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Blues Clues

Medeor's Mishaps and Mayhem

Welcome to the Overpull. This week we talk about resilience, Dalaran, and what makes World of WarCraft so playable. So let’s jump right on in!

Here’s the lineup this week

What's the Buzz

So what happened this last week? Well, a lot of nothing happened.

Resilience was buffed, increasing the length of PvP matches and somehow injecting a bit more skill into the mix. To me all I can see is unkillable healers who have to be taken down with precision strikes that if they fail will require planning, waiting, and a second attempt. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

Gold Sellers have gone insane. I was witness to a legion of newbies running around with gold selling site names. They’re getting desperate. The economy of the game is going haywire and things are working against them. The price of gold is falling and rising, there are legions of teleporting farmers going under the world to gank titanium nodes, and accounts are getting hacked left and right.

This is a war people. This is a war for your accounts, for your gold, and for your real life money. To them they want to take your account, take your gold, and then when you’re desperate for it back they sell it back to you. They’re using authenticators to keep you from getting on, Google ads are filled with phising sites that aim to steal your account, and Blizzard is being bombarded on the forums and IRL over the phone with restore requests. Scammers, here at home, are trying to even take advantage of this by scamming Blizzard into restoring their accounts and getting something from nothing.

I’m not an alarmist when it comes to online games. I do like to write paragraphs that sound very fun though. All of this is true though. Gold sellers are on a rampage right now. More so than I’ve ever seen. Keep your account safe and pick up an authenticator. Want to know why? Click here and read this article. If you shrug, just remember – if you don’t get one and get hacked the gold sellers will attach an authenticator to your account keeping you off and slowing the restoration process.

With that said, it’s been a quiet WoW week. See you next week with hopefully more news.

Oh, Prince Keleseth will no longer melee players. That’s good.

New patch notes are out, which are pretty cool. Can't wait to shatter the barrier.

Talk about this weeks news on our forums.

TTH Forum Spotlight

Welcome our new Moderator

What's the Buzz

Last week we were talking about classes. This week we’ll talk about something with a bit less class. Dalaran.

I love Dalaran as a city. Think about the majestic city floating in the sky on a starry night. The streets still bustling as adventurers move to and fro through the streets trying to get somewhere. The fountain in the middle giving a cooling mist as you walk by and down the streets. The glowing street lamps lighting the way as the purple hue of the Kirin Tor’s banners make you proud to be in the city.

The roleplay aside, the city is freaking cool. Here’s why.

It starts off with a bit of history.  Dalaran was originally founded by mages fleeing the restrictions of Strom (the unified nation before the Alliance) so they could practice their trade with some peace. They built the Violet Citadel (the city that we know call Dalaran) on an island in the middle of Dalaran and the large violet gardens all around with their magical knowledge.

Of course, using magic like that comes at a price. Demons from The Burning Legion began showing up. Strom was ready to invade so they went to the High Elves and made a deal that formed the Order of Tirisfal. The order would appoint the Guardian of Tirisfal to protect Azeroth from the demons while they worked to control the use of magic to prevent any kind of special tears that would allow the demons to invade.

During the Second War, long after all of this, the Horde invaded Dalaran and razed the city. Of course, the Horde invaded EVERYTHING ELSE OUT THERE. So they rebuilt, like EVERYONE ELSE did. Then in the Third War they needed a book in order to go rez Kel’thuzad and bring about the summoning of Archimonde. Yeah, AGAIN WITH THE KEL’THUZAD. That guy should just be the end boss of WoTLK.

Archimonde destroys Dalaran of course, because he’s a cool guy. They throw up a giant purple bubble and rebuild the city. In patch 3.0 they fly the city to Northrend and plant it in Crystalsong Forest’s skyline. There they sit at war with almost everything, the Blue dragons, the Scourge, and Harry Potter fanatics. Err, scratch that last one.

There are some really cool things about the city. There are potions in the Underbelly that can turn you into a fly or a walrus with extra fishing. There is an auction house only accessible to Engineers. The Alliance get a Beer Garden (lucky them). Windle Sparkshine will light all of the lights in Dalaran at night and sell an item that’s from the Harry Potter movies. Minigob Manabonk will “Manabonk” random players which sends them a wand to polymorph someone in Dalaran.

You can also jump off the edge of Dalaran and die in the forest below, if you so want to. Well, you can do that in Outland too, I suppose, but there is nothing like jumping off a floating city and wandering where your parachute went.

What's the Buzz

Today question is: Do you think PvP and PvE should somehow be self contained? Different skills, different servers, etc?

Forums to comment.

Xerin’s Soap Box

Rarely do I speak of other games in my life as a “WoW Professional”, the joking title I constantly throw around. There isn’t a lot I don’t know about WoW, unless you count the fact I keep confusing Karazhan’s limits between 10 and 15 (ZG is really stuck in my head). I’ve been a subscriber since day one and WoW is the only online MMOG I want to play. That is not to say that I’m ignorant of the gaming world. I make it a point to try other MMOGs all the time, as part of my responsibility to my job here at Ten Ton Hammer and as part of maintenance on my hilarious title of “WoW Professional.”

With that, I’d like to run through some of my experiences in a few of the games I’ve played, in the form of a long run on sentence. Post on the forums how many games you’ve played!

I’ve played ball in Pangya, had over 8 50s in Dark Age of Camelot, flown ships in Earth & Beyond, smacked sewer rats in Everquest, mined an entire night away in Eve Online, watched my game client crash over and over in Vanguard, leveled to 80+ in the first open beta of Ragnarok Online and again in the second, played tanks in Gunbound, banged my head into the desk at the discussion in Maple Story, failed to see the point in Runescape, played one map over and over in Phantasy Star Universe, sighed when they announced they were closing Phantasy Star Universe, wore tights in City of Heroes, did it again in Champion’s Online, rode around on a horse and had fancy conversations in Ultima Online, played and quit the free trial in Lord of the Rings Online, died within a few minutes of opening DarkFall, ran in circles in Dungeon Runners, ran an impressive guild in Guild Wars, asked where Captain Kirk was in Star Wars Galaxies, tried to figure out how to scan ships in Star Wars Galaxies, could not jump properly in Star Wars Galaxies, thought that the graphics were good in Lineage 2, played basketball in Court Rivals, missed the point in Free Realms, summoned a ton of pets and solo’d everything in Dofus, did the starting zone in Runes of Magic, played a bit of Rappelz, did all of the council’s requests (many times) in Kingdom of Loathing, cut wood in Puzzle Pirates, tried to figure out what to do in Neocron, tried to figure out what to do in Necron 2, admired the music in Neo Steam, played one of the relaunches of Ryzom, rode around in circles in Auto Assault, quit at the grind in Ace Online, Air Rivals, and again in Space Cowboy Online, felt like I was playing Diablo II in MU Online, and finally felt that forums that are games shouldn’t be a game like zOMG!

I have a lot of experience with games. This past week I’ve been in the open beta of a game I won’t mention but I will say it involves space combat. It reminds me just like all of these other games why I continue to play WoW.

WoW is a solid game, the U.I. is streamlined and usable, and there is no lag unless it’s with you. When you start at level one you’re a pitiful example of what a warrior should be like. You have literally no abilities, nothing to do but jab things with a stick or somewhat pointy weapon or cast a spell that does less damage and takes longer to use. Within ten levels you’re a holy or unholy warrior of justice setting enemies on fire, summoning pets to your side, and then your journey gets progressively better. You’re getting new gear and work your way to flying around bombing enemies, killing major characters in the lore, and finally reaching the 80th season where you stand on piles of gold, wearing shining armor, and destroy everything in your path. You end up throwing your blade up to old gods, immortal kings, and betrayers.

WoW is so good because it appeals to everyone. It’s not a risk taker; it doesn’t try something new and rush it out the door then cries when it fails. It knows what people want. They want to login and kill things, alone or with friends, and they want to feel a sense of power. They don’t want to read manuals to figure out how to do the very basic things like combat nor do they want to suffer a grind that never rewards them.

With that said, I wish more game developers would learn from WoW. Learn from the good things about it. It’s not questing or yellow exclamation points that make WoW. It’s not the combat, the classes, or the spells. It’s the whole experience. It’s not the U.I. (or the U.I. icons that some games tried to steal), it’s how easy the U.I. is to use. It’s not the questing system that everyone plays for; it’s the fact that it gives you a pleasant game experience. It’s not the combat with swords or magic, it’s the fact that combat is easy to get into and responsive.

So you don’t have to steal how WoW’s U.I. looks to make a good game, you just need to have a U.I. that provides the same kind of function. You just need an easy to use U.I. that tells you what you need to know and doesn’t include too many other details. You don’t need to steal WoW’s combat to make a successful game, you just need to see the mojo behind it. It’s not the questing or combat either, but instead the basic principles behind it.

Before game developers continue to release games that underwhelm at the start or completely copy WoW and fail at it they should look through the game to see why it’s such a success. They should take their time in development and focus on these key aspects, chop off a ton of the extra “features” that they think are cool but development time will make them faulty, and finally they should simplify the game enough that it’s easy to get into but still has enough depth to keep you playing for a long time.

Finally, Blizzard’s COO Paul Sams said this sometime last week:

We will not pull the rug out from under them and ship it before it's done, so people feel that when they out their heart and soul into a game, they'll be able to deliver the game they envisioned.

That is another prime example of what many games need but do not have.

That’s what is bothering me this week. Join me next week as I look into how arena matches compare to real life Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments.

P.S. Sulu is behind you.

That’s the Overpull this week. Stay tuned next week for more awesome news, funny stories, lore, and questions rolled together in your ultimate WoW newsletter.

-David "Xerin" Piner

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.