What to do until Legion hits

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So, Legion begins officially on August 30th, but that’s still a few weeks away.  What are you to do in the meantime?

Blizzard has you covered with a variety of pre-expansion events to keep you occupied until you can sail off to the Broken Isles, as well as some existing content you may want to run before then as well.  Here’s a rundown of what to do while you wait.

(Note:  I meant to get this article up earlier, but got delayed by various things.  Still posting it for posterity!)

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What to expect when you’re enhancing in 7.0

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The Legion pre-patch is out, and after almost a year, we have something new to do!  However, if trade chat is any indication, very few people bother to read patch notes, or keep up with various class previews from the beta, and thus there are a lot of people confused as hell as to what exactly happened.

This is especially true for anyone who plays a spec that got a substantial rework, and while enhance didn’t get changed as much as, say, survival hunters, it still got a pretty solid changing up.  Thus, here’s the rundown of what’s different, as well as an uncustomary brief overview of what you should take care not to miss before the expansion launches on August 30th.  In a followup post, I’ll go deeper into the pre-expansion events and their rewards, as well as other things to do to keep yourself preoccupied.

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World of Warcraft: Legion: initial thoughts

GCAnnounce036Much sooner than most of us had predicted, Blizzard has unveiled the next expansion for WoW.  Those who put money on Corgis Unleashed, sorry, you lost.  Those who put money on the Burning Legion, naga, the Emerald Dream, and a bunch of other things, congrats!  You each get partial credit in what’s looking to be the biggest amalgamation of Warcraft lore in a single expansion.

So, with the next expansion’s name revealed (although it sure isn’t going to abbreviate well; L?) and content previewed, let’s delve into the announcement presentation and see what’s in store.

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Engagement, reward, and “nothing to do”: The problems with max-level content in Warlords

“I have nothing to do!”

I’m sure that most anyone who’s played WoW has heard this complaint from someone at some point during their time playing the game.  On the surface, it seems trivial; how could you possibly have nothing at all to do?  You could go finish quests you didn’t get to, hunt down rare mobs or treasures, run dungeons, do some PVP, go raiding, play some pet battles, or any number of other things.  With over a decade’s worth of content, how could anyone possibly have run out of things to do in WoW?

Just like “clunky” and “poor scaling” are terms that hint at an underlying cause of frustration with class design, “nothing to do” is a shorthand that is used to describe a different circumstance altogether.  When people claim that they have nothing to do, more often than not, they mean that they have nothing engaging and rewarding to do.  While I have no real objective measurement of this phenomenon, I’ve had a feeling for a while that we’ve been seeing this complaint more in Warlords than in past expansions.  It feels like people are burning through content at a much faster pace, reaching that state of boredom and listlessness much quicker than previously.

To understand why (or at least, my theory of why), we need to talk about what makes WoW fun.

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Patch 6.2: First thoughts on all the datamining

So 6.2 just hit the PTR this week, and with it comes a slew of new info of what to expect from the future.  The patch notes detail things that were pretty obvious would be in this patch (Tanaan opening, a Hellfire Citadel raid), things that weren’t entirely unexpected (the end of the legendary ring questline), and things that seem totally out of left field (Grommash isn’t a boss?  shipyards?  mythic dungeons?).  In addition to what’s there, we also have some noteworthy things that aren’t, like the existence of Farahlon and the continued lack of flight.  I haven’t downloaded the PTR to mess around with the new content yet, but at the very least we can take a look at the notes and get an idea of where we’re headed next.

I’ll admit, I honestly don’t know my overall feelings about this patch.  There are some things that look really cool, and some that are leaving me scratching my head.

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Soloing for fun and profit, special edition: Notes on soloing at 100

So admittedly, it’s been a long time since my last soloing guide, so long that those old guides are now horribly out of date in terms of advice (and a little out of date with regards to rewards).  Those have probably been the things that have driven people to this blog the most, and I’m happy to have helped people out with their soloing adventures, even those that (for some reason) don’t play enhance shaman.

I’d like to keep going with those in the future, but with the item squish and changes to level scaling, a lot of my advice boils down to “hit the boss a couple times and get your loot.”  So until such time as I do a full guide to each of the remaining expansions, I figured a short post on what’s changed in Warlords would be good.  Some of this will be general advice, some will be enhance-specific.

So what’s new?

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BlizzCon 2014 predictions: A somewhat educated guess

So, BlizzCon is almost here, with all the goodies that it entails.  It’s interesting seeing how it’s grown since I first started watching in 2010 (never while actually at the convention, though; I’m just too poor and also a college student), from covering three game series up to five (possibly more!) this year.  And with another year comes another wave of announcements of future titles, expansions, and other such things.

Just for fun, I’m going to make some guesses as to what we’ll see this Friday and Saturday, and then we’ll see how right I was afterwards.  This is all speculation, but I’d say it’s educated speculation, taken from knowledge of Blizzard’s past releases, the BlizzCon schedule, and good ol’ gut intuition.

What awaits us this year?

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