Posts tagged ‘World of Warcraft’

March 5, 2012

Blizzard to Lay off 600 Employees…I feel so guilty

I totes feel like a jerk for canceling my WoW subscription, after reading the news that Activision Blizzard Inc. is laying off 600 employees. The layoffs will occur in the Blizzard Entertainment sector, but it is reported that most of the cuts will come from non-game development departments. Sadly, the number of active subscribers to World of Warcraft, Blizz’s cash cow, have dropped since the release of Trion’s Rift last year and EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic a few months ago.

As an avid WoW player, I’m not surprised by the decline in subscriptions, as the standard of gaming is getting rather steep and gamers want more. After patch 4.3, which was anxiously awaited and was met with a resounding “meh” by players, defecting to greener pastures, such as Rift and SWTOR, wasn’t a far leap. Fans of SWTOR were waiting years for its release, and there was no way Blizz was going to be able to keep  those fans from leaving. Rift is a far superior game play experience for mature WoW players. When I left WoW to play Rift, I found that trade chat isn’t filled with obnoxious teenagers mudslinging and generally showing why it sucks to play with immature teenagers. Yes, I miss the beautiful music and gorgeous artwork in World of Warcraft, but I’m satisfied with what I’ve left behind because of the game play experience I’ve gained. Also, as a loyal Blizzhead and WoW player, canceling Blizzcon 2012 was bad for fan morale, and making me wait until quarter 4 of 2012 to release Mists of Pandaria is just not going to satiate me. There are too many ways I can get my fix now, especially with the news of Free to Play Everquest and DC Universe. Blizz, you became complacent and then figured out you needed to scramble to catch up. I think it’s sad that people have to be laid off, but something had to give and it hasn’t been Blizz giving to their fans.

February 23, 2012

Morgan Spurlock Geek Fan or Geek Foe?

Morgan Spurlock, best known for his award winning gut bomb Super Size Me, has teamed up with Joss Whedon, Geek God, to create a documentary about the human side of San Diego Comic-Con. Interviewing legends and fanboys like Stan Lee, Eli Roth, Seth Rogan and Kevin Smith, there is a real opportunity to break stereotypes and show that Comic-Con is not just for those who feel the need to fly their geek flag high each year, but that there are designers and comic book creators that use this as a platform to show their work. The potential to make dreams come true among the cosplay and collectibles.

The documentary COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE follows the 2010 Comic-Con, and so far the newly released trailer is getting good press. BUT this geek writer found exactly what I was worried about when perusing the interwebs this morning, an article written by Phil Brown last September on where he states, “…the film is a rather sweet and loving portrait of the pop culture-obsessed attendees and the annual Mecca of their anti-social pursuits. The convention itself comes off as an accepting home to anyone who feels the need [to] sweat through a Wookie costume for a weekend while eating overpriced fast food and standing in line to get an autograph from their favorite B-movie actor. The documentary probably won’t win over anyone who despises this culture going in, but it should at least help explain why it exists.” 

Don’t we nerds, geeks, and dorks get enough flack for being nerds, geeks, and dorks? We don’t need another documentary that shows anti-social freaks. Several years ago a documentary was released about MMORPG players, mostly focusing on EverQuest and World of Warcraft, and depicted players who couldn’t go to work because of their addiction, a mother who blamed her son’s suicide on his gaming addiction, and a really sad couple who met in game. It was in no way a positive look at these games or their players, and I hope that this documentary doesn’t do the same injustice to the iconic Comic-Con.

Morgan Spurlock has a real fighting chance to show a different side of this genre. Putting celebs who are fan boys or in the business, rather than Morgan Spurlock’s usual post in the front of the camera, as the main focus is good; though it would have been nice to see a documentary film maker who isn’t in the genre right up front saying, “hey look, these people are normal, hard working people and this isn’t a freakfest.”

The trailer looks great. I am definitely looking forward to watchingTake a look and let me know what you think.

Have you ever imagined a place where Vulcans and vampires get along? Where wizards and wookies can be themselves? Welcome to Comic-Con San Diego. What started as a fringe comic book convention for 500 fans has grown into the pop culture event of the year that influences every form of entertainment, now attended by over 140,000 strong. COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE- a film by Morgan Spurlock explores this amazing cultural phenomenon by following the lives of five attendees as they descend upon the ultimate geek mecca at San Diego Comic-Con 2010.

(apple trailers)

February 1, 2012

More Free to Play Gaming Options

The reason for more storage on my computer just got exponentially larger with the news that not one, but two more MMO’s are calling to me telling me about more subscription options. EverQuest announced it is going Free-to-Play beginning in March, with 3 different tiered methods of play; Free-to-Play, Silver (low monthly fee with restrictions), and Gold (regular monthly no restrictions with bonuses). This announcement, along with the new Rift

Lite, which allows a no time limit trial to level 20, similar to what World of Warcraft rolled out last year, is either showing a effort on the part of game developers to give players what they want by allowing flexibility in their game subscriptions, or it’s showing a dramatic decrease in the amount of paid subscribers and this is what it’s come to. I’m hoping for the former, but worried it’s actually the latter. Just last night I was discussing the need to have a game that allows me a weekly subscription option. I know it’s a bit silly, but I get so busy I will go 2 weeks without playing WoW, and then realize my subscription ran out.

I’m giving props to EverQuest for allowing the FTP option access to guilds. DC Universe Online added joining player leagues to their FTP option when they changed their subscription options. That isn’t available on trials with WoW, and it feels very lonely over in Azeroth when you are checking it out for the first time. Experiencing guilds is an important part of game play. Maybe WoW should create a few guilds specific to trial account players, then the paying player guilds won’t be affected by losing players, and noobs can experience the whole idea of what it is to be a fully functioning toon.

I’m really thankful to the companies that are opening the Free-to-Play option. It’s going to expand the game play experience for a lot of people who are on a budget, but love playing games. I have a real disadvantage being a mostly PC MMO gamer. Hubby buys a game for the Xbox 360, pays $60 for it, plays it through to the finish, and trades it in for at least half the money he paid, then moves on to the next best thing. As a MMORPG player, I am paying for an experience, and though I quite enjoy all that Blizzard has given me in World of Warcraft, the monthly fee plus expansion game costs don’t add up to getting as much bang for my buck. I can’t afford to play other MMOs out there without breaking the bank. Free to Play options are perfect for me. I will be able to put up with the restrictions and limits in game, for the most part, because it’s opening options for me to play more than one game. Now I will just cross my fingers SW:TOR will follow suit. (Ya, ya, I know.  Don’t hold my breath. Look how long it took just to hit shelves.)

January 25, 2012

Blizzard to Add In Game Advertising?

As a slightly obsessed, yet don’t find it difficult to stop for bathroom breaks and interact with the outside world, World of Warcraft player, I have the utmost respect for Blizzard Entertainment. I love that I can escape to another world, kick some much needed butt as a stress reliever and for once in my life have some pretty rad super powers (I can make it rain fire). With this in mind, I was a bit disheartened when I heard that the powerhouse that is Blizz is going to be adding in game ad content to their new project “Titan.” According to Blizzard’s current job board (sad that I read them, I know, but one day…) they are looking for a “Franchise Development Producer-NEXT-GEN MMO.” This job will be filled by someone who is able to

“Be the key liaison between the development team and other functional teams within Blizzard Entertainment (e.g. creative development, licensing, marketing, legal) to create brand-extending merchandise for the next-gen MMO franchise, including:

  • Books / Novels
  • Action figures
  • Comics
  • Short movies
  • Apparel”

Yay, I am so glad they are going to keep with the tradition of their other games, even though this “Titan” is rumored to be a casual MMO possibly leaning toward a more social aspect, and bring us merchandise. I am a collector. Merchandise is my thing. BUT wait…there’s more! This job will also need to “Work with major consumer brands to facilitate product placement and licensing within the world of Blizzard Entertainment’s next-gen MMO that enhances the gameplay experience.” Wait. Wha…Huh? I play games to escape to another world, not to be reminded to “Have a Coke and a Smile” while I’m doing major damage to a giant monster, or in some cases a giant mechanical chicken. How is this going to “enhance the gameplay experience?”

Is Blizzard short on cash? Because I know how much I’ve contributed to their profit margin. Is this game going to be free-to-play? Every day I deal with ads stuffed into my Android gaming apps, and I ignore them, because I am a cheap bitch who doesn’t want to shell out 99 cents to play an ad free game. Is this going to be a Warcraft with Friends type game? Fingers crossed. I know that having little social extras like World of Warcraft Remote on my tablet has made my game play experience all the better, or my obsession a little more worrisome, but I think having a more socially interactive piece to games is awesome. It also gives me something to fiddle with on my downtown, without firing up WoW.

At this time, there is nothing more that can be done but speculate. Some believed that Blizz would have an announcement at BlizzCon, but since they just announced there will be no BlizzCon 2012, they get to keep the “Titan” carrot dangling for as long as they want. I’m always looking forward to the brilliance that is Blizzard, and will look forward to whatever project “Titan” has in store as well.

January 24, 2012

The Doubleclicks Let their Geek Flag Fly

Blatant Pandering Cover Art

The Doubleclicks

Portland natives and sister musical duo Angela and Aubrey, better known as The Doubleclicks, have combined witty lyrics, a guitar, some ukulele action, with a cello and some geek girl flare to exact the perfect recipe, a new EP Blatant Pandering. With lead vocals, guitar and ukulele by Angela, and Aubrey on cello and harmonies, The Doubleclicks are deeming Blatant Pandering “an album of our geekiest of songs.” With songs about the Worst.Superpower.Ever, a true romance between two Dungeons and Dragons players, and why a Spock Impersonator would “not make a very good boyfriend,” this album is a riot that appeals to nerds or geeks of any variety.

Taking their geeky fascination with gaming (of the tabletop RPG persuasion) and their raw “nerd folk” talent, The Doubleclicks give listeners songs about iPhone users, a hatred for beatboxing, and my favorite breakup song, Always Be here (WoW), from their album Beta Testing 1-2-3. This sister act lets their geek flag fly proudly. “Most all of our songs are based on stuff that’s happened to us, or, failing that, stuff about which we feel very strongly,” says Angela about the brilliance behind the writing. I know I laughed out loud when I heard A Song about EVE online, from their Song-a-week project, a “songwriting/motivation project” that took place from February to August 2011.

I spent an entire evening listening to every one of their songs and you should too. Head over to their Bandcamp site, where you can download their new EP Blatant Pandering in name your price fashion, and look for a new full length CD out soon. For show dates and times check out their website and look for them at Norwescon in Seattle.

Here’s my favorite song. It’s time for you to find yours.

January 19, 2012

The Guild Trading Cards

If you are as much of a fan of Felicia Day or The Guild as I am, you will be happy to know that we get a new treat to satiate us while we wait for the season 6 of The Guild to start. Cryptozoic, the company that brings my favorite table top card game, WoWTCG, among many other wonderful offerings, is releasing The Guild trading cards. Straight from the Cryptozoic website here is a bit of information.

Release Date: February 2012
Packs: 5 cards per pack; 24 packs per box
MSRP: $3.50/pack
Base set: 63 Cards
Chase Sets: Two 9-card chase set
Inserts: Autographs and Wardrobe
Autograph and wardrobe cards all feature the CZE hologram to guarantee authenticity.

The autograph cards are available to see on Cryptozoic’s Facebook page, and while you are there you should give them a like. Their cards are beautiful. I love that they have these gorgeous signature cards, in addition to cards featuring memorable moments from the show and Codex’s vlog.

Cryptozoic's Felicia Day signature card

Additionally, if you haven’t had a chance to see The Guild, you really should get online and watch the past episodes. You don’t have to be an MMORPG player to get the wit and humor this show has to offer. The writing is brilliant, Felicia day as Codex/Syd is wonderfully relateable, and we all know someone like the characters in this show…oh and Evil Wil Wheaton. It’s just awesome sauce on a platter.

January 17, 2012

World of Warcraft in the News Again

…but this time it’s on a happier note. My favorite MMORPG will forever be known as that game that destroys marriages/relationships/careers/lives (moderation people…it’s not that hard); but not anymore, now it’s that game that saves lives., a Norwegian news publication, reported that a twelve year old boy, Hans Jørgen Olsen from Leksvik in North-Trøndelag, saved his sister using moves he learned in World of Warcraft. The boy and his sister were on their way to school, when they reportedly took a shortcut and came eye to eye with a large moose.  To save his sister, Hans used a move called “Taunt”, a skill used by Protection Warriors, which takes the focus off the weaker player and puts it on a tank. After getting the attention of the moose off his sister, he remembered a skill he learned at level 30, which Hunter players have often used in a time of danger, “Feign Death.” It worked effectively and the moose lost interest and wandered away.

Though Hans did suffer some bruises from being butted by the moose, his backpack took most of the damage, and this little Human Hunter saved the day.

FRYKTLØS: Hans Jørgen Olsen (12) opptrådte rolig og kalkulerende da elgen sto over han.

photo copyright

October 19, 2011

New Adventures in Dorkdom

There is no debate that I am one of the dorkiest people I know. I’m the dorkiest person my friends know. Hell, I’m a walking, talking stereotype. I play the WoWs, I love my Who, I have little social life outside my computer. See illustration:

Back to my point…hubs decided it was time for me to stop working on my laptop glow tan, and start getting out of the house. Make friends that I have to see face to face?? Not in game and not on Facebook? I can totes do that… maybe…ya, I think…mayb…I’m not sure about that. With that in mind, my anniversary present was a deck of WoW TCG cards. Next day we ran down to the local game store to find out about playing with the local group, and we bought a more current deck than the one he bought me.
Game night #1 I go in and ask if I can watch, and yay, one player takes a few minutes to explain the basics of the game. Thank you, Daniel! I asked if I could creep on the players and got the gist of what was going on during the remaining couple of hours. Everyone was really nice, and someone pointed out that I speak WoW speak, but online gaming WoW speak, so I sounded like a total dork.

Tonight I went for the 2nd time, and was lucky enough to meet another GIRL player, she happens to co-own the store with her hubby, and I got to meet the local rep for Cryptozoic (the peeps who make the game). He was nice, made sure I had all my questions answered, and called me his “studio audience”, therefore making it so he could stay in one place and allow me to watch. These people are hella accommodating. I thought it was truly funny when one player with a Leeroy Jenkins card, which requires you to yell out in Leeroy fashion, got slightly razzed for not yelling out in his best Leeroy voice, because I was there.

Best moment of the night….love love love this.
Crypto: “Damn, that fly has been in here for like 3 weeks. I don’t know what it is living on.”
Opponent: “Pizza crust….and shattered dreams.”

Gotta love my fellow dorks. Anyone play WoW TCG? Anyone want to give me a few pointers? Looking forward to the day I get to stop watching and start playing. This Thursday I am hoping to build my deck.
More to come…..
You have a good day now!

April 28, 2011

Druids Nerfed Again. Damn you, Blizzard!

Blizzard rolled out patch 4.1 yesterday, and my beloved Druid got nerfed again. Apparently, the priests got it pretty bad too; but I already have a love/hate relationship with my Druid, so I really don’t need her to be torn down anymore. She’s weak sauce, and does not deserve to keep getting pwnd. My Lacerate bonus is gone, my Lifebloom has been decreased, and the Starsurge damage for Balance Druids has been reduced by 20%. I hated being spec’d Balance. She was un-soloable, and I dual spec’d Feral in order to survive. No way I can play Balance with her having less ability after this patch. One bright note is they seemed to have replaced and created all new Glyphs, so at least my time in the Auction House will be once again prosperous. 

It looks like the new changes are going to good. New Dailies in major cities, including Darnassus and Iron Forge. The new Rise of Zandalari story line looks awesome. I’ve never much liked being a Troll, so maybe this will make it more interesting. Death Knights are getting more love, and they dumbed down the Hunters again. The Guild Finder and Guild Challenges will be good for level 85s who need something to do too. Not sure how I feel about the new Dungeon Finder:Call to Arms though. Waits are long enough, if you are one of the classes that is too highly represented will your wait be even longer?

Stay tuned for the next patch 4.2 coming soon.