Thursday, June 23, 2005

Vacation.... and required reading.

I will be on vacation for the next two weeks. I will be in the wilderness, so no computers most likely for me. Here is some reading for everyone while I am away.

A /. (Slashdot.org) discusion on MMO Content updates.

The BnetD vs. Blizzard suit moves forward.

Battlefield 2 woes. I still don't have my copy.

The MxO buyout wrap-up.

Happy reading and gaming!

Update: 4 Nov, 2007 - Edited post and applied labels.
Update: 11 May, 2009 - Edited post/labels and removed broken links.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Thread got real big!

Things I discovered by posting on the World of Warcraft Azgalor forum after my loot controversy from Upper Blackrock Spire.

1. Chastity is an all around good person and decent healer. Obviously plays healer to support guild groups and not as a main.
2. Her guild is full of morons and has a Darkwolve's wannabe as a leader.
3. I will probably not group with any Angels of Death members anytime soon.
4. Azgalor as a whole seems to dislike Angels of Death.

Update: 4 Nov, 2007 - Edited post, removed broken links, and applied labels.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Apology accepted :)

Chastity contacted me tonight and apologized for the mistake in giving the Painweaver Band to the rogue from my UBRS raid incident. All I wanted, was for her to admit the mistake and to ensure she delegates loot distribution better in the future. I guess she didn't like all the extra attention she was getting from my message board warrioring.

In a strange turn of events, I invted her into a west Dire Maul group. She brought along a kick ass warrior and we finished the instance in just under an hour. No decent loot dropped for me, but she got two new armor pieces. It was good to see her enjoy the loot, and hopefully understand how I loot distribution should occur in a group setting.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Getting fucked over in WoW

I attended an Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS) raid today with the hopes of getting the Painweaver Band. I announced my intentions for the ring to the entire raid well before we even started the instance, and no one said a thing. That is the ONLY item in UBRS that I even care about.

To make a long story short, the raid finished off the last boss, General Drakkisath, and the master looter started to ask for rolls on anything anyone needed. The Painweaver Band did drop and was called out. A hunter, rogue, warrior, and I all rolled.

I had the winning roll of 85! Unfortunately, the master looter decided I was "screwing over another class". My goal while doing UBRS was to get the ring, as I stated when we started. Sadly, the master looter then gave the ring to the rogue who rolled a 12. Both the hunter and warrior were next in line behind me in terms of rolls.

The master looter continued to proclaim, after the rolls, that it was a rogue only ring and that no one else should get it. Sorry to inform that stupid bitch, but I needed the ring just as much as a rogue. It is sad that I have to debate that an item with all melee based stats is useful for a melee specced shaman.

What really sets me off is that she tried to defend herself stating that she was making sure a class didn't get screwed over. I'll remember that the next time a Felstriker (epic dagger from UBRS) drops and I ninja it.

If you play on Azgalor, stay away from Angels of Death and Chastity's UBRS raids.

Update: 4 Nov, 2007 - Edited post, removed broken labels, and applied labels.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Making WoW's raid content better

I posted this over on the VN World of Warcraft: General Discussion forum. I've cross-posted it here as well.
End game raid dungeons and encounters should have been built around quests. Just like leveling in WoW. You progress through the dungeon via quests. The end quest or several quests in the chain offer you rewards. No loot drops other than your random chance at a blue or purple BOE item and of course run of the mill greens. As you complete the quests you get a guaranteed reward out of a list.

Blizzard hyped up the ability to see your rewards before you finished a quest... sadly there is few quests that actually show you anything before the end because they are all chain quests. That way the 1st time through an epic dungeon you would get the reward you wanted. You could go back and get the next reward. All BOP obviously. That way each run you are getting a reward you can be using. And you should get to choose from all the current upper tier items.

For example... the Onixyia chain of quests for the key would then lead to the in dungeon quest of killing Onixyia... then you get to head off and get your wonderful item.

There are limited quests like that atm... and its a shame to spend 5+ hours of your time on a 40 man raid to see 5 people get a reward. Yes you should try and be happy for those that received a reward... but at the same time you play a game to be fun and to reward yourself. Luck shouldn't be the overriding factor in having fun.

Blizzard its time to start rewarding us for the time we spend. Not only would this cut down on people "grinding" instances at 60 it would go a long ways in making it so someone like me who gets that once a year chance to attend an MC raid gets rewarded for doing so.
Update: 4 Nov, 2007 - Edited link, but did not edit main body of post as I can not update the VN Board's version.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dire Maul - West instance completed!

I finally found a group that made it through the entire west side of Dire Maul.

I logged on and tried to form a party, but an hour later I gave up. So, I headed off to Warsong Gulch while another interested player stuck around Orgrimmar recruiting for a DM group. Before the queue was up for a round of Warsong Gulch, I received a tell about a DM west group forming.

I jumped in and it was an excellent group made up of a Warrior, Priest, Rogue, and two Shamans. I wasn't pleased about having two Shamans, in case of something decent dropping, like Odious Greaves, but I wanted to get the quest done for the Backwood Helm!

The priest knew the instance and lead us through with relative ease. The Odious Greaves did drop, but my dice failed me and the other shaman walked away with them. The Prince at the end of the instance dropped a nice set of shaman pants, but of course, they weren't for my build and my current pants were better. So, the other shaman double dipped and got the pants also.

Oh well, that is the way the cookie crumbles. Anyways, I have my Backwood Helm now and it was a hell of a lot of fun to be in decent group for once!

Update: 4 Nov, 2007 - Edited post and applied labels.

2 days... no WoW

The last two days I have logged onto World of Warcraft once. That was only to check mail and the auction house. I don't know why I have no motivation to log on. Battlefield 2 is keeping me busy, but I find it a bit lack luster without a solid squad to play consistently with.

Maybe WoW is losing its hold over me? Battlegrounds are not the end all savior, as PvP ranks seem to be getting much harder with the massive amounts of contribution points available from repeatedly doing battlegrounds.

New content isn't going to do it for me. I have only managed to do a quarter of the current end-game content. I just don't have the patience or time for raids that don't promise me any rewards. Plus, I'm not in a raiding guild and don't believe I would fit well in any of them.

WoW has raised me to love solo gameplay only to stick me in the heart with a rusty spoon of end-game instance grinds for PvP or PvE.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Playing medic in Battlefield 2

There is plenty of up side to playing a medic in BF2.

1. Their offensive weapons are not lacking. They do require a steady aim and are meant for close quarters combat. Definately holds up in a fire fight and grenades are always a best seller when dropped into an enemies hole.

2. Medics are the best class for a squad leader. As a squad leader your squad can spawn on your location as long as you are still alive. No better way to stay alive than healing yourself. A good squadmate will respawn on you with a support kit and replenish your med packs and ammo.

3. You can revive squadmates when they are killed. A quick run and dive can get you and your
squadmate back in the game... usually turning the tide of a battle. Also you can use a squadmate to bait an enemy while you ambush them... and there is little time lost if your squadmate dies.

4. You become a mobile healing machine whenever you get into a vehicle... this makes you a valuable member in any troop transport.



I think I have found my true calling in BF2... medic.

Xfire

Want to get owned by me? Or maybe talk smack?

Either way the gaming tool of choice for this gamer is Xfire. Never thought I would be using it, but the 1-click server join for most of my FPS's and knowing what my friends are gaming with at the moment is great stuff.

Come get some.

XfireID = heartlessgamer

Thursday, June 16, 2005

OMG moments from Battlefield 2 Demo

Battlefield 2 is full of OMG moments.

For example... last night I snuck onto the enemies ship offshore and managed to steal their Black Hawk helicopter. Halfway back to our base to pick up my squad another member of my squad bombing the ship with a jet flies right into me. A good laugh for sure.... we at least got to respawn together.

Next up is the time I was perched up on top of the giant contsruction crane over looking an enemy spawn point. I had originally ventured up to kill off the snipers camping up top. Someone beat me to it so I decided to see if I could parachute down. On the way down I caught sight of a few enemy soldiers bunkered down in the dumpster next to the flag... so I pulled out some c4 mid-fall and dropped it right into their laps. BOOM! Three kills and I capped the flag after landing safely via parachute.

Many other small things have happened also... like unknowingly sitting within two feet of an enemy sniper only seperated by a low wall... but we were both laying down. I popped up to set out some trip mines and soon as it hit the ground his body and my body went flying. Sensitive little mines...

Or the time where I sat down next to a guy thinking he was on my side just to find out 30 seconds later that I had been switched to the enemy side by the server. He shot me after realising I was there.

Ahh the joys of a new FPS.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

3 Biggest mistakes in MMOG PvP balance

1. Stealth. If it is called stealth then it needs to be just that. Invisibility is a magical term and is a better term to describe the current stealth mechanics in MMOG's. The only game I have seen with accurate stealth is Planetside and that is a MMOFPS where it actually makes sense is balanced to the game.

Stealth is a scape-goat for lack of imigination in my book. It is often paired with high damage attacks and abilities geared to prevent an enemy from fighting back. If an MMO wants to have any chance at balance it MUST NOT have an ability that allows a class to pick and choose their fights while MOVING UNSEEN around the entire world.

If stealth is a must in a game the counter to stealth... usually a tracking ability... needs to be just as effective. Shadowbane did very good in this regard with its scout class because it offered scouts a place in the PvP game because of a utility skill.

2. Crowd Control(CC). I don't know about you, but I prefer to be able to PLAY a game when I am logged on. Any ability that prevents you from playing your character, using your basic abilities, or completely disables your character is just not a good idea when it comes to balance.

Case in point. WoW's current system. Blind, sleep, stun, fear, and other abilities PREVENT you from fighting back. It is one thing to have a root or slow ability that slows you down... it is another thing to have abilities that PREVENT you from playing. DAoC was a good game to learn from and WoW has failed to learn from DAoC's mistakes. The end result is WoW following down the path of DAoC... constantly adding anti-CC abilities, items, and skills.

3. Lack of utility. Regarding balance... it does not always need to be about damage and healing. Utility needs to be the defining factor in balance. If a class or skill set is designed to be low damage there needs to be equal utility elsewhere.

A good example.... WoW's hunter and warlock. Relatively average damage, but loaded with utility in PvP. Warlocks offer summoning, pet abilities, and so forth not revolved around damage. Hunters have track, hunters mark, and other anti-stealth abilities. The only problem it is a one trick pony and most classes lack utility... like warriors who are pure damage with little other uses.

A big mistake is offering only support classes and skills utility. Damage does not need to be over the top in PvP games. Utility can be the defining factor. Having everyone on the same average damage tables opens a game into the utility aspect. Abilities that are focused around different in game situations that benefit the wise player.

Sadly utility is usually used as a side show to damage and healing.

DAoC to get new server type!

Look what Mythic is up to now.

The new server type will be called “Alternative Rules” and has two main features: no access to Trials of Atlantis and “ranged buffs”. Here are the details:

Trials of Atlantis: ToA zones will not be available, nor will Artifacts or Master Levels. You will be able to play ToA races, however.

Ranged Buffs: All concentration buffs will have a range limit of 5000 units, and will be available only to the buffer and his groupmates. Anyone outside of the group cannot receive concentration buffs.

So is Mythic finally coming full circle to admit that TOA was a bad expansion and relatively destroyed the game for many players. We're back at square one almost and I guarantee these servers will be hit hard. I will not be lured back... I hope... and I don't see many other people coming back.

Why you ask?

They still haven't balanced the stealthers, new frontiers is still worse than old frontiers, and most of all leveling sucks. The people that were looking for this type of server are already playing the free "get everything without any work" emulation DAoC servers being run outside of Mythics grasp.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Lost Art of Class Balancing.

Reading this article on Gamepro.com I was wondering if the author actually played MMO's or just whined about them on message boards.

His two "fixes" 1) Make every class equal in abilities and 2) Nerf the overpowered class... are the two major problems with balancing. Players think it is a cut and dry when it comes to balancing. It simply is not. Balance in a PvE or PvP game starts on day one of design. Every system needs to apply to balance.

The author further ignores the fact that these games are not rock, scissors, and papers balancing acts. It is hinted at that a certain game... Guild Wars... is a complex strategy game when that is anything but the truth. There is no need to break down Guild Wars at this moment though.

The article claims "At the heart of the issue is the devaluation of game testing." While I agree that game testing is somewhat to blame for the balance problems it can not be solely blamed. Development schedules, suits pushing games out the door, and overall bad business practices are to be blamed for the worse balancing acts.

At the heart of MMOG balance is the perception of the min/max gamer mentality. If Player A does 100 damage and Player B does only 72 because the random number generator didn't go his way... he is apt to believe that Player A needs a nerf.

Next in the article the author spews this garbage... "Balancing is especially critical in the subscription-based MMORPG market, where longevity is more crucial than initial sales for revenue." So now balance is the "crucial" factor in a MMOG's longevity? Yet in the same article he proclaims the downfalls of Star Wars Galaxies(SWG)... which to this date is by far one of the must unbalanced shambles ever released as an MMOG. SWG rebuilt its entire combat system two years after launch which is a big red DING DING DING that there was a balance issue, but it still manages to pull 350,000+ subscribers.

MMO's are built in the name they carry, their technical performance, and most of all on the communities that are built around them. This article is nothing more than blogger trash and its a shame Gamepro.com gave Funky Zealot a soap box for this. Balance is a dynamic issue that is perception more than anything else. I will follow this up with my thoughts on the "3 Biggest mistakes in MMOG PvP balance".

Initial Battlefield 2 impressions.

The game is expansive... and I've only seen one map. The detail in each and every area is astounding no matter what part of the map you are on. From the construction crane that towers over the center of the map to the massive battleship waiting off the shore the detail is evident.

The combat feels right on, but still prone to spawn camping. Air strikes, tanks, and armored vehicles are always present at the spawn points and on random servers it seems to be quite evident that spawn camping is all that happens. Its frustrating and it sucks. Good server ops will kick the campers and you can get to an enjoyable game. With organized teams the spawn camping will be kept to a minimum I hope.

The ground units seem well done and the equipment sets are fun. Grenades are a bit off, but may just be my perception of them. The ground combat is lacking though. In my little experience the vehicles and jets rule the map. Explosions go through walls and shooting out windows with anit-tank rockets results in the infamous killing yourself because the rocket hit the window ledge.

So it feels like a good game and has the graphics to support a good game. I am only worried that the vehicle balance on maps will not be controlled... but that is what custom servers with friends are for!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Guild Wars Review - Part I is up

Click here to read it.

Feedback appreciated... and I will be gaming for the rest of the night now that my reviews are underway.

Thanks everyone for reading!

WoW Review Part II is up

Part I is here.

And you can read Part II here... I start to get into the meat and potatoes of WoW. This is a start and I will continue to analyze all the different areas of WoW.

As always feedback is appreciated.

My weekend.. 0 gaming and lots of sun!

For anyone that doesn't know... my weekends are non-gaming days. I am either out of town visiting my girlfriend or my girlfriend is in town visiting me. Since it is a distance relationship these are the only times we get to see each other.

Now I did get a few minutes in to install the Battlefield 2 demo and she watched me play for a few minutes before stealing me back from my computer. It seems to be a good game, but I need to play with the settings some for optimal play.

This Monday marks my start on night shift for work. I now work the evening shift as of today... the reason for this post coming so late. So my gaming time has shifted into the day time hours or late night hours.

But onto my weekend!

It started with my girlfriend getting into town after I got off of work. When she parked in my driveway a small black kitten darted under her car. Being the cat lover I am I couldn't let the poor kitten stay outside. It was obviously a house cat, well behaved, and it hadn't eaten in a while.

Problem was my cat just wasn't going to allow a kitten into the apartment. So I had to take the kitten over to a friend’s house and his wife was more than happy to kitten sit. Full house > my small apartment. That took the whole night up and was fun to have the playful kitten around for a while. My cat just isn't playful anymore.

Saturday we headed to the beach... and proceeded to give me a whole bunch of reasons to stay out of the sun. I am burnt from head to toe. I used a large amount of sun screen, but still it wasn't enough. I should have applied more after getting out of the ocean, but thought nothing of it until after I was burnt. Oh well... the sun is still the enemy of the gamer!

So of course Sunday was going to be a long painful day of laying around getting lotion rubbed into my sunburn. Enjoyable for me... not so much the girlfriend. Also started planning our trip back to my home town many many many miles away... which will occur later this month.

And that leads us to today! Since I am starting the new shift this week my girlfriend got to stay and extra half a day since she isn't starting her new job until this Friday. It was spent in the same manner as Sunday... enjoyable lotion rubbing :)

So now I ponder the rest of the week and my new gaming hours... it shall be interesting being out of prime time gaming!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Battlefield 2 Demo Released!

Yes, it has multiplayer! Yes, the full version is releasing later this month! Yes, it is going to kick ass and take names!

Update: 8 Jul, 2007 - Edited post, applied labels, and removed broken link.

Friday, June 10, 2005

A rogue whining about hunters mark?

Now I have my fair share of rants and whines about rogues in WoW's PvP system... some of them quite childish. Regardless I always base it with facts and I am consistent on my complaints. However this fool has no leg to stand on...

"I was in a Raid the other night......2 minute timer for hunters mark????? holy cow.... that's an eternity in a raid..30 seconds is way long but that would be closer to what I think it should be since I'd likely die anyway....sigh.. ss" - Sasha_Soui

A few things to point out...

1. Stealth = invisiblity that lasts as long as a rogue can avoid a trap or detection. I'm sorry... if you get caught in plain sight you shouldn't be able to disapear into thin air. It's sad there is so few abilities to stop a rogue from disapearing.

2. Hunters are meant to be the anti-rogue trackers and stealth preventers. That gives them use in PvP. Without this ability they are a limited ranged damage dealer with a pet.

3. Hunters mark can still be dispeled rather easily with potions and many trinkets.

4. The two minute timer is there so you it actually is useful. Whats the point of using it if it is gone in 30 seconds?

Rogues need to step off their pedestal and come back to earth with the rest of the classes.

WoW Review - Part 1 is up in reviews!

Click here to read it!

More to come and I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

2 days of Battlegrounds!

Day One

Started it out by finding the first entrance to the Horde side in Northern Barrens.

I got into the que and it took about 30 minutes for me to get invited into the Battleground. I was excited and ready to kill!

My excitement was cut short as I realized my team was down two flags and the third flag was about 30 seconds away from being captured. By the time I got out the door the battleground closed. Thirty minute wait for nothing... I was no longer excited.

I waited another 20 minutes or so for the next BG. I got in and immediately went to work. I was quickly up on the top of the killing blows and honorable kill list. I wanted to explore the ins and outs of the BG so I wasn't a team player at all. I spent the entire game just killing anything red. In the end I had 20 killing blows and 28 honorable kills. However our team was mostly under level 60 and the Alliance team was just steam rolling and carrying the flag away. We lost rather quickly.

The next BG only took about 15 minutes to get into. It lasted about an hour before the Alliance finally beat us. I started to learn the ins and outs of flag carrying. Druids make great solo flag carriers and the Priest/Warrior combo is rather tough to beat.

Day Two

My first BG took less than a minute to load into. It was an easy win for us. I was still learning the flag carrying routine and only managed to grab it once... losing it in the middle of the BG to a group of rogues. I was disconnected originally and it took me about five minutes to log back in. We were up one when I got back in and the second flag was on the way.

My second BG of the day was my time to shine. I had my flag routine down now that I knew the map. I was in first and fast and had the flag out within minutes. I lost it though when I ran into the alliance attacking force.

My second run was much better and I played hide and seek the whole way back for any easy start. The next flag fell into our hands when we basically caught all the Alliance waiting to resurrect.

The last one proved more difficult because they had taken our flag right after I had taken their flag. They camped out in their flag room and I just hid. Our team sent everyone to get our flag back and it was just proving difficult with almost all their team defending. We finally got our flag back and right when I went to place ours... an Alliance rogue took ours.

Some bug caused me to drop the flag when I chased after the rogue to get our flag. So it defaulted back to their base. We stopped the rogue but had to get their flag again.

45 minutes later our warrior had their flag and it was an all out fight to get it back. Their entire team and our entire team met in the middle of the BG and it was a battle royale all the way back into our flag room. I saved all my mana to heal the warrior and was empty right as he placed it to win.

A great end to a great two days!


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Battlegrounds... the basics!

I didn't exactly get to indulge fully into the battlegrounds (BGs) due to real life stuff, but I headed to Warsong Gulch for a couple hours last night. I will run down the three major things I noticed.

1. The queue. Players run up to the instance entrance portal and get a menu. The player can then select an individual BG to wait for, or first available, which will put them in line for the first open BG spot. There were eleven separate Warsong Gulches open when I arrived. Then I had to wait and when my turn came up I instantly portaled into the BG. A player can portal in from anywhere in the world, a very nice feature for an auction house junkie like me.

The problems with the queue I noticed:
- The estimated wait time was always wrong. It would usually say there was 6-10 minute wait, but I had only one wait time less than 20 minutes.
- Players get invited into BGs to replace players that have left. The problem, players get dumped on their rear with no idea how the battle is going. It could be a jump right into a team winning, or a drop-in right as your team is losing, effectively wasting the 20 minutes the player just waited.

2. Forming groups and raids in the BG is just plain rough. Mixed groups from different raids, and other groups, forcing players to reform. It is a pain because some people just want to go solo. My fix: force all players into a raid group for that BG. This way everyone can communicate and no one has to spam "WHO HAS THE RAID GROUP??".

3. If a player goes into a BG with people that don't want to team together, they will hate life. Unorganized players stand no chance in a BG unless the other team is just as disorganized. Unfortunately, all it takes is 2-3 coordinated players to effectively grab flags and win a game against an unorganized team.

More coming later!


Update: 6 Apr, 2007 - Edited labels and post.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

WoW patch 1.5 goes live... Battlegrounds!

Here are the notes.

Here is a link over to my great friends at Dizzarian.com that have researched some alternate download links for the patch.

Get in and get deadly!

Expect a full write up tommorow when I hopefully get into some battleground action tonight!

Raiding Stormwind...

Last night a call went out in Ogrimmar for a raid heading into the depths of Stormwind to kill off the Alliance's Archbishop of Stormwind. It was a well lead and coordinated effort for the most part. We were all summoned in within 45 minutes and the Archbishop fell within an hour of me joining the raid.

Wether both our raid groups got credit is still to be seen. Hopefully when I log on tonight I will have gotten some sort of reward in contribution points. I will be disapointed if we didn't get credit being in the second raid group.

When the end of raid damage reports came out I placed # 3 overall with just over 14,500 damage done. Well done considering it was a 50+ person raid.

Definately a fun event. I followed it up by heading to TM for a few more HK's, but ended up with a disconnect ending my night. My fault actually... knocked my network switch's adapter out of the power strip.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Miyamoto... champion of gaming!

The creative mind behind Mario, Zelda, and Nintendo frontman, Shigeru Miyamoto, has always been a champion to me. Focusing on gameplay and innovation over all else. There is a reason each new Zelda or Mario draw huge amounts of gamers... because the games are always fun and always on the driving edge of gameplay. And according to this article he just isn't happy with the current route that Sony and Microsoft are taking the gaming market.

"Rather than thinking we have a new console, let's make epic games, I want [developers] to make more unique products," - Miyamoto

I couldn't agree more. How many more shoot shoot shoot or drive drive drive games do I need? The problem I see though is that game development costs are skyrocketing forcing developers into the old reliable "make games that people always buy" mentality. This is why we have Tomb Raider games still cluttering shelves; because there is always money to be made in a sequel. It is the reason all the new consoles, Nintendo included, will be launching with sequels to their best franchises.

Like I said in a previous blog post
"Is going back a good idea for the MMO world?" maybe game developers need to go back and redefine their roots and then proceed forward with new original ideas instead of pushing graphics over all else.

That is why Miyamoto is my champion of gaming because he will never settle for only graphical upgrades. A few more of him in the gaming industry and we might just avoid a few dark years for gaming.

Legal radar for WoW?

Legal radar for World of Warcraft or UI mod over the edge? That is the focus of this morning’s talking points memo. Sorry, I am a Bill O’Reilly watcher.

Now, I do not condone the use of hacks or cheats in any games I play. Also, I do not support any links to such materials. However, this is the grey area between UI mod and cheat that WoW gamers are quickly becoming unsure of.

The UI mod in question, which cycles through all targets around a player and then populates their mini-map with dots that, is firmly in this grey area. If an enemy is within targeting range, then they can be displayed and tracked on a player's mini-map. Is this considered a legal form of radar? For the moment, it seems that it is.

I do not have much programming talent, or knowledge on the inner workings of this mod, but I only see two possible reactions (fixes) from Blizzard.

1. Remove the ability for a UI mod to track distance and direction between a player and their target. Distance is a core tool in many UI mods. It lets players know when a target is in range for any number of abilities. I don’t see how this could be removed without causing more problems than it is worth.

2. Remove the ability for a UI mod to display self-updating dots on the mini-map. This would not hurt many useful UI mods that display information on the mini map, but would have a negative effect on this "legal radar". However, what effect would it have on hunters?

I hope that I am completely wrong about the fixes, but I will leave it in Blizzard’s capable hands. I say capable assuming that they can and will stop this mod from working.

And that’s the memo.

Update: 4 Nov, 2007 - Edited post and applied labels.
NOTE: I've long since given up watching Mr. O'Reilly. Cable news sucks.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Chuck E. Cheese 2.0

Nolan Bushnell, creator of Pong and founder of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, is up to a new project, one that may just merge the inner gamer and bar rat in all of us.
"Imagine a Chuck E. Cheese for grown-ups—with booze and Caesar salads instead of balloons and singing animatrons. Bushnell has built "party tables" where six customers can play each other in the same game, and tournaments where diners in any of the restaurants in the chain can compete against each other in a single contest such as Texas Hold 'Em. Bushnell says he will open the first restaurant this fall in Los Angeles."
Obviously, this isn't going to be an overnight success, but it has great potential. I can remember countless trips to the local Pizza Hut, sitting around thumbing through the little trivia cards set on the tables, and quickly giving up due to boredom. Between meeting fellow gamers, and potentially having a place where a gamer can feel at ease talking about Warcraft, Mario, or a new PC's hardware specs, the restaurant should give a great avenue for a new audience of gamers. This could potentially be the cigar shop for the gamer. The only thing that may hold it back, the name, uWink Media Bistro.

Update: 8 Jul, 2007 - Edited post and applied labels.

E3 MMOG's

From the author of the MMOGchart.com website there is his wrap up of all the MMOG's that were at this years show.

The link.... http://www.mmogchart.com/E32005.html

Couple things I wanted to highlight out of the write up.

"Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (formerly Middle Earth Online)"
- Why the name change? I hate to think they will try to cash in off the success of the movies because I strongly doubt that this was a move towards the books. Most people identify with Lord of the Rings rather than the Middle Earth terminolgy. Maybe its just my inner nerd that felt some lost sense of pride at actually knowing what Middle Earth was before the huge success of the movies.

"I can honestly say that DDO was easily the most interesting and fun MMOG I saw at E3 this year."
- Gives me some hope that my hopes for a decent D&D MMO will be released. Outside of Neverwinter Nights there hasn't been much for the D&D crowd.

"Tabula Rasa has undergone a complete makeover. The game is now more like a First-Person Shooter with RPG elements."
- Not that I was looking at Tabula Rasa at all really... well until I read this. I have renewed interest in it now and maybe it is heading down the right path. Sci-fi just makes more sense in a fast paced FPS style game.

"SUN: Episode I of the Soul Ultimate Nation"
-I must admit I have never heard of Webzen before, but it seems they may be a Mythic type company. Mythic was able to become a big time player through Dark Ages of Camelot and maybe SUN is Webzen's gateway to the big time. They seem to be on the right track. Now it only remains to see if they can cross over into the American market.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Invisibility coming back?

According to a post on World of Warcraft's PvP forum, it looks like invisibility may be coming back.
"We definitely wish to bring invisibility back into the game for the Mage at some point, however, it would more than likely be a slightly different mechanic than players might remember from Beta. It's important that invisibility is both useful and fun to use, but not so much that it provides its caster with an unfair advantage or allows for the bypassing of game content."
-Eyonix
I find the "bypassing of game content" line funny. After all, the early beta version of invisibility combined with the broken version of blink was a great tool for mages. Obviously it unbalanced the class, but that is what beta is for.

Here is my question: why does rogue's stealth work the nearly the same way that invisibility did in beta?

Does Blizzard even look at what they put in game? At one point, stealth was bearable and rogues could be detected relatively easily when they were in front of you. Now, there can be several rogues within a three foot radius and you won't see a single one.

It amazes me that Blizzard is going to put invisibility back into the game and change it from beta. Yet, they refuse to even mention how rogue stealth basically equals the old invisibility.

Update: 4 Nov, 2007 - Edited post, removed broken link, and applied labels.

Is going back a good idea for the MMO world?

I was reading this thread on VN boards and started thinking back to my early days in MMO's and why I was so drawn into them back then. I started in Ultima Online(UO) and moved onto Dark Ages of Camelot... never playing Asheron's call.

Reading that thread though about people's experiences from Asheron's Call made me wonder something. Does the MMO genre need to go backwards in order to progress forward?

Would a 2d "looking from the top down" game work in the current day? Years ago when I was still in high school I was a frequent reader of Inquest Gamer, a tabletop, pen and paper, video game, card game, and misc. fantasy game magazine. One issue they had put out a hit list of "what would make a great online game".

Of course Star Wars topped their list and they had chosen a unique graphical look... over the top just like UO. I remember drooling over the fake screen shots they had made and reading over the details of their make-believe Star Wars MMO.

And now it dawns on me several years later... that article had it right. Not the graphics... but the ideas behind the game. Reading that thread on VN just confirmed it... the people weren't talking about graphics AT ALL! Everyone was into the gameplay and the game world.

Maybe what we need in the MMO market is the following...

A low budget company with good ideas and a passion for gaming. A small title game that doesn't focus on graphics and hits all the major points of good solid gameplay. Sure there is probably some out there right now, but nothing that has caught my eye enough for a few of my dollars.

Maybe the MMO market just needs to go backwards... find its roots again and then progress from there.

Enchanting...

So I dropped my 300 skinning skill last week to pick up enchanting. Enchanting is a pure money maker and the only downside to it is training from 225-250 skill. You wonder why?

Well because Blizzard decided the 225+ master enchanter needed to be placed inside the Uldaman instance on the Alliance continent! Now the instance is only level 35-45 and is easy enough for a level 60 to sneak through, but still Blizzard decided that the NPC would not spawn until you cleared a pit of scorpids. Good thing there is websites like Thottbot.com and Allakhazam.com otherwise it would be near impossible to figure out where, how, or what spawned the master enchanter.

Now since it is in an instance you need to make sure to bring enough materials with you to grind it out and train all the skills you can while there. The final skill being at 250 skill... after that its all dropped or bought recipes from around the world.

I dropped 50 or so gold on materials at the auction house... something I normally will not do. I will take my time with lower end auctions and disenchant the supplies I need. Today though I was on a mission to get 250+ skill.

Well I was in luck and ran into a hunter doing the same as me... so the instance would go that much faster. There was more spots than I thought where we had to fight through a few gray elites. Nothing to bad.

We finally got to the master enchanter after about 20 minutes and we both set in to start grinding. Grind, grind, and grind we did. However I came to realize that I was going to be ONE skill point short! No!

So here I sit... one skill point away from 250 and missing three essential skills in enchanting. Oh well! Another day... another run... next time I will have 250 before I even head out.
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