowing, was eventually disappeared into the Joystiq brand.

The original Saints Row launched… on the frickin’ XBox 360.  Eventually its popularity brought sequels to the PC Master Race.

I started playing EVE Online on August 29, 2006.  That must have been my last “pre-blog” MMO start.  It was certainly another stepping stone on the way to the blog, as I felt I have to tell somebody about the horrible new player experience.  Some things never change.

I was also mucking about somewhat aimlessly in World of Warcraft, stuck in the bag-stuffing morass that was Stranglethorn Vale of old, trying to get past the level 40 slump on a few characters, and wondering if it might be time to run back to EverQuest II.  If only I had a regular group to do something like run dungeon content in Azeroth!

Features Sites of the Month

For this month’s featured MMO Blog I want to bring your attention to:

Ah SynCaine, the raider who burned out on WoW and who has been damning it ever since.  Somebody who can flame bait like no other, the only person on who regularly comments on my blog whom my mother thought was “mean.”  In many ways the anti-me in posting, always blazing in the purity of his point where I tend to hedge.  He’s been a pain in the ass for almost the lifetime of this blog, but without him, what would our little corner of the internet be?  Also, he is in GSF now, so Imperium solidarity.

Then of the “other” site of the month, I want to point you at is:

The site isn’t what it once was, and I’ve long since been stricken from the list of blogs covered.  But it is still a place of great MMO blogging significance to me, the cornerstone of a group of bloggers who crossed paths in posts and comments and cross-links over the last decade.  And, as I mentioned earlier in the week, the VirginWorlds podcast archives, which was at its peak from 2006 into 2008, is a treasure.  I still go back and listen to some of the old shows now and again, as Brent often captured what people were thinking and saying about various games so well.

Most Viewed Posts in August

  1. Executive Outcomes Leaves The Imperium
  2. Breaking into Delve
  3. Pre-Ordering WoW Legion at a Discount
  4. Cross Country to Frostfire Ridge and the Bloodmaul Slag Mines
  5. WoW and the Case for Subscription Numbers
  6. The Pokemon 20th Anniversary Continues with an Arceus Event and More
  7. I Bet Blizzard Really Wants to Mention Subscription Numbers About Now…
  8. Pondering That Legion Level 100 Boost
  9. Can Better PvE Save New Eden?
  10. Who Has Successfully Changed Horses Midstream?
  11. Fresh from the Legion Invasion Event
  12. Demon Invasion? What, Me Worry?

Search Terms of the Month

middle earth gamea for 2017
[Maybe LOTRO will still be around…]

85 beastlord where to molo
[Get your mojo on when you molo!]

eve online drop outs
[EVE University issue?]

i free won warlods of draenor
[I bet you did]

will clone wars adventures come back
[No, it will never come back]

Spam Comments of the Month

Don’t make your site look like a Christmas tree. It’s a complete turn off.
[Unless, of course, it is Christmas]

Don’t forget to keep records of your cost for your ISP (Internet Service Provider) , email campaigns, online marketing cost, PPC (pay per click cost) and BC Ecommerce.
[um, right-o!]

diy clock kit
[Yeah, we know how home made clocks work out]

EVE Online

We completed the move to Delve and began taking over the region, one constellation at a time, raising the ADMs as we went.  We are about two thirds done with that.  At some point the casino barons paid Progodlegend one trillion ISK to bring TEST down to Delve to fight us.  Comedy has since ensued, including trapping a TEST/NCDot Machariel fleet in a dead end constellation and camping them there, forcing them to either die running the gauntlet or self destruct. (31 kills so far.)  One guy even ejected from his Machariel to avoid giving us the kill mail, allowing Jay Amazingness to jump into the ship and fly it off.  Good times.

Minecraft

It has been a slow month for me in Minecraft.  I’ve been on a bit to tinker, but I do not have a big project currently to which to devote myself.  I was working on a bit of a rail line upgrade and beautification task.  But that is a long, long project with all the rail I have laid.  Of course, I’ve also had other games to play this month as well, so I haven’t really sat down and thought about Minecraft much either.

Pokemon GO

Since I actually own an iPhone now, I started playing Pokemon GO.  Current end of month stats:

  • Level: 11
  • Pokedex status: 39 caught, 40 seen
  • Pokemon I want more of: Eevee naturally
  • Surprisingly rare catch: Geodude – Those are usually pretty common in the the Pokemon RPGs

World of Warcraft

Lots of WoW play time this month.  After wandering about a bit aimlessly after the 7.0 class apocalypse and garrison nerfs, the Legion pre-launch events hit and I was down with that and leveling characters up and trying to formulate some plan.  And then the expansion hit yesterday.  We’re finally there.

Coming Up

There is a whole new WoW expansion, what do you think I will be spending my time with?

EVE Online will probably be pretty quiet next month, with just the Delve conquest to finish up and maybe a Reavers deployment to recover the Jacket Dispersement Station in ED-L9T.

Just kidding, the lid is coming off in the EVE Online community with the announcement of a complete change up to boosting and a free to play plan coming in with the needs-a-name-now November expansion.  Crazy Viking game devs in action again.  I will likely have something to say on that front, though I am waiting for the dust to settle a bit.

Also, as noted at the top, there will be some sort of summary and linking out to everybody post about Blaugust.  And, given that this is my 120th month in review post, those capable of simple math might expect some sort of anniversary post to well up at some point in September.

I am not sure I will have time for much beyond that.  What else will need to be covered in September?

On the Edge of the Broken Isles

The boxes arrived last night, from which my daughter and I immediately extracted the code which would unlock the expansion on our respective accounts.  The included DVD was purely decorative.  And then it was straight into the game for a bit.

Unfortunately, my wife and I had other plans for the evening.  It was “Back to School” night at my daughter’s high school, so we spent most of the evening meeting teachers and hearing about their classroom plans.

Still, I managed to find a bit of time to play.

I didn’t have time to sit and think about what to do, so I did the natural thing and jumped into the game with my paladin, Vikund, who is my second oldest character and has generally been my “do all the things” vehicle.  I logged him in, accepted what I hoped was the last quest delivered by Khadgar’s Upgraded Servant for a while, and made my way to Dalaran where I got to watch Khadgar himself engage the spindizzy spell and move the whole place to the Broken Isles.

There was a bit of an introduction around the place.

Hey, they finally fixed the portals room! Been broken for ages.

Hey, they finally fixed the portals room! Been broken for ages.

But eventually the reception line led to the table where you got to choose your weapon.  Of course, as a retribution pally, there is really only one choice.

Yeah, like this is even a choice

Yeah, like this is even a choice

However, this wasn’t like some cheap hotel high school reunion where you pick the airline quality chicken entree and then they just bring it to you.  You have to go get it!  So a mild adventure ensued, at the end of which I possessed Ashbringer.

Best cinematic cue ever

Best cinematic cue ever

At that point, because I possessed the magic dingus, I had to go back to the order hall.  There I was presented to the bored crowd in the basement theater under Light’s Hope Chapel, out in the Eastern Plaguelands, which still looks like a bad neighborhood.  But I bet the rent on the place is cheap.

Hi everybody, my name is Vikund.

Hi everybody, my name is Vikund

After that I was elected Queen of the May, Man of the Year, and head of the order, something I am sure was unique to my character alone and based solely on my semi-competent performance in obtaining what is surely the one and only Asherbringer.  I accepted all of this with due solemnity.

You can tell by the way I use my walk...

You can tell by the way I use my walk…

After that they seemed to want me to do something, like these were not merely honorary or administrative offices I had been awarded.  They wanted me to go out and fight the Legion.

So I wandered back down the corridor, past the card room and the basketball court, leaving the solo phase I had been in up to that point, and thus joining a stream of other players, many of whom had a very similar weapon across their back.  Mere replicas I bet, created in envy of me and the one true Ashbringer.

Down the hallway, past the cloak room, I found my destination.  It was a map.  I had to choose where I would land in the Broken Isles to begin my one-man heroic assault on the Legion.

Where to go?

Where to go?

But I didn’t really have enough time for that.  We had to leave for “Back to School” night.  So I left Vikund there in the order hall, probably getting all Cameron’s dad about Ashbringer and sitting there polishing it with a diaper.

The actual first zone choice will have to wait until tonight.