Friday, 31 January 2014

Friday Musings: First Snow

Yet although the senses sometimes deceive us about objects that are very small or distant, that doesn’t apply to my belief that I am here, sitting by the fire, wearing a winter dressing-gown, holding this piece of paper in my hands, and so on. It seems to be quite impossible to doubt beliefs like these, which come from the senses.
- Descartes, First Meditation
What Descartes wrote so many years ago seems so very appropriate today. Yesterday fell the first snow of this winter. It could be said, that until now we had a really long autumn that lasted almost until the end of January.  I walked in snow up to my knees, today I do not even want to go outside. Inside is warm and comfy, while outside something between snow and ice is falling from the sky. Not very inviting sight.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Hearthstone: Paladin Rush

In my experience with playing a Paladin deck, you either win, or you lose horribly. There is no middle ground where you could actually say it was a "good game". More often than not, you will blame it on the luck, opponent, bad card-draw or any other convenient excuse. With that said, I present you my version of Paladin Swarm. More appropriate name would be Rush instead of Swarm, although swarm is one of the abilities of this deck. The damage is already done, and we have to live with it.

The idea behind the deck is that you always have something on the board. You should accept that your opponent will most probably clear your board. You are just there to make him make wrong choices. Every minion you play is there for your opponent to destroy. And any minion your opponent fails to destroy will live another turn to deal as much damage as possible. There is no grand strategy involved. You need to fill your board in a way that will make your opponent hesitant about attacking you.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Cinematic Trailer of Elder Scrolls Online

Trailer is nice and all, but God almighty, is it long. It is not that I am complaining. Ok, I am. But where did you ever see a cinematic trailer as long as some short films? I thought the purpose of trailers was to interest you in the product, not in sucking all the interest out of you. The trailer is too long. The action sequences too short and distorted. I sometimes wish they would make trailers in which I can actually make sense of the combat. Beyond just somebody is hitting somebody.

That aside, Rock, Paper, Shotgun got their hands on the price of the game and the subscription fee. It is not cheap. £50 for the normal game, and then a subscription fee that is £9/€13/$15. I do not even want to know how much the collector's edition will cost. I will say it this way, if I ever had any interest in Elder Scrolls Online, it disappeared as soon as I saw the price for the game and subscription. This is too much. It seems though, that the developers are very confident and trust the quality of their game.

Either that, or they really want to make as much money as humanly possible before everyone starts pecking at them about what is missing and what is just broken. We will see what comes of it on the 4th of April...

I would wager that by the April 2015, Elder Scrolls Online will be free-to-play. In this day and age, their plan seems just too ludicrous to work as they imagine.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Return of Alleria and Turalyon

We have been hearing about those two for years now. At every lore panel at Blizzcon someone is sure to ask: "When will we see Alleria and Turalyon?". It is one of those questions you start worrying about if it is not asked. There are numerous threads on forums about those two regarding their doings, past, future, and various speculation on when will we finally get to see them.

This here is a speculation of my own. For all I care, we could call it my wishful thinking. But before we focus on all that, first we need to say a word or two about the pair itself. It all started with the coming of Second War... When you dabble in lore of Warcraft, you will notice that the Second War is a turning point in history for quite a lot of events that took place. From the destruction of Draenor to creation of Paladin order.

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Problem of Temporary Content in MMO

In times long past, history half-forgotten there was a certain way of doing particular things. DLC did not exist, games were released when they were ready, and they were followed by either expansions or sequels. Sometimes both. But one thing was always true only for MMO games. This thing, was they were never truly finished. Never a complete game. They always changed, evolved, twisted, and turned. At times because of what developers did, and sometimes because what players made of the game.

Nothing was forever in MMO, everything was eligible for a change. You could do a certain quest one day, and then find out, that this was once in a lifetime opportunity, that only select few ever were able to accomplish. As the time went by, developers started to fashion content that majority could experience on their own. Thus, the players were not entirely dependent on their own luck and timing to experience something in an MMO.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Thoughts on New Human Female Model

This Thursday Blizzard released a post that featured the new human female model. You can read in detail about it here. What I have to say about the new model, is that it looks stunning. Especially once you start to compare it to the old one. Which led mo to questioning the validity of claims made by the community, myself included, that we should be able to recustomise the character for free once.

To be honest, I am not really sure any more what exactly to make of it. While I agree that the new model looks phenomenal, I would argue at the same time that it looks nothing like the old model. There are no actual similarities between the two. The new model looks just so different, in a better way. It is an improvement, I could not disagree with that. It is such a leap from the old model, that the old model looks like it wears a mask you can get from the Hallow's End instead of a face.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hearthstone is Now in Open Beta

Hearthstone has entered the open beta, and is now available to anyone interested in trying the game out for himself (in EU and America). I myself am most looking forward to the new players. I imagine they will prove to be rather easy prey. I might be wrong, but everyone needs at least some time to adapt to the new meta, when they encounter it. And I intend to take advantage of their weakness as long as I can. I need to make another Blood Knight, and he wont craft himself without the dust required.

But I am exaggerating now. A man can dream. It is not so frightful. The game's tutorial is rather well-made and it teaches a new player about the basic structures of the game rather well. If you are interested in trying out the game for yourself, you can find it here. You need account, and that is pretty much everything that is needed.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Wednesday Ruminations: New Heracles Film...

As I was thinking how long it was since my last rant (critique) of what filmmakers are doing wrong when adapting classical myths, there came along this "pearl". It left me speechless for a moment. I did not know what to make of it. I think that people take the phrase "open to interpretation" too literally when it comes to classical myths. This is the only explanation I can come up with that could be of any help in defence of this film.

I know it is not fair to judge a book by its covers. And I am not judging the film. I have not watched it yet. Fine, I am judging it, but it deserves nothing but scorn in any case. And after seeing the trailer I have no intention of giving it a second look. It is just.. Eh at this point I am content if they do not make brothers of what originally were father and son. And I have to give them props there, as far as it can be seen from trailer, they at least knew the lineage of Heracles and his family.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

New Hairstyles and Beards

Van Dyke for Blood Elves

This is a wishlist. Of sorts. I cannot help myself. Ever since Blood Elves were totally and certainly confirmed for a facelift as well in Warlords of Draenor, I was thinking and musing what kind of haircut and beard could they get (if any), as the new hairstyles were confirmed as well. Even new skins were discussed.

I will start with Blood Elves. They really need more facial hair options. Nothing extravagant, just a simple addition of a couple of short beards that include moustaches, such as van dyke, balbo, and imperial. Some simple moustache in style of dali, and pencil would not hurt either. I think the Blood Elves have a plethora of hairstyles to choose from, but if ever comes to it, there are some Night Elven hairstyles that could go along very well. Thinking about it, They could borrow the imperial style of beard from Night Elves already, and van dyke from Draenei.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Puckish Rogue of Saint's Row IV

My first entry to the Saint's Row, was the third game. At time of its release, I considered it a piece of art, something extraordinary, a game that is in first place meant to entertain, and only by sheer coincidence be a critic of pop culture at the same time. If you would ask me about the game of the year in 2011, I would without a moment of hesitation say Saint's Row the Third.

Now though, things have changed. Saint's Row the Third was a game about a gang that became too distanced from their roots. It was a game, where you started to come back to what you really were, no more a sellout, but a true Third Street Saint who bleeds purple. You slowly but steadily threw away shackles of commercialism and embraced the insanity of socipathic killer that does as he wants.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

New WoW Class: Sapper

This week's Community Blog Topic is about pitching your new class for the World of Warcraft. As I was thinking about it, I almost started writing another post why we need Demon Hunters. Well, Demon Hunters will have to wait, I already gave them enough attention to at least last a year, or more. Today, I will try to present you a Sapper.

Class name: Sapper
Maximum armour class: Mail

  • Mecha: Tank spec, uses his giant robot mechs in order to protect his allies
  • Laser: Heal spec, Primary stat would be Intellect
  • Demolition: DPS spec, using Guns, and Crossbows (ordinary bows are just too simple, and barbaric)
The inspiration came from reading Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I am currently reading the second book of the series, and I am having a blast. Probably one of the best moments, are those that involve the Engineers. Aside from that, I always liked the mentality of Warcraft's own engineers. Borderline crazy, maniacs, ready to risk it all just to discover a way how to make their next BOOM even bigger than the last one in which they probably lost a leg, an eye, and half of their hand. Not to mentions some rather annoying itch on their back and burns on the remaining leg.

The Sappers would take this one step further. They would be combat-ready specialists that deal with all kinds of hand made devices of destruction, mayhem, and chaos. Bombs, gizmos, laser rays, mechanical angry chicken, that is what Sappers are all about.

As a special class feature, Sappers would require to select what limb they would be missing. They replace it with a mechanical one, and they can choose between variety of options. Hands, legs, feet, arms. They would need to choose at least one limb missing. This limb, could never be covered by armour. They could then choose the replacement in form of a laser ray arm, steel claw hand, bazooka boot, or gnomish army knife. Aside from that, they could, if they so choose, pick one or a combination of parts of face missing. An eye, ear, or nose, or lower jaw. If they chose any of this, it also gets replaced by a rather wonderful mechanical prosthetic.

It should be noted that one is not born a Sapper, but rather one is blown into being a Sapper. To become a really good sapper it is paramount to experiment, and in order to finish the experiment and learn from mistakes, one must pay the price, thus not repeating the same mistake ever again. Any good sapper (you can read, any Sapper of venerable age) can tell you that key in their long life was not making same mistake more than once.

Sappers understand better than anyone else ever could, that in order to become better at anything, you need to make mistakes, not actively seek them, but acknowledge there will be mistakes and prepare accordingly. Internally they call this Murp's law. While some ascribe this law to the great Goblin Sapper called Kagh Bum Murp, who is said to have lived through more than three different spontaneous combustions, others tell that this was something that came with a gnomish inventor named Gust de Morgh.

Each school teaches its own version and it is very hard to distinguish which one is the real. Some even claim they were both right, and they both came to same conclusion at the same time, without knowing for each other. But this is rather a long and old academic debate that is for now better left aside, in order to present what Sappers would do.

In Mecha specialisation, Sappers would be using close-quarters weapons; fist weapons, swords, axes, maces, daggers. Their weapons are there only for stats in any way. Their main weapon is their mech, that gives them the real power to protect their allies and incinerate their enemies. And shoot all kinds of rockets, poison gas clouds and other nefarious things at their victim of choice.

Lasers would use staves, and staves only. They need staves to channel their healing beams. In much their arsenal would be healing beams, healing granates, flashbangs, radiation waves, and various untested mutagenic potions. It should be said, that Laser Sappers do not conform to the role of a group healers because they love to help others. Their reasons are much more pragmatic. Battlefield is an excellent testing ground for all not strictly legal... concoctions. And test subjects are very willing and ready to take everything without asking any of the pesky questions regarding safety.

Demolition Sappers are the heart and soul of destruction. They would use bombs, traps, explosive charges, mines, rockets and many, many other ways in which to spread the mayhem and wanton destruction. Fire would be their ally, smouldering cinder their remains. Their ranged weapon, is there to send the destructive charges at enemies form a safe distance. If there ever was such thing as a safe distance around Sappers.

The races that could become Sappers include Goblins, Gnomes, Forsaken, Humans, Blood Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and Trolls. The other races either hold too much respect for life, and nature, or cannot stand the smell of chemicals. In case of Pandaren though, the Sappers Conglomerate concluded that teaching them about vast ways of destruction would be rather too dangerous, as the Pandaren are deemed to dangerous (read clumsy). As much as the Conglomerate loves good Ka-BOOM, they still require a world to do their job. Pandaren are just bad for business.

While some Gilneans showed initial interest, it became obvious they cannot stand the strains of such a hard life. More than one Worgen was squished inside of his mech when he joined the combat. The investigation is still ongoing, but no conclusive results are expected. The only given conclusion was, that Worgen and tech do not mix well. Tauren politely, but with a visible concern refused the invitation, while Night Elves started gibbering something about holiness of some bush. Their gibbering stopped rather quickly as one of the demonstration Sappers introduced them to his incineration gun paired with a weapon named Beaverstick.

Draenei showed some interest, but then started talking about some weird, and quite frankly strange concepts as physics, thermodynamics, and similar worlds that are quite hard to recall, and even harder to pronounce. Thus, Sappers Conglomerate decided not to bother with them, if they mean to change things so drastically.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Worgen Paladins

Some time ago I wrote about Night Elf Paladins. As they are not the only race that is missing warriors of Light among their ranks I plan to continue with this until A) I run out of compelling arguments, or B) I run out of races that make any sense in becoming Paladins.

To talk about Worgen Paladins, we first need to say a few things about the First and Second War. These two wars between forces of Eastern Kingdoms, at times know as the Alliance, and the invaders from other world, known as the Horde was what led to formation of the first Paladins on Azeroth.

Stormwind lay in ruins, Orcs were victorious, their triumph complete. People of Azeroth, as the continent was called back in the day, soon realised that if they want to stand a chance against this nightmare of the orc war machine, they would need to stand together. And while they were forming the alliance, they tinkered on how to counter the orcs overpowered by the demon blood  and the first generation of Death Knights.

This Alliance of Lordaeron was formed thanks to the stubbornes of Anduin Lothar, and foresight of Terenas Menethil. In these troubling times one more thing was formed. The first Paladin order. Gilneas, home of the Worgen, was also a member state of this Alliance. Genn Greymane joined the Alliance more out of necessity than free will. As soon as the war ended, and the Alliance decided they will build internment camps for orcs, and not just kill them all, Gilneas bailed. Greymane erected a wall surrounding his kingdom and this was that.

From there on, nobody knew what was happening in Gilneas. Most of the people outside did not even care. They had enough of their own problems without Gilneans to deal with. What follows could be considered a speculation. But in my opinion, it makes much more sense for Worgen to become Paladins, than to be Druids. Even if the lore states there was this minor obscure cult that worshipped the Moon in Gilneas. Sure.

As the Gilneans built the wall it is entirely possible that among them there were at least some Paladins. If not of Gilnean origin, then strangers that got stranded after the wall was built and had no way of escape. In either of cases, while there would not be many Paladins, there would still be tradition of the old Paladin order alive among them. They could be considered long lost brethren of the Knights of the Silver Hand.

This takes care of continuity argument. The other argument against Worgen Paladins is the Worgen Curse. From mechanical point of view, Paladins can remove magic, cure poison, and disease. They cannot heal curses. From lore view, there is no reason why Light would reject them if they still sought it. We saw this first-hand in Northrend where a Paladin infected by blight, nearing the undeath was able to ascend into the Light, because his faith in Light never faltered.

The Light in Warcraft is a very simple thing. It never rejects anyone, it accepts anyone who is willing to take it. Whenever someone says the Light abandoned him, it is he who lost faith in Light, and not the other way around. Light as we can see is a benevolent concept, an ideal. Anyone who believes his actions are well intended will find Light at his side. Light does not discriminate. We could say it does not care, and we could possibly be right. Light is very different from Elements Shamans worship and work along with.

Elements are fickle, resentful, very powerful, but also very involved in the world itself. Light could be said is detached from the actual happenings. When orc Shamans lost their powers it is because Elements abandoned them, refused to communicate with them over something the orcs did. It is the very opposite from what Light is. Light as such is always at disposal to its wielder. The only thing needed is the wielder's belief, faith, or conviction in either Light or his actions.

For example, when Blood Elves claimed their mastery over the Light, it turned out that it was not their mastery over the magic as they thought in their arrogance, but it was the Light that let them wield it. We could simply say, As they found faith once more, they could wield Light. But before we turn this into a wholly philosophical debate on the nature of Light in Warcraft, let us go back to Worgen.

From what we established here, Worgen Paladins should be a possibility. An option. These are still Gilneans who belonged to the Church of Light for a very long time. There should be Paladins among them after the events of the Second War, even when they shut themselves away from the world. Paladin is a warrior driven by his conviction in something. And here is a race, that actually has all prerequisites covered. They could have an established continuity of Paladins, they believe in Light, and they certainly have rare individuals with a strong sense of justice. Conviction in my opinion is a cornerstone of every Paladin. 

Paladin does not just sheath his sword and hang his armour because there is no enemies any longer. It would be ideal, by it does not happen. They change course, find other things to do. They heal, they would lead a city watch ensuring peace, or they would join the King's army and try to exterminate all the dangers in the forests of Gilneas.

From this, it should be obvious that Worgen Paladins should exist. Yes, they go frenzy when they enter the battle, but so does everyone else. It is just so, that the physical change is most obvious with the Worgen as they change their form. Otherwise, nothing special. Blood Elves burned chapels in the name of their superiority, humans tortured innocent. And they are still able to use the Light without any problem.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Hearthstone: The New Wave of Nerfs

New update has come to Hearthstone, and this time it is full of nerfs. You can read about all changes on their forums, here I will just go through them on my own with my personal view about them.

First, let me start with nerf to Pyroblast. I am constantly confusing Flamestrike with Pyroblast. So when I saw that it cost went up from 8 mana to 10, I was excited. When I figured Pyroblast is the one that deals 10 damage I was a bit disappointed. It is a good change, but I think Flamestrike deserved the rise of cost much more than Pyroblast. While Pyroblast might end the game a lot sooner that you would think, Flamestrike is stupendously annoying beyond belief. Every time you have board control, at turn 7 you could be ready to lose all minions when playing against a mage. Flamestrike is momentum changer, and it really needs to cost more, or deal at least a bit less damage.

After the last nerf Unleash the Hounds received, it seems another change is coming. This one, a lot more fortunate. The cost of the card is being reduced to 2 mana. This means that Unleash the Hounds will in most situations benefit greatly from the buff decks that include Raid Leader, and Timber Wolf. This card is nest played when enemy has a lot of minions on board. So for five mana, you can get out in combination with Raid Leader and Timber wolf at least couple of 3/1 Hounds with charge that will be able to deal significant amount of damage, or even clear the board.

Everyone rejoice, Blood Imp got hit by a nerf and it got hit hard. All those murloc decks, are not so dangeours anymore. Blood Imp is now 0/1 for 1 mana. It is warlock's stealthed version of Young Priestess, which is still good, but not as good as it used to be. It used to give all friendly minions 1 health constantly, like a miniature version of Stormwind Champion without 1 added attack. Now, it only give 1 health at the end of turn to one random friendly minion. With that said, those rush murloc decks will now be much more vulnerable to AOE removals. On the other hand, Blood Imp could stay in game until very late in the game as you cannot attack him by default, you could buff him up and have him through the whole game just buffing the health of you other minions.

Abusive Sergeant and Dark Iron Dwarf went through a bit of streamlining, now they both read the same. "Battlecry: Give a minion +2 Attack until end of turn." Which is a nerf. in both cases. The previous buff of the Dark Iron Dwarf was permanent, while Abusive Sergeant could buff only friendly minions. It seems as if they traded among eachother's worst qualities. Now the both buffs last only until the end of the turn, and can be used on enemy minions as well.

Warsong Commander now gives charge only to minions with 3 or less attack, while the spell Charge, now gives a minions +2 attack and charge. All in all, Charge is now more versatile card. It could be argued, but I would consider this a slight buff, as it gives Warriors some form of passive board removal. Warsong Commander on the other hand is a nerf. Before it worked with anything, now only with what could be considered a week minions. Which, when we compare it to the new Charge, the latter is much better used in combination with weak minions, than the Warsong Commander.

Last, we have Novice Engineer that is now 1/1 for 2, Defender of Argus that is 2/3 for 4, and Sylvanas Windrunner that is now 5/5 for 6 mana and a deathrattle. Novice Engineer just become useless in my oppinion. With this change, if you need low cost card draw Loot Hoarder is much better option. It gives card on deathrattle, but it is 2/1 for 2. It is vulnerable to silence, but if enemy is willing to spend a silence on a worthless minion such as Loot Hoarder, they are welcome to do so. I would say this is a card value unto itself. Defender of Argus is slightly nerfed, 2/3 instead of old 3/3, but it still gives 1/1 to adjacent minions and taunt. This means, he is still a very good card, although, a bit less deadly. It is the same with Sylvanas. One mana up does not change much. She is still a good pick.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Nothing to Write About

I started writing about three different subjects today. Every time I would write three paragraphs I would delete it all, and then start anew. Somehow nothing I wrote felt worth publishing. My thoughts were a mess, the message convoluted. It is frustrating, as usually I can write pages upon pages without even thinking what to write next. But today. Today is different. It might be weather, or something else that I just cannot pinpoint for the life of me.

So I am writing about how I am unable to write. Really meta. Bravo myself. I should probably work at Ubisoft, with that level of meta, I would fit in nicely.
In other news, I was losing most of my matches in Hearthstone against an army of Ragnaroses. Every enemy that crossed my path had Ragnaros in his deck. One priest managed to conjure a couple of them just to spite me. 

I also tested how things fare in Bloodbowl. I am new to the game. But one thing I am painfully aware is that I make mistakes. Thus I settled that I do not need to win, as long as I at least get a draw. I was playing with the Human team. I like their mobility and durability. Humans are Jack of all trades, master of none in Bloodbowl. My results were not amazing, I was a bit disappointed. 

I play the campaign on medium difficulty. One draw, and defeat. The draw was against the Vampires, while I lost against Humans. Had I not goofed around I would win against vampires and probably against Humans as well. I am about to play my third game and this one against Elves. Let us just say I have been postponing it for a couple of days now. Greed as it turns out is not good. If you can score, you should score. You can beat the enemy team while they have the ball.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Lawful Neutral Human Cleric/Sorcerer (2nd/1st Level)

I Am A: Lawful Neutral Human Cleric/Sorcerer (2nd/1st Level)

As I was roaming the Internet I came across a very lengthy, and I mean really lengthy quiz. It is one of those "What are you" quizzes. More than that though, it is really detailed and you can see pretty much what is not you from the further analysis that follows. I was a bit disappointed I did not score as Paladin, but then I realised that I would have to be much more rigid in my decisions to be proclaimed a Paladin by this D&D quiz. I blame the alignment system.

I must say that I am happy with my result, it might even serve as an inspiration for some character I decide to roll in future. It can still be a character in heavy armour. I will say, it is not common for me to play any kind of spellcaster. I always go with Paladin, Knight, Crusader, or in really dire situations where there are no other options, a Warrior. Seeing myself as a Cleric/Sorcerer is something new, it makes me wonder what kind of character this would be.

Ability Scores: 

Lawful Neutral A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs him. Order and organization are paramount to him. He may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or he may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot. However, lawful neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all freedom, choice, and diversity in society. 
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class: 
Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Secondary Class: 
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

If you are interested what kind of character you would be, and have at least couple of minutes to spare, you can check the quiz here: What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?

Be sure to post your result in the comments.

Image source

Friday, 10 January 2014

Friday Musings: Game of Thrones Tease

There will be spoilers of the show in this post. Consider yourself warned. If I spoil something for you, after you read this warning, well, go read the books.

Here we are, the first teaser of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. I must say that I am nowhere near as big of a fan of the show as I am of the books. I think that at some point I stopped caring about the show, and simply marked it as a fan-fic of sorts. The interpretation of books that David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss like. Most of the hate I have for the show comes from the changes that are made. And I noticed the number of changes is getting bigger and bigger as time goes by.

With that said, maybe this is why this teaser that could be considered very picture of terse is so much to my liking.

In the opening scene we have Stannis burning Mance at the stake. Nothing new there, just as it needs to be. This is followed by Daenerys and her entourage watching a random horseman riding at her Unsullied, more likely at some soldier. I can hope this soldier will turn out to be Brown Ben Plumm, but considering the changes of the last season, I doubt it. Then there is a scene of festivity, and we see a random dwarf entertaining the guest. This is then Joffrey's wedding. I wonder where will Sansa and Tyrion be seated...

Speaking of Tyrion, look at that, he is wearing chains. I wonder why that could be? And then there is a really really quick shot of what I presume is Mag the Mighty, or in long Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg, leader of giants that joined with Mance Rayder. This is followed by a quick shot of what I would hazard a guess is a random Northerner, but it seems weird for couple of reasons if that is a Northerner. Starks do not have any soldiers any more. It could be the secret envoy Robb sent to find Howland Reed, but I am not sure if that was even shown in the show.

One more look at the Joffrey looking smug with his new wife, and then we can see Arya training with her Needle. And then one more shot of Stannis charging at the Mance and his troops.

As short as it was, there sure was a lot of it shown. There will be more teasers and trailers soon out as the fourth season nears on us. Until then we will have to wait. As we are waiting on the Winds of Winter. No pressure George.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

First Legendary Card

The other day I got my hands on my very first legendary in Hearthstone. Now, the usefulness of some legendaries is  at times questionable. Some are just not that good. With that said, I got one of the best, at least in my humble opinion. I got Ysera. What I like about her, is that she is a powerful card draw in her own stead. Not only that, she makes a great bullet magnet. with 4/12 she can take quite a damage, and still deal significant damage to my opponent or his board.

I have her in my Paladin deck. The only problem is that she often does not get the chance to shine. With my Paladin deck it is often do or die. In first scenario I wrap up the game with my health intact, even before Ysera can come out. I imagine that the addition of two Blood Knights will only help the first scenario. In the second scenario I lose horribly. Most often against a heavy spells deck.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Power of Transmog: Knight in Shining Armour

"Blade with whom I have lived, blade with whom I now die. 
Serve right and justice one last time.
 Seek one last heart of evil, still one last life of pain.
 Cut well old friend, and then... farewell."
In celebration of Blood Elves and Draenei being totally, absolutely and  utterly confirmed to get the new models I decided it was time to put together another transmog set that would celebrate this occasion. Truth be told, I put the set together awhile ago, but never got around to finishing the post. And now I have a good excuse (as if there was ever a need for one) to get it done. More on this celebratory occasion some other time.

Knight in the Shining Armour, most of us think of one of Arthur's knights in the first instance. Even though knights of the Round Table were far from perfect example, it is the ideals they represent that we commonly connect with the Knight in Shining Armour. Such knight not only has a very shiny armour, but he himself is a picture of honour, chivalry, and loyalty. He fights dragons, rescues maidens in distress, and helps poor and those in need.

With that in mind, set this week is meant for Paladins. Mostly because with the exception of tabard, weapons, helmet, and belt, all pieces of equipment belong to the two paladin sets. You can find the whole set here. That is, if I did not muck somehere, and now you only stare at nothing. Otherwise, the set is made from:

The last two are for those that prefer to wear a shield and sword, and defend the weak instead of slay dragons. To each his own I say.  You can also alter the look by replacing the shoulders and helmet with the pieces from LFR version of Battlegear of Winged Triumph. Lorewalkers Tabard in combination with Bloodfist Girdle can also be a nice change. The latter two give more of a crimson feel to otherwise very bright armour set.

Now, that you have all you ever needed to look shiny while protecting Azeroth go forth and slay some dragons, maybe even fight some giants. Just do not mistake them for a local windmill. The last knight that did so, did not get his happy ending. In fact he gave up on being a knight. So be cautious around giants. You never know when those sneaky gits transform into windmills.

Monday, 6 January 2014

My Top 5 Most Anticipated Games of 2014 I Will Probably Play in 2015

As the New Year came and decided to stay with us until next year kicks in, and January is such a depressing month, I decided to put together a list of games I am looking forward to in 2014. Some of you are probably wondering, why am I mentioning 2015 when all the games come out in 2014. May I just add that for some reason, 2015 in my mind sounds like some year from Sci-fi books and movies.

There are couple of reasons in fact. I like to see if the game turns out to be everything that was promised. I like to get my games as cheap as possible. I do not like being the victim of a developer/publisher stunt that decided a bad and/or unfinished game is good game to ship. And with these days, when most games ship out only to be patched in first couple of months, it really is worth waiting. At least if you want a good experience with the game.

There have been exceptions. I have bought Guild Wars II on the insistence of my so-called friend. Pure ArenaNet fanboi if there was ever one. I will not say, what was said of Guild Wars II in their Manifesto video impressed me a lot. I was looking forward to the game on my own, although I had my doubts at their take at trying to change holy trinity. But I guess it did not impress my "friend" enough, as he bought an account from somebody who quit Guild Wars II a week after the release. But I digress. Let us look forward to the games that will make their debut in this year.

Lords of the Fallen
The game with no date, not even a quarter given, just that it comes out this year. No gameplay anywhere, no screenshots, no nothing. Just a trailer which is awesome. While it is well made, I was more impressed by the Paladin wrecking havoc and serving justice to his not so fortunate adversaries. What can I say, I love playing Paladin, and when the Paladin seems to be the protagonist, it is like a dream come true. The game is described as Action RPG, and internet decided it is going to be Dark Soul for noobs (probably not true). I am fine with that. I play RPG to finish it, not to get stuck at some boss and then quit.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Open world, beautiful vistas, long white hair drenched in all kinds of monster blood and ooze, a witcher, and a pair of two-handed swords. Is there anything else you could wish for? I am sure you could, but Geralt and his adventures in shades of morally questionable world will do just fine until then. I am looking forward to Witcher for multiple of reasons, I enjoyed first, and second game immensely. I am yet to finish the second game, but this is how I do things. Slow. On my own. At my own pace.

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age III is what this game would be called if the second instalment was not so bad. Now, Bioware is probably trying to distance this game as much as possible from Dragon Age II, and make it more in accordance with Dragon Age: Origins, the first game, that everybody and their grandmother seemed to love. Me too by the way. It is a return to Origins, you can play as either Human, Elf, Dwarf, and now even as Qunari, I think. The latter still seems a bit of a far fetch.

You will be an inquisitor, once again trying to unite the world, choose sides and then dish out as much of punishment as it is possible while solving every petty theft and trouble along the way. In much, it seems to be extension of the first expansion of Dragon Age: Origins, Awakening. You have your fortress, and village that you have to take care of. But most of all, I am just waiting to see with what nefarious scheme will Bioware/EA come up with in order to milk their fanbase. At times it seems as if they are trying to make a compelling argument why to pirate a game instead of buying it...

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
Fifth expansion, and the one where Ridiculous just called. it wanted time travel back, but Warlords of Draenor disagreed. I look forward to this, as we will be able to see what Outland was like before Orcs decided blowing up your planet is a good plan. This was an accident of course.

And now you know, why there are very few Orc Engineers. Because a few more, and Azeroth might suffer a similar fate. Some of you are laughing, but Goblins revel in explosions, to see the world burn and change its landscape, Gnomes love their lasers and radiaton, but Orcs.. Orcs are a different story. If they get the chance they would destroy the world, and not for the sake of destruction, but to see if they can do it.

In any case, we will once more fight against Orcs, this time they are brown instead of regular green. As I dislike those too good to be true brownies that at the end always muck up the things in any case, I look forward in beating their thick skulls with my Paladin's greatsword. There are also garrisons, new character models and many, many more. Most of all, I would love to see the arrogant smirk on my Blood Elf Paladin's face when he looks at the mirror, proclaiming the reflection is almost as beautiful as he is.

Indie game, puzzles, time-travel, big robots, beautiful world. There is not much more to say about the game without repeating myself. I already said everything I could about it here, and here. Now we only have to wait for it to come out. And then we can judge for ourselves what will be.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Crowd's Kick-off: Reset Successfully Funded

This is the reason why PC is Master race, suck it next-gen consoles
Ah, Reset successfully funded. Their campaign on the indiegogo ended on December 23. But I only checked their progress once I returned home. I was pleasantly surprised seeing that they were successful. It seemed for awhile they would fail in their endeavours to fund the game. I consider this a good start in 2014, and it must have been the best Christmas present Theory Interactive could have asked for.

Now to recollect. In Reset, you play as a robot, that is moving through what seems as an abandoned world, trying to reach some place with the help of you yourself. You are play the robot, and at same time you are helping yourself play the robot. Whoever just read this is either confused, or thinks me mad. It is time travel. Not the usual kind we are used to, going back and forth and changing how things work, but instead a micro time-travel of sorts.

You do one thing, record it, and then go back in time and wait for this event to take place. When it does, you take the opportunity and help yourself to progress by the actions you did seconds ago yourself as they now unfold before your very eyes. It is an interesting concept. The game looks beautiful, and the music is just amazing.

This is what I want of game, it is night, but I can still see everything
The game will also support the Oculus Rift, but that is of little concern to me. I am either getting old and stuck in the old ways, or the thing is just not that impressive. Truth, I have not had the chance to give it a try. And if it actually becomes a thing in the future, it will take years before I test it, but I guess it is good that some developers are willing to take the risk. Even though these days only studios that do take the risks are indies.

All in all, Reset has been successfully funded, and it should be out by the end of 2014.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

As WoW's New Year Resolutions Go..

I am not the one to ever make a new year resolution. Not because I would not believe in it, but because I find it naive. Why make a resolution about something for the new year, on the first day of new year? Why not make the resolution you were about to make, when you came up with it? And how many people fail in their resolutions only weeks after they decided upon them. This is weak, lazy, and half-hearted.

But that is my opinion and everyone is free to do as they please as far as I am concerned. As long as they do not hurt others. If you make a resolution, this means you will take the course of action and follow it through. We could say that this is why I do not make new year's resolutions. Or at least not lightly. But, few days ago, at WoW Insider, another Community Blog Topic appeared, this one asking about our WoW resolutions.

Here is my attempt at New Year's resolutions for the year of 2014 AD:

  • I will try and level my Forsaken Rogue that is still in level of single digits through all Forsaken questlines and zones.
  • Level up my Worgen Warrior to 90. It is just 4 levels, but it takes an eternity for no apparent reason.
  • I will try to be more patient toward bad players (and I do not mean noobs here, I am talking about the worst scum of the earth, ninjas, rudes, egotistical utilitarian maniacs that are ready to throw everybody into meat grinder just to get their reward)
  • Scratch previous resolution, that kind of players should burn in fire and suffer from carpal syndrome. And may their CAPS LOCK button die.
  • I will try and display more patience toward my fellow raiders in LFR, even though they at times make me question the existence of humanity and meaning of common sense
  • I will go easy on vote to kick button. Maybe the player just got disconnected and will be right back.
  • I will take break from WoW soon. I feel I am losing my interest, even though I will surely continue to play in next expansion. But for now, I will let my subscription run out. I only log in for a few hours in a week. As it stands this is not worth it. And most of my time is spent just goofing around one of the cities. I lack purpose, goal, and until I find a suitable objective, there is no reason to play the game.

Review: Legionnaire (Galaxy's Edge Book 1)

When Nick Cole, and Jason Anspach started their endeavour of making "Making Star Wars Great Again", over at Galactic Outlaws . I...