Today a news post on the World of Warcraft home page details their plans to discontinue the Battle.Net branding.
Blizzard plans to phase out the use of Battle.Net in favor of the Blizzard moniker. Instead of “Battle.Net Voice” for example, it would be “Blizzard Voice” after the change.
They detail that the underlying technology and systems are not changing and they have no plans to discontinue any services.
When we created Battle.net, the idea of including a tailored online-gaming service together with your game was more of a novel concept, so we put a lot of focus on explaining what the service was and how it worked, including giving it a distinct name. Over time, though, we’ve seen that there’s been occasional confusion and inefficiencies related to having two separate identities under which everything falls—Blizzard and Battle.net. Given that built-in multiplayer support is a well-understood concept and more of a normal expectation these days, there isn’t as much of a need to maintain a separate identity for what is essentially our networking technology.
One can certainly understand wanting to consolidate their brand name and ease confusion for potential and current customers.
You can check out the news post here.
So a couple weeks ago I published a story outlining all to be had at the time for the Legion Pre-Launch content. Since then I’ve found a few things I’ve missed, a few things I’ve learned, and what to do with it.
Previously I talked about the scenarios involved. Well, after doing some research I’ve found there are quite a few easter eggs in game items you can pick up before doing the fist quest. So if you have an alt that hasn’t done the scenario for broken shore yet, hold off until you find a hidden vendor sitting in Stormwind Harbor. All you have to do is have the quest for the broken shore, but don’t actually do it yet. Before boarding the boat for the quest outside the dock there is an NPC named Lenny “Fingers” McCoy(Horde side is Fo’Rum the Postmaker by the Draonsh’ar Blockade and Ravika by Bladefury’s docks). This NPC is a vendor that sells a few items including a Lucky Shirt which is the only in game way to obtain the “Fine Cloth Shirt” transmog appearance. (The Horde vendor has hard to get items from patch 5.3 that were since removed from the game, so if you play Horde be sure to grab them).
Taken from screenshots @wowhead.com
The final hidden item to be found is during the 6th stage of the Broken Shore quest line for the alliance(but can also be picked up during stage 7). There is a coffin looking thing where you can find a “Charred Locket” during the scenario. If you don’t grab it now, it’s gone forever on that toon. When you’re done take the locket to Eastvale Logging Camp in Elwynn forest. There will be an NPC named Alaina Heartsong that will want the locket(at 85,67). Leave and return to the house immediately and you can find the reward item upstairs named “Alaina’s Bonnet”. The Horde cannot loot this, but if you unlock it on alliance side you can transmog it as a Hordie.
Taken from screenshots @wowhead.com
Another cool item that you can obtain is dropped from the Doomsayers around your main cities that once outed with either a Demon Hunter’s Spectral Sight or an item called “Cursed Vision of Sargeras” that drops in Black Temple, turn into a “Dread Infiltrator”.
Taken from screenshots @wowhead.com
There are usually LFG groups looking for it that are active right now, so get playing to find it. The item it drops is a neat “Toy” for your collection called a “Pocket Fel Spreader”, but it actually doesn’t do any damage. It applies a fel texture to the ground and objects in its radius and just plain looks really cool instead.
The other half of this is players that end up hearing “Dark Whispers” will eventually gain an action bar which can transform them into a dreadlord to cause all kinds of trouble for other surrounding players by turning them hostile ala mind control. If the players don’t want to do it at the time can just click off the buff. As a Dreadlord you have the abilities to CC a group with a “Hysteria” debuff, vanish to avoid combat, and disguise yourself as a normal player as you’re spreading chaos.
One last note on items which relates to the previous article, is on the Fel Bat Pup. Once bought with Nethershards and learned you can re-crate for later sale, so I suggest buying a few and saving them to sell later for a profit. Just learn the pet, open your log and right click and select “Put in Cage”. Note that you only need to do this if you’ve already right clicked and “learned” that pet and you want to get rid of the extras.
Screenshot taken by Kaylan Heineman, Broken Joysticks
The final thing I want to revisit and discuss is invasions. With a little clever use of the LFG interface, you can level a character from 1 to 100 in well under a day of constant playing. Once you are in Stage 1 of the invasion at Dun Morogh specifically in Kharanos(though it works elsewhere if people join), make or join an LFG group under custom with Dun in the title (either your own, or a hosted one) including killing the commander. Once it rolls over to stage 3, leave the group and join another by just typing “Dun” in the search bar (or if you’re reset back to stage 1, host your own with Dun in the title for others to find). These stages offer the maximum XP with minimal deaths, as the third stage bosses can be kind of brutal and can easily ruin your nice streak of XP gain. Just keep redoing stages 1 and 2 of the invasion until you are at the desired level. You can do this on toons of any level to boot so if you want to switch mains and level a toon quickly before the expansion this is the time to do it.
Screenshot taken by Kaylan Heineman, Broken Joysticks
I won’t go into the last quests and scenarios until my third part as there’s been little content thus far (but good content nonetheless), which is coming up hopefully right before or right at the date of the launch of Legion. Don’t quote me on that.
I hope you can take what I shared and maximise your fun before the expansion officially launches on August 30th.
2K Games released a cool comparison trailer showing the visual differences between the new remastered editions of Bioshock 1 and 2 vs. the old releases. The trailer shows off a bevy of graphical improvements of which there are too many to list. Check it out below.
During Gamescom earlier today Blizzard launched their Legion Cafe which is styled after the Demon Hunter class hall, the Fel Hammer. You can check out tons of photos on the Official World of Warcraft Facebook page. During the events they announced their first content patch for Legion as captured by user Slootbag on Twitch during his live stream. Just click the link for the replay.
Patch 7.1 is titled “Return to Karazhan”. It will feature a 5 man epic dungeon and a mini-raid that will be central to the story of Legion and will contain at LEAST 9 different instances. Additionally there will be new Suramar content in the mix as well as some world content, and there is a new small raid between Nightmare and Nighthold which finishes the Stormheim quest chain. It will be in the PTR by the time Legion hits the public. You can check out the trailer from Wowhead below!
Earlier this week Blizzard Entertainment released a Pre-Launch patch to prepare its players for the imminent launch of their newest expansion World of Warcraft: Legion. Since then I’ve had a bit of time to check out the content they’ve rolled out.
The first bit I’d love to talk about are invasions. Since the theme of the expansion is The Burning Legion invading Azeroth, they’ve gone full force and brought some of the Legion’s toughest demons to familiar zones back in the main lands; Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. The Kirin Tor have even brought Dalaran from the icy peaks of Northrend to float above Kharazan as they prepare for the coming invasion (though there’s nothing but inconsequential NPCs to be found there). The only zones that are being invaded at this time (and are the ones included in the Defender of Azeroth: Legion Invasions Achievement) are Westfall, The Northern Barrens, Hillsbrad Foothills, Tanaris, Azshara and Dun Morogh.
While the invasions themselves boil down to “gather up and ‘Zerg Rush’ their bases in those zones”, it does offer a bit of a challenge in that the mechanics are unforgiving and if you’re not paying a good amount of attention you’ll wind up crispy and dead. If any of you have played games like Rift or Elder Scrolls Online in the past the invasions are almost identical to Rifts and Dark Anchors respectively.
The biggest difference between this and others games is that tons of them spawn all at once. It’s up to the players of the Alliance and the Horde to help defend each other side by side to take them down and repel the invaders. Siege engines are also available for whichever faction the zone belongs. Completing the first two stages rewards you with a uncommon chest of items and Nethershards. The fourth and final stage of these invasions is a Burning Legion commander in the largest settlement of the zone which awards a rare quality chest of items and Nethershards.
The benefit to hitting these invasions would the current event currency, Nethershards, as well as the iLevel 700 gear that drops from completing stages of the invasions. The weapons are upgradable with Coalesced Fel which you can buy for 150 Nethershards. It is of note that there are a few rings, cloaks and other items available from the same vendor. For those that love pets be sure to grab the Felbat Pup available for another 150 Nethershards. One last thing to mention before moving on is that lower level toons may struggle to attend these so bringing your level 100 is highly recommended.
Moving onto the Demon Hunters about which I won’t go into a ton of detail. The starting zone that I got to experience for the Demon Hunters was a lot of fun and steadily paced. The storyline was engaging and even hooked to some of the previous content back in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade expansion that some of us remember fondly. I won’t spoil it for you here but it was super satisfying to see history from another angle.
You first start in Mardum as one of your factions’ elves and later progress to the inside of the Vault of the Wardens in one of the expansion zone Azsuna. The new mobility options introduced with the Demon Hunters, namely the double jump and glide were a much welcomed addition which brought a fresh and fun way to traverse the zones.
The last thing worth mentioning is the scenario of your first trip to the Broken Shore. For spoiler reasons I won’t go into detail but before it’s over you’ll be hitting a heavy dose of feels. What follows sets the tone for the expansion and gives you a good idea just why you should be very afraid of the Burning Legion. Once again as it seems to be the theme this expansion, you will team up with the opposite faction to take down a common enemy and no one ends up coming out on top.
The Pre-Launch patch has me at the edge of my seat and absolutely excited about the upcoming playable content from Legion. Seeing the kind of care and quality that has gone into keeping and bringing this game up to date with modern standards, in both terms of gameplay and visuals has me extremely optimistic for the future of this game. At this point only time will tell of its success or failure as the fans sink their teeth into the meat of the game.
Microsoft dropped a bomb today when they announced that one of their more ambitious studios is proposed to be closed in the near future. Lionhead studios, made popular by the Fable and Black & White series has been working on their next iteration of the Fable franchise “Fable Legends” which recently held a closed beta test which recieved mixed reactions from the player base.
Here it is straight from the horses mouth, “After much consideration we have decided to cease development on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK. Additionally, we will close Press Play Studios in Denmark, and sunset development on Project Knoxville.”
While this comes as quite the blow, it however wasn’t unexpected due to the less than perfect releases of Fable 2 and 3. While good in their own ways, fans complained that each iteration was more and more watered down than the last and faith in the studio has been diminishing.
We here at Broken Joysticks wish all at Lionhead a successful and lucrative future no matter where they go next. There’s a lot of talent there and I’m excited to see who picks them up.
Bethesda revealed today on their official site details on the upcoming expansion packs for Fallout 4. The first DLC, titled “Automatron” arriving at $9.99 USD offers a new story line and the ability to build and repair your own robotic companions just as you would with a set of power armor. Here’s the official description. “The mysterious Mechanist has unleashed a horde of evil robots into the Commonwealth, including the devious Robobrain. Hunt them down and harvest their parts to build and mod your own custom robot companions. Choose from hundreds of mods; mixing limbs, armor, abilities, and weapons like the all-new lightning chain gun. Even customize their paint schemes and choose their voices!”
The second bit of DLC is named “Wasteland Workshop” coming in at a mere $4.99 USD. This DLC adds a slew of new build-able items to your settlement workshop as well as cool new “cages” that allow you to trap everything from raiders to deathclaws. Build your own arena! Here’s the official description. “With the Wasteland Workshop, design and set cages to capture live creatures – from raiders to Deathclaws! Tame them or have them face off in battle, even against your fellow settlers. The Wasteland Workshop also includes a suite of new design options for your settlements like nixie tube lighting, letter kits, taxidermy and more!”
The third and most meaty DLC so far is “Far Harbor” listed at $24.99 USD. A case comes in at the Valentine detective agency and of course your character has to check it out for themselves. The DLC leads you on a quest to find some woman among an island full of synthetics named “Far Harbor” off the coast of Maine. The official description is as thus. “A new case from Valentine’s Detective Agency leads you on a search for a young woman and a secret colony of synths. Travel off the coast of Maine to the mysterious island of Far Harbor, where higher levels of radiation have created a more feral world. Navigate through the growing conflict between the synths, the Children of Atom, and the local townspeople. Will you work towards bringing peace to Far Harbor, and at what cost? Far Harbor features the largest landmass for an add-on that we’ve ever created, filled with new faction quests, settlements, lethal creatures and dungeons. Become more powerful with new, higher-level armor and weapons. The choices are all yours.”
It is of note that the season pass will increase in price from the current $29.99 to $49.99 USD on March 1, 2016. Of course if you have already purchased the season pass for $29.99 nothing changes.
All of it looks very exciting and I certainly hope they offer all the fans have been asking for, which looks like it might be the case.
First Place – Space Engineers – Keen Software House – Early Access Oct 22, 2013
This years winner is a personal favorite. Space Engineers is a procedurally generated voxel based space and building and exploration sandbox with both survival and creative modes as well as online play via hosted servers. In this game you build ships, stations and anything else you can imagine with their elaborate building system and wide variety of highly customizable blocks.
Everything from programming blocks, gyros, thrusters, rotors, pistons, remote control, armor, and just about anything else you can imagine make the possibilities endless. Did I mention mods? This game has full access to the Steam Workshop and custom fanmade content.
Almost forgot to mention their newest edition, PLANETS! A lot of new features have been added along with them. Also of mention is their weekly updates. They’re always tweaking and adding things and making the game overall more enjoyable for everyone. There’s really too much for me to go over in just this short blurb, so pick it up and check it out!
Chris Wrynn, Senior Development Director of Mass Effect:Andromeda announced today through a series of tweets that he will be moving on from Bioware and returning to the USA. It’s kind of a shock due to how long he’s been on the project. Chris hasn’t let on any details as to why he is leaving at this point in time, but I don’t see any reason why his leaving would have any impact on the final release. BioWare also haven’t released any information on a possible successor to Mr. Wrynn. Before his work with BioWare Montreal, Wrynn worked as a producer for companies such as Epic Games and Microsoft.
At this point fans are clamoring for any scrap of information on the upcoming title and recently a supposed leak detailed on AntarcticWildlifes YouTube channel has everyone brimming with conjecture. Also of note is the return of writer Drew Karpyshyn, known for his work on Mass Effect, Baldur’s Gate, and Knights of the Old Republic. Having a veteran onboard certainly bodes well.
I’ve gone ahead and inserted the relevant tweets below.
It is with a heavy heart today to say that I am moving on from BioWare and Mass Effect: Andromeda, and returning to the USA.
Seems by next week we’ll have our first (much needed) patch for Fallout 4 from Bethesda, which is coming to PC first followed later by Xbox One and Playstation 4 releases.
Our process for updating the game will include releasing a beta patch on Steam, followed by full release on PC, then release on the consoles. This process has worked well for us in the past and allows us to get more fixes out faster. Expect to see more updates, that are smaller and more frequent, than a few big ones. This allows us to make sure each fix is working right, as any change can have unintentional side effects in a game this huge. We expect the first beta patch to be up next week.
One of the biggest complaints with Fallout 4, perhaps the only complaint, is the poor optimization for PC. Well the good news is an audacious and well known modder named “Bilago” has released a configuration tool to help things run better on your rig. Most options are self explanatory and let you adjust things like frame cap, Kodix’s FPS boost(which may not work on all PCs), world and first person FOV, and various other standard tweaks. I want to also mention here that if you uncap your framerate it is highly recommended to turn on Vsync for the game in your video card’s control panel(ATI Catalyst/NVidia Control Panel) .
Blizzard revealed some bombshell news today for World of Warcraft: Legion during their panel at Blizzcon. Changes include items, classes, professions, and a full cosmetic unlock system. They’re even adding an option to hide your shoulder slot item. Mainly of note is the ability to unlock an items appearance into a collection simply by owning it.
They revealed that they will go back and unlock the appearance of every quest reward you ever got in the past. This vastly expands the customization options available and will add a large variance of player appearances in game. Tabards, shirts, and weapon enchants were also listed among the cosmetic unlocks as well as the ability to save outfits that change with specialization. Blizzard went above and beyond and made all these unlocks account wide.
Check out the rest of the (huge!) changes and panel slides after the bump!Read More