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#408 A year without World of Warcraft

I was looking back at my old posts this month and I noticed that it was this month, one year ago, when I made the decision to end my multiple year long, uninterrupted, World of Warcraft account (Be MOP #253)

this was the same time as I was graduating from college, kinda like the last sentence of the previous chapter of my life

this was the same time as I was graduating from college, kinda like the last sentence of the previous chapter of my life

 

What is more impressive with is that I have stayed away from World of Warcraft, not coming back for the Siege of Orgimmar patch, the when the reveal and the beta of the Warlords of Draenor was announced. Unlike some of my other friends I did leave the years on Azeroth bitter or looking back on my years playing with bitterness. If you remember I left World of Warcraft not because a game decision from Blizzard or because I hit a gamer’s equivalent of ‘rock bottom’ it was because I was guildless and  I was burnt playing one game, almost exclusively, for years.

Looking back I am glad my years in Azeroth, it was a costly experience yes, but it was an experience none the less. It was only from my years of playing World of Warcraft: I have realized and got a hands on experience on what is needed for a good team composition and what makes an amazing teammate (Be MOP #103).  Because of the years of listening to World of Warcraft podcasts and reading the strategy guides of the latest 5 man dungeons and raids, I have experience and learned about good and bad game play mechanics which I used when describing why Super Mario 3D Land was fun for me (Be MOP #349)

Most importantly of all playing World of Warcraft gave me the opportunity to create this blog, and with that I have dramatically improved my writing style and techniques which is amazing considering a few years ago I had some terrible writing and testing anxiety. While this blog has not cured my anxiety, I have seen improvement over the years in how I write from forcing myself to write something -anything- every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

 And World of Warcraft  has continued  helped me even after leaving the game

World of Warcraft was the gate way to the PC gaming platform, before WoW I never picked a PC game having gaming experience be limited to the family Nintendo system, but over the years I have bought better and better gaming laptops to handle the newest expansions and to preform better when I am needed the most in a raid. As a result I had a pretty nice machine to adequately run current PC games on Steam.

It was only after WoW when I paid attention to the other offers (humble Bundles and weekly sales) that were happening on the other side of the PC gaming world

It was only after WoW when I started to truly pay attention to the other offers (humble Bundles and weekly sales) that were happening on the other side of the PC gaming world

 

Because of World of Warcraft and blogging about it for so long it has gave me the blogging experience on how to write blog posts  continue blogging about general videogame topics, something I do not think I could have succeed in the way that I did the get go. All that blogging experience and confidence helped me take the leap into creating, and broadcasting on my own Twitch account, something I know I could not have done without this blog giving me confidence and experience on how to talk to people with my own voice.

As a result from my year of writing about other games all these posts has helped me focus and form my own opinions about other videogame topics. From the silliness of a moral dilemma I have with Tf2′s hats (Be MOP #254) to the more pressing problems with pre-ordering games, hacking up content of the main the game to sell as exclusive gaming platform perks or DLC for extra profits to, to the videogame company’s love of  Bullshots (Be MOP #348).

Now, most importantly, I do not have to worry about getting the most value out of my monthly subscription I feel less guilty spending my nights playing games of other generas and a because I am no longer in a dedicated raiding group I have a free-er schedule to actually play these games. A full time job does interfere with my preferred gaming schedule but because my job gives me money each week to buying MORE games and other things, I am inclined to let my job eat up the majority of my week.

Looking back, even though I know I am never going back to World of Warcraft (Be MOP #375) I  do not regret any of years leveling up my characters, chain running instances and raids, grinding for dailies, or hunting for the rare achievements in the game because it helped be grow into a better gamer and a better person on and off line.

 


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#407 Filler Post: The Final Frontier

Reaching back in my bag of tricks for today’s post, am I going to add another episode to the sage of Science Fiction themed filler post for today blog post.  Truth be told I was going to write a post about the most recent Batman Arkham Knight’s Red Hood DLC preorder bonus and asking the question, “what is the point of preordering games in a gaming age where digital distribution is built into every console and PC gaming device?”

As I was writing the rough draft of it late last night I realized that the post did not add anything new to the conversation of Preorder bonuses in the videogame industry. After a good sleep and rereading the initial post for today, the entire thing came off as getting angry about a persistent issue without offering any sort of solution, which is just a waste of space on the internet.

star-trek-v-the-final-frontier

If you excuse me, I have to deal with my long-lost brother who just stole my friend’s spaceship in his crazy attempt of locate God in the middle of our galaxy.

I will see you guys back here Friday

 


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#406 Adding some much needed games to my 3DS library

I have noticed that over the past few weeks I have been neglecting my 3DS lately, between my regularly scheduled Twitch PC streams and my weekend play time dedicated to getting through the HD remake of Zelda Wind Waker on the Wii U. The last 3DS game I bought, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, was described as ‘meh’ at best.

My 3DS gaming drought has been so bad I have been resorted to replaying my old copy of Pokemon White to unlock the ability to transfer all of my Pokemon from my GameBoy Advance games to the PokeBank. Recently I have been looking for an opportunity to get some new/more games onto my handheld and thankfully Nintendo just happened to finished their 2013-2014 year long Club Nintendo session, and with all of my recent purchases I got the option to choose my pick of a free Nintendo game the gold status rewards tier.

Filling out all those surveys have really paid off

Filling out all those surveys have really paid off

 

Last year was a big year for me and for my Nintendo collection with my purchase of my 3DS, Pokemon Y, Super Mario 3D Land, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, my Wii U console, Mario Kart 8, and my beloved Super Mario 3D world I have gathered some nice Nintendo coins just sitting collecting digital dust. I have been waiting for a chance to redeem them with this yearly thank you of Nintendo to seems like the best time to use those coins to download some free games. This past weekend I chose up Metroid for the 3DS as my prize of the Gold membership reward, I used my Nintendo loyalty reward coins to pick up the 3DS port of the classic Kid Icarus and the first Paper Mario game for the Wii U just for the sake of nostalgia.

While I was downloading classic 8 bit NES games I also decided to buy Shovel Knight for the 3DS, I almost have to buy it for a Nintendo platform if I wanted to pay respects to the old ways of Action Platformers. In all of my research for figuring out which platform to buy Shovel Knight on (Be MOP #403) nobody told me that the 3DS port of a third-party indie game company -that was funded on Kickstarter- actually kept 3D feature/gimmick in mind when programming the game.

These are some pretty big shoes to fill Might No. 9 hope you are up to the challenge to one up them

That’s pretty much an Insta-buy for the 3DS right there

 

Between all of those recently downloaded games to my virtual library,  Best Buy’s current Buy one get one Free sale on 3DS games, and my next paycheck coming in this Friday, it looks like my 3DS is going to get some much-needed attention.

Oh goodness

Run my little paycheck RUN!

 

 


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#405 The Superb Level Design of Platformers

This past few weeks I have been playing two games, between my regularly scheduled Twitch streams and the couple of games from “the Games from my backlog collection”, Super Mario 3D World and BattleBlock Theater. Super Mario 3D world was picked up when I went out to pick up the Wii U and I bought BattleBlock Theater was one of the games bought during the spending frenzy of the most recent Steam sale.

 If I did do a stand alone post on just this game (SM3DW) it would just be my SM3DL post with the annex of the added Co-Op, rosinia, with more levels and more fun.

If I did do a stand alone post on just SM3DW it would just be my SM3DL post with the annex of the added Co-Op, Rosalina, with more levels and more fun.

 

But both games are incredibly fun and that is in part because of the amazing level designs from the creators. As written before Mario scored some brownie points for jumping in with very little instructions with the first levels, and Battleblock theater has just some repeating animated signs that gives you just the right about of info.

Both game’s levels are built with two experiences to get through each level/stage. The basic point-A-to-point-B path where you hop, jump and bash your way through to the end of the by touching the flagpole in Mario or in Battle Block Theater, getting three green gems (which you practically stumbleupon through the stage) to unlock the exit door or for the more challenging players who are playing through the same stage fo for the tougher routes for more rewards.

You can test your jumping and deductive skills figure out where and how to get to the three Green Stars and one stamp in each stage to unlock the boss stages and special stamps to post online the Miiverse. With the tougher levels comes more challenging unlockables and those requirements to unlock more rewards with Mario gets tougher and tougher when you try to unlock the additional bonus levels in Mario and in Battleblock theater you can get challenge yourself to get the three to four additional green gems and the golden ball of yarn to unlock more customization heads and weapons to use in future stages.

Been meaning to say this for a while, but this is a perfect example of the saying, ‘just because you CAN say something, doesn't mean you SHOULD say something.”

Been meaning to say this for a while, but this is a perfect example of the saying, ‘just because you CAN say something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD say something.”

 

To go back to my Super Mario 3D Land post both of these games handle hidden areas and secrets perfectly. Both games gives you the first secret or key to hidden area in either in a previous stage or earlier in the stage for you to stumble upon  and allowing you to keep that in mind while platforming in later levels. When I was playing Mario with my brother he was constantly amazing how I instinctively knew where to look for the green stars and stamps were first time playing the level and spotting the potential for any secret passages in the Battle Block Theater.

And good level design transcends just one title, there is an achievement in Limbo that rewards players to explore the left side of the map at the start of the game when I was streaming Ducktales (Woo-oo!)  for the first time the other night I had to constantly remind myself and the viewers that it was my first time picking up the game because I was constantly finding all of the secret heart constantly finding all the heart containers and  Mrs Beakley’s secret rooms in every stage without a strategy guide.

If I was to hazard a guess on why this happens and why it is so easy for a trained eye because back when platformers like Castlevania, Mario, and Mega man were made on the NES and SNES, the such limited hardware and memory space that game developers were working with that they did not have the luxury of  putting unnecessary blocks, platforms, and scenery into their games. So If the players saw something out-of-place there was a good bet that if they investigated it they would be rewarded by the game developer’s Easter eggs, and that tradition of building levels just continued throughout the gaming generations.

 

If there was a different block tucked away in the background there is a good chance that there was a gem hiding behind it for the player to grab

If there was a different block tucked away in the background that was usually enough clues that something was hiding behind it for the player to grab

 

 


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#404 Post Not Found

no-sign

 

I have a no post for today. It is not because I do not have some content and topics to write about, in fact I have a wonderful post about BattleBlock Theater, Mario, and brilliant level design that was going to go up today BUT I decided to postpone that post simply so I can use this overused joke.

Everyone and their dog have made a Error 404 joke at one point in their life (and I am no exception) but this is the four hundredth and fourth Be MOP post I am using this old internet joke, that took literally years of set up to deliver the punch line, as an excuse to take the day off from blogging.

 

See you guys back here Friday.

 


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#403 Shovel Knight and the purchasing power of Let’s Players

A bit of shocking news for everyone’s Monday but later this week I am going to be buying a game, at full price! That’s right Shovel Knight is currently making its way on to my various internet feeds.

For those who do not know Shovel Knight is a (very few successful) videogame projects on Kickstarter and it is currently the talk of the town, with everyone on YouTube from NerdCubed to Continue? to Two Best Friends have been playing it on their shows and saying nothing but praise. All coming the the conclusion that Shovel Knight is like a proper retro hybrid of Castlevania, Ducktales, and Megaman.

These are some pretty big shoes to fill Might No. 9 hope you are up to the challenge to one up them

These are some pretty big shoes to fill Might No. 9 hope you are up to the challenge to one up them

 

While the game boasts a proper difficulty curve and literally hundreds of cheat codes and new game plus it was the Let’s Player’s and their videos that swayed me to commit to a purchase. The major selling point was not the unedited legit gameplay of the first stage and boss fights but it was the honest enjoyment that these personalities had when they were talking about this game during their live commentary.

Plus with the Youtube videogames I got to see all those little things added in the games, like the already mentioned cheat codes but also the hidden doors and secret passages that leads treasure chests which I have mentioned before are the quickest way to get me to shell out money for a game or television show

Plus with the Youtube videogames I got to see all those little things added in the games, like the already mentioned cheat codes but also the hidden doors and secret passages that leads treasure chests which I have mentioned before are the quickest way to get me to shell out money for a game or television show

 

A really skilled writer can fake how excited they can be about the latest big videogame release but it takes a real public speaking ability to fake the level of enthusiasm I heard from those YouTubers. And it was one of the reason I bought Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World, because I heard how much fun these people were having playing their copies of the game.  One could easily argue that some would fake enthusiasm for a new game on YouTube but you have your work cut out for you justifying that dozens of personalities and reviewers from different organizations and networks saying the same thing.

That is the power of a good Lets Player, they are can express their enjoyment and enthusiasm, not only explaining WHY they are excited to play the game and with the raw gameplay footage the viewers and potential customers are able to judge the game by itself. I do not know if it is going to be as fun for me as it was for them but their enjoyment in Shovel Knight has made me, a frugal consumer who usually waits several months in order to buy the game he wants at a discounted price,  seriously consider and commit to buying  a game at full market value.

Now the only real question is which platform should I buy Shovel Knight for? Between the Steam version, 3DS and the Wii U. I am leading towards one of the Nintendo platforms just to support and validate the indie scene on hardware that is prominently known to handle only First  Party games.


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#402 What DRM-Free means to me

If you have not already caught wind of the latest Humble Bundle but 2K has partnered with Humble Bundle to release a bundle of their best games for sale including such titles as Darkness II, Mafia II, XCOM Enemy Unknown, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Spec Ops: The Line,the entire Bioshock trilogy, and the promise of more games coming soon. As always with these Humble Bundle promotions customizable portion of the purchases going to support for Action Against Hunger and the American Red Cross.

 

All the same Humble Bundle rules apply, pay what you want with two tiers of rewards for  donating

All the same Humble Bundle rules apply, pay what you want with two tiers of rewards for donating

 

But I have been having the same problem that other PC gamers have been having with the any popular videogames promotion, finding a reason for paying for games that I have already own. As of writing I already have half of the games in this bundle, all three Bioshock titles and Spec Ops: The Line with no interest in either the XCOM or Darkness series.

 

this single game that would provide motivation for me to buy the bundle IF I DID NOT ALREADY BOUGHT IT ON STEAM DURING THE LAST SUMMER SALES . A story that many other players have lived through

this single game that would provide motivation for me to buy the bundle IF I DID NOT ALREADY BOUGHT IT ON STEAM DURING THE LAST SUMMER SALES . A story that many other players have lived through

 

I was going to let this Humble Bundle slide by like the some of the previous Humble Bundles and the countless other Bundles I have seen around the internet. That was until I saw a little symbol next to the original Bioshock game.

To the left of the Steam symbol, that's right DRM FREE!

That’s right one of my, and many other gamer’s, favorite game comes in DRM-free format

 

I have written about it before but Bioshock is one of my favorite games, not because of the plot twist, but because it was not a game based around a good guy fighting against a bad guy but instead it is about a guy caught in a city based on a different, although extreme, set of rules and the antagonist is only labeled as evil because held to those set of rules to “never compromise not even in the face of Armageddon”. (Be MOP #255)

I knew there was a reason these two stories were so ranked high in their respective communities.

I knew there was a reason these two stories were so ranked high in their respective communities.

 

Now I add DRM-free copy of this amazing game to the flash drive I carry around that is chock full of some of my favorite games that I would carry around if I ever lose my Steam collection and if I am stranded somewhere with a computer with no internet connection (Be MOP #343).  With that one feature I went out and bought the entire bundle because I might as well buy the entire bundle for XCOM and the promise of future 2K games being added later in the week (an incredible clever fundraising technique Humble Bundle uses which I when more in-depth about it a while ago in Be MOP #256).

The people behind this site are genius when it comes to getting people to hand over more money than the consumer previously intended.

The people behind this site are genius when it comes to getting people to hand over more money than the consumer previously intended.

 

To tie this entire post back to the title at the top of the page, this is what DRM-free means to me, going out and rebuying all these titles not to play it again on another improved platform but so I can have legally own the one game I actually want. Now I can copy it over and over again to my various computers with out a limit from Steam, Windows Live, or any other service, and I can play this one game without an internet connection or worrying about what will happen to the game servers in the years to come.

 


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#401 Where is our eESPN?

Valve’s Dota 2 tournament with a record  is just starting up and even I am excited to tune in and see what all the hubbub is all about. Between that Riot’s weekly seasonal split streams on Twitch I have to ask: where is our eESPN channel or at least a consolidated cable channel dedicated to the competitive side of video games?

I made the eESPN joke a few times before (Be MOP #261, #276, and #356) but now I think of it more as a serious possibility rather than a silly joke based on wordplay.

I talked about the potential of some gaming streams to become full-time sports broadcasters, like how Riot has been positioning themselves for the limelight for the past few seasons with their personal stream filled with community created skits, Question and Answer segments with the professionals, highlight reels, Table talks with the professionals and analysis, and the personalities (Be MOP #276).

While I have not followed Dota 2 streams to know what they are doing for providing entertainment during and between matches but I do know and have seen the immense popularity of the Dota 2 documentary and fundraising for the main prize/jackpot.

I know for a fact that somewhere a bunch of sports marketing people just dropped their jaws when their heard the success of Dota 2’s fundraising project.

I know for a fact that somewhere a bunch of sports marketing people just dropped their jaws when their heard the success of Dota 2’s fundraising project.

 

With Twitch’s constant concurrent viewers numbers and the level of interaction in the Twitch Chat, the games respective forums and ,  it is easy to prove that there is a substantial amount of interested demographic. With the year’s Fifa world cup ESPN has proved that they can get Americans to validate the sport of soccer and still getting them excited to watch a sport tournament where the American team was not expected to win.

It is not like there is not enough content to fill a 24 hours cable station, we have; League of Legends, Dota 2, Infinite Crisis, all of the other A.R.T.S, StarCraft II, both of Pokemon’s virtual and card game matches, Melee and Smash Bros tournaments, Speed Runners, Magic the Gathering (ESPN already has precedent on broadcasting this sport), plus all of the news programs that could be created about the latest news/predictions/gossip about these different esports and upcoming tournaments.

I would wager to say there is more than enough games to showcase for 24hrs content, a constantly updating website, AND a special, consolidated, twitch stream.

Just think of the promotions for Riot, Valve, and Blizzard with other companies, new viewership spillover from one fanbase to another, and the increased credibility with other viewers & non-viewers.

Just think of the promotions for Riot, Valve, and Blizzard with other companies, new viewership spillover from one fanbase to another, and the increased credibility with other viewers & non-viewers.

 

The only problem would be is licensing these games for public viewing, the personalities that are currently paid by these companies, and getting these multibillion dollar, global internet gaming companies (that are all competing with each other) to play nice and fair in order to get this eESPN network to properly blossom.

I think we might have found the reason why  eESPN has not happened yet, but that does not means it should not happen.

 

But I want to bump the question back to you:

What do you think of a consolidated cable channel dedicated to the competitive side of esports? Would you regularly tune in to watch broadcasted tournament on a TV cable network, even if it was not a esport that you regularly follow? Or, and most importantly of all, would you rather stick to each company’s own Twitch channel on your computer?

Leave a comment down below I am interested in what other people think about this idea.

 


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#400 How Far We’ve Come

Today is a big milestone for me, this Monday is the 400th Be MOP post! What makes this milestone truly impressive is that it is the 400th Be MOP post without skipping a beat on my Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule that I have set in place with my first post that I made two and a half years ago. This means I wrote through all of my college finals, every sick day, every snowstorm that caused a blackout, and everything that happened to me in my Post-college life.

Looking back on some of my first couple of month’s posts it is amazing how short some those post actually were.

Looking back on some of my first couple of month’s posts it is amazing how short some those post actually were.

 

I have mentioned this before but the Be MOP blog was the result of a winter time walk down main street of my college town, the week before my Juniors finals, and experiencing an early Quarter-life crisis when I realized that I was just a Political Science student, with no minor, soon to go out to the world in just a few short years.

To top it off were people out there who were just a little bit older than me making a living from playing and writing videogames, a job option that was very appealing to me, and I was no where close to being on that track for that sort of career path. Although looking back I was already making some money from writing about videogames, it was just too inconsistent for my liking.

I was actually waiting for WoWinsiders next call for submissions, which was scheduled to return soon before coming to the realization that i could publish these thoughts by myself.

I was actually waiting for WoW Insider’s next call for submissions, which was scheduled to return soon before coming to the realization that I could publish these thoughts by myself.

 

When I first started BeMOP.wordpress.com so long ago I had no idea that it would last for this long, even during my transition from experiencing burnout from World of Warcraft to writing about PC and general gaming events.

And because of little blog I have:

  • dramatically honed my writing abilities
  • 200+ WordPress followers
  • a Twitter account and now it has grown to 500+ followers
  • the confidence to add ‘blogging’ to my resume. (the same resume that I submitted to get my current post-college job)
  • started a Twitch Stream and soon after got accepted in the Streamer Partnership Program from Infinite Crisis.
This one email made my week

This one email made my week

 

For today I just want to say, ‘Thank you’ to everyone who ever stopped by or left comments on this site, swung by my Twitch Stream, follow me on Twitter and even enduring through every single political inspired posts about videogames, literally none of this could be possible without you guys and I thank all of you because of this. It really makes my days and helps motivate me to push through the days when I was hit over the head with writing block and I have the days when I do not want write about anything.

To anyone who is still hesitant about starting or continuing their blogging/streaming experience, start now and just keep going. You might not always pump out your best quality works all the time but you will eventually improve day by day, week by week. Even if you do not get noticed right away, it is better to start building a background of quality content that you can pull up any time to prove you have a solid history of writing or producing content rather than waiting to come up with the perfect way get famous with your debut.

 


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#399 Happy Fourth of July!

Hello everyone, I just want to make this post to wish everyone in the United States a happy fourth of July! May your Fourth be full of your favorite cookout foods, barbecues, parades and fireworks. If you have any time left I hope you guys find time to play some of your favorite games with political undertones over the weekend.

 

That's right I had to dig through my WoW folder to find some fitting Midsummer Fire Festival screenshots for this post

That’s right I had to dig through my WoW folder to find some fitting Midsummer Fire Festival screenshots for this post

 

To all my non-American readers out there my apologies, but take solace in the fact my Twitch Stream will be broadcasting at the at it’s regularly scheduled time so you can still get your fill of Be MOP, and my next blog post will have a very special message for all of you.

 

And I got cool Infinite Crisis skins to give out all this weekend.

And I got a handful of cool Infinite Crisis skins to give out to the lucky few all this weekend.

 

Enjoy your weekend and I will catch you guys back here Monday for the 400th Be MOP blog post!


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