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While World of Warcraft is by no means the first MMO, it’s indisputable that Blizzard’s behemoth of a game has been the most successful iteration by far. WoW really brought MMOs into the mainstream and defined what a modern, successful online game entails. That said, the game is not without its issues. After 6 expansions, Blizzard has had plenty of time to keep improving on the game, but there remain some problems that plague the game to this day. Is World of Warcraft in 2017 worth your time? We take a look at the current state of the game and Blizzard’s plans moving forward to determine if WoW still “has it” or if it’s a “has been”.

Coming off of Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard had a lot to prove. Though the company has stopped providing exact subscriber numbers, it was clear as someone who played the game frequently that World of Warcraft was hemorrhaging subscribers pretty quickly throughout the expansion. Due to most resources being funneled into development for the Legion expansion, raiders were left with over a year of farming the same raid again and again. If I never set foot in Hellfire Citadel again I’ll be perfectly happy! The lack of content combined with the unintentional isolation of players introduced with Garrisons were just a few of the problems with Warlords of Draenor. Does World of Warcraft in 2017 address these issues? For the most part, yes.

With World of Warcraft Legion, Blizzard has committed to providing more regular content updates. They stressed that the expansion cycle might be a little longer than it was previously, but that’s a fine trade off if we can avoid the dearth of content we experienced near the end of Warlords of Draenor. The company laid out the plans for World of Warcraft in 2017 and beyond, and committed to a release schedule of big patches with smaller patches in between. The big patches will include huge content releases like raids and dungeons, while the smaller patches provide balance fixes and more “fun” features.

Blizzard has made good on their release schedule so far, providing regular content updates and releasing content quickly (in some people’s opinion, a little too fast!). The developer went a little overboard, however, in making sure people constantly have something to do. World of Warcraft in 2017 is more of a grind than it has ever been in the past. While in previous expansions, you stopped doing dailies when you reached exalted with the faction you were working on, there’s a never ending stream of quests to do and there’s always a reward for them. The reward, however, is artifact power – a system which I dislike pretty strongly.

For those who are unaware, in World of Warcraft Legion, players wield an Artifact Weapon – an iconic weapon with accompanying class and spec flavor. Players keep the same weapon the entire expansion and continually upgrade it and increase its power using artifact power. Currently there is a cap on how much artifact power you can dump into empowering your weapon, but it takes a lot of dedication and grinding to get there. While previously, high-end raiders just had to worry about keeping their gear up to date, they now have to spend all day grinding world quests and mythic+ dungeons to keep on the cutting edge of damage or healing.

Speaking of Mythic+ dungeons, that’s another thing I feel Blizzard did right with Legion. World of Warcraft in 2017 now has an “endgame” of sorts for small groups. By doing dungeons with dangerous affixes and increased difficulty, players who don’t want to commit to a raid team can now receive gear similar or even exceeding raid gear item level. Of course, you’re not going to get your tier pieces out of a Mythic+, but it’s still a good alternative for non-raiders and a great supplemental activity for those who do raid. Other than the elitism of the community making it very difficult to actually get a group, I think this feature was implemented well.

While Blizzard definitely improved a lot of stuff with Legion when you compare it to Warlords of Draenor, they kept some leftover mechanics i wish they’d remove. World of Warcraft in 2017 still has a “garrison” of sorts. You see other players in your class hall, but there’s still the annoying follower mechanic with garrison quests. I personally haven’t even bothered leveling up my followers more than absolutely necessary because I really really hate the mechanic. I think a lot of people weren’t huge fans either, so I’m not 100% sure why they kept it in.

So the big question: Is World of Warcraft in 2017 worth it? I’m honestly not sure. I’m still playing largely because I have a guild I really enjoy playing with, but the endless grind for artifact power has really turned a lot of my friends away from the game. What at first seemed like a huge amount of neverending content quickly turned into a long grind that makes me dread logging on. The raiding is fun and I enjoy playing my class (Holy Paladin), but I don’t find myself logging on except for my raid nights.

If you’re really into the game and really want to focus on maximizing one character without running out of things to do, World of Warcraft in 2017 is probably designed with you in mind. If you hate a grind, you might want to hold off on Legion for now.

Regardless of the issues with the game, World of Warcraft is no doubt a polished experience that offers a huge amount of content. It may start to run into issues where longtime players start to tire of the grind, however, if Blizzard isn’t careful.

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

Gaming

Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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Bandai Namco and Nike designed Tekken 8 sneakers with tag-team designs

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Nike, the maker of high-quality shoes, is working with Bandai Namco, the company that makes the Tekken series, to make a pair of sneakers. The fun competition is part of the franchise’s 30th anniversary celebrations. You can get your own pair for $250 or the equivalent in your country, though they’ll probably be worth a lot more on the sneakerhead black market.

Two pairs of Tekken 8 x Nike Air Foamposite One Fist sneakers are set to come out in September 2024, according to shoe fan Sole Retriever (thanks, VGC). The designs are based on Kazuya and Jin, two main characters in the series. You can get them at Nike and some other stores. People who like hypebeasts and fighting games are likely to buy these quickly, so if you like Tekken and shoes that make people talk, you should probably act fast.

Should Bandai Namco and Nike work together? What do you think? Are you going to fight for your own pair? Make sure to take good care of your shoes and keep their value in the comments section below.

 

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