Should Oceanic realms get their own progression?

May 4, 2008 at 12:59 am (World Of Warcraft)

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MMO Champion’s got the tip on the Oceanic first kill of Illidan by a guild called Not Steamboat on Aman’thul. I’d actually call Archimonde the last boss in the game right now, although for the current World of warcraft storyline, Bou is right– Illidan is it, at least until the Sunwell.

But the kill brings up another interesting point with regards to Oceanic players. While they’re often grouped with the US servers (unlike the EU or Asian servers, Oceanic and US servers are in the same place and subject to the same maintenance), are Oceanic servers that different that we should acknowledge a kill like this? This isn’t like in China, where World of warcraft just released. These Oceanic players have had access to Illidan just as long as an EU guild like Nihilum has. Why should we care if they kill Illidan? Sure, it’s an accomplishment (just like every boss kill is, no matter how small or big), but is there even such a thing as “Oceanic first”?

Sanctus emailed Boubouille to argue just that and say that Oceanic servers should be considered separate, in terms of progression, from US and EU servers. He says that Oceanic players have to deal with the aforementioned maintenance schedule problems, as well as huge lag. So what do you hold? If this issue of Oceanic progression as compared to the rest of the world hadn’t come up, I wouldn’t have mentioned this Illidan kill at all– in my opinion, there is no such thing as “Oceanic first,” because Oceanic players play on, more or less, the same realms that US players do. So should Oceanic realms be considered separately when comparing guild progression? Or should they be held to the same schedule and timeline for “first kills” as the rest of us?

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Frank Pearce talks Wow burning crusade 2, competitors and Team 3 with Gamasutra

May 1, 2008 at 12:59 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Senior VP Frank Pearce and Starcraft II producer Chris Sigaty sat down with Gamasutra to chat about “The State of Blizzard’s Union” recently, and while there’s not a lot of new stuff (“Team 3″ is mentioned, but no hints are given), it’s always cool to have an inside look at what it’s like running the biggest MMO in the world.

Pearce does talk about a possible Wow burning crusade 2 (not gonna happen, he says, until Blizzard needs a whole new framework, and that’s not going to happen for a long time), and WoW’s competitors– he namechecks Warhammer and Age of Conan, but as I’ve said before, we won’t know how those games will actually do until they see release.

There are a few interesting numbers thrown around in the interview as well– while Blizzard has said they’ve got 9 million before, Pearce specifically says 8.5 million subscribers, so it does seem like they’re dropping a bit. Still, especially with the release of Wrath of the Lich King in the next year or two, they remain optimistic that they’ll hit 10 million before it’s all said and done. It’s also amazing to see Blizzard’s growth– Pearce co-founded the company, and they started out with around 50 employees. Before World of warcraft, they had about 500, and nowadays, they’ve got 2700 people working for them. And the teams are really interesting, too– World of warcraft has 135 developers, Starcraft II has 40, and Team 3 has 50, plus Blizzard has 85 people (also devs, however) that work on their famous cinematics, and extra teams for sound and quality assurance.

Very interesting to get a look inside such an amazing videogame developer. Now if only we could find out what Team 3 was…

[ via WorldofWar ]

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Long, exceptional, and hidden questlines

April 30, 2008 at 12:58 am (World Of Warcraft)

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A query on the forums for what the longest questline in the game might be brings up this amazing page over on World of warcraft Wiki– a great collection of “long, exceptional, or hidden questlines” in the World of warcraft. We’ve covered pretty much all of these quests before (including this cool compendium of quests you’ve got to do if you haven’t done yet at 70), but this is a great and well-written guide to (mostly) higher level quests that have to be done to be believed.

As for the actual longest questline, it appears to be the “Fallen Hero of the Horde” line (that Alliance can do as well)– it starts around level 50, and rolls all the way around the world and up to level 60. But I actually agree with some of the other posters in that thread– while Fallen Guardian is actually a great quest, the longest, most annoying questline in the game is probably the Dungeon Set 2 quests (also known as the Tier 0.5) armor. Back in the days of 60, Blizzard wanted to give players a way to obtain Epic armor without raiding, so they invented a long, grueling questline (with multiple branching paths) that would let you upgrade your first set (Tier 0) armor, piece by piece, into an Epic, eight piece set. I never made it any farther than the bracers, although I know for a fact that lots of folks got the whole thing done (and this was after completing the eight piece Tier 0 set in the first place). As long as the Fallen Paladin questline is, I believe the Tier 0.5 questline wins, if only because it seems so much longer.

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Caption This!

April 25, 2008 at 12:58 am (World Of Warcraft)

Filed under: <a REL=”tag” HREF=”http://www.wowinsider.com/category/wow-insider-business/”>Wow burning crusade Insider Business</a>, <a REL=”tag” HREF=”http://www.wowinsider.com/category/contests/”>Contests</a&gt;

<p ALIGN=”center”><a HREF=”http://www.wowinsider.com/media/2007/09/ct_0917.jpg”><img SRC=”http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.wowinsider.com/media/2007/09/ct_0917s.jpg&#8221; BORDER=”1″ HSPACE=”4″ VSPACE=”4″ />
</a>

Over at World of warcraft Insider we welcome the arrival of the new week in our own unique way — with contests! We’re giving away a 60-day gamecard (first place) and a World of warcraft class shirt of your choice (warrior, warlock, wizard, rogue, priest, guardian, druid, hunter, or shaman) from <a HREF=”http://www.jinx.com/world_of_warcraft”>J!NX</a&gt; (second place). All you have to do to win is to give us the best caption to the above screenshot in our comments before Thursday at 9:00 AM EST. On Friday, we’ll present the best captions for you to vote on.

But now for the official stuff: this contest is only open to US residents of age 13 and up. I’m very sorry if this excludes you, but legal restrictions make it very difficult for us to run a more inclusive contest. Before you enter your caption, you’ll want to read through the <a HREF=”http://www.wowinsider.com/2007/09/17/caption-this-official-rules/”>official rules</a>.

Legal business concluded, what are you waiting for? Get to captioning!
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The dynamics of Death Knights and Warriors

April 23, 2008 at 12:55 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Over on the forums, poster Berzork makes an interesting point: if both Death Knights and Warriors are designed to be damage-dealers and tanks wearing plate, how will they peacefully co-exist? Though we don’t yet have full details on the Death Knight class, it seems as though there’s potential for a lot of overlap — and the big question is how Blizzard can release a class like the Death Knight while continuing to allow Warriors a viable role. And on my end, I have to wonder if throwing another tanking class into the game mix is going to solve any problems — many Warriors want to DPS rather than tank (see many previous posts on the subject), and can we expect Death Knights to be any different? Bornakk attempts to calm everyone’s fears by simply stating:

By adding another dps/tanking class, the Death Knight will give players and groups more options for what they need to complete their objective(s).

Some Druids tank, some Paladins tank, some Warriors tank — and hopefully some Death Knights will pick up the mantle of tank as well.

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Breakfast Topic: If real life had an MMO UI

April 19, 2008 at 12:53 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Blogger Melmoth posed this question last week and the answers just keep getting better: what if real life had an MMO UI over it? Here are some of his proposed answers:

  • I’d probably have low health, but high mana.
  • My bag slots would be nearly full all the time.
  • I’d be able to scroll back through previous conversations with my boss and prove that I didn’t agree to work thirty hours of overtime this week, or any week for that matter.

For me, the highlights would be:

  • Putting annoying people on /ignore.
  • Having a countdown timer on the boss exploding.
  • Never losing my keys.

What would real life be like for you if you had an MMO UI on it?

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Breakfast Topic: How much grind can a grind hound grind?

April 17, 2008 at 12:48 am (World Of Warcraft)

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First we grind the levels. Then we grind the faction. Then we grind the gold. Then we grind the instances for high end loot drops. We also grind out Arena points, crafting levels, bandages for the war (remember those!), potions for the raid, ogres for the Talbulk mount and the daily quests for the flying space ray manta aether thingie from space.

Where does one draw the line? I usually don’t run an instance more than 2 or 3 times. Nor do I kill the same thing continuously for faction. I was enjoying daily quests, but they really are just the same thing every day.

A little grind is ok, but too much makes the game not fun and are we not here to be entertained? Where do you draw the line in the grind that is the base mechanic of most MMORPGs out there?

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Death Knights not welcome at town picnic

September 26, 2007 at 12:49 am (World Of Warcraft)

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It’s a problem: here you are, a master of your very own runed blade, a summoner of an army of undead, an immensely powerful tank and damage-dealer — and yet no one will let you into the lore party over at Starshine Shadowstrider’s house!

“Yuckie!” they say. “He got his powers from the Lich King! …Eww!”

“But I turned against him!” you proclaim in your defense. “I wised up and came back to the Light, sorta. Okay not really but I’m still not completely bad! It’s like… fighting…” your voice gradually gets quieter as party-goers stop listening, “… fighting fire with … fire. Dammit. I’m gonna go kill Onyxia by myself! That’ll show ‘em.”

Yes indeed. It’s looking like the future’s going to be pretty rough for Death Knights. As Nethaera explained, “It’s most likely that Death Knights aren’t going to find themselves being popular guests at the town picnic.”

But Death Knights aren’t alone in dealing with this sort of thing. “Keep in mind,” Nethaera points out, “that Warlocks aren’t generally welcomed with open arms either (depending on the culture of the race in question).” Here we have a good role model for plucky summoners of the undead: Warlocks are magic users who use the powers of the Burning Legion against the Burning Legion itself! Have not the Alliance and the Horde not gradually come to accept that just because some people happen to summon demons, cause agony, corruption and ruin, as well as steal people’s souls — that doesn’t make them inherently evil, right?

So it is with Death Knights. So what if you betrayed all the peoples of Azeroth to go and serve the Lich King for a little while? So what if his taint of undeathiness is still flowing through you while you draw those unholy runes and create zombies? You can now go to Shattrath to have your hold taken with a Naaru! Your profit should be squeaky clean.

While Blizzard may yet find a plausible esteem for Death Knights to be fighting against the Lich King rather than with him, keep in mind that even if that doesn’t work out, you’ve got one magic consider that will make everything okay. Whenever people won’t trust you or play with you just because it would seem that you might possibly be technically evil (on the outside)…

Just say: “Lore, lol.”

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Arcane Brilliance: Five magetacular mods

September 26, 2007 at 12:49 am (World Of Warcraft)

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It’s time again for Arcane Brilliance, your one-stop wizard shop for all your magical caster needs. Last time we spoke about the macros mages should know and love, those little additions to your game play that will make you even more uber than you already are. At the end of that article I mentioned we would next talk about the addons that mages simply shouldn’t do without, and even the comments in that article mentioned a few (thanks for stealing my thunder guys.)

This isn’t to say that as a sorcerer it is required that you use mods when you play. Importance of these more as the added features on your luxury sedan, the DVD player and the auto-adjusting seats. The mods I use are an extension of the way I already play, but they don’t play the game for me. Try them out, see if they work for you, and let us know how it went. Like I’ve said before, no one can tell you how to play your class; we can only suggest things that might make playing your class easier or more fun.

Cryolysis: This beauty of a mod is a radial menu that puts every spell you need at your fingertips. The main sphere of the interface can be configured to display info on your health and mana in either numbers or percents, and show your cooldowns on evocation and mana gems.

Cryolysis also has some great alert features, letting you know when your sheep breaks for instance. It gives you a nifty readout that tracks the cooldowns on your spells. You can also have the mod automatically restock your reagents at the vendor so you never run out of that blasted Arcane Powder (not that this has ever happened to me).

Many of the features in this mod seem to be automations of macros I created on my own, for instance the /party alert letting them know you’ve polymorphed a target, or that you’re summoning a portal that will take them to a certain city. All in all, the story for Cryolysis is concise. It coalesces just about everything you do as a sorceress into one simple menu. I call it beautiful.

WaterboyLoc: Until we get our Water Fountain and Feast Table spells, Waterboy is here to help you provide food and drink to your party or raid. You might consequence this is too simple to add to the list, but check about all the time you spend making/trading food and water for the 25-man raid, and you’ll realize that Waterboy really can be a useful friend.

The menu allows you to summon your consumables and when done you drag them to the box to the right and hit trade. That’s it. The addon automatically trades the water or food with your target, saving uber amounts of hassle. The interface will also let you right-click to use the products of your effort, be they mana gems, water or food. Simple, beautiful, and it this hold is available with localization for those with French or German clients.

Quartz: Ah Quartz, wherever was I without you? This is one of the most useful mods I have ever loaded into my UI. At its core Quartz is a modular casting bar, and its most powerful component is its latency information. Basically Quartz lets you know when you truly stop casting a spell, based on your current latency. After you install the addon, you go in and create a stopcasting macro for each of your spells (read up on how to do this by looking at the last Arcane Brilliance.) You are then able to stop casting without actually interrupting the spell, and begin to cast the next one immediately. Quartz’s latency feature can increase your spell damage by up to one-third because you are simply casting more spells.

The other feature I love to death with Quartz is the multiple casting bars. When I cast Pyroblast, for instance, Quartz puts up a bar that lets me know exactly how long my target is affected by the spell. I’ve gotten in the habit of looking at these bars almost more than I watch the health of the target. It’s a great way to keep track of when the Frost Nova will break, or when you will have to resheep that Naga in Heroic Underbog.

Omen Threat Meter: If you’ve ever wondered why you keep dying, chances are it’s because you’re pulling aggro off your tank. A threat meter is the key to keeping you alive, particularly if you are doing decent damage. The key to Omen (or even its low-powered cousin KTM) is having everyone in your party install it. If they are running KTM Omen will read their information, but not the other way around. I find Omen to be more concise, easier to read, and certainly more accurate than KTM. It has a couple of features KTM does not, like that little trick of framing your screen in red when you pull threat off the tank.

Omen is a WoWAce addon, which means you’ll need to download the WoWAce updater to get access to it, but you definitely will want to do that because our last entry is also only available through WoWAce, and you can update both with the click of a button.

Decursive 2.0: The big boy is back from the dead, resurrected with a Soulstone of fabulousness. If you have never encountered Decursive before you’re in for a real treat, because here is where sorcerer addons began. Long ago Decursive would populate a list for you of who was cursed in your party, and all you had to do was click on their names and the curse would be lifted. Blizzard found this to be too much automation for their tastes and stopped the instant decursing in its tracks. That was a sad, sad day for mages, but luckily Ace2 has provided us with a new and improved number of this very essential mod.

Decursive now has a handy set of clickable little boxes that light red when a party member is cursed, and in addition lets you know when someone is charmed. It also has an auditory alert for when sheep break, quite handy I must say. Just about everything about Decursive 2.0 is easier to deal with now, and I just about passed out with joy when I was able to use this beautiful little charge again.

Well, that’s about it for this Arcane Brilliance. I have to go update my addons now and then set about farming money to buy enchants for my newly finished Spellfire set. Next time look for a nice chunky discussion on bonuses to spell damage. Until then, may all the mobs you farm be melee, and may your mana pool never run dry.

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Phat Loot Phriday: Ruby Drape of the Mysticant

September 25, 2007 at 12:44 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Who knew a piece of cloth on your back could be so badass?

Name: Ruby Drape of the Mysticant
Type: Epic Cloak
Armor: 105
Abilities:

  • +22 Stamina, +21 Intellect
  • Improves spell hit rating by 18 (hot for a cloak)
  • +30 spell damage and healing, which is even hotter, especially for an item from Karazhan. There are better caster cloaks in the game, but they’re all from higher level raids, so get this one and you’ll be set for a while.

How to Get It: As Kirk might say, KarazhAAAAAAAANNN!!! Prince Malchezaar, one of the last bosses in Medivh’s tower, drops this baby. In fact, getting there is only half the battle– because this cloak is so great, you’ll probably have a harder time winning the roll to get this than you will actually defeating the Prince. It’s around a 10% drop, which ain’t bad, but every Sorcerer, Shaman, Wizard, and maybe a Moonkin or two are going to be after this cloak, so it’s really more luck than anything.

But the good value is that once you get it, you’re pretty much set– there are sidegrades coming up, but there’s really nothing that matches up to it until you hit Kael’thas.

Getting Rid of It: Disenchants into a Void Crystal, and sells to vendors for 3g 71s 96c.

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A new online hold calculator

September 23, 2007 at 6:24 am (World Of Warcraft)

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There isn’t much to say about this, other than to be very grateful it exists. I never saw the original web-based write up calculator, but I’m told there were sporadic problems with US realms. Grumbles writes and says that he was waiting for the EU calculator to come back online and to support US realms again, when he decided to just write his own. I wish I had that kind of talent.

Visiting wowreputationcalculator.com prompts you to enter your name, server, and whether it’s a US or EU server. I presume it then reads your picture information from the Armory and then processes it in a plain but functional way that shows you how many turn-ins and/or quests you need to reach the next level with most of the key Wow burning crusade factions. Let me tell you, I’m bookmarking this puppy right now, even if I’m a little disappointed to suddenly realize how long it’s going to take me to get exalted with the Kurenai.

This is a very handy tool for narrative grinding. I’ve seen some add-ons in the past that will consideration quest items for you, but this is a really excellent resource. Thanks to Grumbles for making it happen for the US players!

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Around Azeroth: The Temple of Atal’Hakkar

September 22, 2007 at 6:24 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Ah, the mysterious sunken temple — more formally known as the Temple of Atal’Hakkar — lies in th heart of the Swamp of Sorrows and was a rarely visited dungeon even before the Wow burning crusade hit the shelves. However, this shot of the sunken temple, sent in by reader Kaeltor of Hellfire (EU), shows that despite being an unpleasant place to venture into (trust me, the undead Trolls have no concept of hospitality) it can be an impressive place to take a look at. (At least from a safe distance.)

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you’d like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! Or perhaps you’d just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

%Gallery-1816%

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One Boss Leaves: Illidan vs. Kael’Thas wrap-up

September 21, 2007 at 6:23 am (World Of Warcraft)

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It should come as no surprise to most of you that Illidan dominated our last round of Two Bosses Enter, winning with an impressive 85% of the total vote. Of course, Illidan is the big end boss of The Wow burning crusade, and you’d expect him to be a tough fight. But it’s time to say goodbye to Kael’thas, who’s leaving our match with a disheartening 13% of the vote:

Illidan has certainly won this round, but he’s not our champion yet! Inventory back later for another round of Two Bosses Enter!

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Ok, I am black; and I am really offended by this game…WTF?

September 20, 2007 at 12:56 pm (Uncategorized)

This has to be one of the dumbest ideas I ever seen for a PC game; I mean NCAA football is already 90% black athletes. This really has to stop! Boycott this game! Enough is enough

read more | digg story

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More Bioshock stupidness: you can only install the game twice. WTF!!

September 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized)

As if 2K wasn’t taking enough flak from yesterday’s widescreen debacle, now gamers who have spent their hard-earned cash on the PC version of BioShock are finding that they can only install the game twice, ever.

read more | digg story

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Ok, I am black; and I am really offended by this game…WTF?

September 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized)

This has to be one of the dumbest ideas I ever seen for a PC game; I mean NCAA football is already 90% black athletes. This really has to stop! Boycott this game! Enough is enough

read more | digg story

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Starcraft 2: 4 New Gameplay Videos

September 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized)

The first videos of actual gameplay are starting to surface. Game Trailers has put up several different gameplay videos, and Game Videos put up an on-stage demo narrated by Blizzard at the official unveiling. Damn those Koreans are lucky.

read more | digg story

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Oblivion: 10,000 melons explode

September 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized)

Some guy wanted to test his computer by putting 10000 watermelons in the ES:Oblivion game using a dupe trick, here are the results,

WARNING:May contain explosions!

read more | digg story

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Bioshock has a HUGE widescreen display bug on both Xbox and PC!

September 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized)

Both demo versions of Bioshock have a huge bug dealing with setting the FOV in widescreen resolutions – to create the 16:9 image, it’s rendering a 4:3 image, zooming in and chopping off the bottom and the top. Make sure that 2K games knows that this is completely unacceptable and ruins the game for a lot of consumers.

read more | digg story

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Most leet setup ever!

September 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized)

50+ Boxing with his girlfriend. Huge cluster of Shuttle PCs.

read more | digg story

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Korea’s reaction to Starcraft 2

September 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized)

I knew I should have invested in underwear…

read more | digg story

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The greatest and most honest Bioshock review ever..

September 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized)

Title not say all, title give you anticipation

read more | digg story

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Half Life Graffiti {PIC}

September 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm (Uncategorized)

When gamers are allowed outside…

read more | digg story

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Spore is sliding away

September 20, 2007 at 12:51 pm (Uncategorized)

Spore has been delayed… indefinitely.

read more | digg story

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Original Command and Conquer released as freeware.

September 20, 2007 at 12:50 pm (Uncategorized)

Today marks the 12th anniversary of this landmark RTS franchise. To kick the celebration off, today we have a special surprise which we are certain new and old Command & Conquer fans will enjoy. We are providing the original Command & Conquer Gold as a free download, compatible for Windows XP!

read more | digg story

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100 of the Best Legal Full Version Games You Can Download Online

September 20, 2007 at 12:49 pm (Uncategorized)

A List of 100 legal full version games available to download online from all over the web. The list includes free indie games, free to play mmos, once commercial games that are now free to play, hobbyist games, and many more. If you know of fun full version pc games that aren’t on the list, please add a comment with the name and URL.

read more | digg story

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RPG Style Map of America [PIC]

September 20, 2007 at 12:49 pm (Uncategorized)

How Japan Sees the USA …

read more | digg story

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Starcraft 2, Blizzard’s New Game

September 20, 2007 at 12:48 pm (Uncategorized)

Link to Blizzard Site
http://pc.ign.com/articles/788/788627p1.html for live updates of the convention.

read more | digg story

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South Park’s Warcraft Episode Up For Emmy

September 20, 2007 at 12:44 pm (Uncategorized)

Dwarven champions and South Park fans are united in general glee this week after South Park
’s ‘Make Love, Not Warcraft’ was nominated for an Emmy TV award.

read more | digg story

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Addon Spotlight: Sage

September 20, 2007 at 6:10 am (World Of Warcraft)

Addon Spotlight: Sage

Unit frames, for the uninitiated, are those lovely bars down the left side of your screen that show the health, mana, energy or rage of your party members and pets. The default Blizzard unit frames are alright. But when I rolled my restoration shaman a while back, I went looking for a replacement that would show pet health more prominently. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t heal pets by default. That’s the job of the hunter or warlock. But if we’re in a boss fight and the tank is dead and the pet has to off-tank, I’d rather that it’s health was a little easier to read on my screen.

As is my usual custom, I ran to my usual add-on site and tried the most popular packages. They were simply too much for me. The configuration was just too much. I’m a simple kind of guy, and just looking at the configuration screens made me dizzy. I wanted something lightweight and functional.

Then I found Sage. Sage doesn’t show the pretty character portraits, but I really don’t miss them that much. Sage displays the player, target, target of target, party, pet, and focus frames. Every one of them are completely scalable in size, individually and as a whole. Focus is a handy little tool that the game supports, but (as far as I know) the default UI still does not display. It allows you to monitor any player or mobs health persistently. So on those escort quests, the healer could focus the escort to monitor it’s health all the time without having to constantly keep it targeted. Focus has a bazillion uses really, and Sage supports it fully.

Another thing I like about Sage is how visible Tuller has made the debuffs. It’s really easy to see “who gets hit with what” and identify the “what” quickly. The debuff icons are large, and the health bar colour codes to the type of debuff, whether it’s poison, disease, curse, etc.

Sage also supports range checking. I wish there was a way for it to check line-of-sight too, but this is still a great function. When you’re healing a party and somebody steps out of your casting range, their information dims to indicate that you can’t affect them through casting, so you can either move, or bitch at them on Vent. (I usually choose the latter.)

Although I would definitely call this a minimalist add-on from a graphic point of view, there are also a number of bar textures to choose from to suit your personal taste.

I couldn’t live without Sage, at least on my shaman. I really hope it doesn’t break when into unit frames in the upcoming patch!


Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. If classicons worked… it’d be perfect

Posted at 5:05PM on Sep 16th 2007 by Norin

2. Another good one UI customisation mod is ag_UnitFrames; It works well right out of the box and gives you a lot of flexibility when you need it. I personally use this mod and have no major troubles with healing 10 man content (including pets ^.^).

But if you want a serious mod for raid healing you may want to try XPerl. It’s a nightmare to configure initially but it has the best customisations for healing I’ve seen so far.

Posted at 7:36PM on Sep 16th 2007 by Memzer

3. Wow, uh, I usually post positive things on here, but first off: if a tank dies and you’re relying on a pet to save your ass… I think unit frames should be the least of your worries.

Second, Sage looks hideous. PitBull also shows range (fades if too far) and debuffs (outline if you can dispell it). Not to mention aggro gain (health turns red) and by far the most extremely helpful for any healer:

The bars show how much you are going to heal… on the bar, right there in green. So you know if that flash heal will cut it or not. It will even tell you how much you’re going to overheal (if at all).

Sage, blech.

Posted at 1:57AM on Sep 17th 2007 by MacAllah

4. #2: Pets can tank those last percents of a boss if your tank dies at the last minute, especially in 5-mans.

Posted at 3:21AM on Sep 17th 2007 by Frederik

5. #3 I think you are missing the point entirely. I use pitbull and love it but can understand the authors point that the number of settings can be overwhelming. Just because pitbull is exactly what you want doesnt mean its what everyone else wants…

Also, if a pet can keep aggro off other party members for a few seconds or more then its better than nothing. What is the alternative? “Oh well…we’re dead…lets stop casting…”

Posted at 4:49AM on Sep 17th 2007 by Karail

6. there are so many easy to configure mods what sage does so much better and dont look like crap

Posted at 6:43AM on Sep 17th 2007 by wdc

7. 1. Pitbull was reviewed here two months ago. I was presenting an alternative.
2. I prefer function over fashion. The config screen of every other unit frame package I tried looked like the cockpit of a jumbo jet. I want to play the game, not spend an entire day configuring an add-on. :)

Posted at 9:34AM on Sep 17th 2007 by Eric Vice

8. #3:
I haven’t seen another UF present pet status in such a compact way (cf. the first party member in the screenshot) and I think it’s nice information to have if it doesn’t take up a lot of room.

Because of its simplicity, Sage’s appearance has a lot to do with the bar texture you select. The screenshot here uses the Steel texture, which I’ve never found attractive — using the Cilo or Minimalist textures Sage looks very nice.

Estimated heals is a cool feature of Pitbull, but to really get a good estimation you have to crunch a bunch of numbers relating to gear and talents (I believe Pitbull uses DrDamage for this if present). I use Sage to heal 5-mans and my party frame text style is set to “Smart” so that I just get health deficits — it makes my decisions pretty easy.

Posted at 10:38AM on Sep 17th 2007 by dylanm

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Forum Necromancy

September 19, 2007 at 6:10 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Forum necromancy (a.k.a. Thread necromancy) is the dark art of resurrecting long-dead forum threads on the official Wow burning crusade forums by posting something new in them and sending them to the very top of the list. This heinous act is not to be mistaken with a “bump” — sending a baby thread with trouble attracting viewers’ eyeballs back to the top of the list. “Bumping” is no more reprehensible than “grinding” is. But beware those who seek to raise dead topics from the grave! These people are dangerous and Blizzard will punish them.

I have proof! In an ancient era long forgotten — back in May — a young dwarf named Grothym asked if his character, after many many in-game alcoholic beverages, could black out or even die from alcohol poisoning. Drysc, the Blizzard Community manager, rightly thought this was a funny suggestion and commented: “I proposed that eventually the screen goes black and you wake up in a random capital city of the opposite faction, but it didn’t fly.” Then the thread went on for a few more pages and petered out. Aside from a brief stint in July, the thread remained dead until just a few days ago, when some druid with an impossible-to-pronounce name raised this thread from the depths of the forum archives, back onto the front page. No doubt he had been inspired by the Lich King.

Fortunately, Blizzard’s Gruul-like defender of the forums smashed this zombie-thread with the following words:

As a rule of thumb, bumping an old discarded thread to the first page is considered to be against the Forum Code of Conduct. While there are indeed exceptions based on the topic and circumstances, in general it is recommended not to post in this manner, as it can lead to suspensions of one’s posting privileges. A good guideline to go by is that if the most recent post in a thread is over a month old then it would be better not to reply to that thread.

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Wow burning crusade Moviewatch: Sunday Break

September 18, 2007 at 6:08 am (World Of Warcraft)

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The original video this is paying homage to is a machinima by Dopefish. Baron Soosdon has taken that original exploration concept in hand and with Snoman’s updated model-work, provides us with an interesting machinima full of beautiful music and lovely dark imagery. While I’ve no idea if it was intended, the imagery makes me inventory of the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion. (I hope it looks half that cool!)

In any case, hats off to Baron Soosdon, Snoman, and Dopefish for their combined ideas that give us this lovely Sunday Break to enjoy!

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Breakfast Topic: Best way out of a bad group

September 17, 2007 at 6:23 am (World Of Warcraft)

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It starts out innocently enough. The tank loses aggro, the healer goes down, the rest of the group falls like dominos. It happens. Regroup, head back in, try again. But then it happens another time, then another time. What in Elune’s name is going on?

Is the tank undergeared? Is the healer running out of mana too soon? Does the sorcerer have to open with his biggest nuke? It could be one thing or a lot of things. But one thing’s for sure: this 90 minute run through an instance is starting to look like a 4 hour death fest with a repair consider kicker.

So, I ask you this, gentle readers. When faced with a non-functional group, how do you get out? Nicely? Bluntly? Oops, my kid kicked the power cord? What’s the classiest exit line you’ve seen or used? The funniest?

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Blizzard tips on Ogri’la faction

September 17, 2007 at 6:23 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Guide to Ogri'laBlizzard has posted a new faction guide on their official site. The Ogri’la faction, introduced in Patch 2.1, resides on the western part of the Blade’s Edge Mountains. Gaining exalted with these enlightened ogres doesn’t get you a fancy epic flying mount (directly) or the key to Karazhan, but attaining Exalted will net you a good deal of gold and access to epic faction rewards.

I won’t go into the details of all the quest chains. Blizzard’s guide plus World of warcraft Wiki’s Ogri’la page do a great job of that. But I’m in the middle of this quest series myself and have a few tips of my own to share:

  • You don’t have to be grouped to finish the Mog’dorg quest chain. Just tag along with another group doing it and you’ll be able to get the quest turn ins after each kill.
  • The Ogri’la quest line will open up additional Shatari Skyguard faction quests (and get you closer to riding that nether ray)
  • OgriLazy is a great AddOn for remembering the color sequence combinations of the Relic’s Emanation daily quest.
  • Druid flight form is NOT immune to the dismount debuff of the Fel Cannons during the bombing run missions.
  • The Badge of Tenacity is one of the best non-raid tanking trinkets in the game, especially for feral druids.

Do any of you fine readers have any additional tips to share about Ogri’la quests?

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Let’s play Name That AddOn

September 17, 2007 at 6:22 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Name That AddOnYou’ve seen a great PvP video or a funny screenshot and tale to yourself: what AddOn did they use? First, I recommend doing a quick explanation of all the AddOn articles we’ve done here at Wow burning crusade Insider. If you don’t find it there, head over to this new thread on the World of warcraft European forums.

Players describe or post screenshot links of AddOns they are trying to identify. Then other players name it and post links on where to find it. There are many individual threads asking about UIs and AddOns in the official Interface forums, but this one thread puts those questions and answers in one spot.

The thread has just started, but it’s an excellent resource for those of us without the time to spend a couple of hours browsing World of warcraft Interface.

A note for our non-European readers: you can’t post on the European forums without a European Wow account. So it’s read only for you.

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Rogue with Twin Blades of Azzinoth sells account for almost $10,000

September 17, 2007 at 6:21 am (World Of Warcraft)

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What can you do with $10,000? You can buy a nice used car, five awesome computer systems, 2,000 Happy Meals or 40,000 gumballs. You can also apparently become the best geared rogue in the world.

Zeuzo, a rogue from Method on Sylvanas-EU, has reportedly sold his account for 7000 euro, or $9,500. Zeuzo’s gear includes the legendary sword set Twin Blades of Azzinoth, 4/5 Tier 6, and many other Hyjal/BT loots. The new owner has transferred to Kazzak and is happily PVPing (reportedly quite badly) under the name Shaks.

I would have assumed that Method would be about ready to kill Zeuzo for profiting off of their guild’s hard work, but forum rumor has it that Zeuzo’s now playing a brand new rogue in Method. So they can’t be too mad at him. If someone in my guild was able to get $10,000 for their account, I certainly wouldn’t fault them selling it … particularly if they cut me in on a share of the profits.

One more interesting thing: looking at Shaks’ profile, it hasn’t been updated since September 3rd. Considering all the publicity this has gotten, there’s a good chance that Blizzard has banned the account, and Shaks is 7000 euros poorer while Zeuzo’s laughing at him from a beach in Cancun.

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Reader WoWspace of the Week: Lunasmile

September 17, 2007 at 6:21 am (World Of Warcraft)

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[Lunasmile's WoWspace of the Week!]

Keeping up with the fine tradition of readers letting the rest of us WoWspace voyeurs peek into their own gaming spaces this week is Lunasmile. He actually let me know he’d dropped a submission to me by sending me a whisper in IRC while I was doing the Wow burning crusade Insider podcast with Elizabeth H. two weeks ago. But he didn’t just send pictures of his WoWspace — he also sent along a great tab to go with a nice numbered photo of his WoWspace! (The numbered photo shows up if you click the above reckoning or link) This week, I have the honor of presenting Lunasmile’s letter and WoWspace to you all.

Hello World of warcraft Insider Readers,

My name is Michael, and I play a 64 Blood Elf Warlock named Lunasmile on Hellscream US in the guild “Devils Horde. ” I thought I would share my WoWspace with all of you. I took a page out of Krystalle’s book and added numbers to explain the main features of my World of warcraft Space. Without further ado, let’s begin.

1.) nVidia poster – I won this at a LAN Party called “Peace, Love, and Rockets” along with news 5 and thought they would look pretty damn good hung up on my wall.

2.) Bookcase – This bookcase was given to me by my mother and it currently houses cases (both retail and jewel) of every single PC game I own. They currently tale around 40 games. You can also see the
following: Wow strategy guides, various issues of Games for Windows Magazine, a rolled up Fruits Basket wall scroll, and the Penny Arcade bookmarks. (Bonus points for Penny Arcade coolness!)

3.) PC Monitor – I use a Acer 22″ X221W LCD Monitor, nothing really special about it. I have been considering upgrading to the Viewsonic 28″ LCD Monitor for future endeavors.

4.) Tori Amos Poster – I’m not ashamed to say that I am a Tori Amos fan. The poster featured is from the European release of “To Venus And Back”, a double CD set released in 1999.

5. FEAR: Extraction Point mini-poster – As mentioned with #1, this was won at a LAN Party.

6. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars mini-poster – acquired with a reservation of the game.

7. Custom-Built PC – This PC was built by yours truly and houses a Intel Core 2 Duo E6400, a GeForce 8800GTS by XFX, 2gb of memory, and 600gb of storage in a Armor case (made by Thermaltake).

8. Standing Fan – I have a standing fan in addition to the A/C in our household. The fan is made by Lasko and blows cool air over the desk into the area where my chair is. It works quite well considering the weather in Texas gets over 115° on a normal day.

9. Backpack – was sat down in the floor prior to the shot. Made by Savier.

Non-numbered items on the desk/bookcase:
Sharpie marker (for labeling CDs)
Car keys
Earbuds for my MP3 player
Weights for my Logitech G5 Mouse
Logitech G15 Keyboard
Generic External Speakers (for use during the day)
Zalman ZM-RS6F Surround Sound Headphones
Cable Modem (Ambit)
Sunglasses
VTech Telephone
Office Chair
Office Lamp
DVD+R Spindle

Lots of interesting stuff to look at in a pretty nifty little space. I’d also note that this week’s WoWspace features one of the fairly uncommon Non-Microsoft windows. (Of course, with 115 degree weather, I can see why the fan is a necessity if you’re going to enjoy having the window to look out of!) As always, if you’re interested in showing your WoWspace off, drop me a line at readerwowspace@gmail.com!

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Is “ugly” the new beautiful, and “evil” the new good?

September 17, 2007 at 6:21 am (World Of Warcraft)

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I have a question for all the Horde and sorcerer players out there — as well as anyone who plays their character in a so-called “evil” way. But first, let me explain where I’m coming from.

As you know, one of the main differences between the Alliance and the Horde is their sense of style. In fact, the question of what looks and feels good to players of either side may be one of the biggest areas of disagreement that actually exists between them. To a lesser extent, this sort of disagreement exists between classes as well. Warlocks give off a very different feeling from Paladins for example, and different people are attracted to each sort of “aura.”

Like many players, my sense of aesthetics and beauty fits in squarely on one side of this aesthetic equation, and the other side can be rather difficult for me to understand. I play in the Alliance, and my favorite races are usually the ones that are “beautiful” and noble-looking in a traditional sense. To me personally, the Horde races are hard to relate to.

I do sometimes start up a Horde character if I have a funny idea for roleplaying him or her, but eventually something about them starts to bother me. Now that the Horde has prettier blood elves to play, I admit this helped me a lot — I am gradually leveling up a blood elf alt in my free time — but somehow being a blood elf in the Horde feels rather out of place, as if I’m not really part of the Horde because I’m not hunched over with a ready-to-kill look on my face.

For a long time I couldn’t play a sorcerer either for similar reasons. The class just seemed inherently evil; summoning demons and stealing people’s souls seemed wrong somehow. Even though I knew it’s just a fantasy game, I still had no desire to mimic in the game something that would be abhorrent to me in real life. I often wondered: what is attractive about the look and feel of these characters to Horde and sorcerer players?

Now before you start pointing out to me the various inconsistencies in this sort of feeling (such as “how come you have a problem summoning demons when the whole game is about killing people?”) keep in mind that this is not really an intellectual or moral issue. It’s an emotional one. It’s about that instant feeling you get of attraction or repulsion to something without even thinking about it at all. You just know you like it or you don’t. In this case, I have one of those negative gut reactions to hunched-over monstrous player characters, as well as summoning demons and stealing souls, while many of you out there are deeply attracted to these things. While my eyeballs instinctively look at draenei or night elves and see “good,” then look at trolls and undead and see “evil,” many of you may look at trolls and undead and see “badass,” as far as I can tell, then look at draenei and night elves and see… “goody-two-shoes” and “prissy” perhaps?

Now, nobody here actually summons demons or has rotting flesh or horns or whatnot — far from it: you may even pray for world peace, volunteer at the soup kitchen, and sponsor a poor child’s education. In real life (I assume) we all see ourselves firmly in the “good” category, or at least we “live and let live.” I’m not questioning anyone’s morality or suggesting that the Horde players really are evil or misguided at all. I’m just wondering, when you charge onto Wow burning crusade, do you like to pretend to be nasty, evil, or “ugly” in some way? Or is it not ugly to you at all? Would you insist on another profit, like “badass” instead? What attracts you by the “darker” races and classes in the game? What repulses you by the “lighter” ones?

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A kinder, gentler cat druid UI

September 17, 2007 at 6:12 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Hello Kitty UI
Recently we spotlighted a gorgeous UI mod that emphasized form over function. Now, we’d like to turn your attention to another…unusual UI that may tickle your inner 5 year old: a Hello Kitty Island Adventure UI.

Inspired by the South Park Wow burning crusade episode, player Shalandryl of the Silvermoon server has created this UI mod for all to enjoy. So get your pretty pink ponies ready for a tea party with Illidan, Hello Kitty is in da house.

[Thanks to Adruanne for the tip!]

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Around Azeroth: Trekking across Tanaris

September 17, 2007 at 6:08 am (World Of Warcraft)

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Yoma of Defias Brotherhood (EU) sends in this cute little shot of guildmate Lywon trekking across the Tanaris desert with his pet. I always thought the footprints (or in this case, hoof and pawprints) were a nice visual touch, and this screenshot shows why.

Do you have a unique shot of Azeroth or Outland that you’d like to show off to the rest of the world? Tell us about it by e-mailing aroundazeroth@gmail.com! Or perhaps you’d just like to see more of your pics from Around Azeroth.

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