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    Patch 8.2 Hotfixes - July 17th

    By Curse,
    wowmini.png Eternal Palace Race to World First Update, Classic Stress Test Postponed

    Patch 8.2 Hotfixes - July 17th, 2019
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    Creatures and NPCs
    • Data Discs are now considered unique and the Data Anomalies spawned from them reward loot once per day. Data Anomalies now signify they are Rare Bosses in their nameplate if a player has already looted it that day.

    Dungeons and Raids
    • Azshara’s Eternal Palace
      • Lady Ashvane
        • Fixed a bug that could cause Rippling Wave to spawn underground.
      • Queen Azshara
        • Overzealous Hulk gains Infuriated after the first crowd control effect on it expires on all difficulties.
        • Fixed a bug that could cause Lightning Orbs to not display a destination visual before dealing damage.
      • Operation: Mechagon
        • Several enemies have been adjusted.
          • Gnome-Eating Slimes’ Acid Splash damage reduced by 10%.
          • Heavy Scrapbot and Malfunctioning Scrapbots’ Gyro-Scrap damage reduced to 25%.
          • Pistonhead Blasters’ Shoot damage reduced to 75% weapon damage and Run ‘n’ Gun damage reduced to 50% weapon damage.
          • Pistonhead Scrappers’ Sledgehammer reduces armor by 10% per stack (was 20%).
          • Scrapbone Bullys’ Shockwave damage reduced by 20%.
          • Scrapbone Trashtossers’ Throw Trash damage reduced to 100% weapon damage.
          • Scrapbone Trashtossers’ Throw Trash cast time increased to 2 seconds (was 1 second).
          • Weaponized Crawlers’ Scrap Cannon damage reduced by 15% and Zap Damage reduced by 20%.
          • Fixed a bug that caused targets of Mechagon Renormalizers’ Shrink ability to take increased threat.
          • Fixed a bug during the King Mechagon encounter that caused players to be stuck in limbo if they fell off the platform during combat.

    • Heart of Azeroth
      • Conflict and Strife (Essence) now uses a character’s specialization PvP talent icon as the active ability button.
      • Resolved an issue that caused some abilities granted by Conflict and Strife (Essence) to be taught to a character twice.
      • The Ever-Rising Tide’s (Essence) Overcharge Mana stacks can now be removed by dispels (e.g. Dispel Magic or Purge).
      • Fixed an issue where The Ever-Rising Tide’s (Essence) Overcharge Mana sometimes granted a stack for a spell cast immediately before it was activated.
      • Fixed a bug that caused Unholy Death Knights’ Essence of the Focusing Iris (Essence) Azerite Beam to be interrupted by the Helchain Azerite Trait.
    • Pocket-Sized Computation Device
      • The Cyclotronic Blast Red Punchcard’s on-use ability can now be interrupted during its cast or channel and can no longer be used while affected by Hex.

    Player versus Player
    • iwarriors.gif Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
      • Fury
        • Battle Trance now properly triggers from Raging Blows buffed by Whirlwind.
    • Players no longer gain the Deserter debuff when exiting the Classic Ashran brawl.
    • Fixed an issue that caused some PvP talents to display in the chat window that they have been learned when entering PvP combat, or have the PvP talent through Conflict and Strife.

    • Players can now find even more Coral Ancients to slay for “Bounty: More Coral Ancients”.
    • "Certified Pre-Owned" can now be completed on any day, not just on the day a player receives the quest.
    • Added more dead bots for players to find during “Chopped Bots”.
    • The rideable direhorn’s Charge ability again destroys barricades during "The Direhorn Mother's Fury."
    • Fixed a bug that caused some players who were on an earlier step in the Heart of Azeroth questline to gain access to the Repaired Chamber of Heart before it was appropriate. Players who found themselves in this state can now exit the Repaired Chamber of Heart and interact with the Titan Translocator to gain access to the appropriate Chamber.
    • Fixed a bug that allowed Death Knights to Death Grip Stolen Part Crates during “Knock ‘Em Out The Box”.
    • “Large Storage Fragment” can again be completed after slaying the Balnazzar Data Anomaly.
    • Victory in the Classic Ashran PvP Brawl now properly awards credit for “Something Different.”
    • “The Soulbinder” now completes after killing Ulmath.

    World Quests
    • Creatures now properly display mouseover tooltip information for relevant targets during “Summons from the Depths”.

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    Eternal Palace Race to World First Update, Classic Stress Test Postponed

    By Curse,
    Azshara's Eternal Palace - Race to World First
    The race for world first day 2 is happening and Method has claimed world first Lady Ashvane! Limit has also killed her, making two guilds at 4/8.


    WoW Classic Stress Test Date Postponed
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    We’re hard at work preparing for the launch of WoW Classic, and we’ve reached the conclusion that we’re not quite yet ready to do our Global Stress Test (previously scheduled for next week). While we’re still on track to launch WoW Classic on August 27, we need a bit more time before this final pre-launch worldwide test.

    We’ll have a more definite date Soon™ and we’ll post it here as soon as we do. Thanks for your patience!

    WoW Classic “Not A Bug” List Updates
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
    The opening post has been updated with the following:

    • Cone of Cold is behaving consistently with the reference client.
    • Arcane Missiles does not put the caster in combat .
    • A Hunter’s Frost Trap ground effect will break Rogues out of stealth.
    • The Berserking Troll racial ability is behaving as expected and matches the reference client.
    • The pet that a Warlock has when initially logging into the game world does not restore a Soul Shard when dismissed by taking a flight path or moving out of range.
    • The trigger range on Hunter’s traps are reduced by Stealth when the stealthed player is a similar or higher level than the Hunter.
    • Soul Link cannot be dispelled by dispelling the Warlock’s pet.
    • A Warlock’s Succubus pet cannot cast spells if they are out of line of sight of the target.
    • Manually cancelling Stealth after using Vanish will remove the Vanish buff as well as the Stealth buff.
    • Escape Artist has a very small chance to fail when used to escape an effect that has a decreased chance to be dispelled (e.g. a Rogue’s Vile Poisons talent).
    • Rogues are not broken out of stealth by Blizzard until they take damage.
    • Taunting Hunter pets that are set to Aggressive or Defensive mode will cause them to attack the taunting player.

    Hunter concerns:
    • Hunter “dead zone” is working as expected and is consistent with the Reference Client
    • A wolf pet’s Howl buff is consumed by anything that causes damage, even if it does not benefit from the buff
    • A Hunter pet’s Bite and Claw ability damage will not change in the tooltip based on the happiness of the pet. The tooltip will always display the damage as if the pet were Content (yellow). This is consistent with the Reference client
    • Traps can sometimes not be triggered if a player moves over them very quickly (i.e. a Warrior’s Charge ability). This behavior is consistent with the Reference client.
    • Auto Shot does not make a sound when cast during the animation of Hunter’s Mark and certain other abilities
    • Scatter Shot, Wyvern Sting, and Freezing Trap share diminishing returns
    • A Hunter’s Frost Trap ground effect will break players out of stealth

    Additionally, the wording of the following was modified to be a bit clearer:
    • "Melee leeway" is working as intended in both PvE and PvP.

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    Dragon Ball Z Kakarot Includes Piccolo, Gohan, And Vegeta As Playable Characters

    By GameInformer,

    We got hands-on with Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot at E3 earlier this year and generally seemed into the idea, but the minute-to-minute gameplay could get a little repetitive as you're bopping along as Dragon Ball protagonist Goku through his various adventures. Some different characters might logically be the key to changing that up a little bit, however.

    According to Japanese manga magazine V-Jump, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot will feature some other playable characters than just Goku. Players will be able to get their hands on the Namekian Piccolo, Goku's son Gohan, and Goku's eternal rival Vegeta. Krillin, Tienshinan, Chiaotzu, and Yamcha will all be support characters, which means they'll fight alongside Goku as party members, but they won't be playable.

    In addition, there will be an original story that focuses on Gohan's training with Piccolo during the year leading up to the Saiyans' attack on Earth will be fleshed out within the game. I wonder if we'll also get a story covering when Vegeta went Super Saiyan, then?

    Dragon Ball Z:  Kakarot is scheduled to release in 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

    [Source: V-Jump via Gematsu]

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    Dragon Quest's Hero Might Be Coming To Smash Bros. This Month

    By GameInformer,

    Nintendo's E3 showing this year opened up with a trailer for the second DLC character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Dragon Quest's Hero, different skins for the sword-wielding main characters of several Dragon Quest games, was revealed to be coming to Nintendo's crossover fighter. While they were a little overshadowed by Banjo and Kazooie closing the show with their trailer, a lot of fans were still excited to get their hands on the newest DLC character, and they might get their chance soon.

    Yesterday, Nintendo of America put up a video advertising the exclusive content coming to Switch in July, with a video specifically titled "Nintendo Switch - Fan-Favorites & Newest Releases - July." It included things like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and also shows the Hero coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Since then, Nintendo has changed the title to say "Summer" rather than July.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    While it could have been a mistake, it does seem to indicate that Hero might show up sometime in the remaining two weeks of this month. Up until the day before release, Nintendo had given no release date for Joker or the game's 3.0 update, and then simply released a video detailing both hours before they both went live.

    Based on those intervals, with Joker releasing in mid-April and Hero possibly releasing in July, theoretically Banjo and Kazooie could be seen as early as October. There's still two more DLC characters yet to be announced for the game's season pass, as well.

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is currently available on Nintendo Switch.

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    Streets Of Rage 4 Gets An All-Star List Of Music Composers Including Original Composer Yuzo Koshiro

    By GameInformer,

    When Streets of Rage 4 was announced over a year ago, fans noticed that very little was said about the new game's music. The fourth game in the long-dormant series has a strong legacy to live up to in terms of music, with the original Yuzo Koshiro soundtrack being both memorable and blood-pumping on the Genesis. While Dotemu had been pretty quiet about the composer, a trailer released today finally announced who would be producing music for the game, and it turns out to be quite the star-studded list.

    You can see the trailer below.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    The list is headlined by original composer Yuzo Koshiro, who also did music for Shinobi, Actraiser, and many others, as well as his Streets of Rage collaborator Motohiro Kawashima. The list also includes Yoko Shimomura, composer for games like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XV; Hideki Naganuma, known for games like Jet Set Radio and Sonic Rush; and Keiji Yamagishi, best known for the NES Ninja Gaiden games and Tecmo Bowl.

    Streets of Rage 4 has not been dated or given platforms yet, but maybe we will find out more at either Gamescom or PAX coming up soon.

    View the full article

    Three RPG Features That Pokémon Sword And Shield Should Expand Upon

    By GameInformer,


    To say RPGs are popular is to massively understate the power of the huge genre. RPGs, far from being just games with turn-based combat or character customization, have begun to permeate other genres as well. RPG mechanics like leveling up, wizards, or dialogue options have been applied to many games, from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to NBA 2K. The RPG genre is far reaching and ever spreading, and some of the most popular and highest-selling games to fall under this umbrella are the Pokémon games, which embrace as well as avoid a cavalcade of RPG mechanics and features. 

    However, the core tenets of the RPG could be developed further in the Pokémon franchise. It certainly embraced the turn-based combat, but the main characters usually provide very few meaningful ways to make the player and the character feel connected outside of recent character-customization options. You don’t make choices for your trainer, you don’t interact with others as your trainer; world interaction begins and ends with wild pokémon, leaving no exploration or impact truly valuable to the journey aside from pokémon collection. Every time I finish exploring a new region, I have to wonder what could have been changed around to make each route and town feel like more lived-in, more real. The Pokémon games have assuredly amassed a following due to the formula that they have created, but to fully engage with its world, it could lean even more into RPG territory. To examine that idea a little further, here is an exploration into what RPG mechanics the Pokémon franchise has already adopted, and which it should expand upon.



    Ways It's Done Well

    The world of Pokémon is full of interesting characters and unique locations, but the side stories that exist within them are not particularly compelling. That’s not to say Pokémon games have no good sidequests at all, but they are far and few between. One that stands out is The Poké Doll sidequest from Generation I and II, as it does a great job of expanding the region and showing the real impact of your characters. 

    The Poké Doll quest starts in Red and Blue, when a young girl nicknamed Copycat gives you the TM for the move Mimic in return for a Clefairy doll. When you return to Kanto in Gold and Silver with a new character, you learn Copycat’s house was replaced with the Magnet Train, causing Copycat and her family to move. Speaking to her, you learn that in the three years between Gen I and II, Copycat lost the doll Red had traded to her. Finding it and returning it to her nets you a Magnet Train pass, but it also grants the player a lot more insight into the way the Pokémon world works. Seeing that the world has changed and grown between games is exciting, and the effect of the player is still felt from game to game. 

    Unfortunately, sidequests like this are in the minority throughout the series. Many sidequests amount to little more than fetch quests or trades, adding nothing to the characters or the world of the game except for the contents of your pack. Unfortunately, a lot of the fleshed-out sidequest content is saved for post-game. For example, ace detective Looker and his questlines are some of the most involved and interesting quests in the game, but they are saved for the very, very end. The story of helping Looker care for a homeless child or learning how he lost his partner in pursuit of the Ultra Beasts helps actually make the Pokémon regions feel inhabited by real people, but in terms of story positioning, are far from player’s minds as they journey to become champion. 


    Ways It Could Be Improved

    Other RPGs have extensive, engrossing sidequests that do more than pad the player’s wallets. One Breath of the Wild sidequest tells the story of blackmail and betrayal in Kakariko Village. Final Fantasy XV lets you fight a mountain. In The Witcher 3, Geralt can convince a dumpling roller to return to his old sword-forging ways. The beauty of sidequests is that they are optional; you choose to devote your time to something other than completing the game, and the game, in turn, must provide a compelling reason to split your time in that way. They could expand the world, tell a unique and self-contained story, grant unique items, or have a distinct idea that’s just fun to play.  

    For an entirely fictional example, let’s combine the Looker concept with the Copycat quest. Imagine a sidequest in the Galar region in which you encounter a youngster who we will name Joey, after no Pokémon Gold and Silver character in particular. Joey, being young, doesn’t have a pokémon but dreams of finding a partner of his own. Unfortunately, Joey is a little picky, and has seen a Rattata running around that caught his eye. You can then take the time out of your journey to escort Joey to the right place (who can’t walk through tall grass on his own without a pokémon), which then could lead to a special area that you couldn’t have found without Joey’s help. This area could have some items, maybe even a few rarer pokémon, and Joey can finally catch his Rattata. This quest could come to a head after you become regional Champion when – similarly to the challenger system in Sun and Moon – Joey will challenge you with a team of Pokémon that he caught all because you gave him the courage and help to become a trainer. 

    So, what does this sidequest accomplish? It expands the world, both literally by opening a new area, and figuratively, by introducing you to new characters and their personalities. The quest had impact, as Joey can go on to become one of the more powerful trainers in the region, eventually defeating the Elite Four himself. It grants items and new Pokémon – two of the most precious commodities of the series – in the new area as well. While this specific sidequest doesn’t need to be added to the game, a couple sidequests throughout the main story that amount to more than “Do you have X item or Pokémon?” could seriously improve the personality of the region.

    Relationship Building


    Ways It's Done Well

    Remember characters like Cheryl, Marley, or Buck? These characters could be found in precarious situations in various locations across the Gen IV Sinnoh region. Due to their situations, the player character joins up with them to get through certain dungeons. These characters, each with their own personalities, Pokémon, and stat specialties, battle alongside you until you reach the end of the dungeon. Once the dungeon is completed, you part ways with your partner, but they can be found again to battle alongside you in the post-game Battle Tower. 

    This is a unique and fun idea for the Pokémon games, but terribly underused. There are five characters like these in Diamond and Pearl, but few in any other game. The excitement of fighting alongside these new characters, learning what Pokémon they use and how you can build a synergy with them in battle is great, and should be explored further.  

    In Pokémon Gold and Silver, for example, the rival character Silver has one of the game’s most powerful arcs, and the player has direct control over the arc. Fans of Gold and Silver know Silver is an incredibly mean-spirited and abusive character, both toward you and his own Pokémon, viewing kindness as weakness and seeing pokémon as tools for power. However, over the course of the game, Silver sees, through you and other trainers, that friendship with pokémon can also be powerful. He mellows out and begins to train, softening his rude demeanor. The full change can be seen through his Pokémon; his Golbat evolves into Crobat, a feat only possible through high friendship. The game shows instead of tells that he has finally learned to care for his Pokémon, and if you don’t go back to battle him seven times after becoming Champion, you could miss the arc. 


    Ways It Could Be Improved

    Rivals and partner characters like the ones mentioned above are a great place to start forming meaningful relationships throughout the Pokémon franchise. Imagine a Persona or Fallout-style series of quests centered on these side characters in which the results net you in-game benefits with them. A simple set of quests involving some battles, people, or exploration for a specific character could allow you to customize the moves the partners’ pokémon might have, or which pokémon they throw out first, letting you customize what kind of strategy your team utilizes. These partners could then be used in certain areas of the game world, making their quests meaningful and useful.  

    The rivals could have relevant rewards on top of their character arcs. After helping them out, they could possibly be repeatedly challenged to train against, or have useful information or items based on their personalities. What if their parents are geologists, so after you’ve helped them in their quest line, they could give you information on where to find valuable evolutionary stones or fossils? They could continue to be a major fixture in the main story, challenging you along the way, but could also have rewards or features like this based on putting in the time with them. 

    World Impact


    Ways It's Done Well

    The Pokémon games have a decent understanding of how to approach affecting the in-game worlds. Examples of this include everything from the classic Snorlax in Red and Blue asleep on the path to the blackout in Lumiose City in X and Y. It extends even further into smaller aspects that pay off, like the Team Grunts remembering you after a battle or recognizing you based on reputation, or the way the games interact across generations, like the battle with Red in Gold and Silver or the battle with Cynthia in Black 2 and White 2.

    These interactions could immensely help make the world feel like more than simple outlets for pokémon collection. The Poké Gear helps with this as well, reinforcing the idea that people are going on doing their thing while you continue your journey. However, more often than not, the world impact is restrictive instead of additive; the Snorlax and a power outage serve to prohibit the player’s access to certain areas before they were supposed to get there. You can impact the world only so far as to remove a restriction, not to add something new. 


    Ways It Could Be Improved

    Instead of removing these roadblocks, we add road around it. Based on player interaction, whether it be, for example, helping a character in a dungeon or battling a certain number of grunts from the evil team, new areas or items can become available. They are not confining; these additions are not necessary to complete the game. They serve merely as rewards for engaging with the world instead of grinding from point A to B. 

    World impact is normally based on player interaction, but world impact, even based on the main storyline, could be improved. Characters acknowledging the actions of the enemy team or your feats thus far, even acknowledging that they saw you interviewed on TV could be enough. In X and Y, a giant weapon sprouts out of the backyard of a poor man in Geosenge Town, and he doesn’t say a word about it! Instead he repeats the dialogue he used before the weapon destroyed his property. When world change isn’t reflected in the characters that inhabit the world, the immersion can be damaged. Seeing the events of the story, or even your actions, affect the people around you could go a long way in presenting a living world. 

    To make Pokémon a more engaging RPG, the core formula doesn’t need to change; the loop of training and befriending your own pokémon is enough to make it one of the highest-selling franchises of all time. However, a few smaller changes here and there could make the world of Pokémon that much more exciting to explore. I hope the Galar region of Pokémon Sword and Shield make for a thrilling and innovative region for both new and old fans. 

    For more on Pokémon, check out our breakdown of two new pokémon or our wish list for some new Pokémon.

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