“The time has come,” the Walrus said

0.

“It’s called Warcraft,” my friend tells me. It’s by the same guys that made Starcraft and that creepy horror game you liked.”

I’m intrigued, but still wary – I haven’t forgotten how long he hogged the computer last time.

“Okay, but do you promise I can play first?”

1.

My father asks me what I want for my birthday.
I pause to look up from the book I’m reading, and ask if he could order something called the “Warcraft III Battle Chest” off Amazon. It’s just a passing thought, but I’ve heard from friends that it’s a good game.

When I finally get the chance to play, I’m hooked. I have vague memories of Warcraft II being fun, but this game just blows it out of the water. All my conceptions about “Orcs are Bad, and Humans are Good” get turned on their head.

I love being able to interact with characters such as Jaina Proudmoore. I’m fascinated by this mysterious new race of elves, and this entirely new setting in the world of Azeroth.

My 13 year old self is left clutching the chair in excitement when the final Frozen Throne cinematic concludes. My comprehension of “Warcraft” has been utterly redefined, for the better.

2.

It’s July of 2005, on a hot summer night in Lahore. My cousins and I have just gotten back from a long day of swimming at the gymkhana.

I am immensely excited when one of them offers to show me the game he’s brought with him on his laptop. Of course I’ve heard about it! Owing to the lack of a good computer in the preceding years, I’ve largely dismissed thoughts about being able to play WoW. Still, I’ve made sure to stay up to date on all the tidbits of lore/story about the game as it unfolds.

When he offers me the chance to explore it on my own, I don’t hesitate. Race? Night Elf, of course – they were my favourite race introduced in Warcraft III, and Illidan was one of them! Class? My cousin tells me Priests are very powerful.

Once I’ve finished customising my character’s appearance, I hit Enter. The screen pans to a beautiful forest, as a voice recounts my place and role as a Night Elf in modern society. The clock reads 8:20 pm as I accept my first ever quest in the world.

I blink and turn away from the computer screen momentarily to look at someone telling me that I need to go to bed.

Wait, wasn’t it dark outside when I began playing?

The clock now reads 4:37 am.

3.

When Wrath of the Lich King is announced, I cannot believe my ears. I have never forgotten the final cinematic from The Frozen Throne, and now I get to play a class modelled after Arthas? Count me in!

By this time I’ve managed to procure a laptop that can actually run the game. While visiting a relative in D.C., I stop by a game store in Bethesda and pick up the World of Warcraft Battle Chest.

It is late into Patch 2.4 when Abravayah the Draenei Paladin begins her journey on Dawnbringer server. I fail miserably at some of the later quests on Bloodmyst Isle, but what does that matter when I’m having so much fun? And how very generous it was of that one Level 70 Paladin to help me take down the fearsome Sironas, leader of the renegade Blood Elves!

Once my Paladin reaches Level 55 however, I unceremoniously abandon her in Silithus. It is time.

4.

I’m in 10 man Naxxramas. I’ve barely been Level 80 for a week. My group has just wiped to the “Frogger” slime bridge for the sixth time, my talents/build are probably atrociously wrong and my DPS is terrible.

I could not care less.

We’re all too busy laughing. Not tittering or giggling, mind you: Full on belly laughs that have us clutching our sides, with tears streaming down our eyes. It doesn’t matter that I don’t get any loot, that we don’t kill Gluth that night or that the entire tier goes by without us making much progress – we’re having the time of our lives!

Bladelady, Astarot and the other fine folks of “Fractured”: You are not forgotten.

5.

Time passes. Tiers go by. My incessant curiosity gets the better of me, and before I know it I’m visiting that site everyone uses as a mantra… something-Jerks, I think it was called?

In the interim, I go from being a nobody to joining the top Alliance guild on the server as well as garnering a reputation for being the “best DPS DK” on my little backwater of a server. I discover that the desire to raid and to kill hard bosses only grows in me. It’s a cultivated skill, but one that’s accompanied by an increasing hunger.

I want more. There’s a bigger world out there, and simply ending Icecrown Citadel 25 Heroic with 11/12 bosses down doesn’t satisfy me. I’m forced back down to reality somewhat by the acknowledgement that I’ll never be able to commit to a four or even five day schedule like some guilds do – but perhaps I can still manage three days and be among the best on my server.

With a heavy heart I say goodbye to Dawnbringer, the server that I experienced the largest number of “firsts” on, and indeed the last server that I recall truly being a community unto itself. This is an age before Battle Tag, when players of the opposite faction are mysterious strangers and where you can only hope to talk to a friend if they happen to be logged into a character you recognise.

Still, I take the time to send in-game mail each and every individual I can think of that meant something to me. “I’ll never forget the fun times we spent together”, I say.

Seven years later, it’s still true – I haven’t.

6.

I’m quite worried: The Death Knight theorycrafter whose blog I’ve been visiting quite regularly has announced that Cataclysm‘s endgame does not interest them! Their Unholy and Frost threads have already been locked, and it seems that pwnwear.com (a site once populated by Tanking Death Knights) has fallen to the wayside.

What shall our community do? Wherever will I go to rant now?

On a whim, I make a Twitter account as my Warcraft self. Before long, I’m embroiled in a lengthy series of tweets with a European DK named Fengore and a US DK named Heartless, the latter of whom has taken on the job of taking over the Elitist Jerks Unholy thread.

We rant and rave to one another, but bemoan the character limits of Twitter. Surely there has to be an easier way to do this?

7.

May 11th, 2011: #Acherus is born.

A community forms.
It grows.
It matures.

May 11th: 2016: #Acherus celebrates its 5th birthday.

It changes the very landscape of how class communities in the World of Warcraft endgame populace function. No matter how distinct their conduct or their functionality, every other class or role community operating within an IRC or Discord framework owes their existence to #Acherus – to the model we pioneered.

I could not be more proud.

8.

I get a PM from a name that I’m vaguely familiar with- something to do with Druids, Beta threads and the new Purgatory talent being in a different row than it actually is.

“Hi Magdalena, I really appreciate your feedback on the Unholy thread. I’m a developer working on World of Warcraft, would you mind giving me some feedback on some changes we’d like to introduce to the class next patch?”

I roll my eyes. Obviously this is somebody’s idea of a joke. My cursor hovers over the /kick button, but a small, nagging doubt remains in the back of my mind.

Pushing aside better judgement, I type “Would you mind emailing me at [address] to verify that you are who you say you are?”

Five minutes later, I’m looking at an email with a blizzard.com address.

As I mentioned, we’re interested in feedback on some prospective Unholy changes for the next patch.

In retrospect, I suppose it’s mostly a good thing I didn’t click.

9.

It’s another warm summer night, around eight years after that first time. My guild is progressing on Ra-den, the final boss of the Throne of Thunder raid. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re confident that we can achieve a server first kill with a respectable U.S. ranking.

Patch 5.4 has been on the PTR for some time now, and there’s a new build being datamined tonight. We’ve just hit break time at 11 pm EST, and I’m only half listening to the chatter in Mumble.

Suddenly, I hear “Oh my God! Is this helm named after Mags?!”

I refuse to believe it until someone links me the actual item. As I typed out in the comments section then, I’ll repeat now: “Floored and honoured!”

10.

“Hi there, I was wondering if you could tell me how this talent works?”

“Could you recommend what piece of gear I should use?”

How do you feel about Death Knights this patch?

Would you be willing to be interviewed about your thoughts on Death Knights?

We’d like to hire you to write a guide.

Would you consider being a Death Knight columnist for our site?

How do you feel about this major change to the game?

What is the story behind your community?

And a whole lot more.

11.

Friends come, friends go. I build memories.

I enjoy the minutiae of actual gameplay as much as I enjoy working in the service of a community that I helped build from the ground up. I discover other roles besides DPS. I discover other classes.

I conquer the most challenging bosses within the tier they’re introduced – admittedly that’s not saying much in the context of 5.4 or 6.2, but still deeply satisfying as a whole. Through all of Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, I get used to seeing the words “Realm First!” pop up on my screen, and it feels good. I develop a deep love for extreme soloing and taking on challenges that few players ever thought possible.

World of Warcraft is an omnipresent force that accompanies both some of the best and some of the worst times within the past decade of my life. It accompanies me as I move continents, timezones, trade academic settings for real world jobs and as I begin to settle into routines that I realise will likely stay with me for the rest of my life.

12.

I am cynical. Disillusioned. Upset.

My words seem hollow, my ability to affect the change I want insignificant. I know, I know – nothing good lasts forever. That doesn’t make the rapid succession of blows any easier.

I decide to write a long letter to someone that I know is under no obligation to respond or to even acknowledge what I have to say. Nonetheless, my respect for this person demands that I say what I do.

“I guess the gist of what I wanted to say to you is: Thank you. Thank you for helping to create and maintain a game in which I was able to lose myself for so many hours, and forget about some of life’s own traumas… No matter what my opinion of WoW’s current direction, I will never deny the good times and the people that this game has introduced me to. I credit you with a good deal of the fact that this enjoyment has been able to last this long.”

I send it off without much thought to whether it will get a response – but it does. Promptly. More than that, the response is beyond anything I could ever have dared to dream of. It ends with a line I have to read several times to truly comprehend.

“In any case, please do keep in touch. I have come to respect you enormously.”

It is rare for me to encounter something that renders me speechless, but this does it. Is it really possible to be able to end things on a higher note?

13.

I think I’ll log into World of Warcraft one more time.

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Reclusive Youkai: An interview with Mione (a.k.a. Mionelol)!

Today’s post consists of an interview with one of #Acherus’s core members! Mione has been a member of the #Acherus family since the inception of the channel, and has steadily grown from being someone I admired from a distance, to becoming a channel mod and someone I consider a close personal friend.

Mione, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences as a top world raider, avid soloer and Touhou fan with us; just remember that in the end Flandre is still best 2hu!

Welcome! Why don’t you begin by telling us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been playing WoW? What class(es) do you currently play, and which guild do you play with?

Hewwo I’m Mione and I play a DK in <Envy> on the EU-Kazzak server, ranked #4 in 25-man for both Lei Shen and Garrosh. I’ve been playing WoW since the first day of Vanilla back on the French PvP server Illidan, but never played in the Vanilla Beta. I used to play Warcraft III quasi-exclusively prior to that (surprisingly, I mained Undead…).

I played a Mage in Vanilla, then an Elemental Shaman and Warrior in TBC, and finally a DK from WoTLK onwards. Did play quite a bunch of PvP until Cataclysm, grabbed a few gladiator titles here and there (highest rating being 28xx at some point during WotLK), and I even used to be a mod on Arenajunkies, but I completely stopped PvP’ing when I broke up with my SO who happened to be my arena partner! <.<

Regarding PvE, I was in top~50 guilds until Firelands, exclusively playing on French servers at the time. At that point my current guild, <Silent>, somewhat fell apart during the summer, and a few remaining members of the guild decided to do a great performance before completely quitting the game. We swapped back to 10-man with this tight knit (?) group, and snatched a West First on both Heroic Spine and Heroic Madness of Deathwing on that difficulty (much competition in 10-man, rite?).

By that point the majority of the group decided to quit, while a few of them turned casual or joined other guilds. That’s when I made the jump to English servers and joined <Envy>, and I’ve been happy here since then.

My current alts are an Elemental Shaman, and a Prot/Ret paladin, both of which I’m quite terrible at. I’m barely any better even worse than a LFR hero.

Besides raiding, you’re a notable figure in the soloing community. What is it about soloing that appeals to you? How do you approach a new encounter that you’d like to solo?

I mostly find appeal in the challenge it presents. I like difficult video games and soloing is one of the very few ways to turn WoW into a challenging game in my opinion.

While raiding, a big part of the difficulty comes from coordination etc, wheras while soloing you have noone to blame but yourself for any mistake that may happen. I like blaming myself <.<

Coming up with creative/out of the box strategies is also part of the fun (Elegon and Reliquary of Souls being good examples), especially when it comes to bosses that would be impossible otherwise. Finally, being one of the first people (if not the first) to ever solo a boss always feels a bit gratifying, although I try to minimize that as much as possible. But hey ego is always part of human nature and you can’t deny that!

Regarding how to approach a “new” encounter, this might sound generic but I approach them just like we approach a new encounter during progress. That means a lot of thinking before even engaging the boss, coming up with some ideas, and already knowing the general lines of my strategy when I begin attempts.

Generally speaking, I require very few attempts to kill new bosses. It’s extremely rare for me to spend more than 20 attempts on a given boss, and when it happens it’s either because of a RNG-driven element or because of an extremely tight number check.

In terms of progression, what were some of your favourite bosses to approach as both a 25HM raider and a soloer this expansion? Were there particular bosses that stood out for you?

As a 25H raider: Dark Animus, Siegecrafter Blackfuse and Paragons of the Klaxxi. OH AND ZOR’LOK, how could I forget my favorite ability of all times, Attenuation.
(Magdalena’s sidenote: You should all check out this *awesome* video of a very um… unique… strategy for Heroic 25 Dark Animus that Mione decided to implement during progression!)

As a soloer: Ragnaros (normal mode), Yan-Zhu the Uncasked (Challenge mode), Will of the Emperor, Elegon, Gunship 2.0.

As both a raider and a soloer, what have your thoughts been on Death Knights been this expansion? Are there particular aspects (specs, glyphs, talents, rotations, etc) that you’ve felt could be improved?

Blood: Going to be blatantly honest: I feel like we were one expansion behind. Our MoP model was a slightly improved Cataclysm model (which would have done extremely well in Cata itself), but not comparable to any other tank’s model. Death Strike scaling off actual damage taken instead of unmitigated damage was simply not up-to-par. As a result Blood has always been underpowered this expansion, IMO. The lack of DPS coming from Blood (compared to BrM, etc) was the icing on the cake that made Blood completely undesirable in any progression setting. Not unplayable, as Blood was still within a somewhat reasonable margin from the other tanks – just undesirable.

In terms of playstyle however, MoP Blood was the best the class has ever seen, minus 2-3 minor issues (DRW!). It’s fluid, it’s engaging, it’s all around healthy and fun. Despite all I said above, I still played Blood on a few progression fights, namely Will of the Emperor, Shek’zeer, Lei Shi, Sha of Fear, Dark Animus, and Garrosh. I’m generally the offtank of choice if there’s any need for a 3rd tank for any given encounter.

Frost: DW is mindnumbingly boring (disclaimer: my opinion), while 2H is fun. Killing Machine is ignored, but quite frankly I never remember a time where it really mattered (even in LK it didn’t matter that much, let’s be honest). I also don’t think a world where the current Killing Machine would matter would be fun to play.

I wish Frost had some more engaging mechanics (ICC rotation with glyph of pestilence was way more fun than the current ones), and stopped being so dependant on Howling Blast on single target. Generally speaking I still think Frost didn’t adapt at all to the Cataclysm rune model, and will never really work until both sets of runes regenerate at the same time. Permanent death runes alleviated the problem, but ultimately it remains there. Soul Reaper is a good example of this, seeing as how awkward it is to try to integrate it into the 2H playstyle

Unholy: I’ve never been a fan of Unholy to be frank, and I’ve barely played it outside of ToT during Festerblight’s days. As such, I honestly don’t feel qualified to comment.

This expansion has seen a number of other classes (Warriors, Paladins, Warlocks and Monks most notably) also become very capable soloers. How do you think they stack up compared to the Death Knight? Have you ever played or thought about playing one?

I think Monks are actually comparable to Death Knights (arguably better), aside from the fact that they lack Anti-Magic Shell, which can be a dealbreaker on certain fights, and have slightly inferior single-target damage in low vengeance scenarios. In every other respect, I feel that Monks outclass DKs.
Fortunately for DKs, single-target damage is still a very important metric, and I have access to way more gear, much more quickly than any Monk currently interested in soloing.

Warlocks are … Well, dunno. They are blatantly overpowered so IDK 😀 Nerf pls!

Warriors and Paladins are similar to Monks (Warriors only in medium-high vengeance scenarios), except they lack a lot more damage in low-vengeance scenarios.

We often see mentions of Touhou on your youtube channel- both as a game, and the music that you use in your WoW videos. What is Touhou? Why do you play it, and what can you tell us about Touhou music?

Touhou is a video game series created by ZUN, a drunk Japanese guy. Generally speaking, the game is a 2D vertical shmup (Shoot ‘em up) where, instead of playing as a plane against tanks or other planes, you play as a magical girl against other magical girls. Of course, bullets are replaced with magical bullets. The goal of the game is to dodge these bullets, which come in various patterns, speeds, shapes, directions, etc.

I play it because of the music, quite honestly. It’s fun and challenging (although the difficulty of Lunatic is overstated IMO), but the BGM is what appeals me the most; I’m not attracted to any other shmup. Touhou music, which I blatantly use and overuse on my Youtube channel, has some magic in it that simply touches me. Although it has diminished a bit lately, the community and circles around Touhou have a lot of creativity and there is an innumerable amount of arranges in nearly every possible genre, whether it is electronic, orchestral, metal, piano, happy hardcore, dnb, jazz, rap, dubstep, whatever.
My favorite circles are Jerico’s Law and Demetori.

Besides your Youtube channel, where else might the community find you? Do you post on particular forums or hang out in certain places? Who is that purple-haired girl we keep seeing on various forum avatars?!

#Acherus of course. I’m Miyako on there.
Twitter: @maiohnee
Reddit: /u/mionee
Twitch: twisparkz (Yes! It’s all cute and stuff, but I stream maybe once a month if even that). You can always PM me on MMO-C, I guess… Well no, screw that.

The purple haired girl is Miyako Shiina, which I do not recommend googling!

Getting back to WoW for a moment: We’ve seen some major reveals about changes coming to Death Knights in Warlords of Draenor. Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share on what you’ve seen so far? Any particular concerns?

Blood: Every single change is magnificent, ASIDE FROM THE FACT WE END UP WITH ABSURD DOWNTIME. Yes, that is in capslock, and for good reason: We currently have over 50% downtime and no, I’m not kidding. Fix this downtime issue, and Blood is going to be a magnificent spec.

Frost: Nothing was changed yet besides a few minor QoL changes. I don’t think Blizz has anything particular in store for us anyway, which is disappointing.

Unholy: IDK. Nothing changed much, just like Frost, but Necrotic Plague has interesting implications. Can’t really tell until we hit level 100 to test Necrotic Plague though =X

Overall: Losing Army for Frost/Unholy is sad, losing Raise Dead and Death Coil for Blood/Frost is even more sad. Otherwise nothing particular to note yet.

I would appreciate removing RE in favor of a talent that allows both sets of runes to regenerate at the same time.

Speaking of Warlords of Draenor, what are your thoughts on the expansion in general? Changes to mechanics like Hit/Expertise, bonus gear rolling, Garrisons, item squish, etc.

Hit/Exp being removed is a great change, but I don’t like how they are removing reforging because of it. If anything, with the removal of hit/exp reforging would not have been a nightmare that required addons anymore, and would have greatly helped to compensate for…

The loot changes: I am extremely skeptical that anything good will come out of it.

Garrisons: I don’t care about them in the slightest :X

Item squish: I will test it in old instances to make sure that our player power level remains the same compared to old creatures, but that’s about it. I don’t particularly care about the numbers themselves so I don’t really understand the need for a squish either (aside from going out of bounds).

It seems like we have a very long time to go- September 24th of this year at the very least- before Warlords of Draenor premiers. Do you still see yourself playing WoW if and when the expansion comes out? Will anything major change for you, if you do?

IDK! 😀

Tell us the first 3 words/phrases that come to your mind when you think about any of the following: “#Acherus”, “Developers”, “Warcraft” and “Death Knights”!

#Acherus: Fengore.

Developers: Not perfect, but deserve way more credit than the general populace gives them.

Warcraft:http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/qkdwe6z6tc4fuov/coilnova.mp3 – This was literally my entire childhood.

Death Knights:http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/qkdwe6z6tc4fuov/coilnova.mp3 – Same deal.

Last question: Why on Earth did you agree to an interview with Mag?!

He promised to stop biting me.
(Magdalena’s sidenote: I totally lied.)

Goodbye to WoW: On startling realisations and new affirmations

It is with regret that I announce my imminent departure from WoW and the gaming world forever.

I was struck by an epiphany at exactly 11:59 pm last night: I am set to complete my third legendary cloak on an alt this coming reset. While on one level I was impressed with my ability to dedicate myself to a mind-numbingly excruciating experience, on another level I was utterly horrified. Have I truly become so bored and disinterested with what the game has to offer that I turn to a gruelling, months-long questline on multiple toons instead of partaking in the joys of random Battlegrounds, Pet Battles or simply running my toons off cliffs for hours in a row?! Am I really prepared to continue this trend with fourth or even fifth cloaks for fresh alts, whilst Mists of Pandaria drags on till the end of summer?
No. No, this requires drastic action that I absolutely must take. Not even the promise of the Warlords of Draenor Beta tomorrow is enough to dissuade me.

Clearly, I have no choice but to go cold-turkey: I am quitting WoW and deleting all of my characters immediately. I do not make this decision lightly, but I still see a bright future ahead of all this madness. Therefore, I intend to fully repurpose this blog, Son of a Lich, #Acherus and any other theorycraft I may have contributed toward the community, all towards my newest hobby!
Join me, won’t you?

Wowhead Guides: Ask, and ye shall receive!

This is just a quick note to announce that my new ‘Fresh to 90’ guides for both Blood and DPS DKs are now up on Wowhead. These guides are intended for players who have just reached Level-90 on their Death Knight, and act as primers for an introduction to endgame play.

Although the majority of my DK-centric work will continue to remain at Sonofalich, I’m also opening this post up as a more informal means for readers to get in touch about questions concerning the guides. As always, remember that you can get answers to almost all of your questions in #Acherus as well- especially if you’re ready for more advanced play on your Death Knight!

Consequences: Reactions to potential release dates for Warlords of Draenor

By now, most of the WoW player base is likely aware that Warlords of Draneor is available for preorder. Pre-purchasing a digital copy of the expansion unlocks one Level-90 boost available immediately for one toon, with the Collectors Edition offering additional rewards in the form of a unique mount and pet.

More pertinent to this post however, is the fact that Blizzard has declared that Warlords of Draenor will see a Fall release. In the fiscal calendar, this allows a comfortable leeway for WoD to be released anywhere between September-December, thus giving Blizzard plenty of time to work on last-minute issues that may arise during Beta (or presumably issues that have existed since before Beta).
Watcher has been quick to clarify on Twitter, that the 20th of December is not an official release date, but rather the maximum possible date under which a WoD release could still technically fall under Fall (pun intended).

At this point however, I’m going to make an educated guess and say that it seems highly unlikely that Warlords will be out any time before September. When Blizzard first previewed WoD last November, there was speculation that Beta would start very shortly before Christmas, and that we’d see a summer release of Warlords at the latest.
Guesses about Beta obviously turned out to be wrong, but I’ll admit that even I’m taken aback by the prospect of a Fall release for WoD. If a summer release is out of the question, then it will mean that Tier 16 (a.k.a. Siege of Orgrimmar) will last for a minimum of 11 total months, with the potential extend beyond an entire year if Blizzard chooses to make full use of the period under which Fall lasts in the fiscal year.

Understandably, there’s been a great deal of debate and upset on various forms of social media about this. Even with progression still continuing for a majority of guilds, a sizeable chunk of Heroic raiding guilds are left with the prospect of farming SoO for a period that could rival or even beat Tier 10’s duration (i.e. Icecrown Citadel in WoTLK). The beginning of a brand new PvP season just now, combined with Holinka’s tweets about the maximum length an average PvP season could last (again: NOT a declaration of actual length), does little to allay concerns about how long it could be till 6.0 goes Live.

In #Acherus, we’ve been debating what this could mean for a potential Beta release. Truth be told I was disappointed when Beta wasn’t released towards the end of January, and with this announcement I could even believe that it would be pushed all the way into mid-April. #Acherus also debated about what this could mean for potential subscriber loss, which is a definite concern that I’m sure Blizzard has also been considering.
My friend Scott Helfand (@SvelteKumquat on Twitter) asked an interesting series of questions in two tweets that I believe many of us should consider: Is it not possible (probable, even) that the number of subscribers lost to a rushed and half-baked version of WoD would outweigh the potential number that will likely be lost due to the projected Fall release date?

I’ll sidetrack here with a cautionary tale: That of 3DO’s. 3DO was the company responsible for the first half the the Heroes of Might and Magic and Might and Magic series of games. Unlike Blizzard, 3DO stuck to their deadlines- to their ultimate detriment. After a number of games were rush-released with cut features, buggy content and downright shoddy scripting, subscriber numbers flopped. Both Might and Magic IX and Heroes of Might and Magic IV were 3DO’s last games; the company eventually declared bankruptcy and sold the rights to both series of games to Ubisoft (which continues to produce them).
As someone who played 3DO’s rushed games, I can personally tell you that there’s nothing worse than sampling a much anticipated product of this former caliber only to find it tainted and defective due to a rushed job.

Blizzard seems to have learned from these mistakes, and has previously shown qualities that I admire: They rarely stick to firm deadlines and are also unafraid to scrap an entire project if it doesn’t meet their community standards, rather than release a bad product. This applies not only to in-game features, but entire games such as Starcraft: Ghost and, if rumours are to be believed, the original incarnation of Project Titan.

Don’t mistake this as me making excuses for the way MoP seems to be destined to end- a Fall release means that Siege or Orgrimmar will still have been a single tier of content for far too long, and WoD’s “unravelling” process has been painfully slow thus far. Part of the problem, in my opinion, is also that Tiers 14 and 15 were unnecessarily short and could have had at least 6-8 additional weeks (Tier 14 especially) added to them. This, in turn, would have pushed the release of Tier 16 till Christmas and thus not made it seem so long.

Ultimately, the best I feel we can hope for right now is that Blizzard uses this generous allotment of time to develop an expansion that matches their high standards and outpaces our own. My next couple of posts will cover my critical analysis of certain announced WoD features.
See you then!

Beginnings: Welcome & Introduction

Welcome.

If you’ve stumbled across this corner of cyberspace chances are that you’re, at the very least, familiar with the popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft (WoW). Within the WoW community, I’m known as Magdalena: An experienced Death Knight player and theorycrafter who leads the #Acherus IRC, a channel dedicated to the advancement of the WoW Death Knight community. I also raid (present hiatus excluded) with <Something Wicked>, an Alliance guild located on US-Whisperwind.

While I’m best known for my aforementioned work with a specific class, I wish to make something clear: This blog is not DK-centric. Anyone interested in my thoughts and posts about Death Knights would be best served by visiting my other blog: Son of A Lich (SoAL), owned and managed by web-designer extraordinaire (and fellow Death Knight), Heartless. Additionally, this blog will in no way impact my work on SoAL, which will always be my primary focus for matters concerning DKs and the the #Acherus community- if nothing else, I’d be a fool to toss aside the opportunity to be able to blog with an editor as amazing as Heartless!

I intend for this blog to serve as a space that encompasses my wider thought and opinions about games, online communities that I’m a member of, and even some real life topics that may have nothing to do with games! While WoW will still likely be its central focus, it will be in a much looser format than what readers might expect of me based on my posts on SoAL. Post frequency and length are also variable, and largely depend on how important I consider an issue to be worth talking about in a relatively unstructured format. It also bears mentioning: The thoughts and opinions expressed here are mine alone, and not representative of anyone else unless expressly stated.

I’ll conclude for now by preempting a question that I know would be otherwise asked: I’ve utilised “festerblight” in this blog’s web address because it’s not just a mark of the DK community which I’m a core member of, but is a phrase that I specifically coined for a playstyle that was concocted in #Acherus. As such, Festerblight serves as the perfect moniker that associates a blog with me- Death Knight related or not.

Until next time!