Saturday, 29 November 2014

Thoughts on the Warcraft Film Based on Zhang's Fanart

Blizzard or Legendary or whoever was in charge during the Blizzcon decided to show those attending a trailer or something of the Warcraft film. My issue with the whole thing, was that nobody was really sharing any details about what they have seen, and how accurate all that really was. Well, thanks to Yanmo Zhang, his good memory and artistic talent that is not so any more. If we trust him, that what he saw and then drew was truly shown, then we can to some degree decide for ourselves what to think about the upcoming Warcraft film without everyone who attended telling us how awesome was the orc face, or how real the emotions felt. I guess I care far much more about lore and "historical" accuracy than I do about the whole range of emotions an orc is capable of. So, let us examine what was all the excitement about, and if it is justified.

First five pictures are showing Stormwind, King Llane, the throne room, and the armoury. No problems, all is fine for all I care. The only gripe, is the armoury because weapons and armours shown on Blizzcon were ornamented as some sort of ceremonial gear, and not something you would wear on day to day basis for all the regular duties. But then, if the state is able to finance all this gear, well we can conclude that Stormwind kingdom is as rich as Marcus Licinius Crassus. Or more realistically, on the verge of financial collapse. I will let you decide for yourself. Just remember that Defias Brotherhood formed years later because somebody refused to pay the bills.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My Thoughts on Preview of New Blood Elf Models

Yesterday Blizzard finally deigned to show us where they are currently with the new Blood Elf models. Overall they are improvement over the old models, but there are some striking changes that I support and some lack of changes that I would love they decided to change as well. As I am currently still in boycott I declared some time ago I was looking to this preview very much. The three conditions I set before Blizzard were the release of new blood elf models, return of flying at max level on Draenor, and introduction of Farahlon in one of the patches. And I will be damned if I buy Warlords of Draenor before at least two of the three conditions are fulfilled. At least at this increased price range.

That brings us to the new blood elf models. First on the list are the females. In comparison to the old ones, the new model actually has some flesh, and is not just skin and bones. That is nice. What I love the most about the new female models is the new posture. They are not twisting their back as if they are on catwalk anymore. Female blood elves now actually look normal when it comes to posture. And that in my book counts for a lot. All in all, female blood elf model is quite an improvement over the old as it does not resemble a mannequin any longer, but instead a normal living functioning being.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Go Watch Legend of the Galactic Heroes!

I have been meaning to write about Legend of the Galactic Heroes for some time now. Always when I start and come to the middle of the post, and believe me I know it is only middle, I come to the realisation that no matter how hard I try, I cannot summarise it for those that did not watch it. And on the other hand, I do not wish to do it. It is grand, epic, full of drama, twists, turns, ambition, struggle for power, and struggle for survival. A space opera if there was ever a name more appropriate for the series. And while the grand stage is set in the universe, where two armies don't know how to end a war, it truly is a story about people. Common, noble, rich, poor, powerful, and those without any power.

While it is an anime, it is the sort of anime that is too old to have anything in common with today's generation of animes. Thus it is great for anyone who avoids anime like plague because of its usual tropes. In that respect, Psycho Pass is a lot like Legend of the Galactic Heroes. No anime bullshit, as some would say. In any case, you have been warned. I will give you another half a year to watch it in peace. It is 110 episodes, but if you can chug down couple of seasons of whatever series on Netflix this one should not present any problems. The only problem you might have, is that this show is not really available, so you might have to get creative...wink wink nudge nudge. After this grace period, I will start talking in detail about it, and I will not care if I spoil one of the masterpieces of animes ever created to you. it is on you, and your soul now. Don't make me spoil you this epic series, because you will regret it.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

HotS: Locked Talents and Heroic Abilities

Last time I talked about my first impressions of Heroes of the Storm. Now we get to the interesting stuff. Critique. The only way to get rid of bad stuff is to criticise, and first on the list is gating of talents and heroic abilities for every her behind higher levels. In simple terms: Putting talents and heroic abilities behind a wall, and gating it by the experience earned is a stupid idea, and only good thing about it would be the day when Blizzard decides to change it. Heroes of the Storm is not World of Warcraft, and it is rather insulting of Blizzard to think that the players cannot comprehend four different abilities and decide for themselves which of the talents they want to pick during the game.

I understand that many people might be new to the game, and do not really know how everything works. It has to be said that some core things are very different from the rest of the games in the genre. But it is still a stupid design choice, I honestly hope they revert back as soon as possible. For all of you who ever played any other MOBA out there imagine if you started a game with a hero or champion you never played before. And because you are new to that champion you are limited only to the predetermined items the game decided you would need. It is such level of stupidity.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Power of Transmog: Spartan Hoplite

This armour set was long time in making. Putting it together proved to be quite the task. Finding the right pieces, especially leggings was close to impossible. At one time, I was even ready to make it an incomplete armour set with a belt instead of pants. Fortunately, I kept digging and among new batch of leggings added in Warlords of Draenor I finally stumbled upon a pair that was acceptable. Unfortunately, this makes the complete set available to Horde only. What can I say, you cannot have it all, Alliance. There is only one faction that has true warriors, and by this armour set, that faction is Horde.

The idea for this armour set came from the reminiscing I did in a post about my Warcraft experiences. You see, Astalnar was not my first paladin, and not my first main either. Before Astalnar, there was Spartanus. Also a blood elf paladin, that I played on account I shared with my friend from the start of the Burning Crusade. As we parted ways, I bought my own copy of World of Warcraft and created Astalnar. But that is sidetracking. Spartanus was the result of my fascination with the Ancient Sparta, the history, and its warrior culture. I loved their laconic nature, and their unique view on life.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Twitter, Censorship, and Freedom of Speech

Dear Twitter,

It is less than a week since I learnt you have given moderator powers to an outside activist group. I warned you right there and then that this is one giant slippery slope that will only cause problems. That this particular group is feminist has no actual consequence. The fact is you should not have done it, and have opened yourself only to more pressure from other activist or potentially political, and religious groups who may demand the same powers you have granted to FMA.

I warned you less than a week ago, how fast this can lead into censorship of those that do not agree with the particular group in power. And now we already see consequences. People are reporting as harassment other people who do not harass. Best example is Milo Yiannopoulos. While you might disagree with him about many things, simply disagreeing is not grounds for suspending him from twitter. You are effectively censoring him based on his opinion. There is another way to put it. You are discriminating against him on the grounds of his personal beliefs.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Blizzcon 2014 Wrap-up

The one big news that came out of this thing is the new IP. First for Blizzard after 17 years. The game rose from the ashes of the Titan which was killed even before it was born. Tough times. I wonder if this was the rumored Prometheus, especially when you take in consideration that Prometheus was the son of two titans.

You are probably wondering what is Overwatch all about. In short, imagine a cross between Wildstar and Team Fortress 2. Got it? Yeah, that right there, yup, you got it. That is it, that simple. Like Heroes of the Storm, the game is focused on the objectives and all its classes, heroes, champions, whatevers have their own abilities and weapons. There was much talk about diversity, and I am still left wondering how come we're not able to create our own characters. After all, Tracer did insinuate that was the gist of it at the end of Pixar-like long Overwatch cinematic. Her words: "You know, the world could always use more heroes."

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Fatigue of #Gamergate

Recently I have started seeing more and more infighting among those that use #gamergate in order to oppose the lack of ethics in game journalism. Honestly, we had it coming for quite some time now. Every war at some point comes to a standstill, and with #gamergate, it was bound to happen. Every revolution can burn bright only for certain amount of time before Jacobins come into play and start saying what is right and what is wrong with our consumer revolt.

#Gamergate was always a group of individuals that banded together because they shared a common goal. It was never a coherent group with any kind of leadership. Imagine a band of barbarians used to fighting individual battles facing against the Roman legions. They all have their own tribes, interests and ambitions, only common thread among them, is their enemy. That is the closest thing you can compare with people in #gamergate. We are far from organised, everyone does his or her own thing, and most of our battles until now were won because of our numbers, persistence, and focus on the enemy. We knew how to exploit the weaknesses of our enemies, because just like Romans underestimated Spartacus and his rebels, so our opponents underestimated #gamergate.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

HotS Alpha: First Impressions

When you see a game like Heroes of the Storm (from here on HotS), labelled as "Technical Alpha" you know the term lost all its meaning if it ever had any. In all my time spent in the game in this past week and a half, it crashed only once, yesterday. The game looks like finished product. I would argue it has less bugs than some released games, not to mention that HotS is still in development. Well, I do not know what they are still developing, but I appreciate Blizzard's zealous commitment to testing their games until all the bugs are squashed. Mostly because I know some bug will still escape and make it into the "released game", but it will be a lone case, not a common issue.

The game is rather different than other big MOBAs I played. Those would be League of Legends, DOTA 2, and for brief period of time Heroes of Newerth. HotS is in comparison fast-paced game full of action with close to nothing of downtime. The moment when you get to relax and do nothing in HotS is when you either die and wait to respawn, or when you finish the game. This brings us to first real issue of the game. It is a constant blitz. While that gives us fast games that rarely go beyond twenty minutes it also introduces rather annoying snowballing effect.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

WoW: Disappointing Iron Horde Invasion

I am not impressed. After more than a year-long wait for any kind of new content, what we get is a series of shallow couple of quests that serve no real purpose. Frankly, I am disappointed. I am disappointed with the quality of quests, and the lack of purpose they suffer from. At least on the Horde side, it appears these couple of quests do not really have any meaning whatsoever.

To recap, Iron Horde invades through the Dark Portal, storms the Blasted Lands, destroys Nethergarde Keep, and captures the Horde outpost while Horde is trying to retake Nethergarde Keep. You can imagine the Horde did it out of goodness of their heart, and how they would return the ruins of the destroyed keep back to the Alliance. Especially after realising this one keep was thorn in their side for great many years. Yeah, Horde would totally return the keep if they managed to oust the Iron Horde and not lose their base in the process.

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...