On the Eve of 7.1

WoW Patch 7.1

Major patch update 7.1 releases tomorrow, bringing with it some huge updates to WoW.

KGC (Keen and Graev’s Community WoW Guild) has progressed decently for how casual we’ve played. We spend 4 hours a week raiding, and haven’t really made a push for high level Mythic+ yet. Although we’re taking it slow, we’re still seeing the content and having fun.

Return to Karazhan

This 5-man Mythic dungeon is like a raid, and drops gear equivalent to what my team has been getting in Emerald Nightmare so far.

What I really like about 5-man content is how easy it is to get a group together and just go. When organizing 10 people, things become a lot more complicated — even when you go casual.

We should easily fill a group or two on a regular basis to clear Karazhan weekly. I’m excited for the gear, change of scenery, and the experience of new content.

Trial of Valor – 3 Boss Raid

ToV is going to be a 3 boss raid similar to the Onyxia experience. I believe the devs even stated they mean for it to be a complementary raid like Onyxia was to MC back in Vanilla. There will be little if any trash, and hopefully the whole thing goes down like a nice loot pinata.

Again, this is totally my style of play. I like shorter raid with less trash. I want to go in, do a fun boss fight, and walk away with loot. I don’t want to invest 2-3 hours clearing crap to get to a boss. Although I will say that Emerald Nightmare hasn’t been horrible in this regard either, but I’d simply prefer no trash at all.

We’re going to tackle this right when it releases.

My Great Class Struggle

I was so dead set on playing a Balance Druid. I spent the past 2 weeks really working hard on mine… then I realized that Boomkin (Balance Druids) aren’t any better off than freaking BM Hunters. In fact, both are near the bottom of the dang charts. WTF did I get myself into?

I might just give up on Balance and make a push for Feral/Guardian or Heals on my Druid — which I really do love. I love my Druid. I just HATE being that guy pulling up the rear on the DPS logs (despite knowing I perform admirably in raid boss mechanics).

I’ll spend some time working up my Feral spec for sure now that I know Balance is going to be in such a rough spot.

Edit 1: Hah, doesn’t look like Feral does much better. 😉 Heals it may be…

Edit 2: I spoke to the team and they think I should go Heals. So there it is.

Conglomoblog Update: Civ, Gears, WoW, Business

I’m sorry for the record slowdown around here. This past week was crazy with a few game launches and RL stuff.

Civilization VI

Graev and I both picked up Civ 6. I’ll be the very first to admit that I’m not as familiar with Civ as I thought I was from playing Civ 4. I get the general idea of how to play, how to take a turn, the general ideas, etc. What I don’t have down at all are the strategies or “best practices” of how to play.

My games are always SO DANG LONG. Is that normal? Right now I chalk it up to not having a strategy, therefore spending hours going in multiple directions when I should be focusing on one solid victory.

Gears of War 4

I think Graev and I are making good progress in Gear 4. We’ve come across a few major reveals in the story, and I can tell they’ve definitely set themselves up for a new trilogy.

This is one I still plan to more formally write my thoughts on, but for now I’m happy to say it’s fun and I recommend it for fans of the previous games.


KGC is still progressing in raids. We’ve moved into Heroics now, and plan to pick up the pace now that 7.1 is coming out tomorrow. I’m actually going to write another post on 7.1 here this morning.

Nintendo’s New Console: ‘Nintendo Switch’

Nintendo Switch Console

Nintendo announced their new console this morning! Previous codenamed “NX”, the ‘Nintendo Switch’ releases March 17, 2017.

As many of us predicted, the new system will be a combo handheld/traditional console. The Nintendo Switch features removable handles or “Joy-cons” which can connect to an optional Pro Controller (of sorts) for use during couch play.


When on the go, the handles of the Nintendo Switch disconnect and can slide onto to tablet resting in the “Nintendo Switch Dock”. This takes the entire system on the go.

Players can use the “joy-cons” in many different ways: Connected onto the tablet for mobile play, on a Pro Controller, one in each hand akin to the wiimote and nunchuck, or split them apart for even further multiplayer

Nintendo is once again going the route of “different” over simply sticking with what has traditionally been … well… successful and fun. Looking at the joy-cons, and the system as a hole, it almost looks cheap. I haven’t held the Switch in my hands, but I don’t get a sense of quality from all these moving parts. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

Nintendo's New Console: Nintendo Switch

The graphics capabilities in the Nintendo Switch are powered by a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor.  “The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards,” said NVIDIA when they made the announcement. Just how “based on” we’re talking here, or what that truly means in terms of power, remains to be seen.

I noticed no mention of a touch screen. I’m betting there isn’t one. I’m okay with that, though, as I felt like it would be one gimmick too many.

I like the idea of taking my little tablet-console-thing on-the-go to Graev’s house and playing local multiplayer with both consoles. I think there’s opportunity for expanded software growth beyond the Wii and Wii U now that motion and touch are likely out of the picture. Good old fashion gaming… with a mobile twist? Maybe?

I confess myself slightly disappointed by their lack of traditional console, but will keep an open mind.

Gears of War 4 – Cross Play is here!

Graev and I picked up Gears of War 4 and are currently working our way through the campaign. It’s really, really good. I don’t want to focus on any of the gameplay itself. What I want to focus on here is more of the cross play experience.

When Microsoft announced their big push toward “play anywhere,” I was extremely pleased. For the past 10 years I have been wanting PC and Console players to merge. Some games have tried, almost all have not. Developers of hardware and software alike have cited a litany of reasons. Now, I hope that’s over.

Gears of War 4 allows for co-op campaign and Horde mode cross play. It works flawlessly.

At first we couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Graev was on his Xbox One and I was on PC, but I wasn’t getting his invites. Then I found an Xbox app on my computer and suddenly the experience was merged. His invites came in like they do when you’re on Xbox and someone invites you. From there, the entire experience was utterly seamless.

Taking things a step further, if I use the Xbox app on my computer I can essentially communicate and interact in every way I can if I was on an Xbox instead. It’s great.

Here’s the one downside: You can’t play competitive multiplayer modes where PC players would be fighting against console players. Microsoft has said this is currently “temporary,” but I won’t hold my breath. I think they’ve left it out of Gears on purpose — to have no ‘negative’ perceptions of cross play among the early impressions.

Whether or not PC is truly the master race doesn’t matter to me right now. I’m just glad that I can play games with Graev on my PC if I choose, and he can be on his Xbox if he chooses. It’s time for Sony and Nintendo to start moving in that direction.

Our thoughts on Gears 4 coming soon…

KGC & Friends Clear Emerald Nightmare!

Emerald Dream Cleansed

KGC & Friends finished up Emerald Nightmare this weekend!

We were able to beat Xavius on our first night of attempts (about an hour and a half).

The boss who gave us the most trouble was definitely Cenarius. We spent two nights of attempts on him while trying to figure out some of his mechanics. Luckily, once figured out the fight seemed to go pretty well.


Earlier bosses were more about figuring out some mechanics, but also how to raid together and use our classes properly. We struggled at first with how many healers we would need, how many DPS, etc.

Overall, our group was did quite well for the amount of time we put in. As a casual raiding group, we put in 4 hours a week (2 hours each on Sunday and Monday) from 4:30pm-6:30pm pacific. That’s not a lot of time at all.

Each day we progressed, and I saw people learning to play both their classes better as well as playing better together. That’s what progressing through boss content is all about!

One highlight of the evening for me was being able to bring my Druid in for Xavius. We needed a little more than two healers, so I was able to squeeze out a drop of usefulness.

Emerald Nightmare Impressions

The raid itself delivered nicely. Blizzard has been teasing the raid for years saying they want to make sure they do it justice.

Emerald Nightmare definitely delivered atmospherically. I like how different parts of the world were represented. Mulgore definitely takes the prize.

Emerald Nightmare Legion Raid

Bosses looked ‘okay’ to me. None of the bosses made me go “OH WOW COOL!” except for maybe the first boss who is a dragon comprised of swarming bugs.

Mechanically the raid was good. Several new mechanics were introduced — some a little wacky — but overall straight forward.

Looking for a Raiding Group?

KGC & Friends are looking for more! We have need for DPS to join our ranks. If you’re looking for a dedicated team that will clear Normal Mode weekly and now progressing into Heroic, please join our Discord and message Keen.