Patch 7.1 Reveled for WoW:Legion

World of Warcraft Legion is here. And only being a week into it’s life so is the reveal of the next major patch, “Return to Karazhan.” Veterans of World of Warcraft will gather together once more wear their finest garments for the return to a palace where the former great Medivh once called home

Patch 7.1  according to Wowpedia will feature:

  • A new 5-man Karazhan dungeon with nine bosses
  • A “Small Raid” within the Emerald Nightmare and the Nighthold to conclude the Stormheim story line
  • Add on content to the Suramar story to continue the Nightfallen story line 

The patch is expected to release on the Public Testing Server (PTS) within the month of September.

Join the conversation on the Blizzard Forums: Patch 7.1: Return to Karazhan

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“You are not prepared!”No, I was not.

Legion has dropped this week and as expected it has taken my attention like an uncontrollable green storm. It’s pretty fantastic. In the next couple of paragraphs or so Ill do the best to remain as spoiler free as possible. Now it’s worth mentioning that I’m not that very far but some amazing things have happened so far.

Legion begins almost exactly where Burning Crusade left off. If you start as Demon Hunter which, of course is the new class. They’re pretty fun I will say but if I’m having to rush into battle in the name of Azeroth. I’m heading in as my Night Elf Druid, Taurile. WoWScrnShot_090116_163116 Ah, I remember the first time she and I ventured out into the world and began questing. She was once a lowly druid scouring the grounds of Darnasus for herbs and roots. Studying the whisper of the tress and ways of the beast that roamed them. That is until the call came that it was time for her to leave her novice life behind and head into the world and fight in the name of Elune and the Alliance. With me at the helm and the love of all Night Elfs in my heart there was no way we could fail, but we did because playing a game like WOW has a pretty steep learning curve. Frankly, I’m still learning to this day.

This expansion is no different. When it comes to learning curves that is. I did not play much of the prologue for Legion and I kind of regret that. Mostly because I’m unfamiliar with the changes that have gone into this game. Plus I’m terribly under-geared for a solo play through. Which is why im taking it slow so I can learn the new styles, sets, changes, and a ton of other stuff im putting off to learn. But that’s okay all in good time I suppose.

!SPOILER ALERT ! You’ve been warned!

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The prologue of this game immediately sets the tone that this is going to be the final battle for many. This is the battle that is going to determine everyone’s fate and if the right people don’t lay down their lives, there will be Hell to pay. You eat your last meal, receive a blessing, polish your blade for what could be the last time, and it’s time to go. You take an air ship to the Broken Isles because the Legion has burst through the lines that once held them at bay, but no more. They have arrived.

This is the part of the game where I got to experience something that I have never experienced the entire time I have played WOW. A massive group of people playing at one time. I’ve always heard people talk about the “good ol’days” where Burning Crusade was where the true fans made their marks in the game and where massive amounts of people populated servers forging full blown player economies. I can finally joins those ranks of players, for how long, where that’s up to end game content to decide. But getting back to the game. As my massive group of players pass mob after mob we finally make our way to the final boss, Guldan.

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The final boss battle leads into some amazing cut scenes that putting into words would do no justice and because there are two version of that outcome it’d be way too long. So I’ll just link the videos. Again…

SPOILERS!

 


The ending of this intro really put it all into perspective and it was infuriating to see King Varian Wrynn and Vol’Jin die. The only solace I could take from this was that they both passed defending what they believed in. A better Horde. A better Alliance. A better Azeroth.

The game tugs on your heart strings in every way. There have been scenes that have literally broken my heart because you spend so much time learning their story and investing in these characters that you feel awful to see them go. But again, this is a battle (expansion) where all those that need to will lay their lives down for Azeroth. It’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s the truth.

One of the best changes in Legion is the Guild Hall’s set for each type of hero. For Druids it’s the Dream Grove. WoWScrnShot_083016_165556The Dream Grove itself is often confused with the Emerald Dream because of how pure it is in both spirit and nature. It may not be the Emerald Dream but it’s as close as it can get in the physical world of Azeroth. It’s no wonder why Druids would call this place home.

There have been a myriad of changes to World of Warcraft so far and people have already deemed this expansion the best yet. All this with only being officially a week into its release. It’s a great sign to see WoW reigning like it has in the past because it proves that when the call is made the heroes of Alliance and Horde will come out in full force and fend off any threat the Legion thinks they can throw.

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Just a little heads up. I’m working on a bio/intro on my Druid and her adventures through out Legion. So far it reads fairly well and I’m excited to see it grow. Because man-o-man do we have some tales to tell. I’ll post more soon!

No Man’s Sky: Travel With Me

One of this year’s most anticipated titles has finally been released and has been out now for about two weeks. The game, No Man’s Sky and according to Steam the reviews for the game is practically at a dead lock. 49,257 reviews and 52% of those votes leave No Man’s Sky at a less than stellar “Mixed” review. But why? Did we over hype this game like we tend to do with every other game or did Sony and Hello Games just mislead us, it could be both. Regardless, No Man’s Sky is still a very unique game that inspires the gamer to embrace his or hers sense of adventure through time and space.

I haven’t yet put in the time that I wanted to in NMS and with Legion just around the corner I may not be able to fully give it my attention but it’s not going to keep me from trying. Collectively I have put in a little over 20 hours in NMS and so far from what I have done and what I have felt, it’s that the space odyssey game that is shrouded in mystery I have been looking for sense I finished Mass Effect for the third time.

The beginning of the game was a little rough I can admit. Mainly because I wasn’t really sure what I was playing. And when it comes to playing a game with limited direction the feeling of being overwhelmed by a new game can be defeating. Also it didn’t help that the red blob known as Atlas wasn’t much help in guiding me on my new found journey. So safe to say I spent the first hour or so trying to figure out the mechanics of the game. Honestly I’m still learning but the further I delve and the more words I learn throughout the planet the bigger fan I become.

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NMS is at its core an immersion game. A game that drops you in the middle of a desolate planet with not much more advice other then “just survive.” It’s a lonely game that at times has made me feel exhausted about seeing the same mountain or hill over and over again. But to know that there might be something new just over the mountain range keeps me trekking along. Scouring the planet for a particular metal or element while your life support meter drops and the flashing of lights from your suit begins. This brings out the fact that this game isn’t just about exploring and discovery but it’s also about survive. When I play NMS or any game for that matter I easily let the want to adventure get the best of me. Luckily in most games it’s not such a bad thing because of the sand box map layout. However in NMS adventuring just a couple meters beyond a valley could really get you turned around, but If my feet can take me there. I’m going. The great thing that I realized on Sunday was that you can actually ping a marker in distance through the binoculars. Whether it be a trade hub, drop pod, or battered down shelter the marker tool helps keep you moving without getting to far from your target of interest. This for me makes the game that more immersive. Not only are they areas to save your game or to upgrade/sell your gear but they become these areas that you actually look forward to. They become areas of great relief after walking for hours on end in hopes to discover more of the games lore. This past Sunday I made it a personal mission to dig a little dipper in the language in the game and because there is no actual map of reference you just need to follow your feet. So I went. In a span of two days I discovered a fair amount of words.a-strange-planet-landscape-from-no-man-s-sky-video-game-by-hello-games But the crown jewel was when I came across a massive stone that showed me more of the language which led me to understand that there is way more to this language then just game filler. I’m on a planet that is mostly inhabited by creatures native to this planet and yet there are stones with lore enlightenment willing to teach me. But because I was low on inventory, because I’m a hoarder, I needed to return back to my ship. It took me at least an hour to get back. Sure the marker said “Arrive in 21.00” but it doesn’t count if and when you get side tracked. On arrive I had this rye smile that I was home or at least somewhere where I knew where things were. Close to home as I’m going to get for now.

Which leads me into, what I think to be a very special part of the game, the alien interaction and their language. It’s not known why or how you arrived on this planet. Are you the last hope for some nearby dying planet that is looking to relocate or are you simply a rocket man burning out his fuse up in this galaxy alone. We don’t know yet. But we aren’t alone that’s for sure. The language is a key part throughout No Man’s Sky. If you want to trade you will need to know a few words so you don’t offend or scare one of the organic life forms. More importantly the language is going to further delve into the lore of NMS and with a game that is going to be further expanded through patches I would recommend that in this universe word farming is pivotal. Also to get a better understanding of what the language lore might bring in the future check out the official PlayStation Blog NMS a Universe Filled with Lore and Language.

All in all I enjoy No Man’s Sky. I look forward to finding new planets and species. Learning more languages and meeting new aliens. Sure it may have been subjected to over hype by us gamers and maybe we expected it to be so unique that maybe we can’t even appreciate it in our time, much like the Nintendo Game Cube. However No Man’s Sky is it’s own game and if you ever dreamed of drifting alone through space in hopes to find adventure and mystery No Man’s Sky is your game. Take it for what it is and not for what the mass media painted it to be. No Man’s Sky is a unique adventure and a breath of fresh air.

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E3 2016

Another E3 is here and I’ll be honest and say I haven’t actually kept up all that much on what’s going on. Primarily because I worked yesterday morning, but I did however make it in time to see Sony run away with yet again the honors of slaying it on Day Zero.

With E3 here and live it brings about that feeling in me that makes me think, “How awesome it’d be to be there as a part of this industry.” This is now my fifth E3 that I’ve given my focus to and it seems that every year it feels the same. Not in a bad way but in a way that makes me feel renewed about my interest, passion, and overall gaming community. It’s a week where gamers all around the world sit on the edge of their seats and wait in anticipation to see what is lined up for the coming year and the near future.  It’s like Christmas in the summer, just better. It’s much more hopeful.

We are all so lucky now to live in a time where we have access to instant information via twitter and constant coverage thanks to sites like Youtube and Twitch.Tv. It’s a blessing but let me tell you I really do miss the G4Tv days where Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, and Kevin Pereira ran the floor covering all the up to date info on what was going on during E3. It felt even more like a special event. I remember I had it all set up. Wake up in the morning, coffee, set up my laptop, iPhone, and TV. That would be my entire day. I spent all day sitting and watching live coverage and reading every update I could find. Even on games that I could care less about, but the point was that this was a time to learn and see what every company was doing. What they were planning, the moves they were making, the new IPs on the verge and what companies were teaming up with what console for the year. It was a time and still is that time to see the business side of the gaming world but most importantly the creative side of the gaming world.

Day zero is the show and conference king of E3. All the major Platforms come out to bring their best for E3. A couple years ago it was the release of the new “Next Gen Console” for all platforms, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. The head liners were the reveal of the “Xbox One”, “Nintendo Wii U”, and “PlayStation 4.”It was the best way to enter this new generation of console gaming, underlined comments via twitter, ridiculous console prices, crazy launch day requirements, and hopeful titles to carry these consoles into a new age. All I could remember was how excited I was about seeing console gaming on a new level. I was also a little scared because I knew it would cost money which at the time I didn’t have but excited none the less.

Yesterday brought forth that same excitement.

I went into work in the morning knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to have my phone out checking my twitter to see what is going on but I did however get a call.  It was around noon when the store phone rang. I answered and it was a guy asking me if it was possible to preorder the new Xbox One console. I was like “New console, didn’t that conference just start?” The guy on the phone says “Yep.”  I instantly in my head thought they are launching off their conference with the reveal of a new upgraded console. That can’t be good. What was funny was I actually said this to the guy on the phone and his response was too funny. He just kind of stuttered and said “Huh, yeah?”But for some time now we have all known that Microsoft has been slacking behind the PS4 in sales and popularity. So revealing a new console to hopefully change the way people look at Xbox was a must need move, but this isn’t the time to compare and contrast the two consoles. Maybe at the end of this week when all is said and done. However, being home in time to watch the Sony conference was amazing. Seeing the orchestra and the stage instantly set the tone for what was about to take place. It was a conference for games and the gamers that play them. “The drums, they are coming,” okay so I won’t reference Lord of the Rings too much, but the DRUMS! And then we saw it, him. This brutish, hulking of a man with familiar tattoos and the burliest of beards that even puts mine to shame. Stood there and arose from the shadows, Kratos. Kratos has been a figure head of the PlayStation since PS2 and to see his rebirth on the PS4 put a smile on my face for nearly an hour and eighteen minutes. Just thinking about it is giving me chills. This is the magic of E3 where anything can happen.

And we still have the rest of the week to delve deeper.

But this is truly why I love the gaming industry. Change is about and everyone is on edge to see what new games are on the horizon. Nintendo had their conference this morning which has slowly evolved from an actual conference to a gab fest where they just talk about the games with the creators. Which is still great, but forty minutes of Pokémon Sun and Moon is a little too much. But we did get a chance to see the new Zelda games which looks great. So with that, Ill wrap this up and like you I will continue to stay posted on what’s going on at E3 and later on this week I’ll do coverage of the games I’m most looking forward to. So, should be fun.

So until then happy E3!

The Tale of Two Dragon Brothers

Earlier today Blizzard released their third animated shot entitled “Dragons.”

The animated short “Dragons” delves a little deeper into the rocky relationship between Hanzo and his brother Genji. We learned that the two were brothers when the announcement trailer of new characters dropped a while back during the closed the beta. But never really knew the extent to why the two were on opposite sides.

The video goes into some detail setting up the two characters’ bio in a classic Japanese story telling kind of way. Which is ultimately leading to the final climax between the two brothers on a balcony in Hanamura. The video is jam packed with emotions and feels. For me at least it’s inspired me to work on my ninja skills when Overwatch drops later this month on the 24th.

One Last Time Drakey-Boy Part 1

Almost nine years ago Naughty Dog, the game developer that brought us Crash Banidcoot  gave us the cinematic adventure known as Uncharted. Naughty Dog had created this amazing tale of a free lance treasure hunter named Nathan Drake who was armed with pistols, machine guns, and a wit that only Nolan North could implement into this character. But like all great characters in time there is always a crew to back them up. In this case an old “bastard” named Victor “Sully” Sullivan voiced by Richard McGonagle.

After three major titles exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and one other title that launched exclusively on the PlayStation Vita, Uncharted is coming to its final end. This week Naughty Dog released Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End. This is Nathan Drake’s swansong. One final hurrah, because let’s face it any good thief or treasure hunter knows that there is need for just one last heist to get out of the game for good.

Today I started playing what could very much be the last Uncharted game I’ll ever play. It’s an emotional experience that I’m having with this game, because for every moment that gives me chills and brings an obscure smile to my face. It hits me that this could be the last time I enjoy a game of this caliber. Sure Naughty Dog will continue to create masterful works of art such as the Last of Us. If there is ever another one. But Uncharted has had a special place in my heart. It’s the cinematic mix of action adventure and historical fiction that has always spoke to me. We all at one time or another have seen Indiana Jones and know what it’s like to wonder what it’d be like to be a treasure hunter or scholar for an infamous treasure. Uncharted has been that for me. Whether I was scaling the Tibetan mountain side or cutting my way through some South American jungle in search for treasure and fame. Uncharted has been a game that inspires me to continue to have some deep connection with history. Not because I want to be a treasure hunter but that knowing your history is a very cool thing and can lead to very cool places. But soon I will say goodbye to Drake.

So as I continue down this path of learning more about a man who I’ve grown to know well. I take in every moment. If you’ve played these games since they first arrived I hope you feel this connection that I have for Uncharted, but on your level. We all have those characters we hold with high regard, Master Chief, Lara Croft, and Solid Snake are just some of those icons. But here is one who story is ending. He’ll be laid to rest because the Uncharted series has deserved it. They don’t bleed out titles every year just for financial gain nor have they ever failed to hit the mark with their narrative. Uncharted has truly been of the greats and should continue to be known just as that.

My Week With Overwatch

I’ve been a little strung out this week with catching up on some work that I needed to give my attention to. Today specifically I’am running on five to six hours of sleep. Also I have been spending a lot of my time playing the Overwatch beta, and let’s be honest I saw this coming. It’s a rough feeling tired and sleepy knowing that the beta ends on the ninth. Meh, I’ll power through it.

With the early release of the public beta on the 2nd of this month. I’ve been glued to my PC and for good reason. Is it everything thing that I thought it would be, hell yes.That and more. I’m in love with this game but I also kind of hate it. In the “love/hate” kind of sense. I’m pretty sure that in my sleep my fingers are striking the “‘A’ ‘S”D”W'” formation frantically. But regardless I couldn’t be happier that I have finally gotten my hands on this game.

It’s funny because in the days of “Onlywatch,” which seems like years ago now, I thought I would really be into certain characters. Specifically D.Va and Tracer. Playing the game however actually proved to be different. Every game scenario is different and requires you to adjust your character preference. Sure you can yell expletives at your monitor because your team refuses to group up and “Push the F***ing Payload!” or you can adjust your tactic and carry your s*** team. I laugh at this because this I what I meant by love/hate. But adjusting your character preference has proven to be the most exciting thing about this game. Sure kill streaks are fun and it looks cool when your character’s icon is inflamed but what is really great is when you start to love a character that you didnt think you would. That feeling is even more enhanced when you fight in that characters specific map and you see a statue in her honor and she says “I’am Mother Russia.” – Zayra. Or even when you play as Mei and she’s happy to be home. It just makes you want to play better with them. It makes me want them to continue their legacy whatever that may be.

The game is only in beta form but it seems ready to hit the shelves. It’s so well made it’s kind of ridiculous. Sure we can nitpick and say the turrets are ridiculously overpowered and Bastion is a son of a witch with a capital B. But we can only hope Blizzard adjust these things before launch and nerfs Bastion. That’s my request. But tonight I’m grateful to have a second to reflect on the game in it’s beta form. I’m glad and I thank Blizzard for giving us all this chance to try the game out before launch. Because running this game at a constant 70 frames at high graphics settings is a huge sigh of relief. I don’t think I could play this on a console. I’ll buy it for it but I don’t know if I dedicate my Overwatch career to console play. I can feel myself becoming a PC snob. Hopefully not.

But in the meantime please enjoy this “Play of The Game” highlight I received  playing as another of my favorites, Widowmaker. It’s a triple kill by the way!

 

Gamespot: The Story of Overwatch

“It Is A Redemption Story”

It’s been a long time since I have felt a huge need or desire to play/be apart of a game. The last game that I looked forward to was the release of “Skyrim” and “Assassin’s Creed Revelations.” Now as great as Skyrim was and is, Revelations let me down. The story and characters that I grew to know and love suddenly were changing. Plot holes were rampant and the overall story of the game was changed. It wasn’t the same and hasn’t been the same. The franchise that I spent hours of my time in running around in had a different unfamiliar feel. Since that year I have yet to hype a game. This is probably why when a new games is announced I am never too excited.

This is where Overwatch comes into play. Overwatch has been in development since probably before 2014 and for whatever reason I couldn’t tell you. I can’t stop looking forward to this game. A team based shooter made by probably one of my favorite game developers of all time. A company that sent me a trial version of World of Warcraft when I was 11. There is something about this game that has me reminiscing about the PC games of old. And when Gamespot started their mini documentary series of Overwatch I realized why I’am so excited. It’s because it is a game of old. Just honed and sharpened for the present.

But seriously though, it’s a blizzard game and a competitive game at that. So that means we all need to be prepared for gaming elitist and “gg-ers.”

When the first video was released (Thursday 21) I was super excited to see some behind the scenes development of the game but what we got was something much more rewarding. Blizzard opened up to us. They let us in and see their raw core game developers have but hide by constantly releasing half decent, mostly unfinished games every year. They showed us who they are and what they are trying to build in this video series.

If you haven’t seen them I implore you to do so. Watch them. Take the time and look at each of them. Study how they feel about this project but especially Jeff Kaplan and Chirs Metzen. Look at the passion and defeat that is in their eyes. They are hopeful this game will bring them a whole new reputation and not the reputation that Blizzard takes other peoples ideas and just makes them their own and better. (Several people have made this comment to me I don’t believe it but understand it) No, this game is going to trail blaze a new reputation with us gamers and I look forward to it.

It’s going to be the shooter we didn’t even know we needed. The Beta has proved that already.

 

Part 1: The Fall of Titan

Part 2: Return of the 90’s Shooter

Part 3: 21 Hero Salute

And a huge shout out and thank you to @Dannyodwyer and the Gamespot crew for doing such a good job at capturing all of the greatness that Blizzard had to offer over this three part series.

PaxEast 2016 Weekend

One of the biggest Gaming Expo is in full swing and Boston is colored in purple for more then one reason this weekend.

From April 22- 24 Pax East will be live through a myriad of Twitch channels those of which you can find here – Team Pax

Keep up to date with live tweets from Pax as well : @Official_PAX

It’s High Noon somewhere

If making video shorts weren’t enough to get fans asking for more, theses comic shorts will continue the hype until launch May 25th. Today Blizzard released new media that continues to fill in Overwatch’s character and story background. And I am all about them.

The dual pistol hauling, bullet slinging McCree is the face of the very first issue. Blizzard has done a phenomenal job at leaving hints and notes of the story’s past through out the beta and on Battle.net. But nothing like the video shorts or the comics. McCree’s brief story line can be found on his “Story” page but the comic will delve a little deeper into exactly who McCree was before the start of Overwatch.

The comic can be downloaded here or read here!

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Comic still from the comic itself. McCree’s brief story entry to follow.

“JUSTICE AIN’T GONNA DISPENSE ITSELF.”

“Armed with his Peacekeeper revolver, the outlaw Jesse McCree doles out justice on his own terms.

McCree had already made a name for himself as a member of the notorious Deadlock Gang, which trafficked in illicit weapons and military hardware throughout the American Southwest, when he and his associates were busted in an Overwatch sting operation. With his expert marksmanship and resourcefulness, he was given the choice between rotting in a maximum-security lockup and joining Blackwatch, Overwatch’s covert ops division. He chose the latter.

Although he was initially cynical, he came to believe that he could make amends for his past sins by righting the injustices of the world. McCree appreciated the flexibility afforded to the clandestine Blackwatch, unhindered by bureaucracy and red tape. But as Overwatch’s influence waned, rogue elements within Blackwatch sought to bring down the organization and turn it to their own ends. Wanting no part of the infighting, McCree set off alone and went underground.

He resurfaced several years later as a gunslinger for hire. But while McCree’s talents are sought after by parties great and small, he fights only for causes he believes are just.” – Battle.Net