With 4.1 coming closer to fruition, lets do a deep dive into some of the upcoming game changes. Kitty discussion to come in a following post.
Firelands Raid Delayed
Quote from Blizzard (Source)
The decision to move Firlands to 4.2 was also motivated by a desire to move away from the “monolithic” content patches World of Warcraft has received recently, towards smaller updates, Brack said.
“Patch 4.1 provides our players with access to the completely redesigned Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub five-player dungeons, where they’ll be able to experience challenging encounters featuring all-new boss mechanics, obtain updated epic-level loot, and possibly acquire rare mounts.
“One of our long-standing development goals is to release regular content updates for the community to enjoy. These updates are generally focused on introducing specific content, like a new raid or new gameplay features.
“Our plan is to package these features into smaller content updates and to release them as soon as possible, rather than wait and release larger updates more infrequently.
“The previously announced Firelands raid will be part of content update 4.2 which should come soon after 4.1.
Heres the problem with this concept, sure you can make small releases of content to keep the general public happy however it can also be perceived as filler content. ZG/ZA will do nothing for raiding guilds and really is a way to supplement people who dont have access to raid gear. This is the same issue as when Onyxia (and to a lesser extent TOC) was released. Sure it helped a lot of casual players and a lot of alts but it really was not worth doing for anyone who participated in raids. I guess this is one of those things that benefit the mass vs the few so its probably in the best interest of majority of players.
Return of Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman
Quote from Blizzard (Source)
The Gurubashi Tribe Persists
Originally a 20-player dungeon released in patch 1.7, Zul’Gurub will once again open its gates, featuring updated lore, all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot! Zul’Gurub is now a level-85 five-player Heroic difficulty dungeon. To provide a new tier above the current Cataclysm dungeons, players can expect to find epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is 346.
The Return of Zul’Aman
Ever a player favorite, the level-70 ten-player dungeon of Zul’Aman is being reintroduced as a level-85 Heroic five-player dungeon. Zul’Aman will join Zul’Gurub in a new Dungeon Finder tier of Heroic dungeons, providing epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is also 346. While Zul’Aman will be more of a throwback to the original dungeon featuring many of the same encounters, players can expect to find some updated gameplay mechanics, as well as new environment textures and lighting.
With the Zuls returning, you may be wondering about the unique mounts that were once contained therein. We’re pleased to announce that new versions of the rare raptor, tiger, and bear mounts will be available, while the old versions of these mounts will remain unique to those who already have them. We’ll reveal more about how these updated mounts can be obtained in the future.
The new loot table for ZG/ZA can be found here. My beef with this is why keep reintroducing old mounts (Raptor/Tiger/Warbear) when you say they are removed for good. People spent lots of time farming these mounts putting time in to make sure they obtained it before it was removed. I’m not trying to be elitist, in fact if that is the policy is to remove it all then so be it but keep it consistent. Black/Plagued proto drakes were removed very early and if you’re going to bring back the tiger/raptor AND the warbear, then I for one would love to get my Black Proto Drake. Even if it is a rehashed colour scheme, I completed Glory of the Raider (25 Player) so I don’t see any reason why it can be reintroduced. Lets keep the theme consistent one way or another.
Quality of Play Improvements
Interestingly enough, there are quite a few improvements to gameplay that will affect everyone. They’re really not game breaking but they do make things a lot easier for players in general.
- All major cities will now have every type of profession trainer and their associated trade supply vendors.
- The Dungeon Finder now attempts to avoid putting damage-dealing classes with the same armor type in a group. (Source)
- It is an issue we’re aware of and having been looking into. We’ve applied a number of hotfixes to phased gathering nodes since the release of Cataclysm, but this one is still there and is certainly a bugger. (Source)
- Daily dungeons will be changed to weekly dungeon caps (Source)
- Updated old school TBC maps (Source, Source)
- All trade goods available for purchase with Honor or Justice Points from the associated commodities vendors have had their prices reduced by 50%.
- Maelstrom Crystals are now available for purchase with Honor or Justice Points from the associated commodities vendors.
Maelstrom prices will be bottoming up in the very near future. If you have some spare ones, its a good time to sell now before you miss out on the oppourtunity.
I think the best improvement of all is the change from Daily to Weekly dungeons. That gives players a lot more flexibility to run multiple dungeons a day instead of being forced to logon everyday to try and cap your Valor Points. Having to logon everyday to try and cap VP/Guild XP is a ridiculous concept which I covered previously in a prior post, which leads to the next update…
Guild Experience Changes
- The amount of guild experience rewarded for rated Battleground guild group wins has been dramatically increased.
- Players are now rewarded guild experience for Honorable Kills in the field.
- Players are now rewarded guild experience for Battleground wins in Battleground brackets up to level 80.
- Arena teams are now awarded guild experience for wins. The entire team must be members of the same guild to earn this experience.
Finally, new ways to cap guild XP. But in typical Blizzard fashion, too little too late. If you are a small raiding guild you’re probably only logging in to raid twice a week at this point which means you cap 2 days of the week. Whereas large monstrosity guilds that have 500 players that are full of people that don’t interact with each other but run dungeons nonstop for their mains/alts are capping on a daily basis. The whole concept of Guild Perks/Leveling was to bring your guild closer, yet all its done is make it more beneficial to be in the biggest guild you can possibly find with little regard for who’s in it.
Guild Transfer & Guild Rename Services Coming
Originally Posted by Nethaera (Source)
We want to give everyone an early heads-up regarding our plan to implement a guild relocation service for World of Warcraft. The idea is for a guild leader to be able to transfer a guild to another realm. The guild structure remains intact, including the guild leader, guild bank, ranks, and guild name (depending on availability).
Guild members who decide to relocate with their guild may initiate their own paid character transfer. Upon a successful transfer they will automatically be part of the guild when they first log into the new realm. Their guild rank and guild reputation will be intact.
Guild leaders who do not want a change of scenery may also choose to pick a new guild name using another new service. These services are in development and we will be providing additional details at a future point in time.
As with all of the features and services we offer, we intend to incorporate the guild relocation service in a way that will not disrupt the game play experience. Please note that this feature will require extensive internal testing, so you may see bits and pieces of the service appear on the public test realms. We’ll announce further details at http://www.WorldofWarcraft.com.
This is a very very interesting concept and probably a very worthwhile concept. With the changes to how guilds work (perks, bonuses) it would be god awful to transfer a server and have to regrind everything which essentially takes months if not a whole year. For us being on such a small low pop server there is always a thought in the back of our minds to consider a server transfer and this is definitely a worthwhile consideration. Looking forward to seeing what the cost is as well as what sort of restrictions (if any) there will be.
20th Anniversary for Blizzard
I don’t know about most of you readers out there but the reason why I started playing WOW was because of Blizzard and its history of amazing games. I had never even tried an MMO before so it really speaks to my firm trust in Blizzards ability to churn out good games. WC1, WC2, WC3, SC1, D1, D2, WOW, SC2 I own them all and I’ve enjoyed all of them. Granted, none of them have held my interest as long as WOW but I am definitely looking forward to D3 and their next gen MMO whenever they are ready.
A website dedicated to the anniversary has been put up which can be found here.