Wednesday, 17 August 2011

"Smaller more frequent patches" - Totally...

Breaking news (broken news?), in line with their policy of... no... wait... flying completely in the face of - the whole "smaller patches more often" thing, Blizz' treated us to lovely, lovely 4.3 details! Curiously via an interview for the German gaming site (hit up that Google translate button) and later via WoWInsider

So What are we getting?

Void Storage!
New Instances!

What does this all mean? click on through...

So a few days after speculating and postulating on GroupQuest on these very subjects I'm going to go ahead and say

We totally called it!
On the subjects of Void Storage and Transmog'ing (that's totally a word now), the group theorized about extra storage in the wake of the keyring vanishing, and I wondered if the Transmog' and the Void Storage would be related, with the TM allowing you to make new gear look like old tier sets that had been picked up ('unlocked') and maybe stored in the Void. Well, that looks pretty likely.

Now it has been pointed out that plate can only become plate, cloth can only become cloth, you aren't going to be able to make your 85 mage look like he's been eaten by a merlock (ala T11 hunter mail), and it's likely that you'll only be able to 'mog' things to look like earlier tier gear for your class, which, it was pointed out by this blogs sometime co-writer, is a big of a jip for Death Knights, who didn't exist before tier 7.

There also isn't any word on costs, be they gold or $$$... but given the TM'er is apparently in-game, I'm going to guess gold... so far blizzard have kept paid services strictly to the pages

What this means for Pandas!
with the release of the screenshot and Blizz's playful 'glimpse' title, a growing part of me was convinced this was all a series of jokes Blizzard was having with it's players, but if the VS and TM vendors are real, could this mean the games are all in our sceptic little heads and Blizzards secrets really are slipping out? The other big news (of which, more in a moment) is Deathwing is coming... what does this mean for the 'patch title' theory? Mists of Pandaria seems a little tame for a patch that will see players finally have-at the world breaker doesn't it?... I think I'm shifting firmly to the next expansion idea.

Deathwing? never heard of him

So 4.3 means we're going to see the 'big bad' of this expansion... this looks like Blizzard following traditional form and releasing 3-4 patches with 3-4 tiers of raiding in, but is it to early for the big DW to go down? It certainly feels it; the next expansion is easily over a year away at this point, we had all hoped Blizz had learned with Wrath, the danger of too long waiting for new content.

Deathwing certainly needs to make an appearance, Players who levelled in Vashj'ir could quite easily not have seen any sign of the big black one so far this expansion, who, unlike the Lich King - who popped up throughout Wrath - has yet to feature outside one cut-scene. (I want to stand in the fire, damn-it!)

But what if this isn't the tier Deathy goes down? I can see two possibilities:

1) 'merely a setback!' - We will get to battle Deathwing in 4.3, but not defeat him, after we bust our way through his guards, and go a few rounds with the behemoth, he'll turn tail and run! To be seen again in 4.4 which will see the black one die comfortably closer to the next release.

2) 'Old Gods' - We were promised an Old God in this expansion, he was even named... so where is his tentaclelyness? After we put down the giant Aspect monkey, we might see a final raid to take down his organ grinder... that could be all kinds of fun!

Which brings me onto another promise: Weren't we promised a War of the Ancients raid? What's happened to that?

We know one of the 3 new 5man instances coming in 4.3 is going to be Caverns of (wibbly wobbley) Time(y whimey) ... could the WotA raid have been down-scaled? I'm not sure a massive part of the battle could work with just a small team, so if it is set during the War, perhaps players will be running a covert side mission, something contributing to the huge Night Elf Vs Legion war above? Perhaps we'll infiltrate Azsshara's palace? Or, with the bronze dragons becoming more active in the story right now...  maybe we have to hunt down Brox, Ronin and the other time travelling mess causers?

(Note: early comments from the interview in Germany seem to hint that yes, the WotA raid is now one of the 5man's in 4.3)

Who knows these things? Certainly not is coming out all the time so check out your favorite sites for new details. It all sounds like a lot of fun!

It's nice to see Blizzard putting in some of the things the player base has been calling for, (maybe they are giving us Pandas as well) seeing stuff that is 'in development' actually make it to the live game, I'm looking forward to finding out more in the coming months and getting all these details nailed down, but for the time being, it's quite fun trying to guess what Blizzard is doing! So, tin foil hats on, and speculate wildly folks!

But first...

... Swear Allegiance.

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