Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WoW Art

I was scanning some art at mmochampion’s fan art forum and saw a few standouts.

Possibly the most badass pally ever.

Sylvanus, before the undead thing.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pass the Pipe

A few days ago I proposed a new faction, The Good Guys. Well, invite the Trolls. I rolled a troll shaman to go through their new starting zone and wow. ‘m fairly impressed. The Echo Islands has been completely transformed. It’s not a proper racial captial city, but it’s the beginning of one and that’s fine by me. They only reclaimed a few months ago game time. Let them build!

Vol’jin also runs things down there. Sent to him with the 3rd quest you catch sight of a flashback event when Vol’jin had a chat with Garrosh. Wow, Vol’jin hates his guts and flat out said Garrosh is an idiot, he’s going to fail, but he’s going to LET him fail so the rest of the Horde can see how big a loser he is, then he’ll take great pleasure in killing Garrosh himself. For some reason Garrosh took this badly and threw the trolls out of his throne room.

I don’t really like the trolls, their feet freak me out and they’re all hunched over. But it is cool getting another look into Horde politics. Let’s recap a few:

  • ORCS: Under Garrosh’s rule they’ve become warmongers with conservative ‘Thrall-lovers’ opening mocked
  • TAUREN: Don’t like Garrosh or the new direction of the Horde, but committed to guiding it back to the right path
  • TROLLS: Also don’t like Garrosh’s plan, but seem to be stepping back trying to minimize damage while waiting for Garrosh’s inevitable fail so they can clean up the mess
  • BLOOD ELVES: Unfortunately the belf starting zone is that same as BC, 4 years ago (that I hear anyway, maybe small changes). One must assume however with the Sunwell restored the blood elves are looking at their closest neighbors (the Forsaken) a bit warily
  • FORSAKEN: Note to self: roll a new undead!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Not as Black Saturday

This may be the first time ever I got up early for Black Friday. Setting my alarm for the crack of 9am, after a few snoozes I got out of here around 10ish. I visited Hastings and Wal-Mart. I didn’t actually get any gifts, but I got some stuff I wanted. As far as the gifts go, no one’s told me what they want yet. What, am I supposed to guess? Pbht.

Hastings had every used 40% off, including Blu-Ray which they usually exclude from their used sales. I picked up several titles – notably Sherlock Holmes and Nightmare on Elm Street (the new one) for $7 and How to Train Your Dragon for $12. Hrm, that’s a weird mix isn’t it.

Heading to Wal-Mart I was saddened to find the wireless router I’d intended to get my Grandmother was sold out. Something about a sale starting at 5am. Picked up a few more titles there, including a replacement Smallville season 1 (shut up), my original copy’s box was damaged from a water heater leak. I also scored on Red Dead Redemption for $29. Amusingly, I ran into a friend from work there, he looked tired… something about 5 day old twins.

The best deal of the day though was probably Mad Men at Amazon. They had season’s 1-3 blu-ray for $9.99. Yay!

So what did you get? Any fights with competitive shoppers?

The Jukebox–Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen


Friday, November 26, 2010

Things That Creep Me Out

So it was Thanksgiving and as the law, I spent half the day with family. As opportunity arose I made my escape and started playing Portal. Little bit later my mother bust out laughing at GLaDOS’s antics. Creepy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

@#$% the Horde!! Or at least the orcs… Maybe the Forsaken too

When World of Warcraft came out Blizzard consciously decided to not have bad guys. Yes the Horde were full of ‘monsters’, but really they were either repressed minorities or straight up victims just barely surviving. Let’s look at the horde races:

  • The orcs, as an entire civilization, were cursed by the Burning Legion and goaded into attacking Azeroth. Granted they ravaged Azeroth and killed a shitload of people. But I’m inclined to cut them some slack considering the whole ‘Cursed by the Big Bad of the Known Universe’ thing. It’s what they did AFTER that I’m looking at. Under Thrall’s leadership they helped fight off the Burning Legion at Hyjal. They then settled in the second worst plot of land in the game (1st being Plaguelands) and said ‘Leave us alone’.
  • Lore-wise the Tauren are simply the most noble, peaceful and should be respected race in the entire game. They pledged loyalty to Thrall after he saved them from rampaging centaurs that had driven the Tauren out of their homeland.
  • I’m honestly not fully up to speed on Trolls, but my understanding is this: all the evil troll mobs we fight in game, they’re the guys the player trolls, the Darkspear, left because they were assholes. Again, saved they Thrall they pledged loyalty to the Horde. Thrall made them stop cannibalism, but aside from that… they’re slacker potheads – harmless.
  • OK, the Forsaken literally are undead monsters. However, they didn’t ask to die. They were slaughtered by the Undead Scourge and made minions. When the Lich King was weakened they regained their sense of self and saw that yeah, they were undead monsters. They joined the horde because they were alone on a continent full of humans, dwarves and gnomes that wanted to kill them. For his part, Thrall needed a pair eyes to the East.
  • Later Blood Elves joined the Horde. Like the undead the Blood Elves were slaughtered by the Scourge to the brink of extinction. They also lost the Sunwell the source of their arcane power. To the elves this was like losing air, they simply couldn’t cope. They were then sold out by their own king into delving into fel energies, not exactly like the orcs but fairly close. Bear in mind the vast majority of the elves had no idea Kel’Thas had gone to the Dark Side, when they found out they stormed Tempest Keep and beat the snot out of their king, then did it again at Sunwell Plateau.With the aid of Valen and the Naaru the blood elves were able to restore the Sunwell. The fel addiction is a non-issue at this point. Granted their still addicted to arcane energy, but think of it like being hooked on caffeine instead of crack.

Aside from the undead not a bad lot really. Recently things have begun to change. Thrall left to investigate the elemental upheaval we now know to be caused by Deathwing, (Prediction: Final battle of Cataclysm Thrall arrives to help lay the smackdown on Deathwing and takes over as Earth Aspect) leaving a certain tiny-headed orc in charge. Originally a regent in Thrall’s absence, with the latest patch Garrosh is officially Warchief.

What’s he do? Have you been outside Orgrimmar lately? He starts a massive arms race. He kills Cairne. An early quest has a conservative orc label ‘Thrall-lover’. Since when the fuck did ‘Thrall-lover’ become an insult.

At this point I wonder why the Tauren are still part of the Horde. The man they originally pledged loyalty to is deposed, and his replacement killed their leader. Cairne’s son Baine commented in a quest that ‘the new Horde as lost it’s way. We must guide them back into the Light.’

Screw that. I propose a new faction called ‘The Good Guys’. We’ll include Tauren, Blood Elves, Draenei, Night Elves and Gnomes. I personally don’t like gnomes very much, but honestly I don’t think there is a malicious bones in the entire race’s collective body (all 3 feet, teehee). Even the warlocks seem to think being a rebel is just awesome.

I don’t know the lore on Worgen yet, but left’s hope they’re not jerks.

The Shattering: First Impressions

So Deathwing’s thrown his temper tantrum and The Shattering is upon us. Gnomergan reclaimed, brand new Azeroth from 1-60, dwarf warlocks! How’s it all adding up? Well, it’s been two days so I haven’t had a chance to run through all the starting zones. Just two so far and I popped in on the undead.  A few ramblings:

  • Gnomes Were Robbed: We were promised Gnomergan reclaimed, we got New Tinkertown. I hope the Trolls weren’t shafted too
  • Dwarf shaman… Everywhere!
  • Behold! Holyheifer the Tauren Sunwalker
  • I kinda wish they’d use the racial class names more, at least in quest text. Everyone calls me a Paladin. I’m a Sunwalker biatch! And my belf is a Blood Knight.
  • I fully intend to roll a belf warrior and an undead… something, must go through undead questlines
  • The starting zones aren’t as packed as I thought they’d be. Is it just that I work late? Jim mentioned trouble finding groups
  • Many changes are subtle and not as… cataclysmic as I expected
  • That said: Check out Brill – my first ‘Holy Crap!’ moment. I totally dig the new buildings with the undead architecture an check out the monument to Sylvanus

One final thing, purely from a gameplay perspective. Traditionally before a expansion they released the core changes a few weeks in advance. With both Burning Crusade and Wrath , these changes were huge buffs allowing you to steamroll through the old content. This time, not so much. Interesting.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

WoW: The Wrynns

I’ve been reading the WoW comic lately and while Varian isn’t quite the jerk he comes across as in the game, he still has anger issues and claims the credit for a bunch of stuff I know for a fact a nelf druid named Feralmedic did. Saving the Thandal Span, rescuing Marshal Windsor, defeating Onyxia. I call shenanigans.

What is catching my eye in the comics though is Anduin Wrynn. The Prince, former King until daddy returned. This kid is level headed, has a brain and knows how to use it. Come Cataclysm he’ll finally age. How old is he in-game? 17? What’s the creepiness factor of him and Jaina hooking up?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Cost of World of Warcraft

Cataclysm is coming out in just under three weeks. Likely everyone reading this will be getting it. I do feel however Blizzard should have made Cataclysm an All-in-One pack. When Mines of Moria came out it included both the expansion and the base game. When Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer came out it included both expansion and base game. Same for the Aion expansion, whatever it was called. Everquest II, which originally came out at very nearly the same time as vanilla WoW but has a much faster turnaround time for expansions, has been issuing complete sets for the last couple expansions.

Now as an established player it doesn’t really affect me, I’m gonna get the expansion. However six years in, Blizzard it seems to me is possibly hurting it’s chances of picking up new players. Consider a player possibly looking to jump into the game for the first time:

19.99  World of Warcraft
29.99 Burning Crusade
39.99 Wrath of the Lich King
39.99 Cataclysm
129.96 = Total Investment

Brand new players are looking to drop $130 (current Gamestop prices) to get to current content. Consider also Cataclysm is redoing most aspects of the base game – to a brand new player buying the 19.99 base game is essentially getting half of Cataclysm, by the time they do get up to level cap they may feel irritated buying 5 levels.

Granted deals are to be found, Amazon is a bit cheaper. The battlechest is out (WoW and BC, Wrath not included) for $10 saving. However, the game’s been out 6 years. The game interested in MMOs has already bought it and is still player or stopped. New sales are (I would think anyway) existing players trying to get they signifigant other interested, parents playing with kids or perhaps returning players getting caught up. $40 is a much better prospect than $130 to anyone on the fence.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Japan Wins Again

Behold, holographic superstars straight from Japan!

Seriously, wtf. Is the rest of the world not even trying anymore? Japan has fake people! Granted we have fake people too, but nothing like this. Our fake people look like wax sculptures.

Here’s what I want. I want the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rock band to make a comeback using this tech instead of the rubber suits. No wait, @#$%ing Jem!! Yes, I want Jem back using this tech. Is that to much to ask for?

*Awesomeness once again thanks to http://unrealitymag.com/

I’ve Been a Bad Boy

Ok, so it’s been over 2 weeks since I posted. I swear I’ll make it up to you with awesomeness from Japan.

Monday, November 1, 2010

@#$%ing ATI

When a hardcore game is released I expect it to drive my video card to it’s knees and make it scream for mercy. This is partially why I’m usually far behind on the latest and greatest in PC gaming. I have no intention spending $500+ for the latest video card, let alone x2 and messing with SLI or Crossfire. So, I’ll never play Crysis as it’s meant to be played. I’m ok with that.

On a more casual end, I do expect my midrange card to handle things without problem. Well, thanks to Steam’s Halloween sale I added to games to my collection. Bioshock I’ll get to at some point. However the second game, this lil’ bastard crashed my system 3 times… Plants vs Zombies. That’s right, the Popcap zombiefest brought my system to a screeching halt until I updated drivers to Catalyst 10.10. Seriously, you’re glitching on Popcap titles now? I protest.