Tag Archives: pandaria

#431 What does it mean to be a “Gamer” and other titles

Forward: This post is a long time coming, on top of the recent published articles from various news sites declaiming the title, ‘gamer’ as obsolete and tainted from the recent #GamerGate social media movement.

 

Yip we're doing this topic. Buckle up

Yup we’re doing this topic. Buckle up

I hold several titles, ‘gamer’, ‘blogger’, and ‘streamer’ as a result of the various choices I have made from my past. I proudly wear those titles now but that was not always the case, there was a time where I had to go through a personal journey in order to build up self respect and confidently announce that I am a gamer, a blogger or a streamer, and in my personal experience all titles went through the same cycle.

 

It always starts out the same with dabbling with the new media or concept, whether it be being gifted my first game,Pokemon Red, by my parents, biting the bullet and starting a World of Warcraft video game blog (this one right here) or committing myself to a constant streaming schedule. At first, for me but I assume many of other gamers out there, there was a period of time where I kept my gaming activity to myself not being the first to bring up videogames, blogging, or streaming in conversations and when I would have those conversations I would be with close friends in the corner of the lunch table in middle school or just as causal blogging side project with my college friends.

During that time I did not refer to myself as a ‘gamer’ or ‘blogger’ but rather ‘a guy who play games’ or ‘a guy who has a blog’ in fear of retaliation and because at the time, it could have been easily disproven that that was someone I was not, a poser or someone jumping on the bandwagon.

For refrenece, at all of these these times only owning a few games or publishing a few dozens blog posts/stream sessions with no real viewership.

 

What makes gaming, blogging, streaming stands out from all of my other hobbies that I have picked up along the way was that I kept to gaming, playing more games, going out and actively looking for gaming news sites and articles and liked minded people. and I kept to my writing and streaming schedule with Be MOP.

Then I got to a point, and again I assume I can say this for many people as well, where I have put so much effort and passion into your hobby that I could not deny the title to anyone, not even to myself. The “I’ve made it point” in many people’s journey.

For reference this was when I was making and rearranging my social calendar to make my World of Warcraft raids, reaching the 60th Be MOP post and when I was starting to decorate and customize my blog’s wallpaper and banner with screenshots I took from the Mists of Pandaria beta. As for Twitch I reached that point when I started to get constant viewers coming back to my stream to watch and interact with me in the chat room.

 

As I was writing this I did not realize I was more or less writing about the steps of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but if the shoe fits

As I was writing this I did not realize I was more or less writing about the steps of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but if the shoe fits

With all that back story of my gaming life, why does it bother me that there are game journalists out there trying to convince me to move away from the name of gamer? Because I worked incredibly hard to build up the title of gamer and blogger in the eyes of my friend, family, and myself and it is insulting when some when a group of people, from within the same group no less, tries to change what it means to be a gamer by dragging the title through the mud. All in an attempt to shame us away from it because of a few bad apples or an exponential boost in mobile gaming population.

Neither the Democrats or Republicans Party tried send out internal and external memos to their supports to abandon using the word ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’ when one or a few of their politicians got caught in a scandal. Both parties stuck to the name because they realize the title “Democrat” or ‘Republican’ does not mean the group of people, but rather an idea that a lot of people group up under and rally behind.The same can be said about the title Gamer, it is not named for the group of people who plays games it is a name for the people who are avid fans who feel passionate about their hobby and goes out on day trips to gaming conventions and who cares about nurturing and growing the media on a whole.

P.S: To bring a counterpoint to the idea that the title, “gamer” is being diluted because of the introduction of causal and mobile games bringing in people that have never played games before; My mother and I are both literate and can and has read books, but only one of us constantly frequents goes down the bookstore, attend book meetings and events, actively go out and read new genres and works from new authors, and thinks the best time to relax is with a blanket and a nice book. She is a ‘reader’ while I casually read books on the side.


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#419 Talking about my Connections to the Gaming Scene

This Tuesday it seems like the floodgates opened up about an indie game developer behind Depression Quest being accused of using her personal connections and influence to gain favorable news stories about the game the dev made.

Despite everything blowing out of control, and the backlash from the people who was trying to control the story from developing and the major problem that was brought up with this story was not the alleged adulterous techniques that was used but how there was no transparently with the some of the members in video game press when talking about the game dev and the game while it was on greenlit phrase on Steam.

At it is at this time I want to sit down and talk about my past interactions with the gaming industry, my Twitch and this blog and what it means to you and me.

 

First things first, when I created Be MOP a couple of years ago I did not set out to try to build another videogame news website, only the time to update every Monday Wednesdays and Fridays there was no way I could complete with the any of the news sites. So I crafted Be MOP with the intentions of one World of Warcraft player writing about his adventures in the Beta of the Mists of Pandaria and my opinions about the most recent developments, soon after I became burnout on WoW this site soon evolved into a general video game blog about whatever topics I want to discuss.

Over the hundreds of posts I had two public moments I want to bring up, one is a small interaction and the other is more complex and interesting to talk about. Both are not bad but moments but they are things I want to talk about while the internet is on the topic of video game media and transparency.

The first encounter was about a year ago when I met the creator of Neocolonialism on the floor of Boston Fig, while making small talk and buying the preorder of the game I mentioned that I am video game blogger and I have an interest in politics topics and I had my own blog. A while later I received an email from the creator that included with my first advance copy of a game, which helped me write a blog post about the game, as seen in Be MOP #295.

 

Since then I have not been in contact with Subaltern Games in over a year, and that was nothing wild, I bought an indie game, received an advanced copy of the game, and gave my opinion about the game. I would almost not mention it but I did not make any comments about the backstory at time of writing the game.

 

The second interaction with the gaming world is a bit more interesting to talk about.

As many know, my most recent gaming project has been the upkeep of my Twitch channel and hosting a stream four nights a week. In my introduction blog post I mentioned that the main game I would be streaming would be the ARTS/MOBA Infinite Crisis (Be MOP #370).

After doing some research and preparing myself for creating my Twitch project I came to the conclusion that Infinite Crisis had everything I was looking for as a new streamer, it was a game still in the beta, it had a small community, and that game, since being a ARTS/MOBA had a lot of replay value for the stream, and most importantly the game is about superheroes fight each other which gave me, an avid comic book fan, the option to tell stories about my favorite Superhero cartoons and comics. 

Choosing Infinite Crisis for my preferred game to stream was not a random choice. I was first introduced to the game when I signed up and got into the closed beta, which you can read all about in Be MOP # 247. Shortly after the writing the post I dropped the game for a while for other -more complete- games I had in my library.

During my time attending this year’s PAX East I saw the Turbine’s Infinite Crisis presence there and after looking around the booth and seeing how far the game progressed it got me interested enough to pick up the game again, which you can follow in Be MOP #367.

During the few weeks I started streaming Infinite Crisis I stumbled upon Infinite Crisis’s Streamer Partnership program via talking someone who was in my chatroom at the time. After that stream session ended I sent in an application for the program in the middle of May (5/18). The requirements to get into the IC Twitch partnership program is to “meet the requirements of streaming regularly, do not run inappropriate content and show your referral link prominently on your page, [and then] you should hear from us within a couple of weeks.” and continued on with my regular life.

Per the norm, I often gather inspiration for blog posts from the interesting games I have been playing lately and with the sudden influx of playing and talking about Infinite Crisis on my stream four nights a week, we saw the publication of my “DC’s ability to print money with Infinite Crisis” (Be MOP #373) and my “Enough with all the Batmans” (Be MOP #382) posts.

Soon after that (June 28th) i received an acceptance letter from Infinite Crisis congratulating me on getting into the Twitch Partnership program.

BrURvVACYAAmlSH

But what was it?

Being in the Infinite Crisis partnership program means that each week streamers, like myself, are emailed four codes of the newest and latest released cosmetic costumes of the current champions with the instructions to hand them out to our viewers. While I have not every given cash and I hand out every code, goods goes through me and a cynical person could argue that I am paid with in game items that are valued for real life currency. 

During my streams, whenever I try to hand them out I constantly try to remind and tell people where I got these codes from and why I am handing them out. A bit down the like during another past transparency scandal I started adding this comment in the panel section of my stream:

My shtick is that I come up (or borrow) Comic Book related riddles for each stream session and the first person to correctly answer the riddle wins the code for the night, and while this might be at the bottom of my screen throughout the stream I am constantly drawing attention this specific panel

My shtick is that I come up (or borrow) Comic Book related riddles for each stream session and the first person to correctly answer the riddle wins the code for the night. While this panel might be at the bottom of the screen throughout the stream I am constantly drawing attention this specific panel. 

 

But even before that I made a promise to myself to not about my adventures in the Infinite Crisis game post partnership acceptance,there were a few posts that I wanted to write after “Enough with all the Batmans” but every time I sat down I just felt weird writing it, call it a politician’s intuition. If there was a time I had to write about the news from Infinite Crisis I would make it perfectly that I am in that program. 

What does it mean to you?. But this is also to tell you that you are allowed my viewers to know that this is more than enough grounds to discredit my opinions on Infinite Crisis if you want to and I would understand your skepticism, but I can tell you that if you stop by my stream you can tell I genuinely enjoy the game and I have fun talking about the game. 

As I mentioned before the purpose of this post was to make sure that everyone knows what my interaction is with Infinite Crisis, what I have done to make it known, and what it means for you moving forward. I am planning to continue to write about and stream Infinite Crisis and other videogames for the foreseeable future but I wanted to transparent as can be and open up the lines of communications with you guys as well moving forward.

 

 


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#416 Spare an Extra Buck for Extra Life? Follow Up

It is election season all over the states and just about now all the politicians are coming out of the woodwork shaking hands and asking for money, and I am no exception.

Instead of asking for money for my own political organization to secure my seat in the NH House of Representatives I want to bring to light a charity event that I am a participating in this fall.

Extra Life Facebook Cover Photo_v2

 

I talked about this event a few months ago when I signed up with this event, but Extra Life is an organization that gathers players from around the world to come together on October 25 to marathon videogames for 24 hours in order to raise money and awareness for that gamer’s favorite hospital in the Children’s Miracle Network. This is my first year participating in the Extra Life event and my goal is to raise $200 for Boston Children’s Hospital.

So far, between the first time I wrote about Extra Life and now we were able to raise 125 out of 200 but we are still $75 away from reaching our goal, which is way I am writing this post to see in the hopes that we reach the goal before October deadline.

From my political experience I know that blindly asking for money with no payoff will wield little results, so there are a series of thank you to those who donates. Everyone who donates any amount through the my extra life profile, from one dollar to a hundred, will be featured on my  “Extra Life 2014 Sponsors” section on my Twitch channel. Because Extra Life is advertising themselves as a videogame marathoning event, those who donates $1 per hour for the entire day, for a total of $24 or more will be entered into a raffle to name out of our pet chickens that we received as baby chicks earlier this spring. 

She has grown up quite a bit but she's still just as adorable.

She has grown up quite a bit but she’s still just as adorable.

(Post Publishing note: because there was a slight miscommunication between me and my mother when she was writing her blog post about this event, the new rule is that anyone who donates ANY amount will be entered into the raffle to name our pet chicken)

 

As a little extra incentive IF we are able to reach the fundraising goal of $200 before late October I have promised that, come October 25, I would stream my 24 hour gaming marathon on Twitch for everyone to see.

If you are interested to seeing your’s truly try his hand at a 24 hour stream session then head on over to my Extra Life profile and donate to a worthy cause. The Extra Life page accept all major credit cards, all donations are tax-deductible and 100% of the funds raised will be going to Boston Children’s Hospital.

 

Thank you in advance for your generosity

 


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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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#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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#374 What would bring me back to WoW?

A new expansion of World of Warcraft is on the way to the beta testing phrase. I have not been keeping tabs on the development of this expansion as much as I usually do, but as usual Blizzard is expected to get a bump in subscription for that business quarter from people coming back to their game. Now that I am no longer playing WoW I am a part of the ideal demographic for Blizzard to advertise to get me back to play and subscribe to Warlords of Draenor. Today I am going to take out the middle men that comes from all the marketing studies and focus groups and I, a burned out WoW player, will tell you and any Blizzard employees reading exactly what Warlords would need to do to get this potential customer to get back into World of Warcraft.

buckle up guys this post is going to be a doozy

buckle up guys this post is going to be a doozy

First I want to start out with listing some features that are not be the main reason to get me back to playing World of Warcraft:

I am going to return because of the newest features and improvement to the game play. I have solo-leveled a mage through all of Outlands and I have raided as a mage from Wrath of the Lich King to Mists of Pandaria. During those times I was forced grind through some ridiculously long quests and I was asked change mage specs that I did not originally play as nor liked using when I was in the raid for the sake of doing the most optimal for damage towards the raid boss. If I were to come back to World of Warcraft I will play as a mage and  if I want to raid I will find a way to raid. It does not matter to me if Blizzard changed the class mechanics or if they simplified the talent system again I will find a way around those hurdles so I can play as a mage again.

 It is not just mage but my mage, the my first character I ever made in WoW.

It is not just mage but my mage, the my first character I ever made in WoW.

 

Secondly the lore and story of the expansion will not get me to pack my bags for Azeroth. This might be a big surprise for my long time readers that the lore will not get me to playing since I have written dozens of Be MOP posts about my love of the lore in the game and how I can draw parallels to other stories and events outside of the game but during my hiatus from WoW I have been playing other games and catching up on my comicbook collection. While I was playing those other games and reading the latest issues of Spider-man I realized how much quicker other games and media are able to tell their stories in the span of a few hours or a few weeks than the months or years it takes Blizzard to tell the full saga of what happened between the Horde and Alliance in the new world. If I hear the story of the game is interesting enough from my other friends then a quick trip to a WoWWiki will get me filled in on everything I need about the game without having to log into the game.

 

I started to come the this realization at the start of my burnout phase, when I got frustrated that I had to wait until the next raiding content was created and polished to a shine before learning about what happens next in the war.

I started to come the this realization at the start of my burnout phase, when I got frustrated that I had to wait until the next raiding content was created and polished to a shine before learning about what happens next in the war.

Now that we got those out-of-the-way I want to talk about the two things that would get me back into the game.

The first thing that might get me back to playing Warlords is another subscription bundle similar to what they did to lock players into playing the game during the lull between Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria. Way back in the early days of this blog (as a matter of fact the THIRD Be MOP post I have ever created) I wrote a wonderful post that broke down and game a dollar price value on everything that was in the first World of Warcraft annual pass. After doing a bit of math I decided that paying for one year of World of Warcraft was giving me enough of valued content where the actual cost per month to play WoW as just under half of the normal $15 asking price.

I realized that this was an old post but until I had to edit this post and find the pictures I did not realized HOW OLD the annual pass post was

I realized that this was an old post but until I had to edit this post and find the pictures I did not realize HOW OLD the annual pass post was

 

But the biggest feature that would get me to resubscribe would be my friends and a video game social network. After unsubscribing from World of Warcraft and letting enough time past to see why what kept me going and why I left without bias, the main drive for logging in was the my raiding group. Each weekend I would log in and group up with the same bunch of people to take on the next big raid boss and progress through the current raid. It was talking and socializing with my raiding and real life raiding friends, telling stories, swapping tricks and class secrets that kept me excited and invested in the game. That investment would show by logging in every day to complete the same dailies, spending hours farming cooking materials for the right ingredients to make the best fests and -most importantly of all- to continue to invest $15 a month into the game. The main reason I left the game was because the Cataclysm guild I belonged to dissolved somewhere between the transition from Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, once the guild fell apart I felt lonely because I was just playing WoW by myself and I did not want to go through the hassle of either spending more money on a character transfer or seeking out a raiding guild that fit perfectly in my existing schedule.

That being said, I do not think I will ever return to the game because the window of opportunity to really play the game has closed. Since I left World of Warcraft in the summer after I graduated college I have found a full-time 2nd shift job, I now have college bills to pay off each month and between those two I have the other games to get through on my Steam backlog and I have to keep up with my Twitch channel.  I just do have the free time anymore to raid every weekend, let alone trying to fund the monthly subscription on top of everything I am currently doing. I guess this is goodbye to World of Warcraft for me, it took me the act of writing this post to realized that nothing Blizzard could do, save for during WoW free to play would get me to redownload the game client. I do hope that Blizzard the best for the newest addition to their game but it looks like I am not ever going to come back to my mage, which is a bit sad but at least I can thank Blizzard for the years of entertainment and the years of slowly training to be the component video game player that I am today.


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#351 Why I am the Perfect Heroes of the Storm Player

Some stirrings around the internet has revealed that an early build of Heroes of the Storm has made it into the hands of some people on the internet and that means that a beta version of the game is on the horizon. With that I believe now is the best time to write the third installment of one of my oldest blogging series, explaining why I am the perfect player to play the Beta of Heroes of the Storm.

The storm is coming

The storm is coming

This series started way back in the early single digits when I explained how I was the perfect Diablo 3 player because I knew nothing about the previous Diablo games so I could offer the purest feedback without any bias from the old games. (Be MOP #25)

Fun fact I wrote that blog post because I one of my college professors was a proud Greek man and I knew he would be flabbergasted if he ever learned that I used a famous Socrates quote to justify getting playing a videogame

Fun fact I wrote that blog post because I one of my college professors was a proud Greek man and I knew he would be flabbergasted if he ever learned that I used a famous Socrates quote to make my case for me to play a videogame

I made my case about Hearthstone because with my past experience with Pokemon TCG and  Magic the Gathering would help Blizzard with giving feedback when it came to balancing some of the odder and unconventional deck builds. (Be MOP #240)

Now I get to make my case for Heroes of the Storm. First off I got the experience of playing Blizzard games for years and I have been writing about them for years so I know the ropes when it comes to their participating in Blizzard’s betas.

But more importantly I have been following this game’s development cycle ever since I first mentioned when I compared Blizzard to the Pokemon company with their choices to expanding into different genre of games (Be MOP #68) to when I was predicting Blizzard’s major announcement in last year’s PAX East (Be MOP #191). I was there to write about the official acknowledgement that the game is still in production in the Activision-Blizzard financial results (Be MOP#219) after months of no updates on the game and all the way through their third final name change (Be MOP #288).

If comedy have taught me anything it is that a good running gag needs a killer ending to finish off the series and I like of no better ending than letting me into the beta.

So Blizzard, Please?

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