Posts Tagged ‘WoW’

Hey folks. Today I’ll be writing a bit about the last World of Warcraft Expansion, Cataclysm. With the release date for Mists of Pandaria quickly approaching, and the release of the cinematic trailer at GamesCom today, I must say that I am pretty stoked. Now I will admit that the trailer wasn’t as epic as the Wrath of the Lich King one but its was still pretty cool. I’m really excited to see how the new talent system works. I’ve messed with some different builds on the talent calculators just to see what I think i may like but only time will tell on that. There’s gonna be plenty of time to talk about MoP in the coming months so I’m gonna get to ranting about Cataclysm.

Now there really was a lot of wicked content to check out in Cata. The entire two original WoW continents Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor both got completely revamped. They look wicked as hell. Personal favorite change to the look is the giant fissure in the middle of the Barrens. Looks awesome. What this redesign of the original continents did was allow Blizzard to completely rework the level 1-60 content. While I am a huge altoholic and didn’t mind leveling a bunch of characters I did feel that certain zones seemed to drag on forever. I definitely understand a lot of people’s points of view that the leveling process was painstakingly boring. The 1-60 content is now some of the best stuff in the game. They definitely learned a lot about quest design over previous few expansions and I felt that they made questing in Azeroth much more fun.

The zones to get from 80-85 definitely had a lot of really cool stuff and some stuff… Not so much… I really enjoyed some of the new zones and others I couldn’t wait to be finished with. The ones that I enjoyed were, Mount Hyjal, Uldum and Twilight Highlands. With Hyjal I just found that for the most part the quests and story lines were pretty cool. For most of my 85s I leveled through there instead of Vashj’ir. Twilight highlands I also really enjoyed because there was planty of really cool questlines there. I especially enjoyed the quest line towards the end that dealt with Alexstrasza and the Wyrmrest Accord. Always enjoyed the Wyrmrest stuff. My favorite zone back in Wrath of the Lich King was Dragonblight.

In Uldum a lot of players felt that control was taken away from them and didn’t enjoy all the cinematic breaks that happened. I am completely fine with the more cinematic experience. I felt that it really help to immerse me in the story for the zone and what was going on. The Harrison Jones quests were pretty damned funny. I do understand why some people wouldn’t like the more cinematic approach. Some people just don’t care about the story and want to tear through to max level as fast as they can. That’s cool. I get that. For me even tho I just wanna hit cap, I still love to be immersed in the world and the lore.

The other two zones, Vashj’ir and Deepholm, I really was not a fan of. Vashj’ir is a water level. I’ve always disliked water levels. In any game. I’m trying to think of a single example from other games that had a water level that I actually enjoyed and I can’t think of one. Don’t get me wrong, there actually were some cool parts to the zone. I actually really enjoyed the big fight at the Abyssal Breach at the end of the quest line for the zone. For the most part, I found the zone to be pretty tedious and boring. With Deepholm it’s not that the zone wasn’t fun, it’s that in order to get the shoulder enchants for my characters I HAD to quest through there. I’m not really a fan of forced content. I found myself leveling to 85 with the new heirloom gear and completely forgetting about shoulder chants and had to go back and finish up the quests just to get them. Not so bad the first or second time but once I got tot the fourth and fifth time through it I really started to dislike the zone. Like Vashj’ir there were parts of Deepholm that I did enjoy but overall my experiences there were not very pleasant.

Next up I want to get into the 5 man dungeons. Blizzard did attempt to make the heroic 5 mans a little more challenging by adding in elements that made CC an important part of them like back in Burning Crusade. I did enjoy that. Except for in random q where no one know wtf a CC was or how to avoid constantly breaking them. Despite whatever nerfs or changes they made i felt the Cata 5 mans just weren’t as well designed as previous expansions. I could sit for hours back in Wrath doing nothing but random 5 mans even after I didn’t need any gear or emblems. To me it seemed that the majority of them were a lot of fun and very well designed. In Cata i really felt quite the opposite. I dreaded queuing for them. Partially because I was worried about what kind of group I would get but also because I thought they were pretty boring. Having at least 5 level 85s I really developed quite a distaste for them. I’ve tried numerous times to figure out what it is about them that just turned me off so much. No clue. They just don’t feel right? I guess that’s the best way I can describe it. Whatever it may be I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

Of course you can’t talk about the things you liked or didn’t like about a WoW expansion without go on for a bit about raiding. There was definitely a mixed bag of good and bad here. I just want to start this part by saying what many others have already. Raid Finder should have been in with the launch of Cataclysm. I think that it’s a great feature that allows many people that don’t have raiding guilds or enjoy raiding and want something quick and easy to run through each week something to do. They at least got it in and am looking forward to having it available right out of the gate with MoP. Having it release with the third and final tier of raids(which in my opinion is the weakest of all the raid content in Cata) to me was a bit aggravating. I enjoyed the tier 11 raids the most. I found that there were some really cool fights in tier 11. Conclave of Wind in Throne of the Four Winds is a favorite of mine. The platform swapping between the three bosses and having to kill them all within a minute of one another was really cool. I also really enjoyed the Omnitron Defense System, and Nefarian in the Blackwing descent raids. Of course there were a few of the fights in the tier that I wasn’t a big fan of but overall I thought that it was pretty well done.

Tier 12 is where stuff started to get weird. First off the trash clearing. What the crap. I understand that there’s gonna be trash mobs kicking around raids and clearing it is a part of the game. Having to clear enough trash for one of the bosses to spawn was kind of a pain in the ass. The best thing about this tier of raiding was that some of the gear pieces looked bad ass as hell. The difficulty pacing that was just all over the place. The interior of the Firelands raid did look pretty cool but it has to be one of my least favorite raids in all of WoW. I’ll have to take a peek at my achieves later but I can’t remember if I ever ended up finishing Firelands. It was around the time that my account had run out and resubbing to go trudging through the Firelands wasn’t reason enough.

Tier 13. Dragon Soul. Really that’s it? When I heard that one of the fights with Deathwing that you would be standing on his back I got really excited and thought that would be epic. Not so much. I honestly thought that with the impending apocalypse that Blizz would have pulled out all the stops and gone balls to the wall with this raid. Not the epic finale to an expansion like i thought it would be. A lackluster ending to what i feel was a pretty cool arcing story throughout the expansion. The ultimate bad guy. More dangerous than anything Azeroth has ever seen. Let’s put a raid together with rehashed boss models, have the second last fight more difficult than the actual final showdown between the heroes of Azeroth, the dragon aspects and the biggest big bad the World of Warcraft has ever seen. I guess after really enjoying most of the raids in Wrath so much that in comparison i felt they dropped the ball.

This sounds like a giant QQ about how much Cata sucked. Not the case. While I did have issues with some of the content that we got to experience with the expansion, I did have a lot of fun. The game itself to me has never really lost its fun factor despite my gripes with certain aspects of the content. A lot of people have gotten bored with WoW over the years and moved on to other titles. That’s cool. You gotta play what you like. I still have a lot of fun with WoW even after all these years. There’s plenty more I could go on about when it comes to Cata but this is one long ass rant. The last thing I will mention is about the new races. Worgen – Really cool. If I actually played Alliance I would totally have rolled one. Goblin – I love my Goblin. It’s pretty much become my main at this point.

/rant

Phew… This really is a long one… What are some of the things you did or didn’t like about Cataclysm? What features are you looking forward to the most from MoP? Let me know!

Thanks for reading folks.

-FMG-

So with SWTORs patch 1.2 on the horizon, I’ve messed around quite a bit on the Public Test Server. One of the greatest features coming our way is the fully customizable UI. While the current incarnation is good, there are a few things that I’ve found a little bothersome. Little things like the Voidstar Warzone map covering part of my quickbar on the right side. Nothing majorly game breaking but enough to be an annoyance at times.

While I was spending a ridiculous amount of time messing with different setups it got me thinking about my UI configurations in my games over the years. Even before I got into MMOs I was downloading UI skins for Counter-Strike. I always liked playing with add ons and options to make things fit me better. Back in City of Heroes/Villains I completely moved everything I could around to fit what I was used to. The default for that game had the quickbars along the top and I was more used to having it across the bottom so I would rearrange everything.

Moving on to World of Warcraft. That’s when I really got into UI tweaking. With the plethora of different add ons available I would test out as many as I could to find which I felt the most comfortable with. Towards the end of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion I think I was running around 30 different add ons. I had everything from threat meters, to scrolling combat text and things to change the general look of everything. I spent about twenty-five minutes digging through every folder I could find to see if I had any old screenshots from then but I couldn’t find any. I looked pretty drastically different that the standard UI. With there being so many UI add ons for WoW out there I would sometimes watch WoW footage videos just to see how people would set up their UI. A lot of times they would list the add ons used or people would sometimes ask in comments.

I must say that I was a little disappointed that you couldn’t even scale down the size of the UI in SWTOR at the start. Having toyed with so many UI add ons before I already know what type of things I look for with customization. With the built in options for SWTOR it gives me almost everything that I could want. Everyone has very different ways to set up their UI. I personally don’t like clutter on my screen. So what I do usually is move as much as I can to the bottom area as much as possible. Here’s a quick shot of one of the setups that I did. This will most likely be how I place things once 1.2 is live. I messed around with a few other setups but this one seemed to work the best for me and felt most the most comfortable.

A few things not shown on the shot are are the party/Ops frames, tool tip popup and the warzone scoreboards. Since you will only ever see the WZ scoreboards one at a time those are stacked up in the upper right corner. My party/Ops frames are tucked down on the bottom left corner and my tool tip is actually detached from the mini map and stuck in the bottom right corner where my quest log is. It does overlap but when I need to see it covers the quest log but I probably won’t need to be looking at both simultaneously. I had one setup with the tool tips still on the bottom corner but the quest log was about the middle on the right side of the screen but I didn’t really like it there very much. I don’t like having a lot of things cluttering up my field of view.

Here’s a shot of the interface editor so you can see where everything is that isn’t showing. Everything tucked nicely together leaving my field of view pretty much clear.
I’m sure once it’s on the live servers that I will tweak it a bit more. Once I play around with it on my 50s I’m sure I’ll find little things to change or things that I don’t like. For now this seemed like a good setup.

Just to show and example of how very different people set up their UI, Larry Everett aka @Shaddoe from Massively wrote a post and also made a video showing his UI setup from the PTS. Drastically different from my setup with action bars in the middle top area of the screen. Here’s the link to the post. The video is at the bottom. Great article. Check it out. Hyperspace Beacon: Gooey GUI

How do you like you UI set up? What kind of setup is most comfortable for you? Doesn’t matter the game. Send me screenshots to thefullmetalgamer@gmail.com or post them on the FMG Facebook. It will be really fun to see the many variations and preferences. If i get enough I will put a big post together showing as many varying setups as I can.

Thanks a lot for reading.

-FMG-

So from just generally speaking to friends who are gamers and in some live stream chats I’ve noticed that there are people out there that are turned off of a game because of a subscription fee or micro transaction cash shop. With the launch of SWTOR coming up and having it appeal to a very broad audience, there are many that are new to MMOs. The idea of having to pay more past the initial investment may seem strange. Figured I’d do a quick post about my thoughts on the subject.

Subscription fees are usually around the same amount which is $15 a month which in the grand scheme of things isn’t all that much. There is usually different sub options like a three or six month packages that lower it by a few dollars. For those without access to credit cards or prefer to not use them online for whatever reason, there are game time cards which are around $40 for two months.

Why pay past the initial investment cost of the game? Well in the MMO space there is a lot of cost post launch that the company needs to pay for. Server upgrades and maintenance for one. The most important in my mind is the developers that are still working hard day and night on the game. There is always work that has to be done to fix bugs, and more importantly the days, generate new content. These people are still working hard months and sometimes years after an MMO has launched to make the game bigger and better for their players. These sub fees allow the companies to keep a quality development team working on fixes and possibly expansions to make the game better.

There are different business models out there for a lot of MMOs. There are plenty quality free to play MMOs out there but in my experience they are not on the caliber of most sub based games. In my experience you get what you pay for. While a lot of these games have a micro transaction store to buy game items I feel it just isn’t the same. Some of the free to play games were subscription based that moved to a F2P model and found success others launch with a F2P model. I’m not saying that F2P games aren’t good. There are a few that I really enjoy like Champions Online and DDO.

Guild Wars 2 is a triple A MMO title that will be coming out next year that won’t have a subscription fee after the initial purchase. Like the first Guild Wars. Which is awesome. I think it will have micro transactions like the original GW but for a F2P type model it definitely will be one of the best out there. The first Guild Wars still has a big following and I’m sure GW2 will thrive. I just couldn’t get into GW. Great game. Just wasn’t for me. When GW2 launches I might have to give it a go. It looks amazing.

All I’m saying is that there’s a reason that some games choose to go with a subscription model. If it really is a quality title that players feel it is deserving of their hard-earned money, it will thrive. Look at World of Warcraft. Despite some subscription losses in the past few moths they are still around 10 million. Some people have played it since launch and are burned out and want something new. Some didn’t enjoy the last expansion Cataclysm. Whatever an individual’s reason for moving on from WoW, it’s still an awesome game. Ten million people wouldn’t still be paying each month to play if it wasn’t. Side note – WoW also has a cash shop for mounts and pets on top of the sub fee. All of these transactions are optional and you aren’t missing out on actually game play content if you choose to not spend extra.

Whether a game has a subscription fee or not, if it’s a game you enjoy you shouldn’t feel gouged or ripped off for paying it or buying something that you really want in the cash shop. There are a lot of people who work hard to keep our MMO spaces fun and ever expanding places. Find the game or games that you really love. Subscription fees aren’t a bad thing.

Help the devs. Pay a sub or the two bucks for that silly little hat that you want for your character. No one gets hurt and you get to look awesome in that shiny swag that you just scored.

/rant

Thanks again for reading.

-FMG-

*Note – No disco lions were harmed in the making of this post.

Plenty of awesome stuff came out of Blizzcon this past weekend. Expansion announcement – The Mists of Pandaria, Diablo 3 cinematic reveal and brand spanking new Heart of the Swarm trailer. They also announced The World of Warcraft Annual Pass. A really great idea Blizz. Kudos.

There are a lot of WoW players that will be playing Diablo 3. Having to compete with your own game is something that no company wants to do. So Blizzard is giving the digital version of Diablo 3 free to WoW players who sub to the annual pass. Which is awesome. You also get Tyrael’s Charger mount(which looks pretty cool) for WoW and guaranteed access into the beta for the next expansion The Mists of Pandaria.

I may be very excited for SWTOR but I still love my WoW and will keep playing it between SWTOR sessions. So paying for a year sub, and getting all the bells and whistles that Blizz is giving with it is a great deal. Getting Diablo 3 free? I’m going to be playing that for sure anyways so it’s really a no brainer… Or is it?

They also unveiled the Diablo 3 Collectors Edition. I’m a big fan of CE’s. BIG fan. The D3 CE comes with some pretty cool extras. It has a 4gig Soulstone usb that’s loaded with a digital copy of D2 and D2: Lord of Destruction and a stand shaped like Diablos skull to set it in. In game aesthetic artifacts that makes ya grow wicked ass glowing wings, an exclusive banner and armor dyes. Also a Fetish Shaman pet for WoW and Battlenet portraits. A behind the scenes Blu-Ray/DVD set, Diablo 3 art book and a CD soundtrack. So a pretty loaded CE if ya ask me.

I got a CE of Cataclysm and it also came with an art book and DVD of behind the scenes. The art book was amazing. Really great quality and the DVD has some really cool stuff on it. The quality of the Blizzard CE’s are always top-notch and definitely worth the extra coin if you are a fan of collectibles and extras. So I’m definitely down to get the annual pass for the free version of D3 but I really want me a CE.

I’m very much on the fence about getting the annual pass simply because I REALLY want the CE. I also REALLY want the charger, extra items and MoP Beta access. What I’m wondering is if the product key for the D3 that comes with the annual pass will be separate from the rest of the items bundled with it. Then I could get the items and pass the digital version of the game off to a friend who could care less about any of the extras and buy myself the CE. If I remember correctly with the Cata CE the product key had all the bonus items built into it so passing the code along to a friend wouldn’t work out…

I likes my shiny stuffs… So in the end I might end up with two copies of D3. Possibly 3 or 4 in the future because there’s talk of possible ports to PS3 and 360. So much D3… Damn you Blizzard why are you so awesome. So much cool stuff. I want it all, and I want it now.

WoW players that plan on getting D3, the annual pass really is a worthwhile investment, but if you’re like me and really dig CE’s as well… We’re so screwed… This is looking to be a very expensive few months…

/end rant

Thanks for reading…

-FMG-

What’s with all the hype? Why do we build up games so much that our expectation are so far-fetched that it’s nearly impossible to reach them. Very few games that I’ve gotten overly excited for have actually lived up to my expectations. Not that I didn’t enjoy them. I still loved them but in my mind there were some other things that I thought the game would have.

In most recent memory one game that I feel didn’t meet the hype that I built up in my mind would be the World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm. While I still love my WoW, I don’t find myself fiending it as much as I did in Wrath or BC. The content is awesome. Leveling is more fun than it has ever been and I really enjoyed doing 5 man dungeons especially in Wrath. I find the 5 mans don’t have the same draw that I felt in previous expansions. Raiding is still awesome and I’m really looking forward to the Dragon Soul raid coming in 4.3 but the overall appeal of Cataclysm for me isn’t there.

Partially my fault because I built this expansion up so much in my mind that even Blizzard as awesome as they are couldn’t possibly have met those expectations that I had. Also I have played Cataclysm since months before release in the Beta. It could be that I have already done everything so much going so far back that I am in need of something more. Minus raids of course. My guild is pretty laid back and we are still working Firelands but we have fun and work at our own pace. I still have fun but am looking forward to Blizzcon this weekend for an Expansion announcement to over hype and drool over until it releases. Also looking forward to more news about Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm expansion. Should be a great weekend. Wish I could go.

The big hype machine that I am drooling over at the moment is Biowares upcoming Star Wars The Old Republic. I’ve followed this game closely since they announced it in 2008. Three years later the hype for this game is unbelievable. Up to 650,000 preorders. 4.8 millions beta hours logged. 200,00 forums posts a week. Over a million signed up to get into the beta on swtor.com. Not all are in but most should have an opportunity to test on their beta weekends at some point. I have two accounts and no beta weekend for me yet. Damnit.

Bioware has been putting Friday updates on the website for about two years, and has had multiple E3 appearances. Also other conventions like PAX and San Diego Comic Con have had appearances by the SWTOR team over the last few years. The more I see and hear of this game the more I feel the need to play the game. I honestly think I have never been more excited for a game. The trailers they release get more and more exciting and the game looks more refined every time. Especially the latest trailer. Absolutely amazing. Very stoked.

I love my Star Wars and as great as this game looks I probably wouldn’t be as excited if it wasn’t attached to that IP. I’d be a little excited because Bioware makes great games but throw Star Wars into the mix. I’m sold. The original Knights of the Old Republic was one of the games that I played and it lived up to the hype that I had built up for it. Quite possibly one of the best games I’ve ever played. I can’t even count the number of times I have played through KOTOR over the years. Story is something that Bioware does well. Really well. This being the first real story driven MMO, with Bioware being on it? They’ve proven they can make a great Star Wars game, and that they can make awesome stories. I have faith.

While I really am looking forward to the unique story arcs for every class and exploring them, I’m actually really excited to dig into some PvP. I’ve been pretty burnt out on PvP in MMOs since BC in WoW. I didn’t raid back then and all I did was PvP. With their unveiling of the Huttball PvP warzone it got me really excited to get back into it.

While I do think the game will be great, have I set it up on such a high pedestal that it will fall short? I have looked for a Star Wars MMO to fill that void for years. I was a part of the mass exodus of veteran players from Star Wars Galaxies when they released the “New Game Enhancements” which took everything unique about the game and ruined it.

Since then I have had an empty place in my soul. I need something to put there. Will SWTOR plug it? Damn I hope so. I think that even if it is half as good as I have built it up in my head it’s still gonna be amazing. I preordered my Collectors Edition the second day they announced preorders. Would have been day 1 but the store I usually make my preorders at didn’t have it in their computers yet the first day.

There are other games that I am looking forward to but none even compare closely to how much I want SWTOR. There are even a few games I will be passing on completely because I feel I won’t have enough time to finish them by the time it comes out.

What games in the near future have you drooling on your keyboard/controller in anticipation? That have you planning time off from work to get as much time at release to play as possible.

Thanks for reading.

-FMG-

Having recently gotten an Xbox, in the spirit of trying new things, I figured I would give the Gears of War series another try. My last romp through a battlefield with the COG was around the time the first Gears came out. I really was not a fan of the game. Felt the controls and cover mechanics were really clunky. Didn’t like it at all.

This time around I ripped through the campaign for Gears 1 and 2 in a few days. I found that some of the problems with the game-play mechanics that were so frustrating in the first one were not as much of an issue in Gears 2. Story was pretty decent. Tried some multiplayer. Some TDM, Horde mode and a few other modes. Thought it was alright. Decided that I would get myself Gears 3 and take a run at that. See how it played.

I picked it up in the afternoon on Friday before work. I figured if I started on the campaign I would probably not make it in on time. So I did something that I have never done before. Decided to hop into a few multiplayer matches. I tend to finish campaign modes before going online. I figured, a couple of hours before work? I’ll do a Team Death Match or two and get some other things done before I had to head out. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Two and a half hours later I’m scrambling to gather my things and run my skinny ass to work. Spent the majority of this weekend playing it while I wasn’t working.

Over the years there’s been a few games that I have gotten that instant obsession. I still don’t know what the x factor is that gets me so addicted to specific games. I’ve played plenty of games obsessively before in single player but for multiplayer there have only been a handful. In the past I can only think of Counterstrike, World Of Warcraft and Star Wars Galaxies(Pre – NGE) that I really got obsessive about. My Counterstrike obsession faded over the years. While I do still play regularly I don’t have 20 hours sessions anymore. World of Warcraft I also still play but lately have slacked off a bit. Mostly because a lot of the core group of people who I play regularly with have not had the time. Not having that group around has definitely affected my urge to want to play. I still log on but only to run a 5 man or two, hit some dailys and check auction house. My SWG obsession ended over night when a patch that SOE put out to “improve” the game completely ruined everything that made the game great and unique.

I can’t really put a finger on what exactly has caused specific games over the years to suck me right in. Especially in this case with Gears of War. I was not a fan. At all. The controls still bother me from time to time(mostly just the cover mechanic) and in some matches getting utterly stomped by the opposing team is downright maddening. Also I have never really been a fan of death match multiplayer. I prefer there to be objectives. CS has bomb plating/diffusing, not just pointlessly killing each other. Gears does have different game modes like king of the hill and capture the leader, Horde mode(which I have delved into a bit and it’s awesome) and Beast mode which I have completed. These modes would be more my style. All I really have been doing in Gears is Team Death Match.

Something about it has me unable to put the controller down. I’ve even had Batman Arkham Asylum and Portal 2 sitting in front of me that I haven’t finished. Haven’t even started Portal 2 yet. I want to play these games. I just can’t stop playing Gears. I played from about 1 or 2 am last night until about 3pm today. Good thing I didn’t have to work.

Was my sudden new game obsession just a timing thing? If so then why haven’t I just torn through campaign and moved on to Batman or Portal? Am I just looking for something to fill my multiplayer void until SWTOR comes out? My internet went down for a few minutes about a half hour ago. I was actually in a panic. I thought I would not be able to play Gears Death Match tonight. I was actually upset at the thought that I would have to play Batman or Portal instead. Those are great games. Why would anyone be upset at having to play them? I think I need an intervention.

What are some games that you are, or have been completely addicted to or obsessed with to the point you neglected friends, family, work and even personal hygiene? What about them drew you in so much?

That’s all for now. I’m off to play some Gears. Thanks for reading.

-FMG-

-75 days until SWTOR by the way…