Patch 5.0.4 Release Date Set for 29th August, 2012

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 09:16 Written by HalonaZAT Tuesday, 14 August 2012 11:30

Approximately once every two years, Blizzard releases a new expansion pack for World of Warcraft. First there was ‘The Burning Crusade’ then there was ‘Wrath of the Lich King.’ Most recently came ‘Cataclysm’ which saw the world torn apart. Now comes a new name to tease the mind, ‘Mists of Pandaria’.

Pre-Expansion Patch Release Date - 29th August, 2012

Pre-Expansion Patch Release Date - 29th August, 2012

In a ‘blue post’ warning raiders about the implications for raid-lockouts in a couple of weeks from now, Blizzard employee Takralus revealed that the pre-expansion patch for WoW will be released on the 29th August 2012 (Europe) and the 28th August, 2012 (North America). This is the usual ‘major changes’ patch that Blizzard traditionally releases approximately one month before the release of the new expansion which typically contains all relevant updates to talent trees, essential game mechanics and so on. By releasing the foundation code for the upcoming expansion ahead of time, Blizzard eases the path for the full release and gains valuable time to identify and address any last bugs that have not yet been resolved during the in-house QA processes.

The brief summary of changes coming with the pre-expansion patch includes:

  • Revised Talent Trees
  • Account-Shared Mounts and Pets

So, it’s full-steam ahead from here onwards. While the summer has been exceptionally rich with pleasing distractions of the sporting variety (Euro 2012 Football, Wimbledon Tennis, Tour-de-France Cycling, London 2012 Olympics & Paralympics) it’s nice to know the Autumnal months that are fast approaching are going to offer a rich vein of new content for us to explore. See you all again soon!

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Mists of Pandaria – Release Date 25th September, 2012!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 05:45 Written by HalonaZAT Wednesday, 25 July 2012 05:45

Approximately once every two years, Blizzard releases a new expansion pack for World of Warcraft. First there was ‘The Burning Crusade’ then there was ‘Wrath of the Lich King.’ Most recently came ‘Cataclysm’ which saw the world torn apart. Now comes a new name to tease the mind, ‘Mists of Pandaria’.

Mists of Pandaria Release Date - 25th September, 2012

Mists of Pandaria Release Date - 25th September, 2012

The release date for the next WoW expansion, “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria” has been announced and is scheduled to take place on the 25th September, 2012. This is WoW’s fourth expansion and it will be available in both ‘hard-copy’ format (ie: DVD media in a box) from traditional retailers or as a digital download via the Blizzard store.

Three versions of the expansion are known to be available. The standard version (~$40) is available in both boxed and digital formats whilst a digital deluxe version (~$60) is available (natch!) only in digital format and offers a selection of additional toys for the buyer, in the form of in-game mounts and pets, images and flags. Knock yourselves out kids! Most expensive is the Collector’s Edition (~$80) which is only available in boxed format and brings the same extras as the digital deluxe version as well as a two-disc DVD/Blu-Ray ‘behind-the-scenes/making-of’ affair, the CE Soundtrack CD, a book titled ‘The Art of Mists of Pandaria’ and a Pandaria mouse-pad.

All in all, the additional $20 for the DD version is poor value unless you are exceedingly enthusiastic about digital mounts/pets/toys and although it’s hard to call the additional $20 over-and-above the DD cost for the CE ‘good-value,’ the extras on offer for that $20 make much more sense. Blizzard have demonstrated a high quality standard for their CE books and behind-the-scenes discs before so, comparatively speaking, the CE is more likely to be a satisfying indulgence. It’s unlikely that any of the extras in the DD version will offer any real sense of satisfaction in the same way.

Of course, this is all ignoring the actual game-content which ‘Mists’ is bringing. Like Cataclysm before it, it will only offer an additional five levels of new content for max-level players. Now that Cataclysm set the precedent for delivering less content at the high end, it seems Blizzard is continuing the trend. At the low-level, the new race of ‘Pandarens’ will provide a new skin for those tired of the current races and the new class of ‘Monk’ will offer a different play-style for those looking for a twist on their existing stable of alts. Blizzard’s past performance suggests that new races will have their greatest potency at their introduction so get in early if you want to enjoy the full pre-nerf experience!

Besides that, the new ‘continent’ is the land of Pandaria (‘Pan-dah-ree-ah’ or ‘Panda-ree-ah’?), a strongly oriental-themed world fitting both the Chinese influence suggested by the Panda-based new race and Blizzard’s larger ambitions of recent years to grow East-Asian market share. Other add-ins like the new pet-battle system, offering a Pokemon style combat-game for until-now non-combat pets, make their debut with the expansion.

So, the countdown timer has finally begun. Can you wait for the summer to pass? Can you? Can you?!

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