Thursday, June 29, 2006

Another Invasion

A while ago I talked about an invasion in EVE Online. Well, I'm now dealing with an invasion of a totally different variety. It has nothing to do with World of Warcraft, EVE, Guild Wars, or any game I play. It has to do with these lovely little creatures.

Multiply that picture by a thousand and you will see what I mean by invasion! Unfortunately, they are in the walls and come out anytime and anywhere they've found something to eat. Cat food, ice cream left in a bowl, jelly encrusted knives left in the dishwasher (yes, the dishwasher). I have a bad feeling my freshly baked cookies may not make it through the night; even though they are locked into a cookie jar.

So, I have a new best friend.

Does anyone have any ideas, outside of using a bug bomb or calling the pest exterminators, that they care to share?

Update: 8 Jul, 2007 - Edited post.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My thoughts on World of Warcraft's proposed patch 1.12 PvP changes

I've finally gotten the time to sit down and write down my thoughts regarding these changes I posted a few days ago.

Cross-Realm Battlegrounds

It's no secret that battlegrounds just suck ass in World of Warcraft. They are required to gain PvP rank, but only if you grind them religiously for hours on end. Even then you have to be in an uber group that wins FAST. It's really not about "winning" as much as it's about "winning fast". A good team can win every match they go into, but if they take a long time to do it... well the fast uber teams will be several PvP ranks higher.

On top of this there is the constant problem of not being able to play in a battleground when you want. Whether waiting in a queue or simply hoping a battleground opens on your server there isn't much bright side to the current battlegrounds system.

So Blizzard is going to try and fix a lot of these problems in one full sweep. Battlegrounds are basically going to become a mini-Guild Wars built into World of Warcraft with the features of Blizzard's service. It's actually a good fix because it solves more than just one issue.

First of all it fixes the queue issue. There should always be a battleground available for play within a few minutes of clicking join. Not only this, but no longer will low population servers have to worry about the lack of open battlegrounds to play in.

The second major change that this brings with it is COMPETITION! We're talking ladders and tournaments. Hopefully this will also mean that the more a team wins the harder teams they are sent to face. Instead of an uber team continually fighting much weaker pick up groups they will be sent to fight other teams that have won as many matches as them. This way those uber groups don't get to roll in free honor... they actually have to work for it.

It's unknown even if the battlegrounds will give honor any longer. I suspect that with these changes that honor may be only obtainable via open world PvP. The new battlegrounds may offer a much different ranking system. Instead of gaining honor for rank you gain points to compete in tournaments, play in ladder matches, and eventually work towards some kick-ass gear and of course there is always faction grinding. So if the world champion Warsong Gulch team plays on your server... they could be strutting some pretty impressive gear that showcases their achievement.

This also opens up battlegrounds to become a competitive sport. Blizzard is already at Lanwar and the CPL. With this system they could take it even a step farther. And the best part is the casual gamers can still enjoy the same battleground, but at an equal level!

World PvP

World PvP will be covered in part II...

UPDATE: 14 Nov, 2009 - Updated labels and corrected spelling.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

World of Warcraft patch 1.12 plans!

World of Warcraft patch 1.11 just came out... and now we have some initial notes on patch 1.12.
Cross-Realm Battlegrounds
For the first time in the history of World of Warcraft, you will be able to face off against players from other realms in the Battlegrounds. Coming in patch 1.12 are cross-realm PvP Battlegrounds, linking Alterac Valley, Warsong Gulch, and Arathi Basin so that players from several realms will be combined into one huge matchmaking pool. Replenish your mana, sharpen your blades, and get ready for the biggest battles yet!

World PvP
While the Battlegrounds are about to receive a major upgrade of their own, players interested in World PvP will be glad to hear that patch 1.12 will introduce a brand-new type of PvP content to the game. The stage is set for objective-based land battles of truly epic proportions as Horde and Alliance vie for control over important strategic positions and resources around Azeroth. Stay tuned for more news about these new world PvP enhancements coming to World of Warcraft.[/quote]These are the changes I've been waiting for... should hopefully be a good patch. Just have to wait 1 year before we see it!
Both of these are HUGE in my book, but I have to reserve my comments right now due to time constraints. Come back soon because I have a mouthful.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

EA To Acquire Mythic Entertainment

From Lum the Mad's (Scott Jennings) blog, Broken Toys, news that EA is acquiring Mythic Entertainment!

Update: 2 May 2009, Added labels.

Alternate World of Warcraft patch 1.11 download links

Update: 6 May, 2009 - Removed post. This will be kept as a placeholder for historical value.
Originally, this post contained links to various World of Warcraft patch download websites.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Dungeons and Dragons Online introduces faction grinding!

"With the launch of the Twilight Forge Module, we will be introducing a new system through which players gain favor with different groups by completing specific adventures. Favor allows you access to special items and rewards; the higher your favor, the greater the rewards. The Patron system will grow, offering the chance for new and better rewards as well as greater ties and involvement within the various patron groups."
I wonder how much more crap like this was on the table early on in development and then never implemented? They seem to have created a skeleton game and slowly are filling in organs. DDO took the classic MMORPG formula and then spiced it with bits'O'Dungoens and Dragons... creating a steaming pile of stink.

While this sort of thing has always been around in D&D in the form of guilds it is far more advanced. You can get buildings, be the leader of a guild, and eventually this earns you the right to hire henchmen. There is unlimited rewards because of how pen'n'paper role playing works because its you and your five buddies sitting at a table. In a persistent world with hundreds of players the idea of faction, err sorry Patron System, equals grinding.

The truth is that Turbine can't keep up to their promises of monthly content releases. Hell, not even bi-monthly content releases. Coupled with the fact there is barely enough content in game to keep anyone interested they are resorting to the time sinks of MMORPGs past. Grinding sucks.

Update: 5 Aug, 2009 - Edited post, applied label.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Pod People present... "A Raid on Westfall"

Here is my newest video for World of Warcraft. My new guild, The Pod People, had a fishing tournament over the weekend and then a party afterwards (all player created) and we wound up taking the party into Westfall.

Check out the video for the hilarity that ensued!

You don't need to be raiding epics to have fun and I wish more people would understand this. And judging by the popularity of The Pod People there seems to be a lot of interested people :) Hopefully this video sways more people to have FUN doing whatever the hell they want :)

I'm back playing World of Warcraft... can anyone tell?

Well I'm back to playing World of Warcraft as anyone that can read this blog should know. But more obvious I am back to bitching about World of Warcraft stuff. Let me get one thing straight... I bitch about a lot of things, but it doesn't mean I don't enjoy them. I bitch when my Green Bay Packers have a bad year or a bad game, but I still love them. It's this love/hate relationship with World of Warcraft that has me so dumbfounded, but I'm with a new and fun guild and most of what I bitch about won't have any effect on that!

Warcraft Weekly - 06/02/06

The Shaman was my first class in WoW. My first true love. My baby... my shiny. Along with that class came big ass axes and big ass windfury crits. Well the Shaman class is getting a revamp and here are the early notes... well just one note that bugged me.
"Windfury Weapon - Attack power bonus reduced. (This spell's effectiveness will now be more in line with other weapon enchantments)."
The age old question of "Nerf or buff?" comes to mind. Blizzard decided to nerf windfury instead of buffing the other weapon enchantments like rockbiter. Even though I was in love with my +ATK power gear and my big ass axe; I understood you couldn't always count on "luck" aka windfury. Rockbiter and a 1H mace + shield saw me through many fights and was my setup of choice against rogues. Problem was Rockbiter just wasn't exciting whereas windfury was a bomb waiting to explode! Effectively this change makes any Shaman going for 2 handed weapons a retard. Oh well it makes Blizzard's job of cornholing play styles with high end armor sets that much easier.

Other than that I have to put some applause together for the remaining changes. While not every problem is fixed the majority are. A lot of the changes focus around the totems which is great to see because that is what makes the shaman class so unique. Now just to get those damn totems to follow you around...

Next up we have the Draeni and Blood Elf racial abilities. My only comment: Blizzard has no plans to ever fix the bullshit racial abilities that the bastard children of WoW(aka Trolls/Gnomes/Dwarves) already have. I really don't think balance will be that HUGE of a problem with these, but "racial ability envy" will be. The Draeni and Blood Elf racials just sound fucking cool. They sound like FUN! Look at the Troll racials and I won't be offended if you start laughing.

With these abilities in mind here are the expansion FOTM race/class/profession combos. Draeni Paladin Gemcutters and Blood Elf Rogue Enchanters. I'm rolling Blood Elf rogue and you should too.

Moving on; Concerning PvP Reward Changes. Basically the new rewards are much stronger than the old rewards, but are not retroactive. So if you spent months getting rank 14 prior to the changes then you have to do it all over again to get the new rewards. Makes sense to me... if you didn't want to maintain the rank then you don't deserve the new rewards. Blizzard explained how the system worked so don't blame them.

Playing devil's advocate I can see how gear has progressed. Originally the PvP sets were fairly powerful compared to the epic gear in game at the time (tier 1). But with the release of Black Wing Lair and so forth that same PvP gear has become weak. On top of this the PvP gear like most epic armor sets are geared specifically towards the classes main roll. So if you are a Shadow Priest or an Attack Power Shaman then you won't have any end game gear with stats that are useful for you. Either conform or stay with blue/greens (which I was more than happy to do with my shaman).

And last but not least...
We're moving more towards outdoor PvP objectives, the first of which you will see in 1.12. The Burning Crusade expansion will continue this even further and integrate the objectives as a core purpose of specific areas within the zones.
Blizzard finally is realizing how fucking retarded and how crappy Battlegrounds have become. It's good to see this change in attitude.

UPDATE: 14 Nov, 2009 - Updated labels and corrected spelling. Removed dead links.

Movie Review: X-Men 3

If I had to sum up X-Men 3: The Last Stand in a single sentence it would be... "At least we know the X-Men use DELL computers." Basically the movie is a walking advertisement for over a half dozen products ranging from the Xbox 360 to the aforementioned DELL computers.

Normally such blatant product placement wouldn't have been such an eye sore, but when combined with a few other faults you can really put a good movie franchise in the basement. The errors made in this film are many so let us get started.

First off the story is horrendous. Each and every scene is a mini-excuse to get to the next. Sure it makes a "story", but it doesn't captivate or immerse. Weighty dialogue that only sets up actors for failure upon delivery plague this movie at every turn.

I used the word excuse to explain how the plot moves along and it seems like the writers spared no excuse to introduce new mutants or kill off existing ones. While not shocking that main characters die off it was quite shocking in the circumstances leading up to their untimely deaths. The special effects were spot on with flying house and all, but the reasons that push the story to that point are featherweight at best. It sucked every last drop of emotion out of it. Characters make appearances just to die? And we're not talking about something like the disappointing Lady Deathstrike from X-Men 2... we're talking worse.

Next they just poke the plot full of holes for future movies to branch off. I'll spare spoiling them here, but they are so horribly obvious that I had a hard time NOT LAUGHING in the theater when the credits began to roll. I found myself laughing a lot at different parts of the movie only to realize I was the only one in the audience laughing... maybe I am the only one that got the joke? Blah... who knows.

The one bright spot of the movie is the fact they picked the right person to play The Beast and that was Kelsey Grammer. He fits the profile to a T and delivers through out the movie. Sadly he is an interruption within the movie only appearing at vital plot turns never really being fully realized.

So you can tell I didn't like the movie... err well I should say I enjoyed watching it, but it is by far B rate at best. The special effects lived up to the hype, but everything else fell by the wayside. If there is anything that I can say to convince you of the weak sauce this movie brings to screen let it be this...

I'm the Juggernaut bitch!

Update: 7 Nov, 2006 - Reposted from old Heartless Gamer Reviews section and applied labels.