The Legion is coming

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It has been a month since I renewed my subscription and came back to World of Warcraft after a six month long break. This patch has been highly anticipated with the class changes, new transmogrification system and now the Legion invasion and demon hunters.
I’m very happy with the changes to balance druid and resto shaman but it feels like I don’t have any abilities left to use, my bars have never been so empty. I’m especially happy with the balance druid changes because I really disliked the playstyle in PvE in Warlords of Draenor. The only thing I don’t like is that Starfall is so expensive and that you have to place it on the ground, might take me a long while to get used to it and learn how to master using it. I used to just pop Starfall, pull half the world, kite and dot everything to death, have to find a new way to do that now.
One more thing that’s annoying is that I can’t take good screenshots when using Blessing of the Ancients because when I zoom all the way in I still see the stars and smoke effects from the spell in the middle of the screen.

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I almost forgot that I had to buy the Legion expansion to play the demon hunter so I bought it the same day as they became available. It wasn’t exactly cheap, 44.99 euro for the standard edition and 59.99 euros for the digital deluxe edition. I decided to buy the digital deluxe edition because I think the stuff you get is worth the extra 15 euros, I just think the standard edition should have been cheaper because you only get the game.
I’ve been looking forward to playing the demon hunter because I never tried them on the beta. The story and the quests were very interesting though it was kind of what I expected it to be. I’m not sure if I ever could be a real Illidari demon hunter by heart because the story in the quests made me think that Illidan might be insane, I don’t agree with everything he’s done, but I still chose Kayn over Altruis because I think that’s what an Illidari demon hunter would have done. Havoc is a fun spec so I’m planning to play it more in the future, but I don’t know yet if demon hunter will become one of my favorite alts.

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The pre-expansion events are always fun, so I was of course looking forward to the invasions and everything that came with them. I have completed the invasions in all of the zones and I’m now trying to collect all the different transmog gear sets.
Today I finally got the It All Makes Sense Now achievement which requires you to collect all the 12 different pamphlets from the Doomsayers in your city. The Pocket Fel Spreader toy haven’t dropped for me yet but I haven’t killed that many Dread Infiltrators. I joined a group to farm it but we looked for hours without finding a single one, so I might just buy the toy at the auction house instead of wasting my time like that again.
I started crafting and selling Tomes of Illusions and Tomes of the Clear Mind to earn some gold. So far I’ve earned at least 80 000 gold over one week. I don’t farm all the materials, so I spend some gold to buy parts of what I need, but I only sell if I get a good profit. I need to earn gold so I can buy WoW Tokens and use them to pay for my game time.

 

What do you think about the Legion pre-expansion patch, demon hunters and invasions?

Highmountain by night

The first zone I explored in the Broken Isles was Highmountain, home of the Highmountain tauren. It has tall mountains, rivers, waterfalls and forest. The nights are dark with an amazing sky where you can see far into the galaxy and a million of stars.

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Frosthoof Watch on Highmountain

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Full moon in Pinerock Basin

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Highmountain Peak

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Moose in Pinerock Basin

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Night sky in Pinerock Basin

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Full moon by the river

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Frosthoof Watch on Highmountain Peak

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Galaxy in the night sky

Not prepared

I can’t believe it has already been six months since I cancelled my subscription and stopped playing WoW. Time has gone by so fast because I have had so many other things to do and played many other games like StarCraft II, Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch and Pokémon GO. It’s been fun to focus more on my other hobbies and interests and try new games.

Right now I’m actually wondering if WoW ever will be the same as it used to be a few years ago when it was at it’s best. I doubt it. Mostly because I no longer have a guild. I lost many in-game friends when my guild disbanded, some people found new guilds on other realms and some people quit. Finding a new guild wasn’t easy, because I spent a lot of time trying to find one for Warlords of Draenor and I finally found one in the very end of the expansion. I had a good time there for a while, but then everyone lost interest and people left.

I don’t even know if I want to go back to raiding, but I don’t want to be stuck in Looking For Raid or always having to group up with randoms either. Maybe I could raid very casual like once or twice a week, but nothing serious, just for fun to defeat the bosses, and with a social and friendly guild with the same goals.

At the moment I’m not even that excited about Legion, I try to be, sometimes I even pretend to be because I feel it’s expected of me. Of course I think it’s interesting and I’m sure it will be fun with new content. But I feel like I’ve waited for so long, so now when it’s finally here, it’s too late because I feel like I’ve kind of lost my interest for the game. Yes, maybe it’s only because I’ve been away from it for six months, except for some time on the beta. I hope I’ll be as excited as everyone else on launch day.

I just read that the pre-expansion patch will come next week, so I think I’ll login to the game soon to prepare myself for the patch and Legion. I’m sure there will be tons of stuff for me to organize, fix and do when the patch comes. My bags and bank are a total mess so I can’t wait to finally get some order in them. Thank you, transmog changes! There might be achievements, quests or other things I should have done before the patch and Legion, but I haven’t really checked and I don’t know if I think it’s that important. I might check around and ask some people about it.

My computer will also need a little cleaning up before Legion because it’s almost as messy as my bags and bank. I haven’t decided if I should upgrade to Windows 10 or not, currently running Windows 8. But I did upgrade my laptop’s Windows 7 to 10 and it looks good, so I might upgrade my main computer before it’s too late.

Are you excited about Legion? What are you doing to prepare yourself?

My first days in the Legion beta

I’ve had the beta for some weeks now but I haven’t had much time to play because of my job, volunteer work and other things that have been taking up a lot of my time.

But I did make a druid, play through the Broken Shore and I got the artifact weapon. The Broken Shore questline went fast and easy, it was quite interesting but the ending cinematic is still missing so I’m really looking forward to seeing it later.

I went to the druid order hall, The Dreamgrove, in Val’sharah which is a beautiful location perfect for druids.

It took me a while to get the artifact weapon because the questline was bugged. I was unable to complete some quests so I spent a lot of time reading the forums, writing bug reports and waiting. It was fast and easy when it finally worked and I got my hands on the Scythe of Elune!

Legion: How To Be A Good Beta Tester

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The Legion beta test has begun! The first wave of invites went out a few weeks ago and more will be sent out as soon as they need more. Players selected to participate will receive an email invitation. But be aware of phishing attempts. Log in to your Battle.net account to verify that there is a Legion beta license attached. If you’re interested in participating, opt in here. Read Blizzard’s official post on Legion beta here.

A lot of people are talking about how excited they are about the Legion beta and what they are planning on doing if they get access. But some people are also wondering what’s expected of them as a beta tester and what they should do to become a good beta tester. First I think you should ask yourself these two questions: Why do you want to be a beta tester? What do you think makes you a good beta tester?

I participated in the Wrath of the Lich King beta, Cataclysm alpha and beta, Mists of Pandaria beta and Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls beta. At first I saw it as a chance to get a sneak peek and play the game before everyone else, but then I learned that there is so much more you should do and I felt important and happy to be one of those who got to test it and give feedback to polish and improve the game before it went live.

I’ve now read through some websites and forums, gathered and written down what I think are the most important things to keep in mind if you are going to participate in the beta test.

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What is a beta test

Game testing is a process for quality control of a software. The primary function of game testing is the discovery and reporting of software defects, also known as bugs. A beta test is usually the second test (after alpha) and the first test by the actual customers. Beta testers are needed because the designers are probably so used to their game that they’re very likely to overlook many things that fresh pair of eyes won’t.

Sometimes there is an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) you need to agree to in order to participate in testing, but not for Legion. This means you are free to talk about, write about, stream and share screenshots from the beta.

Who can be a beta tester

A veteran player isn’t necessary a better beta tester than a new player. Introducing previously uninvolved testers with fresh perspective may help identify new bugs. Blizzard wants a wide variety of testers: varied, locations, age, experience and game interest. You don’t need the newest computer, the best graphics card etc. Blizzard wants to make sure that the game works on everyone’s computer. They want a variety of testers with all kinds of different hardware, not just people with the latest stuff.

What to keep in mind

  • You shouldn’t sign up for the beta if you don’t plan on actually testing and giving feedback. Many people sign up for the beta not to test it but to play the game and see if it’s something they would like to buy.
  • The beta is not a demo to complete content before anyone else.
  • Nothing is final before it’s live.
  • Being a beta tester is more like a job than something you do just cause it’s fun.
  • The beta test is designed to find bugs, issues that have made it past internal testing.
  • You are responsible for checking that the game works, is easy to use, has actions that make sense, and contains fun gameplay.
  • If the game was perfect, they wouldn’t need people beta testing.
  • The more bugs that get reported in the beta, the less there will be when it goes live.
  • Visit and read the official beta forums, follow Blizzard’s updates on what they want you to focus testing on.
  • Test as many features as possible in as many ways as possible.
  • Consult with other testers for answers to potential problems you may be experiencing.
  • Support creative new approaches to abilities, spells and other changes to the game.
  • Instead of complaining out loud or in the chat, report your problem by using the feedback survey or the official beta testing forums, and be constructive.
  • You can still give feedback on the quests, zones, dungeons etc even if you don’t find any bugs.
  • Remember that all characters in Blizzard beta tests are wiped from the servers before the final game. Carrying characters over from the beta to the final game would give beta testers an unfair advantage and there are numerous technical issues as the beta client is not the same as the final game version.
  • What is your reward? A sense of accomplishment. You helped to polish a game you enjoy. And a sneak peek at the game is the reward for most. But previous beta invites and good feedback can increase your chances of getting picked again.

What to expect

Read the Legion beta patch notes here.

There will be frequent disconnects, and the realm may be up for a few minutes at a time as new content is added. Do not expect the entire expansion to be available. Expect things to be broken, graphics to be missing or placeholders.

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Bugs

Testing requires creative gameplay to discover often subtle bugs. Some bugs are easy to document, but many require a detailed description so a developer can replicate or find the bug. Do stuff Blizzard never intended for players to do. Because a player will do so by accident and cause an issue. Players also have ways of doing stuff the developers never thought of doing. It is better that it happens in beta than on live.

Bugs can be…

  • art glitches
  • animation errors
  • logic errors
  • level bugs
  • quest items not working
  • random dismounts
  • falling through the world
  • getting stuck
  • damage and class/mob balance bugs
  • lore error
  • + much more

I remember I’ve been able to fly indoors, or dismounted from my flying mount in the air when flying above buildings. I’ve also fallen through worlds, got stuck in walls or behind invisible walls and stuck in cracks in the ground.  Been unable to complete quests, pick up items, missing NPCs and NPCs who yell over and over again so the whole zone gets a headache. I’ve also seen spelling mistakes in the quest info and NPC speech, and tons of graphic bugs.

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How to report bugs
As a beta tester, you’re expected to report the bugs you encounter in the game. Blizzard has beta forums for feedback and bug reporting. You can also go to the “Game Menu” in-game, “Help” and “Submit Bug”. Once you’ve found and identified a bug, you should write a brief report so Blizzard knows that there is a problem and can fix it before release. Good bug reports can be read quickly, easily understood and be recreated even by someone who is playing the beta for the first time. A good bug report makes it much easier to get the bugs fixed as fast as possible.

Make sure you can repeat the bug
What caused the bug? What where you doing? Write down what you did before you encountered the bug and try to make it happen again. Check the forums to see if the bug you found has already been reported. Sometimes there is a post or a list of known bugs, bugs they already know about and are working on. If you got more information to add about a bug someone else has already reported, just write a reply to their post.

Information to give
Make a note of the time and the place that the bug occurred and what you were doing when it happened. Sometimes it can also be important to write down which class, spec, level and race you are. The beta build you are using can also be of importance. It can be found in the lower left of the login screen. You want to include your computer’s information if you’re experiencing graphic issues, crashes etc. Write down exactly what the bug did. Did you get disconnected, a screen freeze, game crash or an error message? Did you character get stuck? Maybe you fell through the world? Or are you unable to pick up or use a certain item? The more detail the better. Go back and see if you can cause the bug to occur again.

How to recreate the bug
Write down the steps needed to recreate the bug so the developers can recreate it and see what happens. This can be which spell you used, where you walked, which item you used and where, which NPC you spoke to etc.

Writing a bug report post
If you find multiple bugs, make one post for each bug you find. Use a tag in the subject of your post to make it easier to know what kind of bug it is. Like [Quest bug], [Spell bug] etc.

If you can remember and do all or some of the points above, you’re on the right way to become a good beta tester! Good luck and enjoy!

Check out this funny video about beta testing, made for Cataclysm but it’s still useful.

Sources and useful links

This post was originally written for the Mists of Pandaria beta and posted March 21. 2012. Rewritten for the Warlords of Draenor alpha/beta and reposted June 7. 2014. Rewritten again for the Legion beta and reposted May 23. 2016.