Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Legion of the New Dawn

                Hello everyone! I know it’s been sometime since I have posted here. I have been very busy with my new job and looking into all the things that has been going in my games. In fact, now that I have had time to cogitate on these announcements, I have decided to talk about the new expansion announcements for STO and WoW. I will catch up with what my characters have been doing in another post later on. SO on now with my thoughts.


Star Trek Online: New Dawn

                So STO has announced Season 11.  New Dawn is supposed to be the start of the new story arc dealing with what we do in the aftermath of the Iconian War. The story is supposed to focus on rebuilding and hope. We supposed to discover a new unknown civilization. Meet a strange traveler from another time. Go up against Mirror Leeta as she leads the Imperial Terran forces invasion of the Badlands. A new system, the Admiralty system, is going to be added. The Admiralty systems states “Take command of your inactive starships to complete dangerous assignments and gather exciting rewards, while advancing your influence in the Admiralty campaigns.”  All of this is important for you to understand my thoughts.

                I watched the announcement trailer for the new expansion. One of the highlights, for me, is that the Tholians will have a more important role in the coming story.  DS9 is going to get figured more prominently, but the Cardassians were not shown at all in the trailer. Which I thought was very curious.

                Given all of that I have several things to say. The Iconian War is probably the lowest key war I have ever participated in, without knowing I was. The war stories and FE’s state how dire the situation is, but that information does not translate at all into the gameplay.  The Vaudwaar had a larger presence and more stressful to me than the Iconians have been. So an “Epic end to the Iconian War” falls flat in generating any emotional response about the war coming to the end. In fact, the announcement that the war is ending is quite anti-climactic. And I think this is because they didn’t tell the war story well with this. The FE’s were nice, but the queue could have been better utilized to tell the losing aspect of the war. Maybe they could have had more planetary defenses and protecting escaping civilian craft, and seeing the destruction of planets and civilian ships. They should have put in a battle ground area, space and ground, which could have been waved timed assaults of forces against a fixed location…like Qo’nos. It’s a formula that they used in the past with the Voth and the Vaudwaar conflicts that was effective in relaying that conflict as actual conflicts. They could have added even patrols or red alerts too to help heighten the feeling that we are at a war. But it was missed, and this is going to be hard for them to really make us feel like we fought a superior foe and won.

                The one mechanic that they have announced is the Admiralty system. At first, I thought that I finally will get to my other ships with me into battle. Alas, reality was far less than the original hype. The Admiralty system is a variation of the current duty officer system, but using ships. The ships will be only ships that we have unlocked. And we can send them on mission with a “campaign” for rewards. Details on the rewards and the campaigns are still forth coming. But based on its initial announcement, the details that have come since announcement has caused some disillusionment amongst the player base, based on what I have seen in the forums. Looking at the Admiralty system as it is being presented now, it’s an interesting game mechanic in theory. You send ships out. When they return, they will need some repair time based on how good they did in the mission. Once repaired, you can send them out once again. These ships are “cards” or basically a template representative of the ships you have in your ships list. These representative ships are generic I their capabilities and cannot be altered by anything you do to them in your list. These ships are not unique in any way. So if you match it up with what they advertised it falls way short, but as a mechanic on its own, it seems to be a decent idea. But I want to know more. So I will keep looking into this. No more real details have been released so I will keep an eye out for it and write more on this later.


World of Warcraft: Legion

                So Blizzard announced this expansion and Gamescon. And there are a lot of details they put out. I will try to cover all of the most important parts, in my opinion.

                The story is that Gul’dan found and used Illidan to reopen the gateway for the Burning Legion to invade Azeroth at the Tomb of Sargeras. And this is the Gul’dan from the Alternate Draenor of Warlords. Our timeline Gul’dan is dead. So the people of Azeroth will try once again to repel the Burning Legion.  And once again the Horde and Alliance can’t seem to work together well enough to unite.  Because of politics, the various classes decide to band together, cross factional, and work to stop the invasion.

                Legion will introduce a new class, Demon Hunter or Illidari. You get to make a follower of Illidan that has been freed from the prison that Maiev Shadowsong put them in. All Demon Hunters are elves.  They come in two specs, Havoc and Vengeance. Vengeance is a tank and Havoc is a DPS. They also get to transform into a Demon and they wear leather. They also get the Glaives as their weapon. This will be very cool to make. I will be making one of the super agile guys. They also are a Hero class, which means they start around 90 to 95 and have a start area of their own.

                 Every Class and Spec will get its own legendary weapon. This weapon will be possible to alter the appearance. It also has its own development path on each weapon. SO as you do content, you empower your weapon. And the order in which you get the power is purely based on your own choice. If you are dual spec, you will have to get the weapon for each spec, but the empowering process will be sped up on the second weapon so that you can keep them nearly same. But this empowering will not be account wide. Some of the most Iconic weapons from across Azeroth will be what you wield. So that will be 36 personalizable legendary weapons. Cool idea, but I wonder if they will try to keep the weapon relevant in each expansion after this.

                There is a new continent on Azeroth. Or really just a large Island chain, the Shattered Isles. This is where the Burning Legion has established a beachhead on Azeroth, and where the Elves and Vrykul originally came from. Dalaran will also have relocated itself to here. Dalaran will now be run by Khadgar and remains neutral territory. No information on what happened to Jaina was released.

                The classes have come together and formed Order Halls. Locations dedicated to a specific class. And from them you will take command and send champions out to gather intel and scout out regions for you to counter the Burning legion. The Orders are also where you upgrade your Artifact weapon. It is also a shared space among players of class, Horde and Alliance. Basically they will go find stuff for you to go do.

                So classes are getting some changes done to them. The ones that impact me the most are the changes to Hunter and Rogues. Beast Mastery will be ranged with Pet, Survival will be melee with a pet, and Marksmen will be ranged without a pet. I get to be melee again! This will be great, I hope. I miss being a melee hunter.  Rogues will be based on a flavor, Assassin will be about poisons, Subtlety will be ninjas and Combat will be a swashbuckler. So my mug wielding combat rogue will have a more a pirate or three musketeer feel to it. Not sure how I feel about this yet.

                Other system things are that we are getting a 12th character slot per server. Level cap is raised to 110 and can boost to 100. There will be Demons in various locations across Azeroth to fight.

                PVP is getting reworked. Gear will not be important anymore. PVP gear will be gone.  There will be a ranking system in its place that you have to use to unlock prestige items, mostly transmogs, pets and mounts. PVP will also have its own talent tree, which will have additional options unlocked by the ranking system.

                Transmoging will now have a system more like Diablo, where you can unlock the look and then you can sell of the piece that got you that look, thereby freeing up lots of bag space. This is such a huge thing for me. I have so many old sets that I keep just in case I want to use that look. The bag space this will free will be awesome!

                Professions are going to be focused on too, with each profession getting its own quest line. Other changes will happen but they have not released what those things are yet.

                Flying will be a thing you will work towards from Launch. And will be modeled in some respects like Draenor Pathfinder. I just hpe that rep grinds will not be part of this. But little else is known about this at this time.

                So there it is, the two expansions in a nutshell, with a little input of my opinion with it. Let me know what you guys think! And enjoy!

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