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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Card Game Review: Sentinels of the Multiverse

This weekend I had the pleasant opportunity to play Sentinels of the Multiverse by Greater Than Games, a kickstarted, co-op, superhero themed card game. I admit that when I first heard about it I was weary, I am pretty much a card game carebear and the game looked dauntingly complicated from afar. That said, I'll be questioning my gut more in the future because my group played at least eight hours of Sentinels over the weekend and I would have happily played another eight.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

[WoW] A "daily" adjustment

A new player to Warlords (do those exist?) would have to be forgiven for having absolutely no idea what Daily Quests are. At level 100 I see at most a handful a day and most of those are optional quests from the Garrison. This fictional new player would have no idea that at one point in WoW's history (amusingly enough, when WoW was taking place in Draenor's alternate history predecessor, Outland) a player could expect to _FILL_ their quest log with dailies during any particular day. Expansions since Cataclysm have pared down the bloat. Truth be told I like not having an entire quest log to grind through every day; the fewer daily quests feel like they give me more meaningful and open-ended, "Do whatever the #$%@ I want" sense of accomplishment. There's just one more tweak I wish Blizzard would make.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

[WoW] When one wrong thing sticks out

Somewhere in the blur between Thanksgiving rolling by and December starting I gave in to peer pressure and bought Warlords of Draenor.* I'll grant that despite my general apathy regarding the expansion I am impressed. What surprised me is just how impressed I was. Pandaria was the typical step up in quality, but Warlords feels like more of a leap. Putting my finger on exact why it feels so much better is difficult, but it seems to be something to do with the Garrison, how quests are laid out, rate of progression, etc. In Pandaria, the gap between 88-90 felt positively massive. The Dread Wastes seemed to go on FOREVER making the final push between 89 and 90 feel like a slog. Warlords doesn't have this problem, perhaps because there are ten levels so the "power up" sort of reward comes more readily, but even with that in mind the last few zones of Warlords seem to fly by when compared to their Pandaria equivalents.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Blizzard's MO, wherein I commit social seppuku

The announcement of Overwatch, Blizzard's first new IP in 17 years, confirms for me what Blizzard's design philosophy is. Blizzard does not create new genres anymore, it isn't their thing, and that's actually perfectly acceptable.

What Blizzard does now is take an existing genre and release a polished, accessible version targeted towards the middle of the casual-hardcore Gaussian. This approach popularizes their games and opens up gaming to wider audiences which I think we can agree is a good thing overall. After all, how many gamers might never have picked up a mouse and keyboard if not for a friend introducing them to WoW?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why you should fear the word "Embargo"

A few days ago I bought Assassin's Creed: Unity just hours before it was officially released. The series is something of a guilty pleasure of mine; I've been a loyal, day-one customer since Brotherhood. I'm not going to claim that they revolutionized anything, but I enjoy the gameplay and getting to wander around historical cities feeds my inner history-nerd. Alas, I ignored the media commenting on the review "embargo" on Unity, which as I gather eventually caused Kotaku to adopt a "no embargos" policy to their reviews. I wish I hadn't ignored them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

[Hearthstone] Of missed boats and headslaps

This topic has been kicking around in the back of my mind for a while, so I thought it a fitting choice for my return to blogging.

Some days I wonder if there is someone at Wizards of the Coast or Games Workshop that is smacking their forehead when they look at the state of their industries and how they utterly missed the boat on new technology. I look at their conduct and I see companies that for the most part have clung to outdated business models as if an adherence to strict tradition will keep them afloat.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PAX Day 2: Gigantic, Dreadnought, and Warriors

Despite having four days to potentially scour PAX, I find that there is far too much to truly experience in that time so I had to be a little selective. Much as I would love to be playing Heroes of the Storm I pointedly chose not to spend much time at the Blizzard booth because 20 or so minutes or playing would just make the desire all that much greater and my patience all that much weaker. Plus I figured that playing Warlords of Draenor might ruin some of the story for me. So sadly I have nothing to report on that front. Instead I got a good look at a few other games, Gigantic, Dreadnought, and Hyrule Warriors.

And yes I know we're technically at Day 4, I'm on vacation!

Friday, August 29, 2014

PAX Day 1: Battlecry, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Evolve

I look forward to PAX. I know it's had some difficulties in the past with its founders saying some things they really* shouldn't have on several occasions, but at this point I am willing to warily entertain the idea that the convention and its founders have become different entities.Whether that is true or not, I look forward to PAX because I get to spend it with my best friends so I set aside my reservations for time with friends.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

[WoD] Cinematic Thoughts

The announced announcement of Warlord's release date has come, and with a day under three months until we get to step through the dark portal and time into an un-ruined Draenor Blizzard is teasing us with the release of the expansion's intro cinematic. Like all of Blizzard's cinematics, it is visually gorgeous to the edge of near photorealism. The level of detail they put into their animation is one of my greatest points of respect for the cinematic. That said, I set it alongside the Cataclysm trailer as one of the weakest.
It's the Circle of Liiiiiife....
In roughly half the trailers (Cata, Wrath, and Warlords) the point has been to introduce us to the main villain of the story. In Wrath we got the voice over of Arthas's father that juxtaposed the eerie similarities between what Arthas could have been and what he had become. This cinematic worked for me because it harkened back to Warcraft 3 in a way that reminded old players of Arthas's fall, but also clued new entrants to the franchise in on who this Lich King was. A new viewer would not need to know much about the preceding story to realize that the voice over is partially ironic.
Mannoroth-ade, is it in you?
Cataclysm's was weaker because, despite being visually impressive disaster porn that explained how Deathwing's emergence wrecked most of Azeroth, all it really gave us was an over-dramatic rant about hating everything. So far as a new player knows there's this dragon that's been underground and he's really angry and wants to break things. It was a bit like audio-booking an angsty teenager's tumblr page.
I have NO idea who this might be, the disguise is too clever
Warlord's is doing basically the same thing; showing us who the main villains of our expansion will be and roughly how events immediately prior to the expansion would play out. Except in this case things are a little different because we've already been dealing with one of the villains for half of an expansion. So the trailer shows us the ripple in time Garrosh's Doctor-esque hijinks caused when he strolled back to Draenor and convinced Grom that guns and explosives are way cooler than demon magic.
Disregard fel magic, acquire explosives
Unlike the Wrath trailer, a new entrant to the series would not realize that the events transpiring were different from the history. The exchanges about "destiny" just sound like every other cliched exchange about fate in a fantasy setting and don't inform the viewer that this isn't supposed to be how it goes. Perhaps that was intended, as Blizzard has said that this was meant to be an expansion that would appeal to veteran players, but I am not sure that pure veteran pandering is the right direction to go with the expansion's iconic trailer and a subscriber base that's falling in a symmetrical arc shape.
It's like I've seen this before
But I want to be clear about one thing, my criticism is meant only out of affection for the franchise. I am not looking to kick a beaten dog, or rail against something I already disdain, but to point out what I consider flaws from a place of respect. Kind of like how I can point out flaws in the original Star Wars trilogy and yet still be happy as a clam watching it over and over again.
Mannoroth was apparently AFK when his raid leader mentioned killing the left-side Engineer. I mean who knew demons were so vulnerable to explosives and axes. Someone should tell past-Tyrande.
Draenei and Ladies need not apply

I did not expect to see much Draenei or female representation in the cinematic, mainly because I know these things take years to make and this one has probably been in production since long before Blizzcon when Blizzard received the greatest amount of commentary on their relative lack of female or Draenei representation. Still, I had hoped for at least a brief cameo of Maraad or Yrel as background figures, but that would not fit the event. This isn't to say that omission of either is necessarily excused, just that I realize that this wasn't going to change post Blizzcon. Disappointing, but I can hope that future cinematics take the post-Blizzcon comments to heart.
Betcha most of those torches are Draenei slaves/prisoners
As someone who primarily plays Alliance it is growing harder and harder to constantly stomach the repeated matra of "Soon!" when we ask for some time in the spotlight. The media tells you a lot about a game, it tells you what the developer wants you to see, what they are excited about, and that is not Draenei. On the other hand, it's still a fun cinematic, and the horde-player/Warcraft-vet in me does enjoy getting to see "old" Orcs again. That was the story that got me hooked on Warcraft in the first place, but the lore has expanded so much in the meantime that roughly half the player base is in the camp of "So our side is kind of...there." The same is true of the female presence; I could go on about how much of this cinematic drips of "male power fantasy" but that would be a post all its own and I suspect other bloggers will tackle that.

Better in game

My chief objection to this trailer is that it feels like it would have been something better experienced in game. They say for film "Show, don't tell" and for video games I believe in "Experience, don't show." I understand why this scene was chosen, as I said before this is the tipping point where Garrosh effectively rewrites history. Still it's the video-game equivalent of exposition dialogue and might have meant more to new and old players if experienced in the game.
Arcanite Reaper Gorehowl HOOOOOOOO!
Instead, they could have gone back to the WoW and TBC roots with the trailer and instead featured the player characters (or the stand-ins for them) to help ease the sensation that this MMORPG is all about the NPCs and the players are just spectators.

That said, the above scene might be the moment when Wrathion suddenly decides that maybe Varian wasn't the right choice for "Leader of Azeroth against the Legion." I wouldn't be all that surprised if he shows up with aims to us players court Grom for the job, now that we've seen that he can two-shot a pit lord with a grenade and Heroic Leap.

That ONE moment

I have criticized the depiction of Garrosh throughout his Warcraft tenure mainly because his character seems so completely divorced from reality. He makes choices that seem arbitrary and capricious, made purely because of a forced-feeling hatred of all things not-Orc. No matter how big the threats to Azeroth grow, Garrosh (and his counterpart Varian) want nothing more than genocide of the opposing species. Unstoppable waves of undead taking over? Fuck that lets murder orcs. Giant dragon ripping the planet to shreds? Maybe later, right now the humans need some killing. His character development has felt flat and unrealistic to the point where it almost became a joke. 
Can I keep it?
Then this little scene happened. Perhaps I am projecting, but this moment actually changed some of my opinion of Garrosh. For a handful of frames he picks up the weapon that would have become his and looks at it with disregard mixed with ownership and affection. I am not saying I have completely changed my outlook on Garrosh, but for two seconds he almost seems to have an internal dialogue. It almost looks like Gorehowl spurs a negative memory in him as if perhaps deep down he might regret some of what he's done. Though I have not read War Crimes, and what I hear second hand is that he basically doesn't care about any of that. So perhaps not.

So all in all those are my thoughts on the cinematic. If I were a schoolteacher I'd still be giving it a solid B+ if nothing else but it's technical merits and general enjoyability, but it still feels like it could have been better.

Monday, August 11, 2014

10 Years, 10 Questions

With the World of Warcraft 10th Anniversary on its way Alternative Chat has started the 10 questions 10 years project, and it looked like fun so I thought I'd share my own answers.

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

A variety of factors really. I followed the game's development with a Blizzard fan's interest. I liked the setting and RPG's so the opportunity to immerse myself in it was appealing. As it happens I ended up losing track of its development so release surprised me. I ended up finding out that WoW had released when I saw someone else in my college dorm playing it. The game looked like fun

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

October, a Human Mage though she didn't last more than a week because a friend wanted to roll a night elf warrior and I wanted to be able to play together.  A few days later Ellie the Night Elf druid was born, and she was the first I got to 60.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

Mostly my friends. I liked both factions lore wise, but one of my friends had already rolled a Gnome warrior and another was the one that wanted to play a Night Elf. So I started Alliance, and spent the majority of my WoW life there.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

There are so many, listing one as my most memorable is difficult. The first time my raid group killed Ragnaros was probably the biggest. There was something palpably exciting about watching that death animation and hearing 40 people on Ventrilo go ecstatic. Another was my guild's first kill of Arthas. We had started behind the curve and we didn't actually beat him until the night before Cataclysm dropped. Coming in that close to the deadline made it all the more exciting.

The last is a little more humorous. Myself and a group of friends were exploring Dire Maul shortly after its release, we had no idea what we were doing. At one point we noticed our Warlock's Voidwalker was missing, and over Vent someone asked "Where's Kraknar?" The question was soon answered when half the instance came charging after us. Apparently Kraknar had aggroed something on the lower level and was bringing it ALL back up to us. Things quickly turned into a chase scene worthy of a movie as we sprinted for the exit.

5. What is your favorite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

I'm more of a PvE player and I think my favorite element has been casual 5-manning. I've tried most every element of the game but that has always been my favorite.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

Nagrand has always been my favorite zone, but I don't have a specific place that I call mine.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

I am not subscribed currently so I can't say but I have played in some form of another since a few days after release. It hasn't been continuous, but I would say I've subscribed for at least 8-9 total years.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

Sometimes, depends on the quest. I don't really bother reading the side-quest text much, but I try to at least skim main quests so I know what is going on. Though I have also been a bit spoiled by SWTOR and other games, so my inclination has dropped with each expansion.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

I had a group of IRL friends I played with and that meant I had a fairly steady guild through most of my playtime but it also meant that I did not spend a ton of time in other guilds. So I do wish I had explored other guilds with alts or something like that.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

I could do an entire post on this alone but suffice to say WoW had quite the effect on my personal life. There were some times it was a negative influence and an escape that lead me astray from other important things in life, but it was also somewhere I met new friends.
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming? - See more at:
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming? - See more at:
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming? - See more at:
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming? - See more at:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Steam Summer Sale; the ACTUAL pay-to-win game

I'm a Steam fan. It's one of the first things I open when I boot up my computer and I would estimate that I get 90% of my games there. The biannual sales are holidays that I look forward to with the same childlike impatience that once accompanied the approach of Christmas.* One of the highlights, aside from cleaning up on all the games and DLC that I wasn't willing to pay full price for, has been the gimmicky "event" that accompanies the sale. Past events have included solving ARGs, incentives for playing the games on sale on a given day, and something akin to an achievement scavenger hunt (if memory serves). This year, it's a bit less satisfying.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

[Wildstar] GED: Ideas worth stealing

With the release hulbaloo surrounding Wildstar calming down I feel like I am at a point where I can discuss some of the elements I really appreciate. I decided to forgo a full review because there are plenty of well written ones out there. Plus there are some things I've not yet had the time to try out, such as adventures and instances, mainly due to my sporadic playtime that often requires sudden breaks. Still I have reached as high as level 28 and have gone through 3 of 4 starting zones.

GED posts are an idea I've stewed on for a long time. Poking fun at TED talks, I wanted to take a literary opportunity to brush away the rough of a game and look for the diamonds within because I think most games, successful or not, had a few good ideas in them. For example, I may have panned ESO back during its launch, but I think it too had some interesting ideas. However, that is a topic for another day. I'm starting with Wildstar, which after consuming 95% of my free time this week, has earned that distinction. A final note, just because I did not mention a certain mechanic or system here does not mean it is not also worth copying. If I mentioned every single thing I liked, we'd end up with the mother of all walls of text.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

[WoW] Solutions to 4 lockouts a week

In my last post I talked about the change to LFR and the removal of "Raid" items from its drop table. While personally I am slightly disappointed, I understand Blizzard's reasons for the change and it's one I can live with. Even if that means I'll grumble my way through some Flex raids to get my set. But for many raiders WoD will still mean running the same raids 3 times a week.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

[NBI] Why write? Why not?

When it comes to blogging everyone has their own story. In my case the story is surprisingly short. Like any gamer I spent a large amount of my non-gaming time thinking about them, and at some point I can't remember I was introduced to the WoW blogosphere from a link on WoWwiki. I ended up at Tobold's blog and from there I was hooked. I read many of the larger blogs of the time, many now sadly defunct like Letters from Birdfall and Big Red Kitty. Others power on, and while for a time I was content to be the occasional comment (usually arguing with Gevlon, I was quite active there around 2012), I eventually decided that I was less interested in reacting to their topics and wanted to talk about what was on my mind some of the time. Thus "Out of Beta" was born.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

[WoW] WoD LFR changes, it's Montague and Capulet all over again

This past week WatcherDev has released three blog posts explaining the history and forward vision of raiding. In the third entry he threw a bloody morsel into the pool of piranhas they call a playerbase. While we’ve known about the changes to raid structure for a while, this was the first confirmation of lockouts and rewards. Needless to say, feathers were ruffled, jimmies were rustled, and the WoW-ternet exploded.
The main point of disagreement as I saw it was the change to LFR rewards. As it stands, in Warlords of Draenor, the LFR raids will drop their own set of loot separate from the regular raids. In other words LFR will not drop the raid trinkets, rare pets, or class sets. Unsurprisingly, players for whom LFR is the primary form of endgame gear acquisition were not pleased. On the other side of the debate, players who felt forced to run LFR to complete set bonuses or get specific trinkets were overjoyed.

Both took to the interwebs to tell the other side about why they were having fun wrong, harsh words ensued. Each forgot that it’s actually possible for both sides to be “right” and both to have legitimate concerns because in the end we’re talking about subjective enjoyment of a game.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

[LoL] Some proposed tweaks to ARAM

Due to my dislike of the meta-game and communities in MOBAs I ended up stepping away from League of Legends for a long time. It took the introduction of ARAM (All-Random All middle) mode for me to enjoy them again. Randomized characters destroy the idea of a meta, and it brings the game back to focusing on having a character and fighting enemies rather than placing the importance on arcane jungling routes, last-hit numbers, and team composition.* It is by far my favorite mode because its very design helps reduce much of the stress of being in a typical MOBA game; players can't expect you to know every champion when you had no control over who you got and with the amount of chaos going on things like creep-score have diminished importance.

But for all its perks ARAM still has some points I find unduly frustrating that could deal with a little tweaking.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

[WoW] The Ladies of Draenor, or "Don't judge us just yet!"

Back at Blizzcon people were highly critical about how female characters would be treated in Warlads of Dudemore when its primary advertising had a solid 1:1 X-Y chromosome ratio. But wait, Blizzard assured us, there will be meaningful female characters, just wait and see! They made vague promises about a Draenei warrior named Yrel, but aside from a name we got precious little.

So we waited, and we hoped, and we speculated…

[WoD Spoilers ahead]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

[WoW] If you haven't finished Heroic SoO, you aren't allowed to be bored

With roughly 4-6 months before WoD, players are starting to get burnt out on SoO content. As Rohan points out, the delay before WoD is one of the longest content gaps WoW has ever experienced. Plenty of players are claiming that they have nothing left to do but stand on the Timeless Isle waiting for Huolon (or whichever rare you’re farming) to spawn.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

H1Z1: The cure for the common zombie game?

For those who don’t spend all their time refreshing gaming news sites SOE has recently announced an ambitious MMO zombie game called H1Z1. Boasting a deep crafting system and massive world the game apparently hopes to fill in the gaps games like State of Decay and DayZ have left unfilled. Despite it being released by SOE, whose history has just enough black marks to make me a wary consumer, the enthusiasm I've seen for the game could fuel a thousand hype trains.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Farewell Tour - Bioshock: Burial at Sea

Irrational Games has closed its doors. With Ken Levine off on a wild adventure in start-up land it is unclear whether that mind will ever spawn another Bioshock. So will this last piece of DLC rise to the surface, or will it be spending its days sunken in Rapture?*

[TW: Torture description, Rape mentioned]

Sadly I cannot adequately discuss the game without spoiling some important plot points, so consider yourself warned.

Monday, March 24, 2014

[MOBAs] AD-Carrying your Weight

The jury is still out on whether I will give Heroes of the Storm a try, but something I keep seeing pop up in reviews and discussions about the game is that because of the experience catch-up mechanism that helps the losing team stay competitive and a general lack of snowballing that it makes a player more reliant on their team and prevents a good player from carrying a bad one.

Friday, March 14, 2014

[Wildstar] The NDA is down, commence attack on the game's main faults!

Truth be told I've been in the Wildstar beta for a fair amount of time and have been itching to get some of the details off my chest. The game itself is something of an enigma to me because in some areas it shows great polish and vision, while in others it seems woefully behind its contemporaries. I don't mean to say it is a bad game, but I aim to highlight some of its greater failings. So buckle up cupcake, we're headin' ta Nexus!

[Spoilers Ahead!]

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

[D3] Diablo 3: A Game Reborn?

Did you ever have something you were really looking forward to but when you finally got it the thing was nowhere near what you expected; in fact, you got something substantially worse? A birthday where you looked forward to a shiny new gaming console but ended up with a block of wood? A promotion that turned out to be a move from the corner office to the basement? Whatever your experience that's a bit like how I felt about Diablo 3. Now, in all fairness it was not "trash" but at release it was not a very good game. Comparing it to its contemporaries it didn't do anything exciting and was somewhat unremarkable aside from the "Blizzard Entertainment" sticker. The franchise that had brought the ARPG genre into the sun had seemingly phoned-in its third installment.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

[WoW] $60 for a 90

In preparation for Warlords of Draenor's release Blizzard has rolled out its new system allowing players to spend $60 US to instantly bump a character to level 90. To put that in perspective, your average triple-A release costs $60 and you spend 1/4 (or so) of that every month just to subscribe. Furthermore, let’s be clear on one other thing, this is no arduous process.  There is no scarcity to this product and Blizzard had near absolute choice in its cost. You are spending $60 to have an automated system change a value in spreadsheet.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

[ESO] The horse is dead, long live the horse!

At the risk of becoming a broken record I'm going to address ESO only one more time, and only because the NDA has come down so I am safe to share my beta experiences. Far be it from me to deride a game without at least explaining why, much less giving it a fair shake. So I participated in a weekend stress-test beta and got a chance to formulate my thoughts. For the purposes of full disclosure I ended at level 12 (or thereabouts) and did the Daggerfall Covenant area.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

[ESO] Steak-Flavored Tofu

Edit: I have kept details vague due to the NDA; and plan to elaborate when it comes down.

So the almost comically restrictive ESO NDA was partially lifted for specific media outlets enough that between them, previous articles, and rumors from people who give zero fucks about the NDA they clicked "I agree to abide by..." we the anticipating public now have enough information to form some opinions on the game.*

Saturday, February 8, 2014

[ESO] Curbed Enthusiasm

Frustrated as I was with the announcement of ESO's preorder and CE bonuses, I felt it would be unfair to the game and my journalistic integrity* to discount the game purely because of one hitch. After all, I played and loved Skyrim despite numerous critical bugs (Left Eye of the F**KING Falmer) and balance issues. So I did some more research into ESO and sadly all it did was make me less inclined to play. It's disappointing to me that every upcoming game sounds fabulous until I dig a little deeper and the flaws start to become apparent. But if I am going to be so fervently against supporting ESO, I feel it only fair to explain why.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[ESO] Preorders and the "Imperial" Edition

My foray into the Elder Scrolls series began with Oblivion. Put away your pitchforks, I’ve nothing against Morrowind it just wasn’t my first step. Since Oblivion I’ve been in love with the series and have spent until hours in Skyrim living my fantasy of being a wizard, knight, thief, assassin, and occasionally “weirdo that fills the house with cheese wheels.” I am reasonably sure anyone who has ever played Skyrim has at some point been in a dungeon or on an adventure and said to themselves, “Wow, I wish I could bring my friends with me.” So naturally I was intrigued by the idea of an Elder Scrolls Online. It being an MMO I have been skeptical and held it at an arm’s length. My personal feeling about IPs going the MMO route, as I have said before, is that “an MMO is where a series goes to die.”

Monday, January 20, 2014

[Wildstar] Why 40-mans are a bad idea

I have fond memories of Vanilla WoW. I remember the feeling of awe when I first walked into Molten Core as part of a 40-man group. It made such a mark that I can even remember in detail how I ended up in the group; I can remember the first time we killed Ragnaros; I remember rushing home from class to make it home in time for the raid. There are plenty of fond memories but that is because I blocked out most of the negative ones. Like the dozen times the raid almost shattered over loot or strategy disputes. The times we had to cancel because we couldn't get 40 keyed people. Spending hours standing at the beginning of the raid while we tried to fill spots. The list goes on.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

[WoW] Gatekeeping and risk aversion

I was reading Liore's post, a response to the posts of two other bloggers, about gatekeeping in MMOs, and I found myself pondering. The issue is that gaming is leisure time, and thus we want to ensure we have fun, which for most of us means success or at least a feeling of progress. In a game involving multiple people that means ensuring that each person in our group is as dedicated and skilled as we are.