You don’t get the show #17: Stop hiding the sexy


You would think with VR hitting its stride most people would be using it for gaming and you would be wrong. The adult industry is reaping the benefits of VR so much so that companies like Naughty America have booths at E3 and CES. However, there has been some pushback and rules put in place to tuck them away, keep them out of the spotlight.

We also discuss Capcom’s move to punish rage quitters and a man who stole over 4 million dollars from his company and spent a sizable amount in Game of war. Finally, if you happen to be surfing adult sites you might be surprised to know that one of the top searches is for Overwatch, blizzard must be proud.

HearthStone: Tavern Brawl, Captain Blackheart’s Treasure, Mage honorabili vs wor2rick7


More HearthStone action this time we enter the Tavern Brawl after Captain Blackheart’s treasure as Honorabili’s mage takes on wor2rick7.

You don’t get the show #15: Cheaters, Hackers and Lawsuits


We’re talking cheaters, hackers and lawsuits from Overwatch players wanting to sue Blizzard for banning them for cheating to Blizzard suing software hackers for messing with their game.

If you think that’s bad, we also talk about how South Korea wants to toss you in jail if you make cracks for these games.

Next, we look into the changing face of the YouTube content creator and the growing difficulty of separating yourself from the herd we also look at how Apple hopes to bring first run movies to Apple TV within 2-weeks of its theatrical release, but how do they plan to prevent wide spread piracy?

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Greg Street (Riot Games), Lead Designer of League of Legends


Greg Street joins us on the show and as current lead game designer for Riot Games and their mega hit, League of Legends and his former position as lead systems designer of Blizzard’s mega hit, World of Warcraft you might think we will be talking a lot about games, well you’d be wrong. We’re talking cruises!

Greg is going to be one of several high-profile guests on the upcoming, GaCuCon Game Cruise convention and event being held in Miami on January 26th thru 30th 2017. Hosted by the Miami based, Game Trep team and Make Games Miami, it’s the first of its kind so we wanted to get Greg’s thoughts on conventions, interacting with fans and being stuck on a boat with nowhere to run.

Don’t worry we asked a few gaming related questions too.

You can check on more on the GaCuCon and even book tickets for the cruise on the link below.

https://www.gacucon.com/

Heroes of the Storm: Braxis Holdout, Diablo vs Adept AI 11-4


Playing the new map Warhead Junction with Diablo vs Adept AIs I got 11-4. It’s a fun map overall!

Let’s Play Heroes of the Storm: 20-20 PVP Blackheart’s Bay


Fun match with JALaraque while I was using Raynor. Even though Raynor’s simple, he’s one of my favorite Heroes.

Heroes of the Storm: Towers of Doom Malfurion vs Adept AI


Some Heroes of the Storm gameplay featuring Malfurion.

If you want to play Heroes of the Storm, visit here.

To see all our Heroes of the Storm Videos, click here.

To view more of our Gameplay Videos, click here.

To check out more of our Let’s Plays, click here.

You dont get the show #6: Damn, Video Gamers are violent!


This week we look at video games and violence with three stories where violence just doesn’t belong. First we got a Pokémon Go player who goes Pokémon hunting in the wrong neighborhood and finds the wrong kind of Blastoise. Next, we travel to South Korea where a disgruntled gamer goes Carmageddon on Nexon headquarters and finally to California where a Heroes of the Storm keyboard warrior goes full terrorist complete with an AK47 and ends up in FBI custody. You better get this show.

You don’t get the show #3: Let me tell you about being a crackhead


The summer Steam sale has taken over and while some of us have plenty of money to spend on the games we want the rest of us need to sacrifice and that is where we are here to help. J.A.  and Ignacio help you out with ways you can save and pro tips you can use to get the games you desperately need.

We also discuss a troll that got bitch slapped by a Blizzard employee on their own forums they cried about being banned for no reason and claimed Blizzard didn’t read the chat logs. Well they do and the Blizzard employee proved it by posted them and laying the smackdown on the troll. Speaking of smackdown, we give a little bit of a smackdown to Game Rant for claiming it was a Overwatch article when it was clearly a Heroes of the Storm article. Can we say clickbait?

Finally, we give props to another modder who created a playable Doom 2 level of Jerry’s apartment from Seinfeld complete with characters that you can kill. Doug Keener put in over 100 hours of work into this and its pretty awesome. Check out the full video on his YouTube page.

Doom 2 – Seinfeld: Jerry’s Apartment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Aa2K_firtI

You don’t get the show #2: We seriously didn’t plan the show to be like this


When you go down that rabbit hole sometimes you can’t find your way out. This week we have three stories that have a common theme can you guess what it is?

Overwatch is taking the gaming world by storm but Blizzard is playing whack-a-mole trying to keep people from accessing Rule #34 that states, if it exists there IS porn of it and there is a ton of it for Overwatch.

Now you would think that pornography and the gaming world would be kept separate, but apparently not anymore as Naughty America was “we believe” the first adult entertainment company allowed a full featured booth at E3 as they displayed their VR line there complete with demo’s.

Finally, Team YP A.K.A. YouPorn’s all-female League of Legends team was banned for competing in official Riot tournaments even though the company tried its best to cover up what they do by changing their colors and making the logo nothing like the adult entertainment site, but let’s face it, we all know YP doesn’t stand for yellow pages.

So yeah, three gaming related stories that are also adult entertainment related stories. It’s all in a day’s work for the Obsolete Gamer team. We did listen to your feedback from our first show so we made this show shorter. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Check out episode #1 here

You don’t get the show 1: We’re like school on Saturday…no class


Brand new show we open by finding out just how long it takes for Ignacio to use the bathroom before our recordings and it’s all downhill from there.

J.A. talks about the lady in League of Legends who was totally down with a three-way with him and his girlfriend sight unseen because “Love don’t got no eyes.”

We also learn that you can find real legitimate gameplay video on sexy sites which not only confused J.A. but wait till you hear why he was on those sexy sites to begin with.

Now the show isn’t complete without “normal” gaming news so the guys talked about Blizzards meeting with Nostalrius the group behind the WOW legacy servers.

You can check out their official website.

We also answered questions from our Facebook Group page.

So not bad for a first show of what is pretty much the anti-Obsolete Gamer Show and if you like it please comment, upvote and visit all our links and stuff including following us on our Twitter page.

And if you really like us we are on Patreon so you can send us your hard earned dollars so we can finally get Ignacio a bedroom organizer.

And if you didn’t like it or got offended, you don’t get the show.

Siege Breakers Sessions #1: Star Citizen 2.0 & More

star citizen

Many moons ago we decided to create a podcast where everyone who contributed to Obsolete Gamer could come on and talk about what we loved, gaming. We got together at a local radio Miami station and began recording shows. Overtime, we started interviewing guests and then moved to our offices and changed to our Skype and YouTube format, but we always kept a podcast format as well because that’s where we started.

We wanted a podcast only show that was more gaming focused and so Siege Breaker Sessions was created based off of a group of gamers we play a variety of games with. These podcasts will cover mainly PC games, but we may talk some console games as well, however it mainly be about what we have played, what we are playing and what we are looking forward to in the world of video games.

In our very first episode we began talking about the game that all of us have been intrigued with since the beginning, Star Citizen and with 2.0 we were all dying to see what would be coming next. We went over some of the hopes and our concerns we had for the upcoming game.

We then moved on to Fallout 4 which took the attention of much of the Obsolete Gamer staff when it was released, so much so it affected the guest booking of the Obsolete Gamer Show. There was some discussion about how for one person it was not all they expected, but it turned out it was their own fault for the choices they made in the game.

Next, we talked briefly about the final StarCraft 2 campaign and the end of that series before talking a bit about mobile games and the strange celebrities that have showed up in commercials for them. There was a little EA bashing and disappointment over Star Wars Battlefront as well and with good reason as you will hear.

Finally, many of us got wrapped up when Blizzards, Heroes of the Storm was released. We played it a lot, but soon found ourselves returning to Riot games League of Legends, so we did a little comparison and discussed the differences and why we made the switch.

All in all it was a good first podcast and we think you will enjoy it so give it a listen and leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Warning: The Siege Breakers Sessions Podcast is NSFW and and contains adult language, seriously if you get easily offended stay out.

You can find our podcasts at the following locations:

ITunes

Stitcher (May currently be having issues)

iPodder

Player FM

Digital Podcast

Pod Directory

DOTA 2: A Game for Crazy People?

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I played my first game of Dota 2 a week ago at the time of this writing, and am currently sitting on 34 hours logged. This is with two days spent out of town, away from my computer. 34 hours in 5 days, then. For a week, my computer has been little more than a Dota 2 delivery vessel. I am a man obsessed. Consumed, even. I dream of sick ganks and clutch ults. The distinctive sound of a stack of gold dropping, a reward for a last-hit, or the choir heralding my hero’s return to the battlefield, echo in my brain even as I write this. Any experienced Dota player will tell you that 34 hours is but a pittance, that I cannot even begin to plumb the depths of the game, much less attempt to relay them to you, the reader, but I feel I have no choice but to try. This is the first of hopefully several pieces journaling my descent into the madness that is Dota 2.

DOTA 2: A Game for Crazy People?

First, the absolute basics: Dota 2 is the “sequel” to Defense of the Ancients, or DotA, a free mod for Blizzard’s Warcraft 3. The original DotA is possibly the most-played mod in history, and is still actively supported. It spawned an entire genre pretty much single-handedly, the genre now known as MOBAs, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas; a  descriptor so vague as to be meaningless, but nevertheless the one we seem to have settled on. In MOBAs, two teams of 5 players face off in an enormous map. Their home bases are in the bottom-left and top-right corners of the map, and the map has three “lanes” running along the top, bottom, and middle. Each team automatically spawns minions, or “creeps,” periodically, which march unthinking down the lanes attacking whatever they see. The goal of each team is to break down the other’s defensive towers and ultimately to destroy the opponent’s Ancient, sitting in the middle of their base. Players gain gold and experience from killing creeps and other players, which are used to level up and buy equipment.

Dota 2

The main thing to understand about Dota 2, and the overarching theme of any discussion of it, is that it is fucking crazy. It is a mutant, an aberration of game design. Its mechanics seem to have been half-designed, half stumbled-upon, and never revised. In some ways, it is the essence of an RPG experience. You pick a character, grind low level mobs (“farm creeps” in Dota 2 parlance), and level up and load them out until you are an unstoppable force. Rather than take place over 40 hours or 40 days, the entire experience can be had in 40 minutes, and it turns out it is still massively satisfying. In other ways, it is totally unique, even alien. Sometimes, you want to attack your own creeps, so as to “deny” your opponents the full XP and gold from their death. Other times, you want to sit back and abstain from attacking anything at all, so as not to push the front line forward into enemy territory, where they have the defensive advantage. The game is loaded to the gills with idiosyncrasies large and small.

Dota 2

Dota 2’s title may suggest that it is a sequel, but in reality it is essentially a port of the original DotA into the Source engine. The Warcraft 3 engine had some particular quirks and features that DotA inherited by necessity, and they have been largely carried over into the new game. A new player may wonder, rightly, what the point of a full day/night cycle is. At night, units have shorter visibility, and there is one hero who is underpowered by day and reaches his full potential by night. A new player might wonder why, if you pull neutral creeps away from their camps for a crucial few seconds, exact replicas of those creeps spawn in their camp, leaving you with two identical sets of creeps to farm? These are minor features, arguably a bug in the latter case, borne of the Warcraft 3 engine. One might think that they might be streamlined or cleaned up. But no. “Streamlined” is not an adjective one should ever apply to Dota 2 under any circumstances.

Dota 2

This game has an info-density that would put any MMO to shame, and to be competent at the game you better be ready to absorb all that information, fast. At the time of this writing, there are 101 playable heroes, out of a planned 110, each with 4 abilities (unless they have 5 or 6!). Some of these may be active abilities, things like spells or techniques, while others are passive, meaning they are really more just a character attribute. Learning your own hero is feasible over the course of one match, but without some knowledge of your teammates’ and enemies’ heroes, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises, like being struck by lightning literally out of nowhere. Or perhaps a ghost pirate ship will come barreling out of the woods next to you and run you over. All’s fair in love and Dota.

Dota 2

These heroes are categorized by roles. Some of these roles are familiar to anyone who has played any kind of RPG, such as “durables,” a.k.a. tanks, or “nukers.” Some are completely unique to Dota, such as “carries,” who start the game underpowered and must be protected by other heroes, but grow in such a way that by the end of the game they are unstoppable. There are 15 (ish – it’s fuzzy and with lots of overlap) of these roles, and a hero may fill any number of them.

Dota 2

In addition to all of this are the items. There are dozens and dozens of items, which can have some fairly substantial effects on your character’s abilities. With the right loadout, you can even nudge a hero into a role they may not be primarily suited for, as befits your team composition. Items can only be bought at the shop in your team’s home base. Unless you go to one of the “secret shops” strewn about the map which have a separate inventory of items that can only be bought there. Don’t worry if you can’t get over there, though, because each team can also have a “courier,” a separate character that can ferry items from any shop to your character. You should coordinate with your teammates though, as each team’s courier can be controlled by anyone on the team at any time, (or killed by an enemy because, whatever! Dota!) and you don’t want any confusion.

Dota 2

So yeah, this game is fucking crazy. To their credit, Valve is trying their damnedest to lower the barrier to entry and improve the experience of new players. By far the most successful of these, for me, has been the game’s integrated guide system, which highlights the abilities you should be developing, in order, as well as presenting you with the items you should be focusing on for your hero. This has helped immensely, as the stress of having to learn what these scads of items do can be temporarily put aside while you focus on the already ludicrously daunting task of simply learning who these characters are, what they are capable of, and just what the hell is going on at any given time.  Make no mistake though, you will still need several tabs of Dota 2 wikis open at the start of every match to try to piece together what you are facing.

Dota 2

Even then, Dota 2 can be frustrating in a way that most other games would take great pains to prevent. Half of my games have ended with a character (usually for the opposing team) seeming so completely overpowered that I feel like they must have found some sort of exploit, that this cannot possibly be the way this game is meant to play out. But no, no, that’s just how Dota 2 is. There is also the ever-present threat of verbal abuse by your teammates. Dota 2 is a team game more than any other I’ve ever played, and if one member is noticeably worse than the others (or worse, drops from the game), the entire team will suffer dramatically for it. This genre is notorious for promoting discord amongst teammates, and Dota 2 is unfortunately no exception. Bring a friend, or four.

Dota 2

So why, then, am I doing this? Why am I submitting myself to the incomprehensible heroes, inexplicable random deaths and interminable abuse? It’s hard to know for sure what makes Dota 2 so compelling. I think partly it’s what I suggest above, that it can provide the satisfaction of a good RPG in microcosm, as over the course of one match your character grows from a fragile, defenseless creature to a fearsome force of nature. It is game as power fantasy, but this one makes you work for it, every time.

Dota 2

Beyond that, though, is the simple satisfaction that mastery of a complex system can give you. I, like many gamers I suspect, need to understand my games, to master their mechanics and bend them to my will. This, then, is perhaps the largest, most complex, most seemingly indomitable system ever conceived within the realm of videogames, and thus my greatest challenge. At 34 hours in, I have barely reached the point where I understand what is happening most of the time; where I am able to follow conversation between and maybe even play with those who are far more experienced and skilled than myself. Just getting to this point, overcoming the brick wall of confusion and frustration and negative feedback to arrive here, at basic competence, is already one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had. The game’s runaway success may seem inscrutable given its absurd complexity, but having played it for just a week now, it seems unnatural that it is not the biggest game in the world already.

Dota 2

My previous experience falling deep down a gaming rabbit hole was with Starcraft II. Starcraft II, like Dota 2, is a game of almost limitless depth. It is also the exact opposite of Dota 2 in virtually every other way. Starcraft II often gets compared to chess. It may be asymmetrical, with three distinct factions with different fundamental mechanics, but Blizzard takes great care to keep things balanced, to make sure that every unit plays a core, elemental role in the overall game system, in pursuit of the perfectly balanced competitive experience.

Dota 2

If Starcraft II is a modern day chess, honed by game design masters, then Dota 2 is Cowboys and Indians, being played by a gaggle of eight year old boys, arguing over who missed whom and who is secretly wearing a bullet proof vest. If Starcraft is about a relatively small number of units and mechanics interacting endlessly to create new situations, Dota 2 is about implementing literally every idea that anyone connected to the game has ever had, in the hopes that if every hero is completely overpowered, it will all come out in the wash. The result is an experience that is at once sprawling, messy, disheartening, unpredictable, organic, empowering, and above all completely, endlessly, fascinating.

The Effect of Diablo 3: Real Money Auction House

Class warfare is not for politics alone. Many of the Asian MMO’s that have a paid item system have people who spend a lot of real life money to become powerful. In MMO’s the “eBay” character is a term meaning you paid for your character and do not know how to play it. ~J.A. Laraque

The Effect of Diablo 3: Real Money Auction House

When I first heard about the real money action house I just laughed, but then I had to pause for a moment. I remembered back in the early days of Everquest people could sell not only their high-level characters, but gear as well for a lot of money. I knew someone personally who sold their character and was able to take a vacation with the money he made.

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

I thought back to some of the feelings over selling a character or loot. One person felt in an MMO your character is your identity, so, you should not sell it. This of course was when that statement was relatively true. Another person felt that selling in game loot for real cash would cause more loot stealing and hording, which I personally did not see happen.

However, now we have Diablo 3, which is not an MMO, at least not in the traditional sense. You can already twink your character using in-game gold and the gold based auction house, so , the question would be, what effects would real money have on the game?

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

Less Help from Max level characters

For most gamers you can get through the normal and nightmare difficulties pretty easily. However, once you reach the Hell levels you will need some help. Now you can always pug and since loot is your own, you do not have to worry about loot stealing. However, you do have to worry about finding competent players. What about all your level 60 friends?

The problem I see with the money auction house is people get the fever as soon as they make even a few bucks off the game and so they want to keep working on the inferno level at all times. Obviously, the game is based on progression and nobody wants to go backwards. In this case, helping a friend can cost you money because you could be getting loot or reaching a higher act, which leads to more loot.

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

Blueprint for a Free-to-Play Model

Consider this. We know that MMO’s are in a transitional period. Even if we are to be blamed for some of the downfalls of MMO’s it is clear that the monthly payment model is on the way out. We have already seen the nickel and diming of MMO’s, but for the most part fans do not seem to have an issue with that. With the downfall of games like Star Wars and DC Online Universe the writing is on the wall. So what can be done.

With the fees gained from these transactions, you can begin to recoup the money you would lose from subscriptions. Couple that with a store that allows you to buy items like mounts and pets and expansions and soon you might find yourself spending more than you would just paying a monthly subscription. Companies can release games, charge you a one-time fee and make money off micro-transactions.

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

Gold Futures

On one hand, lower level items will become cheaper on the gold auction house since there is no benefit to having a low level twink. The goal is to get to 60 and farm inferno for loot to sell for real money. This can have a number of effects on gold and items.

One effect is any item that is high level and not sold for real money will cost so much gold almost no one can afford it. This could kill the gold selling market for Diablo 3, which is a good thing or it could increase it as people do the ratio to see if buying 2 million gold for a bow is cheaper than paying 100 real dollars for it.

In time as more people list items on the money auction house things will settle down and many might end up moving their real money item back to gold just to sell it. I have to wonder if a gold to money transfer program is not in the works.

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

Buying your way to Victory

Class warfare is not for politics alone. Many of the Asian MMO’s that have a paid item system have people who spend a lot of real life money to become powerful. In MMO’s the “eBay” character is a term meaning you paid for your character and do not know how to play it.

In many games, the trend is to allow people to purchase items using real or in-game money but not letting it give them too much of an advantage. Currently, in Diablo 3, it does not really matter if someone pays thousands of dollars to become powerful enough to beat inferno, but in time and if the model continues you could see people beating you not on skill, but based on how much money they have to spend.

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

Cashing Out

Full disclosure, I sold my first little item on Diablo 3 and made about 4 bucks after Blizzard and PayPal took their cut, but it did feel good to make something off this game.  When you think about the fact that you waited so long to play this game, then you paid sixty or more for it, the idea of making back your investment is appetizing to say the least. The real money auction house can extend the game. However, I think Blizzard needs to invest in itself and add more dungeons and things to do besides farming for sellable loot.

In the end, this will be more of a positive than a negative for Diablo 3 and Blizzard. Though many might complain about spending real money it has been done in MMO’s since Everquest and has no signs of changing. Either you join in or stay away, either way, the game, just like life keeps moving on without you.

Diablo III: Release Date

World of Warcraft subscriptions dropping, hey, look over here, Diablo III is coming out and we have a real date this time. You can pre-order Diablo 3 now on Battlenet for the official release date of May 15, 2012.

diablo-3-announcement

So what do we expect to get with this release date? Well, what we know is that it must have been rushed, which is weird since it has been so long. However, features such as a PVP mode and the Mystic artisan will not be available at release and will be patched in later.

Is every game that is to come out now will just be patched to be finished?

So are you excited yet?

Is Blizzard getting Desperate?

Does this make anyone want to go back? Can you see the crying now from the diehards on the boards mad because 80’s are being given out like samples at Costco.~J.A. Laraque

Is Blizzard getting Desperate?

So we see Star Wars is trying to pad their numbers by having a Free Trial Weekend, but before that Blizzard tried handing out the goodies like your ex trying to give up the booty to get you back. Now, we know World of Warcraft is dropping subscribers like Netflix before their reversal, but it gets even worse.

The wow whore give-a-way

We already know 600 employees are getting the boot, which is like the writing on the wall in blood and now WoW is giving out the goods. If you come back you will not only get a flying mount so you can sit in your major city with 20 other fools running around on it. But if you bring back a sucker, I mean friend with you get a free level 80 character, a free upgrade to a Cataclysm-enabled account that allows access to all of the game’s current content and 7 days of free play time.

Does this make anyone want to go back? Can you see the crying now from the diehards on the boards mad because 80’s are being given out like samples at Costco. It is kind of strange to see two big companies with two big mmo’s both begging for attention. I guess if we are really bored and a glutton for punishment we can really clean up.

Nah, I rather play Men of War.

The SteelSeries Diablo III Headset Review

SteelSeries Diablo III Headset Review

SteelSeries Diablo III Headset

First thing you will notice when holding the box, is the Diablo III art all over the package. Then when you open the package you realize how light this headset is!

Inside the box you will find the headset, a quick start guide, a SteelSeries professional gaming gear insert, a nifty SteelSeries sticker,  and a USB extension cable.

The USB extension cable will be important, because if your keyboard does not have a built-in USB port, the cable on the headset might be too short. SteelSeries realized nobody likes excess cables that you can trip over so they reduced the main cable length and included the USB extension cable. This gives you more options than other headsets where you would have to hide the excess cable. The only thing to note is that the USB extension cable isn’t gold plated or braided. But since it would probably be routed behind your desk you wouldn’t even see it.

SteelSeries Diablo III Headset Box

I tested the Diablo III headset with the following games and applications: Star Wars – The Old Republic, World of Tanks, The Witcher 2, TeamSpeak, and Ventrilo. Both the microphone and headset were astounding. The 50mm drivers on the headset do a superb job on the high, mid, and low-ranges. And the microphone allows you to retract it into the left ear-cup. This is a great feature if you just want to use them for listening to music.

The SteelSeries software for the headset feels like you’re in a menu of a Diablo game. You have several options to adjust the intensity and pulsation of the red LED lights. And the best part of the software, you are able to adjust the Equalizer to your liking.

The overall feel to this headset screams quality. From the attention to detail paid on the cable lengths to the light weight of the product. You can definitely see SteelSeries did their homework on gamer’s “work environments” and thought of everything.

SteelSeries-Diablo-3

Rating 9.5 of of 10.

Technical SpecificationsHeadphones

  • Frequency: 18 – 28.000 Hz
  • Cable Length:
  • Headset (1m / 3ft)
  • USB Extension (2m / 6.5ft)
  • Headset Jack: Gold Plated USB

 

Microphone

  • Active Noise Reduction: up to 20dB
  • Frequency: 50 – 16,000 Hz
  • Pick up pattern: Uni-directional
  • Sensitivity: -38 dB

 

Khan’s Corner: First Impressions of Dominion


For those who don’t know what League of Legends is, Google it. I’m not here to be your fucking Wikipedia! What I am here for is to let you know my godly absolute and factual opinion on League of Legends new game mode, Dominion.

What is Dominion?

For those that played WoW (and don’t pretend you didn’t) it is basically Arathi Basin with minion waves and a fog of war in the center of the map. There are five points in the map and you must claim them, defend them, and reclaim them in order to secure the fought over resources for your team as you slowly dwindle away the enemy team’s nexus HP bar. Sounds pretty wizard doesn’t it? Well it is! It is pretty damn wizard.

What’s the big deal, Mr. Khan? Why is everyone getting so excited about a new game mode?

What’s the big de… WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? The release and implementation of Dominion is pushing the Defense of the Ancients style of game play to new heights. The addition of new game modes in the genre known as MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) adds more to the static play style which is associated with these kinds of games. No longer will HoN, DoTA, and LoL fight over which game has better laning! Now the games will have to put forth some innovation to compete which will really help this genre grow.

Who cares about new modes and innovation? Gear of War 3 is out!

Don’t care about innovation? You don’t care for change? How would you like if Gears of War played like Doom 1, huh? Would you like if after years upon years of FPS games coming out there weren’t any new game modes? Zombie Assaults? Horde modes? Capture the Flag? Secure Points? You’d rather your FPS just be fucking Free-for-All death matches? Look reader, before you open your fucking mouth again, I suggest you think twice unless you enjoy sounding like an insipid dickfart.

Now that we’ve got a little backstory done on what Dominion is, let’s get into what I think about Dominion. I know, I know! This is the best part of the article.

Dominion is amazing for many reasons. Don’t get me wrong. I see the flaws but there are so many pros that outweigh the cons of this game mode. The normal MOBA game mode match lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to well over an hour. The amount of time needed to sink into a match of Summoner’s Rift can be daunting. What if your mom wants you to pick up your room? What if your baby woke up and is covered in shit? What if someone drives their car through your house and you have to deal with the aftermath! In all of these cases, gaming takes the higher priority but if for some reason you feel compelled to leave the match, you can be reported as a leaver which is a bannable offense! You really have to make sure there is plenty of time in your schedule to get through an entire match without being penalized.

Swain is going fuck someone in the butt

Dominion matches normally take anywhere from 15-20 minutes and trust me on this, the miniscule amount of time it takes to do a dominion match doesn’t take away from the full on hardcore Annie on Timbers action. Why is it so quick? As long as one team has three points covered and kills some enemies here and there, the nexus HP bar goes down. There is constantly something to do and that bar will go down. There is no way only 2 points will be constantly controlled while a third point remains neutral. People fight over resources in games and in real life. It’s an inherent reaction to go running to establish superiority and murder those who would claim stake over your land.

The style of this mode is a twist on the Arathi Basin concept in World of Warcraft. Before any of you nerds flip the fuck out and says “ACTUALLY ARATHI BASIN COPIED ( insert game here)” , I am using AB as an example because it the most relatable reference I can make to the masses. Fuck, you guys are dicks. Anyway, back to the matter at hand! Like AB, you run point to point claiming resource nodes for your team increasing the amount of HP you drain from the enemy Nexus. There are minions in between each node charging towards each other. You don’t have to kill minions in this mode but it is smart to do once in a awhile because minions capture nodes exponentially faster than a player. It’s also nice to have fodder between you and an enemy who skill shots. You can see anything going on anywhere in the map from the main roads to the nodes. The only areas engulfed in the fog of war are the enemy spawn point and the center of the map which houses a variety of buffs, such as a temporary speed increase and health packs.

Screw you Twisted Fate and Annie. Dis be mah node!

Riot is a genius company, let me tell you! I expected there to be an issue with fools who try to top the kill charts and forget about the objectives to win the game. A lot of people just feel an unexplainable bloodlust to chase down an enemy Singed instead of forcing him to run so you can capture his resource node. What Riot implemented to make people realize there is more to this mode than skull fucking your enemy was add an in-game ranking system which lets you know how well you are doing compared to the rest of your team. It takes into consideration your defending kills, your capturing of nodes, and slaying of enemies. This allows your team to get their heads out of their ass if they want to get that MVP rank and not look like a total scrub.

The time frame and familiar objective style factors into something fantastic for the community and popularity of the game as well. It opens up accessibility to players who haven’t taken the leap into the MOBA genre. Yes, League of Legends is free to play but the stress and unforgiving nature that comes from the classic game mode is for many new or casual players nerve-wracking. With the nostalgic Arathi Basin-esque flow and the manageable 15-20 game time it makes the plunge so much easier. Let’s throw in some similes so you bitches understand. Pre-Dominion: League Of Legends is like jumping into the water at the beach. It’s pretty awesome and a lot of fun but your eyes burn from the salt and holy shit would it suck if a jellyfish stung you! Post-Dominion: League of Legends is like going into a hot tub and there are two chicks DTF. The kind of chicks who would put their finger in your ass if you asked them to. Fuck! Dominion is awesome!

If you haven’t tried League of Legends yet, there isn’t a better time than now. With Dominion being a fast paced, enjoyable, and forgiving game mode for novice and veteran players alike this is the time to get into the MOBA genre. Join millions upon millions of players in this quickly blossoming and wallet friendly gaming. See you in the Crystal Scar, Summoners.

Subscription MMO’s soon to be a thing of the past?

DDO Free-to-play

Is the writing on the wall that paying monthly for MMO’s is soon to be a thing of the past? When some of us started playing text based adventures the idea of paying by the minute for internet service was acceptable, but soon unlimited plans became the way of the land and everyone had to jump on board. Fast forward to the early days of Everquest, when the decision was made to raise the price of their monthly subscription. The player base revolted saying EQ would be done for if this move was made, but as how addiction works, we continued playing.

Perhaps that was a turning point, when these companies knew they could push their customers just far enough if their game was good/addictive enough to keep people from quitting. We learned with games such as Asheron’s Call 2, that if a game sucks people will run away, but we also learned that if a game is good enough one could make money without being number one.

When World of Warcraft exploded the common wisdom was that no other company would dethrone Blizzard anytime soon, but they could offer an alternative, just enough to make a profit. We saw a boom of new MMO’s show up with many I am sure you have never heard of. However, many of these MMO’s were turning a profit, enough to keep going and the industry thought things would level off.

guild-wars

When Guild Wars dumped the idea of monthly subscriptions, many people laughed at the idea. Even after the early failure of Everquest 2, most MMO’s were doing fine even in the large shadow cast by World of Warcraft. Not everyone was laughing because not only was Guild Wars a good game, but there was not a model that could be used that had already been used with many Asian MMO’s.

When we first saw a MMO go free-to-play it was thought that it meant a game was failing and in many cases that was true. Games like Age of Conan saw a mass exodus, but it was still salvageable so going free-to-play made sense. The same happened with Lord of the Rings, less players, but worth keeping up.

When Sony Online Entertainment launched the Everquest 2 free-to-play it became more common place to offer a subscription service alongside a free-to-play where you could sell additional perks and services. Not only did that extra revenue work for the free-to-play side, but for the subscription side as well.

Now seeing MMO’s go free-to-play alongside a subscription service is a normal occurrence. If the game is older, like City of Heroes it may bring in new blood. If the game is newer, like DC Universe Online it may give a dying game some new life. In SOE’s case if nothing else, they can convince their subscribers to go All Access to help pad their subscription numbers.

aoc_free-to-play

Even the MMO superpower World of Warcraft has seen its numbers drop sharply and not just people who stop logging in but keep their account active. Blizzard has been losing subscribers by the boatload and they are not just waiting for the next expansion, they want a new game. On the horizon, we have Old Republic. While it looks as if this game will be a hit so did DCUO.

There are many gamers from the early EQ days that consider themselves retired from MMO’s for a variety of reasons. Some of the newer gamers are burned out and they experienced an over saturation of MMO’s some good, some not so good, but the key was there were too many to subscribe to. Now many people are getting used to the free-to-play model and with W.O.W. perhaps beginning its slide down, the field may open up. Not to one dominate MMO, but a widening choice were you don’t have to slap down $50 plus $14.99 just to see if it makes it past the first month or not.

Studies show that if you charge ten bucks for a 15-episode television show, it may or may not sell well, but if you offer each episode for 99 cents, you will end up making more money in the long run. If you play a game for free and a one-time fee of five bucks gets you that new mount you will feel more inclined to buy it. American’s have run into debt because we don’t realize a three dollar cup of coffee three times a week is four hundred and sixty-eight dollars a year.

everquest 2 free to play

Only time will tell how free-to-play will change the MMO landscape. For those of us who can enjoy a game and walk away it may become a great opportunity to experience many new games. For those that have to have it all, it may start up a new debate about MMO addiction and how people go broke by purchasing a two-dollar sword here and a ten-dollar name change there. Think it cannot happen, look for the headlines on Second Life where people pay two hundred bucks a month for a virtual condo. Kind of makes you wonder why they didn’t think of this sooner.

 

World of Warcraft: Free till level 20

World-of-WarCraft-Cataclysm

It looks as if the wave of lowering prices in MMO’s continues. Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft will be replacing its 14-day trial with a free-to-play of sorts until you reach level 20.

Here is part of their statement:

“We’ve removed the previous 10- and 14-day trial time restrictions, and players who are interested in trying out World of Warcraft can now play the base game for free up to a maximum character level of 20, including draenei and blood elf characters—all they need is a Battle.net account and an Internet connection,” Blizzard explained in a statement. If you ran through a previous 14-day trial, you can go back to your character and continue to play from the point you left the game if you’d like, but the level cap will be set at 20.

This is a kin to giving you a taste of crack for free, but then comes the kicker, the new lower price.

Blizzard goes on to say:

…players will be able to get both the original World of Warcraft and the game’s first expansion set, The Burning Crusade, for only $19.99 as part of the new digital Battle Chest now available in the online Blizzard Store. In addition, anyone who owns the original World of Warcraft, regardless of when they purchased the game, will automatically be able to access all of the content and features from The Burning Crusade expansion at no additional cost.

So they pull you in with a free taste and then hit you with a low cost. I wonder if there is a specific reason for this move besides forcing other companies to compete with their prices. We already learned Sony Online Entertainment is lowering their subscription rates and with more and more MMO’s heading to free-to-play it looks like the online gaming world is changing.

Now the question is, is it changing for the better?

 

Are Asians Good At All Games?


Quick answer: Nope! Where the hell did this stereotype come from? Where did this claim that Asians are the demigods of gaming originate? I don’t know and I’m sure a quick google search could answer that question for me, but you know what? I don’t feel like opening my browser for such productive means! Instead I’m going to rant while being entirely ill informed and uneducated! Are you ready because I am!

The claim that Asians are amazing at games probably started with Starcraft and not a day before that. Just look back at the epic story of The Wizard starring Fred Savage. Who won that tournament? Not an Asian. That alone is hardcore evidence that our allies in the Far whatever directions aren’t that adept at video games.

The only game that I can recall Asians faring well in would be RTS games. Everyone complains when they go against an Asian player in a Real Time Strategy because you know you’re going to die. RTS games in Korea are like the fucking Olympics or Soccer. It’s a pretty big fucking deal. Ungodly accuracy, impeccable multitasking, and the execution of unparalleled tactics lead them to victory. I guess it makes sense for them to do well considering Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War so close by!

The Unmoving Faces of Death
It doesn’t seem American born Asians have the same prowess as their homegrown cousins. It seems that the water in those lands are what grant them this advantage in RTS gaming. In the League of Legends championship USA placed third because they overcompensated the team with Asians and instead the Euros defeated us. Great job! You got stomped by wine drinking, rotten shark eating Europeans. Lets not even get into how poorly our US team spoke when they get the microphone handed to them from the cheerful Riot female interviewer.

Beyond the RTS realm where do they stand out? They can’t play racing games for obvious reasons. They’ll just drive slow, swerving side to side with their indicator on but never turning. You can’t win a race like that! This inability to perform well in vehicles then carries over into the realm of flying games. They’re going to just kamikaze into the ground since it’s all they know. Fun Fact: The Japanese claimed that being a Kamikaze was a tactic when in reality it was to avoid the embarrassment of being known as the worst pilots in the world.

Fighting games? What just happened a week or so ago? Famous gamer Daigo claimed in a video he could destroy America in Marvel Versus Capcom 3. I forgot what happened… Oh wait, no! I remember! He got completely thrashed about like a little bitch. Looks like the stereotype filled someone else with false pride.

Now I know you’re probably wondering why I even bothered to write this article. I wrote it in the hopes that you no longer feel fear when playing a game against an Asian gamer. They’re like anyone else, except for in an RTS. Don’t be afraid anymore. Fill your lungs with the vigor of hopefulness and victory to destroy these fools and free them from them by abolishing the stereotype with every defeat you liberate them with. Asian can be defeated and it is up to you to lead the charge.

Cryptic Studio Has Moved On But Have Their Games?: Star Trek Edition


For those of you eagerly waiting for this review after the sudden ending of the previous portion of this two-part article, I apologize. I wasn’t having problems with time or just pure laziness. No, I had problems with how to word my feelings towards Star Trek Online and how best to give an honest review without completely belittling the game. I know, I know. You’re used to that kind of response from me but I decided to be a bit more delicate with how I explain the faults and pluses of STO.

So here goes…

It is laughable to think that Cryptic Studios thinks of STO as an MMORPG. While all the big boys in the room strut their stuff with content, gameplay, character growth, and easily defined instructions, Star Trek Online stumbles and fumbles around the room like a drunk teenage girl at a frat party. At the end of the night, the only ones with a grin on their faces are the real MMOs while STO is dabbing off semen from its face with wet naps.


Wow… I feel uncomfortable reading this. I’m going to just-

What could possess me to attack Star Trek Online in such an unrelenting manner? Is it because I could barely give the game a shot beyond level 4? Yes, it is! I got to level 11 in FF XIV and that game is the equivalent of dining on Indian food , beautiful to look at but horrible to digest. I have never been unable to hit at least level 10 in an MMORPG but Star Trek Online managed to prove me wrong.

That sounds horrible, Mr. Khan! Why was it so god awful?

That’s an easy question to answer, Little Timmy. The game’s initial tutorial manages to be not only fast paced but slow at the same time. There’s a ton of jargon thrown around that doesn’t make sense to begin with and there isn’t much of an explanation as to what any of it means. All I got from the tutorial was that I could shoot lasers and photon torpedoes when I’m in my ship and when I’m on a ground mission I can shoot laser beams and “backstab” the enemy when I attack from their blindside. There really isn’t a clear definition in the beginning what role your class plays or what kind of ships you are able to command. I was certain I was limited to Science Ships since I chose the Scientist profession but I later found out from a friend that I could pilot any ship. Oh, that’s fucking fantastic to know.


For those of you who enjoy looking at your character and face stomping the enemy while adoring how badass you made your Vulcan or Custom Alien, sorry to disappoint but the game is lacking in ground missions and you are spending most of your time viewing the ass tail of your ship. How engrossing! Yes, you can customize your ship but the differences aren’t that vast aside from size. The ship customization is as in-depth as the shape variations presented in a Lego Kit. Everything is a block except some are half a blocks! Whoop-dee-fucking-doo!

From a game with such an absorbing avatar customization, it’s a shame that you spend your time running slow naval circles around enemy space bandits. As far as I could grasp the tactic was to go half speed and adjust your acceleration and deceleration to complete this amazingly slow circle strafe around your enemy to knock out their shields and ass fuck them with photon torpedoes. Combat got repetitive quickly.

The game’s missions were probably the most bland I’ve ever seen in an MMO post 2006. “What was that, Ensign? There’s no one in the quadrant? I guess everything is… Oh my god! Space Bandits out of fucking nowhere!” That was as in depth as the missions got at level 4. They didn’t want to showcase more early on maybe because there wasn’t anything left to show.

The ground missions were probably the worst part about leveling. I should be excited to see my captain running about shooting bitches in the face and parachuting off planet sized drills like in the movie, right? Too bad! I was limited to picking up resources on a planet and randomly getting jumped by “Unknown villain #3” and then transporting back to the ship. Oh wait, I forgot. There were more options. I was able to go to a mining site to speak with a couple of diggers to see how they felt about their jobs and report back to their manager. Yup! They called in the space fleets special forces to settle a dispute about a broken holodeck in the break room.

"Come on, Team! Lets pick up some rocks!"

Now, I understand I have been harsh on the game and there is a reason for that. If STO were a free to play MMORPG, I would dress it with every accolade known in the universe. A free to play space RPG? Sign me up! Let me have fleeting moments of fun!

Unfortunately, the game isn’t F2P. It’s Pay to Play and it’s $15 a fucking month. This game has a huge pair of balls to even consider charging people. Cryptic was fortunate enough that people even purchased fucking the game. It has the depth of a game developed for a smart phone.

STO lacks the environment, quests, gameplay, and depth of games like World of Warcraft, Everquest 2, and even City of Heroes. Quite a bold statement coming from a level 4 Lieutenant, right? That’s why I’m not saying for people to keep away from this game. Play it if you like, it’s your money. I personally don’t see the justification of this game being $15 a month. You’d probably find more fun in Runescape for a cheaper price.

Perfect Worlds purchased this title when they acquired Cryptic Studios. What potential they see in this hunk of shit I will never know. The game is an MMO-abomination and is better served on a free to play model or simply a box sale model like Guild Wars. Then and maybe then it would be worth the time it takes to patch and login. Until that unlikely day comes about, STO will remain uninstalled and far, far away from my computer.

Behavior Links


No, I’m not writing about an indie game called Behavior Links or a freshly unveiled game at E3. Today, I’m going to take a step away from the controller and/or keyboard to talk about a little bit about a charitable organization.

Oh shit, guys! He’s going to ask us for money!

We here at Obsoletegamer rarely ask anything from our readers. We gift you with wonderful reviews, nostalgic time warps, and editorials that cause unprecedented levels of butt hurt. In return, you continue to come back and show your loyalty. True enough, however, I am asking for a donation. It doesn’t have to be monetary but what I really want is simply a donation of your time. I would like, if any of you are capable, to donate simply out of the goodness in your hearts. I don’t, however, want people to blindly donate to a cause they don’t understand.

Behavior Links is a charitable organization that assists families with special needs children with a wide range of services ranging from therapeutic services for children and their families, educating and training families in other countries, and lowering the costs of services that many families with special needs members struggle with everyday.

Still with me?

Excellent! You don’t have to donate money to help them if you don’t have the flow to assist but how hard is it to spread the word to someone who does? You can also help by searching the internet with GoodSearch.com. And the cheapest method is to volunteer! I know some of you must be acne ridden left-wing extremists! Volunteering is a great way to show your support while being hip and cool with your PETA friends!

If I haven’t convinced you yet, think back to all the memorable moments special needs children have been there for us. From shaking your hands in the hallway with a smile that goes ear to ear and never letting go to the tear jerking episodes of Glee that involved Sue Sylvester’s sister. I’m sure you can muster up sort of experience that will open up your hearts.

If you’re in Miami on June 10th, at 7:30 PM a ‘Music-Art-Culture‘ Night even will be held to enjoy some live musical entertainment, art exhibitions, and auctions. Want a plasma TV or a Disney package? Who the fuck doesn’t?! Quit playing the auction house in WoW and come try it out IRL!

We apologize from deviating from the norm here but this is a great cause to help out a group of great people.

Thank you all and if you somehow missed the link in the article…

http://www.behaviorlinks.org/waystohelp.html

EQ2 Has The Worst Players On Erf!


Everquest 2, you know I love you girl, but these fools that be playin’ you… damn girl. You are littered with them! Horrible, atrocious, vomit inducing players run amok on the fair lands of Norrath like ticks sucking on, well, their own suck!

Oh boy, here we go! Another biased opinion about a game and the one isolated event that brands an entire community. Go back to WoW, fag! Lolololololol

Shut up, baby doll. Daddy’s talking.

I have played many, many MMORPGs. The kind of person who would rather play solo than mingle with the masses is not how one would describe this guy right here, the Great Umar Khan. Nope. I like to get involved with the community. I like to remember names, experiences, and how well I match with certain people in a team based environment. 1999, fellas! No yearlong breaks from the genre. I’ve slutted my way into many a community with my impeccable social and gaming skills.

You come off as an asshole!

Bollocks, I say!

Back on topic, of all the games I’ve played, loved, and also “hit it and quit it”; Everquest 2 has some of the worst players in any MMORPG. Despite my feelings for EQ2, her only flaw in my eyes are the ones who entertain themselves on a daily basis with her company.

Warcraft has the worst players, you homo!

Quiet, you anti-Semite!

That doesn’t even-

Someone mentioned my name!

I’m not saying that all players in EQ2 are bad. Every game has bad players but EQ2’s players are in a league of their own. Bertoxxulous really outdid himself with his latest plague of stupid and unskillfulness that has infected the playerbase.

 

As a troubadour, should I be out DPSing the wizards? If your answer is a yes with a hint of implied inquiry in the tone then you should understand the absurd level of shock I had leveling my flamboyant bard on the Permafrost server. More often than none was I the top DPS of the group or only outdone by a Shadow Knight tank. Very few came close to my numbers unless I was in the rare group where someone wasn’t busy watching their kids.

House wives, why are they even allowed to be playing EQ2? Shouldn’t they be busy playing Sims and Farmville? They have no place in trying to understand parses and pie charts from ACT. They can barely grasp how a Chocolate Cow in Farmville produces Chocolate Milk. Here’s a hint. IT’S A FUCKING CHOCOLATE COW!

The skillfulness to push buttons in a certain order isn’t even as mind blowing as the level of stupidity that sums up the vastly growing amount of total shit tanks in the level 70 range. How stupid can they be? One occasion I remember better than the others would be of the tank I kept asking to repair. We were at The Estate of Unrest and this gallivanting Berserker of worldly renown (/sarcasm off) had destroyed armor. I don’t know if its because he tried to tank while using a 2handed weapon despite our pleads for mercy or his claims that he could tank Bugaboo notwithstanding numerous attempts ending with the monstrous haunt face planting our tank into an early grave but this underdeveloped Neanderthal stood out like a golden ring at the bottom of a clear riverbed. We were all in the voice chat channel and finally his slack jawed Midwest accent began to wear thin on my patience. Stupidity spewed forth from his mouth like shit from my asshole after eating at Chipotle. How he managed to even understand how to set up his headset astounds me to this day.

“Hey dude, your armor is broken. Go repair. We’ll wait for you.”

“WAH!”

“Multiple pieces are 0%. You can’t tank like that especially when you’re using a two-hander.”

“WAH!”

“Because your durability has gone down the drain. Just go repair. I’ll go with you. I can teleport us back.”

“WAH can’t I tank with a Two-Hander if my armor is broken? I don’t get WAH!”

“Are you fucking with me right now?”

I’m cutting the reiterated blabbering short but to sum it up, I eventually convinced him to go repair after 5-6 minutes.

God, this editorial is getting long and I hope you’re still with me because there is more!

The community in EQ2 believes it to be okay for people to go AFK during a dungeon crawl. I can’t even count with the fingers on my hands and toes on my feet how many times we had an AFK leecher in our group. If it’s a guy, there might be someone bringing up the occasional “lol is this guy coming back?” But Lord forbid if it’s a fucking woman, though! She will AFK the entire session or return right before the boss. She’ll join the fucking group and then say “Hey guys, I’m cooking dinner at the same time. Give me a second.” That second turns to minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, and days into eons! An exaggeration? Perhaps! But a bitch shouldn’t join a fucking group if she has something else to do! “Oh hey guys! What are we doing? Crushbone? Okay I’ll be the healer. By the way, I gotta drive to the corner market for a second! Don’t kick me :)”

Fuck! There are just so many other instances where this category of shit has happened to me in only EQ2 but I don’t think I can get into all of them with my trademark long winded bantering! Fuck it all to hell!

I know I could easily deny myself of these experiences if I only made my own group and wrote off some of these people with my own iron fist ruling. Trust me, I have! I don’t take shit when I’m group leader. I don’t like having my time wasted while someone is eating shit in real life. This is my break before real life kicks in and you’re ruining those precious few hours I have. There are just sometimes where it’s easier to join an already forming group than taking the reins into your own hands.

Some of you may not agree. You might feel that my little experiences are biased and that I must hate women, that I’m a fat virgin. Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re wrong. And maybe, just maybe, you’re a cum dumpster too! If that’s the case, EQ2 is the game for you.

Could Blizzard’s Next MMO Titan really be a Halo MMO?

Let me preface this article with a warning.  Everything I am about to post could be considered rumor or coincidence but that doesn’t mean it is not true.  Ever since Blizzard’s Product Slate was leaked and showed the name “Titan” with an anticipated release in Q4 of 2013, people have been speculating about this new game.  We already know that Blizzard is officially working on a new “secret MMO” project.

Blizzard Game List

First, let me give you some insider information that I received over a year ago from someone inside the gaming industry.  This person does not work for Blizzard but does have a career position at a major gaming company.  This person told me three things that he knew about the game that he learned from friends inside Blizzard.

1.  It will be an FPS based MMO (at minimum in part).

2.  It will most likely be set in space.

3.  The design has a “cyber-punkish” feel.

First, I know what you are thinking.  WTF is “cyber-punkish?”  I know, I thought the same thing and honestly it could mean an infinite number of things.  However, this information could be useful in the conspiracy theory which I will explain below.  Let me also point out that this information is definitely second hand to me so take the above with a grain of salt.

The Conspiracy!  Is Blizzard’s new MMO ‘Titan’ really Halo MMO?

 

Ok, let me go through the slew of coincidences that we have.

1.  The original Halo MMO that was being designed by Ensemble Studios was code named ‘Titan.’  Also, Ghostcrawler (Blizzard Game Developer) happened to be a former employee of said company.  Blizzard’s secret MMO is titled ‘Titan.’  Coincidence? Maybe.

2.  In February 2007, an episode of 30 Rock entitled Hardball aired and in the credits it said, “Promotional Consideration Furnished by Blizzard Entertainment.”  What makes this interesting is that no Blizzard products were featured.  No Warcraft.  No Starcraft.  No Diablo.  No World of Warcraft.  However, Halo was featured in the show!  So Blizzard was advertising for Halo in 2007?  This was right before word got out that Blizzard was working on a brand new MMO and they started hiring “Science-Fiction Texture Artists.”  Coincidence? Maybe.

3.  As we know Bungie and Activision (now Activision-Blizzard) are in a 10 year partnership and some terms of the agreement were not disclosed.  Coincidence? Maybe.

4.  Jeff Kaplan, a Blizzard employee was quoted as saying “All of those combined” to the following question in an MTV Multiplayer Interview:  Will the next Blizzard MMO be “sci-fi, near-future, post-apocalyptic, or historical?”  Now, all of the above would definitely apply to Halo.  Coincidence? Maybe

 

Taken one at a time, these are just mere coincidences.  However, combine them all and you have a legitimate conspiracy on your hands!  So?  Are all of these mere coincidences? Is Blizzard planting these seeds to troll everyone?  Or maybe, just maybe, the secret is out and Blizzard’s new MMO is a Halo MMO!  All I know is, what my insider friend told me matches all the conspiracies listed and goes hand in hand with a potential Halo MMO.  For now, only those in Activision-Blizzard (and maybe Bungie) know the truth, but we are free to speculate.

Titan Halo

I want to give credit to GBTV and CrossEyedGamer for their investigative reporting which I made use of in this article.  Keep up the good work guys.

Games to Buy: Dec 7th 2010

game store
game store

So you survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday and somehow you still have a few bucks in your wallet, well good thing this week there are only about three games that make our worthy buy list.

First a little change in the Games to buy format. We will now intertwine both PC and Console games into one which means that when we have a week that has a ton of games for both it will be a harsher cut for the ones we think are worth buying. Remember this is an opinion piece and for the most part we leave sports games out of it because we know you sports fans are going to pick up the latest edition.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

There is tons of information on this game and honestly if you are a World of Warcraft player you are getting this game case closed. The overall story is an ancient evil dragon called Deathwing laid a path of destruction that reshaped the world. What this means for gamers is the old world has changes so the land that you leveled up playing has changed forever. There are a ton of changes to how the character classes work, two new playable races and a ton of new dungeons and loot. Blizzard also have made changes to make gameplay quicker for those of us with little time.

Buy Worthiness: $$$$$

Tron: Evolution

Disney has pulled out all the stops in the sequel to the cult classic Tron and the same has been done with the game. Although some critics have given it a less than likeable score the game does look well put together. You have a mix of the classic Tron including the light cycle races and the action adventure levels where you chase down viruses in the virtual world running and jumping through the visually stunning city. There is also a multiplayer aspect that allows you to compete against up to ten other players. You can play Tron Evolution online or offline.

Buy Worthiness: $$$

Bejeweled 3

Perhaps there isn’t much one can say about a new puzzle game, but the fact is Popcap had and still has a winner with this game. Bejeweled can be found on pretty much anything from the PC to your phone and everywhere in-between. Now you have a brand new game that keeps to the classic gameplay but added cool additions including a 40 mission quest mode that has 11 mini games. There have also been updates to the four game modes found in Bejeweled 2. Finally you get new backgrounds a tweak in the music department an even clearer visuals. All in all if you love puzzle games this is worth a buy at only $20.

Buy Worthiness: $$$

NewU Fitness First Mind Body

So you stumbled upon a Karma Sutra book and convinced your girlfriend to give some of the new positions a try. Unfortunately, both you and she are out of shape and could not even do the beginner positions. I guess it’s back to missionary for you, well maybe not.

Thanks to the Wii, brining you wastes of time since 2006, you can now Yoga your way to the backwards sun pretzel position in just a few short weeks. This hot new program will teach you how to get your mind and body in sync preparing you for long nights of passion. Keggle’s add-on pack not included.

Buy Worthiness:  X

Paladin Hateraid

WoW pwn paladin
WoW pwn paladin

Paladin Hateraid

I tried being a nice guy, but it’s just not in my nature. I hate a lot of things and it’s time I started telling my adoring public about some of them. In this case since we are talking MMO’s, I will keep it focused on that.

In this inaugural issue we will cover one of the most hated classes currently in World of Warcraft.

My E-Peen was damaged

It’s not that I expected to win every fight, but I believe everyone should have a real chance to win against every other class. I mean when I’m not AFK in Alterac Valley I might want to stab a hoe in the back with my pig sticker.

I bide my time and find a lonely paladin at half health and think to myself, self, you got this. I close my eyes and think back to my boyhood days in the Catholic Church, channel my rage and attack. I’m screaming out in my small basement; “There were no cookies in the rectory!” while I unload on the helpless pally.

It should have been an easy kill. I hit the right buttons. I did everything the SpoonCraft guide told me too, but just as victory was in my grasp he became invincible. “Bubble bitch!” I cried out in a pain worse than that day in the rectory.

So I back away and try to bandage and to my horror it begins to heal itself. Now at full health it helps me relive that awful, awful day from so many years ago as it begins to spin and flash and rape my sorry ass.

As I laid there broken and battered on the ground the evil paladin did something to me I hoped would never happen again.

It was after a hard Friday night of D&D back in college. I had drunk way to many Zima’s and passed out in the lounge. Nicolas, who I had beaten earlier that night with my charisma warrior, was still pissed and wanted revenge. He stood over me, but I was in no condition to stop him as he pulled his pants down and settled his microscopic sack upon my forehead.

A picture was taken to commemorate the event. We didn’t have HD back then so you couldn’t even see his minuscule balls, but they were there, resting just above my eyebrows. I never played D&D after that and that day, like the one in the rectory, haunted me for years.

Now it happened again. That damned paladin tea-bagged me worse than a town hall protestor. I cried at my computer desk and downed a coke zero to try and alleviate the pain, to no avail. I walked away from my computer, defeated and whispered silently, nerf paladins.

How to Play Alterac Valley

World of Warcraft Alterac Valley dunbaldar
World of Warcraft Alterac Valley dunbaldar

This is a little dated, but I hope you will like it anyway

First thing you need to know is if you are Alliance Alterac Valley or A.V. is for you. The reason is Alliance are very good at the art of zerging and running away both which are valuable in A.V. There are also reports of imbalance with the map, but come on that’s just crazy talk.

Step one: Make sure you aren’t level 80.

 

World of Warcraft Mascott
World of Warcraft Mascott

Going into A.V. at level 80 is like going to an all-you-can-eat sushi joint on a full stomach, you just don’t do it. With the changes to A.V. now giving you experience points, this is a prime leveling area for your twink.

Pro-tip: You can get up to 20k per tower cap!

Step two: Watch everyone rush off.

 

World of Warcraft Alterac Valley
World of Warcraft Alterac Valley

I use to love sitting in my warm cozy apartment in Chicago on a cold winters morning watching all the fools go to work or school. You can relive that feeling in W.O.W. Hop on your trusty steed and watch as all your comrades’ rush off to fight knowing you will be comfortable sitting far away from the battle.

Step three: Find something to do.

 

World of Warcraft Alterac Valley
World of Warcraft Alterac Valley

You are not an A.F.K’er, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Even people on welfare who pump out babies contribute to society. They give us Jerry Springer shows and people to laugh at on the nightly news.

A pro A.V.’er knows there are things to do if you are not on the front lines; one such thing is going to cap your mine.

Now granted you might get your ass kicked by the mobs since you are such a low level, but hey that’s why the Blizzard Gods made resurrection points, am I right? Even if you do die it’s fine because you are giving back for all the experience you will be gaining.

Pro-tip: You can do the supply quest while you’re in here!

 

 

Step four: Keep an eye out.

 

World of Warcraft Alterac Valley
World of Warcraft Alterac Valley

Just like that old bag who gives you the stink eye every time you go outside your house, a good lookout can be useful, but mostly it’s just you killing time. From here you can wait and collect your experience points and wait for the horde to show up.

Or you can do….

Alternate Step four: Go laugh at Galvangar

World of Warcraft Alterac Valley
World of Warcraft Alterac Valley

Stupid shirtless bastard, I couldn’t fight him in my lower levels because his whirlwind would one shot me. Now, I still don’t fight him, but after he is dead I like to go laugh at him and you should too.

Pro-tip: Watch out for horde who like to camp in his room to one-shot laughers

Step 5: See what you could have been doing

 

World of Warcraft Alterac Valley
World of Warcraft Alterac Valley

Sometimes I like to go downtown and stare up at one of those big towers and dream of what I could have been if I didn’t become a loser. While you are at Galv’s lair check out Iceblood Tower. Your alliance friends may be guarding it or maybe horde has taken it back already. In the end it does not matter you job isn’t to fight, cap or defend, it is to level.

Step 6: Learn the hard way

 

World of Warcraft Alterac Valley
World of Warcraft Alterac Valley

Work is hard and here is some proof. If you are feeling guilty for milking experience go on up a tower and see how it feels to be one of the worker bees. Let me tell you, it hurts like a some-of-a-bitch! See what happened to me? Someone knocked me over the head and I woke up with a cow humping me. Never again!

Step 7: Say hi to the A.F.K guy

 

World of Warcraft Alterac Valley
World of Warcraft Alterac Valley

The difference between a thief and a scammer is technique. See, we experience lechers at least stay on our PC’s. So go into the alliance starting cave and wave at all the A.F.K’ers and report them while there. If it wasn’t for them you would finish you’re A.V’s faster.

Broken I win button

Win or lose you will gain experience and maybe even see a horde or two. Soon you will be 80 with a full set of welfare epics and will be ready for some real B.G.’s. Until then just follow this guild and you will be a pro in no time.

My Unparallel Loathing of Gaming Hipsters

WoW Ret Cat
WoW Ret Cat

My Unparallel Loathing of Gaming Hipsters

I can’t take it anymore, reader. I simply cannot suffer the pretentious attitude of gaming hipsters. They leave my stomach churning, tie my throat in a knot, and cause an unpronounced level of pain in my scrotum. Why God? I ask you this! Why do they exist to believe themselves to be upon a celestial pedestal of understanding and ownership of some delusional knowledge they do not possess?

Hipsters.

The word alone makes me want to go on a punching jamboree at a local Starbucks. Those bastards just weren’t content on having the indie scene, huh? They had to someone seep like a poison into the gaming community. And it wasn’t like they miraculously appeared out of nowhere. No, no. I just noticed they’ve been here for years, secretly hiding like some Massachusetts Witch Covenant biding their time for an unveiling.

But you know what?

No one gives a shit about them or the opinion of their Gaming Hipster Community. But contrary to that last sentence, I do care to a degree. I’d like to point out my disliking for them in detail. Yes, reader, you will become more knowledgeable on who is a gaming hipster and may even come into the realization that you yourself or someone you hold dear to your hearts may even be one of these aberrations.

    • No one cares if you were in beta.

    Aside from narrow-minded children and frat boys, no one cares that you’ve played since beta. When someone asks a question as to whether something is a good talent specialization or how to beat a certain raid boss, don’t reply with “Trust me, I’ve been playing since Beta.” This doesn’t make you more knowledgeable to specializations or strategies. Especially don’t say this in games like World of Warcraft. The game at its current state is completely different than its original incarnation at this point and your opinion is null and void. Another thing, games that go into Beta maybe have 10-15 people who are actually voicing legit opinions in that gaming community. The rest are people who whine and shit because they don’t understand gaming mechanics or can’t even offer viable solutions aside from nerfing the entirety of a class. Oh, and speaking of classes…

      • No one cares if were an underpowered class pre-buff.
          “Mmm, I liked a Shadow Knight before they got buffed!” Wow? Really? Holy shit, that is amazing news. I’m glad you stuck through your underpowered character until they got revamped. You know why classes get revamped? It isn’t because it only takes “skilled” people to play them and make them viable. Any other class that isn’t gimp with an equally “skilled” player is going to steam roll you in numbers and efficiency. They buff classes to bring them up to par. Aww, don’t cry! Just because people can now faceroll as your favorite underground class doesn’t mean you suck. If you really were skilled you’d still be better than the rest of them by far, right? Or is it because no one played the class you had no real competition to gauge yourself? Wait. What was that you muttered underneath your breath? Oh, that’s what you said? Well guess what…
      • No one cares if your guild beat content before it got nerfed.

      I remember going into threads that said “Fenrir’s Pups beat Ragnaros” and reading the replies of smug faced, Rockstar drinking hipsters who would sneer the achievement with “Congratulations on beating old and nerfed content.” What a monster you must be! Let’s look at those virtual muscles. Wow! You’ve been really hitting the E-Gym. We all know beating Ragnaros pre-nerf was like fighting Muhammad Ali in his prime and fighting him after the nerf was like fighting him today. We get that. No need to boast about it, though. Your past efforts fall upon deaf ears because not a single person today gives a shit.

      Hey, what’s that you’re playing? Is that an NES emulator? What game are you playing? Is that Super Mario Brothers 2? It isn’t? It sure looks like… holy shit don’t say it.

      • No one cares if you played Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic before people played Super Mario 2!

      I’m glad that you are in touch with the origins of a game and know that Super Mario Brothers 2 is a rehashing of another game but don’t toss it away because it wasn’t indie enough for you. Most of the creatures in Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic were created by Nintendo anyway.

      This sick need to do the polar opposite of anything popular or mainstream brings me to my last point.

        • Fuck You.

        Fuck you, gaming hipster. You’re the person who finds the Playstation Network vastly superior to Xbox Live. You’re the person who guffaws at Apple products (and yes, I admit, I was once this type of person) without even trying to grasp why people like them. You’re the person still playing your NES because all new games suck like some grumpy old man who still plays that game with a hoop and stick. You’re the person who demands nostalgia and only subscribes to progression servers for a month and quits within 3 days because those memories weren’t as fond as you thought they were.

        There is no means to stop you from these self imposed habits and traits and there is no wisdom or knowledge I can bestow to remedy the hipster hivemind so I will gladly end this article in the simplest but most profound way I know…

        Eat a dick, gaming hipster. Eat a steaming plate of dicks on a bed of rice.

        World of Warcraft Client Patch 4.0.1

        World of Warcraft patch notes
        World of Warcraft patch notes

        Gotta love patch day!

        The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/test-realm-patchnotes.html

        The latest patch notes can always be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/

        Cataclysm Systems Patch

        World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will be in stores on December 7, 2010 and the time has come to prep for the official launch by implementing its first major patch. Players can experience many major game and user interface systems updates in the first official patch for the upcoming third expansion, patch 4.0.1.

        General

        • Cataclysm Launcher Update
          • The new Cataclysm Launcher allows you to stream game data while you play. This will reduce the time you spend downloading, installing, and patching World of Warcraft. We’d like to get your feedback on the toolset and gameplay experience. Please head to the forums here for additional information.
        • Reforging
          • Players can now visit special Reforging NPCs in capital cities located near Enchanting trainers. 40% of any one secondary stat on an item can be allocated to add a new secondary stat to the item. The stat being added cannot already exist on the item. An item cannot have more than one reforged stat at a time, though the Reforging of an item can be undone and changed.

        Dungeons & Raids

        • Flexible Raid Lock System
          • Icecrown Citadel and Ruby Sanctum now use the new Flexible Raid Lock system. This system provides the opportunity for a character to defeat each raid zone’s encounters once a week. A character may now complete the encounters during the week with different raids of either 10 or 25 players.
          • Learn more about this feature by visiting our official forums here.
        • Icecrown Citadel
          • The Chill of the Throne effect has been removed.

        Currency

        • PvE Currency Changes
          • All Emblems of Frost and Emblems of Triumph have been converted to new Justice Points.
          • Any dungeon or raid which awarded these emblems will reward Justice Points instead. Anything below Emblems of Triumph, including badges from The Burning Crusade dungeon and raid content, have been converted into gold and sent to players via the in-game mail system.
          • Any bosses players defeat that are level-appropriate to them award Justice Points.
          • All items that previously cost emblems or badges of any type now cost Justice Points.
          • Higher-tier Valor Points will be awarded to players who kill dungeon and raid bosses in the latest tier of PvE content after the launch of Cataclysm.
        • PvP Currency Changes
          • All Arena Points, Honor Points, Battleground Marks of Honor, Stone Keeper’s Shards, Venture Coins, and Spirit Shards have been converted into new Honor Points.
          • Honor Points will be awarded instead of these currencies, with the exception of Arena Points.
          • Higher-tier Conquest Points will be awarded to players competing in each of the latest Arena or Rated Battleground seasons after the launch of Cataclysm.
        • For more information on the changes to the currencies and conversion rates for each type, please visit ourCataclysm forum.

        Classes: General

        • Many class talents, spells, and abilities have been overhauled, added, or removed.
        • All spell and ability tooltips will now display damage averages rather than minimum and maximum damage potential. This feature is on by default but can be changed via the Display settings under User Interface options.
        • Ammo has been removed from the game.
        • The character levels at which classes gain new spells and abilities have changed.
        • Many item and class stats have been changed or removed.
        • Mastery rating has been added as a new stat which provides unique benefits for characters based on class and talent specialization. Mastery rating does not currently exist on items in the game, however, Reforging can be used to add Mastery rating as a secondary stat to existing items.
        • Rage has been normalized.
        • Spells and abilities no longer have multiple ranks and now scale with character level.
        • Talent trees have been altered. All player talent specializations have been reset, allowing for free re-specialization.
          • Each specialization has been reduced to a 31-point talent tree.
          • Players will now get a total of 41 talent points to spend.
          • Players will be asked to choose a specialization at level 10. Doing so will result in the unlocking of a spell or ability unique to that specialization, as well as one or more passive bonuses.
          • Once a talent specialization has been chosen, players may only place points in the primary tree until at least 31 points have been spent there.
          • The initial announcement regarding these talent tree changes can be found on our Cataclysm forum.

        Death Knights

        • A dedicated tanking tree (Blood) has been implemented.
        • The effects of Blood Presence and Frost Presence have been exchanged.
        • The way in which runes recharge has changed.

        Druids

        • A new Eclipse mechanic has been added for druids.

        Hunters

        • Five pets can now be stored with the hunter at all times. Any one of these five pets can be summoned via the Call Pet ability.
        • Focus has replaced mana as a new resource.
        • Hunters now start with a pet at level 1.
        • The Stable will now store 20 pets. If a pet is moved into the Stable, its talents are wiped.

        Mages

        • There is now a new spell fly-out UI feature for mage portals. Clicking on the Teleport or Portal buttons will expand the list of choices available.

        Paladins

        • Paladins now have a new resource bar.

        Warlocks

        • There is now a new spell fly-out UI feature for warlock pets. Clicking on this single button will open up the list of available pets to summon.
        • Soul Shards have been removed from the game as items. Instead, they now exist as a resource system necessary for using, or altering the mechanics of certain spells.

        Items

        • Resilience no longer reduces the chance a player will be critically hit by an opponent.
        • Durability: cloth, leather, and mail now have as many points of durability as plate, making the repair cost on death much closer to equal for all classes.

        Professions

        • The glyph system has been updated to now feature three different types of glyphs. Many class glyphs have been added, altered, or moved to different glyph types.

        User Interface

        • Spell Alerts have been added to notify players when procs on select spells and abilities occur. A visual notification will display around the character and the activated ability will be highlighted on the action bar.
        • The Guild Interface has been redesigned to incorporate additional functionality, including new sorting and organizational options.
        • The Arena Teams pane has been improved.
        • The Character pane has been redesigned. Character stats can now be shown or hidden via the Show All Details/Hide All Details button on the bottom left. When shown, all character stats will be visible in a window to the right of the pane. Stat sections can be reorganized by clicking and dragging them up or down the pane.
        • The Professions panes now have more filtering and search functionality, as well as buttons to easily link recipes in the chat frame.
        • A Professions screen has been added to the Spellbook to better display the details of a character’s primary and secondary professions.
        • Many of the yellow System Messages that would display in the chat frame when leveling up have been removed.
        • New text animations now alert players as they level up, also providing information on when new talents, spells and abilities are available.
        • Professions and Class Trainers windows have been altered to more clearly display available and upcoming purchases.
        • New Raid frames are now available. They can also be used in place of the standard 5-player party interface via the User Interface options.
        • The Spellbook interface has been improved for greater ease-of-use and visual appeal.
        • For additional notes on Lua and XML changes please visit the UI & Macros forum.

        Graphics

        • Improved water and lava rendering system (Video Options – Liquid Detail on the Graphics Panel)
        • Dynamic Sunshafts effect (Video Options – Sunshafts on the Graphics Panel)
        • Multi-monitor support (Video Options – Monitor on the Graphics Panel)
        • OpenGL Hardware Cursor support for Windows (Video Options – Hardware Cursor on the Advanced Panel)
        • Experimental support for DX11 (enabled by passing ‘-d3d11’ on the command line or adding SET gxApi “d3d11” to the Config.WTF file)

        Check out this video of the Deathwing flyover event.

        Blizzard wants me back

        World of Warcraft Cataclysm release date
        World of Warcraft Cataclysm release date

        Well this is a feed post. I got my feed from Blizzard themsevels telling me World of Warcraft expansion is coming on this December. To bad I lost all interest in the game. Whats sad is I spent like almost 300 bucks in sever transfers, now that’s just sad. Honestly, I loved my time in wow and met great friends who still are to this day. However, I think my time has come and gone for this game, but who knows.

        Ok to make this post “feed” worthy here is the info:

        O
        n December 7, 2010, the lands of Azeroth will be torn asunder as World of Warcraft®: Cataclysm™ hits shelves at retail locations throughout the world.

         

        You’ve toppled the undead armies of the Lich King and brought Arthas to his knees. Now Deathwing the Destroyer has broken free from his ancient prison in the Elemental Plane of Earth and unleashed his rage upon Azeroth. As the Horde and Alliance race to confront this new threat, the mortal races will witness seismic shifts in power, the kindling of a war of the elements, and the emergence of unlikely heroes who will rise up to protect their scarred and broken world from utter devastation.

         

        December 7 fast approaches. In the meantime, you can prepare for the coming cataclysm by visiting the website.

        Blizzcon Virtual Ticket

        Blizz Con 2010 logo
        Blizz Con 2010 logo

        So you hit the refresh button so many times that you have permanent nerve damage and have nothing to show for it. Well at least you can purchase a virtual ticket. The bad news is Blizzcon 2010 tickets sold out faster than it took to load the order page. The good news is if you really just wanted the loot for attending then you are in luck.

        Personally if you have never gone to a Blizzcon you should at least once. Having said that you really only need to go once unless you really like long lines and stinky bathrooms.

        Going virtual nets you the advantage of only watching what you want and you can DVR it so that makes it even better. You do save a ton of cash, but you don’t get to see the random fight break out or the drunken cosplayer’s at the event.

        Here is what you get with your virtual ticket:

        •  Four live internet channels offering over 50 hours of HD BlizzCon programming

        • Exclusive World of Warcraft® pet “Deathy” the Murloc — and StarCraft II® in-game items

        • Access to exclusive BlizzCon merchandise sale*

        • Complete coverage of panel discussions, tournaments, community contests, the latest game-related updates, plus BlizzCon exclusive developer interviews and the epic closing ceremony

        • Enhanced video on demand and DVR functionality

        All in all not too bad. So if you are interested click here to order now.

        Cosplay: World of Cos-Quest

        World of Warcraft is not just about sitting behind a computer for twelve plus hours a day it can also mean going to events where people dress up like their favorite characters. Truth be told many of the cosplayer’s shouldn’t have left their homes but there are quite a few who many wish they could take home. So without further ado let’s take a look at the good (hot) side of World of Warcraft cosplay.

         

         

        Which genre had a bigger impact to PC gaming RTS or FPS games?

        Panel Discussion microphones
        Panel Discussion microphones

        What pulled you into PC gaming was it the fact that a new type of gameplay was created that just couldn’t be found on console systems? For many PC gaming took time to get into not only because of the cost of the systems, but that some of them took work to get running. However, the rewards were great for those who ventured into the world of PC gaming and through today some feel consoles are killing the PC gaming market (besides MMO’s) there are still millions of PC gamers out there.

        If you look past the MMO’s and Flash games what would you find on these systems. Which would you find more of FPS, First Person Shooter Games or RTS, Real Time Strategy Games? Obviously with the recent release of Star Craft II I am sure you will see a Battlenet icon on many gamer’s task bars, but overall, who had the bigger impact on the PC gaming world?

        In my opinion it is FPS games and this is coming from someone who loved to play RTS games and even turn based games. For me it was games like Wolfenstein, Rise of the Triad and of course Doom that had me going to Egghead software to slam three hundred dollars on the table for a Western Digital 750mb hard drive to build my first custom rig.

        When I went to my first LAN party here in Florida it was the guys from Red-Eye that showed me how to use mouse look in order to properly use the hook in Lithium Quake 2. Now don’t get me wrong, StarCraft, Warcraft, Total Annihilation were also a big part of our LAN gaming, but it was games like Tribes, Duke Nukem, Shogo and Doom 2 that ruled our playtime.

        We asked our panel of industry insiders their opinion on the question.

        Aaron Hunter from Playtechtonics Inc wrote:

        I would have to go with FPS. Granted in the PC platform, RTS is bigger than it is on other platforms like the consoles. But even so I’d go with FPS having a bigger impact.

        Juan Gril from JoJu Games wrote:

        In my opinion, Starcraft on RTS, and Quake on FPS.

        Chris Skaggs from Soma Games wrote:

        I’d say RTS. Where FPS had a huge impact on hardware and game design. I think RTS brought a ton of previous non-gamers to the table for the first time and kept them there.

        Danny Greig from XGEN Studios wrote:

        I would say the FPS has had a larger impact on PC gaming but not by much. Doom/Doom 2 and Quake had just too much impact on PC gaming to ignore; I don’t think any RTS has had the impact of those games.  Blizzard has basically owned and dominated the RTS genre which has had a very large impact on the PC gaming industry but falls just short of what the FPS has done in my opinion.

        Jason Shankel from Stupid Fun Club wrote:

        In terms of technology and broadening the appeal of the PC as a platform for gamers, I’d have to go with FPS.  In the early days, FPS highlighted the power of the PC as a gaming platform with superior performance to consoles.  There simply was no other way to play DOOM or Quake except on a PC.  The RTS on the other hand highlighted the power of the keyboard and mouse as an input control, but was not fundamentally limited to the PC.  It would have been possible to play Dune II on a console.

        In terms of creating a genre that is uniquely PC, I’d have to go with RTS.  Today, consoles perform roughly as well as PCs and there are many shooters available on console.  And even though FPS controls are still superior on a PC, FPS is certainly no longer a PC-only genre.  Yet no one has really cracked the RTS nut on consoles.  With no technological barriers to clear,  RTS is a genre that’s simply best played sitting up with a keyboard and mouse, not reclining with a console controller.

        If I have to pick one answer, I’m going with RTS.  The FPS made a bigger initial splash, but the RTS has endured as a uniquely PC genre and thus had a longer lasting impact on that platform.

        David Warhol from Realtime Associates wrote:

        I’d say first person shooters.  They survived longer as a genre, and people talk about Quake and Doom a lot more than they do Starcraft (I).   Me, I’m not a fan of the FPS genre.  I think there are more first person shooters as there are Phil Collins ballads… and they are largely just as indistinguishable from one another 🙂 .

        Gary Manica from Smashing Ideas wrote:

        Easy answer for me.  I want to say RTS games because I prefer them, but realistically they don’t come close to FPS games to me.

        FPS games in general have been one of the (if not the biggest) pushers of hardware development on a PC for many years running.  Dev houses constantly refine massive engine libraries to push more and more polygons and maintain the minimum framerate that crazy FPS players demand.   Engines like CryEngine, Unreal, Source, idTech, etc provide a platform for, and push developers (hardware and software) to really go above and beyond while being able to use a mostly pre-built framework.  The tech they build in these engines has been filtering down to other gaming genres for decades now.  And there is a reason that other genres are adopting FPS aspects to them.

        There are many instances of amazing RTS games out there, with a lot of really good ideas.  But I don’t think they affect the industry as a whole to the scale FPS games do.

        So what is your take? Let us know your answer by posting in our forums below. See you next week.

        Blizzard’s New World of Warcraft Expansion Targeting Their Original Player-base?

        WoW Kobold
        WoW Kobold

        Warcraft Expansion Targeting Their Original Player-base

        Rumors have been coming down the grapevine that Blizzard is moving away from the traditional attitude of making each expansion easier than the last. The audience that they garnered in during Wrath of the Lich King seem to be involuntarily entering a new “old” era of World of Warcraft. Not only is the expansion revamping the old vanilla zones but it seems that old combat rule sets are about to follow in. Are they attempting to isolate their WOTLK Ez-Mode audience that has been showered in epic loots for sneezing in the right direction? It sure seems so.

        Some Beta contestants have been mentioning that level 81 greens in Cataclysm are stronger than epics that drop off of Arthas in WOTLK. Sound a bit familiar? The same formula was used in Burning Crusade where you could replace your entire Tier 3 set and weapons by level 64 with vastly more powerful “uncommon” gear. On top of this change, they are putting the “epic” back into purple by making blues a much more common drop. Testimonials from people in Beta have been mentioning they have yet to have seen a purple item. They are mentioning that the abundance of blues are the equivalent of seeing a warrior in Valor Armor with a purple from Stratholme or UBRS before Molten Core came out. In Vanilla WoW, when you saw someone with an epic, even just one, it really meant that item was purely epic because of the miniscule chance something like that would drop. Is there a reason Blizzard is reverting to this style of loot dropping? Some players are so upset about this they have even vented their rage on the forums how there will be more blues in Cataclysm than in WOTLK. One possible troll stated even if the blues have stats that are equivalent to a purple they refuse to have to raid to get purple colors now. A bit immature? Well, that’s WoW’s community for you.

        Another homage to the old school playing style of World of Warcraft will be the return of Crowd Control! That’s right, Mages! You can start Polymorphing again! It had seemed that during WOTLK, CC had become a thing of the past and players would do the simple thing and just body pull and use Area-Of-Effect spells to burn everything down quickly. Healers would just spam their fastest heal and keep the tank up constantly. In Cataclysm, Blizzard (and something beta tester can attest to) mentions that combat difficulty has increased significantly and just nuking everything that is still moving isn’t going to work anymore. Players are going to actually have to use their crowd controlling abilities to keep pulls safe.

        Tanks are also going to have a bit more of a problem now because healers are being forced to use more than one heal to keep them alive. Yes, they are making healers have actual heal rotations because they are making their spells more mana hungry. Tanks hit points won’t be able to keep up with massive bombardment from 9 mobs at once any longer. It looks like Blizzard is trying to make all players fill a more important and diverse role in a group even in lowly dungeons.

        Is Blizzard looking to bring back players that have left and also bring in new players that haven’t been spoiled by WOTLK easy handouts with the new Team Jacob race? If this is the case, how is their majority audience in WOTLK going to fair when Cataclysm releases? The expansion still has awhile to go before their release date and there are always more features and additions to throw in but if this is the course that they are going how negatively could this impact their current population?

        The Obsolete Gamer Show 4

        J.A. Laraque and Ignacio/honorabili from Obsolete Gamer

        This week the production value on OGS has gone up 100%. The boys of classic video gaming are back with a brand new podcast featuring an interview with Origin PC co-founder Hector Penton.

        We started out the show looking back at a clip from the previous week then dove right in to the OGS question of the week which was, “When was the golden age of video gaming.” We weighed in with our own thoughts and briefly discussed the great video game crash of the eighties with our producer Joe Cassara.

        Our Gamer profile of the week was from Michael Jorgensen of Zombie studios and his take on XCOM UFO defense and how it was far from the easy mode of many of today’s games. From there we moved onto a developing story within a story.

        During Obsolete Gamers gaming profile of Alienware co-founder Alex Aguila he talked about a Tecmo Bowl challenge between himself and current Alienware president Arthur Lewis. After playing the clips it was clear the rematch has not yet taken place and we hope to make that happen soon.

        Our first interview was with fan, writer and long time gamer Paul Hernandez. We talked with Paul about StarCraft II and fact that Acti-Blizzard does not allow LAN play for its game and discussed the worth of the collector’s edition.

        In our main interview we talked with Origin PC co-founder Hector Penton on his days at Alienware and starting Origin PC. From there the topic turned to gaming where we asked what game he would play if he was sent to hell and could only pick one. All in all it was a great interview with a lot of laughs and some good information to boot.

        We will be back next week with an all new show, until then let us know what you think.

        World of Warcraft: Ask a CDev

        Blizzcon 2010 World of Warcraft Developer panel
        Blizzcon 2010 World of Warcraft Developer panel

        World of Warcraft

        A little over a month ago Bornakk from the official World of Warcraft message board asked members of the community to post their lore questions for the creative development team. Here are some of those questions and answers. You can find the full post here.

        Q: What happened to all of the Scourge’s Obsidian Destroyers?

        A: The entities known as obsidian destroyers are actually enslaved titan constructs that were once called the tol’vir. The tol’vir were created to maintain titan lore repositories and titan machinery surrounding the titan cities of Ulduar and Uldum. Not long after the troll empires divided the insectoid kingdom of the aqir, the aqir that travelled north discovered and overthrew the tol’vir society in Northrend. These aqir would eventually become the race we know as the nerubians today, having adapted the tol’vir’s architecture for their own purposes. Similarly, the aqir that travelled south ransacked and overthrew a titan research station near Uldum, renaming themselves the qiraji and calling their new home Ahn’Qiraj. Although the Scourge would eventually consume the nerubian empire and throw its few remaining tol’vir slaves into the front lines, it’s possible that more tol’vir still exist in the hidden titan city of Uldum or deep within the remnants of Azjol-Nerub.

        Q: The Blood Knights of Silvermoon lack direction. None of them were seen in Northrend, and it is very unclear whether the Order still exists, or if it’s been disbanded. It’s also very unclear where the Blood Knights obtain their power, now. It used to be the Naaru, but then… remnants of the naaru. Surely these remnants are all but tapped now. Do we obtain power from the Sunwell?

        A: As of the end of the Burning Crusade expansion, blood elves who wield the Light do so through the power of the renewed Sunwell. It is a harmonious relationship, no longer one of discord caused by the blood elves’ attempts to bend the Light to their will, which will likely have a positive effect on blood elf society in the long run. Look forward to updates that reflect this change in the Silvermoon and Blood Knight quests.

        Q: What happened to Frostmourne after it was shattered?

        A: While this is a closely guarded secret, we’ll trust you to be discreet: no one knows where the remnants of Frostmourne are now.

        Q: Will we be hearing from any of the old or neglected human nations in Cata, specifically Stromgarde, Kul’tiras, and the remnants of Alterac (hey, Deathwing paraded around as an Alterac noble before)?

        A: With the revamp of the classic World of Warcraft zones, players will get a chance to see how the fallen nations of Stromgarde and Alterac have fared over the last few years. Kul Tiras, the island nation, will not be visible at the start of Cataclysm – something about tectonic plates shifting it out to sea….

        Q: What is the nature of the Void state of the Na’aru? For a being of the Light, turning into such a dark being seems like a heavy weakness. Sucking in souls and causing destruction simply because of a loss in strength greatly diminishes their saintly image. Though, this might be a reason they don’t act in combat very much, as turning on your army due to fatigue wouldn’t be good for morale.

        A: Because three cases of this “cycle” have been demonstrated in Nagrand, Auchindoun, and Sunwell Plateau (K’ure, D’ore, and M’uru, respectively), players may have received the wrong impression with regard to the magnitude and rarity of these events: it is EXCEEDINGLY rare for a naaru to fall into a void state, and even rarer for a fallen naaru to be brought back into the Light. A naaru’s fall into the void represents a catastrophic loss for the naaru and for the forces of the Light, and it is the saddest, most heart-wrenching event for the naaru to witness. Conversely, a naaru being reborn into the Light brings renewed hope and sense of purpose to every naaru; if energy beings could weep tears of joy, this would do it.

        Q: What happened to Algalon after Ulduar? It didn’t seem like he was just going to go back to business-as-usual.

        A: As shown in the World of Warcraft Special #1 comic, Algalon is currently monitoring the activities of the mortal races of Azeroth. His outlook on life and the titans’ plans has been called into question, so he seeks to understand what makes Azeroth so different from the countless worlds he has observed before.

        Q: What Loa do the Darkspear worship?

        A: Because the Darkspear were originally part of the Gurubashi empire, they still worship many of the same Loa as the Gurubashi once did.

        Q: What were Varok Saurfang’s notable accomplishments prior to WoW?

        A: Varok Saurfang has served with the Horde ever since he drank the blood of Mannoroth alongside Grom Hellscream. Varok led forces in the sacking of Shattrath, Stormwind, and everything between, never losing in battle until the Horde was routed at the end of the Second War. When Orgrim Doomhammer seized control of the Horde in the First War, he chose Varok Saurfang as his second-in-command after witnessing Varok’s efficient and brutal tactics on the field. After the demonic bloodlust had been lifted from the orcs due to Grom Hellscream’s sacrifice, Varok helped dozens of veterans come to grips with their previous atrocities, ultimately saving the lives of many great Horde soldiers. Rumor also has it that Saurfang once cleaved three men in half with one swing… of his hand.

        Q: How did ethereals get so… ethereal? They seem to act a lot more like a mortal race than other energy beings we meet, such as elementals.

        A: K’aresh was an arid planet, home to a thriving ecosystem and several sentient species before the arrival of Dimensius the All-Devouring. How the void lord found K’aresh is still hotly debated among the surviving ethereals, but the effects of his coming were unmistakable: he opened countless gateways into the void and the Twisting Nether around the planet, bathing K’aresh in arcane and dark energies. Using every scrap of its advanced technology, one of the mortal races hastily attempted to construct magical barriers around its cities, but it was only partially successful; although the dark energies were blocked, the unimpeded flood of arcane energy tore away the mortals’ corporeal shells and infused their souls with enough energy so that they could subsist without a body… barely. Members of this race, now called ethereals, took to binding themselves with enchanted strips of cloth to provide their souls with enough structure to survive. This altered state proved to be a blessing in disguise, as their enhanced minds and magical abilities allowed the ethereals to fight Dimensius and his limited forces to a standstill. Over the years, however, Dimensius eventually grew powerful enough to summon armies of fellow void creatures, forcing the ethereals to flee into the Twisting Nether.

        Q: Do incubi exist?

        A: There are several different rumors concerning the male counterparts to the demonic succubus race, and it’s clear that the succubi are responsible for all of them. A few of the more common rumors are:
        1. Yes, there are incubi, but the spell to summon them has been conveniently forgotten by mortal practitioners and Burning Legion agents.
        2. Incubi are kept as slaves on their home planet, having been rendered incapable of escape or independent movement.
        3. The succubi consumed the males of their race when they were brought into the Burning Legion. (Alternatively, the act of devouring the males is what caught the attention of the Burning Legion.)

        Q: Could you please explain the lore behind goblin shamans? Goblins do not seem like a particularly spiritual race, especially one that would care about the elements (as evidenced by the Venture Co.).

        A: Goblin shaman are an extension of their society’s single-minded devotion to making a profit; to a goblin shaman, elementals are potential customers. Goblins do tend to be a bit more forceful in their negotiations than the other shamanic races (especially the tauren) would like, though they are far less forceful than what we’ve seen from the taunka in Northrend. (Unless the elemental tries to weasel out of its contract. Elementals tend not to have breakable knees, so goblins sometimes have to resort to other methods of control.) As for the goblins’ “mechanical” totems, note that these are merely physical manifestations of the small totems they tinker/craft to form a link with the elemental spirits. Instead of lugging around large totems, goblin shaman have a ring (probably the same ring on which they keep their house and motorbike keys) with small totems they’ve built as conduits for the elemental spirits they do business with.

        Q: Can you please explain how “light” works? The lore states that undead are physically incapable of using the light, much like the Broken, but then we have Forsaken players casting healing spells, and Sir Zeliek in Naxxramas using pseudo-paladin abilities.

        A: Without spoiling too much, we can tell you that wielding the Light is a matter of having willpower or faith in one’s own ability to do it. That’s why there are evil paladins (for example, the Scarlet Crusade and Arthas before he took up Frostmourne). For the undead (and Forsaken), this requires such a great deal of willpower that it is exceedingly rare, especially since it is self-destructive. When undead channel the Light, it feels (to them) as if their entire bodies are being consumed in righteous fire. Forsaken healed by the Light (whether the healer is Forsaken or not) are effectively cauterized by the effect: sure, the wound is healed, but the healing effect is cripplingly painful. Thus, Forsaken priests are beings of unwavering willpower; Forsaken (and death knight) tanks suffer nobly when they have priest and paladin healers in the group; and Sir Zeliek REALLY hates himself.

        Q: Can you tell us anything about the manner in which trolls become druids?

        A: While it’s only barely hinted at during the upcoming “Zalazane’s Fall” event, new troll druids in Cataclysm should learn much more about their race’s adoption of these foreign practices.

        Q: Why was Myzrael imprisoned?

        A: Myzrael fell to madness after she was corrupted by ancient evils under the earth (read: Old Gods). She was defeated during the events of classic World of Warcraft, which purged her of the corruption, but she may make a cameo appearance in Cataclysm. Keep an eye out when adventuring through Deepholm.

        Q: Who is the arakkoa “master” that Isfar talks about? It is not Terokk…

        A: There are more Old Gods than just the ones trapped on Azeroth. It takes a lot for them to become manifested on a physical plane, however; see the quest line in Shadowmoon Valley that ends with “Thwart the Dark Conclave” for more information.

        Q: With Lady Prestor’s, aka Onyxia, plot foiled, will Stormwind once again send soldiers to Lakeshire, Duskwood, and Wesftall or will these area’s and their self-made miitias continue to defend themselves?

        A: With the return of King Varian Wrynn and the removal of Lady Prestor from power, the outlying towns finally received the reinforcements they needed. As you’ll see in Cataclysm, however, the reinforcements might not be enough….

        Q: There was (and still is) a Moonwell smack dab in the center of Duskwood. This was the ONLY Moonwell on the Eastern Continent prior to the Burning Crusade which saw a Moonwell being added to the island west of Silvermoon (which from a lore sense, the placement of this Moonwell in Quel’Thalas made absolutely no sense.) Will the Duskwood’s Moonwell’s presence be explained?

        A: Without spoiling anything, we can tell you that both of these moonwells are recent creations by night elves.

        Q: What did the massive machines around the Storm Peaks, like the Engine of the Makers, actually do?

        A: These machines are all part of the same system: the Forge of Wills.

        Q: What’s the relation between The Order of the Silver Hand, Tyr’s Hand (City from Lordaeron region) and Watcher Tyr (from Ulduar)?

        A: Long ago, on the continent that would eventually become known as the Eastern Kingdoms, a small group of creatures struggled to survive, using the limited supplies provided to it by parents who had just abandoned their children on an unfamiliar shoreline. These creatures, eventually called “humans,” would occasionally take to gathering around a fire whilst trying to read from scrolls telling of ancient heroes and leaders – tales from the civilization that had cast these creatures out. One of these scrolls spoke of a great leader, a paragon of order and justice, who sacrificed his right hand in a fight against an unfathomable evil. Although it was within this hero’s power to fix his hand after the fighting had ended, the hero instead chose to replace it with a closed fist made of the purest silver. In this way, the hero impressed upon those who followed him that true order and justice can only be accomplished through personal sacrifice. This hero, who slipped into memory long ago, went by the name of Tyr.

        Q: Building off that- whatever happened to Tyr?

        A: The watcher Tyr was not in Ulduar when adventurers finally freed the titan city from Yogg-Saron’s influence. If anyone knows where Tyr is now, he or she isn’t speaking up.

        Q: Are Mimir and Mimiron supposed to be the same entity, or are they relatives?

        A: Same entity, though only his close friends are allowed to call him Mimir.

        Q: What is Tiffin Wrynn’s backstory in terms of family, original nation, etc.? I’d be curious as to what connections were set up through that marriage.

        A: We’ll keep this brief because we could easily write a few pages for this one. Tiffin Wrynn was originally Tiffin Ellerian of the Ellerian noble family of Stormwind, a small house that only had a small chunk of land in Westfall. Her marriage to Varian was pre-arranged at her birth, finally securing her family a spot on the Stormwind House of Nobles. Tiffin and Varian initially disliked each other, but they eventually became inseparable. Tiffin helped Varian control his occasional anger issues and taught him economics, while Varian helped teach Tiffin about politics and social etiquette. Tiffin was eventually known as a queen of the people, and she was the most adamant supporter of paying the Stonemasons’ Guild the initially agreed-upon sum. Her accidental death during the Stonemasons’ Guild riot was a monumental loss for Varian, Anduin, and the people of Stormwind.

        Q: Will you be explaining why the forest spirits of Hyjal will be friendly to the Horde despite the fact that Horde has done so much damage to Ashenvale?

        A: By the start of Cataclysm, the ancients and spirits of the forest will have recognized that the forces of the Cenarion Circle and the Alliance combined are still not enough to stop Deathwing, the Twilight’s Hammer, and the elementals they have unleashed. As much as these ancients and spirits hate to admit it, they realize that they need the assistance of the Horde.

        Q: What role, if any, will Med’an play in Cataclysm?

        A: Med’an will not be visible in Cataclysm; something else is keeping him occupied. 

        Cataclysm Closed Beta Begins

        World of Warcraft Cataclysm logo
        World of Warcraft Cataclysm logo

        The beta for the next major World of Warcraft expansion has begun. Players who were picked for the Beta will be able to help Blizzard test out the new world finding bugs, exploits and give them a heads up on what is to come.

        Cataclysm will reshape the world of Azeroth changing many of the areas from what is known as “vanilla” W.O.W. In addition there will be new areas, features and an increase in levels from 80 to 85. Oh and did I mention two new playable races?

        We don’t expect to see Cataclysm until this winter but there is sure to be a ton of “leaked” information forthcoming so stay tuned.

        Blizzcon 2010 Announced

        Blizzcon 2010 logo
        Blizzcon 2010 logo

        You don’t have to be a fan of World of Warcraft to enjoy Blizzcon, (Though it helps). With games like StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 on the horizon this year’s Blizzcon should be pretty interesting and hopefully informative. You might remember the rumored news that Blizzcon would be hosted in Las Vegas, but alas it was not meant to be. Yesterday Blizzcon 2010 was officially announced and surprise, surprise its back in Anaheim.

        Here is the report from Blizzards website:

        If you’ve been holding your breath waiting to find out when and where the next BlizzCon would be held, then… you’ve probably passed out by now. But if you’ve just been patiently watching for an announcement, then we’ve got good news for you: BlizzCon will be returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, October 22 through Saturday, October 23! Just as in years past, BlizzCon 2010 will feature an exciting mix of discussion panels, tournaments, hands-on gameplay, contests, and much more. Check out the announcement press release, and keep an eye on www.blizzcon.com in the months ahead for further details, including ticketing information.

        I am sure over the next coming months more information with be released about who will be appearing and what will be talked about and for you World of Warcraft fans I know there will be some talk about Cataclysm. The Obsolete Gamer team will be there (at least one of us) so we hope to see you there and maybe we will have some goodies to give out. As more information is released I will bring it to you.

        You can check out all the current Blizzcon 2010 in here.

        Cataclysm Stat & System Changes

        World of WarCraft Cataclysm
        World of WarCraft Cataclysm

        In the words of the exploding fat lady’s head in Total Recall “Get ready for a surprise!” Actually it is not really a surprise. Anyone who was at last year’s Blizzcon knows that the new World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm will offer some major changes to the game. One of the big changes to players is the stats and Eyonix over on the World of Warcraft Official forums breaks it down for us.

        Here are the highlights:

        What You’ll See on Gear

        Stamina – Because of the way we will be assigning Strength, Agility, and Intellect, non-plate wearers will end up with more Stamina than before. Health pools will be much closer between plate-wearers and other classes.

        Spirit – Come Cataclysm, this stat should only be found on healing gear. Non-healing casters will have other systems in place to regenerate mana, and we are designing special solutions for Elemental shaman and Balance druids who often share gear with healers (more on this below). Raid buffs that currently boost Spirit (such as Blessing of Kings) will only boost the primary stats of Stamina, Strength, Agility, and Intellect. We are also likely changing the five-second rule and other quirks of the current regen system.

        Intellect – Intellect will now grant Spell Power (more on this below). Intellect will also provide less mana than it currently does.

        Haste – Haste will become more attractive for melee classes by allowing them to recover resources such as energy and runes more quickly. Our intention is for Haste to let you “do stuff” more often.

        Block Rating – Block is being redesigned to scale better. Blocked attacks will simply hit for 30% less damage. Block rating will improve your chance to block, though overall block chances will be lower than they are today.

        Parry – Parry no longer provides 100% avoidance and no longer speeds up attacks. Instead, when you parry an attack, it and the next attack will each hit for 50% damage (assuming they hit at all). In other words, Dodge is a chance to avoid 100% of the damage from one attack, Parry is a chance to avoid 50% of the damage from two attacks, and Block is a chance to avoid 30% of the damage from one attack.

        Mastery – This is a new stat that will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. It’s directly tied to talents, so what you gain from improving this stat is entirely dependent upon your class and the talent specialization you choose. We’ll talk more about specific Mastery benefits in the future.

        Armor – The way Armor mitigates damage is not changing, but the Armor stat has been rebalanced to mirror changes to the armor curve in Cataclysm. As a result, bonus Armor will go down slightly overall. We are also changing the mitigation difference among armor types so that plate doesn’t offer so much more protection than mail, leather, and cloth.

        Resilience – This will only affect damage done by players and critical damage done by players. It will not impact crit chance, mana drains, or other such effects.

        Strength, Agility, Hit Rating, Expertise, and Critical Strike Rating – These will all still appear on gear as well. Aside from situations mentioned elsewhere in this list, in general these will function similarly to how they do now, though the details — such as how much Hit Rating you might need to effectively combat high-level creatures (more on this below) — are likely to change.

        Being Removed from Items

        Attack Power – This stat will no longer be present on most items as a flat value, though it will still show up on some process. Strength and Agility, which will be present on items, will grant the appropriate amount of Attack Power (generally 2 Attack Power per point of Strength or Agility) depending upon which stat a particular class favors. Agility may provide less Crit than it currently does.

        Spell Power – Spell Power is another stat that you’ll no longer see present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect will grant Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons will still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.

        Armor Penetration – This stat will no longer be present on items. Armor Penetration will still exist in talents and abilities.

        Shield Block Value – This stat will no longer be present on items, since the amount blocked is always proportional to the amount of damage done. Talents and other effects might still modify the damage-reduction percentage from 30%, however.

        Going Away Completely

        MP5 – This stat will be removed from the game completely. Holy paladins and Restoration shaman will be redesigned to benefit from Spirit.

        Defense – Defense is being removed from the game entirely. Tanking classes should expect to become uncrittable versus creatures just by shifting into Defensive Stance, Frost Presence, Bear Form, or by using Righteous Fury.

        Spell Ranks – Spell ranks will cease to exist. All spells will have one rank and will scale appropriately with level. The levels at which you can learn certain spells are being changed in order to fill in some of the gaps, and we will be introducing some new spells to learn along the way as well.

        Weapon Skill – This stat will be removed from the game completely. Classes will start with all the weapon skills they need to know and will not need to improve them.

        What Else You Should Know

        Combat ratings – All ratings will be much harder to “cap out” at maximum gear levels. Ratings will be steeper in Cataclysm, and creatures in later tiers of content will be harder to hit or crit, similar to how level-83 mobs are harder to hit or crit than level-80 mobs.

        Reforging – While these changes will go a long way to making a wider variety of stats more attractive, we understand that sometimes you simply don’t want more Hit Rating on your gear or you’d rather have more Haste than more Crit. In Cataclysm, we are going to give players a way to replace stats on gear as part of the existing profession system. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be able to convert one stat to 50% of another stat. While some conversions (like converting Stamina to Strength) won’t be permitted, the goal is to let you customize your gear more.

        Gems – We are changing the gem colors of a few stats as a result of these adjustments. For example, Hit is likely to be blue instead of yellow. We’ll have more details on this in the future.

        World of Warcraft: Patch 3.3.5 – The Ruby Sanctum

        World of Warcraft dragon
        World of Warcraft dragon

        Hey guys remember when they announced Icecrown Citadel and how each week they would open another wing before you could fight the Lich King himself? Remember how everyone said that even with this delay you would reach the end long before Cataclysm would be released? Remember how everyone said there would have to be an additional raid zone after ICC ala Sunwell?

        Well check out this Q&A Blizzard’s Tom Chilton participated in over at Game Informer:

        For the final question, there’s been some rumors going around and I wanted to clear them up. You guys have wrapped up the main Lich King storyline. Icecrown is out there, which you guys have said is the final major raid for this expansion. But there are some rumors that there might be another content patch of some sort before Cataclysm releases.

        That is a possibility. We can’t say for sure at this point, but we are looking into the possibility of having a boss in the Ruby Sanctum, which is another part of Wyrmrest Temple. It’s a little too early to have a lot of details on that, but I wouldn’t characterize it as a huge chunk of content. It’s not a patch 3.4 or anything.

        At the time of that answer it was still a rumor, not anymore. On the World of Warcraft official forums posted Zarhym cleared the air:

        As we prepare for the public testing phase of minor content patch 3.3.3, some players might come across information regarding upcoming content that isn’t yet available. To avoid any confusion, we’d like to tell you about an exciting new raid dungeon we are working on for content patch 3.3.5.

        The Ruby Sanctum

        A powerful war party of the Black Dragonflight, led by the fearsome Twilight dragon, Halion, have launched an assault upon the Ruby Sanctum beneath Wyrmrest Temple. By destroying the sanctum, the Black Dragonflight look to crush those that would stand in the way of their master’s reemergence into Azeroth and to ultimately shatter the Wyrmrest Accord – the sacred bond that unites the dragonflights.

        The battle that is to come will surely deal a crippling blow to the Red Dragonflight, however, it is up to you to stop this unprecedented offensive and defend the Ruby Sanctum. First you must face the assault of Halion’s servants, Saviana Ragefire, Baltharus the Warborn, and General Zarithrian, before squaring off against Halion the Twilight Destroyer, a new and deadly force in this realm.

        StarCraft 2 PC Beta client is live

        StarCraft 2 login
        StarCraft 2 login

        So what are you reading this for? Go to Battle.net to grab the PC beta client for StarCraft 2! It doesn’t look as if a MAC client is available yet, yawl)

        I hope you have fast internet or a good book to read because the client is pretty big. At 1.64GB it could take a while, perhaps a dungeon raid or two.

        Here are the minimum system requirements for the beta:

        Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1/Windows 7
        2.2 Ghz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor
        1 GB system RAM/1.5 GB for Vista and Windows 7
        128 MB NVidia GeForce 6600 GT/ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card
        1024×768 minimum display resolution
        4 GB free hard space (Beta)
        Broadband connection

        World of Warcraft Auction House and Armory app

        WoW Armory phone app
        WoW Armory phone app

        A few days ago Bornakk, posted on the official message boards that an application to access the World of Warcraft Armory is currently being developed for the iPhone and iPod touch.

        Here is what he announced:

        Since the launch of the World of Warcraft Armory, we’ve been regularly releasing updates and new features designed to help players stay connected to the game even when they’re not logged in. Today, we wanted to give you a heads-up about a new service now in development that will let players access the Auction House directly through the Armory website or Armory App for iPhone or iPod touch.

        While there are still plenty of details to be worked out, we’re designing the service to offer auction functionality similar to what’s available in-game. Players have been requesting — and we’ve been hoping to implement — a feature like this for a long time, and we’re excited that the Armory and the game have evolved to a point that makes it possible.

        This is a fairly complex service to develop, due in large part to its unprecedented integration with the game, so we don’t have an exact release date yet. It’s important to note here that certain elements of the service will be premium-based, which we’ll go into more detail on once the service functionality is finalized. As with all of the services we offer, we plan to integrate the Auction House and Armory in a way that won’t disrupt the gameplay experience, and we won’t release it until it meets the quality standards that we’ve set for our other features and services. You may be seeing bits and pieces of the Auction House service pop up in the test builds we use for the public test realms as we go through the process of internal testing. We’ll have more info to share with you here and at http://www.WorldofWarcraft.com as we get closer to release.

        All we need now is a Dungeon queue and PVP queue app that teleports you home when your group is ready and the world will be perfect. Well, that and a holodeck with Grace Park’s likeness preloaded on it.