Blizzcon Roundup – My Thoughts on What Matters Most

Blizzcon has come and gone, and I want to take a few minutes to reflect back on some of the news coming from the company that has consistently captured the attention of most people in this space.

If you’re looking for more of a roundup, I recommend Shacknews. Scroll back through a few of their posts like the one reviewing WoW’s 7.2 update and the Keynote roundup. There’s also MMO Champion for the overall “what’s next” in WoW. I’m not going to cover all of the news side because I’m an opinion guy, not press or journalist.

So here’s what matters most to me, and what I’m excited about (and why).

Diablo 3: Rise of the Necromancer

I welcomed the news of a new ‘character pack’, despite still not knowing what I’m going to have to pay for it. This year was about 2-3 years too soon for them to announce Diablo 4. In fact, I would be upset if they did. They failed so hard on Diablo 3 — yes, I still think so even after they improved it — that I would be bothered by them immediately jumping into 4. I need to see some serious brainstorming from them before I would even trust them on it again.

The Necromancer class is fantastic, and I only wish it came out sooner. Diablo 3 is, unfortunately, on the edge of dead for me. Will this be enough to revive it…. probably not, but this next news might be…

The Darkening of Tristram

The original Diablo makes a return in The Darkening of Tristram, which is a “retrovision” look back at the original Diablo. Featuring 16 levels, a boss, old school graphics, old sound track, and four direction movement, this throw back seems like the best news to come to Diablo 3 yet — and it’s free.

Darkening of Tristram

While the Necromancer MAY bring me back, this will absolutely 100% get me to reinstall. I only wish the scope was greater than the cathedral.

What’s Next for World of Warcraft

Patch 7.1.5

Really big news coming in 7.1.5, mainly the Mists of Pandaria Time Walking and class updates (which I can only hope will be good news for me). The artifact catch up mechanics also pique my interest. One thing I really like about sticking with my Druid is that I can be a tank, a healer, a melee dps, or a caster dps. What I can’t do is keep them all up.

Patch 7.2

You want to know what I like about patch 7.2? There’s lots of neat things coming like Tomb of Sargeras, a new dungeon, more artifact talents, etc. What I like most is that THERE IS A PATCH 7.2 and Blizzard actually has a plan for this expansion.

Karazhan 2 Wings

I was just lamenting how long it takes to get through Karazhan. Well, in a few months (fingers crossed) there will be upper and lower. That’s pretty neat. But isn’t that a bit late, Blizzard? I mean, ToV is coming. Cathedral of Eternal Night (A new dungeon) is coming. We’ll have Nighthold too. Will this gear actually be that good? I suppose from the final secret boss it might be, but otherwise I can’t see needing it.

Druid Wearbear Form

Heck yes. Best news out of Blizzcon. This is so ridiculously needed, and SO FREAKING COOL!

Druid Wearbear Form

If they make this hard to obtain I’m going to rage. It’s the least they can do after making our class mount (form) look so stupid.

Druid Class Mount

Blizzcon Overall

Sort of a lackluster event. The news for World of Warcraft was fantastic. There’s not a WoW player out there who can justifiably way “that’s a let down” for the coming months. But this news didn’t need Blizzcon. Can you imagine the event if there wasn’t a Legion? “You can play some old looking Diablo levels and hey there’s some Hearthstone cards. Grats kids!”

I’m excited for when the huge year comes next year, but I think I’ll REALLY be looking forward to the year after that when they finally announce Warcraft 4.

Read between the lines here where Mike Morhaime said in a Blizzcon interview…

“We love RTS games but right now our focus is still continuing to evolve StarCraft II—and to the extent that MOBA games are RTS—continue supporting and evolving Heroes of the Storm,” Morhaime said in an interview (via GameSpot). “I love that there is so much passion and interest around Warcraft IV. I would love to see Warcraft IV at some point in the future, but that is not our current focus.”

Let’s look at the facts.

  1. He would love to see Warcraft 4.
  2. It’s not their current focus

It’s coming. The announcement will be made in 2018. They’ll release in 2020. 2020 being hindsight, hindsight being they should have done this WAY sooner. It’s coming guys. It’s coming.

So about that last post…

I may have jumped the gun a bit…

Xavius Boomkin DPS

Last night I took my Boomkin into our raid and absolutely crushed it. I did the best I’ve ever done. I didn’t beat the mages, shaman, or DH but I did way better than I usually do. To put this into perspective, I was doing 160-170k tops last week. Last night I was averaging 220+.

What changed? Good question. According to patch notes there was no positive change for Boomkin. In fact, some Boomkin vets say we were “nerfed” because some “snapshot” system was removed.

I did use a flask and food. Is that responsible for a 50k DPS increase? Maybe. Quite probably.

Boomkin DPS

I felt like my abilities were flowing so much smoother from one to the other. Perhaps some extremely minor GCD tweak? I played no different than any other night.

After the raid we went into Mythic dungeons and I obliterated mobs. Again I didn’t beat the OP shaman who pulled 100k dps higher than me every pull, but I I was doing 220+ on trash and bosses. I can live with that! I can totally live with middle of the pack. I feel like I can be totally viable all of a sudden.

So while nothing officially changed in patch notes, everything changed with respect to my outlook. Yep, it happened overnight. I plan to stick with Boomkin, and spec heals on an as-needed basis.

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.

WoW

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.

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.

cenarius-kgc

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.