Tag Archives: pandaria

#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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#311 Where are the Winter games?

Yesterday’s snowstorm following close by today’s cold snap has forced me to face the fact that the winter season is in full swing here in New England. As family tradition states that with the winter season I break out the winter sweaters, festive beverages, and Christmas music for the rest of the month.

The problem is that between the decorations around the house and the holiday events around the town I do not have any games that properly captures the winter season. Fall has the Halloween holiday to define that time of the year and with that there are a slew of horror and zombies to best compliment the season, so much so that Valve had their own Halloween sale offering huge discount with almost every game that had the word zombie in the title.

 

Sure we have the Winter Steam sales but those aren't winter themed games

Sure we have the Winter Steam sales but those aren’t winter themed games

 

I can not think of any games that I know of that capture the spirit of winter.  Off the top of my head the Batman Arkham City because of the entire game takes place in gothic city during the winter time and in a pinch you could argue Paper Please could fit into the winter category if you ever wanted to feel like you were living with your family in a harsh a communist country funded apartment without any free heating.

Living in a bedroom with no heating fits pretty well right now

talk about a cold game

I ask this because this is the first winter that I am not subscribed to World of Warcraft, so I can not relay on Blizzard’s Feast of Winter Veil event for my yearly fix for the winter season themed games.

I will miss looting the Stolen Present from the Abominable Greench

I will miss looting the Stolen Present from the Abominable Greench

So I am opening this to everyone, what are some of your go-to games to get into winter seasons when the it starts getting cold outside?


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#309 Valve, Linux, and the Questions about the Future of PC gaming

Earlier this week everyone’s favorite gaming company came back into the news with the announcement that Valve has officially joined the Linux Foundation, an organization that promotes the growth of the open source Linux operating system since 2007.

If you have been paying attention to Valve’s actions since September this another step for the company to secure themselves in the Linux group and prepare themselves for the launch of their own Linux-based operating system, Steam OS, which is planned to released sometime next year.

coming out early 2014....maybe?

coming out early 2014….maybe?

After talking to some friends and few other bloggers about Valve’s project everyone seems to be split on what type of operating system Steam OS will be. I met some people who will claim that this will revolutionize the Desktop market with a free ,open sourced, operating system that will topple Microsoft’s hold on the market within a few short years.

Then I and a few others believes that the Steam OS will only be a trimmed down operating system very similar to the XB1 and PS4′s interface and will be successful for a niche demographic because of the lack of file support and other functions like you see in a Windows and Apple’s systems

We soon realized that how little the public actually knows about what Steam OS can do outside of booting up Steam and playing games more efficiently and these questions are currently preventing us actually predicting the future of this product.

We've seen how the new Steam Controller works by way of Valve's YouTube page, but not on how we can navigate through the OS

We’ve seen how the new Steam Controller works by way of Valve’s YouTube page, but not on how we can navigate through the OS

Even if Steam OS becomes a major hit and becomes as successful as Valve and everyone else who are following the product are hoping it to be it will only raises more questions about the future of other PC gaming companies. Unlike the big three console company’s group effort to push motion controls and multimedia features into the living room, Valve is the only big PC company that is pushing for Linux integration. While Valve was able to get NVIDIA to follow their footsteps we do not know how this will affect other AAA PC game companies, with a special focus on Riot’s League of Legends or any of the big games from Activision Blizzard.

I don't know know Riot could work in a Linux Penguin skin into their champion rooster

I don’t know Riot could work in a Linux Penguin skin into their champion rooster

For this Friday I would like to open these questions to you, Do you think Steam OS will be a fully functioning desktop operating system or will it be more like the other console operating system that limits the capabilities to just playing games?

-and-

no matter what you think the finished product of Steam OS will be, What are your predictions on how other standalone PC companies will react to Valve entering the Linux world for the sake of gaming,. Do you think that in a few years we will read announcements that League of Legends and World of Warcraft will be fully supported by Linux or do you think both companies are happy where they are with being just supporting Windows and Apple computers?’

Leave a comment down below, I would love to see what everyone else’s thoughts on this topic.


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#299 Blizzard Returning to their Roots

One of the other bit of news that came out from last week’s BlizzCon was the announcement that Blizzard is working on adapting the first two Warcraft games for the modern operating systems

I wonder if they will follow the way of Steam and port it to Linux while their at it

I wonder if they will follow the way of Steam and port it to Linux while they’re at it

Between that, the reveal of their newest game, Heroes of the Storm, the launching of the Hearthstone trading card game and the release of Starcraft II and Diablo 3 (each with their own expansion packs) from the past few years it looks like Blizzard is trying to go back to its roots.

If you need to look any further just look at the new Battlenet launcher. Its an all in one stop for all your Blizzard games

If you need to look any further just look at the new Battlenet launcher. It’s an all in one stop for all your Blizzard games

One of the complaints that I heard people had with Blizzard was that since they launched their MMO in 2004, it was slowly becoming a World of Warcraft company while ignoring their other projects.  It looks like Blizzard heard those comments and are willing to make a change in direction by supporting all of their three well established games and at the same time put effort in creating new games as well.

Twelve years between the newest addition Diablo and Starcraft games. What is this Valve?

Twelve years between the newest addition Diablo and Starcraft games, why would they start now?

If I was a cynical person, I would say this change in company behavior is because they saw the number of players leaving World of Warcraft and this is their attempt to stay afloat after WoW eventually sinks below the point where it can not fund the entire company.

I do wonder if this means if we will be getting Starcraft III and Diablo 4 sooner rather than later and possibility some band new independent IPs to boot.

What do you think; Do you think Blizzard is changing their business ways for the new decade or am I just reading too much into it? and if so, what are you hoping for from Blizzard in the future?


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#298 The Storm (of Heroes) is Coming

BlizzCon 2013 has come and gone bringing a slew of new information about all their Intellectual property from Diablo to Hearthstone. While the story of  World of Warcraft’s next expansion is cool and interesting there was nothing there gameplay wise to convict me to resubscribe.

I would be a pain renaming this blog Be DOW

Plus it would be a pain renaming this blog to Be WOD

What did catch my eye was the cinematic and gameplay of Blizzard’s long awaited Action Real Time Strategy game, Heroes of the Storms. I have made no small attempt to hide the fact that this has have been the one Blizzard game that I am eagerly looking forward to ever since it was announced at Blizzcon 2010 under the name Blizzard DOTA.

I remember hearing about Blizzard Dota like it was yesterday

I remember hearing about Blizzard DOTA like it was yesterday

But In order for a new game like this to succeed in the surprisingly fast growing A.R.T.S/MOBA market Heroes of the Storm needs to bring a unique twist that is unlike any other MOBA games that currently online. From what I have read Blizzard has a bunch of different gameplay features it’s bringing to the party:

  • Shared experience between all players on your team
  • Gaining experience in death
  • The exclusion of  gold and purchasable items and the doing away with last hitting minions in lane
  • The introduction of mounts for champions

Thanks to Ongamers.com for proving the information about H.o.t.S from their hands on experience with the game

I am by no means an A.R.T.S (or MOBA) expert but to me it looks like Blizzard is trying to make Heroes of the Storm matches shorter than League or Dota 2′s matches while ruling out the option for one team to play aggressive in the early game and just snowball all the way to victory.

Blizzard has stated that this is not just another ARTS/MOBA but a challenger to the genre but they have a steep challenge facing the company not only trying to overthrow Riot position as top game while trying to convince the gaming public that it is a different (and better) game than anything else out there.

HotS could work and coexist with the other MOBAs because of its differences, just like to how Football and Rugby are both similar sports but the minor differences are what makes them stand out. Or Blizzard’s project (and any other MOBA game that fails to differentiate itself from the crowd) could follow the same fate that the XFL had when it tried to challenge the NFL in 2001.

There's a reason you don't remember the XFL. Also I believe I earn an achievement for connecting MOBA matches to football and rugby

There’s a reason why you don’t remember the XFL.


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#275 Blizzard Backing off from their Auction House

Yesterday Blizzard dropped the bombshell that the company will be phasing out both the Real Money Auction House AND the in-game Gold Auction House at the beginning of 2014.

Ouch, announced by way of a "Dear John" email.

Ouch, announced by way of a “Dear John” email.

This announcement came as a bit of a surprise to me because the auction house was the biggest and newest edition to the third Diablo installment and was the go to reason for Blizzard to justify the always on-line DRM that was also added in the game.

While I have not played Diablo III ever since I finished my first play through of the story campaign  (not because of anything wrong with the game itself, I just can’t find entertainment in replaying a game, but that is a blog post for another time) I have talked to proper Diablo fans and one of their major complaints with Diablo III was the Diablo Auction house changed how players obtained and viewed gear and weapons dropped during their dungeon runs.

Over all the web I am hearing that ending of the Auction House is considered a major win for the Diablo community by the fans but I am curious on what was the behind the major change in gaming direction.

My best guest is that Blizzard is letting the Auction House project time out because of the combination of the complaints from  the PC player base from day one and the critically acclaimed change to leave out the player run action house on the console edition of Diablo III, which I always thought it was because Blizzard did not want deal with the two companies online subscription fees.

But my own tin foil hat theory is that Blizzard is pulling the plug in-part because they can not risk another unexpected gold duping glitch that crippled the gamer economy for a few weeks. (The whole event can be read in Be MOP #222 where I also asked if Blizzard should consider regulating the gold economy as a response to the economic disaster)

 

But I want to know what you think, what was your initial reaction to the announcement of an Auction House in Diablo III? What do you think about Blizzard ending this project? and What do you think this will affect the game as it is preparing for its first expansion pack?

 


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#253 Joining the 600k

A report came out a while ago that said that World of Warcraft took another hit in subscribers this quarter bringing the numbers of active members down to a-still-impressive 7.7 Million. Today I have the sad news to give that I am one of those 600 thousand that unsubscribed from WoW.

This will be my first time since I first joined Azeroth back in 2007 that I will let my subscription lapse and it is not because of the new in-store hats, or the direction the end game is going, but because with this expansion the magic of playing the game is gone. It took me playing through some of the games I just recently bought on Steam to realize that WoW just was not as fun for me as it was a few years ago and as a result it is incredibly difficult to write about a game I am not enjoying.

 

and I feel like I already covered a lot of the fun topics at hand without this turning into a videogame diary.

and I feel like I already covered a lot of the fun topics at hand already like  the Old Gods, the what-ifs, and the politics of World of Warcraft

 

I am not giving up on WoW forever I am just going to take a break from World of Warcraft to play other games guilt-free for a while, I will be keeping my eye out for warcraft in the news and I will be paying attention to this year’s BlizzCon to see what they have in store for the game in the future but until then the only Blizzard games I’m looking forward to are Blizzard’s AllStars and Hearthstone.

I'm still waiting on that beta Blizzard, for both games.

I’m still waiting on that beta Blizzard, for both games.

But what of this blog? Well I invested way too much time and effort into this site to let it die with my subscription so instead of  continuing to write about a game I will no longer play I am changing Be MOP’s direction. Shifting it away from a strictly Warcraft/Blizzard website to a blog about my musing on the games that I am playing and videogames in general. I want to take this site back to its roots a bit, back when I didn’t know about every in the virtual world, with proper essays that often over analyzes insignificant aspects of games. 

I just want to take this time to thank all my WoW readers for clicking through to the site and reading that stuff I have been putting online for this past year and a half and I hope you guys stick around after the change.

In the next few days I’ll be working behind the scenes changing the blog’s  background, header, and other bits to fit the new direction this site. To give you a hint of the direction I am talking about Wednesday’s post is going to involve Team Fortress 2, player hats, and the moral dilemma that I face.

 

tf2_big_4666987_lrg

Team scramble!

 

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#252 Community Blog Post: Who is your favorite faction leader?

Today’s Blog Post comes by the way of WoW Insider with their Community Blog Post that asks the question, “Who is your favorite faction leader?

Out of the more a dozen faction leaders between the two Warcraft factions and even though I am currently a member of the Alliance,  it is no surprise that my favorite faction leader is Lady Sylvanas Windrunner.

The_Dark_Lady

Thanks to WoWwiki for providing me with these photos.

She was not only the first faction member I encountered when I first played the game and she has the best back story.

From having a wonderful life with her two sisters as High elf Ranger-General in Silvermoon city to dying in battle to protect her city from the hands of Arthus and his waves and waves of  the undead only to be brought back to life by Arthus to serve him and his Undead and Deamon army forces, then breaking away from his will and is now stuck to command the rest of the forsaken population after the fall of the Lich King.

Also she has one of the best music in the game. Fact.

Also she has one of the best music in the game. Fact.

It is the best example of a character falling from grace and is now stuck with living a cursed life and is, in my opinion, the best lore than any other leader, better than a tribe-leader or a member of royalty that worked from a slave gladiator to king  of all of the Alliance.

But I want to know what who’s your favorite faction leader, and why?  You can leave a comment down below or in the comment section of the original post at WoW Insider.


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#251 Overwhelmed with Choices

Ok, one last post about the Steam Sales until the next major sale event near the holiday season.

After last week’s Steam Summer Sale brought forth some of the best computer games sales I have ever seen online I was left with some great new titles, heavy damage to my wallet, with a total of 152 games in my gaming library, and a very difficult conundrum on what game to actually play.

Before you cast judgement a lot of these games came from various Humble Bundles and rest they had extreme discounts at the time of purchasing

Before you cast judgement a lot of these games came from various Humble Bundles and rest they had extreme discounts at the time of purchasing

It’s a rare (and probably a first world problem) problem but I don’t know what game to play once I have some free after all my work is done. There are so many viable choices, should I complete the old games I am half way through or focus on the new games I just downloaded and if so, Indie or AAA game?

There are so many good choices for entertainment, but not enough time in the day, which is one of the issues I have with the current World of Warcraft expansion. There is just too much, viable adventures to embark on in Mists that I, and I suspect that I am not alone, am feeling overwhelmed by the options offered for us.

The end of Mists is just around the corner and there is still a whole bunch of content from this expansion that I haven’t finished yet, there are the Pet battles, the faction reputations grinds, PvP, PvE, the dungeon challenge modes, lore master, all of the achievements, collecting Dinosaur bones from Isle of Giants, finishing Lore Master and the rest of the achievements in the game.

and HE'S still waiting for me to save Pandaria

and HE’S still waiting for me to save all of Pandaria

Comparing this from where I stood at the end of Cataclysm, I almost 100% that expansion. from the Veteran of the Molten Front to slaying Heroic Deathwing, I was able to experience every major bit of the game by the time Mists started, with the  same amount of play time and the same holds true for when I reached the end of Wrath.

It is funny if you think about it, because it was one of the major draw for this expansion is the major options you could choose and it its acting a bit counterproductive  me who just wants a more  limited option in my game choices so that I can become an expert of all aspects instead of being a jack of all trade and a master of none. 

it is the same complaint I have with the IRL mmo I am also subscribed too

it is the same complaint I have with the “IRL” mmo I am also subscribed too

But I want to know what you think:What do you think about the change in game-play options in Mists of Pandaria? And with the expansion coming to an end where are you in completing all of the Pandaren adventures?

Leave a comment down below, it will be interesting to see if anyone else is facing the same predicament.


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#250 Indie Games, Music, and Boston FIG

The Steam Summer Sales have ended and while my wallet recovers I have my work cut out for me with the amount of games currently in my backlog.

As much as I love the heavy hitting AAA games like Deadpool, Borderlands 2, Dishonored, and the Batman Arkham series there is always a special place in my heart and gaming library for the independently made games. Maybe it’s because I love a success story or that Indie games always seems to have their developers put more heart into it but I have spent just as much play time with titles like Super Meat Boy, Binding of Issac, Dust: An Elysian Tail, The Bastion, Limbo, and  Thomas was Alone as with the major release games (and just between you and me I tend to enjoy the story and gameplay of the indie games more)

There is a serious discussion that could be had on weather or not Thomas was Alone is in fact a game or not

There is a serious discussion that could be had on whether or not Thomas was Alone is in fact a game or not

So why am I talking about Indie games on a blog that focuses on an MMO that is developed by Blizzard, which is owned by Activision? Because  I want to shed some light on two bits of Indie game related news that I think you, dear reader, might be interested in.

The first indie related news is a plug to a website that many long time readers might have seen before but the people at Humble Bundle are currently having a  sale of  eleven DRM-free albums from the musician, Jim Guthrie. The album set is pay what you want and you can choose where your money can go, either to the artist, the website hosting the sales, or to the Child’s Play Charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

humble bundle cd

People will write books on how Humble Bundle where able to make successful fundraising campaigns

As always if you pay more than the average donated price you will also get Sword & Swoecery EP and Indie Game: The Movie (which both soundtracks were created by Jim Guthrie) added to your bundle at checkout. The Indie Game: The Movie is an amazing documentary that showed the hard work, dedication and struggle the creators of Super Meat Boy, Braid, and Fez had when developing their game. As of writing this Monday post the sale has a little under three days left so if you want it act quickly.

The second bit of news is for the readers in the greater Boston area, because through my random surfing of the internet I stumbled upon the Boston Festival of Indie Games that is taking place September 14.

boston FIG

According to the website it is going to be an all day event on the MIT campus that focuses on nothing but the independent side of the video-games world. Some of the highlights mentioned are that they are going to have art exhibits, game showcases, talks, Robin Hunicke (of Journey fame) and Chris Remo (from Double Fine/Idle Thumbs) as a Keynote Speakers.

The tickets to this event are free, looks like a lot of fun for a Saturday, I already grabbed my ticket and I thought it would be an event that should receive more awareness in the blogging community.


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