Archive for May, 2006

3-man Phantim

One of the not-so-rare, yet absolutely fun past times of bored players is to train Phantim, the 62 Elite Dragonkin from Ashenvale to Crossroads. In this brief video we show Doog (60 Warrior), me (60 Warlock), and a 60 Priest (relatively Epic, including Benediction) taking him down. There’s a bunch of 30s nipping on his heels, as well, but from what I understand they didn’t do much damage. So it’s definitively possible to 3-man him, next time we’ll try with two, as soon as Doog is back to a damage spec.

Better resolutions are on Filefront (30 megs, DivX) and soon on Warcraftmovies.

Wanderlust: Sar’Theris Strand

My frequent partner in crime and I have long roamed the far reaches of Azeroth, for no other reason than to see what Blizzard hath wrought in the vast spaces between quest paths and farm trails.

One area of note is the Sar’Theris Strand, located in the northernmost beach of Desolace.

There isn’t much to see there, except for the occasional naga; the mob density here is low, and there are few quests that require a player to come out this far. As a result, the many characters who trek across the deserts of Desolace miss one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in a video game: the Strand’s coral reef.

This region was designed with care and with an eye to simple aesthetics. The reefs themselves serve no purpose but an artistic one.

strand3

To those who say there is no art in video games, I would direct their attention to this. It’s but a small part of Azeroth, and a part that few people see. That’s a shame, to be sure – artists and designers took great care in creating the Strand; it shows in every jutting rock and every crop of purple coral.

It is for this reason above most others that I like the Strand so much. The care and concern shown in its creation amount to a very small return to what had to be a large investment of time. The designers didn’t care that nobody was going to see it – it exists simply to exist, a testament to their talent and skill. What else could this be but art?

This isn’t a new Alliance race or a new 40-man raid instance, but it is no less worthy of our enjoyment.

Are you a “real” girl?

Another handy site financed by the gold farming community is Faces of WoW. Now you can find out if that nice young lady you helped out in Iron Forge is… well… a lady.

Surround gaming goodness

WoWScrnShot_032906_134118

Starting with patch 1.10, WoW now supports triple-head widescreen. Dual-head is rarely used for games because the center of the picture is on the join between the two screens. But with triple-head the center of the picture is in the center of the middle screen. The image above was taken on a PC with a Matrox Parhelia — official WoW support for which is somewhat of an on-again/off-again affair. However, an upcoming (it’s kinda out, sorta) product also from Matrox is promising triple-head support for existing video cards.


TripleHead2Go

A supported video card list is out and the site now has a compatibilty testing program you can use prior to purchase. I’ve got a couple of rigs I’m going to be testing this on once my hardware dealer can get hold of one.

All Queued Up

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So last night, I logged in. What do I see? “Realm is Full.” Just under a half an hour to wait. Grumble. Now what to do. Change realm. My main, my priest, he’s on Zul’jin, but I’ve been working slowly on an Eitrigg-based Tauren. “Realm is Full.” Grrr. Ten minutes. Okay. Fine. A co-worker has a toon on Silver Hand, so I’ll just go over there … maybe it’s time to see what life is like for a dwarf paladin.

But all of this jumping around, is it worth it? What’s more important … playing the game in general, or playing the character you really want to play? If the game is it’s own reward, then what’s the point of levelling? If the character is key — and I suspect it is, then shouldn’t Blizzard do more to prevent queueing like we’ve seen this week?

I’m a casual player. I know, I know … the bane of all that is good in the World. But all this really means is that my available WoW time is incredibly precious. After work, after dinner, after yardwork, after living my RealLifeTM, when I sit down for some WoW, well, it ought to be readilly available. Online gaming on tap, just like water. After all, I pay bills monthly for each.

Is it too much to ask? Really. I’m curious. How long is too long to wait?

Penny Arcade nostradams Blizzard TCG

Without claiming much ownership for the word “nostradaming”, this one made me chuckle and shiver at the same time. As early as August 2005, Penny Arcade accurately predicted Satan’s involvement in Blizzard’s next endeavor:

satan.jpg

Fast forward to May 2006: Blizzard announces its cooperation with Upper Deck Entertainment to puplish the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. The features, as described in this month’s WoW Insider mail:

Heroes will be made. Legends will be written. Heed the Call!

  • Amazing original art from today’s top creators gives you a fresh look at the World of Warcraft universe
  • Uniquely coded rare Loot™ Cards feature cosmetic upgrades for your World of Warcraft online character
  • Play as your favorite class and race and experience all the depth of World of Warcraft in the TCG
  • Compete in a robust World of Warcraft TCG Organized Play program and win amazing prizes
  • And, not surprisingly, but as always a bit on the “strong reaction” side, the community is upset. No link, unfortunately, since Blizzard’s GMs deleted the first two threads about this topic in WoW General.

    /invite

    Tough day in Molten CoreHey folks – Since this site didn’t flop the first week we launched we thought we should keep running with it. So we’re thinking about adding a few new contributors to talk WoW smack with us. Interested? Shoot me an e-mail ( sean AT metroblogging D0T com ) and let me know. Of course e-mails with your toons info, how long you’ve been playing, what you like about it, what you want to do for the site, etc, will probably get more attention than those with nothing but “oh! Pick me!” *hint* *hint*
    (Image by Joi of a We Know wipe in MC)

    Male Blood Elf Dance Moves

    Take a look at the new male Blood Elf dance moves.

    Look familiar? That’s because they are flipping sweet!

    Jenkins Academy

    pa_leeroyjenkins.jpgToday I heard stories of the Leeroy Jenkins in a friends guild, and tonight Wil sent me this new Think Geek shirt. I think it’s a sign. Pals for Life FTW!

    On Gold and Gollums, an overview into the Gold Farming and Selling Industry

    Few things (other than the fact that Alliance sucks, consists of a majority of 12 year old boys pretending to be girls and playing female Night Elf rogues and hunters) divide the general public on Blizzard’s WoW more, than the practice of buying and selling gold on the Internet for in-game purposes. Some call it a heinous crime, some simply frown upon it, others see no harm in the practice, and few applaud the ability to make money of virtual goods.

    But what’s really behind WoW Gold? Where does it come from, who buys it, and how does – if any – it impact our day to day gameplay in Azeroth?
    (more…)

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