Friday, October 31, 2008

The Break

I'm taking a break from MMO's for a bit, just so I can enjoy some new Xbox 360 games I picked up with my birthday money this month (Oct 4th btw). The new games are Fable 2 and Fallout 3. Both have managed to capture my money and my time lately, sorry CoW guildies.

To start with, both are fantastic games. I've spent about 6 hours on both and I have to say, money well spent. Both have pretty open worlds, meaning, you don't have to do the main story line right away. These games do not lead you around on a leash saying, "go hear and do this before time runs out or you'll never be able to finish the game." You can do what you want when you want. As you adventure, your decisions, good or evil, will effect how you are perceived by others and can change the outcome of certain quests. Even though they sound similar to some degree, both games are very different in design and feel differently when played. This is causing me a lot of conflict. I like both of them equally so it's hard to decide which one to choose when I have free time. If only all the problems in the world were this complex. lol

My other issue is that Gears of War 2 will be out soon and I'll have three games I have to choose between, not to mention the money I am currently sinking into not 1 but 2 MMO's. It's hard being a gamer sometimes.

Because of all the console playing and work, I've only managed to do a few things in WAR and WoW over the last month. Not sure what I'm going to do once WOTLK arrives. I doubt I will be able to devote much time to that with all these awesome Xbox games to play. Besides, with me getting shoulder surgery in December, my gaming will be very limited during the up coming holiday season.

I'll post more about my thoughts on Fable 2 and Fallout 3. My advice, you can't go wrong with either one of them right now, both deliver lots of great game play and many hours of fun.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Casual, Relaxed Fit.

I know those that read my site recently might think I may have fallen back in love with WoW and that WAR might suffer from that. True, Blizzard did make World of Warcraft look very tempting and visually enhanced, but its not as interesting as her easy, sexy half sister WAR.

I'm here to say that I'm going to be playing WAR for a very long time and that even though WoW has won some of my interest back, I will still be making head way towards T4 and the trouncing of some Destro city real soon.

Why will I be playing WAR after the free month? For the fact that I was able to log during the wee hours of this morning before work and level my Rune Priest from 5 to 6, and still being able to shower, shave and make it to work on time (Ok, I was 20 minutes late, but I need a biscuit from McDee's).

Here is what I did, I got in the que for a scenario, ran around doing two or three very simple quests, got my scenario invite, managed to be 1st on the healing chart, WOOT ME, turned in the simple quests and was able to ding all in a very very short time. Tell me that isn't awesome. The game allows the casual player to log in, run a few simple things, log out and still feel like you've made some headway with your character. It's not like WoW with it's very grindy slow paced system.

That being said, I plan to stay with WAR, because you can't eat chicken all the time, occasionally you need a little red meat. lol

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The New Coat of Paint

I've just finished playing World of Warcraft and I have to say, they have done a fine job fixing that old gal up. They have added a lot of new features, some of them completely new, like hairstyles, glyphs and some of them to replace community created mods, like their new agro warning system and in game calendar.

They also decided to spruce up the place a bit, add a new coat of bright paint and change some of the spell effects to give them more visual power. As much as I criticise the way Blizzard does business and treats it's player base, they sure do know how to make the old look brand spankin new again.

I've never done a run thru heroic mana tombs, but tonight, I managed it with my gnome frost mage and I have to say, it was such fantastic fun. The spell effects were dazzling, the colors sharp and enticing. I have to say it was almost like playing a brand new game. They've revamped so much stuff for the expansion, added the ability for glyphs to enhance your spell powers and changed how the talent trees work for all classes that the game just plays differently now. I'm not saying it won't be the same old boring grind, especially for those achievement junkies who will spend tons of time and money filling out everything on the list. But it was nice to be back in Azeroth.

I just have to say that with this small taste of what is to come in WOTLK, Blizzard may stay on top for a good time to come.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Echos of Doom

Currently I'm updating WoW to the new content patch, but due to is size (1.2G) it will take me almost 4hrs to download it and I'm not even sure the servers will be up by that time. According to some sites, yesterday's deployment of the patch didn't go very well and servers stayed down well into the evening.

Lots of changes with the patch:

One huge improvement is the placement of items such as mounts, vanity pets, Badges of Justice and Battleground tokens in their own tab on the character page and removing them from bags and banks slots to free up space. I know this will make several people, who collect just about every vanity pet in the game a lot happier. More info can be found here.

I'm looking forward to reworking all my talents for my two level 70's since all their points will be refunded because all talent rees got reworked, nerfed and recieved new talents for the race to 80. I just love spending all my game time planning out my spec by doing tons of on line research, then having to spend lots of money to rework it once I discover I've put a point in the wrong place or the spec I have chosen for my character only works right on sundays after a full moon while wearing a funny hat.

Also, can't wait to start downloading and replacing all my mods because I'm sure there isn't one still in tact after the patch was released. But I'm sure it will only take me a month at the least to get everything back in order. Just in time for the WOTLK release, WOOOT.

I think Blizzard loves to give you lots of money through the use of the Auction house and Daily quests, then spends all their free time find ways to remove it from us through things like Tradeskills, mounts, vanity pets, and hairstyles. A vicious cycle.

I am looking forward to trying out some of the new content, like Stormwind Harbor and a few other things. I don't think I will be changing my mage's hair style because, as some of you in WAR already know, I love the comb over look.

I'll report more once I can get in the game and look around.

The Fortification

From Mythic:

Another eventful week is flying by here at the studio. As always the team has been working non-stop to bring you updates and make the game you love even better. This morning (10/15/085) at 6AM EDT all North American Servers will be coming down to begin the update to version 1.0.3.! Oceanic servers will follow at 9AM EDT, we anticipate all servers to be back online by 2PM EDT. While these notes are subject to change they'll give you a taste of what you have to look forward to as 1.0.3 approaches!


  • We're pleased to announce the addition of a new regional chat system. This item has been one of our most requested features, and you can find the details below.
  • We have made additional improvements to the functionality of the /ignore command. This command should now work more consistently.
  • A “new mail” icon has been added to the edge of the minimap to alert players when new mail messages have arrived.
  • We have made some additional improvements to the handling of NPC speech and action text in an effort to reduce the amount of chat players see from NPCs.
  • In order to provide a more challenging and rewarding experience, we have adjusted the overall speed at which players can gain control of zones and move the campaign.
  • Pet behavior has been improved and should act more naturally when changing between passive and defensive modes while the pet is fighting multiple enemies.
  • The war against the gold sellers continues! We have introduced a new "report gold seller" command that works as follows: when you type /rg, the game will automatically fill out a gold seller appeal using the name of the last player who sent you a tell. If you get an unwanted /tell from a pesky gold seller, type /rg to start an appeal and get them busted!
  • We have added a new option to the user settings that will allow players to enable or disable shader caching. This is a graphical performance option, and for a full explanation, players can hover their mouse over this option in the user settings window. This should help improve performance on many systems.

Mythic continues to amaze me at the speed in which they fix and add new options to the game. Finally, a company that listens players and acts instead of dragging their feet. They are building a very good reputation and fortifying their game for years to come.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Wilting of a Money Tree

Apparently, 10 million subscribers isn't paying the bills for Blizzard. Unable to harvest their current crop of money tree's and hurting for cash since the merger with Activision, it appears that Diablo 3 will be all about the DLC (Down loadable content) using their "Still Free for Now" player matching service, Battle.Net.

"We are looking to monetize Battle.Net so that we get to keep making these games and updating features," said Diablo III director Jay Wilson. "We kind of have to."

Quoting another source close to the decision, "We just can't afford to wax our yachts every day. I've personally had to lay off one of my 20 gardeners working at the 50 acre animal compound in Africa. It's just tragic. This decision to charge for things, that in the past we have provided for free should help ease the pain."

If that news wasn't bad enough,with regret in his voice and tears in his eyes, Blizzard’s Vice President of Game Design Rob Pardo announced that the campaign version of StarCraft 2 will be a trilogy, each part focusing on a separate race. "It's a separate product. Look at the next two as expansion packs, but will have the feel of stand alone products."

Citing a source close to Pardo, "He really wanted to release it as one product so the players could enjoy all the gaming goodness at once, but with the economic crisis, he knew if he was going to afford that trip in to space he had planned for 2010, he would have to pass the cost on to the players."

Continuing with the plan to keep their company a float, World of Warcraft production boss J Allen Brack apparently confirmed at BlizzCon session this weekend that paid character customisation is on the way to World of Warcraft. From this Warcry report:

When asked to expand upon a button found by sifting through the Lich King beta’s data files named “Paid Character Customization,” Brack initially hesitated to give any answer at all. Several questions later, he went back to the matter, saying that he could, in fact, confirm that World of Warcraft would eventually have some form of paid character customization, though they themselves hadn’t yet worked out any details.
With Warhammer's aggressive attack on the MMO market and the lack of good ink to print their own money, Blizzard is heading down skid row. It won't be long before the execs at Blizzard might actually have to cut back on the Hummers and Cesna planes.

And we can't have that.

Spore News

Found this on Cnet News:

Your Spore creature could soon get even creepier--or cuter, depending on your preferences in primordial beings. Electronic Arts on Monday officially confirmed rumors that an expansion titled Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack will be available worldwide as soon as November 18.

The expansion, announced just a month after the game's release, will offer more than 100 new creature-building components in two styles--charming, cartoon-esque creatures and scary, monster-like beasts.

The long-awaited game from EA and The Sims creator Will Wright tasks players with evolving from primordial ooze to creature, civilization, and all the way out into space. The expansion pack will include body parts, paint options, animations, and backgrounds, so players will have even more options for customizing their creatures.

But that's not all, creature creators. EA says it also expects to release a space stage expansion pack in spring 2009 that will let players' space-faring beings beam down from their spaceships to explore new planets and earn rewards for completing challenging missions. A new adventure creator will let players build and share online their own custom missions.

DRM or not, looks like EA is set to make Spore their next Sims dynasty.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Short Post

I haven't had time to really post anything, but saw this Over the Hedge comic very funny and thought I would share it.