Monthly Archives: May 2013

#228 The Long Awaited Bat Mount

Yesterday Blizzard revealed their newest mount, the Armored Bloodwing bat, available to players of both factions who can afford the $25 price tag.

Blood bat

Even though I am still on my quest to collect 200 mounts, I am not quite that desperate to drop $25 dollars to achieve my goal, not again.

After reading the announcement and seeing the all the players in Stormwind on their new mounts I felt sad about this mount release,   because players of the Horde have been waiting for years and years for a flying bat mount. Ever since the launch of the Burning Crusade and the members of the Alliance was able to collect both Gryphons and Hippogryph taxi mounts while the Horde could only get the Wind Rider taxi from Kalimor.

We got a hint of that bats would be returning in the troll’s Zalazane’s Fall pre-catalysm event when the members of the horde were asked to hop on the Darkspear’s bats to rain frog-bomb the enemies. It just feels cheap that Blizzard would only put the bat mount in the stores.

Although I’m still holding out that Blizzard will make the bat mount obtainable in-game, either Blizzard’s next major Undead/Lady Sylvanas chapter or in that one last trolls raid that I know Blizzard has tucked in their sleeves. Similar to how Heart of the Aspect gave some players a chance to get the eastern dragon design a few months before Mists released the Cloud Serpent model to the rest of the players population.

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And Now for something completely different.

In Humble Bundle’s never-ending goal to separate me from my money as fast as possible, I have just been informed that they have teamed up with Telltale Games and is currently selling a bundle of their best games, including such titles like Back to the Future, Sam & Max and Wallace & Gromit and if you pay above the average, you will also get the award-winning, Walking Dead game.

humble weekly sale poker

It follows theirs previous payment policy, where you get to decide how much you want to pay for the games and you get to choose where your money is going.

But what really made me excited for this bundle is game, Poker Night at the Inventory, not because I play poker but it is because Matt Chapman returns to gives his voice to Strong Bad! Strong Bad was one of the first internet celebrities I ever experienced, I remember spending hours and hours watching and rewatching the Homestar runner skits and waiting each week to see what new email Strong Bad would answer. 

The bundle’s average now is holding at  about $4.30 http://www.humblebundle.com/weekly

Now if you excuse me I have to marathon every Sbemail on their website to recapture some nostalgia.


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#227 Shared Topic: Repurposed

This week’s Blog Azeroth Shared topic comes from Mataoka with the question:

What junk or grey items in game should be made to be used for spells or buff foods, etc? There are many fun items that no one wants, but could be used in imaginative ways!

One of the things I love to do in this game is collect odd and unique things whether it be mounts, exclusive holiday items, pieces of gear, and grey items that are constantly eating up my bank space. 

My first choice would be The Stoppable Force, a trash drop from Burning Crusade that became a bit of an inside joke between my friends in high school and for this I just want Blizzard to change it so that it becomes a transmoggable. 

Maybe this will make a reappearance when Blizzard goes back and revamps the Burning Crusade content in the next demon expansion

Maybe this will make a reappearance as a joke in a future demon themed expansion

My second choice would be the Bottled Fire, an item I received from a Blingtron 4000 daily.  There are dozens of consumable items that deals damage to enemies in battle and I wish made this one made the cut.

Just look at the warning! it causes death. I know of a particular Horde warchief that I would gladly use it on

Just look at the warning! It causes death. I know of a particular Horde Warchief that I would gladly use it on

Fun Fact: there is already a grey item that unlocks a special in-game event, if you encounter a hunter and link them the Crystalline Tear of Loyalty and lie to them about looting it from the rare spawn that he or she was searching for they will cry. 

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I also feel like it’s my civic duty as a citizen of the internet to inform as much people as I can about the Humble Bundle’s eighth Indie Bundle.

humble bundle 8

The same rooms apply, five DRM-free, cross-platform games with their soundtracks listed at name your price, beat the average and you get two additional games. With a customizable part of your proceeds going to two awesome charities 

You can find more about this sale at http://www.humblebundle.com/, better hurry because this deal only lasts for 13 more days.


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Be MOP focuses on the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the game’s life cycle. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#226 First Impressions of the Barrens Battlefield

This weekend I spent most of my Warcraft play-time revisiting one of my favorite zones back when I played an undead on the Horde,  the one the only, Barrens zone.

I forgot how awesome the color orange can be

I forgot how awesome the color orange can be

The very first impression I got when I completed the introductory quest chain and first few stages of the proper zone was  how awesome it was.

One of the first things I saw when I was gathering information about the recent changes within the horde was a mobilized orc military, imprisoning rebel trolls and keeping them at gun point.

 

Bam! Instant awesome from  a Political Science fan

Bam! Instant awesome from a Political Science fan

 

After getting the rebel trolls and Vol’jin himself to trust the Alliance to join the cause of overthrowing Garrosh, I was then asked to complete a quest to steal gather wood, meat, oil and stone from the Kor’kron forces.Although I despise most gathering quests, this was one of the few times I can tolerate. As I mentioned before in one of my posts about the Isle of Thunder, I did not feel like I was making any progress every time I completed a Kirin Tor offensive daily.Each Mogu and Saurok I killed did not bring the faction to stopping the Thunder King, we were just dealing with his foot soldiers and wild life.

But in the Barrens Battlefield I actually feel like each barrel of oil I steal and each shaman I take out cripples Garrosh’s army and aids the Alliance and Trolls’ cause.  I just wish that Blizzard would add a Windwool cloth turn in quest at the questhub, it seems the most appropriate time to bring that ancients quest model back.


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Be MOP focuses on the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the game’s life cycle. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#225 The Old -still beating- Heart of Pandaria

In my attempt to take this content patch slower than normal, I just completed the Lorewalker introduction quest chain to the Barrens battlefield, that sets up the status of the Horde and Alliance. I then went back to experience The Secrets of Ragefire and Battle on the High Seas to round out all the new scenarios.

if these orcs doesnt make it into the final orgimmar raid I will personally form a raid on Blizzard's office.

if these orcs doesn’t make it into the final Orgrimmar raid I will personally form a raid on Blizzard’s office.

And all were extremely fun to play, full of interesting game mechanics and proper progression in the conflict. But because I am a blogger, and I feel like I have an obligation to announce my favorite scenario for the world to see for all of the internet to hear. Out of the four, the one that was my favorite to play through, and the one that provided the best story was the Dark Heart of Pandaria because it was the only one that not only reaffirmed the conflict that is brewing within the Horde, but it added a teaser of something more sinister.  

Needless to say, if you have not played the  scenario there are plenty of spoilers below. 

The Dark Heart of Pandaria you investigate a disturbance in the goblin’s mining operation, only to discover that Y’Shaarj, the only known Old God to be slain by the titans still has a presence on Pandaria other than the Sha (the product of Y’sarrj’s dying breath on Pandaria).

Twisted elements and piles of blood, definatly the work of an Old God

Twisted elements and piles of blood, defiantly the work of an Old God

 

The Old Gods’ Story has always been my favorite part of the Warcraft world and I’m glad that Blizzard brought back them back as a potential threat. It was clear at the end of the scenario to not hold our breath out for a Ulduar-esque raid in Pandaria to properly finish off Y’shaarj, but it was a good the sort of mess  Azeroth’s heroes  will have to deal with if we ever get to kill an Old God later in the game.

 

 

Plus the final room took my breath away, it was incredible, and sad that it was only used in this one event

Plus the final room took my breath away, it was incredible, and sad that it was only used in this one event

 

 

 


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#224 Rationing the Escalation

Patch 5.3 is finally here, and with this patch comes a new scenarios, new battlegrounds, a new battlefield  and a whole bunch of changes to the PvP world. Once the patch finished downloading I was beyond ready to explore the  escalation between the Horde and Alliance forces in Pandaria.

My favorite thing so far is not that Blizzard added the conflict between the drawfs races, it's that they remembered.

My favorite thing so far is not that Blizzard added the conflict between the dwarfs races, it’s that they remembered.

Before I jump head first into the all that this patch has to offer me I remembered how quickly I experienced burnout after completing the Thunder Isle in the previous patch I realized that I am going to have to curb my hunger for content.

This time around I am going to consume the content slower than usual, two days in and I just entered the first part of the Barrens Battlefield, and I have not even touched the Heroic Scenarios until I am done with the main story. 

You know in the Blood in the Snow scenario, theres always that one guy who pulls the middle group of enraged double-buffed trolls? Well I was that guys.

You know in the Blood in the Snow scenario, there’s always that one guy who pulls the middle group of enraged double-buffed trolls? Well I was that guys.

Because even though this is Blizzard’s third major update in six months I still feel like I am going to the current content on my mage a bit to quickly for my liking.

 

 


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#223 WoW’s Impact on my Life

As I was looking through my Twitter feed I found a question from the podcast, All Things Azeroth. They asked the simple question,

How has WoW made an impact on your life, for better or worse?

I have played this game for several years now, and I would like to think my life has been changed for the better.  A while ago I answered a similar question about how WoW has improved my typewriting skills and it opened my eyes to see how an efficient and functional team is formed (Be MOP #103), but that post did not answer the question of if my life was improved on a whole.

While I may be out of hundreds of dollars to pay subscription fees for all the years and spending many, many late nights wiping on that one boss the held back the progression raid group.  I would like to believe that my life has improved because of all the friends I got to meet along the way. Because I played World of Warcraft  I was able to meet people online from all corners of the world that I would never meet if I never picked up this game. World of Warcraft also strengthened the friendship I had with my existing, IRL, gaming friends. I can not count the speculation, discussions, and agreements I had with my friends over lunch or dinner.

I can also point to WoW for this creation of this blog that allowed me to post my thoughts and opinions of the game, all the while improving my writing and social media skills, which has already transitioned to other parts of my life.

 


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#222 Should Blizzard Regulate Diablo’s Economy?

diablo3

If you have been paying attention to anything related to Diablo III, you know that two weeks ago Blizzard launched patch 1.0.8 on the North American servers. What makes this news worthy is that players soon discovered a bug that allowed them to dupe or duplicate any amount of gold that was placed on the Auction House. In a matter of hours the player economy experienced a fit of hyperinflation, the type which has not been seen since Post-World-War-I Germany leaving the value of gold completely worthless.

While Blizzard did temporarily freeze the player auction houses and issued bans left and right to the players who exploited the bug, the damage to the player economy has already been done, with unknown amount of gold, some estimate in the billions or trillions, suddenly forced in circulation.

In light of all of this, a question does emerges, “Does Blizzard, and other game companies, have an obligation to the players to monitor and regulate the in-game player economy?”

In all other games the player economy follows a purely capitalist free market model, with players putting their items up on the Auction House and then the player community collectively decides how much they would be willing to spend on the item.

In the past other game companies have been perfectly fine leaving the player-run economy alone leaving players to gamble their gold by working the auction house, but Diablo’s market is not like other player economy.  Blizzard decided to introduce a Real Money Auction House (RMAH) to run alongside Diablo’s in-game auction house.

This allowed players to buy items with gold on the gold auction house and then re-list that item on the RMAH and end up with net-profit of real currency. The process could work in reverse allowing players to place bids on items on the RMAH and sell it on the player auction house for gold.

As a result of two different auction houses that ran on two different types of currency, but with goods that could easily be sold to either type of players (the people who use the AH and the ones who use the RMAH) the Diablo community decided how much gold you could get with one U.S dollar. (Fun Fact: This is how we decide the currency rates between two different nations).

If a person starts playing the market, with real money on the line that person expects some stability with the economy, an occasional bump or hit to the wallet is understandable when trying to play against the needs and desires of other people with disposable income.

When a market becomes unstable the people starts demanding for the government to step in and place regulations to prevent that certain economical disaster from happening again. In American history we the avocation of government regulation in the Great Depression in the 30’s and right after the housing and banking meltdown in the late 2000’s

In real life most of nation’s economy has some government intervention to try to make sure their market does not crash from any tricky trades, this type of economic intervention involves placing regulations how companies can conduct business. More importantly, though, the government has the power to decides the value of the currency in the world market by changing how much money is printed, and in circulation, for that year.

While unable to place regulations on the trades players can make in-game, Blizzard can change the global drop rate of gold in the game from day-to-day, thanks to Diablo’s always on DRM.

Which brings me back to my question of should Blizzard monitor the player market  to (not prevent, because no one can a foresee a glitch) but set in place government-esque policies and protocol and regulate the dollar value of gold in the game?

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