Thoughts on the Massive 8.2 Update for “World of Warcraft”

World of Warcraft is a game I have put a ridiculous number of hours into over the past five years. For all its ups and downs, I keep coming back to the game to invest more dozens of hours. I wasn’t a fan of the game back in its earlier days of glory, as I started playing right before the launch of Warlords of Draenor. So, you see, when people attempt to offend me by writing off this glorious time sink as “no good anymore” I certainly am one to object.

Battle for Azeroth has been losing a huge number of players, similar to the days of WoD. I can see a range of reasons for people to stop playing, as the developers have been changing direction in a way many players are frustrated with. Many WoW subscribers feel like there hasn’t been as much communication from developers, which made things feel much worse.

My personal stance, as someone who doesn’t engage in the higher levels of endgame combat such as raiding or rated PvP, is that the game still has a lot to offer. Afterall, there are a ton of pets to collect and battle against! Seriously, most of my time spent in WoW, since finishing BFA’s questing, has been in service of the excellent pet battle system. It will probably continue to be my main squeeze, as man, 8.2 added so much battle pet stuff.

Speaking of, I’m really enjoying this update! I’m in love with Mechagon. Truly, there is so much to uncover and projects to work towards in this tiny zone, it’s just, wholly a good effort by Blizzard. Plus, I feel like I’m finally being rewarded for sticking with Engineer as my profession for so dang long.

Nazjatar is a pretty good zone too, though I feel like there’s some issues with the rare spawn rates. There are items you can get to summon specific rare NPCs to fight, that drop gear and currency you need for the zone, right. But you can’t summon them ANY time, you have to wait for the right trigger to spawn first. It feels kind of inconvenient to wait around for so long for the thing to happen, then you have to do all the work to make the summon happen. I wonder if it’s because they don’t want players abusing the loot tables? But even then, we can only loot each rare NPC a day, so it really shouldn’t be an issue.

I have not yet attempted the new pet dungeon in Stratholme, but will try to post a review when I have. I’m still working on grinding the Celestial Tournament each week for the pets there, and haven’t found the courage/attention span to try the other dungeons’ challenge modes yet. Hopefully I will be able to keep writing about my experiences with pet battles on this blog, so stay tuned!

This post is sort of an experiment to see how I do with a more casual sort of writing. If you enjoy my rambling, please let me know on Twitter! 

Investigating the Illumination Academy in ‘Elder Scrolls Online’

Elder Scrolls Online is so dang good, you guys. It handles all sorts of themes using the Elder Scrolls lore in ways that make me so happy. I’d like to talk about one quest from the Summerset expansion that really captured my imagination.

On the way to a town on the northwestern coast, we are called over by an Altmer woman who speaks in an unusual accent for the region. She is very clearly impersonating a Nord, but to what end? If we’ve learned anything from our time in the Summerset Isles, High Elves are not exactly fans of other races.

So we head on up the road she came from to figure out what exactly is going on. Because something must be wrong for a distinguished resident of Summerset to even consider Nords as having an important faith.

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Those familiar with some of the mythology of the Elder Scrolls series’ Nords may know that Sovngarde is the land of the honored dead, with Tsun being the guardian before the whale bone bridge that leads to the Valhalla’ish place. She seems to believe you are on a battlefield with the long dead snow elves?

As we enter this beautiful campus, we start to notice some things are off. It’s almost as if we wandered into ‘play pretend’ time at school. There’s one man commanding a group of chickens, while others are sitting in a tree as if it was a pirate ship.

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Finally we are approached by a lucid-seeming man who is terribly worried because his best friend isn’t acting quite herself. When we talk to the friend she just grumbles that we’re “ruining the moment”. So off to try and help others in this madhouse.

First we find a man sitting on a blanket surrounded by empty bottles, begging anyone walking by for coin. In front of him are three books, one of them called The Begger Prince. Upon reading the couple of pages of Beggar Prince available, we learn the story of a man who begged Namira, the Daedric Prince of Disgusting Grossness to make him rich. Namira did so, by making him so pathetic that everyone would give coin to the beggar.

So we talk to the dude, and when he asks for gold, we get the option of giving him some, or saying nope. When you say nope, he gets all confused.

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Who could possibly refuse this poor beggar?

“You must be the Daedric Prince, Namira!” he cries, getting all sorts of excited. “Otherwise you’d be giving me all the gold in your wallet!” he reasons. So you can either tell him “yes but I cure you” or “no you’re really not that gross” and it will snap him out of the delusion.

After that we cure a couple more victims of whatever is going on. Pie is involved. We learn that a spirit has escaped a forbidden book accidentally opened by a student. So we go into the library’s book dungeon to fight it. As we go we encounter a number of moments where we must read the books given, and file them away into the proper section of library. Eventually we fight the spirit, send it back to the book, and everyone’s back to a nice healthy humiliated normal.

The coolest thing about this quest is that just about everything was old assets. No new gameplay mechanics were introduced, and even most of the books existed in the game before it. The Illumination Academy quest was really just a genius way to take advantage of the existing lore, and quest design mechanics of the game. It makes me glad to continue playing new content, because it feels upwards from here.

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Please let me know if you liked this post! I’d like to talk more about this beautiful MMO and the wonderful people I play with. Follow me on Twitter.