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Thursday, December 18, 2014

[WoW] A "daily" adjustment

A new player to Warlords (do those exist?) would have to be forgiven for having absolutely no idea what Daily Quests are. At level 100 I see at most a handful a day and most of those are optional quests from the Garrison. This fictional new player would have no idea that at one point in WoW's history (amusingly enough, when WoW was taking place in Draenor's alternate history predecessor, Outland) a player could expect to _FILL_ their quest log with dailies during any particular day. Expansions since Cataclysm have pared down the bloat. Truth be told I like not having an entire quest log to grind through every day; the fewer daily quests feel like they give me more meaningful and open-ended, "Do whatever the #$%@ I want" sense of accomplishment. There's just one more tweak I wish Blizzard would make.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

[WoW] When one wrong thing sticks out

Somewhere in the blur between Thanksgiving rolling by and December starting I gave in to peer pressure and bought Warlords of Draenor.* I'll grant that despite my general apathy regarding the expansion I am impressed. What surprised me is just how impressed I was. Pandaria was the typical step up in quality, but Warlords feels like more of a leap. Putting my finger on exact why it feels so much better is difficult, but it seems to be something to do with the Garrison, how quests are laid out, rate of progression, etc. In Pandaria, the gap between 88-90 felt positively massive. The Dread Wastes seemed to go on FOREVER making the final push between 89 and 90 feel like a slog. Warlords doesn't have this problem, perhaps because there are ten levels so the "power up" sort of reward comes more readily, but even with that in mind the last few zones of Warlords seem to fly by when compared to their Pandaria equivalents.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Blizzard's MO, wherein I commit social seppuku

The announcement of Overwatch, Blizzard's first new IP in 17 years, confirms for me what Blizzard's design philosophy is. Blizzard does not create new genres anymore, it isn't their thing, and that's actually perfectly acceptable.

What Blizzard does now is take an existing genre and release a polished, accessible version targeted towards the middle of the casual-hardcore Gaussian. This approach popularizes their games and opens up gaming to wider audiences which I think we can agree is a good thing overall. After all, how many gamers might never have picked up a mouse and keyboard if not for a friend introducing them to WoW?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why you should fear the word "Embargo"

A few days ago I bought Assassin's Creed: Unity just hours before it was officially released. The series is something of a guilty pleasure of mine; I've been a loyal, day-one customer since Brotherhood. I'm not going to claim that they revolutionized anything, but I enjoy the gameplay and getting to wander around historical cities feeds my inner history-nerd. Alas, I ignored the media commenting on the review "embargo" on Unity, which as I gather eventually caused Kotaku to adopt a "no embargos" policy to their reviews. I wish I hadn't ignored them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

[Hearthstone] Of missed boats and headslaps

This topic has been kicking around in the back of my mind for a while, so I thought it a fitting choice for my return to blogging.

Some days I wonder if there is someone at Wizards of the Coast or Games Workshop that is smacking their forehead when they look at the state of their industries and how they utterly missed the boat on new technology. I look at their conduct and I see companies that for the most part have clung to outdated business models as if an adherence to strict tradition will keep them afloat.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PAX Day 2: Gigantic, Dreadnought, and Warriors

Despite having four days to potentially scour PAX, I find that there is far too much to truly experience in that time so I had to be a little selective. Much as I would love to be playing Heroes of the Storm I pointedly chose not to spend much time at the Blizzard booth because 20 or so minutes or playing would just make the desire all that much greater and my patience all that much weaker. Plus I figured that playing Warlords of Draenor might ruin some of the story for me. So sadly I have nothing to report on that front. Instead I got a good look at a few other games, Gigantic, Dreadnought, and Hyrule Warriors.

And yes I know we're technically at Day 4, I'm on vacation!

Friday, August 29, 2014

PAX Day 1: Battlecry, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Evolve

I look forward to PAX. I know it's had some difficulties in the past with its founders saying some things they really* shouldn't have on several occasions, but at this point I am willing to warily entertain the idea that the convention and its founders have become different entities.Whether that is true or not, I look forward to PAX because I get to spend it with my best friends so I set aside my reservations for time with friends.