Blizzard under fire as pro WoW team shares horrible BlizzCon experience - Dexerto
World of Warcraft

Blizzard under fire as pro WoW team shares horrible BlizzCon experience

Published: 11/Nov/2019 3:35 Updated: 11/Nov/2019 4:29

by Brad Norton

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Despite being a hallmark of World of Warcraft competition was poorly handled at BlizzCon 2019 and the community is fired up over a recent breakdown of the event.

One of the most successful World of Warcraft organizations in history, the European roster under the Method banners recently claimed another victory at BlizzCon 2019 where a dominant 3-0 grand final performance saw them crowned champions of the Mythic Dungeon International.

Following the event, the manager of Method has outlined how poorly the competition was allegedly handled and aimed to raise awareness of just how neglected the competitive WoW scene felt throughout.

In a November 10 post, Shanna ‘Darrie’ Roberts of Method expressed that “trust was violated between Blizzard and the players/community.”

Initially, the WoW scene was supposed to feature a $500,000 prize pool at BlizzCon directly from Blizzard. Additionally, for the first time ever, the community was able to add to the total prize pool through the collective sales of WoW toys, garnering a further $660,000 in contributions.

As the event drew near however, it was revealed $1+ million would not actually be up for grabs, instead the community funding would be all that professional players were competing for.

“It was a bait and switch,” Darrie explained, and added that the move and miscommunication “left the players and their management teams reeling.”

Blizzard - World of WarcraftMethod EU claimed victory over Method NA in the MDI finals.

Attempting to justify exactly why half a million would be pulled from the potential winnings, the manager argued that “Blizzard couldn’t allow [WoW] to have bigger individual prize pools than Hearthstone Grandmasters, OW World Cup, or SC2.”

In comparison, the Hearthstone scene saw a $500,000 prize pool as Xiaomeng “VKLiooon” Li was crowned the first female champion and took home the lion’s share at $200,000. 

The 2019 Overwatch World Cup prize pool was undisclosed without explanation, and the StarCraft 2 World Championship Series Global Finals boasted a $700,000 prize wallet.

Blizzard EntertainmentBlizzCon has grown in attendance from roughly 27,000 in 2016 to over 40,000 in 2018.

Continuing her breakdown of the experience, Darrie described the unfortunate conditions of the event itself. From “severely lacking player facilities,” to the outright change of plans that saw all opening week matches condensed to a single day off-stream. 

Not only were teams forced to book their own practice facilities but food was also barely provided throughout the week. Organizations were supposedly covering these additional costs without any support from Blizzard.

Furthermore, having a large portion of the matches suddenly contested offline seriously impacted the potential for players to grow their brands throughout the event. 

As Darrie explained, “organizations rely on their signed players having visibility during competitions in order to secure sponsorships,” yet due to the poorly handled nature of the competition, “half” of the event ended up “behind closed doors.” 

Discussing her intentions in sharing the BlizzCon experience, Darrie said she believes “the players deserve better next year.”

“I’m hopeful that this starts a conversation with Blizzard during the off-season that leads to positive and supportive changes.”

The outcry in the WoW community also echoes similar problems that were raised following the 2019 Overwatch Cup experience.

At the national-team based event, teams were allegedly forced to cover food costs, fund makeshift bootcamps from their own pockets, and were barely able to practice during the lead-up to the event due to these conditions, according to South Korea’s coach.

World of Warcraft

How to level up fast in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Published: 23/Nov/2020 16:27

by Ava Thompson-Powell

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With World of Warcraft Shadowland’s release finally here, players are going to want to level up new toons fast to experience the content Blizzard has in store.

With WoW’s recent pre-patch level squish, the time it takes to progress through the game’s 50 (and with Shadowlands’ release, 60) levels have effectively slashed in half reaching the endgame.

As well as that, though, there are some extra features that can be utilized to further your fast leveling experience.

There’s bound to be a huge race online to reach the level cap first, so being prepared and ensuring you’re using all tools made available to you is important.

Exile’s Reach

A photo of different races in the Exile's Reach dungeon, Darkmaul Citadel
Activision-Blizzard
Exile’s Reach will teach you the core meat of what you need to know.

Exile’s Reach provides new and returning players a fantastic way to experience the world and lore of WoW. It’s also a handy way to level 1-10 in a breeze.

Teaching the class fundamentals by slowly awarding early rotation skills, you’ll come out of the experience feeling primed and ready to take on whatever expansion it is that you’re venturing into.

It’ll also culminate in a dungeon experience, Darkmaul Citadel, too. This will get you ready for the many dungeons you’ll experience down the road.

Warlords of Draenor

If you’re a new player, you’ll be experiencing the prior expansion, Battle for Azeroth, as the first expansion you experience. This is fine, and you’re able to reach level 50 before finishing the complete story, easily.

But for those that are rolling a new character, Warlords of Draenor is a great choice. With the zones in this expansion all containing Bonus Objectives, it provides a fantastic boost to your level experience. BfA also has these, too, but to a lesser extent than WoD does.

Rested Experience

This is a system that many MMORPGs utilize, and is a fantastic way of allowing you to play catch-up after time away from the game. Logging out in a Capital city or inn will put you into rested mode (you’ll notice your experience bar turn blue from purple).

For every eight hours spent away from the game, you’ll earn a bar of that current level. It’ll cap out at one and a half levels, though, so it isn’t something that can be continually utilized.

Pandaren

Pandaren’s racial ability ‘Inner Peace’ gains them rested experience twice as fast, stacking up to 300%. As well as having fantastic animations, a deep, rich lore and being absolutely adorable, this is a fantastic reason to take advantage of this race when trying to blast through leveling.

A bonus tip, too, that can stop you from accidentally falling to your death: Pandaren’s racial ‘Bouncy’ means that they take less damage. Stacking that alongside rogues that take less fall damage means that with this class/race combo, you’re further cushioning yourself against accidental deaths even further than rogues of other races!

Classes

Demon Hunter Night Elf in the character select screen
Activision-Blizzard
Demon Hunter’s Soul Cleave provides fantastic healing.

Races don’t just come into play when choosing how to zip through content: classes can also come into play. There are three classes that we particularly recommend utilizing:

Druid

With DOTs (damage over time) and instant-cast abilities, alongside a way to root targets to the ground AND heal, they’re a no brainer for a comfy experience.

Flight Form is an instant-cast spell, too, allowing you to get out of tricky situations in a pinch. Travel form is also great, allowing you to move faster depending upon the environment.

Demon Hunter

With incredible mobility and AoE (area of effect) damage skills, Demon Hunters are also a top choice.

They’re also able to heal to a degree, providing fantastic survivability. The passive skills allows healing through Soul Cleave, which damages all enemies hit, providing a healing percentage of the damage dealt.

Hunter

Though this class to some can seem boring and slow, Hunter is still a viable choice for those that want an experience that doesn’t really require too much thought to excel at.

Their pets provide a way for you to stay far away from attackers and have them tank for you, and also means that you can often defeat enemies recommended for multiple players.

Again, the prior two classes may  be preferable over this as a fast leveling experience, but it is definitely an option should you choose to take it.

War Mode

An image showing War Mode in World of Warcraft in the Talents panel
Activision-Blizzard
Turning War Mode on in the capital city will boost your experience rate by 10%.

Our final top tip for fast-leveling is War Mode. This is basically the world’s PvP mode outside of Arena. As well as providing players with extra skills as a reward for having War Mode on (which we recommend you do at all times), it also provides you with the ‘Enlisted’ buff, awarding an extra 10% to your experience gained at all times.

This mode can only be turned on in your faction’s home city (Stormwind or Orgimmar, respectively) and is something you don’t want to miss out on.

So, there you have it. Our top tips for a fast, streamlined experience through World of Warcraft and Shadowlands. We’ll see you out there!