Tag Archives: blizzard

Age of Conan (on my Mac Pro)

I was not expecting AoC [ Amazon ] to live up to the hype, but it did.

I was not expecting it to be so gorgeous, and not just because you can see boobies. The youtube clips don’t do this game justice.

I was expecting it to be buggy and to have that “new game” feel, but the content I have seen so far is kicking butt. I have not yet gotten stuck, had a buggy quest, or had the game crash.

I was not expecting AoC to run as smoothly as it did, considering I am playing it on a Mac using Bootcamp, but the only thing limiting it is the steaming load that is Windows XP. I have 8 cores and 16gb of ram running on a 64 bit bus, most of which just sits there unused. I went with a slower processor and dumped the savings into upgrading the machine, but I have never used more than 35% of the CPU. The 8800GT is doing all the work, and all I can say is WOW (no, not WoW, not anything like WoW).

The fighting mechanics are still growing on me. I was one of those rare people that will admit to liking Oblivion, especially compared to the click on target mash buttons lameness that most classes in WoW utilize (sure, in raids they are now forcing you to move around to avoid hot lava, but the only reason this is hard is because many people don’t have the skills to actually watch their cast bar AND the screen). So far I have only played a barbarian, and the casting time for longer combo moves seems a bit off. Many times I think I initiated a combo, but my toon is just standing there getting beat on. Finally, the combo will pop up, and like some tard at the fair playing whack-a-mole, I excitedly mash the buttons in the order shown. Sure, I could have gone with the dance dance revolution comparison, but that would give away my winning idea of using a dance mat for controlling my toon!

Things I am not digging as part of the Early Access include the craptacular server maintenance schedules and lack of voice acting for the quests past the starting area, but maybe those will be fixed with the official launch. Of course, they are european, and expecting even half-assed customer support would be purely naive. Don’t believe me? Go try to find their phone support number…. nope, they don’t have one. Hopefully they can make up for it with adequate online GM support.

Should Blizzard be worried? Yes, they should. Not because everyone will be leaving WoW to play AoC,though some will, just for something new to do. Personally, I am not yet to the point where I am hooked, and I fully expect to go back to WoW some time before the next expansion. AoC may just delay my return for a few months. The real reason Bizzard should be worried though is that a bunch of weird Norwegians showed that WoW did not set the bar too high, and they are no longer the only real option for people wanting to get their MMO on. Two days ago I was still resigned to WoW being the best option for the foreseeable future, but now I can see that providing them competition is not only possible, but likely. This is good for gaming in general, and I look forward to seeing how the competition drives the genre in the future.

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Activision Buys Blizzard

I’ve wanted to buy stock in Blizzard since I got addicted to World of Warcraft (over two years sober, thank you very much). But it was stuck inside Vivendi Universal, diluting those profits. Soon it will be stuck inside Activision, making it the biggest game company around – slightly bigger than EA. Since Activision is responsible for games like Call of Duty and Guitar Hero, this seems like a good bet, and its stock has been skyrocketing. I’ll probably drag my feet like I did with Google and curse myself afterwards. Every once in a while, procrastination has it’s disadvantages.

Movie News

Some interesting film news. The Hughes Brothers, who did From Hell, are directing a film version of Kung Fu. And apparently Blizzard Entertainment has commissioned a script for Diablo. No word on whether it’s live action or animated, but I’d always heard those slick, 3D rendered cinematics were done as practice for a movie. Perhaps that’s it. And Robert Rodriguez, fresh off of Planet Terror (aka, Grindhouse part I), will be doing a remake of Barbarella. I never saw the first, but I’m sure this will be entertaining. No word on who will star, succeeding Jane Fonda. Rosario Dawson, perhaps?

Make love not Warcraft.

I haven’t watched South Park in about 8 years, but last night I was flipping through channels and stopped dead on what I thought was some sort of game demo.
Turns out it was a South Park episode all about the game “World of Warcraft” and since I know some Crack Team members are into this, I had to watch it. Much of the episode includes actual gameplay.

The story line goes: There is this high level player going around killing characters for no reason. I guess that normally characters have to accept a duel before risking their characters’ lives? Well this guy is such a high level that he overrides this rule.

The staff at Blizzard Entertainment is worried because the guy can “kill” administrators’ characters, so even they can’t stop him.

Cartman and the gang figure that if they spend every waking hour for months on end (in hiding) they might reach a level high enough for the four of them to defeat him.
Can the gang of four, with the help of Stan’s dad(a noob) and Blizzard’s banned “Sword of a Thousand Truths”, defeat the serial killer?

Quotes from the show:

Blizzard staff: What kind of person would do this?
Blizzard President: Only one kind. Whoever this player is, he has played World of Warcraft nearly every hour of every day for the past year and a half. Gentlemen, we are dealing with someone here who… had absolutely no life.
Blizzard staff: How do you kill… that which has no life?

[think about that for a minute]

Blizzard staff: There are over seven million people who log on to World of Warcraft! Are you telling me all those people’s characters are going to die, and there’s nothing we can do to save them?
Blizzard President: Yes. And it won’t be long before everyone gets really really frustrated and stops playing altogether. Gentlemen, this could very well lead to the end of the World…… (of Warcraft).

Cartman:[Trying to convince others to join his cause.] If you had a chance right now to go back in time and stop Hitler, wouldn’t you do it? I mean, I personally wouldn’t stop him because I think he was awesome, but you would, right?

Penny Arcade

Masterchief recently pointed me towards Penny Arcade, a gamer-oriented online comic strip. They’ve also started the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), an alternative to E3 for consumers (E3 are being dicks about letting in non-industry types). I was going to hit Seattle until air fares skyrocketed, which I am against. Anyway, the strip is pretty hilarious, here are some I liked:

My thoughts on pineapple pizza exactly
D&D online misadventures
She knows what you’ve been watching
I’m pretty sure Blizzard doesn’t need to do this, with their license to print crack
On the benefits of manga
Why I still feel self-righteous about quitting WOW
Fun at Fry’s?
An accurate portrayal of WOW’s patch distribution
What are friends for?

And We’re Back!

So there’s been a paucity of posts since my whirlwind romance with World of Warcraft. Alas, the infatuation has faded. I still play, and plan to for some time, but its hold over me has been broken. I think I first realized this the weekend I spent more time reading about J2EE than playing. There have been other things on the plate, and I wasn’t sure how to get back into this. Mind you, this is still a group blog, nobody else was prevented from writing here. Of course, nobody’s prevented from reading, either, but that doesn’t stop them. (I am a master of circular logic).

Anyway, Blizzard released a game patch, which means my big set of community-created addons (Cosmos) has probably been broken, and it will take a couple days to fix it. Luckily, my characters will be gaining rest bonus (extra xp for time spent away from the game, basically rewarding you for not using their servers while still paying them money). So no big loss, and I’ll again be suckling at the teat of mother Blizzard in a few days time. ‘Til then, I write!