Tuesday 27 July 2010

Remind me who the good guys are again...

Warning - the remainder of this post contains Cataclysm lore spoilers. Don't read any further if you want to keep the plot fresh.

Saturday 24 July 2010

Blogger now works with iPad

It seems the recent changes to Blogger have added basic iPad compatibility.

I can't link images or do anything fancy yet, but it's a start.

Friday 23 July 2010

A little problem

Sadly, Azeroth is still deeply gnomist, despite all of SAN's protests. This boat to Theramore is too high for a poor little gnome to get on board!

Fortunately, we gnomes are an ingenious race...

Thursday 22 July 2010

I think warlocks have infiltrated Blizzard HQ

According to the latest Catacysm patch notes, "Frost Armor is now trained at level 54. Up from 7".

So levelling mages who aren't frost now have one of their main means of defending themselves from incoming mobs removed. This won't affect raiding or instances, just a mage's ability to level.

Now betas are the right place to be experimenting with different game balance options, but this one is so bizarre that it's unfathomable. How did the design review meeting go?

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Mages ahoy!

Gazimoff of Mana Obscura has proposed setting up a mage forum along the lines of The Warlocks' Den.

It's an excellent idea, so pop along here and support him.

Playing versus testing

My little gnome mage got into his first Dungeon Finder group yesterday, only to find himself the only non-worgen in every party I've been in. In some ways it's not surprising. Worgen are the new alliance race, so it's natural that people would want to try them out. However, the flip side of this is that the starter zones for the other races are almost empty.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Sometimes it pays to read the quest text

Reading this quest made me smile. I love gnomes...

Cataclysm beta: random thoughts 2

  1. Oooh, I like the new arcane tree at low levels. Arcane Barrage + Arcane Missiles is both lethal and efficient, arguably OP if you're used to hit & run tactics. I feel like a tiny death machine right now. Let's see how well it scales with level.
  2. So many flight points. Very good for little legs.
  3. I suspect those gnomish parachutes aren't 100% safe.
  4. The quest flow is greatly improved in Dun Morogh.
  5. Flying trolls in Ironforge. I /wave :)
  6. Looks like I spoke too soon about how good Blizzard's quest objective mapping is. I seem to have reached a level where they aren't on the map. Presumably they're incomplete.
  7. There's a much wider variety of quests in the starter areas - far more to do than just "kill 10 foozles".
  8. The ideal way to spend talent points hasn't been determined yet, so I'm just picking what looks about right. It brings back the days of WOW before the theorycrafters had optimised the fun out of everything and is more enjoyable as a result. I'm sure that won't last, though. EJ are bound to have people in beta setting up their shiny new spreadsheets now.
  9. Because I no longer feel the urge to min/max everything, I haven't bothered with tradeskills or the auction house really. Quest greens are fine by me.
  10. Cataclysm isn't quite WOW 2.0, but it is very close.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Too ... much ... temptation ...

I'd read that a new wave of Cataclysm beta invites was being sent out, but I hadn't received one. To be honest I wasn't sure if I really wanted to join. I enjoy beta testing games and trying to give constructive feedback, but I was wary of "spoiling" the game on release by having explored the new content.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

The vision thing

Larisa has posted an interesting quote from the Teamliquid forum. It's impossible to know how accurately this reflects the mood within Blizzard, but if it does, the consequences are disturbing.
Nachtjäger, Suramar, 59 Night Elf Death Knight post 35821 wrote:
"Got in touch with my ex-flatmate, whose sister works as a GM for Blizzard, to see what the internal buzz on this was. Apparently, at the moment the employees are largely as pissed as the players, and she stated that despite attempts to keep it hushed, it has become known that the big creative players within Blizzard are pretty much as unhappy about this as we are. Everybody has been told they are not free to comment on this situation outside of specially prepared statements.
It's still going ahead, however (and here's where in-house rumours and hearsay really start coming into play): from what they've picked up, the Blizzard leads have been told in no uncertain terms that the non-gameplay-related direction of the game is working to a different blueprint now. GC and company are free to play with shiny new talent trees all they like, for example, but for the first time the decisions regarding Battle.net implementation, Real ID, and plans for the general acquisition of new players for the business are no longer in Blizzard's own hands, and that's not going down too well."

Monday 12 July 2010

Real ID: merely a setback

Now that dust has settled on the whole Real ID crisis, I think it's time to take stock.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Colin Firth sunday

Especially for Issy & Pilf:

Curses! Foiled again!

Thursday 8 July 2010

All killer and no filler

As Supernanny says, "Positive attention and praise are the most effective rewards for good behaviour, but sometimes it's important to give your child boundries and let them know that certain behaviour is unacceptable."

Well the blogosphere has been doing a lot of boundary setting for our favourite child recently over the Real ID outburst, so it's time for a little positive attention and praise.

I am a child now

Today I was going to produce a post explaining how to opt out of Real ID using the parental controls feature of battle.net to pretend that you are a child. Fortunately Tobold has saved me the trouble.

It's ridiculous that we have to go to so much trouble to deactivate a feature that hardly anybody wants. It's hidden away in a section where no normal person would think to look. A cynic might think Blizzard didn't want you to find it...

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Real ID - the press wade in

It seems the row over StalkMe has now reached the mainstream press.

The BBC has coverage here.

AP have covered it here.

An opinion piece from Gaming Today is here.

A rare pro-StalkMe post can be found on CrunchGear.

So far, the coverage is predominantly neutral, stating the arguments on both sides. Lets see how it develops.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Real ID: a bad idea just got worse

Displaying a level of bone-headed stubbornness that would make Garrosh Hellscream blush, it seems that Blizzard have decided to extend their RealID StalkMe system to the WOW forums as well.

Monday 5 July 2010

It is a truth universally acknowledged

that a single man in possession of a full set of epixx, must be in want of a wife.

Pilf's post about WOW Hunks makes an important point - that, contrary to basement-dwelling cliché, many male WOW players are in fact highly eligible. Thinking about my own group of RL friends who play WOW, there are surveyors, managers, engineers, charity workers and journalists.They're all nice guys, none of them live with their mothers and they all have active social lives. Add to that the Greater Internet Romantic Hero effect and you've got what seems like quite a catch.

That's great if you're a female gamer, because you also have a shared interest, but not so wonderful if you're the kind of girl who hates computers and likes to settle down for an evening watching Friends. If start playing WOW just to meet men and don't actually enjoy it yourself, you're in danger of becoming a WOW widow.

Besides, all those so-called men are women IRL anyway!

-- Agnetha