To the countdown…

•September 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I remember doing this a couple years ago for Cataclysm, and my how time does seem to fly. We are now one day away from Mists, only one day, so what are players up to?

I’m thinking about all the things I could have started on earlier to make things easier. How I could have mined all the materials to level my new blacksmith but just never got around to it. I did grab a full set of heirloom gear for my new monk, so at least that is something.

Going into the new expansion I nearly had an 85 of ever class on one server. As of tonight, the last one I needed to get up is at almost 69 and I think I’ll play it a bit in the morning,after work. I do have ten 85s between two servers to consider, but I think the shaman will be up first. Why not have my main get the honor of wandering the new mythic landscape first and foremost?

I was not too impressed with the first scenario up for trial this week. While there was room for great potential story wise, it just fell flat. I understand that they are supposed to be short and story driven, but even having read the book that this was based on…I wouldn’t have even seen the story. The book filled me with righteous indignation at what our supposed Warchief was doing, but there was none of that. In fact, Garrosh is nowhere to be seen. Most groups skip the end so fast that I’m not even sure if they explain why the Horde is trying to save some blood elf mage in the basement of the hold.

So who is he and why are you saving him? Lore time! When the threat of the Horde marching on Theramore was imminent, Jaina Proudmoore went to the governing body of the Kirin Tor for help. She sought to sway the generally neutral mages into joining the battle, and they agree on basis that to do nothing would cause more harm than to step in. To this end, a handful of mages were sent to Theramore to lend assistance, including their leader Rhonin.

Among their number was Thalen Songweaver, highly recommended by members of the Council of 6. A part of the Sunreavers, The blood elf had made a strong showing to his teachers. In the battle, he was sent to strengthen the northern gates to keep the Horde out, but was instead found to be a loyalist to Garrosh Hellscream. He weakened the gates and allowed for the attackers to break through. His duplicity was discovered by Jaina’s guard, and he was captured and sent for questioning in the hold.

Horde players are sent to free him, not all that thrilling. Of course, rather to be escaping with the mage than dead by the troops (as much of the attacking force actually was), or dead by the bomb a short while later. Now that I think about it, will Garrosh celebrate Songweaver as a hero, or will he remains just another cog? Questions questions…

Also coming out tomorrow is ‘Pearl of Pandaria,’ the new graphic novel following Chen Stormstout’s niece through who knows what. Of course, many people who would be reading it will be playing the game instead. I’ll have it next weekend to read at work when I can’t play, so that problem will be solved.

I was finally able to take down Deathwing on my main earlier tonight, and though I didn’t really get anything for it, it made me feel better after downing him on two different alts. So this is how the longest raid patch ever ends, finally.
The time of the mortals, the younger races, has finally come. Isn’t it ironic that the first thing we do away from the aspects is to wage war on a land that has been hidden for ages?

As always, see you on the other side!


Updates…Bound to be a long one!

•September 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Lots of stuff that I should have gotten to last week, but sometimes you just get busy!

The pre-Pandaria patch 5.04 went live on the 28th, and reactions seem to be quite the mixed bag. I can understand that the new talent system seems to be a watered down waste of time, but it was meant to be more fluid to use and not meant to be something that you lock in and never look at again. Yes, there is the thought that the old trees were a quick way of sorting out good players from bad depending on if they could, you know, look up the highest dps tree and copy it down. I know I’ve said it before and I’ll have to say it every time this sort of thing comes up: what you choose for your talents will never dictate how well you play. It’s simple. If you don’t know how to play the spec, even picking all the best talents will not help you. Works the other way as well, grabbing something sub-optimal because it looks fun isn’t going to hit you if you know how to play.

This is why reading forums tends to make me angry. So many people with ‘Special Snowflake’ syndrome drive me up the wall. This is now a game where all are welcome, not just the hardcore or the casuals, the top of the charts or the bottom. It takes all sorta, and with this kind of game you really just need to learn to just worry about your own crap.

Alright, enough of that. I have enjoyed the account wide mounts and pets, I get to show off even more now. I was also pleased to see that the changes brought me the blue dragonhawk mount for my Alliance toons. The achievement changes have been nice as well, I’ll be breaking 10k very soon.

This week I finally have in and started raiding with my original guild on my druid. I’m not doing fantastic, my rotation is still screwy, but I was still welcomed into the party. Saturday night we downed 5 bosses, putting us even where I had been with the other guild. We got enough people back on tonight to continue and attempt the last three. We suffered a slip on Warmaster and a wipe, but that was the only one. Yes, we one shotted Spine and Madness of Deathwing…for the first time ever trying to fight them. I wish I had done it on my main, but we were in bad need of ranged dps. Someday Mica will see it through.

Tonight I decided finally to get it over with and remake my bank alt. When I first made him, I was looking to see just how fast I could level a shaman now that I knew where to go for everything. Needless to say, there’s a reason he ended up being a bank alt. Now, I have one of every class on my main server, all but priest which I had started a couple elsewhere. With Mists coming I knew I would have another space for my monk, but still I thought it would be fun to have one of everything on the server. Only…orcs don’t have priests and I didn’t want to give up his name because of a race issue. Grunmann is one of the few joke names that I was okay letting myself have, and it means ‘green man’ in German. So, I broke down and made a greenish colored troll, crazy mohawk and all. We shall see how far leveled he gets.

Time for lore! And major spoilers, so if you haven’t read the new book or don’t want to know what’s coming in a couple weeks, stay clear from here on!

I just finished reading ‘Tides of War’ literally right before I started typing this post. I’m mixed about it, and I will get into it. The story is mostly about Jaina Proudmoore and the fall of Theramore Isle, one of the few Alliance strongholds left so close to the Horde. This is the end of peace, both within the Horde and outside of it, which we will see in game very soon. The entire city, along with Northwatch Hold are leveled, the city by some very cowardly means which made me grumpy to read.

There have been a number of people angry that the Alliance would be losing a hub, that it showed how the developers liked the Horde so much better…I’m stung by the way this battle happens and I hope other Horde players are too. It isn’t glorious battle…in fact Garrosh willingly throws bodies to their deaths before retreating and dropping the largest manabomb ever created right on top of the city. He could have sat back anywhere and done what he did, but he chose to kill many of his own faction just for kicks. I’m hoping that Blizzard intends for us to be loathing him and siding more and more with Baine and Vol’jin…who I’m hoping play a huge role in ‘The Siege of Orgrimmar’ at the end of the expansion.

The book itself moves slow at times, there’s a lot going on at any given time, and Jaina seems to suffer the same tantrums that Arthas did through his book. All I can say is that things are bound to get far worse before they get better…

Playing with new toys…

•August 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

So, a bit of a catch up game here. Since the last post, gaming got put to the side for a while. I moved into a new apartment, my mother came to visit, work was crazy, and I took an unexpected trip back home to get my car fixed before the air compressor decided to really do some damage. In between there have been a few spots though where I was able to catch a breather.

I decided to beat Darksiders before the second game came out. This did get accomplished, right before I found out that I would not be in town for the release of the second game. I’m not going to rant, but Best Buy got a few choice words when they double charged me for the game when they had meant to split the payment for the game and book. Why would they do that? Game got back ordered and the book got shipped out separate. The whole mess is cleared up now and I believe both boxes are waiting in the office for me. Think I know what I’m doing tomorrow…

As for the new toy….I have to give props to I think most of my shirts are from them now, and sometimes they run some killer deals. When I saw a Razer Nostromo go on sale for $35, I snagged it. My coworker calls it the ‘Not-a-Mouse’, and just about everyone who grabs it wants to think it’s a mouse. What it is, is a half keyboard with a scroll wheel and direction pad added on. Each key is programmable to whatever function you could think of, including macros. Plus, it’s not just for gaming. Any shortcut, any program, yes it’s that awesome.

I really wish I had this back when I thought it was a good idea to get that expensive ideazon keyboard with the exchangeable keysets…that I wasn’t able to use after six months. Idealy, for a WoW user at least, this would be great to map your action bars and whatever else to, makes everything right within reach. Right now for me, I’ve mapped all my common use buttons to it like bags, map, quests, so on, because I am also running a Razer Naga mouse. That’s the one with the twelve keys on the thumbpad, so my action bars are already handled.

This is a case where the more you use it, the more it grows on you. I found out tonight that my roommate was handed one by a friend who had tried playing with it and just never got comfortable with it. Now I get to set hers up and see what she thinks.

Of course this doesn’t mean you’ll never use your full keyboard, but if you aren’t chatting it up with people in game, it’s not much of an issue. Time will tell how smooth I can get all of this to roll, I’ve only had about a week to play with it so far.

More Thoughts on The Secret World…

•July 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

First off, no I haven’t forgotten about WoW, but I’m packing up to move and not really up to fully redownloading the beta client at the moment. I wasn’t thrilled when they made us do it during the Cataclysm beta and I’m even less thrilled now. It will happen, I’ve just got other things to do on my terrible connection right now.

If we do indeed get a release date as rumored shortly, I may invest the time, but this packing and moving thing has to come first.

I need to retract some of the things that I said in my last post. In my defense, I only had my Dragon at the time and had been mission focused over exploration. Also, minimal research outside of the game because I’m having enough fun in it.

I originally headed to London because of a mention of a bank system only available there…then I found the mother of all clothing stores. So, I humbly retract my previous rant on clothing choices, there’s quite a selection to toss ingame money at as well. Rather fond of the leather jacket and black and grey stylized pants, but there should be something to make anyone at least close to happy in there.

Also, the buggy missions that irritated me so much seem to be better, not sure if that’s because everyone has moved on so there aren’t so many people to bork it up, or if the patches are fixing things as they go on. I think perhaps I will send my Dragon to Blue Mountain when I have time this week. I’ve been redoing missions on The Savage Coast to get a few more upgrades before moving on, I’ve heard some nasty things about the next zone.

I am excited to move on though, I do want to see more of the content and start unlocking decks just to mess around. Getting the hang of using attacks that impair the target, then slamming them with strings of attacks that all take advantage and exploit those effects.

Yes, a little more challenging than WoW, but I’ve always said that there’s more than enough room in the world for more than one mmo…

The Secret World…

•July 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The past couple weeks have been more of a blur than anything else. I had a trip out of town in which my car has been brutalized, so I’m writing from the shop to see if my ac will survive this summer. Came back from the trip and right into my best friend’s wedding, so limited time on the gaming.

I got my Worgen death knight through the fire festival achievements, got the flames I had missed on my shaman and called it good. I got the collectors edition of the Diablo 3 game book and haven’t even looked at it. I did finish up the storyline in Skyrim so I could pick up the new content, however I play on pc and won’t be seeing the dlc for a while. I just want to say to Microsoft: You know most of us playing on the pc are running your platform as well, or did you forget that you aren’t just xbox?

What I did do this week was get in on the early access play of The Secret World. For those who don’t know, this is Funcom’s newest mmo that I don’t think is really trying to break any records. It’s been in development for five years or so, and while the graphics may be dated, the gameplay is really interesting to me.

You play either an Illuminati, Templar, or Dragon battling the evils creeping into the world that the normal folk shouldn’t really be seeing. It doesn’t run on a level system persay, as your experience builds you get points to put into weapon and gear specializations, and passive and aggressive moves. Want to use a weapon, any weapon? Drop a skill point into it and off you go.

I am currently running a Dragon focused in blades and branching into Elementalist. Shock the hell out of things, then finish off with a good slicing. This leads into another aspect, the decks. Decks are pre-built specs that are exclusive to each faction. They pair two weapons with specific aspects and give you a string of moves and buffs that balance the high points of both weapons. Of course, when you finish a deck you are also rewarded with appropriate costumes to complete the look. Sadly, most of their clothing options are going to see you spending real money in their game store if you want them. It won’t bother me much, but I still think it is a bit underhanded of the company to put a price tag on so much of the customization when people pay full price for the game plus monthly fees…

Which starts my gripes on the game. While it has a lot going for it, I’m seeing a lot of things that were not addressed through beta and are now causing issues on live. I’ve only played up into the second mission area and there has been a handful of bugged/glitched missions that tend to mess up other missions down the line. Either things don’t spawn or too many of them spawn or things aren’t triggered right, whatever. These aren’t side missions mind you, but the main missions right under the head story that drives the whole thing. These were issues from beta that still haven’t been fixed. The other big one is just the griefing assholes that frequent mmo territory. It’s a new type of game, some people will dig it, other people will complain that you actually have to think about some of the missions and then ask what the answers are every fifteen seconds.

What I don’t appreciate is the idea that if you ask a question, any question, the immediate response is that you are stupid and need to go back to playing Warcraft. It’s the same elitist attitude that you get from any mmo, sad part is that we were seeing this from day one. And the world wonders why gamers are anti-social assholes…there isn’t so much the idea of trying to help others be good at whatever it is they’re doing, but that if you can do it better you should rub it in everyone else’s face and gloat.

If FunCom and get their crap under control, this could be a fun little number, but as it is now I find myself debating which game I want to play when I have the time. I also don’t know if it’s worth the time stalking the website waiting for fixes to known issues and double checking quests I’ve had to drop because my ‘dimension’ is borked for the millionth time.

I don’t know, guess time will tell.

Warcraft 3 and more lore reading…

•June 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This past week I knew I needed to get my laptop back up and running half decently as I was going to be heading out of town. I tend to only use it when I’m away from my desktop, and so it rarely gets updated. I don’t think I had even started it up since l was out of town last February, so there was a lot of updating to do, and installing a new mouse and all that fun stuff.

I figured since I was on a lore kick that it might be entertaining to play through Warcraft 3 again before I went out of town. The last time I played it, I wasn’t too familiar with extended lore, I was just after the story. This play through, I picked up on a lot more I think. Still enjoyable, that’s for sure.

However, at work this weekend I was trying to read through ‘Arthas: The Rise of the Lich King’ and find myself having a hard time focusing on it. Part of it is Arthas’ character in the first place…all of his anguish comes from the fact that he tried to jump his favorite horse in the whole wide world, but ended up killing it instead. Everything about his character is based on that fact alone. The second thing that I have a problem with is simply because I played Warcraft 3 this week. A lot of the dialog in the book is taken straight from the game. It would be less of a problem if I hadn’t just played the game again.

I don’t know, I don’t think I like this book as much as the others, the newer ones at least. The Lich King wasn’t a bad ass because of Arthas, he was a bad ass because of his powers and control over…well…damn near everything. Arthas was just a brat with guilt issues over doing a stupid thing and losing a dear pet…

I don’t know, I think I’ll be getting on with other things, maybe back to WoW for a bit…

The Grand Work and more thoughts on beta…

•June 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been doing a lot of reading at work, and lately the push has been towards getting through the Warcraft lore books that I had not already read. Some of them I had started and never finished, some I had just never gotten around to. The problem with reading up on lore is that I’ve come to realized just how many errors I had in the last half or so of the short story I wrote a couple years back. I had been so proud…I’m sure the staff reading it thought it was utterly laughable.

So, there will be revisions done to “The Path of Knowledge,” but that will come after my current project of madness is completed because they go hand in hand. When I started the story, I had found a nifty non-official timeline on wikia that was a huge help, but now it just isn’t detailed enough. In short, I’m making the most comprehensive unofficial timeline that I possibly can. With any luck, it will be posted as pages on this blog when it is up to date.

At about 350 pages so far, it consists currently of the official short stories, the history book literature found within WoW, the rough timeline of events up to now including the new Jaina Proudmoore novel that is fur out in August and the release of Mists of Pandaria. What I’m working on are bits of background history of events and further into descriptions of happenings in the released books. Am I crazy? You bet!

Of course credit will be given where it is due. Though…I’m beginning to think that a history book, not as boring as a full college text, would be amusing at some point in the figure. Why am I doing this? To give potential Warcraft fan writers an easier resource than what I have been able to find so far. Then again, it might just be daunting to read through…

During my breaks on that monster, I decided to run around in Mists beta for a bit. I am seriously undergeared though between dungeon loading issues and just nothing dropping out of them for me when I can get into a run. I’m debating working on my hunter just to get his skinning up so I can get the shaman’s leatherworking up. Yeah I know it’s round about, long story involving really really wanting that 100 mount achievement, and giving up a smart profession to level another just for the mounts.

What I’ve come to enjoy about Pandaria is the cohesiveness between the areas, at least that I have seen so far. I realize that there are reasons why in the old world that there are sudden lines between areas, some being technology based and others solidly seated in lore. However, this is very aesthetically pleasing just wondering around. It just flows from one thing to the next.

Thinking back now, even though I didn’t know the story at the time, riding out of Swamp of Sorrows and into the Blasted Lands sure did have an effect, besides being blind due to color clash. It have a sudden feeling that something was wrong here, a slight unnerved sensation…Then riding further, the sudden valley in a ridge, and there it is, the Dark Portal. Bringer of death absolute, at least to the earth it stood upon. For me learning how to play during Burning Crusade, that was a pretty heavy moment.

I think the more lore I deal with, the more I wish people would stop being so concerned about the end game, about the gear and the gloating and the assholes that come with the package. I wish they could see the story, to know why it’s so important that they are killing certain characters instead of only being concerned for what loot drops at the end.

For those that complain that there isn’t enough stuff in the game, it’s because you’re missing a big part of it…just my opinion of course.