Tag Archives: World of Warcraft

#443 The WoD Pre-launch Patch

From the sudden explosion of hub bub on my Twitter and WordPress feeds I have reached the conclusion that Blizzard has just released their Warlords of Draenorpre-expansion patch on the live servers.

I have not talked about Warcraft in a while, and certain not as much as I used to, since I have cancelled my subscription little more than a year ago. To celebrate this patch going live I decided to revisit some of my favorite WoW news sites, sit down, and read through the most recent patch notes to see what has changed. After reading them all I understand almost none of it. So much stuff has changed since I left, and so much of this patch has changed that changed content that it feels like going back to my old High school, I know the basic layout, but so tiny subtle things has changed, and all the people I knew moved on that it is completely different place compared to when I used to attend. I do understand that the ancient WoW player character models did get a revamp and the fire Mages did receive a buff to their spells so Patch 6.0.2 have earned my approval.

I just wish I could see my main Mage's new face but I left the option to see the helm on. Kinda kicking myself in hindsight

I just wish I could see my main Mage’s new face but I left the option to see the helm on. Kinda kicking myself in hindsight.

I did read up on the Blizzard’s traditional pre-expansion event to entertain and excite the players between now and actual expansion drops. After skimming through the videos and I will say that Blizzard has learned from their butchered Mists of Pandaria pre-expansion content with an actual in-game event with quests, story, and a special dungeon that actually takes place in the virtual world and does not exclusively resides in one little scenario queue. (Be MOP #110)

A professional blogging tip: Never write when you are angry.  Another professional blogging tip: You don't always need to adhere to the last blogging tip

Professional blogging tip: Never write when you are angry.
Another professional blogging tip: You don’t always need to adhere to the last blogging tip

I also read that Blizzard has rolled the Mists of Pandaria expansion pack into it’s basic game which is, i believe, the quickest Blizzard has ever rolled their past expansion into the main game. Which is really big of them, nothing more to say there but hats off to Blizzard for that move.

I would also use this time to give my thoughts about the next expansion on a whole but because I have been out of the WoW news loop for months I have no idea where to start. Should I talk about the main plot, the player stat change, the change in Blizzard’s game direction? I just do not know. Although I will say that while I was reading through the patch notes now there was a part of me that was making a mental note of all the World of Warcraft/Be MOP posts I could write between the now and when the actual expansion goes live. I did not keep an official count, but I know that was so potential blogging content there that was there could have lasted me months.

As I mentioned in my most recent World of Warcraft post, Be MOP #375, there is nothing in this expansion or in the next one that will ever bring me to Azeroth from a combination of a lack of a social network or guild to go back to and I have moved on from World of Warcraft to greater things in life. But I will always remember the adventures, the fun, and the gaming, writing, and communication skills I picked up along the way with Blizzard and WoW.

"Who can say if I have been changed for the better...."

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better….”


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#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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#412 Games from my Backlog Reflection

As I realized in my last blog post, my monthly “games from my backlog’ project quietly and unexpectedly reached it’s one year anniversary.

This entire project was something that was born after realizing how many games that I had in my library just collecting dust after I canceled my World of Warcraft subscription and just realizing my slight addiction to Team fortress 2 and various other time sinks(as talked about in Be MOP #360)  and this was a way to knock out some game titles that I have been meaning to play or that i gathered along the way by dedicating a each month a few games to play for my limited free game play time.

A series you can catch up with by reading all installments right now: Be MOP #258, #268, #281, #294, #307, #320, #334, #346, #359, #372, #385, #398, and #411.

Between that start of this little project I have removed about 30 games from my backlog, on top of a whole bunch of other games I played on the side.

Look how organized everything is, that habit does not reflex my organization of physical collections

Look how organized everything is, that habit does not reflex my organization of physical collections

 

Since, setting this up and forcing myself to games I might never have picked up by myself, I have found some favorite new titles and genres , They Bleed Pixels, Cloudberry Kingdom (and opening the floodgates to any pixel perfect and indie platformer), the Walking Dead series, Deadpool and Dust: an Elysian Tail. Basically any other game that I have dedicated a full blog post to or mentioned in future posts during or after the initial month.

Some of the games I picked were non-starters for me, like  Serious Sam 3 (motion sickness Be MOP #352) Borderlands 2 (lack of players on hand to play the game with co-op), & Gotham City Impostors, Final Fantasy VII, and the first Assassin’s Creed (lack of drive to boot up or play through the game).

Contrary to popular belief – or what this project’s mission might have been at the beginning-  its not about completing or even beating theses games it was about working through the mammoth amount of games I have trying out new games, dusting off some that I bought ages ago and just now playing, and trying new types of games after years of playing just one or two games exclusively from Highschool through College.

I am going to continue this project for the future because it is fun and pushing through and playing games I would never have thought to pick up I believe I am a better well rounded gamer because of it .

and studying for my blogging and streaming patterns it looks like I can not stop partaking in projects that has no dedicated end mark

and studying for my blogging and streaming patterns it looks like I can not stop partaking in projects that has no dedicated end mark

 


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#411 Games from my Backlog for the month of August

Good morning everyone, today’s not only the start of the weekend but the start of the  new month, and that means I go partake in the long running project of trying to curb the amount of games currently sitting on my backlog by picking a few games to dedicate my extra play time complete, or at the very least get enough of the taste of the game to see if I would enjoy that genera for future games. Last month I picked the two games, LEGO Batman 2 and Ducktales: Remastered.

I played a couple of hours into Lego Batman and it was a wonderful beat and smash em up game staring Lego version of everyone Gotham’s best and worsts characters, and the game itself got plenty of characters as well with the dialogue in the cut scenes and how they were able to add several musical scores from classic Batman and Superman themes into the game which is a very nice touch to add. But my years from World of Warcraft I have been able to quickly identify what a time/grind sink is and is the definition of grind sink, with hidden collectibles, secret objectives, and a quota of money collected by destroying destructible props on the set.

Which is not a bad thing, I think everyone should have game in their library to go to when you want to play a game but just turn off their brains for a while. I had my daily grind in World of Warcraft and currently have the goal of completing the Pokedex in X/Y. While I do like the idea of Lego games the Batman title was just not for me it was just too dark of a city to run around in but I still have Lego Lord of the Rings, Lego Marvel Super Heroes in my library and the other handful of Lego games on steam to find the perfect Lego game to spend countless hours just grinding and exploring.

Ducktales: Remastered was a game I started and finished while broadcasting it on my Twitch Stream and as I said on the stream, I was never raised on the Ducktales television show OR the game so the extra effort Disney put into to remastered edition was appreciated but I felt like I did not get the full effect compared to people who picked up this game when they played the original game on the NES. Over all though it was an enjoyable platformer although a tad limited (but it excused considering that it was on built for the original Nintendo console)  I can see how aspects of this game was the inspiration for other future games like say Shovel Knight and every other 2D indie platformers.

 

that Moon music though, I can see why it's so legendary.

that Moon level theme though, I can see why it’s so legendary.

 

With most of our summer done lets look forward to the new month with a couple of new games to play through for August, and it was not until I started writing this post for today when I realized that this month is the one year anniversary the “games from my backlog” project found way back in Be MOP #258.

One of my first three games that was on the chopping block was Tell Tale’s Walking Dead and what better way than to come full circle and play through the second season of The Walking Dead. While I have already made my arguments that games such like these maybe should not be called videogames but categorized as something else (Be MOP #259) I do want to follow up on the story of Clementine and see how the walker infested world has changed since the end of Season One.

For my second game I am choosing the indie platforming game Tiny Brains, not only because t was one of the few Indie games that was picked up by Sony for one of the games for the PlayStation 4 launch titles but because it was featured and recommended by one of my favorite YouTube celebrity  featured it on his show and recommend it to everyone.

 

And it is an indie platforming game with that extra third dimension which makes it stand a head of the sea of 2D platformers

And it is an indie platforming game with that extra third dimension which makes it stand a head of the sea of 2D platformers

 


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#410 A Response to Are Game Demos Dead?

A few days ago I was reading one of Gamemoir‘s Question of the Day that as the question, “In an age of alphas, betas, and early access has the humble demo seen its day? They raised an interesting question, with growing trend of Closed and Open Betas, Steam’s Early Access even the release of  Technical Alphas the gaming world has seem to forget the option for releasing a demo of a full game, but I think that is because the limitations the gaming companies had in the past.

Currently we live in an age with constant and relativity high-speed internet connect to almost every part of our lives. With that not only can we send out tweets on our smart phones but every video game player, or anyone else who consumes any different bit of media, has the ability to broadcast their thoughts and opinions about that product for everyone to see and read about the game before going to the store. I talked about this before, where thanks in part to many different YouTubers I was able to see how the first few levels of Shovel Knight plays and handles in their videos while I hear the host’s provides commentary about their opinions and thoughts on the game on a whole, which was exactly what the idea of Demos were suppose to do, give you a brief taste of the level designs, controls, and the game on a whole before committing the full price purchase of the game.

I think the last demo I got was from Blizzard with their 7 day free trial of World of Warcraft

I think the last demo I got was from Blizzard of their 7 day free trial of World of Warcraft

 

With faster and more stable internet connection molding of this and the previous gaming generation, we have also seen gaming companies use the ability to use the internet to reach a more of their player base at the speed that could never be done before. This is something we see as with the big push for opening sourcing their Closed and Open Beta testers to the public which does help the finished game in the long run while also getting a free taste of what the game could be instead of the game developers building an entire game and then taking a financial hit of carving up a section of the completed game, burning it onto disks, and paying for the cost of shipping it out to local gaming stores like in the old days. While the idea of opening up the entire internet to test you game was a great idea at the beginning the open beta trend has also been used to advertise the game and get players  to play a segment of the game, turned into a marketing tool to advertise the game as a way to get more people talking about the game with the hope to raise more money from preorders before the game is finished.

 

That last comment should come with a disclaimer that while  most game developers use this practice correctly it takes just a few rotten game devs to ruin the idea for me

That last comment should come with a disclaimer that while most game developers use this practice correctly it takes just a few rotten game devs to ruin the whole idea for me 

 

With a more connective internet and the ability for people to hear and read testimonials about any game and even have the option to play early builds of the game it does look like having demos of games added to your personal gaming library does seem like a dying fad.  But from a different perspective the idea of demos are still alive and well in Best Buys, Walmarts and Gamestops when you see a demo version of a device on sale in the game aisle that you can easily pick up and play a demo version of the latest game releases right there and then, and if you go on Steam there are always one or two full games free to download and play as much as you can for during Saturday and Sunday from their Free Weekend promotional event.

 


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