[WoW] Manditory Not Prepared Pun Goes Here

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Somehow we have reached the point where there is less than one week until the release of Warcraft’s 6th expansion, Legion. I know this because the BlizzardWatch website tells me it is true.

Blizzard Watch Countdown to Legion Gizmo

Come on guys, that is time to US launch. Get with the location dependent settings!

Suddenly a new section of profession and reputation guides has popped up on the WoWHead front page and I have come to the realisation that I have no idea what my first steps will be in Legion. I don’t know what I need to do to progress my professions. I do not know what zones I want to complete first. I do not know on which factions I should place my initial focus. I haven’t even got half my addons set up!

Insert Illidan meme here.

Illidanwalkintomordor

Meh. Close enough.

Grrr. Thanks alot Syn

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This is a thank you to SynCaine. The thank you comes not from me but from the guys at Scan.co.uk, nVidia and Iiyama who are slightly richer because of his efforts.

I got just one paragraph through Syn’s recent post Mordheim City of the Damned before I had to stop. The gratuitous system porn as he spelled out his new graphics and monitor reminded me that I had spotted a scar of dead pixels in the middle of my monitor last night. My graphics card is also about 4 generations old too so that is also on the replacement list.

I did take a moment to read the bulk of his game review. It will have to go to the top of my Steam want list. I already have too many purchased games waiting to be played.

[SWTOR] Twins with a different skin

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This is Mako. She is the first companion character for the Bounty Hunter is SWTOR.

makoclose_thumb

Mako is a foundling whose adoptive father dies at the start of the game. Is it too much of a cliché that her personal quest involves a search for her genetic family? Suffice to say that at one point we find a sister who looks similar enough to Mako that she uses the same model and much comment is made on their identical appearance.

Now one of the features of SWTOR’s companion system is that some reskins can be obtained for some characters. Unfortunately Mako’s “identical” sister doesn’t get a matching reskin.

mako1close_thumbmako2close_thumbmako3close_thumb

I didn’t roffle, but I did titter.

The Winter of No Content

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That was the winter of my no-content. WoW was on hold, Warlords finished and nothing new in the pipeline. GW2 had it’s expansion then 6 then a similar content drought, and SWTOR was a bit quiet in spite of its semi-monthly episodes. It has such that I’d almost completely moved off MMOs to try and clear out some of my old, unplayed Steam catalogue.

Then everything changed.

  • (Last month) SWTOR started an event that basically asked me to play the entire game from scratch on a some new characters.
  • (Last week) WoW landed the pre-expansion patch giving me mogs to find and combat rotations to learn on some wildly changed characters.
  • (Last day) GW2 started it’s next Living World season
  • (Next few weeks) WoW’s prelaunch event kicks into weekly episodes
  • (Next Month) WoW gets demon hunters, then a new expansion launches.

So much for the dog days of summer.

[WoW] It All Makes Sense Now

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I messed up. I spent 3 and a half hours opening salvage boxes and another two hours trying to sort out all my bank and void storage but have yet to attempt any post-patch killing. I should have waited for the Doomsayers to turn up. With a 15 minute cooldown between each pamphlet  and duplicates possible, I will have a lot of time to fill while I grind out the feat of strength.

[WoW] The Garrison Killer Patch

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The patch that is intended to kill of garrisons as a concern going forward has launched. I logged into WoW for my post-patch experience last night. I then spent the next 3 and a half hours in my various garrisons opening salvage boxes and sorting out my transmog collection. According to WoWHead I am a quarter of the way to completion on my warlock!

Now I have two more things to do before I can actually start playing

  1. How will I manage to thrift down my bank and void storage?
  2. Why does my paladin no longer have any gloves and is wearing an ilvl 548 epic mail chest-piece?

[WoW] Pre-Patch Panic

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It has finally happened. I am starting to worry that I have not completed all those little things I would like to get done before the next chunk of content comes out. It always happens. I get everything sorted out and then something pops up to set me off into a muddle.

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Hmmm. 16 weapons to collect. Now I find myself asking what weapons my characters can cost, which would be the most efficient to run the event and most importantly, are their any event weapons that none of my current max level characters are able to unlock?

The BoP weapon types (of which there are 12) that I can identify are in the event are as follows:

  • Bow (only Hunter, Rogue and Warrior)
  • Dagger (not DK, Monk or Paladin)
  • Axe 1H (x2) (not Druid, Mage, Priest or Warlock)
  • Mace 1H (not Hunter, Mage or Warlock)
  • Sword 1H (x2) (not Druid, Priest or Shaman)
  • Polearm (only DK, Druid, Hunter, Monk, Paladin and Warrior)
  • Stave (not DK, DH, Paladin or Rogue)
  • Mace 2H (only DK, Druid, Paladin and Warrior)
  • Wand (only Mage, Priest, Warlock)
  • Warglaives (only DH)

Maybe I should just level a warrior.

The Nodding Duck challenge

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As we approach the Legion expansion pre-patch and the introduction of the wardrobe, I am getting closer to what I think will be the toughest boss fight ever. I call it, the Nodding Duck.

noddingduck

Across all my characters, I think I have somewhere in the region of 1000 Big Crates of Salvage. I have been hording them, waiting to open them and add their contents to my collected gear. Thus my challenge will be completing a 2 second cast, 1000 times (and somehow learn items, vend items, mailing gear of a different class to a the correct character for them to learn with minimal spare bank space and disenchanting). If I deal with it perfectly, it is 30 minutes of mind-numbing bashing of the same button. What I am expecting to be more likely is that I spend the first couple of nights not running the new event content, but doing tidy-up. Prior to the patch I will have a similar issue turning my garrison resources into bags of gold from the trade vendor. With macros, I can get the purchases and opening of those bags down to a invoice of 200 button clicks. I pity my keyboard and hand joints.

This isn’t just a problem in WoW. Lots of games have consumable items that provide some form of currency or points in the expectation that they will be used in low volume. Occasionally there is a change in the system that results in their usage suddenly going through the roof (such as saving boxes to open with the WoW garrison) It is normally that is a one-off event so not intolerable for the players that are prepared to game the system for a one time reward. Unfortunately the current situation in SWTOR is a frequent concurrence.

With the release of the most recent SWTOR expansion (Knights of the Fallen Empire) the companion affection system was overhauled and the cap massively increased. Using the new end-game consumables it is possible to cap a companion with 50 items, but each one of them is  a 2 second cast. Multiply that across all your companions and you are looking at doing nothing but repeatedly pressing the same button for 10 to 20 minutes. Someone at Bioware obviously thought that pumping companions full of vendor purchased gifts while not actually doing anything was a horrible game because the latest patch added a legacy buff where the cast time is reduced by 20%/40%/60%.

Good news that bad stuff has been removed right? Wrong. It hasn’t been removed. FTP players can get the 20% reduction if they want to spend most of their limited in-game credit balance but the full 60% is only available to subscribers for huge wads of credits or via the cash-shop. Yes, that is right, we have an example of the worst type of cash shop purchase. A game with bad design where a fix to make it less painful is available only to those willing to spend approximately $10 (for each character).

SWTOR – Who needs fun when you could get beaten by a stick*?
* [smaller sticks are available at the cash shop].

Turmoil – The Game

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Turmoil, recently launched after a year of early access has been sitting on my watch list ever since Steam figured out I’d look at 12 random game profiles if it let me earn badges. It also marks the third game this year I have bought on Steam, which is very sad when you consider that I told myself no more Steam purchases until I had cleared out some of my unplayed game backlog. Well played Valve. Well played.

Anyway back to Turmoil. Like 1849, this is another game set in old Americana but this time we are in the oil rush instead of a gold rush. Unlike 1849, there is not a single solution path to winning that makes the game trivial once figured out. The main game is finding oil (and gas) in a ground cut-through then extracting it before the timer expires. That timer is crucial. Not only does it add a bit of time pressure, forcing you to take risks if you want to extract everything from a level, but it also cuts the games up short turns of just a couple of minutes. Those small chunks have a surprisingly high “One more turn” appeal about them, especially when you are approaching the end of a zone.

Turmoil main gameplay screenshot

Find oil , dig it up. Then do the one more level. Then the next level. The the next…

I think Turmoil is a fairly good PC game for when you have 15 minutes free. I think it is a horrible destroyer of lives when you subsequently discover that the sun has just risen and you’ve actually been playing for 6 hours.

I am starting to think that maybe I should employ a sort of reverse Ramadan. No electrical devices during the hours of darkness for the duration of the month. No gaming between 22:00 and 4:00 should be simple shouldn’t it?

What Time is Now?

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I’ve been busy selling the World of Warcraft beta as a great place to test if your machine is powerful enough to run the Legion expansion, thinking that 2nd June [1] was plenty of time for people to opt into the beta and maybe have a chance of an invite. I have just noticed that today is today is 3rd June. It’s June already? I thought that was next month. Where did the year go?

[1] Now deferred to some point in the future.

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