You don’t get the show #11: The W.O.W crack is Back!


J.A. gives into his World of Warcraft addition and surrenders to the crack and Randy takes pride in helping to bring him back into the fold. The show is taken over by W.O.W. talk and how things have changed not only in the game but the players as we have both aged since we have last played.

Are we what is wrong with MMO’s?

Personally I think that was the key to EQ besides being the first 3D MMO and alone on the market for a long time. The drama was new and interesting; today it is old and scripted like the worst reality show. In the past you grouped for hours and talked making new friends. Now, you are lucky if you can finish a run with a stranger much less talk to them. ~J.A. Laraque

Are we what is wrong with MMO’s?

When you get above age 30 a lot is changing and a lot of has to do with what you believe you should be doing and the direction you should be going. For many gamers there comes a time where they decide if gaming in part of their lifestyle or something they did in their youth and now it becomes something they need to leave behind. For those who continue gaming it will always be different, not only because we are older with different responsibilities, but because many who we used to game with will have moved on.

mmo cafe

When talking about MMO’s many people talk about Everquest and the early days of World of Warcraft the way a man might talk about his college days. You remember a time when you were free and could do what you want and it was celebrated as well as expected. Now, you have to “grow up” and “be an adult” and the fun times as you knew them are over. This is not to mean that there will not be fun times ahead, but that it will never be like it was before and depending on the person this may make them feel that anything that comes next just could never live up to the old and really for the most part, it cannot.

Everquest Friends

So when you talk about that 48-hour camp in the Efreeti room was it that the time spent killing the same placeholder over and over was so much fun or that it was the time in your life that it happened more fun than now. With many of the new MMO’s being released the idea is the teenager with tons of time on his hand in the past now has work, marriage, kids and so on to deal with and cannot spend time playing 12 hours a day. Of course, there is also the people used to having everything handed to them to consider as well.

If you associate, your fun days with a MMO and now those fun days are over then it will be almost impossible to get that happy feeling back no matter what a game does. You could make an exact copy of a game, but now its 10 years later and maybe that awesome boyfriend lost his job and does not do what he used to or your sexy girlfriend is pregnant and angry. So you load up an MMO and hope to have those fun filled nights you had fighting twin emperors and you just cannot find it and you blame the game.

World of Warcraft Guild

I have always said it is the people who make the game so if you played with great friends in EQ then most likely many of those friends have moved on. Now, you have to try and make new friends or gather the few you have left in a new game, but you cannot bring that magic back. This does not remove responsibility from the game makers. Many MMO’s are just lazy and they rather copy and play it safe than innovate. However, many of the arguments comparing the old to the new are the same we do with movies or television shows. The glasses are rosy and the memories seem so much better than the present or the future.

Perhaps this is the reason MMO’s can be played alone more now than in the past. The EQ and even vanilla WOW generation is much older. Can most of you who raided in EQ find 40 good people to raid and play with day after day, week after week. Can you find 25 or even 15 and if so is it just as fun being with them in the game regardless of the game?

Wow guild

Many who find games like Star Wars, The Old Republic fun are not just fanboi’s. I have found people who like to solo like the game. Many who did not have big guilds in EQ or Wow like the game and those who have retained a good core of gamer friends like it because they get together and enjoy each other’s company in the game first and the actual game second.

Personally I think that was the key to EQ besides being the first 3D MMO and alone on the market for a long time. The drama was new and interesting; today it is old and scripted like the worst reality show. In the past you grouped for hours and talked making new friends. Now, you are lucky if you can finish a run with a stranger much less talk to them. In between game time, you would hang out, talk with your friends and interact with the gaming community. Now, you have many more responsibilities and less time.

thunderboss

So for many when a new MMO is announced, especially if you have not played an MMO in a while and have friends interested in giving it a try. You end up putting more than hopes of a good game on the product. People hope it will rekindle that fire, bring friends back together, improve your life and games by themselves cannot do that. There are documented reports that leaving an MMO can end relationships, friendships and even marriages so it is understandable that people think an MMO might create what it can also destroy.

We still have to make sure MMO makers do a good job, and create and maintain the game they promised. However, we should also realize you cannot relive Woodstock, and for many games our “Woodstock” was EQ or WOW.

MMO Rewrite

In the end we must support what we thing is salvageable not what is perfect out the gate, because nothing is. Big MMO’s are like network television, they release a good show but their expectations are so high they cancel it if it does not live up to their unattainable unrealistic goals. We need a cable TV solution where a show can grow and become a hit with true fans who appreciate it. ~J.A. Laraque

MMO Rewrite

I think it might be time to rethink the MMO model. Just as many people get older and make adjustments to their lifestyle the same has to be done with MMO’s and it’s not just graphics or even just game mechanics. The change has to come based on how the community has grown and changed and adjusted to these types of games.

mmo boxes

Let’s look at Everquest, a game many people look back on with rose colored glasses. Most people never did more than a few quests in vanilla EQ. You would run out and start killing rats, bats and beetles, but because it was new and different it was fun, and many accepted it for what it was.

People claimed there was a better community in the past and it was true because it was so hard to level and groups meant everything so you were forced to play nice where today you can dump and find groups so fast many will not tolerate even one death much less wipe after wipe like was the norm in Everquest.

Everquest

People look at Star Wars the Old Republic and complain because you can solo to 50 and the companion system makes the game more like a single player game. However, even in early World of Warcraft most people could solo to 50 and sure there were zones that needed a group, but it was not a requirement and a good number of people were denied groups for level 45-50 zones due to their class or other factors.

Turning back to Everquest, people forget that grouping was more about locking down a spawn than the fact that you really loved to group. In Lower Guk your group would camp one room and if it had a drop like the Flowing Black Sash there would be a rotation. You would be in the same group for hours because if you left good luck getting back in.

Everquest 2

So where did the change start? First, it began when people realized some classes could kite in EQ like Druids or Wizard. In games like City of Heroes, we saw people really begin to only group to finish their mission and then they would quit. When World of Warcraft went from 40-man to 25-man raids and the birth of the clicks occurred grouping took another hit because people were forced to do pugs and then the idea of pubs became so repugnant that if anything went wrong people would leave in a second.

In Everquest 2’s early days, groups would share Exp debt when someone died, so if you made a mistake the whole group might disband. All this, along with the increasing drama on message board forums, and more and more people joining the world of MMO has led to its decay.

City of Heroes

Originally a “server first” meant something, but soon it became a job with people working in teams to reach max level first. The idea of eating through content was considered a virtue as everyone wanted to be first and honestly, many learned back in the days of EQ that it was the first guilds to encounter new content that were the ones to find bugs and exploits and reap gains from them before they were removed, fixed or nerfed.

Then the great expansion came and MMO’s started popping up overnight and just like 3D movies we realized many should not have been made. We were already paying $15 for one MMO, who in their right mind would pay two or three of them. Free to play was enviable, but it also had flaws due to things like having the richest person gain an advantage or companies charging for the smallest things just to nickel and dime you to death.

Players saw games close for the first time and companies abandon their player base by offering little or no new content or support. The insert game here killer became a running joke and it was expected that any game to come out was doomed to fail because either it was not enough like game X or too much like it.

World of Warcraft

Finally, we all got older. The teenager is now in college, the young man now has a wife and kids and the basement dweller has a full time job. Want to know another effect of having a casual friendly game, when they are done with it they are less likely to move on to another and more likely to just stop gaming altogether.

There has been a lot of heat on Star Wars and they deserve a lot of it, but we as gamers need to realize that MMO’s need a rewrite. There will never be an Everquest or Dark Age of Camelot or World of Warcraft experience again. Even those who were the ten-year-old gamers will not experience games the way we did because the times are different and because of this MMO’s need to adjust just as our expectations of them should.

My prediction, games will get smaller not larger. Remember the, it’s time to slay the dragon commercial for EQ? Sure, it was made fun of, but there was something important there. It was about 5 or 6 friends coming together in a game. I believe that is our future. The large raids and guilds of 200 plus members are over. MMO’s will become games where you can solo and then call a few friends to do larger content.

star-wars-the-old-republic

Also, MMO’s have to drop the monthly fee. Remember EQ 2 and their 5-dollar content updates? It was a complete joke at the time, but I see that as the future. No monthly fee, weekly bug fixes, maintenance and patches, but every few months you buy a chapter consisting of new quests and zones for a small fee with one big paid expansion per year.

This allows gamers to switch between MMO’s , but still provides enough revenue to keep games going. If companies keep looking to have 20 million subscribers, they will continue to fall short. We have all grown and changed and its time MMO’s followed suit.

In the end we must support what we thing is salvageable not what is perfect out the gate, because nothing is. Big MMO’s are like network television, they release a good show but their expectations are so high they cancel it if it does not live up to their unattainable unrealistic goals. We need a cable TV solution where a show can grow and become a hit with true fans who appreciate it.

Otherwise, we will just jump from bandwagon to bandwagon waiting for the would-be giant to tumble and laugh as it falls right on top of us.

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.

 

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.

Cosplay: Cataclysm in my Pants

Thank you for calling 1-800-Fappathon, we are not in the office right now. We are currently at E3 2011 getting fresh pictures for our next Fappathon Cosplay. Please enjoy these World of Warcraft pictures in the meantime and leave a message after the tone.

 

 

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.

The MMO Separation of Church and State

It’s been awhile, loyal readers. Yes, I know I’ve been away from awhile and even though some may not care, I am here. I will allow you a moment to shuffle towards your nearest box of tissues to clean up the mess your mayonnaise blaster just shot off.

Ready now? Good.

With that embarrassing mishap behind us, let me indulge with you a story of days past. Yes, the story will again involve MMORPGs as the major focus point but do not worry; I will stray from this tired path in the future.

Years ago, back in 2006 when some of our readers were still teething and dropping goat pebbles in their diapers, there was an archaic game known as World of Warcraft. I’m not sure if many of you have heard of it. The game is incredibly underground with a miniscule population.

In those golden days, PvP wasn’t about fighting another player for hours. It wasn’t about outlasting foes. It was like how PvP was in almost every other game in existence, including FPS. Fights were quick and fast paced. It wasn’t about every player being Batman and trying to pull off as much bullshit as possible. It was about an Enhancement Shaman with Windfury WTF raping their way to victory. It was about the Mage hiding in the back charging up a Pyroblast combo. It was about a rogue hiding and doing what rogues do best, assassinate.

For some reason or another, they decided that fights shouldn’t be so quick and involve such a maelstrom of destruction. Thus, resilence was born; a stat aside from PvE defenses where player damage could be mitigated. What were the reasons for this? Was it the ocean of tears from people that were getting taken out by one person? Could it have been the advantages a raid gear character had against hardcore PvPers? Was it so that Arenas weren’t filled with full DPS team ready to leave craters in the wake of their wrath?

All of those reasons are sound and legit. The one that I felt holds the most truth is the fact that raid geared PvE’ers were capable of casually going to PvP and whirlwinding their way to victory. It is for this reason alone that I believe there was a separation between PvE and PvP.

What is the purpose of this division? Why is that PvP’ers and PvE’ers must separate from one another? Why couldn’t there be one stat system that to keep things united?

I understand that PvE’ers are able to acquire gear through a lot of coordination and time and I also understand that PvP matches tend be much shorter than a raid encounter. It wouldn’t be just in rewarding them with equal gear as that would anger the carebear community.

Resilence only seemed to make sense for Arenas since you generally wanted to last longer in that kind of scenario and it is because of that where I believe Arena gear is the only stat difference that should be available. Mass PvP shouldn’t have this kind of separation.

Raiders can still raid to get their gear but there could’ve been a more inventive way to reward PvP players. Battlegrounds could have been divided by tiers of difficulty and/or objectives rather than how they are now. The first tier battleground could be the PvP mirror of a heroic where during the battle, mediocre gear drops off of fallen enemy players and whenever a tower was taken down or whichever of the multiple objectives in that match is achieved, a loot roll comes up for players with random loot and of course whenever each objective is completed they are rewarded tokens to use as currency to purchase gear as well. Essentially, it the same mechanic as a heroic instead it is applied to a PvP scenario.

The next tier could have a much more difficult objective to complete which would take a bit more coordination on the player’s part and so on. This style of loot progression would allow both PvE and PvP gear to be interchangeable. How come dungeons with new mechanics and situations are constantly added but battlegrounds have remained the same?

What’s sad about this situation is that since World of Warcraft is the staple of a success in the MMO genre, every game is coinciding with this stat system in their games even when it doesn’t make sense. Resilence always appeared to be an arena stat but was quickly pushed into every PvP scenario. Now games like DCUO have toughness instead of defense and Rift has whatever the hell they use. I think it’s toughness versus defense as well but I don’t give a shit. Games where these mechanics are applied don’t even make sense yet they seem to be adopting the format regardless. It causes the PvP experience to force someone in the PvE realm to start from the beginning again and vice versa.

Don’t these companies think player’s have already enough of this whole “starting over” situation every time a new expansion comes out and they have to grind new factions and gear? This shit isn’t needed. Stop pitting people into these situations and allow PvP and PvE to be interchangeable and not some form of morbid segregation.

That’s end of that rant but…

A quick note to other MMORPG companies out there,

Stop copying World of Warcraft and start being creative. This genre is becoming like the FPS genre where 90% of the games out there want to be Call of Duty and all we get are the same fucking things over and over again. Stop sticking to this format and start getting a creative team together. One day, Blizzard is going to become like Apple and sue you for copying their shit over and over again.

And before one of you asshole readers say, “WoW isn’t original. It copied EQ, and EQ copied UO, and UO copied Meridian, and Meridian copied—“ Just shut the fuck up. I don’t give a fuck who copied who. Each of those games was vastly different from one another and even the mechanics that were taken from either of those games have evolved from each generation and iteration. Fuck!

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.

Cataclysm: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

World of Warcraft Cataclysm Logo

Without a doubt, Cataclysm was another home run hit for the power gaming company Blizzard.  Selling a stunning 3.3 million copies (including pre-sales) on the first day and 4.7 million by the end of the first month (including pre-sales) was not as shocking as some seemed to say it was.  The most popular and played MMORPG of all time is going to have extremely high sales figures especially since Blizzard added in pre-sale digital downloads for the first time ever.  The apparent controversy surrounding these numbers is unwarranted.  Pre-sales are part of any game release and Blizzard is fully entitled to count them towards first day sales in my opinion.  And let’s be honest, does it matter? No, over 5 million people have already purchased Cataclysm and that number is sure to grow.  A better question would be, Will Cataclysm peak over 12 million subscriptions like its predecessors? or has the game peaked overall? and how long until it fades into gaming oblivion?  Sorry, that won’t be covered in this article but expect me to tackle the topic in the future.

The Good.

As you know, Blizzard has been catering to the casual gamer more and more.  Why? Simple, money.  Blizzard does not want to lose clients because they feel the game is too hard or too time consuming.  Just go to through the account cancellation process and you will see many different prompts that seem to ask why you are quitting and many are tailored towards the casual gamer.  Now, I know we are in “The Good” category but let me say that this “casual” policy has both positive and negative effects on the game and it’s players as I will discuss throughout the whole article.

Blizzard wanted to make raiding simpler and thus they have designed everything so that you don’t need a full 25 man raid to compete.  You can gather 9 friends and compete on an equal plain with everyone else in the world.  I personally love this move because it allows you to play with more of your close friends if you so choose.  This reduces the amount of pugs you have to get and usually reduces the severity of the headache you will suffer during a failing raid.  Of course, Blizzard is not naive and to appease the more hardcore gamers, they designed it so you get more loot proportionate to your raid size in 25mans compared to 10mans.  Even though that feels like a “lame” fix, it was probably the best Blizzard could do considering they put 10 and 25 mans on the same pedestal.  Either way, the casual gamers rejoiced in this change and overall, it has had a positive impact.  As for the “pride”  factor between major guilds competing at the top level for world firsts, 25mans still seem to be the cream of the crop but even the best of the best have been switching to 10mans for certain encounters!  All the major content has been completed and here is how it played out among the world’s elite.

Top 10 PvE WoW Guilds

Leveling is finally enjoyable!  You heard me right.  I for one am not a fan of leveling and never have been especially in World of Warcraft but the leveling redesign has even changed my mind.  Don’t get me wrong,  I am not going out and leveling alts for the hell of it but I am also not dreading the boring, monotonous grind that was leveling.  The overhaul to the zones and quests has streamlined the process.  Moreover, the changes to spells have given you diversity at the lower levels.  I did not enjoy spamming just one or two buttons to level as it felt like I could fall asleep while doing it.  Now, it feels like I can actually take some pleasure in leveling.  While this was something that wasn’t necessary to change, it was a very positive overhaul.  Of course, you could say that the change was specifically designed to help the casual gamer level easier, faster and with more joy!  Blizzard is sneakier than you might imagine.

Finally, let us talk about the servers.  They were great.  Illidan, one of the most popular WoW servers, where I leveled to 85 was completely stable.  No major lag spikes, no crashes and no downtime.  Moreover, the servers came up on time.  Blizzard wanted to ensure that Cataclysm was launched without a hitch and they nailed it home.  As for server queues, they were terrible early on but everyone expected that so I don’t need to harp on it very much.

The Bad.

With great power comes great responsibility.  Oh wait, this isn’t Spiderman, its WoW: Cataclysm.  How about…With great homogenization, comes great laziness.  I am definitely not one to favor the complete homogenization of classes that seems to be happening with more and more frequency.  While I like the idea that buffs are being spread around to more classes on paper, I hate it in reality.  I know Blizzard would like 5man and 10man dungeons and raids to have a majority of the game buffs but I think that is a bad idea.  One of the inevitable drawbacks of having less people in a group or raid is the reduction of potential buffs.  Thus, players need to design their groups accordingly.  At the rate Blizzard is going, in two expansions, my 10man is just going to be 10 paladins with every buff in the game dominating every encounter.  Yes, I am laying it on a little thick but it is for good reason.  Let us look at some of the homogenization we have seen with Cataclysm.

First, buffs are being spread around to more classes.  Second,  bloodlust/heroism is now usable by three classes.  Honestly, having bloodlust/heroism on just one class was probably not the greatest idea but I don’t think that bloodlust/heroism is a well-designed mechanic anyway.  I know that it is a great part of Warcraft lore but I think it could have been implemented differently because it has been insanely powerful since it went live.  On a good note, Blizzard did finally decide to remove it from arenas.  Third, it seems that every melee has a spammable interrupt.  Why do I dislike this?  Mainly because the classes that didn’t have them before didn’t have them for a reason and now that they do, they seem overly useful in both PvE and PvP.  Either way, I think that Blizzard could use some of that infinite pool of money they have to diversify the game more instead of homogenize it.  Once again, it all comes back to the positive and negative effects of the “casual” gamer syndrome.

For me, five man dungeons and heroics on my main were extremely simple.  I almost always ran with a pre-made 5man so we just queued up and destroyed whatever we got.  However, this was not the case for many people, especially those trying to gear alts.  First, if you are not a tank or a healer, have fun waiting in a 30minute queue to do one heroic.  Second, if you are a tank or a healer, make sure you abuse the system by selling queue pops all day in trade chat.  While this is now fixed, it was way too late.  Third, how is it that if you solo queue you always seem to get the absolute worst players in the world in your group?  Not only do they have gear that is terrible but they have no idea how to do any of the fights.  I can’t really blame Blizzard on that one but I sure can vent some minor frustration.  Overall, I like the simplicity in the fact that you can just queue from anywhere in the world at anytime, but if you are running solo, there is a strong change that you will just be wasting an hour of your time.

World of Warcraft Dungeon Queue Time

I will keep my dislike of the PvP situation short as I plan on doing a full write-up of it in the near future but it has to be mentioned briefly.  I don’t know if I would say that arenas have hit a low point because I thought they were pretty bad when you could kill someone inside of one GCD in WotLK but they are not prospering by any means.  Of course, you will always have people complaining that their class is too underpowered but when top players are re-rolling because they just know their class it too weak to compete at the top level, then something is probably wrong.  For the first time ever, mages seem to be underpowered unless you like jumping around spamming ice lance all day!  Maybe underpowered isn’t the write word, but they do seem to have a nice big target on their back.  Melee teams seem to run a train on them all day and since all the healers have dispel and frost armor is not nearly as useful as it was, they appear to be in a dire situation.

While I think they might deserve it considering how strong they have been in the past, their situation just highlights the fact that with Blizzard’s homogenized design is leading to negative impacts in PvP.  Now, I don’t think Blizzard cares much about the PvP scene anyway but that doesn’t mean that it should be the way it is now.  I personally think that HP is actually too high in many cases but it may be a result of the new completely underpowered healing debuffs.  I always thought 50% healing reduction was too much but with classes having this much HP, I think 10% is too low.  Blizzard really needs to overhaul the whole PvP system if they ever want to truly fix it.  HPS and self-healing (DK, Ret Pally, etc) are also way to high for my taste.  Anyway, more on this in a future article.  For now, just know that PvP, specifically arenas appear to be in a not so good state.

The Ugly.

I am still not a fan of the games graphics even after this overhaul.  While I know that the original game platform is getting older, it doesn’t change my opinion.  I don’t think the graphics are bad enough to hurt anything in the game but I don’t find them particularly breath taking either.  Will Blizzard create a completely new engine for their cash cow?  Unlikely but they could if they really wanted to.  However, it is more likely that instead of creating a new engine for WoW, they would just put a new project together to start design WoW 2 (if they haven’t already).

Looks like the same game to me.

It also feels like the identity of some of the old servers has been lost.  With all the new players coming in over the years and all the transfers, something about the old nostalgia seems to have faded.  While this is not a result of Cataclysm, I feel that is something that can be mentioned in this section.  If you played vanilla and are still playing today, you probably know what I mean.  It was nice early on when you thought you knew a lot of people and possibly had some clout on the server but now, the game seems to be moving at a pace that removes this.  The best way to put it is to say that the identity of the servers seem to have faded into a blur of inconsequence.

Finally, I will end on another topic that Blizzard has no control over.  The Elitist Jerks (EJ) forums also have a negative impact on the game, specifically, on new players.  When you are in a pug or just see “go to EJ” spammed in trade chat when someone asks a question, you have to get annoyed.  Instead of actually learning something in the game or asking someone who might know, you are directed to a website that tells you how to play and spec your class.  So much for the subtleties that you notice after playing your main for a long time.  So much for actually learning a class and enjoying that process.   Long gone are the days where there was some mystery or secrecy to playing WoW.  To clarify, EJ can work wonders for those who have been playing the game for a long time and understand it’s nuances.  However, if you are new to the game or a class, you skip the basic learning process and just learn the “perfect rotation” instead.  Who cares that you died in fire or didn’t shield or didn’t misdirect or didn’t do 1 of 100 different things that are more useful than just spamming damage.  The sad fact is, WoW has turned into a numbers games on many levels and I understand why it has, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

Conclusion

Cataclysm is fun at first but the sheen of a new game is quickly replaced by the same old car smell from before.  What made WoW good in the past is the same that makes WoW good now.  The social atmosphere and friends you make along the way still entrap players.  For many people, the time you log in game is controlled by the social structures: when you do your dailies, when you are raiding, etc.  The bonds of friendship people form which result in teams and guilds being formed push the never ending cycle that is a beast  of game known as World of Warcraft.  If you enjoyed the repetitive cycle that WoW presented in past whether it be through raiding, PvP or any one of the other things Blizzard created, then you will surely find joy in Cataclysm and play it as you had played all the other WoW expansions in the past.  However, if you were looking for something brand new that would make your eyes pop and your pearly white teeth show,  then unfortunately, you will have to keep looking as Cataclysm is simply a new name, not a new face.

Alliance versus Horde: The PVP Debate

Alliance_vs__Horde_by_Dawnchaser

Being a long time player of MMO’s since the Ultima days I pretty much grew up through my late teens playing these types of games. I can easily tell the different in not only my playstyle, but also my dedication to games, as I got older. While there was talk of kids versus adults in Everquest, it was nothing compared to the debate that rages on in World of Warcraft. This may be new to no one, but there really is little difference between the horde and the alliance when it comes to Player versus Player.

I for a very long time played Alliance and I have played in a ton of battlegrounds and have heard the calls from angry players about how bad the alliance is and that it is full of children. By now, we know that calling people children is like calling someone Hitler; it has been over used and really does not mean anything anymore. However, in all the screaming and nerd rage there is truth to many of the complaints, but the problem is on both sides.

I admit when I began playing on the horde side I expected to win many more BG’s and truth be told I do win more, but that does not mean the same mistakes happen on both sides. Let us look at some of the complaints and break them down.

Alliance does not follow instructions

Not following instructions

Alliance: Sadly, this is true, but the reasons go far beyond it being that they are kids. While it is true that more kids began playing alliance it is just as true that older people and people new to MMO’s also play alliance. Much of the time the reason instructions are not followed is many of the people are new to the BG and really do not know how to ask for help. The second reason is when someone screams calling you a noob and that you should die in a fire you really do not want to ask for instructions.

Horde: On the horde side you have children who believe the horde are bad and bad to them equals bad ass so you have just as many kids wanting to be the “pretty alliance” as you do that want to be the “evil” horde. Second players that are more experienced will go horde, this can be good and bad because sometimes they think they are too good or they think they should lead. What happens is everyone has an opinion and the fight over it and because of that instructions are never fully followed, but in the end more people tend to follow than on the ally side and so that is one reason for more wins.

Alliance gives up

Surrendering_kahjiit_vampire_by_katuysha

Alliance: I have found this to be true in some cases. Most of the time if the alliance really gave a strong push, say in Arathi Basin and the horde pushed back taking the lead from them I have found many will give up. Again, I think this is because of people who do not know the game and mixed in are some who just want easy wins. Age does play into this because often a child wants everything handed to him or her and if they try and look like they will fail, they give up. The result is everyone else suffers including those who are not experienced in BG’s.

Horde: I see less giving up on the horde side and a lot of the time it is due to the fact that the horde are used to winning and believe they can pull victory from the jaws of defeat. This can also work against them because some are so used to winning that if they think they will lose they want to quit and lose quickly so they can move on to another BG. In addition, many horde players almost border on role-play with how they believe the horde should not ever give up just because they are horde.

Alliance cares about HK’s and KB’s

Honor kills in World of Warcraft

Alliance: If the battle group loses a lot and they are used to it many alliance players admit they go for honor kills and killing blows over the win. Alliance will also work on getting achievements that do not require a win. When the allies are used to losing they just go for “fun” and sometimes that just keeps a losing streak going.

Horde: The horde weakness comes in when a player takes a kill seriously. Most of the complaints I hear are about a specific player who is either hard to kill, over powered or killing the same person over and over. I have also found if you offend a horde by doing a gesture when you kill them or heaven forbid using that flag of ownership, you can goat the horde player and sometimes even fellow team members into forgetting the goal of winning the game in order to get payback on a player.

Alliance do not gear properly

PVE gear in PVP

Alliance: Unfortunately, I have found this to be true especially in the lower levels. Many alliance players see PVP as an option where horde sees it as important as PVE. When you add in the younger and inexperienced players, you end up with many alliance players going into BG’s with PVE gear and finding themselves going up against a PVP geared opponent.

Horde: You will always find some people who do not gear up, but many of the horde know that since they win more BG’s then they lose they have extra honor points to spend and they do gear themselves. In the end, this helps the horde more adding to more wins and more gear.

The Turning Point

World of Warcraft PVP motivational poster

There is much more I could go into, but let us hit the key point. Many of the horde players are experienced in MMO’s and specifically PVP, once it was established that horde wins PVP the PVP’ers went horde and so it made them stronger. The point about kids versus adults does not come into play however because horde can be just as vulgar and obnoxious as any alliance, but these guys even if not children are man-children ranging from age 15 to 35. The bottom line is experience and if a young, older or inexperienced alliance player does not really care about PVP, they already start off at a disadvantage.

The horde side fights in the roads in AB, rush Van in AV with towers still up. The horde also ignores healers and tries to kill the tank and they care about the flag more than the bases in EOTS. The horde can leave the flag carrier along in WG and kill players instead of DEMO’s in SOTA and so on and so on. I have just found I end up with those who need to win more on the horde than the alliance side and that’s why I have more honor points than I can spend.

DCUO: Qualms With The Game And A Plea For Fixes

Bat Family DCUO screenshot
Bat Family DCUO screenshot

DCUO: Qualms With The Game And A Plea For Fixes

This is a copy/pasta of a post I made on the DCUO official forums.

I am writing this in hopes that SOE sees this and takes the time to actually start some sort of plan to save their latest MMO DC Universe Online. I am not calling in the apocalypse of this game but I am simply stating that right now it has been poisoned by bugs. I have played many MMORPGs and since World of Warcraft’s release there haven’t been many AAA MMO launches. Many games falter in their idea to cash in on the WoW craze and create clones and other games try mechanics that just seem to fall flat because they failed to fix game breaking bugs before release. I don’t have much faith in many of the MMO’s coming out in 2011 but I did feel and still do feel that DCUO was going to be the one to stand with the greatest potential.

Lawl? Did u not hear of Star Wars TOR, newb?

Okay, fellow forum readers. Yes I’ve heard of Star Wars but I do not have high hopes for that game as I generally don’t see things with rose tinted glasses. But this is besides the point. I don’t want to banter SOE with “IM GUNNA QUIT AND GO TO ” bull. I don’t want to put out an angry, unproductive statement out that does nothing but sound like another QQ fest. I want to state what I think they need to fix in order to prevent this game to going into a crippling decline.

People in my guild r already leaving, newb! Dis gaem is a failure.

I understand that people are leaving but people always leave MMO’s in their first month. It’s a common thing to see a mass exodus of people leave one game, talk highly of the new toy, and then pinch a loaf all over that toy, and go back to another game that presents the same grind or what not. That isn’t a great argument at this point as it is a common thing amongst MMO gamers.

Now that I have the generic forum responses out of the way, let me get into my issues with the game and why they are stunting to its growth.

League Chat Breaking

Never have I played a game where a chat is broken. Shout is never broken, yet somehow, some way, League chat breaks. How are groups of people supposed to connect to enjoy the game together? No one plays an MMO to play it in solidarity for everlasting months. The thing that keeps people playing is 1) Yes, content, but we’ll get into that later and 2) the ability to form bonds with fellow server mates for an enjoyable experience.

Those of you who have spent time with guildies or leaguers and just goofed off racing around cities, griefing someone as a group, or just doing something pointless can attest to the good times that can be had with friends and clansmen. Even without additional content, good friends can make a game last awhile, probably not as long as a game with constant content, but they’ll last longer than the average solo king player.

League Chat breaking over and over seems like an easy bug to fix as most MMO’s don’t seem to screw up their chat systems. This is the first time I’ve ever witnessed this kind of issue in anything ever. Without League chat, what’s the point of a League? How can people communicate or introduce themselves to one another? No bonds are made thus no establishment is set into the game’s community causing a rift of players to either leave to where they came from or hold out until the next MMO that will save them.

Queues Breaking

I can see how this is an issue that can take awhile to resolve but it should have been resolved early on towards the end of beta. Some sort of contingency plan should have been brought up to fix the issue if queuing loads being too dramatically hectic is causing them to shatter. If it isn’t the load of players using the queuing system that is breaking it, then what is it? What is so difficult to fix that it has taken two weeks for someone to still not figure out?

A lot of games have a ton of levels for you to grind through so it takes awhile for major sums of their player base to hit the endgame cap. DCUO makes you super right away by making hitting 30  a quick and easy thing to do. This is mostly because most of the content is for level 30 characters. That is great but when most of this content is governed by the queue system, well that is where the main focal point of the game’s design seems to get blinded.

How is a game that promotes fast leveling and quick end game experience supposed to last when their main method of entering these adventures is blocked by a queue system that breaks too often. PvP queues, Duo queues, Alert queues, all broken. The only queue that seems to work is The Vault and that is completely aside from anything else as it just teleports you to a single player map.

But OP! You can run to Arkham, Containment Facilities, and many more!

That’s true, poster. You could run to those instances. I, for one, have been. I refuse to allow a broken queue to stop me but when I can’t do my duos or get into certain instances, I feel like I’m being cheated. I’m not saying that SOE owes me Marks of Triumph (though, that’d be pretty nice.) but I do feel like I’m paying $15 a month to be blocked out of content I was able to play earlier in the week.

Watchtower Crashes

This bug personally hasn’t affected me but I can see where the issue can bother some people. In WoW, when Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor crashed, you couldn’t get on your character in that continent. However, there was another continent always available for both factions.

When Watchtower is down, you’re locking out a good chunk of one faction while the other isn’t hindered at all. This is an increasingly difficult issue because if queues aren’t working, and Watchtower is down, so goes your cross city travel system.

Bugs I Can Deal WIth For Now

There are certain bugs I can handle right now because there are work arounds for them, but that doesn’t mean to ignore them.

I can deal with the platform in Star Labs arena being exploited by flying enemies contesting the node from underneath since I’m a pro and took grounding abilities.

I can deal with the loot bug at the end of an alert where if I hit L before seeing the “overall data” chart  I won’t get to roll on the item. I already know to wait but I can see where a ton of people would be having an issue over this. (Protip: Leave the instance and you can still hit need out of the alert and the item will go to you and show up in your bag.)

You Sound Mad, Bro! Do You Like Anything About This Game?

Yes, I like this game and unlike many people I have faith in SOE. I know EQ2 was a pile of garbage but they really turned that game around. If it released maybe 2-3 years ago instead of 6 it could have been a contender, it could have been a somebody! They dish out content in that game constantly and it’s great to see a company throwing resources into a dying game like that (though they probably wouldn’t admit EQ2 is suffering.).

Of the MMO’s I’ve played at release, this game is pretty solid and enjoyable. I know they’ll keep pushing out content because they understand how big DC is right now with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, the upcoming Green Lantern,  the role DC heroes play in children’s media, the announcement of the new Superman flick, and the success of Smallville.

The combat system isn’t something you find in any MMORPG to date and it works out for the action packed fluidity of the comic book genre. I never thought the class system in this game would work because class systems tend to fail in most Super Hero MMO attempts but I think this is probably one of the best implementations out there and I have no issues with the balance of paper, rock, scissors. I enjoy the three class trinity synergy and the ability for anyone to DPS.

The excitement of being able to fight side by side with notable characters, heroes and villains alike, adds to the feel of the game. The voice work is grand and I hope they can keep it up, unlike in EQ2 where they stopped their voice acting in newer installments of content. With Time Warner having some role over the development of this game, though, and their ability to profit from it as well, I can see the voice acting remaining relevant  if the game remains a standing contender in the current 2011 MMO battle.

So as you can see, I am satisfied with the game. I am still hyped up and enjoying everything I possibly can right now with DCUO. It’s fresh, different, and exciting especially with friends. I would like to keep it that way.

I know that SOE is planning a huge update of content in February but please do try to fix the bugs as well first or simultaneously. Additional content is useless with a dwindling player base.

 

MMO’s Coming Out In 2011 Are Already Behind The Curve

2011 sure seemed like a year that would be promising us some exciting upcoming titles in the MMORPG world. With Star Wars: The Old Republic, Rifts of Telara, and DC Universe Online it appeared at first glance that there finally would be some promising games out there which fought back against the monster known as World of Warcraft. I, for one, was in this crowd of believers looking forward to something fresh and a chance to move onto to greener fields.

Rift MMO plant
Rift MMO plant

Unfortunately, from my time playing the beta for some of these games and then also playing World of Warcraft’s latest expansion Cataclysm, I have to say that World of Warcraft has trumped the genre yet again.

But Umar, how can you say that? Those games are in beta and things always change!

Yeah, okay. People said that about Final Fantasy XIV, Age Of Conan, Warhammer Online, and Champions Online. Where are they now? Age of Conan is struggling to show some respectable numbers while being considered another tally of fuck ups by Funcom, discussions about putting FFXIV on a free to play model are on the table with Square-Enix already boasting a whopping 2 million active characters (look closely at the bolded word), Mythic is essentially dissolving with employee blogs ranting about the horribly typical EA experience they are suffering from (WAR really needs a F2P model if it’s going to stand up ever again), and Champions is already on a F2P market and is shitting bricks from the upcoming DC title.

Beta did not change those games. They have remained garbage and will never be something worth a purchase.

It’s time to take off those rosy glasses of hope and look at reality for a minute. Nothing has come to close to taking a slice of this market no matter how much you whine.
For the longest time, you’d hear me complaining about World of Warcraft and its flaws and its lack of this and that, but those were the days of Burning Crusade. The game has progressed leaps and bounds from release. I honestly have no qualms about it. What were the typical issues people had with WoW?
It’s too easy, Umar!

Okay, you nerdy Sephiroth cosplaying queer. Have you played Cataclysm? A PUG can barely clear a heroic now if most of the people you group with have downs. Oh, and don’t say “The WoW community is filled with bad players.” That’s easy to say. Most people I know that say that and then either play WoW or another MMO with me are usually just as bad as any other idiot I could PUG with.

WoW’s graphics are out of date!

Yeah, they are but it works with their art style. You need things to look pretty to have fun? Plants VS Zombies wasn’t enjoyable? Mario Kart isn’t fun? Let’s go play something pretty like Final Fantasy XIV. I’m sure that’ll be a great experience. Or let’s play Age of Conan where even the most high end computers at the time were struggling to display some of the graphics. Graphics shouldn’t be on the top of your list for playability as opposed to the actual style of the game.

I think you’re stupid and gay, Umar! Star Wars is going to be awesome!

Thanks, asshole. Enjoy Star Wars then. I’m not telling people to not play it as much as I’m saying that future upcoming MMORPGs are already behind what Cataclysm has presented. Star Wars will have what? Epic dialogue and a story? That is fantastic. Cataclysm already makes your character feel like they were part of a story, maybe not on the scale of Star Wars with all the cinematics, camera angles, and voice acting, but they did make your character more involved in the storyline.

Bioware already claimed that they won’t have much endgame and that they encourage people to roll alts to see the story from a different perspective. This is a “Choose your destiny” book in virtual form. All you’re getting is a story and not many innovative mechanics. They barely ever talk about actual gameplay and mechanics as much as they talk about the story portion of the game and the classes. “Hey guys we’ve got spaceships and Jedi! Cool shit, huh?” This is a niche game and once your story is over that’s it. Bioware isn’t known for making difficult games that require strategy and skill. Putting Mass Effect 2 on harder difficulties just meant you took more damage. Wowzers!

Rifts of Telara has already thrown in the towel by conceding the fact their game is more like Vanilla WoW than WoW in its current state. Vanilla WoW was one of the most raw and broken starts to an MMO. Gamers today are crying for innovation and polish. Not a throwback to olden times. Rifts is going to be what Vanguard was to Everquest 1. An old school reincarnation that will fall flat in the present.

The only game I think that can even grab a slice of the MMO market is DCUO. I’m not talking about a game that will take subs from World of Warcraft but a game that can fill that super hero niche that Champions failed to quench. City of Heroes is already too old school and bland even with all their amazing patches. DCUO has that opportunity to grab the market from those games and even pull in more people who cream to “Smallville” and “The Dark Knight”. It isn’t competing against the elephant in the room but against the carrion dogs roaming about.

If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. You can think what you want and I can still think you’re a bag of dicks. What am I saying is going to come to true because my word is not only correct but absolute. These MMOs will fall flat with the exception of DCUO if Sony actually markets a game this time. Time will allow you to see the truth and your bottled-up, unbridled nerd pride will nourish me when you fail to accept my prophecy.

A Gamer Girls Experience

GAMER GIRL
GAMER GIRL

I’m not sure why being a gamer and a girl is such a strange concept for so many people, but being a female gamer, I’ve been met with a lot of different reactions. Especially from other women who think I’m either a cheap floozie trying to get laid or an inept social outcast nerd who couldn’t get a paid date. That would at least explain why I would spend time trying to accomplish a goal (albeit in a game) instead of brushing my hair in the mirror 100 times.

I grew up the same way as most other people have and didn’t have brothers in my house to steer me towards gaming. I’ve always had waves of wanting to play games and then putting them on the back burner. I remember begging my parents at Kmart to buy me Super Nintendo when it came out and playing for hours on end. I loved going to the Laundromat and playing Street Fighter, Pac Man, etc. If you heard the bee-like sound in Galaga, you knew you had to step your game up. I remember daydreaming about getting over 500 pounds of meat when hunting in Oregon Trail, but it would never come to fruition. I would figure these memories would be the same for most children, female and male, but I guess they’re not.

When high school hit, I focused on dating, my job, my future, and a whole mess of other things I probably shouldn’t have been focusing on. It wasn’t until I dated a gamer in my 20s that my love for gaming was rekindled. I will admit, it started small with crap like Mario Party and Super Monkey Ball. Then it moved to WoW and as much as I sucked against the people I played, I loved Dark Stalkers and Marvel vs. Capcom. I still play WoW when I have the time (and a functional computer) and the most expensive purchase that I’ve made in the past 2 years was a PS3 for which I’ve bought and played a number of games with it (mostly RPG, but whatever-at least it’s not a Wii). Even though I have moved on from the world of dating gamers, I still have a love for gaming and appreciate the medium.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if the women that criticize female gamers look to their past, I’m pretty sure they’ll find that they too enjoyed some game in their youth, even if it was something as shitty as a Polly Pocket interactive cd. That and they probably need to get laid. By a gamer.

Games for Girls?

Do you really want to see a new achievement every time your girl finds a lost black sheep? If you are one of those guys stupid enough to share your Facebook account with your girl you are gonna look like a complete and total loser.~J.A. Laraque

Games for Girls?

You might wonder why I added the question mark at the end and the reason is because I am not sure if these games are really the ones girls enjoy and play the most, but after doing some research it appears many girl games put these games on their top list.

games 4 girls

So here is how this is going to work. You will get three first takes from me. The first take is the general take on the game. The second take is the positive friendly take and finally the third take is the evil chauvinistic take. Enjoy

The Sims

General: The Sims allows gamers to control their in-game avatar and pretty much everything around them including the house and everything inside it. This game is like taking care of a pet, but the pet is human. The Sim’s offers tons of gameplay options, add-on’s and simple yet interesting fun.

The Nice: The Sims is perfect for women to show their creative side. Let’s face it, 9 times out of 10 a girls is better at creating and running a home than a guy and they have that maternal instinct and strength of will to take care of the Sim.

The Evil: This is the perfect training vessel for future domestic servitude. The only problem with the Sims is she might think you will actually buy all the crap she fills her virtual house with. Perhaps dating sites should have a built in Sim’s game because depending on how the house and the SIm she created is presented could tell you a lot about the woman and her crazy factor. This game is also good because it keeps you busy while you play manly games like Gears of War.

Farmville

General: The Facebook game where you run a farm. You can plant all types of crops and build your farm up to be pretty big. There is also a social aspect where you can trade food and supplies and there are tons of little gifts and events through the year.

The Nice: This is a pretty good intro game if your girl has never played games and strangely enough it can make your World of Warcraft quests seem a lot less stupid when she is collecting dough to bake a pie. The social aspect is great as she can share her achievements with friends and the game runs on almost any PC.

The Evil: Do you really want to see a new achievement every time your girl finds a lost black sheep? If you are one of those guys stupid enough to share your Facebook account with your girl you are gonna look like a complete and total loser. Also, think of all the real chores she could be doing around the house instead of on a virtual farm and finally, 7 out of 10 Farmville players can barely cook in real life, down home indeed!

Dance Dance Revolution

General: Before Rock Band or Guitar Hero there was DDR, the game where you have to dance (or step) to the beat to achieve points. This game is fun in a group and can serve as a good workout as well. All you need is a little room and a love for music and you’re set.

The Nice: Forget Wii Fit at least with DDR you can have some interesting music while shaking it to the beat. Just imagine the love of your life shaking it on the dance floor just for you. This is a great game to team up together and have some fun before you show off your skills to your friends.

The Evil: If you combine bad J-Pop with the lack of rhythm your girl has you are in for a world of hurt. You will be forced to watch the painful display of your woman flailing around the living room knocking things over only to have to tell her she did well. Honestly, the thing to do is bypass all this and get her that sexy stripper pole workout thing. At least with that you can YouTube it and become an internet star.

Mario Kart

General: Go Cart racing at its finest. Mario Kart puts the character of Super Mario Bros. behind the wheel where you can race across a ton of different lands from the Mario universe. The gameplay is fun and the tracks are beautifully designed. This is a great game for all ages and skill types.

The Nice: Mario Kart is the kind of game that will little practice you can become good at it and it is designed to give you friendly competition. Girls will like the Mario world and the cute characters like the princess and Yoshi and will get into the gameplay that offers a scalable challenge without being harsh on first timers.

The Evil: Remember how bad your girl played Super Mario Bros.? How she would contort her whole body when trying to turn or jump the character. Do you really want to put another woman behind the wheel and worst yet she will want you to play. Now the question is do you own her in the game and sleep on the couch or let her win and listen to her playful ribbing for the next 20 years. What if she beats you fair and square, what then, you know murder is illegal right?

World of Warcraft

General: The ultimate MMO. You can create a character from a list of races and classes and play in an immense world of fantasy. Not only will you have tons of things to do, but tons of people to do it with. World of Warcraft can be almost anything you want from a challenging experience to a social outlet where you cook and search for treasure. Seriously, everyone is playing this.

The Nice: Sure it may take some time to get her started in the World of Warcraft if she was never before a gamer, but it can be worth it. If you are a fan of the game then the best thing is to have the person you love spending time with you loving something else you like spending time with. Plus, most girls pick support classes and are notorious for finishing all the quests and events so that can come in very handy for you and maybe even your guild.

The Evil: Do you really want to be a teacher? Honestly, you are looking at three outcomes. One, she will never get the game right and make you look bad and bother you all the time to help her. Two, she will quit out of frustration and hate you for it, but she won’t dump you, oh no, she will force you to quit the game. Third, she becomes too good at the game and it takes over her life even more than it does yours. Her holy priest is picked over your hunter in the guild you helped to create and so she is turning you down for sex so she can finish all the holiday quests. See, this is why you live alone as long as humanly possible.

Do you see what I did there?

All joking aside there will always be games that appeal to one segment of the populous over the other, but is there really such a thing as a girl’s game anymore? I have seen and know many women of various ages that enjoy all games from the Farmville’s to the Call of Duties. Boys will most likely dominate gaming for the foreseeable future, but in that sea of testosterone you will find gamer girls doing the same thing we do, kicking ass and getting our asses kicked.

Ask Kayhynn: Week 2, A Bit Late, But Not Short

World of Warcraft Cataclysm Developers Talk
World of Warcraft Cataclysm Developers Talk

Seeing as World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was released Dec. 7 and most readers and question submitters know I’m a WoW player, I received a number of WoW: Cataclysm related questions which I decided to put together for this week’s Q&A. Questions answered include what were major changes to the game, what do I love/hate about the game, new character experience and more.

Article Source: http://www.eogamer.com/node/189

Ranting Saturday: Underwater Quests. Why?

phinny
phinny

It has come to my attention that developers seem to find sending my character underwater as something fun and innovative. MMORPG’s have always had underwater minions and some even had underwater dungeons (Kedge Keep in EQ) but never did much to improve the enjoyability of an aquatic adventure aside from adding spells that allow you breathe infinitely while submerged. For some sick reason, MMO’s strive to have at least one underwater level and riddle your adventure with random underwater quests.

Why?

Why the fuck would you WANT to send me underwater? What is in that NPC’s mind where he found it absolutely acceptable to ask a completely random stranger to swim to the bottom of a fucking lake to kill some monsters. I don’t want to kill Murlocs unless they’re on the fucking coastline. I don’t want to navigate at a 50% movement reduction speed through the lost ruins of some ancient tribe. I don’t care about Atlantis. If I did, I wouldn’t be playing video games. I’d be a goddamn Mythbuster.

It adds a certain degree of whimsical wonder to the game!

My ass it does! I don’t see Willy Wonka’s factory underwater. What is whimsical about aqua goblins aside from the fact they fucking root you underwater and make you shit bricks are forced to narrowly avoid drowning.

Doesn’t the lack of air and danger make it more exciting?

No, it doesn’t. In fact, I spend most of my time bobbing my head in and out of the water’s surface just to make sure my character is breathing. Then, I hover over the quest mob and swim down, slap them around, collect my item, and swim back to the top. Who the hell remains underwater without a buff? No one, that’s who!

I think you’re being completely unfair.

I think you’re being a complete cunt! This isn’t Echo the Fucking Dolphin Online. I don’t want to go underwater unless it leads to a cave with fucking air in it. I’m not looking to kill sharks. Don’t the NPC’s have a Navy? Let them deal with it or give me a boat to go spear hunting with a bucket of chum. Don’t send me in there with my heavy ass armor and a sword to fight a shark! What are they thinking? “Oh hey, here’s a scuba mask. I’m sure this is sufficient to fight a shark. Go get em, tiger!”

Guys, please! Stop making me go underwater! It’s not just that it’s a horrid change of pace but I’m terrified of the water. I don’t like it and I never will. And because I specifically don’t like it, it means no one else should either. So please, please! Get rid of these quests. Stop sending me underwater. Stop making me collect kelp. It isn’t worth the danger!

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

Alterac Valley Noobs

World of Warcraft nub
World of Warcraft nub

Alterac Valley Noobs

I know what you are thinking, didn’t he write about being AFK in AV? Yes, this is true, but that was during my leveling stage. What I am talking about is AV at level 80. Did you hear, AV at 80 is its own bracket now? I can understand being under geared or even new to AV altogether, but this has gotten ridiculous.

I knew I was on the failboat when

When you load up into AV at 80 and there is about 10 seconds left before the game starts and you have no buffs, you know you are going to fail. I can only speak for alliance here, but since I am alliance and since we are all 12 can you please push the shiny button with Fortitude or Kings and for the love of God stop hitting the freaking Path of Frost button!

Here is a pro-tip noobs! Buffing in a BG before it starts uses no mana! Why do I see six mages and no mage table? Maybe you think giving biscuits to all for free is socialism. Maybe you think I should have my own food. Well you’re wrong noob! I have food, but its stat food and I need normal government cheese food! Hand it over you keyboard drooling loser muffin!

Warlocks, I know you only like hitting your three fear buttons over and over, but for the love of the Anti-Christ please make a soul well. I mean those soul stones come in handy when the real pros of AV are rushing to cap relief hut.

Is this thing on?

I know there are a lot of poop sock, hot pocket eating, super min/max playing ass hats out there and most of them are spamming some strat they read on the message board claiming it as their own, however, when we are trying to make a plan of attack at least turn back to the screen for a moment. That 48 year old you watch undressing from your bedroom window will be back again. Now is the time for gaming. Put down the lotion and watch the screen there might be useful information there.

There is nothing wrong with going for The Alterac Blitz, I know some of you think achievements suck, but maybe, just maybe you can try it you know, for this thing we humans like to call fun. How is it that so many people ignore BG chat? Do you just run around like Helen Keller with a potato sack over her head down to Galv every game? Maybe you are a BOT or more likely a dumbass. Do us a favor, stay AFK with the other 50% of the raid.

Like the girl you were stalking told you, don’t touch

You cheesy fingered, sunlight depraved, perma-virgins, how many times do we have to tell you not to cap Iceblood graveyard? Let me put it in terms you might understand. Remember when you wanted to masturbate real bad and family kept coming over the house? See if you went out to meet them they would leave you alone, but like the tool you are you stayed in your room being a social misfit, so, they kept coming to your door bothering you keeping you from getting off. This is called a turtle because it talks a long freaking time to get to the payoff! This is what you do if you cap IB, you make horde respawn farther back which slows down our advance which keeps us from reaching our goal quickly.

I need to take a breather

I have more to say, but to prevent TLDD I will break this up into another part. In the meantime, wash those crusty socks and dump out the pee jar. I’ll be back shortly to continue your schooling.

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.

Free to Play. If You’re Going to Fail, Get Better At Failing.

Everquest 2 F2P lol
Everquest 2 F2P lol

For the past six years, MMORPGs have been failing. Be it because the companies believe releasing beta quality games, far-fetched mechanics, or releasing a game that has the savory indulgence of a stale piece of bread, the genre has seen some gloomy days. World of Warcraft has created a boom for many money hungry companies and jaded developers that think releasing a game in this genre will garner them fame and money. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case and nothing has been able to compete at the level that Blizzard is currently at.

Let’s face it. Very few MMORPGs have had amazing launches and it is because of this lack luster grand opening that a lot of people just get turned away. How can these companies salvage their investment? How can they bring in money to a sinking ship? How can they increase their gaming audience?

The answer lies to the Far East. It is in this land of Zerg obsessed gamers and mob-grinding gurus that holds the key to America’s salvation in the MMO Market. Asia has been using a model known to many as Free to Play for a very long time. Players are allowed to download the game from a website and jump right in. Sure, there are some restrictions that hold them back from unlocking the full potential of the game but it is a better option than a 14 day free trial.

“But Umar”, you may find yourself pondering, “I know Asia is known for crazy people but this sounds insane! How do the Crazians make their money?!”

Very simple, Little Billy. Crazian MMO Developers make their money from an in-game market place where players can unlock classes, races, potions, cosmetics, and content for real life money. While not every player’s going to feed cash to companies for a game they play for free, they do garner in more money than $15 a month. Some players are so into power gaming and/or cosmetics that they’ll easily throw down more than $15 a month in purchases via this market place without even thinking it through.

Why adopt this model though? The answer is simply because it seems to actually work.

Turbine’s Dungeons and Dragons Online was far from being considered a true MMORPG by many of today’s standards and it was on the brink of extinction. However, unlike the dodo bird, DnD Online was not ready to leave this world. In one last hurrah, it released a Free to Play model and quickly flourished. The game’s income reportedly jumped by double and it felt a chance to thrive. Life began to ebb back into this would be abortion and deliver it salvation.

To follow suit, many MMORPGs began to jump onto the bandwagon. Lord of the Rings Online, while not a failure by many aspects, saw a chance to increase its player base with this new subscription model. It held back many features to free players but the market place allowed them to expand further into the world.

Around the same time LOTRO adopted the model, Everquest 2 wet its feet in the F2P world with Everquest 2 Extended, which included 8 classes, 4 races, 80 levels, and 5 expansions for free.

Now, companies like Cryptic, probably persuaded by Atari, are hitting the F2P model to save their abortion known as Champions Online and also the acclaimed Star Trek Online. Some may know my dislike for Cryptic in general and I don’t want to bore anyone with my vendetta but these games were Free to Play quality on release and never should have been Pay to Play, but I digress. They are now hitting the high road and going F2P.

Those seem to be some of the bigger MMOs released in the past couple of years that really need this chance to boost their communities. One MMO that I am waiting to take the dive into this model is Warhammer Online. The game has been a downward spiral since release and while I doubt EA even cares about the game still (they have been systematically dismembering Mythic) a F2P model for WAR might be able to save it from its dying breath.

Sadly, though, some MMORPGs that haven’t even had a year to fix their abominations are already looking to hit the F2P market as well. Yes, I’m talking about Final Fantasy XIV. It has been reported that they are currently seeking a chance to hit into this model to save their plummeting shares and overall consumer backlash.

I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about this model and some find it “greedy” that companies are willing to push out virtual stores but I don’t find a problem with this at all. Most of these games offer a chance to unlock the full game for the standard $15 a month and no one is forcing you to purchase anything from the marketplace to begin with. Most of the items these games offer aren’t game changing and aren’t required to excel in the game so there is no reason for some of the criticism. However, regardless of whether it is a good model or not there will always be people who will complain.

The Free to Play opportunity that has raged through the past two years seems to be giving players many chances to see more of what is out there than WoW. While it is good for companies to regain their money and enlarge their player base, it also gives players a chance to expand their horizons onto what is out there without feeling guilty for dropping 40-50 dollars on a game that could be releasing in beta quality.

How do you feel about the Free to Play model many MMORPG’s seem to be taking? Would you like to see future games continuing with this setup and if not, why?

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.

        The Art of the AFK II

        AFK shirt
        AFK shirt

        The Art of the AFK II

        So now you know about my adventures in A.F.K, but now it is time to talk about others. We all know World of Warcraft can either take a ton of time or just a few minutes depending on what we want to accomplish, but if you are going for that purple ring then it can take hours. On raids good leaders try to make it easy on members by taking breaks, however, some just don’t take advantage or go a little overboard.

        Cooking with Nax

        My good friend Rizim sends me a whisper inviting me to a 25 man Nax raid telling me it would be fun and allow me to switch out some of my 10 man pieces. I was bored at the moment and decided to go. The part pug, part guild had reached Gluth which happened to drop something I needed.

        You know how Gluth works, you have a group fighting him and hunters or mages kitting the zombies. Well, I was put on the zombie team. It was no problem I have done it many times. The problem was the other hunters somehow forgot to hit their trap button, so, we wipe. We run back, Rizim is yelling instructions in Ventrilo and just as we engage him for a second time I see this:

        wtf cat
        wtf cat

        PhyscoHeals tells the raid: A.F.K. turkey dinner for the kids.

        I start laughing thinking this is a joke. I mean PhyscoHeals is our main healer and happens to be leader of the raid, but no she is not kidding and disappears in the middle of the fight. We wipe, I’m cursing out loud in the house and sending Rizim tells that I plan to come over to his house and kick his dog for pulling me into this God awful raid.

        Who the hell starts cooking a turkey dinner in the middle of the raid? I get it; you have kids, but W.T.F., A.F.K. Thanksgiving?!!! I had this picture in my mind of her PC just sitting there, unused:

        Needless to say I ran out of that raid like a Democrat at a town hall meeting. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised with a name like PhyscoHeals.

        A.F.K, tired of writing

        afk gamer cat
        afk gamer cat

        There’s more to come on my series on, The Art of the A.F.K, but what about you guys and gals out there? Got any stories to share, let us know about them.

        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.

        Couples playing W.O.W: An articlementary

        Wedding World of Warcraft
        Wedding World of Warcraft

        Couples playing W.O.W

        Studying the human condition can be really rewarding, I like to observe people in a non-peeping tom kind of way to find out how they go about their daily lives. In World of Warcraft that is not easy since people play in their homes, but with a little searching and some pointed questions you are able to get a feeling for how people behave and integrate their lives and relationships in W.O.W.

        Today I want to talk about couples in World of Warcrft. We already talked about how to get your girlfriend to play and the pros and con’s of doing so. Now, let us explore those couples who do play W.O.W with quotes from them and the people they play with.

        She has sex with me, but can she play?

        Girl Gamers World of Warcraft box
        Girl Gamers World of Warcraft box

        Sometimes the man or woman gets their significant other to play. In other cases the two meet in game and then come together. We asked the question, what happens if he or she sucks at the game? What if she or he is better than the other?

        My GF plays and I sometimes raid with her. She sits 3 feet from me, and is a Resto Shaman. Usually a night of raiding goes something like this:

        “WTF are you doing, get out of the fire.”

        “What fire?”

        “The red sh*t you’re standing on.”

        “Don’t lifetap anymore”

        “Shut your mouth.”

        “It’s your fault we wiped.”

        “Why are you such an ass? I hate playing this game with you.”

        We learned it can be stressful if one person takes the game serious and the other doesn’t.

        Girl: Alright, pulling

        Guy: Doing great hun, just keep up the threat

        Guy: Need heals

        Girl: you have them, just let em tick…

        Guy: omg! I’m gonna d…. oh, nvm

        Girl: quick, death grip this one on me,

        Girl: Maybe..

        Girl: !!!

        Girl: Teehee

        Guy: (5%)

        Girl: ok, i’ll get it.

        Guy: … Maybe next time I won’t heal you….

        Sometimes she just sucks ass. By the way, we also discovered anyone who says Tee Hee out loud is a psychopath.

        “WTF you fell again?”

        “What do you mean you dont have the flight path, we were just there?”

        “So, this whole time, you didnt even have the quest?”

        “How in the world do you pull the whole room?”

        “I’m going on my alt…”

        When the music stops

        World of Warcraft breakup
        World of Warcraft breakup

        What happens when the fun of playing World of Warcraft is gone for one or the other? What happens if you both go in different directions in the game?

        I started playing with my g/f.. She bought me this damn game. After 1 and a half years of playing together she went horde and we raided in different guilds and different factions. This affected our relationship greatly.. We almost broke up for good a month ago. We stopped playing completely a month ago to save our relationship.

        Sometimes W.O.W has to be left behind in order to save the relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes it is the relationship left behind.

        I thought having a gamer chick that was actually hot was better than a server first. Nothing beats hot sex in-between Kodo mount runs. Then something happened. She got into faction farming for those damn achievements. Watching her grind faction killed the game for me. We stopped having sex, I quit wow, but she kept playing. I couldn’t take it anymore. I broke up with her and found a club chick. She is just as bad, but its loud music not factions runs. I hear my ex is on a ventilator now and still plays.

        I found if you can identify the problem early you might be able to save the relationship. The key is deciding which is more important, your hot piece of meat or purple loot and a dragon mount.

        Problem is our relationship was amazing before the game came into our lives. We got equally addicted to the game where we were raiding 5 days a week for 4 hrs a night. Having no contact and sitting down for those hours spent apart affected us in so many ways.

        She quit raiding a month a half ago due to guild drama when she realized she didn’t want to be with a raider anymore. I asked her numerous times if she wanted me to quit raiding I would and she just said no you can play the game. She thought she had made up her mind about leaving me because of me and not the game. I quit 2 weeks after her and the relationship started to improve greatly, she then found out it was the game that was screwing everything up for us and it wasn’t just me.

        We know drama

        We have much more to cover including, kids over vent, when guild leaders are married and A.F.K sex. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and stay tuned for part two.

        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.

        How to keep your girl off your W.O.W. playing back

        angry girlfriend
        angry girlfriend

        How to keep your girl off your W.O.W. playing back

        Believe it or not there are people out there who try desperately to reduce their World of Warcraft playtime. It is not due to the increasing ease of game play or a lull until cataclysm, but because their wives and girlfriends have asked them to. I am here to help you guys out. You don’t have to cut down on the epics and pwning noobs. All you need is a distraction, like throwing White Castle burgers at a charging fat person.

        FarmVillie

        It is possible your girlfriend or wife is already playing this game. In it you control your avatar and manage a virtual farm. To be honest, it’s the type of farm a six year old child would manage, because you can put reindeer next to your Jacuzzi overlooking your watermelon crop.

        This game is so addictive there are cases of people (women) getting tickets due to rushing home to harvest their crops before they rot. The good thing is this game is played through facebook which is another time killer. Since you have to level up and make money this game will keep your lady very occupied. The downside is she may become too consumed in the game with the finding the baby black sheep, ugly ducklings and the like. Just a word of advice, make sure she doesn’t use real money to buy stuff in game. I mean who would spend real life money on a game right?

        Bejeweled

        Believe it or not Bejeweled and World of Warcraft have a history. Word was around 2008 a Bejeweled add-on was to be added as an interface download. I don’t know if that happened, anyway. Bejeweled is a great game for the ladies because it combines two things they like, jewels and trying to solve problems you don’t really have too.

        The good thing about Bejeweled is you can get it on almost any media platform from PC to the Iphone. The game is simple, yet addictive and never ends. We know several truths, District 9 aliens love the sweeties, bitches love smiley faces and your lady will love Bejeweled.

        Nintendo Wii

        Known as the Yahoo games console, the Nintendo Wii is perfect for keeping your girl occupied while you grind away. Most gamers would rather gouge their eyes out than play games you could find online for free, but somehow thanks to smart marketing and a ton of accessories the Wii has become the Imac of the twenty-first century, everyone has one in their house, but few use it.

        With the Wii you can buy a few game packages, like the sports pack and bask in the glow of your monitor as she swings away playing such riveting nail biting games like Bowling and Tennis. You can also create avatars for that SIM’s feel that you can then have interact with other created avatars, its brainless fun.

        Add to that the everybody votes channel where your girl can vote on hot topics such as which New Moon star sparkles brighter in the sunlight. Along with the news, weather channel and access to old Nintendo games, this is perfect to keep your lady off your back.

        Finally there is Wii fit. This is a perfect way to please and offend your girl at the same time. With Wii fit your girl can work away the pounds with an assortment of exercises, but beware. It is possible she will get in shape and realize she can do much better than you and dump your sorry ass, but then again it just gives you more World of Warcraft playing time which is all that matters.

        If you take this seriously shoot yourself now

        So there you have it. With these three things you can toss away your new year’s resolutions like a Christmas fruitcake. I mean you could always cut back, read, workout, have sex, get a job or do a million better things with your time, but that won’t grow your e-peen now will it?

        Your Girlfriend to W.O.W in three easy steps

        from girlfriend to WoW
        from girlfriend to WoW

        Your Girlfriend to W.O.W in three easy steps

        I was surprised how many couples were at this year’s Blizzcon. It’s not that I believe gamers can’t get chicks, by no means, I have seen the light, but to have a girl fly out to a convention is something completely different. I realized that when you and your snuggle bunny enjoy the same thing then you are golden. So, for you lucky studs out there that have a girl, one who doesn’t play wow, maybe I can help.

        Step 1: Testing the waters

        Remember when you wanted to see what sexual things your girl would and would not do? How did you go about it? If your answer was drugs stop reading this now. Drugs and wow only go together on Friday night raids. The correct answer is, you test the waters. You dance around the issue and hit her up with questions or pictures or something to get some kind of hint out of her.

        Now of course she has seen you play and maybe you are thinking that since she called it, that stupid gnome game, that you have no shot, but if you are a twenty to thirty something gamer you already know a lot about having no shot.

        The key here is to see how she likes it if she were to play. Start off with showing her something simple like harvesting. See, women are domestic, even the crazy femi-nazi’s so if you show her that you can cook, and make clothes and shop, there’s a good chance she might like the game.

        Step 2: Laying the bait

        So now hopefully she has shown some interest in world of warcraft. You have got her to ask you some questions, she has seen the cooking and shopping, and you are still sleeping in with her. Now you lay the bait. Make a level 1 character, a priest is good for this and make sure she is there when you do. Show her the intro video and then just walk away. If you did everything right she should come try out the character.

        Remember, when your girlfriend saw you playing your level 80, it was way too much. You had all these spells and abilities and you were in raid with leet speak, its overwhelming, kind of like when she told you about her cycles. Here is the best advice for getting your girl into wow and first time sex, keep it simple. You want it easy and straight forward; the more complicated stuff will come later.

        At level one she will only have a few spells and everything will be laid out for her. She will be cold and naked which we all know is the best way to find a girl you want to take home with you. In this case she will level quickly and the chances of her dying are slim to none so you are golden. Congrats, she is playing!

        Step 3: Crossroads

        Your girlfriend is playing World of Warcraft, but will she stay? This is path one. You need to play with her which means getting her, her own rig. This will cost you money now, but in the long run you will save. I mean dating is expensive and she hasn’t paid for anything in a long time. Once you have her system setup, you will need to play with her because if you don’t she will either quit or find someone else to play with and you don’t want that.

        Your girlfriend is playing World of Warcraft and everything is golden. This is path two. She’s liking the game and you like playing with her. She gets you now and you are still nailing her in-between battlegrounds. This is your best case scenario, sit back and watch your waste-lines expand!

        Your girlfriend played World of Warcraft, quit after a day and hates it more. This is path three. Well, just like the night you went for that storybook kiss and she slapped your face, you are out of luck son. This happens, a lot. The game is designed to get women to play, but for some reason she doesn’t like it. In 90% of the cases this means she will hate you for playing it even more. There are two choices here, quit playing (yeah right) or hide if from her. You might think there is a third choice, finding a new girl, but let’s face it, lighting doesn’t strike you twice.

        Your girlfriend is playing World of Warcraft more hardcore than you! This is path four. You stepped away for the day leaving her playing so you could go restock your Mountain Dew supply only to come back and find her at level thirty. Your girlfriend has Sim-Syndrome, a term coined by me that means your girl is addicted to a task. See in the Sims I found some women became obsessed with making sure everything is right in their Sim world, so, they spend every waking moment working on their Sim, and you also find this in Facebook games like Mafia and that awful, awful Farmville game.

        Sadly, this is what will happen. You made her a priest right? Ya, this is where that backfires. She will level fast and somehow pick the right spec and professions. She will read up on how to play and become a good healer, which we all know is still hard to find. Your guild will like her better than you and it will be she telling you she will hop on pop after she finishes the Argent Tournament. It’s time to dust off the porn collection player, you done fucked up.

        Are you sure you want to do this?

        You know the risks, but if you care about this girl and about wow then you might have to take a chance. It could work out, two out of four are not bad odds right?

        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.

        Final Fantasy XIV: A Fantasy I Want No Part Of

        FFXIV online logo
        FFXIV online logo

        E3 2009 took us by surprise when Square-Enix opened up with the trailer for Final Fantasy XIV. It wasn’t expected to be announced and was rather hush-hush until the presentation. What really blew people away, in my opinion, was its suggested release date. When an MMO is normally announced to be in production you expect 2-3 years from that date or more for the game to be complete and released. Releasing such a big brand name in such a short time made me insinuate that this project must have been in works for quite some time in silence. As with most utterings of a Final Fantasy game being released, high expectations are hoped to be met by their fan base. Can Square-Enix bring out a AAA title in such a short time frame? The company certainly has not released anything close to AAA quality in quite some time and this MMORPG must have occupied many of the company’s resources for its production.

        Final Fantasy XI was a highly acclaimed MMORPG in Japan and did moderately successful worldwide. With the juggernaut that is World of Warcraft, a company like Square-Enix seemed like the most powerful competitor to steal some WoW’s players. The time to capitalize on the market of people waiting for the next big MMO was netted in by this announcement. With Star Wars: The Old Republic not ready to debut until Spring 2011, Final Fantasy XIV had a chance to pull in a strong player base of MMO nomads.

        As the release date began to draw near, open beta was announced and it was time to check out what Square-Enix was hiding behind the curtain. After getting my beta invite email I decided to follow the instructions. I was taken to a link that I had assumed would have a registration key and login section to get this fixation underway. Instead, the link took me to a portal with the “requirements” to play the beta. There were no links to sign into my Square-Enix account and the page was outright inadequate. Their “System Requirements” section on the page just directs you to another page with the information on the minimum system requirements. This portal page was completely and utterly useless and vague at best.

        I finally decided to just go to the Final Fantasy XIV official page to login and see if I can find a registration code. Finding any reference to this code in my account page was impossible and adding Final Fantasy XIV to my service only asked me for a code anyway. When I finally did find the code page, they had closed registration codes for the time being and will release more at a later date. After spamming the refresh button a million times I eventually did get this code for my wife and myself to play.

        Finding the download section for the game was another hassle as it wouldn’t open up the torrent file at all. I eventually had to find it off another site to begin the patch. My download time for this nearly 8GB file was 5 weeks. My wife’s download time was an hour and thirty minutes. After some surfing on the internet I saw a ton of people were having a problem with the game patching in a reasonable time frame. I guess we got lucky my wife’s download was speedy. When her download finished I just transferred a copy of the completed files to my computer so we could get started.
        Now, onto the meat of this review. The game itself.

        Performance: My machine is fairly new so I’m not even going to rate the performance based on that. My wife’s unit is older and has an Intel quad-core clocked at 2.40GHZ, 4GB of DDR2 memory, and an ATI 5870. The game ran beautifully. There was little to no chopping even in the populated cities with the settings set to max. Particle effects offered zero lag and the game probably ran the smoothest out of any next-gen MMORPG we’ve played in the past 3 years. For an open beta, this was highly impressive. Any midrange computer can handle this game at full settings with just a bit of tweaking if a hitch ever came up.

        Controls: Developers of this game came out straight and said this game was designed to have the UI revolve around the use of a controller. Just like in Final Fantasy XI, this unrelated sequel of sorts incorporates the use of a controller even for the PC. It is not keyboard and mouse friendly at all. For God’s sake, you can’t even hotkey anything. For some of the most simple tasks you have to take a journey through a plethora of menus for miniscule options. It is ridiculous, cumbersome, and ill planned. Yes, the game is releasing for the PS3 and these controls must be comfortable for them but guess what? They aren’t releasing the PS3 version until sometime next year. What is the purpose of releasing the PC version with this horrid UI and control scheme if the focus of its movement isn’t even releasing until the following year? It makes little to no sense. It seems to me they are releasing this version of the game just to make the deadline “promise” they made at E3 2009.

        LOL Wut Pirate Final Fantasy XIV
        LOL Wut Pirate Final Fantasy XIV

        Sound: Classic Final Fantasy sounds make their appearance in this game. It is clear and sounds great. The music really puts you in that role-playing mood if you’re into that sort of thing. It shoves you into this world and makes it come to life. As always, Nobuo Uematsu knows how to compose some grand and fantastical musical choices. Unfortunately, all this goes to hell the moment the voice-overs pop in. The studio that handled the voice acting must have hired the student’s from Ms.Spifz’s High School English Class. The actors sounded as though they were involuntarily picked to read aloud to the class the next section of The Great Gatsby. The voices are uninspired, bland, and lacking any emotion. The music sets you up for this grand adventure and then the actors from Twilight decide to make an appearance as voice actors and ruin the entire mood. I felt blue balled.

        Gameplay: I know this is what you all have been waiting to hear, so here it is. The game immediately tosses you into this adventure to go kill whatever furry monstrosity is waiting for you in the newbie area, the inauguration for every great RPG adventure. If it isn’t stomping on giant rats, its killing boars or bunnies. After going through a thousand clicks to accept the quest, I opened my map to see where I should begin my journey. The newbie zone was right on the edge of town. Guess where they started me? At the OTHER side of this 5 mile city! Not only was it difficult to find my way around but I couldn’t leap down staircases to make shortcuts. And with that we bring up my biggest peeve in anything ever!
        I hate games that don’t let me jump.

        I don’t care how good it is.

        I hate not jumping.

        Walls that were two feet high were preventing me from crossing the fastest way possible. I had to trek all the way across the wall just to get around. I can shoot fireballs from my hands and cleave through the sturdy flesh of an Orc but I can’t hop over a small bump in the ground. I hate being bored in groups and not being able to prance around the dungeon as we continue onward. I hate not being able to cancel my spells with a small little hop. The lack of a jumping feature takes away from the gaming experience for me. I can’t even vault over the damn thing like in Gears of War.

        Go To Hell Taru Final Fantasy XIV
        Go To Hell Taru Final Fantasy XIV

        Finally reaching the newbie area was probably the most frustrating part of the game. The mob I needed to kill sparsely speckled the newbie zone and the amount of new players looking to kill this mob were outnumbering its spawn rate. The hotbar techniques only correspond to the number on your NUMPAD. I couldn’t find any other way to map it elsewhere for more convenience. After spending maybe an hour searching for three of these mobs without any luck I decided to uppercut a Dodo bird which kept running by me constantly. Instead of considering its level, I shoved my lancer’s spear into his face and I was quickly dismembered in only a few seconds. As I laid dead on the ground I began to wonder when my release timer would come up so I could respawn. After a minute of waiting I began to realize why I saw so many dead players that hadn’t released their corpse earlier in my adventure. There is no release button. You have to excavate through your menu and find a “Return” button to get released to a spawn point. Nicely done, Square-Enix. Your vague manner really helped me there.

        After calming down and letting my heart rate return to a safe set of beating, I decided to return to town and try out the crafting professions. I always liked fishing in an MMO so I decided to take up Fishing as my career choice. I needed some money to buy some of the equipment needed to pursue my profession so I sold some vendor trash and went ahead on my new path. After equipping my pole and bait I went ahead to begin the process of being a bad ass fisherman. After spending 4 minutes wondering how to even begin fishing since the keyboard controls were complete garbage, I got on my way. The whole fishing endeavor was much more complicated than I thought. I had to choose my depth, the quality of the water I was fishing from, and the casting point. When the message that something had bit my line appeared, I had to begin a struggle with the fish to drag it out of the water. You have to constantly “Jig” with the fish back and worth as it tries to take the line till the fish is too tired to struggle and you capture him. It’s basically the combat mechanics of a Pokemon battle. I found fishing way more enjoyable than the actual game’s combat since I spent most of the time running around with my spear trying to find rats to poke. I could easily see someone making their crafting profession their main source of entertainment in the game as it is rather enthralling.

        The fatigue system was something I didn’t really experience as I gave up just way too soon on this game from sheer lack of enjoyment. From what I’ve been told by friends and from other sources, you can’t barrel through the game. Powergamers will not find any euphoria in this game as the fatigue system penalizes you for using one class for too long. After 8 hours of gameplay, your character will hit a block in progression that will offer them no experience points. They will have to change classes and try something else for another eight hours. Each week the debuff is cleansed and you are allowed to continue on with the class that was previously penalized. What does this sound like to me? It sounds like this game is probably two-thirds complete and they are putting roadblocks so they can successfully complete their endgame. By the time the PS3 version of the game releases, I prophesize that this system will be scrapped since the game will be officially completed.

        Final Verdict: This game falls short in so many places. It is beautiful and quite breathtaking. It isn’t as user friendly as one would hope. Newer gamers to the Final Fantasy Online universe can easily get lost in the complexity of its interface and mechanics. It does require a bit more patience than most MMOs and getting the hang of it right out of the box isn’t something that will come easily. A small fraction of brain power is needed to solve the puzzles of the menu and to get used to some of the mechanics for the crafting professions. If you’re looking for something to dive into right away, this isn’t the game for you. If you’re looking for a powergaming experience, this game isn’t for you. If you enjoy excelling in one area, this isn’t the game for you. If you’re looking for beautiful graphics and dream inspired settings with an enjoyable RPG experience filled with the wonder and adventure of killing large rats and Dodo birds, this is the game you’re looking for! Overall, the game failed to grasp my attention for longer than five hours.

        For something that was expected to take the MMORPG genre a step forward, this title took two steps backs and one step forward. What was expected to be a monsoon of intrigue and JRPG adventure ended up becoming nothing more than a minor swell lost in a sea of upcoming MMOs.

        Multiplayer Pranks!

        Trickster demotivational poster
        Trickster demotivational poster

        Multiplayer Pranks!

        If there’s anything better than being a rapscallion in real life it’s being a rapscallion in video games. Nothing comes close to ruining someone’s gaming experience and nothing comes close to the kind of heart wrenching laughter that ensues. There have been many moments in local and online multiplayer that have left me in tears of joy. Sometimes, exploiting someone’s fun is just way better than actually playing the game. Let us all gather around our illuminating monitor screens with our favorite caffeinated liquid garbage and share some fond puckish stories!

        Of course, what community deserves to be treated like waste right away? That’s right! The World of Warcraft community. I couldn’t help myself when I realized my Warlock could summon people. It didn’t take long for me to come up with a way to grief people in my guild. It took me awhile to convince my wife to assist me in opening the portal though. Every guild has a leech. They don’t help out but love to beg for assistance. Well once, my wife, a friend in the guild, and myself invited this one member who wanted to run Scarlet Monastery with us. He was in the group and in Ironforge with us when we decided to run together. Unfortunately, when we began to run he didn’t leave IF. He chose to remain silent and not say a word.

        When we made it to SM we said “Geez, there are a lot of Horde outside the door PvP enabled.” (we played on a PvP server so now they could just face rape us at this point). Suddenly, our player who took a vow of silence broke his promise to God and spoke up asking for a summon to the doors. I was pissed because I knew he was just eating shit so he didn’t have to do the walk and waited for us to reach the monastery. In any case, we summoned him. We did the entire instance and of course… he kept hitting need on everything. When we completed the instance we all hearthed back to Ironforge to repair and sell our loot. The bloodsucker decided to stay behind in SM to PvP. He then had the nerve to ask for a summon back to Ironforge when he had enough. When I asked him why he didn’t just use his stone he told me he didn’t want to waste the cooldown.

        World of Warcraft screenshot
        World of Warcraft screenshot

        This is where my brilliant idea kicked in. After insisting to my wife this was just, I ran over to the forge and made my portal over the lava pit in Ironforge. Our friend and my wife clicked the portal and the ill begotten fool accepted his passage into hell! I watched as his body entered the zone and pulled a Wyle E. Coyote as he must’ve looked down and then back at me. If there was a /helpsign emote it would’ve fit this moment perfectly. The lighting of the flames below pressed against my pixilated face as I looked down relishing his death at the hands of the forging fires. There was no way out. I saw him attempt to hearth only to have it interrupted. He died and I laughed.

        The mischief doesn’t end there. After the release of Burning Crusade I decided to make a Draenei Mage. It was a ton of fun and I didn’t mind handing out food and water to people. Being a vending machine was cool beans and I didn’t care one bit about handing out replenishment. At least, I didn’t mind until the Mage Buffet Table spell was added and everyone begged me to make this table every time we entered Alterac Valley. I wanted to get my killing on, not supply you with a reagent required buffet. No one ever paid me back or said thank you for it. They just asked rudely. This is when I decided to really put a damper on their day. AV had a long queue and I knew their punishment would be severe. The plan was set. Time to see if it would work. I opened up the portal and told every to click to summon the table. In an instant, four people disappeared. Yeah, I did it! I opened a portal to Stormwind and the dumb asses started clicking it and got ported out of AV. They had to begin the queue again from the beginning. I felt like a Golden God laughing down at the pathetic peons of the mortal plane!

        My tenacity for tomfoolery didn’t begin in World of Warcraft, though. Years prior to this, when Everquest was still managed by Verant, there were events in the game run by the Game Masters. These GM Events would have players running all over Norrath trying to complete the task handed out to them. Normally you’d be able to tell it was a GM by their “Anonymous” tinted name and their quest format speech. They would put key words to ask them in [brackets] so that the player would know how to proceed to the next step of the quest.

        EverQuest logo
        EverQuest logo

        Well… one boring night, my cousin and I decided to find some newbies in Misty Thicket and pretend we were GMs. I was walking around the newbie area with my name tinted purple for anonymous. I began to say, in quest format, “Oh dear! Where is my cousin [Finkle]?” A group of players, somehow believing this to be a GM evenet approached me and asked “Who is Finkle?” I turned to them in reply and gave them a long block of text informing them about my cousin and how I couldn’t find him in Rivervale and that I would appreciate if they would speak to him for me.

        As they ran into Rivervale, my cousin was set up the same way and told them they should go out to Runnyeye to find me as I was patrolling the goblin city and they shouldn’t be startled by my disguise should they find me. When he told me they were coming I hauled ass into Runnyeye and put on my Mask of the Deceiver. When they found me I informed the players Finkle required 4 spider silks and to meet him in Erudin. The players foolishly then ran around Misty Thicket looking for silk to further the quest. It was at this time we logged out and wondered if they actually ran to Erudin. For those who didn’t play EQ and have played WoW, running from Rivervale to Runnyeye is the equivalent of running from Orgrimmar to the Crossroads. We asked them to do this three times.

        Of all of these pranks, my favorite one is still the one where I got revenge in Everquest in Lower Guk. On my server, there was a monk who just loved to train people in LGUK by feigning death near groups and also killing the LFG people at the entrance. He did this all day. He was heartless. A cold and calculating monster. A scourge amongst the undead froglok blight. I was getting tired of attempting to cheese it towards the zone line while sliding around on the grime covered floors of this cesspool. I decided to challenge him to a duel. This druid sitting at the entrance kept giving him conjured nourishment while I AFK’d for a bit. When I came back, I read that he said “Enough! My bags are full!” The Norse God Loki must have whispered this sweet decadent idea to me as my smile spanned from ear to ear. The monk was dual wielding Wu’s Fighting Sticks, a rather expensive item in the game.

        I initiated the duel and we began our battle. The time to commence my plan was at hand. I used my disarming ability on the bastard! I know, nowadays, disarming someone just disable the weapon, but in Everquest it put the item back in your bags. When your bags are full, well… your item falls to the ground. I saw his staff on the floor, picked it up and zoned out. I made my way to GFAY and sold it immediately. I was never contacted by a GM or by this monk ever and I made it away clean with an extra 4k platinum in my pocket. Justice was served for causing all those death penalties in Guk you son of a bitch, I thought triumphantly to myself.

        Those are my stories of malicious intent towards others in the gaming community but what we really want to know at OG is what you’ve done even more! Please reply and let us know what kind of a horrible person you really are!

        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: Episode 6

        MMO collection
        MMO collection

        Love it or hate it massive multiplayer online role playing games or MMORPG’s for short have played a big role in gaming and this week on OGS we wanted to talk about some of our favorite times and memories involving games such as World of Warcraft and Everquest. In addition during our research for a review on the documentary Second Skin I discovered a good friend of mine was featured along with her guild in the film.

        This was our first show using Skype and we wanted to bring some of our longtime fans and friends on the show that either currently or in the past played MMO’s. First we talked with Edgar who gave us his take on World of Warcraft from him fighting off the addictive nature of MMO’s to how the gameplay had to be modified to accommodate new players who may not have the experience of more seasoned gamers.

        MMO logos
        MMO logos

        Next we spoke with an officer from the World of Warcraft guild Amber Knights. Candice is also a good friend of mine and fan of Obsolete Gamer and we spoke to her about running a guild made up of friends and how it can differ from being in a guild of strangers. In addition we talked about her maintaining a happy marriage with her husband and fellow gamer Felipe and finally we chatted about being a gamer girl in a gaming world dominated by men.

        Our last Skype interview was with Javier aka Vigo from the World of Warcraft guild Decent. Both Ignacio and I worked with Javier at Alienware (along with Edgar by the way) when World of Warcraft was released and we talked about how we all decided to play it and the choice to either PVE or PVP. The connection was a little bit off for this one, but it was still a good conversation and we were happy to be able to have a good discussion with our fans.

        Ignacio/honorabili talks about his best experiences with Auto Assault, Global Agenda, Warhammer Online, and Battleforge. His most memorable memory from Auto Assault is running an elite guild and meeting a group of old gamers that have been playing together since Mechwarrior Online.

        Throughout the show we played clips from my interview with Sairys who was one of the couples featured in the documentary Second Skin. We talked about how she got introduced to the Second Skin guys and how she first joined her guild (also profiled in the film) The Syndicate. She told us a heart filled story about how members of the guild helped each other even in the saddest of times and recounted hers and Ebony’s (he boyfriend) fondest memory in a MMO.

        All in all a great show and we hope you enjoy it as well and as always leave us feedback and tell us how we did.


        The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 6

        My Own Misconceptions of the Word Mature (Warning: This gets mature, guys.)

        Super Mario Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
        Picture is Irrelevant!

        Hello all! We are a new guild/community called Satan’s Bastards! We are now recruiting and/or are always looking for more members to join our mature community. Come join us if you are like-minded and looking for a fun gaming experience!

        And there is the bait…

        It seems online that many gaming communities seem to not understand what the word mature implies. There is also the possibility that I do not quite grasp the definition of this term but before you dismiss me, please bestow me a chance to rant about the latest and past online injustices I have witnessed in regards to the word “mature”.

        As of late, I have been playing on a Team Fortress 2 server that is hosted by a community, which advertised themselves as mature. Upon viewing the group’s name I came to the assumption that they were the kind of mature that fit my definition of the term.

        When Mr. Umar Khan thinks of the word “mature”, he thinks that there is a group of individuals who are adults and are willing to get involved in adult conversation and don’t scream over the use of foul language. The kind of adult conversation would be one in which you could say a joke you heard on a Comedy Central stand up routine and the use of foul language is used not to insult someone by calling them a “thunder cunt” but rather a shout out to the current situation at hand.

        Here is an example of improper use of foul language online:

        “You fat slimy cum dumpster piece of shit! Why don’t you choke on cocks?!”

        A proper example for the use of foul language online would be:

        “Aww, that’s a bag of dicks! I didn’t see you around the corner!”

        See how the improper example is a direct insult while the proper example is more of an exclamation of surprise and self-loathing for not being careful? This would be my definition of a mature community. One who doesn’t mind the use of TV-M rated material found on HBO and FX. Unfortunately, time and time again I am proven erroneous in this view.

        Giving the server a chance, I decided to join and play some 2Fort with them. After a few minutes I noticed there was one player probably no older than fifteen years old screaming about how no one was helping him on his team. He continued to rant how if he weren’t playing no one would get the job done. The player came to the belief that everyone was not helping him on purpose. As expected online, the admins and tagged members of this community jokingly said that they all banded together just to make his life difficult in this map. Noting that they had a joking demeanor, I decided when I saw an opening I was going to poke fun. The kid began to scream on the mic that a chunk of the wall was missing. I noted that one of the members of the community replied in the following fashion, “Stop being such a bitch!” Finding that opening I had longed for, I retorted to this angry teen that his mother was missing a chunk. It was a simple and mostly harmless joke. That’s what I thought at least. A few brief moments later I was warned to be respectful of other players’ moms. Being the snappy online bastard I am I asked if it was acceptable to state that my own mother was missing a chunk? I was told I would be kicked if I didn’t calm down.

        The belligerent child was quiet for a good hour until his scout tried to jump onto our battlements and one of my stray rockets blew him out of the sky in one hit. He replied “Lucky ass crit rocket.” To his defense, he was truly correct in his statement. I didn’t mean to hit him but I certainly did by accident. The admin informed him not to use foul language. It was at this point I began to think about the word “maturity” and how these people seemed to have mislabeled it. The community was named after a very famous villain in the Bible who plagues mankind with bad stuff and they were his “gamers”. To fast forward the story a bit, the kid replied “Ok fuehrer. “ and they banned him for being a racist. Now, a group that advertises itself as mature and goes by the name of something evil isn’t really hitting their mark if by “mature” they actually meant family friendly. I quickly left the server because I knew with my kind of Internet white knight behavior I would’ve been banned at any moment.

        I’ve been gaming online for quite some time now and I do have to say that in my journeys across cyber space that I have run into this situation before. When I played Everquest, I had joined multiple mature guilds and ended up getting guild kicked out of most of them because I didn’t know mature meant not to say “ Wow, that is pretty gay!” In World of Warcraft, I found one guild that fit under my definition of mature but I got banned from that one because one of the officers called me a racial slur directed towards a person of Middle Eastern descent and the guild leader didn’t believe me despite screenshots. The only guild I think fit the perfect example of maturity was the guild I found in Warhammer Online. They are the now defunct guild called “Da Lost Boyz”. We could talk as much garbage as possible and still be on good terms with everyone in the guild. We were like some sort of hive mind that all thought alike.

        I’m not really sure I am grasping what mature means when someone describes it online but if you’re going to rant at me about being mature while you’re playing a seven foot drooling troll warrior, I think someone needs to step back and re-evaluate their own current situation. If mature means family friendly, then please say so. If mature means you’re willing to handle adult content then I believe you are currently on the right track to advertising your guild/community properly.

        What are your thoughts on the definition of mature and how it relates to a guild/community? Have stories of your own where your misconception of the word got you or someone else in trouble? Please share! We want to know all about it!

        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.

        Jeffery Lee: TQ Digital

        TQ Digital Entertainment logo

        Name: Jeffery Lee

        Title: Game operator

        Company: TQ Digital

        Favorite classic game: Console games: Age of Empire II, HoMM 3 Online games: Lotro, WoW

        Quote: All of the games above are well designed in balance and they have a high strategy requirement if you want to play them well. Comparing to other games, their in-game graphics were the best when they were released, I was always enmeshed in those games and I often took several hours’ playing on the without interruption.


        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.

        Interview – CoLD SToRAGE (Tim Wright)

        CoLD SToRAGE (Tim Wright)
        Cold Storage logo

        We recently interviewed one of our favorite musicians CoLD SToRAGE (Tim Wright). The following is the interviewRead More

        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.

        The End of the Lich King

        The Lich King WoW
        The Lich King WoW

        While it is true that everyone and their mother plays World of Warcraft that doesn’t mean that when something is done well you ignore it because it is massive and mainstream. The team over at Blizzard did a pretty good job with their cinematic’s after the death of Arthas, the Lich King.

        Spoiler Alert! Yes, we all know the Lich King dies, but just in case you don’t want to know what happens next don’t click the video or read what is below.

        Of course there are rumblings across the net about the need to be a Lich King, however, I think the lore team has set themselves up well.

        A good summed up response to those who questioned the need for a Lich King and the choice in who became Arthas’s successor came from, believe it or not, the City of Heroes official forums where member Talia Rayvyn said:

        The reason they needed another host is because the first Lich King (Ner’zhul) would have full control over the Scourge or if Ner’zhul without a body had no control over the Scourge they would just follow their instinct to destroy all life.

        When Ner’zhul fused with Arthas they both became stronger because he had a physhical body BUT deep down Arthas was still a good person and was using what influence he had to hold the Scourge back. I’m not sure if you play/played WoW, but during the Wrath World Event they unleashd the Scourge plague and it did not take long before everything was a zombie wasteland. That’s exactly how the world should be, but since it’s not, that hinted at the fact that something was holding the Scourge back. I just assumed that Arthas was building up a bigger force but when Uther tells you that he is actually holding the Scourge back it makes just as much sense.

        Also Bolvar was the best man for the job to be the new Lich King. The first important fact is that he is not in possession of Frostmourne. That sword was the major reason for Arthas’ downfall because it stole his soul and made him a slave to its hunger and Ner’zhul since the sword is ultimately tied to him. The second factor is that he is covered in head to toe in fire from the Red Dragons. That fire embodies the very essence of life an was probably one of the main reasons that Arthas could never convert him into a Death Knight. So as long as the fire burns he is resistant to the undead of the Scourge. So between those two things it made him a perfect “jailer” rather than host for Ner’zhul and the Scourge.

        From a lore-standpoint the Scourge will no longer be a threat to Azeroth and will probably just lethargically shamble around Northrend. Blizzard could also eventually evolve the Scourge to the point that they are able function as well as the Forsaken.

        I also expect this was a means to set-up the scenario a few expansions down the road when we assault the Burning Legion that the Alliance and Horde will be joined by Bolvar and the Scourge in overthrowing Sargeras.

        Overall, a good job was done, at least visually. We will see what Cataclysm brings us.

        Shaman tracked down by Hunter in World of Warcraft

        Shaman tracked down by Hunter in World of Warcraft

        So you’re sitting behind your keyboard at home typing away thinking the vast wasteland that is the internet will keep your identity a secret, think again. Two weeks ago, Howard County Sheriff’s Department deputy Matt Roberson tracked down a wanted fugitive through one of the most popular games on the Internet — World of Warcraft.

        World of Warcraft tauren

        I’ve always known the Horde were a bunch of criminals, but this takes the cake. Alfred Hightower, also known as the Taren Shaman Rastlynn was wanted for dealing a variety of drugs including marijuana. He has had an arrest warrant out on him since 2007, but had eluded capture for the past two years. After some keen detective work and a tip from a childhood friend Roberson was able to discover that Hightower had fled to Canada and started playing Warcraft.

        “We received information that this guy was a regular player of an online game, which was referred to as ‘some warlock and witches’ game,” said Roberson. “None of that information was sound enough to pursue on its own, but putting everything we had together gave me enough evidence to send a subpoena to Blizzard Entertainment. I knew exactly what he was playing — World of Warcraft. I used to play it. It’s one of the largest online games in the world.”

        Roberson then sent a subpoena to Blizzard HQ in California, but he knew it was a long shot. Because of jurisdiction, the ambiguity of the internet and the fact that Blizzard was not compelled by law to respond chances were that Roberson would never hear back from them.

        Three months had gone by and Roberson had put the subpoena in the back of his mind when he received a package from Blizzard. They had provided him with all the information on Hightower including his IP address, his account information and history, his billing address, and even his online screen name and preferred server.

        “I did a search off the IP address to locate him,” said Roberson. “I got a longitude and latitude. Then I went to Google Earth. It works wonders. It uses longitude and latitude. Boom! I had an address. I was not able to go streetside at the location, but I had him.”

        Not long after locating Hightower’s address the U.S. Marshals contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Border Services Agency. Soon after Hightower was arrested in Ottawa, Ontario and was deported.

        So the next time you are in a horrible pug and the Shaman goes AFK forever he might just have been arrested on drug charges. Remember kids, the internet might be the wild west, but even in the west the long arm of the law can find you.

        P.S. Check out his Hightower’s Armory profile, lolz!