WoW! Thoughts! — On Brewfest and Blizzard’s Responsiveness

Thoughts on how Blizzard ensured that Brewfest 2012 is a holiday to be enjoyed rather than stressed over.

Blizzard almost screwed me over.

I was all set to write about how Mists of Pandaria was set to launch in the middle of Brewfest; giving players a truncated amount of time to level to 89 in order to complete all of the holiday achievements and earn Brewmaster (which I need as the final title before I can complete the meta-achievement “What a Long, Strange Trip Its Been”), and then Blizzard goes and fixes the issue by pushing Brewfest back a week before I can even commence complaining.

This was the right move.  People looking to complete the holiday meta-achievement weren’t the only ones affected by this decision.  Anyone looking for a Brewfest Mount to drop off Coren Direbrew is elated by the news as well.  Coren Direbrew is not only the holiday boss whose defeat is the requirement of the Direbrewfest achievement, but who also provides a Keg-shaped Treasure chest which can contain Brewfest rams and kodos.  He can be killed once per day during the holiday, giving players fifteen chances at acquiring the mounts each year.

This year, his level will be raised from 85 to 90, and in order to queue for him, players will need to be level 89.  Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, but with Mists of Pandaria launching on September 25, and Brewfest originally scheduled to run from September 20th to October 5th, players were going to lose five days of access to Direbrew because they couldn’t even begin to level to 85 (plus any additional days the four level grind would require.)  It’s an odd circumstance, and Blizzard made the appropriate move.

The fact that this would even arise as an issue is peculiar.  Blizzard seems quick to have updated the Brewfest content this year… Almost as if they were expecting Mists of Pandaria to have released well in advance of Brewfest.  This would be consistent with Blizzard’s usually aggressive stance that they are always trying to push out content faster than they do.

Community Manager Nakatoir made a blue post on the EU WoW forums on July 27th, after astute players began to question the intermingling of the expansion launch and the holiday.   His response that the holiday would be updated, players be damned, seems consistent with a philosophy that the holiday was always supposed to be updated regardless of the launch window.  I’m sure that they would have postponed adjusting the holiday content if Mists was set to launch later than early October, but I wonder if maybe Blizzard felt internally that anything later than a mid-Brewfest launch was unacceptable…

It’s easy to speculate about what Blizzard’s late date-changing might mean about their internal development process, but its ultimately irrelevant.  All that matters is I now have more time to get to level 89 to make sure I can slay Coren Direbrew and get my purple proto-drake.  If I fail at this, and need to wait a full year to try again, it will be my fault, and not the fault of a delayed development process.  Instead of drinking from my misery over circumstances preventing me from achieving my goals, this Brewfest, I expect to be drinking to my successes.

Thank you, Blizzard.

WoW! Blurbs!

WoW is down to 9.1 million subscribers!  Dammit!  That’s 1.1 million less people who might read this!!!

What a Long, Strange Trip its Been will no longer Master Riding (310% flight.)  I know that can be expensive to purchase, but doing all the holiday achievements always seemed harder than just grinding out the cash.  Plus, flying around faster can help with some of the achievements, anyway.

Blizzard is going to stagger the release of the launch raids for MoP.  Moshu’gan Vaults won’t open until a week after launch.  Clearly, Blizzard is rushing the expansion out before everything is ready.

Hunters getting more rare tames.  Still can’t tame Pandaren, though.  Boo.

Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz

Senior Producer

Host of WoW! Talk! and The Tauren & The Goblin. Sometimes known as the Video Games Public Defender. Wants to play more Destiny and Marvel Heroes but WoW is all-consuming. Decent F2P Hearthstone player. Sad that he lost the Wii that had Wrecking Crew on it. Would be happy if the only game ever made was M.U.L.E. Gragtharr on Skywall-US. Garresque on Ravencrest-US.

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