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The Furious Five: An Introduction
So in addition to the characters I normally play, I'm also part of something called a
. I don't know if this is already a widely used term, but if it isn't I'm inventing it now.
A group of characters who are specifically set aside for the purpose of playing with one another.
I belong to a five man static group that I've played with for months now. It's five players, most of which are IRL friends of mine, and we get together about once every two weeks and run an instance.
We've never levelled any other way since we were old enough to run
at level 13. We're now around level 60, so it's been a long trip--but with plenty of rest experience, it goes surprisingly smoothly. And it's
--I have my main and my alts to play when I want to do something by myself, but I always get the chance to run an instance with my close friends every week or two. I strongly recommend it for anyone who has friends.
Here's the roster of the group I run with...
06/12/2008 à 07:00
Basic Example of Threat & Aggro
In today's class we're going to review the basics of threat mechanics--what threat, aggro, and hate are. These terms are familiar to most players, but are often misunderstood. A proper understanding can aid tactics and lesson confusion in-game.
Of course, this is also a great introduction to tanking. Wondering how these big, armor-clad warriors, paladins, druids, or death knights got so mean and hated by creatures everywhere? Well then, sit down and open your books to page three hundred, seventy-six. This is Insensitivity Training 101!
04/12/2008 à 22:15
A Game for the Obsessive Compulsive
So having been busy with the site since the expansion came out, I'm actually not NEARLY as high level as I should be. My paladin was level 73 at the time of this writing, which is pretty tame considering the rate at which people are tearing through the new content. But as time goes on, I've realized that I have a problem with WotLK.
I've heard complaints that it's too easy, or that the new gear isn't good enough to replace the old, or other things along those lines. But the difficulty that
have is with instancing.
The instances in WotLK are
. I mean, I don't know if there are any people out there who haven't done them yet, but they're just
. The environments are bigger and more interesting. The fights are more nuanced, and more fun. They feel more connected to the game world--you don't feel as much like you're stepping out of Azeroth and into instance-land. You can see the Howling Fjord from the balcony of Utgarde Keep. There are cinematic sequences embedded in the instances to draw you further in--not long ones, just enough to hype you up and keep you interested.
So what's the problem? The problem i
02/12/2008 à 23:30
So it's that time of year again here in the US--time for us to gain another 10 pounds, and to start thinking about what we're thankful for.
I started thinking about this recently and it occurred to me that in a very real way, one of the things I'm thankful for is WoW. I hate to sound like a sap, of course, and I know that there are some people out there who have met friends, significant others, even spouses via WoW--or people who have real social lives thanks to WoW friends, etc. I read those stories and I can't help but smile. But that's not
story. My story is a little different.
27/11/2008 à 14:30
Another Warcraft RTS?
recently put up a
in the Randomness forum which asked if Blizzard was planning on a fourth real time strategy (RTS) in the Warcraft series. I quickly drafted a reply after reading through the others, then realized this would make great blogging material! The question I sought to answer was: how exactly is Blizzard going to create another RTS game, and still fit it into the Warcraft universe and timeline?
After some thought, I was able to come up with five possibilities.
26/11/2008 à 18:30
The Future of Storytelling
Someone recently brought the following to my attention:
It's a fascinating interview with
, but for those not interested in reading the entire article, I was drawn to a particular moment when he says “Storytelling in MMO's is the future”. Considering the limitations of running an MMO in a static, unchanging, endlessly repeating world, I found this to be an interesting philosophy.
26/11/2008 à 00:15
Friday is Casual Day
To an extent, I have always been a social person. When given the option, I prefer to be hanging out with friends as opposed to doing something alone. I discovered video games before I turned 10 years old during a social gathering where some friends of mine were playing Super Mario Brothers on the
. I was instantly enamored by the concept of electronic gaming and that fascination has carried on into my adult years. The social aspect of gaming has remained important, even to this day. Sure, I play a video game by myself every once in a while, but I have way more fun when I am competing with or against friends, or even when we're simply watching one another play a game.
World of Warcraft is no exception.
21/11/2008 à 16:45
What's Your Game?
So Blizzard has added two more celebrity WoW commercials to their lineup for World of Warcraft, one featuring Ozzy Osbourne (the Prince of Darkness) and one featuring Steve Van Zandt (of
, and of Bruce Springstreen's
E Street Band
Now I love these commercials as much as the next guy. But to me, the genius of this whole thing is much bigger than just some good commercials.
20/11/2008 à 20:30
Back in the Good Old Days
I'm not sure offhand what percentage of World of Warcraft players also played
Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos
and the expansion pack,
The Frozen Throne
certainly did--for a while, Warcraft 3 and Diablo II were the only games I was capable of playing. I was never much GOOD at Warcraft 3, but I enjoyed it a great deal even when I was losing. In fact, my primary reason for picking up World of Warcraft in the first place was because I was excited to see the familiar characters, locations and battles from my old favorite game writ large--I wanted to see Warcraft 3 from the Footman's point of view.
My choice of race in Warcraft 3 was the
, and it was that reason (and that reason only) that saw me on the Horde side of the game rather than on the Alliance side--which to this day is where most of my friends remain. My first
was Undead, because I really wanted to get in and see the Scourge mobs and buildings in huge, life siz
20/11/2008 à 02:00
Lorebook: The Nathrezim - Otherwise known as the Dreadlords
Your lovable Skyfire has signed up to blog (woe on him?!). I'm the Master Bookkeeper, and this week, we're going to tackle a serious subject that you may not have thought on before: The Nathrezim, more commonly known as the Dreadlords. You should know who they are -
among them, and the
of course. But do you know where they hail from, or their original purpose on Azeroth? If you don't, read on...
19/11/2008 à 19:30
Journey to Northrend - Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra?
Now that Blizzard has officially released the expansion, millions of players have already begun upon their journey to Northrend. However, for many there remains a question, one which must be addressed before traveling:
Check out our rundown of the two zones after the break.
19/11/2008 à 00:30
WotLK Raiding - Lacking in Options?
When you place the raids available to us at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King on a platter and compare them to Burning Crusade, it shows us that there aren't as many options--and perhaps even less creativity--when compared to its predecessors.
At the very beginning of Burning Crusade we had the following 10/25 man raids accessible to us:
(excluding world bosses). In WotLK we have
The Eye of Eternity
The Obsidian Sanctum
Vault of Archavon
, which is based on the results of a
battle, and which may or may not be available to you every week.
While TBC only had two more compared to WotLK, don't forget that three out of the four WotLK raids are merely single encounter bosses. That means even less time to learn the instances, and more time waiting for the next one to arrive. Also, give
18/11/2008 à 10:00
Return of the WoW Player
The launch of Wrath of the Lich King makes me think of waiting in line at 11:00 PM on November 23, 2004 to get into a EB Games store to pickup my pre-order. Here I was with a bunch of fellow gamers. I had just driven 30 minutes south to a nearby city, as my city of 10,000 without a video game store just won't cut it. There are about 50 people in line waiting excitedly. People are talking about what class they are going to play, did they play in the beta or not, are they going to play Horde or Alliance, what server are they going to be playing on. The comments and questions from one random gamer to the other were flying around furiously. Here we are, almost 4 years later, and I have been hearing the same story happening at nearly every game store on the continent.
When I first started playing I had about 20 real life friends who were also playing. Over time some have left, others joined. As of last week I didn't have any real life friends who still played the game regularly. Then all of a sudden -- Wrath launches. Counting on all of my fingers and all of my toes, I have over
who are playing again. When
17/11/2008 à 20:50
Michael Bay Presents: World of Explosionscraft!
For those of you that don't already know,
announced around May 2006 that they had a World of Warcraft movie in the works, and eventually, it was wormed out of them that they predicted a 2009 release. The project since dropped off the radar, and it was discovered this year at Blizzcon that the movie is in fact currently being written, or at least that's what they say among other such vague-ities as “there are still plans for...” Who knows if it's actually happening, but it's certainly not happening in 2009.
Now, you don't quite know me well enough to care what I
about this (at least not yet), so let me settle for
you a couple things. If you're like me, at some point you thought “Isn't making a film out of World of Warcraft going to be difficult?”, since so many people play the game at different levels, there's no unified narrative, and lots of other reasons why it's not an intellectual property that you can make a movie out of.
17/11/2008 à 03:39
Changes and Additions in 3.0
As I'm sure everyone knows, there are many new features and additions to the game with the recent expansion. Some changes occurred pre-release and some we had to wait for to experience. It comes as no surprise that perhaps some of these changes have been overlooked or received little recognition. Today we're going to look at some of these changes and hopefully bring them to light so everyone can benefit from them.
First of all, we have some major game mechanics changes. Hit rating, critical strike rating, and haste rating were all changed to be more or less the same for melee and caster classes. Damage and healing have been combined into spell power. Health and power (e.g. mana) regeneration have been changed to update in real time! Furthermore, spells no longer receive any "pushback" after a second hit--the first two hits taken give 0.5 sec penalties, so they stack for a total of 1 sec longer casting time.
Next is bag space. Precious slots have been freed with the addition of the "Currency" tab on the Character Sheet. Honor and Arena points, Battleground Marks of Honor, and even Badges of Justice have been converted to tracking via this tab. All of the actu
16/11/2008 à 22:28
Music Makes the People Come Together
So you may not know it about me, but video games are but
of my twisted obsessions. The other big one is music--and I will always have a special spot in my heart reserved for the place where those two loves meet.
I wasn't the first kid in my school to have a Nintendo, by any means. That honor belonged to my friend Chris, who was kind enough to invite me to his house to play (at a time when
wanted to come to his house to play). We played the original Super Mario Bros. until all hours of the morning, and sure--the game was fun. I had a good time. But it was the
, written by the honorable
, that convinced me that I
had to have one
. That song is still with me, and considering how many cellphone ringtones it continues to grace today, I'm clearly not the only one.
When I first started playing games I had the musical joy of games like
Super Mario Bros
Legend of Zelda
15/11/2008 à 16:53