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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: MSFT is buying Bethesda
« Last post by Piralyn on Today at 12:04:07 PM »
New blue post up with pre-patch info and breakdowns

Interesting to note that they didn't put an actual date anywhere in there. They traditionally give a two week warning for the end of a season--and this could ostensibly be that warning since it mentions the season "ending soon," but they're usually more explicit with the dates. I certainly wouldn't put it past them to break with tradition since it seems like they're trying to ram stuff through, but a safe bet would be an official notice tomorrow during/after maintenance for two weeks out (October 6th?).

There haven't been any significant class changes in a week or two, so they should be done for a pre-patch, but they haven't really done any real tuning as far as I'm aware.
Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: MSFT is buying Bethesda
« Last post by Piralyn on Today at 08:52:09 AM »
Not a bad decision, although that's a pretty huge price tag and it's hard to fathom what the ROI has to be for that. The biggest criticism on their consoles for years has been a lack of "first party" games or console exclusives that make them a must have--like Sony has had with their big prestige games like Last of Us, Horizon Zero Dawn, etc.

Microsoft has had a few in the pipe before that looked promising but got killed off before release. A console exclusive new Elder Scrolls would probably be a game changer--even though it would also show up on PC--but there are several other non-franchise games from Bethesda that would definitely fit in the Last of Us / Horizon Zero Dawn lane. Prey and Evil Within were very good games (in my opinion), and things of that nature and quality could be a good answer for the Last of Useseses of the next gen.

There is, of course, also the fact that Bethesda/Fallout and Obsidian Entertainment are owned by the same company now and people will undoubtedly be clamoring for Fallout New Vegas 2.
Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Shadowlands
« Last post by Piralyn on Today at 08:47:16 AM »
There are reputations for each zone/faction that look to be independent of the actual Covenant/Sanctuary--but I haven't really interacted with that. Part of the problem with the Beta build I spent the most time with last month was that most of the "end-game" loop outside of the Raid encounter testing and M+ dungeon testing wasn't in place and/or didn't work. When WQs don't work, you can't do the Covenant callings (emissary replacements), and when the dungeons are a tuning disaster...

There are some weekly quests (2? 4?) to do a specific normal/heroic dungeon that will let you choose a faction to get ~350+ rep with. I would assume WQs will also give rep, but can't verify that since I couldn't actually complete any last month.

It appears that most things are gated behind your covenant renown rather than zone rep, but there are some things behind zone rep. It doesn't look like a ton, but they may be yet to fill some of it in. This is the only site I could find with detailed info on each rank:

Wowhead does have legendary powers per faction rep listed here:

Thankfully it looks like the legendary powers are low on the rep tiers rather than being Revered/Exalted. Most of what appears to be in the Revered/Exalted tier are cosmetic or profession recipes. The legendary powers themselves are generic and don't seem particularly great in contrast to class specific powers, but who knows.

I'll try to get in and do some loops in the next Beta build to see where things are at in regards to that--and hopefully soothe my fears that they don't have post-60 stuff close to finished. Relatedly, they recently disabled Torghast (the tower), due to "issues" which I would assume would be the result of their abrupt change in how Torghast is introduced/rolled out. I'm not sure what those issues are, because while I had issues figuring out where exactly I was in the process after the change, the tower itself seemed to be fine other than a bunch of stuff still not having loot.

I don't want to beat a (un)dead horse here, but we're basically five weeks out from release and they've the marquee feature of the expansion, missing itemization in several places, and the post-60 experience isn't cleaned up. The fact that they haven't given the two week notice for the end of season and pre-pre-patch release is probably evidence they're also feeling behind.

I do have some concern about what they Covenant/Sanctuary expansion/leveling is going to be like, because I'm not sure there's been a real good way to test that experience. It was hard to do it legitimately in the Beta, since most post-60 activities didn't work, and then on the max-level realm, they just max out everything from the jump. So I would not be surprised for it to turn out to be exceedingly slow and/or painful and get adjusted post-release--since there hasn't been a reliable way to legitimately experience it.

All of that said, I am hopeful for the expansion, since there are a lot of things that CAN be great--Torghast, covenant identity, and the unique Maw experience--but I'm very worried about polish/functionality.
Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / MSFT is buying Bethesda
« Last post by Snique on Today at 07:14:36 AM »

As the article notes, this is just a big capstone in a string of game-studio acquisitions MSFT has made in the past few years. But it's a very big capstone.
Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Shadowlands
« Last post by Snique on September 19, 2020, 04:45:05 AM »
Piralyn does that list mean no rep grinds? That would be quite a change.

It's also a daunting list. Encourages me to play slower so they have time to tune things.

On the other hand, the changes aren't always good. I've basically stopped doing M+ since they introduced the pillars. It's not so much an "affix" as "completely re-learn this instance" which I can't be arsed to do. I don't look forward to learning these systems only to have them completely changed mid-expansion.
Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Among Us
« Last post by Cree on September 17, 2020, 06:11:01 PM »
Anyone playing Among Us with known groups of people who use voice who wouldn't mind me joining? I'd like the try it, but I really don't want to do it with complete randoms.  Alternatively, is there any interest in trying it?  It's best with 6-10 people.

It's $5 on steam, free on android and apple with ads or I think $2 to go ad free. It claims it is cross platform.
Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Shadowlands
« Last post by Piralyn on September 17, 2020, 11:30:38 AM »
I would also honestly expect a lot of these systems to be pruned or obsoleted in 9.1 or 9.2. There's a lot of systems to maintain here, and it feels a lot to me like they're throwing a variety of new and reskinned borrowed power/daily task systems at the wall to see what ends up being compelling. Given how much people shrieked about Alt'ing in the later BFA patches between essences/cloak/war campaign/rep, I would be shocked to not see similar complaints here.

Here's a list of things that I'm aware of right now to do daily/weekly at 60:

1) Maw dailies from Kirland Ethereal
2) Torghast runs weekly to get Soul Dust (or whatever it's called) for making legendary powers. You get dust for every layer (set of floors) you complete in two separate towers. Once you complete a layer, you can start at the next layer. You get dust for all the previous layers if you haven't already (meaning week one is going to be painful).
3) Emissary-esque "do some stuff" for your covenant
4) Misellaneous Maw tasks from your covenant (not sure if daily or weekly) like gathering souls
5) Weekly quests to gain rep with factions via a specific dungeon/zone task
6) Your current standard M+/PVP/Whatever weekly stuff
7) WQs beyond the other tasks to get currency

Things not specifically daily/weekly based but propelled by those tasks:
1) Sanctuary Upgrades powered by Anima (gathered by tokens in WQs and such) and Souls (gathered in the Maw at any time)
2) Soulbinds--tiers unlocked by renown, which is given by daily/weekly tasks. Additional Soulbinds are unlocked by covenant campaign
3) Covenant Campaign - steps likely unlocked by renown/etc
4) Mission table -- provides Anima/etc, champions unlocked by Torghast runs, renown levels with your covenant, etc. Champions need to do missions to level and do tougher missions.
5) Most covenants seem to have some other unique aspect, Dreadlords have the Theater of Pain, Venthyr have the court party, etc.

That seems like an astronomical amount of shit, and that's just stuff I am aware of off of the top of my head.

There have been threads for months about too many systems and too many tasks. The counterpoint to some of these is that a lot of these things are capped and gated while others aren't directly attached to your character's progression and power level so you don't actually have to do all of them. This is contrary to Legion/bfa where AP was theoretically uncapped but at an exponential curve for leveling up, which led to some people feeling like they had to play 600 hours a week to keep up.

I personally would rather have fewer systems, even if they were theoretically-uncapped but practically capped, because this just feels like way too much to keep track of. I can't imagine trying to maintain an alt through most of those systems simultaneously. I can't imagine they're going to keep all of these systems advancing with future patches.

Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Shadowlands
« Last post by Piralyn on September 17, 2020, 11:15:36 AM »
Yeah, they have made it relatively easy to swap, and I'm glad there's clarification that you're not in limbo with your first covenant in the meantime--which was my initial concern with the announcement.

It doesn't address the pain of actually figuring out the right choice, and is likely to still be obnoxious to have to wait when they inevitably retune all the covenant abilities/soulbinds a month in, but that's pretty standard for Blizzard's live realm beta tests any more. But thankfully the catch-up and swap mechanics are not as punishing as like the legendary cloak weekly upgrades were early on in 8.3. I have a suspicion that by 9.1 they're probably going to make it even easier to swap, because this seems like a lot of "clearly busywork for the sake of pretending to be punishing" without actually being punishing.

It's important to note that some things are locked in outside of the covenant choice itself. When you socket conduits into your soulbind, you cannot remove/swap a different one in over something socketed until the weekly reset. Soulbinds look to be permanent things you can recycle as needed, so this is a sensible way to prevent people from like hearthing back to their sanctuary to swap conduits every fight. I believe you can swap the actual talents in the soulbind at a whim, but the conduits themselves are semi-locked. Given how minor the effects seem to be on a lot of them, I'm not sure that this will be a huge barrier.
Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Shadowlands
« Last post by Marco on September 17, 2020, 06:54:24 AM »
The backstop here is that it's not actually all that difficult to switch covenants.  (In fact, it's easy enough to risk making high-level players feel like they have to maintain two covenants.)
Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Shadowlands
« Last post by Snique on September 17, 2020, 06:05:32 AM »
Dear lord this is depressing reading. On the other hand, I'm likely to take so long to hit 60 that I can just open up Icy Veins or similar and read their guide for my class and do what that says.

This is a terrible way to play a game but I don't see a good alternative right now.
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