• MMO/Gaming

    Midsummer Gaming Ennui

    I’ve been bored with everything lately, at least in terms of gaming. After giving up on chasing Guild Wars Hall of Monuments achievements as punishing and unfun, I’ve been at a loss for something to play. I miss my escape into virtual worlds!

    I’ve been levelling a baby rogue in Warcraft, and I think she’s currently 28. It’s been a lot of fun, actually. I started her in the Undead starting area due to my longstanding desire to have an undead bone pony, and really enjoyed the questlines. Sylvanas is one of my favourite characters in WoW, and it was interesting to work alongside her for several levels of quests. Oh, the Dark Rangers…please please please let Dark Ranger be a class option someday. I have always longed to play one.

    I’m still in The Secret World beta, of course, and can jump in and play whenever I want…but I don’t want to. Due to Funcom debiting my card early (for a pre-order, still quite miffed about that), I’ll probably give the game a shot when it launches. I’m just not excited enough to play through the beta, and then do it all over again.

    There is a Guild Wars 2 open beta weekend coming up and although I will play, I admit to feeling a bit meh about it. ANet really needs to start communicating with people and announce a launch date, probably after this next beta weekend. Their marketing plan has peaked way early and now people are feeling a bit let down about the previous oversaturation of information and the current drought. Although this is a game that I am still very much looking forward to, I have to admit that they are kind of pissing me off.

    So here I am, with nothing to do. Pah! The Secret World is coming out in July, so I will play then. The fall and early winter will be stuffed full of juicy MMO launch goodness, with GW2, Mists of Pandaria, and a very interesting Rift expansion. (Downloading Rift again right now, but won’t resub until closer to the expansion.)

    As always, it’s feast or famine. And this summer? Nothing to eat but dust and tears.

  • MMO/Gaming

    Not Wishing I Was Here

    Due to the way Blizzard handled the MoP beta (and also to my ability to hold a grudge), I finally got access to the beta but haven’t been playing. Phil has been playing, and I’ve looked over his shoulder a time or two, but I haven’t wanted to log in. I did today finally, just for the hell of it, and found that I’d only been missing a lot of really stupid quest design and bad manners and childishness on the part of players. So if you’re not in the beta, don’t worry…you’re not missing much.

     

  • MMO/Gaming

    Bait and Switch

    I’m the Queen of Useless Gestures and as such I have just written Blizzard a Very Stern Letter. Yes, some spotty teen in a customer service centre far away will just bin it, but at the time it defused a bit of aggression.

    I would be terrified to admit how much I’ve spent on MMOs over the years. I’ve been playing Warcraft off and on since 2005. When I say off and on, I mean that I usually kept my account active in case I wanted to play. For a year or so I kept two active subscriptions. I’ve paid for many character transfers, faction transfers, name changes, pets, mounts, etc. If I added all of that up I would have to cry as I could have had a very swank holiday somewhere at the very least. It’s always been worth it because gaming is my release, but no one can deny that it can be quite an investment.

    In any event, recently I signed up for the Annual Pass just because I wanted MoP beta access (and Phil was going to play Diablo 3, as I wasn’t interested). I haven’t even been playing, but I’ve been paying for that damned Annual Pass because I agreed to, and one should keep their agreements. Unless one is Blizzard, that is. We should all have done the math, actually. Over one million people signed up for the pass. One Million. A server can hold an estimated 10k players. Everyone who invested in the pass would presumably want to play. Are they going to bring on the hundreds of servers needed to let everyone in? Of course not. And so I, like quite a lot of other players raging on the forums right now, haven’t been invited and probably aren’t going to.

    No one likes to be slighted, or feel like a fool. No one likes to be ripped off, which is basically what has happened. They could have brought the extra servers on. They could have stopped selling the Annual Pass once they knew that they weren’t going to be able to handle their half of the bargain. But no. And that is what really pisses me off.

    Poor show, Blizz. Very poor show.

  • MMO/Gaming

    Nostalgia

    Boy, does this bring back memories. I do miss Vanilla WoW sometimes – those were very good times. I miss how epic 40-man raids felt, before the artificial playstyle of hardmode dances. I miss world bosses. I miss just exploring. I miss the friends that I had. I don’t miss running half-way across a continent just to turn in a quest, but I miss actually experiencing the environment that I passed through. I miss having to work for things rather than just power-levelling in easy mode (although I’m not a fan of grindfest games). I miss that sense of wonder.

     

  • MMO/Gaming

    Ravven at 85

    Ravven, the first character that I ever created in an MMO, dinged 85 last week. I haven’t played here in ages, but it was still a rather nostalgic moment. Had I known back in 2005 how much time I would waste on MMOs…well, yeah, I probably would have done it anyway. :) Since then I have undeniably wasted shedloads of the aforementioned free time, but I have also made a lot of new friends and opened up a world that I am very glad to be a part of.

    Ravven dings 85
    Work Avoidance
    Lil Tarecgosa
    More Work Avoidance

    That’s a whole lotta work avoidance there. :)

  • MMO/Gaming

    Stories of Kitsune

    Wow Insider had a post this morning on Where do you want your character to die? Interesting thought, although I kind of like the idea of Kitsune carrying on after I am gone, rather than the reverse. I know that sentiment, and the concept of game avatars having lives of their own, is incomprehensible to anyone who doesn’t play MMOs. If you do, though? You will probably understand.

    Hey, I’m not embarrassed to admit that I used to log Kit out in pretty areas sometimes, even when she was levelling or when it was a pain to get her there. Just she and Ennui, her boar, kicking back by a roaring campfire. It made a pretty picture, and I’m not so adult that I am embarrassed to share that little secret. :)

    I’ve levelled characters who weren’t “people”, but I didn’t care very much for them and it was difficult at times to put the time into them. Kitsune has always been a person to me, right from the moment that I created her. She kind of sprung into life complete with a personality and a backstory. I’ve been with her for so long that she feels like a friend, someone who I’ve actually known. She’s me, or the flip side of me…solitary, smart, sarcastic, and a fighter. Once you have her loyalty, though, she would fight to the death for you.

    Where would Kit die? Fighting heroically for a lost cause, or against insurmountable odds. Alone, probably in some icy winter pass far from her beloved autumn woods of Azshara. I can see her in the snow, knowing that she couldn’t possibly survive the encounter, but throwing herself into the fight anyway. And Ennui would be with her until the end.

    This is why I game. Who can be a hero in real life? I guess that this is important enough to me for my very first tattoo to be her name – and I would never have a tattoo that didn’t have a very personal meaning.

  • MMO/Gaming

    Such a Girl

    With all of the news lately about patch 4.3, what am I most excited about? Transmorgrification and the new Darkmoon Faire. Such a girl.

    I have outfits for most of my characters, some skanky and some not. Kitsune is going to be happy to finally look like a proper hunter. Hunters shouldn’t be dressed in orange and purple, we shouldn’t have massive glowing shoulders that would give an orc back pain – how can you stealth through the forest wearing that? Sheesh! She’s going for a dark ranger look, with a near-black outfit and a non-silly bow. I would love to give her crossed swords on her back, but unfortunately I seem to be permanently stuck with polearms. I’m considering a black pet component to match her armour, but would hate to give up Artaius, her spirit bear.

    I have to confess, I love Darkmoon Faire even in its current format, with very little to do. A spooky island with games, shows and quests? Oh yes, please. If there was one in real life, I would run away and join the carnival.

    “Catch a show at the marvelous main stage or witness a dazzling fireworks display. But don’t stare too long or you might miss the stunning spectacles that surround you. Gaze in awe of our magical menagerie, get your fortune told by the amazing Sayge, go on a pony ride, experience the healthful effects of carnival food, and more!”

    And the “replicas of long-lost suits of armor”? Oh, please have a Judgement set for my pally. I think that was the best set of armour that Blizzard ever designed, and it must be mine.

     

  • MMO/Gaming

    Mists of Pandaria

    There are a lot of conversations going on this morning on the newly-trademarked Mists of Pandaria.

    The comments on the Massively article were interesting – I had always believed in the statement that Pandaren were originally scrapped because you weren’t allowed to represent pandas in such a way in China. Evidently, that is not true, and as one commenter pointed out, Perfect World has playable panda characters. (I would hazard a guess that Perfect World may have a larger player base than Warcraft -I could be wrong- but either way that clearly demonstrates that China doesn’t have a problem with panda characters.)

    Another commenter provided these to images to illustrate the point that China didn’t have a problem with Pandaren, but they did take exception to Chinese pandas wearing Japanese armour. Fair enough.
     

     

    If this trademarked name isn’t simply a red herring, think of the possibilities.

    What would I like to see? Make the Pandaren a new race and hero class (battle monk) which avoids the massive snit-fit that would ensue if you “gave” them to one side or the other. Or, make them a neutral race that either side could play…which would be a massive departure for Blizzard. If you don’t make them a neutral hero class race, then you would only have battle monks. If they areĀ  a neutral race, allow them to any class, and give them their own capital city.

    And that idea opens up something that I would LOVE to see…a Chinese-themed fantasy city done as only Blizzard could do it. I’ve always loved the feel of the Eastern cities in Guild Wars, the Dragon Festival and so on, and I think it would be amazing in Warcraft.

    *sigh* We can dream, can’t we?