Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Add-on Overload

I’ve recently dabbled into and discovered what add-ons are in World of Warcraft. An add-on can be anything from a tool that records the damage each person in your group does to tracking enemy targets. They are mini-software packages that enhance/alter your game’s interface. Some of them are considered cheating but in the eyes of the rules, they are permitted.

Most MMOs that I have played are against cheating, macros, and any software that increases a players’ advantage. Blizzard on the other hand, allows this and it can make a nice customizable experience for players. Some gamers I’ve talked to say they would quit a game without a user interface (UI) they liked. This gives them just that opportunity.

Good Scenario: Some of my talent points are in “Dirty Deeds”, which increases my talents damage done by a significant percentage when a target is below 35% health. There is no health percentage meter on the normal WoW interface in order for me to decide when is the green bar is at about 35% full. With a simple add-on, I changed that.

Bad Scenario: A guild mate discovered a player tracker recently. You have a little window that makes a sound when an enemy player is nearby. Even gives you his level and class based on any spells he used. It can be tricked if lower level spells were used but the chances are low. Doesn’t this level of add-on and information just give every class the Druid/Hunter’s crucial track humanoid spell?

Those are my examples of good and bad add-ons. Note: many players have different views and this is a highly controversial topic once you start deciding where to draw the line. Do we lose an edge if we don’t have the right add-ons these days? Where is the line drawn?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

World of Soundcraft

I’ve stated before how much I adore sounds of games and the immersion it brings. Just this week I bought a new pair of Plantronics wireless headphones. Now available from Blizzard are World of Warcraft headphones, the same week I bought mine. The WoW headset looks decent but I can’t really count on the quality of it. I’d much rather go with the well known brand of Plantronics.

The main reason for my upgrade in a headset was the lack of mobility in my old one, it was a wired version. With the amount of time I play, I need the comfort and ability to move around if I need to. It was just too restricting before, well worth it for that fact alone.

I'm not at all impressed with World of Warcraft's sounds but after playing LOTRO don't know if much will impress me in the sound category. I've been using Ventrilo quite a bit with my guild and getting acquainted with everyone, we shut down open invitations and now require people to signup on our website.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My World of Warcraft Update

It's been about 2 months since I've started playing WoW. I started out with a Night Elf Rogue which made it to level 47 before I started a Dwarf Hunter. When my Hunter hit 47, I ironically fell back in love with my Rogue. I see he has a future in groups when he gets Fan of Knives skill at level 80 which is a nice AoE attack.

I'm getting more acquainted with my new guild mates and we have a Ventrilo server setup. I've already met a bunch of regulars and cool guys to jump in dungeons with, very fun. I hope I can get some prospective partners for the arena in the future.

I respeced my talent points to remove some things that won't be used in the higher levels. For example, I took 3 talent points out of improved eviscerate and I'm not putting any points into dual wield specialization (another entire explanation in itself). Here is the rogue build I have right now. Now I have mutilate a few levels earlier and I'm in love with it. Instead of spamming Sinister Strike which adds 1 combo point, I now hit mutilate that adds a minimum of 2 combo points and often a 3rd due to the high critical chance of mutilate.

Overall I'm impressed with World of Warcraft, obviously since I've been playing it at addictive levels. My rogue has a bright future and my hunter is on the shelf for now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

How Young is Too Young?

Are MMO’s really for kids? The common conception from an outside view is that online games are suitable as entertainment for children. Would you keep an eye on your kids if they were in a chat room with a bunch of adults? Your view might be a little different from the first question now. That is essentially what it is.

What brought me to this topic is a guild I was finally able to manage to find. It has a lot of new people and was just opened up recently for new member recruitment. One of the members of our guild is an eleven year-old kid. I don’t know how the conversation started, probably when they found out he was eleven, guild chat was talking about virgins. When this young guild mate of ours defined a virgin as a “single lady person”, I just put my hand on my face in one swift motion.

We shouldn’t be letting a MMO take away the youths innocence, isn’t that what school is for? Let’s face it, this kid might be on the sheltered side but his parents are a little na├»ve to let their son play World of Warcraft unmonitored. You can tell his definition of a virgin was straight from his mother’s mouth. Like I said, in my opinion school is the best way for your kids to find out the finer, nastier, and real things about life not an MMO. Only after they have grown up a little bit should they be thrown into a game with a lot of socialization with adults.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Did the Internet Kill Real Quests?

My navigation skills are flawless in games these days. It's not my superb sense or direction, but rather the map system every game seems to come with. If only in real life I could push my internal M key and see the map of my surrounding areas.

Back to my original post title, does the ability to find a quick solution to an answer completely kill what quests used to be? I'd like to see more wandering NPC's, real searching, and the OPTION to have some roleplaying in my RPG. As my brother and I were talking earlier, we both agreed that before the internet, quests were harder. You actually had a riddle to solve or a puzzle to crack.

My brother played a game that was before my time, Arena. This game was notorious for tough riddles and actually had an automated support line that charged for riddle answers. We both played the sequel, Daggerfall, in the mid 90's but my memories are vague on that. Many of you actually know this series of games by Bethesda, The Elder Scrolls. The 2 that hit the market recently were Morrowind which might have only been on PC and Oblivion that hit the console market and made a big name for Bethesda. I think they need to step up into the MMO market, they don't have any IP rights to worry about.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trip to Best Buy - My Disney Land

Well my trip to return Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 failed. I think we might have a plan though. They won't let me return an opened copy but they will exchange it for the same thing...which happens to be unopened. Then we can return it, receipt or not it still has the price sticker on it.

I drove all this way so I ended up making the inevitable purchase of the Burning Crusade expansion pack and 60 more days of game play.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bringing the Old School Back - Sega Genesis

I broke the World of Warcraft monotony with a little Sega Genesis. Nothing planned but I jumped on the chance and was thrilled when I came home today to see my roommate had setup the old Sega.

Does button smashing fun ever get old? For me it loses its flavor real quickly but so worth bringing classics back.