Code of Rule, an Ogre short story

Today, Blizzard published a new short story but unlike the others this one is focused on a race we didn’t hear so much before : the Ogres. We are learning here from the Imperator Mar’gok’s point of view (who maybe everyone killed a dozen of time ) on how the ogres of Highmaul made an alliance with the Iron Horde of Hellscream.

New World of Warcraft Short Story: Code of Rule

In the days before the Iron Horde invaded Azeroth and tightened its grip on all Draenor, Warchief Grommash Hellscream sought every advantage in his quest to conquer the orcish world completely.

The ogres of Highmaul once ruled Nagrand—and they still exert control over land and sea from their capital. They are massive obstacles to orcish dominance; obstacles that Hellscream himself has a highly personalstake in removing.

Faced with the prospect of extinction before a growing Iron Horde, the Sorcerer King of the ogres, Imperator Mar’gok, plots to ensure Highmaul’s survival at any price. But what can Mar’gok offer those who so eagerly seek his people’s demise?

Download and read “Code of Rule,” written by Ryan Quinn, to learn more about the Highmaul ogres and their tenuous pact with the Iron Horde.

 

Have you raided Warden Thul’tok in Highmaul Arcane Sanctum?

How many times have you raided Highmaul’s Arcane Sanctum (Normal or above)? Tons of times, most likely. In my experience, the raid ends when Ko’ragh dies and everyone gets loot or … the insidious Augment Rune (sorry, drops like candy instead of my sought gear).

Today, I went afk after Ko’ragh (Normal), and took a S.E.L.F.I.E.

Have you raided Warden Thul'tok in Highmaul Arcane Sanctum?

I had to stand on the highest part of the stairs in his room to get a clear shot. That’s when I realized the stairs area isn’t a deadend. I kept exploring beyond, and there was a upper level leading to a terrace.

I could see those Night-Twisted Fanatics climbing the walls to attack the Gorian guards and two Ogron Warbringers.

I decided to risk it, and mounted quick to explore what was beyond the terrace. To my surprise none of the Night-Twisted Fanatics attacked me, and thus I decided to ride along the edge of the cliff. None of the Gorian guards aggroed and they kept fighting the fanatics.

At the end I entered a small building. A deadend. I was hoping to find a portal to the Imperator’s Rise, but instead found some sort of boss I had never seen before. I didn’t even know this terrace existed beyond Ko’ragh.

Considering how many times I have raided Arcane Sanctum, I was surprised to find out there was actually another bonus boss in here that nobody seems to know exists. None of those raids I played in ever came all the way up to that terrace to fight this hidden boss. His name is Warden Thul’tok (Defender of the Rise).

WoWScrnShot_031515_035756

I went to WoWHead, to find out if this was a boss or just a no-loot lackey like those at the beginning of Imperator’s Rise; but nope, this is an actual boss with iLevel 655 loot in Normal Highmaul (which is where I found him). This bonus boss, however, is not available in LFR Arcane Sanctum. He is only available in Normal and above.

I can’t believe raiders aren’t coming to this boss to get this iLevel 655 loot. I’m hopeful that those who read this article will encourage their guildmates or Premade Group fellas to tackle Warden Thul’tok. The setback is that he may also drop green loot instead; but trying him is worth the setback. We killed him with 7 players. One tank and a mage (for polymorph spam). He leaves a purple AOE on the ground, and has a knockback. Make sure to have your back against the wall, especially if you are a healer. Take a look at his loot table:

Ogre Waystone
Ripswallow Plate BeltWaist (dps/heal)
Eye-Blinder GreatcloakCloak (Tank: Agi/Str)
Kyu-Sy's Tarflame DoomcloakCloak (dps spells: Int)
Eyeripper GirdleWaist (Leather: agi/int)
Belt of Inebriated SorrowsWaist (Mail: Agi/int)
Cord of Winsome SorrowsWaist (Cloth: int & mastery)
Gill's Glorious WindcloakCloak (healer)
Milenah's Intricate CloakCloak (Str, Haste, Vers)
Magic-Breaker CapeCloak (Agi)
The Joy of Draenor CookingTeaches Master Cooking + Recipes
Abandoned Medic KitFirst Aid

 

New Hotfix to increase Blackrock Foundry Item iLevel

World of Warcraft community manager Bashiok informed fans that a hotfix will be deployed to increase the item level by a factor of 5 iLevels to all loot that drops in the Blackrock Foundry.

This is a very well-received change for the sake of progression and the sense of achievement. I was at the Blackrock Foundry LFR last night and it is definitely harder in difficulty than Highmaul — especially the Iron Maidens encounter. I couldn’t describe my face when I got an item the same iLevel as the one I was wearing — and I realized some people might just ignore playing LFR Blackrock Foundry and stick with Highmaul which has a lesser difficulty approach. Now at least you have the motive and the challenge to go there, which is very welcome.

Now if we could get rid of the Runes and add something else for us enchanters to disenchant or more Elemental Rune … I got a stockpile of runes for at least 3-4 months, you know?

We are preparing to deploy a hotfix next week that will increase the item level of all raid drops from all difficulties of the Blackrock Foundry raid.

The main purpose of this change is to ensure that killing new bosses in the Blackrock Foundry raid feels appropriately rewarding. We are finding that groups coming out of a couple of months in Highmaul could often have an average item level that was just barely shy of the loot dropped by the appropriate difficulty in Foundry. A core part of the experience of progressing through a new raid tier lies in the sense that even if you didn’t manage to kill a particular boss this week, the upgrades your raid group gathered along the way will make things smoother and improve your chances the following week.

This change will be retroactive, affecting existing items that players may have in their possession. Thus, instead of an item level range of 650/665/680/695 for Raid Finder/Normal/Heroic/Mythic Foundry, the loot awarded will now be item level 655/670/685/700 respectively. At the same time, we will be increasing the item level of the new highest-tier crafted and Apexis vendor items by 5, in order to keep their power unchanged relative to the Foundry raid itemization.

 

15% Off all Blizzard Outwear with St. Patrick’s 2015 Promo Code

You can now get a 15% discount on all Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo and non-Blizzard outwear (ONLY**) until March 18th when you enter the promo code: LUCKOFTHEIRISH

In addition, there is a 15% off T-shirts with Promo Code: IDESOFMARCH (ends March 31).

**The Outwear promo also covers the newest Hearthstone Worthy Opponent Zip-Up Hoodie. This is a collection of Blizzard Outwear merchandise available in the store:

15% Off all Blizzard Outwear with St. Patrick's 2015 Promo Code

Bajheera proposes marriage to Warcraftjen during Vlog

Bajheera setup Warcraftjen during what was supposed to be a PAX East roundup vlog and instead talked about their experiences since he met her, and proposed marriage right there before the audience. Congratulations!

Bajheera is one of the most popular Blizzard livestream influencers and he was recently nominated to the Favorite WoW PvP Streamer category for the Blizzard Stream Awards by Twitch. You may cast your vote here.

Studio Cosplay is $3325 Away from Kickstarter Goal

Update: 3/13: Congratulations, Studio Cosplay for surpassing the Kickstarter goal of $24,000.
Update 3/12: Only $1390 away from goal.

studio_cosplay_mascot_vectorStudio Cosplay is $3325 Away from Kickstarter Goal. We have been following the progress of Studio Cosplay’s Kickstarter since February 11th. Less than two weeks later, they reached 40% of the $24,000 goal; and now standing three days before the goal deadline they are closer than ever.

“Studio Cosplay is creating the first ever makerspace designed specifically for costuming in the Washington D.C. metro area.”

Cosplay is a fun adventure to those who craft elaborate disguises based on their most favorite video game, comics, and other pop culture iconic characters. Many World of Warcraft players have rose to fame after participating in the BlizzCon Costume Contest.

Now more people will be able to engage in the crafting of costumes with the assistance of Studio Cosplay in Washington D.C. Metro Area — and hopefully it grows to have more locations open throughout United States. This dream can only be accomplished with your help in this Kickstarter.

Unable to help in a monetary fashion? Simply spread the word and tell all your friends in social networks and forums. Let’s push to get those last $3325! Did I mention there are some perks? Check them out the pledge perks.

StudioCosplay_Logo_Final

The Workshop will benefit hundreds of people interested in crafting their next disguise for events such as BlizzCon, PAX East, GenCon. San Diego Comic Con and other northamerican gaming and comics events.

Studio Cosplay is $3325 Away from Kickstarter Goal

With funding you could work on your cosplay projects in a space like this!

Pandaren DoubleAgent Reaches level 100 as Neutral

And… he has done it again. Pandaren DoubleAgent Reaches level 100 as Neutral. Last year, on June 14th he reached level 90 as a Pandaren who didn’t choose Alliance nor Horde faction. A few hours ago, he announced he reached level 100. It was no easy feat.

Not choosing a faction means his character is stuck in the Wandering Isle and he is not able to queue PvP Battlegrounds, Scenarios, Dungeons nor Raids. So how is he able to level up at all? That has two answers: Patiently; and by earning experience (XP) through herbing/mining and pet battles. You can browse through his progress documentation in Twitter.

double-agent-mannoroth-reaches-level-100

Why the WoW Token is the best thing to happen to WoW in years

Yep, I just went outright and said it.

Since Blizzard announced its intentions to allow players to purchase game-time with in-game money, there’s been a plethora of discussion revolving around one thought: how will this new WoW Token affect World of Warcraft?

The initial reaction has been rather for the change, albeit with some resistance from other commentators. Most opposing commentators have been stating that Blizzard selling gold can only end in a “Pay-to-Win” scenario. A “Pay-to-Win” scenario is exactly how it sounds: you pay with real money to succeed in the game. This practice has been adopted by quite a few online games, including Rift, Diablo 3 (specifically and only when the Real Money Auction House existed), and H1Z1. These games have (or in Diablo 3’s case, had) given players the means of progressing without doing any actual work. When the player reaches the maximum level or endgame content, they could simply go to any of these shops and purchase the best gear and items for their character.

It’s a frightening thought, and it’s a fear that seems to permeate World of Warcraft’s outlook by some presently.

Well, I say you’re all wrong.

First off, can someone explain to me how this is “Pay-to Win” in the slightest? I see no gear being sold. I see no items that offer an advantage over other players being sold.

With WoW’s in-game currency revolving almost entirely around Gold, a vast amount of players save gold, upon gold, upon more gold. In my time playing, I still know a guy who has collected close to 9 million across all of his characters and no matter how he approaches the game, he can’t spend it all.

To have such a surplus, wouldn’t it make sense to have some sort of system to alleviate this and positively change their approach to the game? All that effort after all those years, all that gold compiled.. and it doesn’t pay off at all really.

Sure, you can buy the best cosmetics and mounts in game, but what else is plausible? You can buy pieces of gear that will simply become replaced when you raid, and that’s about it. This surplus situation boils down to having nothing to spend it on, all while still having to pay a monthly subscription fee.

Basically, you’re rich in the game, but you’re not rich in real life. And while real life continues to happen and you pay monthly fee after monthly fee, the totals add up and you’re sitting there with millions of gold and nothing to spend it on.

Let’s look at this change from another perspective: meet Joe, the Average WoW player.

Joe’s loved WoW since he was 12. He’s adored every moment in the game, meeting each with laughs, or screams, or even rage. All of this though, for all the good and bad, it combines into his own wonderful experience with the game.

Despite all this, Joe’s facing problems. No, I don’t mean a boss not dropping the specific piece of loot you want, or some in-game guild drama; I mean real life problems.

This average WoW player loves the game. Sure, he’s not the best at it; he’s mediocre in every sense of the word. But, truly, he loves WoW. Meanwhile and outside of Azeroth’s virtual existence, Joe is having financial issues. He wants to keep playing the game he loves, the game that may have even inspired him to do wondrous things in the world, but he can’t continue as long as his financial means are poor.

Joe comes to one final conclusion: either give up WoW and don’t face financial collapse, or keep playing and cut back further on your financial standing (which, obviously, is the worse decision in my opinion).

“Why the WoW Token is the best thing to happen to WoW in years.”

That’s where the WoW Token alleviates this. The effort players pour into WoW every day, every other day, once a week… pays off in-game AND real life.

Everyone, and I mean everyone is in some ways Joe. You want to play the game, you want to enjoy yourself, you want to socialize with your friends and guild and conquer every challenge that entices you.. but you can’t, purely due to a tacked on fee.

I say this because the game acts as an outlet for more of its playerbase than I believe anyone will admit. When I personally used to seriously raid, the nights we’d progress and eventually down a boss were exhilarating. It made me feel like I accomplished something while everything else in life was moving rather slow. The game acted as a stress reliever and something that I, and many others I would bet, prided myself on.

The game itself is hard to put down, specifically when it’s used as an outlet for one’s frustrations. I know from first hand experience, and I’ve come to know others over my years who have felt the same.

Outside of this reasoning though, I am so for this change because of its moral implications. Blizzard has stated constantly over the years its disdain for Gold Farmers to the point they’ve even sued a Gold Farming company. Over the years we’ve also learnt more about the actual machinations within Gold Farming industries; their entire culture and workplace is toxic and horrible. Many of the Gold Farmers we know today are in fact prisoners to the game others, like myself, enjoy.

With Blizzard more-so overlooking the way Game Time and Gold itself is distributed, it helps to eliminate an entire industry based around borderline slavery and slimy practices. I fail to see how that’s bad. Furthermore, with Blizzard allowing the in-game economy to decide for the worth of a WoW Token, it allows a plethora of players who I personally know to play the game freely without questioning their choice to fund their World of Warcraft subscription over living essentials.

This is a change I welcome with open arms, and I hope those still carrying pitchforks will lower them a tad bit after gaining such perspective.

The game isn’t going Pay-to-Win; it’s adopting a practice that has been becoming much more common as the years have passed.

The game is still the same; it’s not suddenly forcing you to buy a Token. You can freely pay for your subscription month to month per usual.

If anything, the game just had some new life breathed into it. All the players who haven’t touched WoW in years due to its subscription fee will have means to access it without that pay wall we all experience month to month.

And because of this change, I already have a few long time friends who wouldn’t touch the game because they couldn’t pay for it coming back.

So, if you’re still sitting there trying to come up with every X, Y, and Z reason to counter the WoW Token’s existence, I sit here and ask you this:

Is the Token the real problem, or is it you?