Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Year In Review

So when 2015 came to a close I had just finished leveling my 19th character to max level in Warlords of Draenor.  I ended that expansion with a total of 27.  I'm a little surprised that it was only 8 more from the beginning of the year until Warlords end, but that's probably mostly an indication of how much time I was spending on garrison gold making over that period of time.

I also spent a little bit of time on other games as Warlords wounds down, dabbling again in Rift and in SWTOR as I looked for things to do.

I also started publishing more detailed analysis of Blizzard's regular earnings releases and public filings, both on my blog, and in a couple of instances on the Starting Zone podcast, both of which have been fairly well received.  While I intend to continue with that exercise, it's somewhat complicated by the fact that, as Blizzard has continued to grow and expand, they now disclose almost nothing in their regular filings about World of Warcraft specifically as it just isn't that material to their overall business anymore.

I've been somewhat re-energized with the launch of Legion and the new World Quest and Artifact Power regime and am back to being fully dedicated to Warcraft.  This is somewhat balanced by the demands of real life, which have served to somewhat reduce my available play time.  Even with that, I managed to level 7 toons to max level within the first four months of the expansion, and three of those will likely cap both artifact knowledge and their artifact traits within the first week or two of the New Year.  As usual with this game for alts, if you're willing to play a little bit of the waiting game, you can very quickly catch up your alts with a few tricks.

My plans for 2017 are to continue to level my toons until I get all 12 of each class finished and through their class order hall campaigns.  If I stick to the current pace, that should take me to the end of March or so.

It will be interesting to see when the XP nerfs hit this time around.  The unlock of flying will certainly make that an easier process (assuming it is account-wide again), but the real benefit from a leveling standpoint comes from the gross XP nerf and the ability to boost heirlooms to work until 110.  No world yet on when either of those are coming, but rest assured, you'll hear about it here with new expected leveling times, when that happens.  Interestingly enough, in Warlords, it was only 3 months between launch and when level 100 heirlooms were made available, so we're already past that point.

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