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Belechannas

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Belechannas last won the day on November 3 2015

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  1. Belechannas

    Blizzcon 2015 opening

    Much of the above is the opposite of the truth. Patch 6.2 came out on June 23, 2015. The LATEST Legion will launch is June 21, 2016, so there is no way you can honestly get "14 months" between them. Moreover, saying it will launch "by" June 21 (i.e Spring 2016) does not mean it won't launch sooner. When pre-orders for WoD were opened up, it was announced as "Fall 2014" and "by December 21, 2014" (which mean the same thing). In fact, patch 6.0 (the systems upgrade patch) launched on October 14, and WoD itself (the content patch) launched on November 13. Blizzard, being generally competent, also has a moderately conservative track record as far as announcing release dates. It is more likely to be 10 or 11 months after 6.2, certainly not 14. It is far from certain that my guild (top 500 or so in the US, so certainly not bleeding edge, but not scrubs either) will manage to clear Mythic much before then. Until then, we do not lack for content. I wouldn't equate the number of levelling zones with the amount of content, either. There's not much doubt that creating open world zones with quests is less expensive than creating dungeons and raids. Legion will also have the largest number of dungeons at launch (10 max-level heroic, of which 5 have lower-level normal versions for levelling), and tie the largest number of raid boss encounters at launch (17). I think its a good thing that Blizzard is investing resources in improving the quality and relevance of both the open world content and dungeons, rather than just churning out a larger volume of content that becomes irrelevant within weeks of launch. Of course, legendary weapons are a gimmick just like garrisons. It's intended to be a driver for story-telling and gameplay. I find it odd that people rage about lack of content, and then also rage about content being added. Do you really think a fifth levelling zone would make the game significantly better? Or, say, a couple more dungeons? It's just about giving people something new and different to play around with. Variety is the spice of life. I don't see a problem with it. Tanaan Jungle was never promised for WoD launch, either (apart from the starter instance). Completely untrue. And it would have been dumb to include it with the launch content anyway.
  2. Belechannas

    Blizzcon 2015 opening

    A bit more about the artifact weapons was explained. There is one weapon/off-hand (where appropriate) pair per spec. Of course, one big difference from LotRO is that there is no RNG involved in the weapon's potential. Every Ashbringer, Doomhammer, etc, will have the same powers to unlock. There are close to two dozen different cosmetic appearances you can unlock for each artifact. Artifact Power looks a lot like item XP, although I haven't seen any equivalent of a heritage rune (which raises a good question - without them, it will be difficult to gain artifact power on a healing weapon). At the con it was revealed that some artifact powers will have multiple ranks. There are major and minor powers. You will get one of the three major abilities around reaching level cap. They said it will take you most of the expansion to fully unlock the weapon. Instead of the usual weapon drops, you will upgrade the item level (damage and stats) of the artifact with "Relics" that are similar to Starlit Crystals. Each artifact has several slots for relics. Relics have a "flavor" (Holy, Arcane, Fel, Fire, Water, etc) which means that they are similar to tier tokens (not everyone can use every type). Some relics can also increase the ranks of specific artifact powers, to allow greater customization. At some point, you will also have the ability to add a third relic slot. They said there will be some shortcuts/catchup mechanics for offspecs and alts. For offspecs, they said it won't be hard to keep your offspecs' (it was also announced at the con that you will be able to play all three or four specs of your class at will - the long requested "triple spec") artifact at close to the artifact level of your main spec, but relics would not be shared, just as weapon drops aren't transferrable between many specs now. They also said that the artifact system isn't going to replace weapons in the game permanently - just as garrisons were specific to the Warlords expansion, artifacts are specific to Legion. Just a guess (they didn't say anything about this) but the final plot resolution of Legion (defeating the invasion of Azeroth) could require sacrificing the artifacts, or draining their power, etc, such that they are no longer relevant to future expansions. By and large, it sounds like Blizzard is avoiding Turbine's mistakes (shocker, right?) with the legendary item system, but there are also some important differences in scope. It's almost like Blizzard thought through the system carefully before starting to implement it. What a strange way to design a game!
  3. Belechannas

    Blizzcon 2015 opening

    The only real WoW/Legion info on Day 1 was a survey of the zones, raids and dungeons of the expansion. The world art was impressive and quite beautiful (in the WoW style), as you'd expect. They are pioneering new tech that will scale open-world levelling content. Thus, rather than having a 100-102 zone, a 103-104 zone, etc, you can go to any zone at any level, and do the quests "on level" at appropriate difficulty, for level-appropriate rewards. They say this will be accomplished by scaling the enemies, rather than scaling the player. The central zone of the island, an ancient night elf city, will be non-scaling and tuned for max-level. There will be 10 dungeons at launch, 5 of which have level-up versions. The initial offering of raids will mirror the fairly successful pattern of Warlords: a 7-boss raid opening 2 weeks after launch, followed by a 10-boss raid opening 8 weeks later. The first raid will be The Emerald Nightmare: a version of the Emerald Dream corrupted by the influence of the Burning Legion. The second raid will be set in a (still-populated) ancient elven city, and the end boss will be Gul'dan. They did announce some systemic changes to the endgame which sounded creative and potentially very positive. They want to "overwhelm you with choices". Rather than mandatory dailies, you'll have a map with many different activities you can choose from, including things like gathering, pvp, exploration and of course combat. The system will be forgiving in the sense that not logging in for a day or two will just give you more choices when you do log in, rather than putting you behind. They pointed out that with the open-world scaling tech, they can use the entire expansion zone for end-game content, rather than a few small areas in each zone. Probably the most interesting reveal was their plan to keep dungeons relevant through the entire expansion. "A true, open-ended endgame experience for all players". They are building on and merging the Challenge Mode, Mythic and Timewalking dungeon tech in Warlords to create dungeons that will continuously scale their difficulty and rewards through the entire expansion. And the difficulty ramp will not be just a straight scaling of damage and mob health, but also introduction of variable mechanics to keep the experience from getting stale. Some examples of "modifiers" mentioned were: "All mobs do double damage below 30% health", "All mobs explode when killed and leave fire on the ground when they die", "Constant periodic damage over time". "You can do a dungeon that's as hard as you want or need it to be, for a reward that is commensurate in power to the challenge you just took on. That is what Legion Challenge Mode will be." Not all the details were explained, but the idea seems to be that you will have an item called a "Challenger's Keystone" that you use to select the level of difficulty (and reward). If you don't beat the challenge timer, you still get loot, but you don't upgrade your stone to unlock the next highest difficulty. The timer will be "a bit more lenient than Silver currently is;" the idea is not to encourage rushing through the zone (and some of the mechanical modifiers mentioned would make AoE pulling suicidal). He showed a slide with "the core philosophies": 1) Scaling the dungeon up, not scaling player power down 2) Focus on combat gameplay, not just "go go go" (rushing through the dungeon) 3) Unbounded progression ("As good as you are, there will always be a challenge waiting for you; there will always be another step on the ladder.") 4) New modifiers to master each week "If you do heroic dungeons, this is for you, there is a point of entry for you here, but no matter how hard-core you are, there is something in this that will break you - it's up to you to find that breaking point. The higher you go, the better the rewards. And the core of the system we want to offer is a genuine alternate path to complement raiding or even replace it for you entirely if that's what you prefer, if that's the gameplay that you choose in your dungeons." And the crowd went wild. Sounds very cool, and Blizzard has the budget and the brains to actually pull it off.
  4. Belechannas

    Blizzcon 2015 opening

    StarCraft featured pretty heavily and hyped first this year. After the 3rd installment of SC2, they announced that "mission packs" would be released periodically to continue the game development and story, and previewed a cinematic from the first which will be out in Spring 2016. They showed a trailer from the Warcraft movie, which will come out in Summer. Heroes of the Storm was next, revealed 3 new heroes: Graymane, the shape-changing werewolf guy from Gilneas, a dryad whose name I didn't recognize, and the big one, Cho'gall. Cho'gall breaks the MOBA mold, being one hero controlled by two players. Also, Cho'gall isn't for sale, Blizzcon virtual and actual attendees get him, along with a small number of other random players. By teaming up for two games with someone who owns him, anyone else can get him. People who own him get a big gold reward by playing four games with him with other players. They also previewed a new Arena-mode, which looked like a wide-open, single-objective map. Hearthstone announced a new "adventure" which debuts Thursday of next week, with an Explorers' League theme, and several related mechanics. Overwatch revealed 3 new heroes, which are not even in beta at the moment, a new Hollywood map, and also announced the three editions of the game. It will be available not only on PC, but also PS and Xbox. And it will be released in Spring 2016, so not very far off. The base edition of the game (PC only) will include all heroes and maps revealed so far. There is also an "Origin" edition (available on all platforms) also includes a number of skins, and goodies in other games (including a Tracer hero for Heroes of the Storm, and a baby Winston pet for WoW). Finally a collectors edition for all platforms, with the usual useless crap (statue, music, sourcebook, etc). Last but not least, they showed a new cinematic trailer for the WoW expansion. It was already revealed on the website that it will come out Summer 2016, and that pre-orders include a Level 100 boost and early access to the Demon-hunter class. The cinematic is pretty cool:
  5. Belechannas

    Update 17 - What is it?

    At some point after banning Fredelas, Sapience subsequently blamed him for proposing the increased mithril coin quest travel costs during HD beta. Which showed what a low-class scumbag Sapience is, since Fredelas wasn't even allowed to post to defend himself (because Sapience had banned him).
  6. Belechannas

    New Star Trek TV

    I didn't see any information about the setting of the series. TNG, the most successful of the follow-ups to the original, was pretty much the original series "done right" - they consciously avoided similarities in the characters (Picard is nothing like Kirk, Riker is nothing like Spock, Crusher is nothing like McCoy, etc), but the premise was identical (with better writing, acting and special effects). The others (DS9, Voyager, Enterprise) were all based on a gimmick of one sort or another. It will be interesting to see whether they go the "gimmick" route again, or return to the most successful format of the original series/TNG. I'm not sure going significantly further into the future would be a good idea, as the level of technology in TNG/Voyager already made them almost god-like.
  7. Belechannas

    Update 17 - What is it?

    Whether language is appropriate or not depends on who is listening. If you use a vile insult with no inkling that it will be heard as such, you should be forgiven (and informed so you don't repeat the faux pas). If you use a vile insult knowing full well that others will hear it as such, and then try to argue that it "wasn't meant" that way, then you have a problem with logic. And why would someone who clearly hates both the streamer and the subject of a stream tune into it? Hmm...probably not to talk about his cigarettes...
  8. Belechannas

    Chicken run to Minas Tirith.

    Good to see Turbine finally has their priorities straight!
  9. Belechannas

    Update 17 - What is it?

    Well, let's do the math. From 3.0-3.3.5, there were 52 boss encounters in major raids. From 6.0-6.2.3, there have been 30 bosses in major raids. But from 3.0-3.3.5 was 20 months (November 2008 - June 2010) From 6.0-6.2.3 will be 12 months (November 2014 - November 2015). 52/20 = 2.6/month 30/12 = 2.5/month So the rate of raid content release is nearly equal, within 4%... On the other hand, in WotLK, a lot of things were different. A number of raids (e.g. Naxxramus - 15 of the 52 encounters counted above) had only normal difficulty. Naxx was a sort of "training wheels" raid that serves a similar purpose to today's LFR and normal mode. Naxx was also a revamp of an earlier raid, as was Onyxia (also counted among the 52 bosses). By my count (based on WoWhead), there are only 31 WotLK boss encounters with heroic mode. Now there are four difficulties. The lowest one can be accessed from the dungeon-finder, and the two middle ones support flexible groups of any size from 10-30. And all raids have a high-difficulty mode, now called mythic. If the WoD content is accessible to more players (which it certainly is now), and has higher difficulty levels with better loot (i.e. relevant to more players), it doesn't seem entirely fair to compare directly, but even if you do, there is virtually no difference in the rate of content. Disclaimer: I was still levelling during WotLK, and did not raid in WoW until Cata. Edit: Back on topic, I logged in yesterday and walked around/AFKed in Minas Tirith for about 30 minutes without crashing, so maybe the hotfix did improve something. My enthusiasm for doing two new epic battles is exactly zero, however...
  10. Belechannas

    Update 17 - What is it?

    People who complain about lack of content in WoW are nuts. The centerpiece of the game is raiding (at all levels from casual to the most insane hardcore). It has been that way since I started playing in WotLK, and anybody who doesn't understand that is daft. Of course, like any MMO, there are other things to do like collect mounts, pets, achievements, cosmetic outfits, craft, play the AH, etc. There is also PvP, which apart from being balanced and having appropriate rewards available, does not really rely on a stream of new content being provided. Nevertheless, there has been more development effort on PvP in this expansion than any previous one. I don't PvP, so I can't comment on how successful it was - but my impression is that PvP is reasonably balanced at the moment. In any case, all the non-raiding activities that existed in the past still exist, and in fact have been expanded in various ways (e.g. brawlers guild, proving grounds, mythic dungeons, timewalking dungeons, challenge mode dungeons, pet battles, etc). As far as raiding, less than 1/2 the guilds who have downed any raid boss of the present tier (released in June) on normal difficulty have killed even the first boss of heroic yet. That is about 18K guilds in the US, EU. Note that "heroic" now is supposed to correspond to the same difficulty as "normal" in recent past expansions, since a more casual-friendly "normal" mode was introduced. These folks are not out of content to do. Only 1/3 of the guilds who have killed the first boss of heroic (so about 1/6 of all guilds who have killed any raid boss on normal) have killed the final boss on heroic. Since there is an entire difficulty tier still available, with better rewards, these folks are not out of content either. 2/3's of the guilds who have killed the final boss on heroic have killed the first boss on mythic (highest) difficulty. So that is about 1/8 of the guilds who have done any raiding. Only 0.6% (235 guilds, or roughly 6000 people) have cleared Mythic yet, five months into the tier. Those are the only people who could reasonably claim they are out of content. I am not in the elite of the elite (my guild is around the top 4% world-wide, top 500-ish in the US), and I raid with two different groups every week. In weeks of raiding, I have never heard a single soul express the wish that there were another raid tier coming anytime soon. It is far more satisfying, for me at least, and I suspect most others, to finish the tier we already have, which is extremely challenging and fun. We just reached the halfway point of the raid last week, when we killed the 6th boss out of 13... Blizzard is very good about easing back the difficulty as the tier ages, to ensure that nobody gets permanently stuck and can't progress. The patch 6.2.3 is part of that effort, by unlocking cross-realm mythic raiding and a mechanism for people to upgrade their gear with valor points. The patch's content, or lack thereof, is perfectly appropriate for where we are now. Calling WoD a rip-off is simply stupid. In the year since it was released, a subscriber will have spent $50 for the expansion, and $180 for subscription fees. That works out to less than $20/month total. If you only play for 3 hours/week, which is almost nothing, that is still less than $2/hour of entertainment. If you play for an hour a day on average, which I suspect is closer to typical, it is less than $1/hour. With that said, WoD followed an expansion (MoP) that released with relatively low expectations but featured a new class AND a new race, and after a slightly rocky start turned out to be better than most expected. WoD had high expectations, but overall was merely solid rather than amazing - there were countless excellent systemic improvements but no new class or race (because the art department had their hands full with the long-overdue character model/animation updates). The marquee feature (garrisons) didn't suck but didn't excite everyone either - in the final analysis, the investment of development effort in garrisons probably didn't pay off with enough quality gameplay, compared to tossing in an extra zone like Timeless Isle (which I strongly suspect would have been easier and cheaper). The story frankly also fell a bit short of the hype (the bad guys turned out to be pretty incompetent and were practically beaten by the time we finished levelling).
  11. You get one Level 60 character boost for subscribing, so you can start the new story immediately, but they have also streamlined the 1-60 levelling experience enormously. http://www.swtor.com/blog/core-world-changes Basically you can level 1-60 by doing nothing but your class story and the main story arc on each planet. This eliminates the need to do any of the grindy "Kill X mobs", "Collect Y widgets", "Clean Z privies" type side-quests to fill up the XP bar (they are still available if you want to do them, but nobody in their right mind would). Of course, the story quests do sometimes involve killing or collecting things, but they tend to be the most interesting and enjoyable parts of the content. It would be like if you could get to the level cap in LotRO by doing only the epic and stuff like the Tomb of Elendil questline. and skip all the boar-killing and other filler garbage...
  12. Belechannas

    Update 17 - What is it?

    I don't see any problem with using the Windows Experience Index as a benchmark, as long as you understand what it means. The feature of making the overall score the lowest of the categories is a reasonable, simple way to account for performance being bottlenecked by the least performant part of a system. There is not really any other way to do it, without narrowing the rating to a particular application or making other assumptions. Empirically, increases in the scores have a very strong correlation with increased performance, in my experience.
  13. Belechannas

    Update 17 - What is it?

    This. My machine has nearly identical specs, 8 cpu, 16 gb, etc, right down to the SSD installation disk. It has a Windows Experience Index of 7.8. I keep drivers and other software updated religiously. Prior to U17, LotRO was crashing roughly every 4 hours of gameplay or so. In Minas Tirith, the average time between crashes is probably less than 10 minutes, no exaggeration. Mounted Combat pushed the game beyond what the servers could deal with properly. Minas Tirith now appears to have done the same for the client...
  14. Well, my reaction to KotFE is entirely different. I think it's the most interesting, creative and immersive MMO content I've ever seen. A lot of the information in the OP is wrong, I think. What makes "many" of them "useless" now, compared to before? Which "many"? Starting with a provably absurd statement is a bad sign... You do not have to repurchase anything. Except in a relative handful of cases where a particular profession lost the ability to craft a particular type of mod (example: armormech now exclusively makes the endurance-heavy armorings, and synthweaving now exclusively makes stat-heavy armorings) you still have all old schematics. Complaining that you can't afford to purchase every last schematic for gear you've outlevelled and will never want to craft is kind of silly. Untrue. Companions still get crafting bonuses based on your influence with them. Affection is converted to influence on a 1:1 basis, so no gift was wasted. In fact the bonuses for influence will be much larger once the companions reach the higher levels of influence achievable in the expansion. The only thing removed was the companion-specific bonuses to a particular craft. Which I think is a good thing. The time to complete crafting missions has been reduced across the board, by much more than any lost "efficiency" bonus. The crafting changes, and the reasons for them, are explained here: http://www.swtor.com/blog/crafting-changes-fallen-empire I never owned the pay-to-win companions, so I can't speak to that, but normal companion abilities were always only cosmetically different. And they still are. Whereas before, you needed to keep around 100 pieces of gear upgraded, and replace it with every level cap increase, now companion gear is purely cosmetic. That is a major improvement. Now gifting = gearing, and virtually every quest includes a companion gift that you can distribute as you wish. The terminal was fixed with the patch on the official release day. So you are without your old companions for...a day or two, for story purposes? What an outrage! Any companion that you had 10 affection with will not require a quest to recover, either (effectively, the quest auto-completes once you talk to them). By the time you reach the end of Chapter 9, your new companions will have comparable or higher influence to the old ones. You don't mention the fact that you have access to far more companions in KotFE, including characters from other classes, or even other factions, as well as your original ones. As a Jedi Consular, I now have T7-01, one of my favorite companions in the game. I think that's cool. The new companions introduced with the expansion are extremely interesting and well developed. A huge expansion of the companion system, to include recruiting a whole military/logistic/diplomatic infrastructure to save the galaxy, is one of the core features of KotFE. In my opinion they've done an excellent job with this, creating gameplay that supports the story and fleshes out the characters at the same time. The dev blog for all the companion and related systems in KotFE is here: http://www.swtor.com/blog/introducing-alliance-system There is new group content, the Star Fortress flashpoints - which have certain similarities to skirmishes (variable enemies within the same space), but admittedly it is not much at present. That is my one disappointment, although you can see clearly that an unbelievable amount of effort went into the story content. They focused all their resources there, for the expansion, and it shows. While not "new content" a number of flashpoints were made available in tactical mode for the first time, and older flashpoints now also have a solo mode added. It saddens me to see reactions like this. Your last paragraph makes me shake my head. You would have preferred to get another "Rise of the Hutt Cartel" clone with a new set of throw-away planets and forgettable characters? People rage about MMOs churning out the same, cookie-cutter pabulum over and over. LotRO being a perfect example. With this expansion, SWtOR has come up with a remarkable number of creative improvements to the game and how people will play it. I should add that, unlike Helms Deep, almost none of them affect how your actual character plays (there are, as is common in MMO expansions, a few tweaks to character abilities, but nothing remotely comparable to the Helms Deep revamp). I suppose if you thought the game was absolutely perfect before, then any change must be for the worst. I think a lot of people will be happy to see an attempt to do something fresh that departs from the old and tired paradigm that we've had for years. I found it almost impossible to log-out while doing the story content. I was counting the hours at work until I could get back home and continue it. This is MMO content without grind, and largely without "fetch" type time-sink quests. It felt like being in an interactive movie. A really, really interesting movie. It is captivating. Frankly I think the story may be the best Bioware has ever done. I have not played SWtOR much since the first 9 months after it came out (I played heavily in beta during the 6 months before release, too). I have kept my four main toons up with the level cap, but am by no means a heavy player. I have walked away for 6-12 months at a time. The point being, I am no fanboy. I would rate this expansion 9/10 or 9.5/10. The mechanical changes the OP complains about are without exception needed improvements and balancing. There are quality-of-life improvements in a lot of other areas too, like how dailies and weeklies are handled, ease of travel around the galaxy, and so on. The lack of significant new group content is the only blemish, and I expect that to be remedied eventually. I would sum up by saying it is an extremely ambitious, creative, well-designed, and successful expansion. And FUN.
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