Unusually for mid February, there’s been a phenomenal amount of news on the wires this week, so without further ado, lets get to it…
WoW token now converts to Battle.net Balance
In a move that was a surprise to many and that subsequently sent Token prices through the ceilings of Auction Houses across Azeroth, the functionality embedded in 7.1.5 for the WoW token to become equivalent of a real-world cash injection into players accounts went live first on Monday in the US and then on Friday in the EU. This allows a Battle.net balance to convert Warcraft gold to purchase skins in Heroes of the Storm, Loot boxes in Overwatch and card packs in Hearthstone.
Activision Blizzard posts Q4 2016 Results
In not entirely unexpected news, better then expected and record Fourth Quarter 2016 Financial Results were announced by Activision Blizzard on February 9th. Although very little is now acknowledged around the average numbers of Warcraft subscribers, it was revealed that there was a 10% increase in the player base overall in 2016 with a 20% increase measured during the 4th Quarter.
Major Changes to CM/Dev to Player Communication
for 7.2 ‘in progress’
Thanks to continued feedback by the Warcraft CM and Dev team, there is now in place a clear road map for future communication between the Company and their players which has already begin in the 7.2 PTR development process. This Blue Post is required reading for anyone who wishes to help add important player feedback via the PTR forums, and promises an increase in Dev Q&A’s as 7.2 approaches, similar in style and format to those that were seen prior to Legion launch. This post also clarifies the role of certain Devs in the process, and how further changes will be implemented going forward.
7.2 PTR Updates Continue Apace
There’s now a steady stream of new content being deployed to the PTR, which includes raid content for testing, which has upset some hardcore raiders who have only just competed Mythic Firsts in the Nighthold. There are also concerns over the amount of AP required to cap out weapons, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on discussions this week on how the Company intends to assuage those who feel that Artifact weapons will be long and unwieldy grind. There’s a new ‘Warsong Scramble’ Battleground to explore for PvP players, new Champions for players to recruit once they’ve completed their Class Order hall quest lines, and interesting developments in the Broken Shore ‘base’ that players will be working to complete when the patch finally deploys.
Battle.net Beta launches Facebook Friends ‘Integration’
The latest beta version of the Battle.net launcher has prompted some discussion after it became apparent that Facebook integration has now extended to allow players to recruit friends who play Warcraft and the other Activision Blizzard franchises directly from the social media platform.
This reporter declines to offer any further comment on the development.
New Pet Battle Dungeon at Wailing Caverns Previewed
In a development that may yet herald the use of instances for new adventures going forward, the Wailing Caverns will become the destination for avid Pet battlers everywhere in 7.2 as a new adventure is launched. For many experienced battles the experience will be reminiscent of the Celestial Tournament in Pandaria, but without wishing to spoil the unaware with details, we’ll say no more about content. If you wish to spoil yourself? The Warcraft blog gives all the details here.
Other News in Brief:
Many Warcraft players will be playing Heroes of the Storm for a chance to snag this in-game mount being offered as an incentive to try out Warcraft ‘Heroes’ inside the MOBA.
A reminder that Love is in the Air is currently live on US and EU servers, and as a possible hint of what is to come, the minimum level of entry for the Crown Chemical Company event (which rewards the much desired Big Love Rocket mount) has been lowered to 16, equal to the requirement for Shadowfang Keep.
Congratulations to everyone who bought a Mischief pet in December, raising $2.5 million dollars for the Make a Wish foundation in the US.
We’ll see you all here again next week, have fun in Azeroth :D