Monthly Archives: July 2013

#254 The moral dilemma I face with hats in TF2

Recently I have talked quite a bit about Valve’s Free to Play First person shooter, Team Fortress 2, (see Be MOP #245 and #248) and how I do not like Valve’s introduction of creating, collecting and trading hats and other cosmetic goods into Tf2’s meta game. In my opinion it breaks the game’s immersion seeing someone wearing a hat that goes against the original artistic design of an American west battleground in the 60’s and 70’s. Financially I understand why Valve chose this path, ever since TF2 went free to play the game needed another source of income to keep the servers going.

The whole TF2 hat thing baffles me because you do not actually see the hat your wearing, only your enemies and teammates can see your spiffy new toy. Atleast with League of Legends you can see your champion's new skin when you play the game

The whole TF2 hat thing baffles me because you do not actually see the hat you’re wearing, only your enemies and teammates can see your spiffy new toy. At least with League of Legends you can see your champion’s new skin when you play.

Rather than kicking up a fit on the message boards and forums about my opinion about TF2’s hats and boycotting this amazing game I am sticking to the man by making a personal vow to never to buy the Supply Crate Keys or wear any cosmetic hat or weapon skins.

although it hasn't stopped me from accidentally collecting the hats from random drops and from other cross-promotional games and holiday events

although it hasn’t stopped me from accidentally collecting the hats from random drops and from other cross-promotional games and holiday events

I’ve been holding true to my own personal protest with the ONLY exception being the Heavy weapon, the Iron Curtain, that I won from the Heavy in Poker Night at the Inventory, and I justify that because during that time in history America was in some of the best years of the Cold War and it is fitting for a mercenary that is right off the boat from the USSR.

Also I am a little bias because I'm a political science junkie and just look at it! It is a minigun with the Soviet Russian hammer and sickle on it!

Also I am a little bias because I’m a political science junkie and just look at it! It is a minigun with the Soviet Russian hammer and sickle on it! THAT’S AMAZING!

Besides that I held true to never wear a hat on any of the nine classes when I am on the battlefield but then I stumbled upon the Halloween holiday-event hat Ghastly Gibus and the Pyrovision Goggles from the Meet the Pryo event. After a little research I found out that these items can only be obtained by dominating an enemy player that has the hat equipped.

I wonder if most serial killers view the the world through this perspective....

I wonder if all serial killers view the world this way….

Here’s the problem, on one hand I do not want to wear the hats so that I can keep to my one-man protest against the hat trading business but on the other hand I grew up with Spock’s mantra “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

But I want to know what you think about this issue, should I hold true to my vow of refusing to equip any sort of hat in-game or should I violate my rule and wear these hat to give other players (who might value Valve’s hats more than me) a chance to get these two hats at my expense? And what would you do if you were in my shoes?


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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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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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#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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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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#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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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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#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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#249 Character Specific Mounts

I’m making good on the promise I made yesterday, I will not be talking about Microtransactions for a while, I am not going to talk about the arrival helms on the Blizzard Pet store and I am not going strike up a discussion about the prices of the three transmoggable helms and comparing those prices to other microtransaction items from other game’s market.

No, instead I am going to dedicate this post to a question that  was asked from Blizzard’s Community Manager, Nethaera and she asked the question:

mount question

I have not talked about mounts for quite a long while with my 150+ mounts in my collection I do have a bit of rules for which character gets to ride which mount.

On my Pandaren monk, who is still to much of a lowbie to ride a flying mount just sticks to the Blonde Riding Yak when he ever needs to travel between LFG dungeon runs.

To keep with the Pandaren theme

To keep with the Pandaren theme

For my level 90 guardian Night Elf druid, I have her use the Black War Bear for a land mount for a sort of meta bear joke.

Bear-ception

Bear-ception

For the flying mount it would be a shame to use anything else expects for the class-exclusive Druid flight form.

For my main I have a bit more liberal on the rules for what mount the mage can ride since he was the one who I spent most of my playtime on, the one that earns the most money and the one that I collected most of the mounts in my collection. For him I just ride the most expensive mounts or which everyone looks cool with the current armor I have equipped.

The blue panther fits both requirements

The blue panther fits both requirements

and my mage is the only one that has the Reins of the Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth and Mekgineer’s Chopper on the action bar right next to the regularly used mounts for when ever I feel the need to show off to the general public.

But I want to extend the question to you, do you have characters that you only allow to ride certain mounts? If you do leave a comment below.

 


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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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#248 Blizzard and Hats

I thought we had enough of microtransactions for a while, I thought Blizzard was just going to let the forums and the Blogosphere settle down a bit before any more additions to the blizzard and I seriously thought that blizzard was not going to follow Valve’s Team Fortress 2 model of microtransactions.

I must admit I thought it was a bit of a stretch to compare the TF2 hat-based business model to WoW when Blizzard announced that they were looking into the idea of microtransactions in last Wednesday post (Be MOP #245).  Oh boy, it seemed that I was written some quality foreshadowing because last Friday Blizzard updated their official blog to say that in the near future  new items will be added to the Pet Store to include a seesaw, a hitching post that will grant you and 24 of your friends a temporary skeleton horse mounts, and what I all be talking about today, the three brand new cosmetic helms for Transmogrification.

 

I *almost* called it

I *almost* called it

I am not angry at Blizzard for introducing these new helms, it’s a free market and we live in a Capitalistic world. If Blizzard thinks that there is an opportunity to make more money, more power too them, just so long as they never hide player content of any kind behind the store’s paywall.

I am worried about what this might mean in the future of gear/armor design team at Blizzard. I fear that Blizzard might now decide any artistic creations from gear designers will be placed into two groups, the ‘For the Players’ group and ‘For the Market’ group and we might see them cutting back on the truly-epic-almost-legendary gear designs from boss drops and PvP rewards to ensure that there is something new for the Pet Store.

Valve’s designer team can get away with distributing new hats and items behind stores and key paywalls  because (at least in my opinion)  Team Fortress 2 is not a game that requires regular and constant design and content updates.

 

I will hand it to Blizzard, they are selling professionally done hats that fits in art style of the game. AND you can actually see your character wearing the item.

I will hand it to Blizzard, they are selling professionally done hats, that fits in art style of the game, AND items can actually see your character wearing in-game.

 

The question that I now have to face is, “Will I buy any of these items” and answer for me it is a solid no.

Even if Steam was not delivering daily attacks on my wallet, I still would not buy these new cosmetic items from the store for the same reason why I do not buy hats or reskinned items from TF2’s market place. It is not needed to improve my performance in-game so why should I spend money on it? I just would have expected Blizzard to fine tune the paid services they already have before introducing new shop items, like reducing the cost of their  single character server transfer service and maybe adding a multiple character server transfer bundle at the regular price.

But this is it, I am quite done about talking about microtransactions for a long, long time and the next time I am going to talk about Blizzard and their Pet Store the post will better begin with…

 

“As I predicted, at this year’s BLIZZCON Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft will be going free to play.”

 

 


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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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