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  • The Frost Lotus Ultimatum

    Posted on September 1st, 2009 Finster No comments

    drama_queen-360x347I generally enjoy playing WoW.

    That being said, there are a few… issues I’ve been having lately. Yes, it is sometimes annoying to get the “No more instances can be created message” but that doesn’t cause seething hatred in the cockles of my heart. Nor does ganking, nor Death Knights constantly being nerfed, nor even the guy in Vent that turns his speakers up really loud so that whenever anyone else talks you get this annoying echo effect.

    What fills me with rage is drama.

    First, to give you a little background, I’ve recently joined a new raiding guild. The guild I had been in which was pretty much just a group of friends, while fun, was not very diligent as far as keeping to ANY kind of raiding schedule. When Ulduar came out and I was still kicking around in Heroic 5-man purples, I decided to strike out for greener pastures (and better raid schedules.)

    I found the current guild through the WoW forums (I know, I know… but with horrible gear, and very little actual raid experience, I can’t be too choosy, here.) They seemed pretty laid back when I browsed around their forums, and it looked like the kind of place I could join up and not get in too much trouble if I couldn’t make a raid night every once in a while. (Family first, ya know!)

    Well, we’re running our mid-week Ulduar 10-man and we’re clearing out Freya. I vaguely remember there being some in-game chatter about who has herbalism blah blah blah okay let’s go kill stuff. Well, we clear the whole area (because we don’t want to do hard mode, mmkay) and right before we’re getting ready to pull Freya, the Shaman/healer/Guild Master leaves the raid group, immediately disconnects from Vent, and goes offline. Everyone is shocked for a few seconds as we wonder if his connection blew up, or maybe evil Nazi super-scientists teleported him to the black sun dimension, or what. Then, someone in vent says, “If he wants the 3 Frost Lotus, I’ll give it to him. It’s really not that big of a deal.” Wait, what?

    Yeah, so our shaman ragequit over some stupid herbs. Granted, they are somewhat valuable, but enough to actually ragequit over it? Seems a little dramatic to me. At this point, I’m thinking to myself, “No biggie. We’ll just pug another healer and keep going.” Well, that’s when our Resto Druid and a rogue both /gquit. “Wha??”

    They inform us in vent: “Yeah, <GuildMaster> just threatened to /gkick us over this Frost Lotus thing because he says he’s the guild master and doesn’t have to be treated like this. We don’t really want to stick around for this. Bye.”

    At this point I should explain that the core of this guild is a group of IRL friends. The GuildMaster is actually more of an officer, and the real guild master, the guy that organizes raids, determines who can join the guild, grants forum access, is really a great guy, fun to play WoW with and in all respects is pretty cool. If the GuildMaster were actually the guild master, I suspect a large amount of the guild population would’ve been looking for new guilds at this point.

    In the meantime, the raid has ground to a halt, and I’m suddenly NOT getting any closer to getting my Tier 8 gloves. And this is what bugs me. It’s one thing to be pissed about something, and it’s another thing to be pissed about something so inconsequential. It’s entirely another thing to leave people hanging because you want to go have a cry-fest over some stupid herbs. This is playground-level of getting pissed. Buck up, little camper! If losing 3 Frost Lotus is enough to send you into a fit of rage, just wait until your mom kicks you out of the basement.


  • New Video for Star Wars: The Old Republic pisses off Joystiq writer

    Posted on April 8th, 2009 Finster No comments

    Joystiq posted the above video this morning with the following screed:

    Hey Star Wars: The Old Republic, want to know the best way to suck the excitement out of your upcoming space opera MMORPG? Show us a bunch of still pictures not taken from the game, while a guy who sounds like Sam Elliott’s less commanding brother, Denny, tells us a super boring story about galactic diplomacy.

    Seriously, if the video was capped by a young Jack Palance playing a guitar solo while he kills a bunch of guys with a lightsaber (that’s also an electric guitar), it still wouldn’t be enough to wake us from our coma. Can we all agree to leave boring in books, where it belongs?


    Wow. If there were a way for Joystiq to sound less intelligent, I’m not sure what it would be. “Don’t talk about diplomacy and intrigue… I just want more asploding! WAAAAAAAHHHH!!!”

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • My Biggest Gripe about MMORPG’s and How Blizzard Got It Right

    Posted on January 7th, 2009 Finster No comments


    Listen, I have a variety of gripes about all sorts of things, and when it comes to MMORPG’s sometimes the gripe cup runneth over. If I had to nail down my absolute biggest gripe, though, it would have to be that persistent worlds are sometimes TOO persistent.

    Typically, progressing through an MMO world has little to no effect on the future of that world. When Bob the Orc tells you to kill ten rats, it would be nice if you could see the progress of the town as the rat horde is brought under control. Perhaps there would be more cheese laying around. Whatever. Fact is, when most MMORPG’s are faction based, it would be nice to see the effects of your quest completions and PvP victories.

    Well, that is beginning to happen. Warhammer Online has certainly tried to revolutionize how PvP can affect the game world. Unfortunately, I’ve never been a PvP aficianado. That’s where World of Warcraft and the Wrath of the Lich King expansion’s phasing technology.

    When you go to Argent Vanguard (which is the HQ for the Argent Crusade’s assault on the Lich King’s domain in Icecrown) you start out seeing the outpost completely surrounded by the Lich King’s undead forces. As you progress through the Argent Vanguard quests, the horde of zombies and frost wyrms are eventually pushed back until all that’s left is a field littered with dead dragon corpses and cheering soldiers. Then, you progress further into Icecrown to set up a new outpost. The conclusion of that quest line results in a new town that is accessible. This continues on throughout the Icecrown quests until you’ve unlocked several areas in a region that was originally 100% owned and operated by the Lich King and his minions.

    And this is what I’ve always wanted from an MMORPG. The ability to have your quests actually affect the game world that you’re playing in. This is, in my opinion, the very definition of playing in a “persistent world.” Your actions, as they change the game world, persist even after you log off. The bottom line is that I’ve had more fun galavanting around Northrend than any other MMORPG experience, to date.

  • A whole bunch of mini-reviews

    Posted on November 22nd, 2008 Finster No comments

    Between bouts of trying to level my WoW characters, I’ve actually played through a number of titles. Here are some of my random thoughts.

    Fallout 3

    I think this might be my top game of 2008. Before I had even realized what happened, I had finished the game after about 50 hours play time. There have been some complaints online that the main storyline was too short. I did a pretty good job of staying focused on the main quests… only did a few side quests here and there… and I finished the game in FIFTY HOURS. That’s a lot of gameplay in my opinion. And I still need to go back and play the evil and neutral paths.

    Fable II

    As far as RPG’s go, this seems like a very deep, very involved RPG. I need to spend more time with it. It’s a lot of fun. However, there are so many other titles to play right now… this will probably be a major title for me after the initial holiday glut of titles is past and I start getting tired of WoW again. (More on that in a minute.)

    Force Unleashed

    I wanted to like this game. It started out really well, but it punishes you SO MUCH when you make a wrong move. And sometimes, there is no obvious indication that you are making a wrong move. OH YAY I KILLED THAT BOSS! Okay, now I all I have to do is jump across this area… oh crap I died. WHAT THE HELL WHY IS THE CHECKPOINT BEFORE THE BOSS AND NOT AFTER I HAVE TO FIGHT HIM AGAIN BLARGGRLRGRLGRLLRRG!!!! Another notch in my “I Hate Lucasarts” belt.

    Dead Space

    I played this for a few hours. It definitely seems like it could be fun if I play through the whole thing. Feels like a 1-play-through kind of game, though. I don’t see myself playing through it multiple times, but who knows.

    Mega Man 9

    OH MAN! Not only has this game managed to completely, flawlessly capture every iota of nostalgia I had for the old NES titles, but it is a great platformer in its own right. It’s definitely challenging, but instead of driving me away, it just pulled me in deeper. Plus, it gives me an excuse to turn on my Wii! (That’s what she said.)

    Gears of War 2

    I played the single player campaign and it was pretty awesome. It added metric tons of story and plot. Can’t wait for the 3rd game. Multiplayer has been kind of fun, but hasn’t really been able to pull me away from…

    World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

    The Death Knight is the single greatest class I have played in any MMO, ever. It just feels really powerful. It’s kind of everything that I used to love about my warrior. High survivability AND high DPS. LOVE IT! The starting area has got to be one of the best sets of MMO content, anywhere. Blizzard’s new “phasing” concept is fantastic!

    Left 4 Dead

    I just recently picked this up and it’s been the only 360 game lately that has pulled me away from WoW in a significant way. I’ve been playing a couple different modes. I hope that the multiplayer for this game stays active for a long time, because this is easily the best multiplayer gameplay of 2008.


  • Blizzard is really cheesing me off, now

    Posted on September 26th, 2008 Finster No comments

    So, as a WAR player, I now read Syp’s WAAAGH blog and came across this.

    As someone who plays WAR but still kinda hangs out on WoW because all my friends are still playing it, I was rather dismayed to learn that Blizzard is nuking everyone’s honor points when the expansion ships. This has got to be the WORST thing Blizzard could do. For a lot of fence-sitters like me, this gives me one less reason to bother with WoW, anymore. 

    Although it’s not as far-reaching, it reminds me of the SWG New Game Enhancements. “Hey, here’s a great idea! Let’s erase everyone’s hard work! No one will be angry at all! While we’re at it, let everyone transfer from easy mode servers to PvP servers.”

    This is a recipe for fail. Meanwhile, Warhammer Online is fun!

  • WoW Insider Caption This!

    Posted on June 17th, 2008 Finster No comments

    “Could you please leave us alone? We’re trying to have a LARP rehearsal, here!”

  • Some World of Warcraft Statistics

    Posted on June 11th, 2008 Finster No comments

    WoW stats

    I’ve been playing a lot of WoW lately, and I noticed some interesting statistics, courtesy of Xfire.

    First off, World of Warcraft has been the #1 game played by Xfire users for 1002 days. (I’m sure today will make 1003.)

    It appears that an average of 88,926 users have been playing an average of 19,188,204 minutes per day. That comes out to an average of 3.596 hours per day for each user, or about 25 hours per week.

    My own gaming habits currently consist of almost all WoW. Whenever I get spare time for gaming, I’m playing WoW. I haven’t played any Halo 3 for a while now, and I’ve even got a backlog of 360 titles I need to get to including Ninja Gaiden II, Lego Indiana Jones, and the Penny Arcade game.

    But why is WoW taking up so much time all of a sudden? It has mainly to do with the content. Immediately after the WoW expansion, The Burning Crusade, was released, there was a lot of end-game content, but subscribers started dropping off. A lot of servers ended up with very low populations. However, since then, Blizzard has been very carefully adjusting the end-game content and balancing to help improve classes like warrior become less stressful and boring, while also beefing up some of the mid-game content. That means more quests and more content for leveling up as well as a higher quality gameplay experience when you reach the level cap.

    No doubt, there is much work that needs to be done by Blizzard, but I am once again in the unenviable position of being excited for the upcoming WoW expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.