Thursday, December 3, 2009

Super Street Fighter 4

I have to admit I haven't been keeping that close of an eye on news about Super Street Fighter 4, but now that Capcom have brought back Cody, they may have piqued my interest quite a bit!

If you don't know, Cody was originally part of the 3-man roster for a very old side scrolling Arcade Beat-em-Up game called Final Fight back around 1989 i think. Back in 1998 he was featured as a returning character in the classic fighting game Street Fighter Alpha 3, and one of the main characters I used back then.

I just hope they tighten up the controls and make things a bit more intuitive for the next iteration of the Street Fighter franchise!

Going from Super-Rich to broke :(

The other day I finally realised several goals for my character. Obtaining a Tundra Traveller's Mammoth costing 16000 gold. And finally getting the final book to recieve my Kirin Tor Familiar Elemental Pet! Now I feel I can relax and not spend every spare moment grinding for gold! Unfortunately now I'm low on funds, but the dailies should help me with that over time.

In other news, Patch 3.3 will be hitting within the next two weeks I suppose. Which is probably why a lot of raiders have slowed down their raiding quite a bit, to the chagrin of many a Guild Leader. Everyone is just eager to stock up on those emblems of Triumph and get their gear easily methinks.

I've also revised my idea of when Cataclysm is going to drop, based on the news that happened last week in which a Las Vegas convention centre mistakenly pinned Blizzcon at their place in July, which I think probably means Cataclysm will be released sometime in April or May, which will allow Blizz to use the new Icecrown Citadel content coming in Patch 3.3 to be gated to its full extent.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Is the new WoW pet shop just a Gold buying store?

Everyone knows about the new Pet Shop that Blizzard has implemented, where you can buy a Lil' KT or Pandaren Monk. While Total Biscuit has been talking about how this sets the precident within Blizzard to sell completely Virtual goods, and possibly the beginning of a slippery slope, I have a different view of things.

While I agree with him that Virtual goods being sold within Blizzard is new, the WoW Trading Card game and the other MMO's which completely subsist on Virtual Goods, has kind of lessened the shock value of this decision.

However, despite the fact that the Pet Shop is encouraging future games to attempt a Subscription+Microtransaction model, I believe the Shop was also created to curb Gold Farmers.

Gold Farming has been a problem for WoW for years, and there has, and always will be a market for it. Therefore the best way Blizz could combat the problem is by making a Gold Service of their own.

Take my Lil' KT pet above in the screenshot. I never paid real money for him, I traded the Pet Code from another player, in exchange for WoW Gold. Now I know what some will say "It's against the Terms of Service! That's not allowed!" But before you go and report me, take a look at this thread.

There are others like this one, but basically it's confirming that Pets Bought with money can be traded for gold. The pet is a virtual item, and so is the gold, and is therefore not against the Terms of Service, which prohibits Real world items for Virtual Items and vice versa.

If you still don't believe me, or are doubtful about the stance Blizzard seems to be taking on this ATM, take a look at this in game mail I recieved from the support department after recieving my Lil' KT pet.

Blizzard Customer Service sends me a mail telling me I am breaking the Terms of Service by: "Advertising non-WoW related businesses or Websites."
Obviously the Trade message I sent was misunderstood, I assume they thought that I was offering repeated Gold for Pet and Pet for Gold services, when I just wanted to buy the two pets.

But no mention of an illegal exchange of goods, no mention of breaking the ToS for buying a pet with gold. An oversight? Or a passive confirmation?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gothic Lolita in a videogame?

While I was looking at the updates on the latest fighting games at Fighters-Generation I found this very interesting character design from recent ARC Systems Fighting game BlazBlue, which appears to me at first glance to be very similar to Gothic Lolita fashion style. It's unlike a typical Maid or Nun design that you would usually see with a young girl Anime character, I wonder if this means that Gothic Lolita is starting to become more widely known? But then again this is a very niche Japanese fighting game series that has not even been released in the West. I do like the character design though!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Will there be a WoW Patch 3.4 ???

My guess is that Patch 3.3 will drop sometime in November. Now, if you recall, Blizzard said that 3.3 is going to be the final content patch for WOTLK. But Blizzard also said at the time that during BC, patch 2.3 would be the final major patch of that expansion. But as we all saw, the players ran out of content faster than Blizzard expected, and the 2.4 Sunwell patch was released with a lock out system to drag out the content before WOTLK was ready for release.

So let's make a rough guess and say Cataclysm will be released next year in say... June or July, to be cautiously optimistic. Now if that's correct, then that would mean that the space between the last Major content patch and the Cataclysm expansion will be about 7-8 months. If we feel like Blizzard will wait till "the game is done", this wait becomes longer.

Now to put things into perspective, Patch 2.3 in Burning crusade dropped on Live servers in November 2007. Now if Patch 2.4 did not get developed before the pre-release patch for WOTLK, then WoW would be without a major content patch for, wait for it.... 10-11 months.

With 2.4 added to the roster however, this drops back to a more modest 5-6 months.

Will the 3.3 patch be able to drag out content for that long? Will Blizzard rely on small additions to the Argent Tournament in order to keep people playing? What can Blizzard do to keep people interested until the middle of next year?

Will Blizzard even try and rush things out the door in order to hold on to the player base? Or do they already have this content lull planned to allow people to go to the competition and get the other games "out of their system" before we come back to Cataclysm? Nah, that sounds just crazy... .... or is it?

Yes, I'm here!

Well I've been mucking about in all these different games for the past few weeks, Batman : Arkham Asylum, Fallout 3, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Street Fighter IV, and of course; World of Warcraft.

Batman seems like just a very good mish mash of ideas you always would like for a Batman action game, and executes it almost perfectly. It doesn't try to pretend to be something its not, its a straight, linear no-holds barred Batman adventure with a good story supported with great voice acting. I think you can really see the love that was put into this game by the developers.

Fallout 3 makes great use of the Oblivion engine and although it seems like some of the mechanics are a bit dated the world and characters really pull you in. It's a great immersive game and I only had one problem in that I couldn't have my character specialised as much as I'd like to. Much like how Fable ended where your character was kind of good at everything at the highest level part of the game so you really didn't feel like a distinct character.

D&D Online was a lovely game, but I feel like something like Neverwinter Nights Online servers can still easily give this type of game a very good run for its money.

Street Fighter 4 just keeps reminding me how much like Street Fighter 2 it is like, and I'm starting to miss my old Dudley and Urien from Street Fighter 3. I hear Super Street Fighter 4 is now in development, so I hope they hopefully add a few more features that will please SF3 players. :)

Finally WoW, sigh.... I've decided to stick with Strangewayes my Mage, and he's now my main, he's now got 98 Mini pets, and I'm nearing the final goal of obtaining the extremely rare [Hyacinth Macaw]. Apart from him and 2 others, I only have some holiday pets to obtain. I hope there is an achievement for 100 pets.... but I suppose they will award me with another pet. Sigh.

And soon the Lich King will be released from within the Icecrown Citadel! I wonder if it will take a while to take down, like Yogg Saron?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My New Shiny PC!

Sorry for the late post, I've been playing so many games since I upgraded my PC. Well maybe 'Upgraded' isn't really the right word, since the only thing left thats original is the case.

I've been having so much fun in Fallout 3, Street Fighter 4, and Batman: Arkham Asylum. But what really surprised me is how World of Warcraft looked! So THIS is what people are usually seeing when they see me cast spells? Kewl!

In other news, at the end of this week I'll be visiting GenCon to see what geek coventions that aren't Supanova look like. Apparently the guys from OzHadou have decided to put together a little tournament and casual SF4 play, so I might actually get some time to play the game competitively!

Speaking of Street Fighter 4, I've come to realise how closely it resembles SF2, the speed and many of the pokes are the same, links are almost essential to know, but I can understand why the game is as slow as it is. People complained about the speed, but when you are inputting Special Move Dash Cancels into Target Combos into Dash cancel Supers, things get very hectic.

Perhaps its just that I've played SF3 for so long, but I miss some of the familiar things from that game. But I do have to admit, it does look damn good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kewl new stuff

Me and my friend had an arguement yesterday about how the new faction transfers should be handled by Blizzard. He was of the opinion that you should be able to do a huge grind of rep to allow your Undead Horde to become an Undead Alliance and so on and so forth.

I agreed that it was a great idea, but it would mean a lot of the story and basis of WoW would be thrown to the sidewalk by introducing something like that. He responded by saying the only reason WoW doesn't use his idea is because faction swap payments make Blizz more money.

Well I think he's bonkers anyway...

Blizz continues the tempting of the players to roll alts by introducing Sons of Hodir Rep increases on Daily Dungeon quests. I don't think anything will tempt people at this point until Cataclysm comes out with it's revamped world levelling experience now.

Also, I wonder if other races will be able to enter the Goblin and Worgen starter areas when the xpac comes out? By the look of the DK start zone though, non-Goblin and non-Worgen players are going to be shut out from ever seeing the content unless they roll the race eh?

And talking about Goblins and Worgen, what about those crazy racials? Unless Blizz has just blanket banned Racials from Arena in the xpac, their will be crazy stuff happening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blizzcon is over! 3.22 now approaching!

So Blizzcon is over, most of what was leaked about the expansion ended up being true, although if you ask the lore nerds, they'll say that Blizz stole their ideas or the leaks were dead wrong. /rolleyes

To be honest I was surprised at the fact Worgen were actually getting an ability that allowed them to change from human to Worgen at will, with no bonuses. I was mildly shocked. Simply because I never expected Blizzard to do something that was almost completely for RP and Lore reasons and nothing else.

Coming up with the new patch is a revamped level 80 Onyxia Raid, which should be fun, and starts us off on the road to Cataclysm, with mostly revamped old content instead of new shiny content.

Some people might say that because its not new content its a waste of money and not worth it, but to me it shows that Blizz actually recognises that the Old World needs a spit and polish to compete in the current MMO marketplace. It also comes to light that Blizz can always think up a reason to either do one thing, and then change their minds and think up a perfectly reasonable reason to the opposite.

My Mage has been at level 80 for some time now. I've slowly been working away at increasing my guild rank in order to access some of the higher tiered raids on offer at the moment. But at the moment I'm stuck doing runs of Nax 25 with my guild, which is actually not so bad since I haven't been in there in about 3-4 months or so now.

What started off as a side project has now expanded, I now have 86 minipets and 65 Mounts ATM. My favourites at the moment is my Ravasaur Hatchling and my Ammen Vale Lashling.

I have to say though that despite all the whining and predictions of doom, patch 3.2 has been quite healthy for the game. It kinda gives me a bit of the BC vibe, except much, much easier lol

Enough ranting for now, I should post more often to avoid the wall of textyness.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dur MMO-Champion was trolled by SA Forums?!

So, I'm sure most of you by now have heard the news about the new WoW expansion leak and are, like many people, wondering if its true, and what it means for WoW in the future?

In my honest opinion I think that it's true. Why? Because if it was a fake leak, and just a red herring, it would probably be a let down for a lot of people. Secondly, it's probably the best idea Blizzard have ever had for WoW, I mean it just makes sense on a marketing point of view and a business point of view.

For example, you have a large amount of game content that is going completely unused by the general playerbase for the moment. Why not put a lot of those old art assets to good use? You have entire zones that can be reworked, flight will now be allowable in the old world, update the older questlines to reflect how far Blizzard has come with the game.

And at the same time you are encouraging new and old players to join to see if the game from 1-60 has improved, possibly gaining even more customers. So I think it's simply a great idea, and basically the only option they had considering the next gen MMO's such as Champions, APB, and Star Wars are boasting far more interesting gaming systems from day one, while WoW still had its 2004 Lvl 1-60 grind.

Another point is, previous WoW creator interviews have backed up what the leak is saying: "Garrosh will be the new leader of the Horde and Thrall will leave"? That reflects a comment I recall hearing during a WoW interview, with the creators wishing for an end to the peace that seemed to exist between Alliance and Horde, and wishing for Thrall to disappear from the scene.

Community Managers on the WoW forums have repeatedly stated they would be interested in revisiting the Old World of Azeroth over the past year, never hinting that they are working on it, nor that they had no plans to do it. Many lore buffs have already figured that Maelstrom and the Emerald dream will probably be the focus of the next expansion. Even Goblin and Worgen have been confirmed by several sources over the past few weeks.

Anyone who has read MMO-Champion before knows that the Webmaster does not simply post random rumours, and he has already stated that his information has been confirmed by several separate anonymous sources.

So if you are still not convinced by this, then I would simply say to you that I would like to hear what you have to say about it this time, next week. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stuff you prolly didn't want to know.

OK this is Random, remember Battle of the Planets? Well Capcom has a new fighting game which is basically Japan's answer to Marvel vs Capcom: Tatsunoku vs Capcom!

What the hell is Tatsunoko do you ask? Just one of the oldest animation companies in Japan that have certain characters that are considered 'classics' by the older Japanese crowd. How can you lose? Gotta love the poster though.

Oh yeah, I like to draw, I want to get into Uni to do something artsy, but I just end up drawing big boobs most of the time! I don't know if its good or bad?

Also I occassionally head to 4chan for some mischief. Here's my House trolling with a game screenshot thats actually an Oekaki I did.

And like everyone else who is on the internet for more than an hour a day, I try to get as many funny/nostalgic/sexy/naked/bad taste pictures I can get my hands on for possible reposting in the future. Perhaps all in the same one picture.

That was productive! :P

Saturday, August 8, 2009

3.2 Hits! And Strangewayes moves servers!

Time for a new Update! I've been back on my Mage in the past week finally reaching the goal of 75 minipets! I also decided to switch from my old Skinning/Tailoring professions over to Alchemy/Herbalism. It took a few days to grind up but I am very happy with my self heal DoT I have available for myself, as well as the Endless Mana/Health/Flask I have with me now. It makes things quite helpful while speed running instances or fighting in Battlegrounds!

As for the 3.2 patch itself, I thought it was quite interesting to tell you the truth, on one hand you have all this new exciting content to go through, but on the other hand you see Blizz has made the whole system of how character can gear once they hit 80 completely streamlined.

Simply put, back before 3.2, once you hit level 80, you were to run Heroics in order to gain your item level 200 gear in order to be considered viable for Naxxramas, the first Raid instance of Wrath of the Lich King. With Heroics now dropping Emblems of Conquest, and the new Normal 5-man having ALL Item Level 200 Purple gear dropping, the entire progression line for WOTLK is turned on its head.

New 80's will now be immediately start gearing for Ulduar and the new 3.2 Raid Instance. Possibly being able to skip Naxxramas altogether! On one hand it's good, but on the other, it just starts to reek of patch 3.1 when Blizz was constantly nerfing Ulduar til people could get through it, the progression loses it's value because you think that if you wait long enough you could just get the top level gear eventually mailed to your inbox.

But enough about that rant. Strangewayes(my Mage) has moved from a PVP to a PVE server, and I must say I am pleasantly surprised, I never realised how much World PVP ganking erodes players basic Instance skills. After doing several PuG's I have found almost all players have a decent understanding of their class in instance situations; something that was poorly lacking on my old server. But perhaps I am just having a run of good luck at the moment. The guild I've joined is very supportive and I'm hoping to have a lot of fun with them and this new "Casual Friendly" version of WoW Blizz is going for.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fearing the Endgame.

I caved in today and decided to go back to my Mage, after levelling my Lock up to 74. I realised as I approached 80, just how much work I had put into the Mage at endgame in Wrath. Due to the introduction of achievements, my Mage has 74 mini-pets, and something like 64 mounts ATM. Some of those mounts and pets took quite an amount of time and in-game gold to obtain.

Additionally, I realised that my Warlock would likely not get into too many groups, simply due to things like having weak gear, having no achievements to allow entry into PuG runs, and being DPS meaning that I will be competing with others better geared and with better achievements.

Plus with the new 3.2 patch fast approaching, I'll be having a lot of trouble actually trying to play my Warlock through the endgame content, especially content I have already done on my Mage almost hundreds of times.

So in retrospect, even though Blizzard is trying to encourage people to roll new characters with the Heirloom items and experience boosts, I find that unless you are a chronic reroller, or are planning to make a character simply for gathering at 80, the reasons for trying to roll a new character are rather few.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SF4 - First Impressions.

Today I headed into the city to get myself out of the house, and while I was out I decided to take a look at SF4. I had only played it at JB Hi-Fi previously using a controller and playing alone, so this would be my first time on Arcade sticks against human opponents.

The first thing that stuck me was how similar to SF4 was to Super Turbo and the EX series. I suspect that players who are more accustomed to Alpha and SF3, will have more problems than other Street Fighter players. The game is very ST in it's hit boxes, timing, links play a massive role, 'safe' pokes, etc...

Which is why I wonder; old school ST players that hold positions of influence in Capcom USA and other places, did they guide the game to it's current finished product? It's been no secret that many of the high ranking ST players in America viewed SF3 with disdain, calling it things like a random turtle fest.

I just feel a little bitter at the point that ST players will probably get more out of this game than other players, simply because they can get more wins in the game with old ST tactics while they perfect the new systems that were introduced with SF4.

Basically, I don't think I am going back to the arcade any time soon to play SF4. If I want to at least get my moneys worth, I'd practice my skills up on the home console version first. Then at least I could get a chance at some decent gameplay time for my money investment.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Street Fighter III - 3rd Strike aka - "Back in my Day"

I've been playing Street Fighter III since 2003, and I don't think I will ever stop playing it in some form. When I first started playing the game, it did not feel like the other fighter which I was playing at the time, which made the game hard for me to get into.

Six years and several tournaments later though, I find the game to be still fun and interesting, the dash, super jump, and parry mechanics make new strategies and tactics always interesting to try out on other players. Other fighters I've played have dropped by the wayside as I've always come back to SF3.

Of course the game has its balance issues, like any other fighter. But the fact that it still has an important spot on the SBO roster after all these years shows that it is a loved and solid fighter that is now considered a classic. Players fly from all over the world to attend the tournament in Japan, which is considered by most to be the world championships of fighting games of many kinds.

Also, its always fun to hear about the qualifiers on, and hear which top players are teaming with who for the 3-on-3 battles towards the finals crown. There are no longer people at the tournament texting to others in front of their computers, who relay the winners and losers to a group of hardcore fans in the IRC channel. Now we can see some of the matches played on youtube, and the DVD's of the main events can be bought online.

Seven to Eight years ago, people would have killed to get their hands on the footage of top players, it was simply never seen. Not that many people had portable cameras or video cards capable of proper editing. The tapes you could find were just poor VHS copies.

We've come a long way from 1990, where the kids down at the bowling alley arcade whispered of an unbeatable Guile player who only came in on thursdays.

Goblin and Worgen in WoW expansion? Hmm...

There has been a lot of interest and blogging and such about Worgen and Goblins being the new playable races to be introduced in the next World of Warcraft expansion. Of course, several people have been theorising about this, and I have a similar view.

Perhaps dropping in the textures for Worgen and Goblin masks and thereby stirring controversy is
a marketing tactic by Blizzard to raise awareness for the upcoming Blizzcon, or it could be a ploy. Obviously it doesn't take too much effort to create 4 facial textures to use for masks.

But on the other hand, if I recall correctly. The races for the Burning Crusade expansion were correctly guessed a good time before they were revealed. I am pretty confident that these guesses are quite on the mark.

To be honest, I was hoping that Arakkoa and Ethereals were going to be in the next expansion, but with the Maelstrom very likely being the setting, I am thinking bird people, and people comprised of nothing but energy and mummy wraps wouldn't fit so well in an underwater setting....

The only thing I am wondering at the moment, is will they remodel and reskin the races? Both models have been around since launch of the original game, and could use a spit and polish.

Game Start!

Hi! Welcome to my blog! I'm not going to bother with useless banter (For the moment anyway)
Basically I'm just going to be posting things I think are interesting. Unfortunately for some people this will mostly be gaming, WoW, Street Fighter, Star Wars, Star Trek, and most things related to 80's pop culture.

OK the first bit of news, I have a new Level 70 Orc Warlock in World of Warcraft that I rushed in about 4-5 days (in play time). Before that, I had a Moonkin and then a Mage. The reason I dropped my Moonkin is because I think they are boring looking although they are incredibly versatile, and I dropped my Mage because I feel they are far too specialised and 'narrowly focused' compared to Warlocks.

Hopefully I can show some more screenshots chronicling my trip from 70 to 80 and have some commentary on exactly how a character that was not made during Wrath of the King launch is able to get through the endgame experiences.

I'm hoping to make regular posts, although I may just end up spamming with posts and then stop at intervals. I'll just add a screenshot of a row of Mammoth mounts in Dalaran, and everything should be complete!