In October of 2014, I found the Flame in the Flood on Kickstarter and gave them all my money. Okay, I gave them some money because the game demo looked phenomenal. Now, after spending a few weeks with the Beta, I cannot wait for the finished product.
So far, the game delivers on nearly everything developers, The Molasses Flood, promised. The art is even prettier than the demo suggested and the music always sets a perfect tone. The rafting is different every time I start a game, the items I find to help me survive change, and the islands I can land at vary so much I’m never bored no matter how many times I have to start over. Survival depends on what you collect, how well you can steer down the river, and whether you avoid the black wolf or not.
Honestly, the game is hard – Continue reading
Ashes of Al’ar mount
Those pissed that they can no longer be special ponies with the addition of account wide mounts and achievements in World of Warcraft have something new to fear – The Black Market Auction House. The new Black Market AH allows players to bid on special items that are not sold by NPCs, like the above Ashes of Al’ar mount. Other items that have been seen are the Reins of the Blazing Drake, Swift White Hawkstrider, and Riding Turtle.
It’s not just mounts that will be sold, though. The picture (below) posted by MMO-champion suggests there will be pets, crafting recipes and the long lost Tier 3 armor sets. If you were looking to transmog your gear into these gorgeous sets, you no longer have to wait for them to be added to the Dark Moon Faire, though hopefully they still will be. There’s also speculation that even more items that are no longer obtainable will be reintroduced into the game this way like the Zul Garub tiger and raptor mounts, the Ulduar black and plagued proto-drakes, or the batling pet from the Wrath release event.
But who’s responsible for this madness? Madam Goya, who makes her home at the Tavern of the Mists in the Veiled Stair, which is north of the Valley of the Four Winds. Wrathion is chilling with her, but I’m not sure if that means anything.
Only time will tell if Blizzard/Activision has made a smart play with this new Auction House, but one thing’s for sure, all of those who farmed up a ton of gold and want something to spend it on will finally have a place to dump their cash. Maybe inflation will go down on the regular Auction House now?
I will now have Caramelldansen stuck in my head all damn day and that’s a good thing! I love this song, the bits of the Pandaren female dance that copy it crack me up, and I can’t wait to see people mimicking it at the next Blizzcon. One problem: Now this race is even more ditzy and spazzy. Oh well – *bursts into dance*
Here’s the original speedy cakes remix of Caramelldansen (the only good version!) for those of you who missed the meme several years ago:
The Pandaren male dance isn’t as interesting as the female’s, but that’s because I can’t recognize where it’s from. If you do, please toss it in the comments below for me. Also, is it just me, or is he grimacing the whole time? That face is terrible, but I love the freeze.
Update: Thanks to Bryter from the Stopcast podcast commenting below, the Pandaren male dance is from LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem. Handy-dandy embed:
I figure I know a good thing or three about paladins, having spent the last seven years playing one, so I’m taking the time to write down my thoughts on the new talent tree. Exact numbers haven’t been released yet, but the general gist of the abilities has been out for a while now and beta testers have been screwing around with most of the abilities. I’m still not sure how much I like the new system, but if it really does make balancing easier than I’ll be all for it. Anything to make the days of “Fuck class X and their OP shit, I quit” over and done with.
The first tier opens at level 15 and is a choice between three different speed buffs. Speed of Light is the fastest, a 70% increase for eight seconds on a one minute cool down. Long Arm of the Law is next with a 45% increase for 3 seconds upon a successful Judgement strike. The last is Pursuit of Justice and is similar to the current talent in the Retribution tree, giving a solid 10% movement speed buff at all times and an extra 10% per charge of Holy Power.
Speed of Light looks like it will have the most benefit in PvE situations for Retribution and Holy Paladins. This will get them from point A to point B, maximizing their DPS when changing targets or allowing them to get to dying comrades faster. I can see Protection Paladins also finding this talent selection useful for the same reasons, but the flat 10% movement speed buff at all times will always be the best bet for tanks for positioning during boss fights. Long Arm of the Law will be the choice for Ret and Prot in PvE, allowing incremental speed buffs instead of relying on the one minute cool down to catch up to kiting classes. Holy Paladins should take a closer look at Continue reading
After watching the two videos for the Pandaren introduction (linked at the bottom for easy viewing), I am both impressed, amused and disappointed with Blizzard/Activision’s choices when allowing Pandaren’s to choose their faction. While they have some differences, Garrosh Hellscream and Varien Wrynn say and do nearly the same things when talking to their new recruits. Even though our factions are supposed to be clashing about our differences, our leaders are nearly exactly the same. Maybe that’s why Garrosh is so mad at the Alliance, he’s pissed because Varien is copying him!
So both factions start out at the turtle and are taken to their respective capitals via hot air balloon. They talk to their faction representative, Jii Firepaw or Aysa Cloudsinger, who say nearly the same thing: We’re here, we have to help these guys because of our belief system, we need allies, let’s find out who their leader is. The only part that confused me was Aysa knows an awful lot about the Alliance to not have a clue who the King of Stormwind is.
The Townlong Steppes is located in the northwestern part of Pandaria and the zone borders both the Kun-lai Summit and the Valley of the Fourwinds. Once home to the Yaungol, it is the ancestral home of the Mantid, the race that forced the Mogu to build the Pandaren Wall to protect Pandaria. As the Mantid have attacked 100 years too early, the Wall is under attack once more.
The zone contains two dungeons, the Gate of the Setting Sun and the Siege of Niuzao Temple. Blizzard describes it thus (even if they get the name of their zone wrong):
Separated from the rest of Pandaria by the Pandaren Wall, the rampaging mantid people of the Townlong Wastes devour everything in their path in order to build their own crystalline empire of ruthless warriors and scheming feudal lords. The pandaren are left reeling when the mantid’s thousand-year cycle of aggression kicks off a hundred years too early and their greatest warriors burst through the Pandaren Wall. The beleaguered pandaren must now face the worst swarm in recorded history while trying to isolate the cause of the mantid’s erratic behavior.
Townlong Steppes in game map
The Krasarang Wilds is one of the two new zones added between the Mists press event and Blizzcon 2011. Originally part of the Valley of the Four Winds, it has been vastly expanded so that it is now an entire zone of its own. As can be seen in the video, it is a large jungle, but dark and mysterious as opposed to the bright jungles like Sholazar Basin and Stranglethorn that we’re used to.
A level 86-88 questing zone, the Wilds will also contain one of the new raids (The Terrace of the Endless Spring) and will be the staging ground for future patches. Supposedly over the course of this expansion, the zone will change to reflect the fighting between the Horde and Alliance. At the moment, Blizzard describes it thus:
The Krasarang Wilds along Pandaria’s southern coast conceal many ancient secrets of a lost dynasty that have drawn the attention of prophecy-seekers among the Alliance and Horde. The Wilds are also home to the vicious, domineering Mogu, and a more insidious danger still: the Sha of Despair is believed to have escaped from its bindings in the Temple of the Red Crane, and stifling gloom has begun to blanket the land in its path
Krasarang Wilds in-game map
The Kun-Lai Summit is located in northern Pandaria and The White Tiger, Xuen, is the August Celestial that watches over it. Several species will be here for players to interact with: Pandarens, Zandalari, Yaungol, Hozen, Sha, and Grummles. Mount Never-Rest, the tallest mountain on Azeroth, is here and supposedly dwarfs the Temple of Storms in the Storm Peaks. Blizzard describes it thus:
High atop the frigid northern peaks of the Kun-Lai Summit looms the Temple of the Tiger, an ancient training ground protected by an elite force of martial priests, along with the spirit of the White Tiger itself. Deeper into the mountains is the hideout of the Shado-pan: a mysterious order charged with protecting Pandaria from the dark things buried beneath its surface. When the isolated people of Kun-Lai are threatened by marauders from the west and a Zandalari troll menace invading its northern shores, they turn to the Alliance and Horde for help.
This zone is not yet open in the beta, but some people have pulled code and created the following fly throughs for us. One is of different parts of the zone and the second is of the Shado-pan Monastery where the new dungeon is also located: Continue reading
Click to zoom in; it's worth it.
Next up on the Zone Wrap Up is the Jade Forest, picked because it is the only zone on the new continent that has been opened in beta so far. That is also why there are two videos this time. The first is of an Alliance character running from the starting area, all the way to the Horde starting area. It gives a good idea of how huge the zone is, shows how areas transition and change, but it’s rather boring. The second is the Blizzard video from the press release, which is much prettier, engaging, but doesn’t show as much.
The Jade Forest is located on the far eastern edge of the new Pandaren continent and is the starting zone for both Horde and Alliance 85s. The August Celestial Yu’Lon, the Jade Serpent, resides here, along with the Jinyu and the Hozon. The Temple of the Jade Serpent dungeon is here (thanks to the August Celestial), the Order of the Cloud Serpent (those guys who help you raise/train your own personal Cloud Serpent mount). Blizard describes the zone thus:
“After a naval battle between the Horde and the Alliance leaves the survivors stranded on the beaches of Pandaria, rescue parties of those factions’ elite soldiers set out explore the mysterious, fog-shrouded island. You are among them.
As one of the first explorers to set foot on Pandaria, you’ll begin your investigation in the midst of the emerald bamboo and coastal marsh of the Jade Forest, where two of Pandaria’s most prominent races make their homes. The monkey-like Hozen and the Jinyu fish-people thrive near the rivers of the Jade Forest, and your first encounters with them are likely to be hostile. Yet, ultimately, your lack of allies and guidance in this unfamiliar land will make befriending the natives your only option”
The Jade Forest map