Archive for April, 2006

Sportsman Like PvP?

paineater.jpgHere’s a bit of a weird situation that came up last night during some world PvP that I wanted to get some other opinions on. It’s no secret that I like the PvP, and I generally consider myself pretty fair and on the level as far as that goes. I won’t camp corpses, I don’t attack people many lvls below me out of no where, and I think tricking people into flagging who don’t want to be flagged is a big no no. However having gotten into a lot of real fights with people as a kid I think a lot of real world things apply – once the fight is on, it’s on and not getting your ass kicked is goal number one. With world PvP I’m about as stubburn as I am in real life as well, if you kill me I’ll come back and if you kill me again I’ll be back again and I’ll keep coming back until I kill you or until you run away. I might get pwnd, but you’ll remeber the fight.

So with this past weekend being bonus honor in WSG and Paineater being lvl 45 I was playing him a solid group of WSG runs back to back (We can do that horde side, neener!). I kept getting WordDefenseNotices that Splintertree Post was under attack – for at least an hour I was getting them pretty regularly in fact. When I finally wasn’t able to get back into WSG I decided to head over there and see what the action was. I pinged a few guildies and some said they’d be there as well. I got there first and found 3 lvl 55 and up alliance killing a whole pack of lvl 40 and under horde who had shown up for the fight. One of them was a lvl 60 Pally who I’ve run into numerous times in world PvP before he was lvl 60. In fact he must have been doing some serious grinding because last time I fought him he was only 2-3 lvls above me. And I smoked him! So anyway…

Cross Server Battlegrounds

Seems all is primed for 1.12 or 1.13 to include the long-awaited Cross Server Battlegrounds. “Long awaited” by but a small, but very vocal community. See, the issue (and if you are Horde, you’ll likely not notice) is two-fold in Battlegrounds queues – first, the imbalance between Horde and Alliance makes it much harder for Alliance players to stay in Battlegrounds for an extended amount of time over a few games, and secondly, diminishing returns make it harder for the majority to “farm” honor off the minority faction. The solution, according to those who felt cheated … cross-server BG.

This here player thinks it’s a bad idea. For a number of reasons…

Telling On Death

The Death Stories Project has gotten some airplay on Warcry and WOW Insider, but it deserves a further mention. Should the administrators of this project hold up their end of the research bargain, the results should be terribly interesting. Anyone can talk about virtual gross domestic products and social interactions, but it takes some dedication to seriously consider the ramifications of online fatality.

Compared to other MMOs, death in WOW is relatively pain-free. Sure, if you take the Spirit Healer’s offer, your equipment is going to take a sizable hit. If on the other hand, you buck up and make a ghostly corpse run, the damage is practically negligable. When next you’re in town, pay for some repairs and you’re on your way. Of course, I offer this from the perspective of a cloth-wearing priest. Those of you sporting the heavier armor probably pay a prettier penny.

Now, compare that with old EverQuest. Death in EQ had far more of a sting. Your weapons didn’t suffer damage … because they were still out keeping time with your mouldering body. If you wanted to get that Screaming Mace back in your hot little hand, you were going to have to go get it. With any luck, you had some spare armor and weapons in the bank, as well as some pocket change. You needed that handful of gold to pay whatever kind shaman felt like bestowing upon you Spirit of The Wolf and Levitate. If you had neither equipment or cash, then it was down to a matter of getting your naked toon from point A to point B without dying again. And to add insult to injury, death meant a loss of XP. A loss of too much XP resulted loss of level.

So … go visit Death Stories. Tell them your tales of woe.

Phat Loot

Although I can’t remember when I got it — some level in the 20s, maybe? — I’ll never forget where I got it: the lighthouse in Westfall. I got it from a ghost pirate, which is maybe the best kind of pirate there is (LeChuck, I’m looking in your direction). It’s the Buckler of the Seas, and it is without a doubt the most spectacular treasure I’ve won in World of Warcraft.

See, it’s a ship’s wheel, right? But you hold it like a shield. Or you strap it to your back and it makes you fly. (In other words, “aesthetically pleasing,” as M. Doughty taught us.) (Also, yes, that’s a Rocketeer joke, too — those of you who know The Rocketeer are the most awesome.)

I carried that damn shield around probably six or seven levels past its usefulness. Then I kept it in my backpack for awhile, in case whatever boring off-the-rack higher-level ginormous shield I was using for real got trashed in battle. Even after I got that prestigious kite shield from the Watchers in Darkshire, I held on to my Buckler of the Seas. Right now, the gift of the ghost pirate is safe in my deposit box, in the Bank, just in case I want to wear it out some night. It is so rad.

What about you? You got some crazy piece of loot locked up in the Bank just because you dig it too much to throw it out?

Boot Camp and Blizzard

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Powerbook keyboard, originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

A few days ago I posted a postive note about Blizzard’s complete and unfailing support for the Macintosh OS as a game platform [mba]. From my days trying to play Warcraft III against my friends on my Mac LC 475 with a low baud modem and a screen refresh rate of like once per every thirty seconds to the pure sexy smoothness of WOW today on my G4 Powerbook and my G5 iMac, Blizzard has been one of the few companies to step up and continue to launch games for both the PC and the Mac at the same time.

I wondered how Boot Camp, the new beta software that allows users of the new Intel Macs to run Windows XP, would affect the future of Blizzard development on the Mac. It’s possible that a lot of software companies might abandon the Mac platform altogether given that soon, once Boot Camp is more stable, Macs will run Windows as well as PC boxes. (This is an offshoot from the John C. Dvorak argument that Apple will adopt Windows full time soon [pcm]).

If you haven’t been following the comment thread to that post, much like I haven’t been following the Blizzard FAQs, Blizzard’s Mac Team dropped by to set me straight [mba].

From the comment thread…

Q: Apple’s OS X Boot Camp software lets me boot Windows XP on my Intel-based Mac. Can I run Blizzard games under Windows using Boot Camp on these systems?

A: Yes, you can if you wish to do so. However, please note that as OS X Boot Camp is in beta form, we can’t offer technical support for Blizzard games run under Windows using Boot Camp at this time.

Q: What is Blizzard’s plan for native Mac OS support, now that Boot Camp is available?

A: We have a recognized track record of native Mac OS support, and we have no plans to break with that tradition. We understand that our Mac player base prefers native software whenever possible, and our cross-platform development practice addresses that.

So while nothing is on stone tablets in this crazy world, but that sounds to me like even once Boot Camp gets stable there will still be a Mac version of future Blizzard games coming. Hopefully that’ll include any follow ups to World of Warcraft.

Which in my book calls for a huzzah. Huzzah!

CNET all over Azeroth this weekend

‘World of Warcraft’ battles server problems
‘World of Warcraft’ billing problems infuriating players
of course it goes without saying that We Know/WE No got the nod again.

Engineering 300, now what?

After two months of being stalled at engineering 150, Deadicus, (lvl 58 horde warrior) decided to hit the books hard and get to 300. Four hours later………. DING, goblin engineering 300. Now what?

I own the schematic for XL Jumper Cables (working on) and can already make +5 scopes and thorium shells. I’m already bidding on the schematics for +7 scopes, Major Discombobulator and Arcane Bombs. My problem? I’m so overwhelmed by all the engineering options thart I don’t know where to begin. Do I make all sorts of bombs, target dummies, gernades, landmines and mechanical dragonkin and pull a Rambo on Azeroth. Can one carry all this gear and fight effectively or is it all for show? Is it best to arm yourself with every gadget under the sun or a few select goodies?

Any 300 engineers with actual combat XP have any suggestions, theories or crazy stories about their exploits?

My grey tabard

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World of Warcraft, originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

I’ve always had a problem staying in guilds. It’s not that I’m particularly unfriendly or unhelpful; it’s just they seem to fall apart shortly after I join them.

My first guild fell apart quicker than a party lead by Stockwell Day [cbc], and the next one I found lasted not even a week before all the level 60s (and their alts) decided they’d be better off in an exclusive level 60 (and their alts) guild.


Blue Moon Odds and Ends

Blue Moon

There’s this little shop in the Apothecarium in Undercity, and they sell just one item, a Field Testing Kit. I wandered by there, time and time again, wondering, what the hell is this used for? Why a special merchant and vendor? What’s this all about.

Today I found out. If I never see Alessandro again, it will be far too soon. If I have to kill another goddamn scorpid or hyena or basilisk and test its goddamn remains again, so help me god, I’m gonna be ill.

Blizzard’s Mac love

Powerbook keyboard

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

As someone whose had an Apple since the IIe I’ve gotten used to living in a world where the coolest games never would reach my computer. For awhile the Lucasarts game were availble, but as Apple’s market share slipped so did game selection.

Soon the only games I could find were the ones that were built to be dual platform, and the Blizzard games were always Mac friendly.

I’m not sure why more game developers can’t be Mac complient like Blizzard. It might be hard for smaller companies to afford, but that’s an excuse that Eletronic Arts (for example) can’t use.

The Mac compatibility from Day #1 meant that I started playing WOW early. The fact that unlike some games, EverQuest (cough cough), Mac users aren’t living in their own servers, means that I get to interact with everyone else as opposed to those also confined in the Mac Ghetto.


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