New classes! New battleground! Events! New ‘Darkness Falls’! And forums!

Hurrah for GOA and not having to wait up until midnight!

Unfortunately, can’t give any more details just yet because although we know as a reliable source, there’s nothing on the GOA site. Was this a press release that slipped the net a bit early perhaps?

But fair play to Mythic, I’m really excited again for the first time in awhile. Definitely want to know more and read the full press release when it’s available, but I’m looking forwards to poking around the new fun things with my old characters and maybe a new alt or two also.

And a Tomb Kings dungeon? That means skeletons and where there are skeletons there could be …. ZOMBIES!!!! *massive excitement*

Incidentally, spare a thought for those brave, foolhardy souls who decide to start a new healer or ranged dps alt when the Choppas/ Slayers are released, ravening for their blood.

Kotaku are reporting Call to Arms as the first live expansion. It’s not a paid expansion but a series of events and new content feeding into the game between February and June this year. Loads more info about all the new stuff at the link above.

Grab Bag and Other Links

Let’s start with the grab bag. This is a regular Q&A session on the Herald. In this edition, there’s some discussion of high level armour sets which include sets obtainable from both PvE and PvP. The highest tiers of all come from PQs in city sieges and don’t even think about attempting to slaughter the opposition’s NPC leader unless you are well kitted out. The Greenskin sees this as a WoWesque gear treadmill but I remember how hard I had to work to get my warrior geared for heroics and am just glad that I can do the vast majority of WAR endgame without any special effort at all. The Archmage in the picture has a better looking robe than mine, I have robe envy. But doubt I’ll ever see that one.

The grab bag tip is:

If you’re a healer and you want to make the most of earning Renown, heal those around you who seem to be doing the most damage. The system encourages grouping with others and/or keeping the top killers alive, so if you do so, your healing Renown will flow!

Edited to add: One word can make a difference in a statement. It’s important for healers to group, and to heal everyone in your group, not just the damage dealers. Of course we never intended to suggest ignoring everyone else!

It’s a sound tip on how to currently max your renown as a healer. You will get more renown if you focus on healing the damage dealers. Of course, your team is more likely to actually win if you heal other people too … like that friendly tank who is guarding you and punting witch elves away.

Gamepolitics reports that a women in Japan has been taken to court for ‘killing’ the avatar of a guy who jilted her. It sounds as though this is a hacking charge, and nothing to do with the character being someone’s property.

And on the same site, reports of a Japanese diet website where you can subscribe to get regularly nagged about your weight by a virtual wife. Or you could just … actually get married and be nagged by a real one.

Apparently the new Puzzle Quest AI doesn’t cheat. I didn’t personally think that the old one did!

The big MMO news this week is that Bioware have announced that they are working on a Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. Gamespot have an article summing up the main points of this week’s press releases. Rock Paper Scissors sum up my reactions too: companions sound cool, how much single player do we want in MMOs, and when did Star Wars stop being about the films? If you want to keep up with the Star Wars news, you can sign up for the newsletter here. And in case anyone was in any doubt, Bioware have said explicitly that they have WoW firmly in their sights.

Massively have an interview with some of the SW:TOR designers. They’ve split it up into several parts/ articles so that they can comment on specific pieces.

In WoW, there’s a big zombie event going on at the moment as a precursor to the upcoming expansion.

Best Zone so Far?

So, the game has been launched for a week. We’ve all had a chance to explore some of the earlier zones and scenarios. And I don’t know about anyone else but I already have some loves and hates. I’ve been finding myself drawn to the zones for my own race, and it’s not just because you are more likely to get drops for your race there (you are more likely to get drops for your own race in your own zones by the way). It’s because the storyline is telling me more background about the race I play, and that’s something I really enjoy.

I always regretted in WoW that once you were out of the starting zones, with their very different themes, that’s about all you get for race-specific quests. WAR isn’t like that at all. As I wander through High Elf lands, I’m constantly getting more background about the High Elves and their various regiments. I feel like I know my own character and her background better too.

This is a screenshot I took in the Shadowlands, which is my favourite zone so far. It’s a very dark zone (in colour palette as well as theme), and for me it has a strange stark beauty. Questing through it, you get the story very clearly of past tragedies and a race beset and struggling to fight back. There is also a strong theme to the zone and it’s quests of ‘How do you fight an enemy who has no scruples, without becoming as bad as they are?’ I’d love to see more of this kind of thoughtful storytelling — although I dunno if I really expect that of this game. It also has zombies, which I personally appreciate. Unlike boars, you can never have too many zombies in an MMO.

I find it a moody, gothic kind of fantasy zone which is far different in tone to most of the other High Elf areas which I have seen. I was sorry to leave it and move on to Ellyrion with its gaggle of NPCs who are obsessed with their pretty white ponies — I’m surprised none of the horses have sprouted wings or spoken yet. For a short period of time, High Elves were captivatingly cool and tragic.

Admittedly, now I have a pony of my own  I am definitely appreciating their good points!