Cataclysm is well on the way, with the class change previews showing up around the internet last week. From complete class overhauls to little design tweaks; every class has had something to fill their time with. Yet there is a pattern showing, a pattern that has been forming through out every expansion. Blizzards ‘Flavour of the Expansion’.

During The Burning Crusade, Blizzard showed off their skill at making everything sparkle, glow or float. It was pretty cool to start, but wore thin when every armour set had something crackling off of it or little rocks orbiting it. When Wrath of the Lich King hit our game we were barraged with vehicles. Battlegrounds using siege vehicles, dailies on annoying ponies (damn those ponies) and even raid encounters using this technique. It’s like the designers found something new and wanted to see just how many times they could plug it into the expansion. Sure did get old quick didn’t it?

And now what is on the horizon? Water, water, water. It appears that the developers found a box containing ‘New Water Effects’ and want to show off their shiny sparkly new toy. Flooding Thousand Needles, opening up zones to the coast and making a whole underwater zone. What better way to flaunt the new look of…. water. But wait, there’s more!

Hunters; along with a complete overhaul, get an interesting new ability. Camouflage! Making the caster immune to ranged attack and giving them a ‘predator style’ cloaked look using the… wait for it… new water ripple effects! Ok Blizzard we get it, you have learned how to make water look cool. Do you have to see just how many places you can put it to show off your skill?

Not only is the suffocation on the new water look a bit overwhelming already, but they seem to have found a new way to do spells. Shaman’s get a new AoE heal, expect unlike current AoE heals, it works more like Blizzard or Rain of Fire do. Drop the spell on an area and anyone who is in the area, or walks through the area gets healed. Cool a new mechanic, but will we see an influx of this new spell type? Only time will tell.

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Why do we game?

April 18, 2010

Gaming; a part of the lives of just about everyone in some way, shape or form. Whether it be playing MMORPGs for years, or Farmville on Facebook; gaming takes up a huge portion of the world’s time. But what is our obsession with the virtual world? With billions of dollars being funneled into this form of entertainment, it would pay to understand just why we play.

The gaming craze has swept the world; more so in the last decade. It has affected everybody in someway. Myself; I have played video games since around the time I could walk and played MMORPGs for roughly half my life (Ultima Online, Everquest and World of Warcraft). But why do we immerse ourselves in these make believe worlds?

I have gone through many stages during this time, using different reasons to try and find purpose to the hours and hours per week that have been devoted to pixels in a virtual world. A release from the real world, a way to de-stress (although this doesn’t always work out), a way to socialise with people around the globe and even just something to kill time. Yet it all boils down to the main reason I see behind it all. You can be whoever, whatever you want to be. No longer held back by the constraints of the ‘real you’; it becomes possible to take up any persona you wish. Want to feel powerful and important?¬† Start a guild, clan or whatever it may be called in the specific game you’re playing. Take a position of power and flex those pixel muscles of yours. Always wanted to be female? Well instead of getting a sex change you can just play a female character online, no one will ever know!

The ability to be as anonymous as you wish to be whilst playing brings in people from all walks of life. Who cares if in real life you are 32 and living with your Mother? In-game you’re the main tank who is never late for a raid! Think of that next time you invite someone into your group, try and see if you can pick who they really are.

Find-A-Dungeon

December 3, 2009

With patch 3.3 set to release next week on the 8th of December, I thought it would be a good time to go deeper into one of the new features coming in said patch. This to me is the reason I have been looking forward to patch 3.3 so much.

The Dungeon Finder

The Dungeon Finder

The old ‘LFG Tool’ which was added into the game in patch 2.0.1 a whopping 3 years ago is finally getting the fix it has needed since the start. This new tool, named the Dungeon Finder, allows players to queue up for any instance or raid that they would like to run, or queue up for a random instance (the default when you open up the finder). From there; after you have selected what role you would like to play in the group, the Dungeon Finder puts together the group from a pool of players across your battlegroup. Hopefully this will remove the problem that every server seems to face, waiting longer than the instance itself just for a tank or a healer.

Not only does this new tool bring with it the cross server (battlegroup) groups and better group making on Blizzard’s part, but also it has been said that through the ‘random dungeon’ selection within the Dungeon Finder, you will not get a raid lockout on heroic dungeons, meaning it will be possible to run random heroics all day, everyday; which will now drop Emblem of Triumph. Gearing up alts never looked so easy did it?

With all these good points, there has to be some bad right? What about running a complete random group and being stuck with people who just hit 80, and are wearing greens? Supposedly there is a match making system, that will ‘help to group you with people around your gear level’. I have not found any written information on this, but it was said on Episode 118 of the WoW Insider Show.

Other little perks of the new Dungeon Finder are:

Every day the first random dungeon you complete awards you with two Emblem of Frost (the new gear badge) and then everyone one after that give you an additional two Emblem of Triumph.

Achievements are awarded based on the amount of random people you have grouped with through the new tool, giving a title when you group with 50 random people.

And finally, a pet ‘Perky Pug’ which is a new non combat pet.

With all of these additions coming from the one thing, I sure am looking forward to the Dungeon Finder!

World of Warcrack

November 20, 2009

Just about everyone in the world either plays or knows someone who plays World of Warcraft.

But what does this game have that no other MMORPG can seem to pull of quite right in order to dethrone Blizzard from top spot. Is it the vast amount of lore the game is built upon? The customer service keeping players playing, through out bugs and account hacks?

I have been playing World of Warcraft myself since the 23rd of July 2005, a long while if you ask me. In this time I’ve hit all 3 level caps, across 3 different characters (not including dozens of low level alts). I’ve entered every instance at least once, and completed a fair percentage of the quests available. You’d think after all of this time, it’d get boring, wouldn’t you?

Sure there have been the breaks from the game, the brief escapes back into reality, lasting between a couple of weeks and several months. But it seems that in the end it draws me back. For me, it seems to be the feeling of knowing everything that I need to know; being ahead of the proverbial¬† learning curve, that keeps me interested, that and the fact that along the way I have met and kept contact with some really good friends. After all, it is a social game isn’t it?

In the beginning…

November 20, 2009

So I’ve decided to join the ‘blogosphere’ finally. Lets give this a shot.

I’m Calum, an 18 year old University student from Australia. My main time sink is World of Warcraft, which I’ve played since vanilla (will update with the day I actually started). In the many years since I started playing I’ve gone through just about every play style, from a inexperienced noob who didn’t know what a GCD was, to hardcore raider spending 6+ hours a night attempting progression. Now however I am barely casual on my 80 Death Knight, but its still fun.

I plan *fingers crossed* to update this a lot, and bring some good information out, along with some personal speculation.

Stay tuned.