Shrek The Musical Music Player

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Ding 30!

I really really dislike posting about World of Warcraft. Firstly because I didn’t intend for this blog to be about games specifically. But also because…it’s WoW. The truth is that I’m really enjoying my time in it, and so it’s what I’m spending my spare time doing over break.

I hit 30 today, and that’s a pretty big occasion in the game. It’s the halfway point to the original level cap, and there’s lots of stuff you get at 30. So that was kinda exciting. Because I’m leveling so fast (due to Recruit-a-Friend bonuses), I’m having trouble gathering enough gold to purchase skills and goods at each level, but luckily my friend is happy to supply me with the gold I need. But I think the bonuses would be better offset with a 3x gold earning as well when grinding. Just a thought.

In other news, Hanukkah and my birthday are coming up fast. (Well, it IS Hanukkah right now, actually) If all goes well, I’ll be getting Mirror’s Edge. I know the reviews for it have been fairly negative, but I really think that the points in the game that are awesome will make up for the points that aren’t so good. I had so much fun in the demo that I have to have more. I’ll report back on that as it happens.

Also, I may be able to get more of the Strongbad games for the Wii. The first one was awesome, and I hear they keep getting better. I love Telltale. Their Sam & Max games were amazing, and Strongbad’s shaping up to be fantastic as well. Well done!

Okay, enough boring gaming stuff. I promise I’ll have more varied things to talk about next time. Maybe.

A Treatise on WoW PvP

Having hit the trial level cap last night, I decided to engage in a bit of PvP in World of Warcraft. Since everything is tiered, I could play at level 19 and be the top in my tier, so hopefully things wouldn’t go so badly. I had heard people say that WoW’s PvP is pretty weak, but I was willing to give it a shot. And wow. It was actually painful.

Here are some of the problems with the PvP design, in my opinion. I’m well aware I’m not a designer, but these are things that would cause me to come back to PvP and try it again. Firstly, the existence of “twinks” (i.e. players who are at the top level of a tier and have geared themselves to the brim with the best possible stuff so that you don’t stand a chance against them) proves that you have bad design. PvP is KILLED the instant you are brutally slaughtered by a twink. It just completely loses the fun aspect of it. I don’t want to play against them. How do you solve that? Well, I think the easiest way is to start granting XP for kills in PvP. This allows an alternate (hopefully more fun) way to grind levels, and it eventually forces those twinks out of their element. The reason I liked PvP in Warhammer Online was that I felt like I was making progress, it wasn’t a side distraction. I could PvP or I could quest, and both would help me get to the next level. In WoW, it IS a distraction, and you gain nothing but honor points/marks to trade in at a later point.

My next issue with the PvP was that it was simply too long. I know those hardcore MMO players out there love long bouts at the computer, but for more casual players, it’s so much better if you can jump in, play a round, and jump out. Put a time limit on the match. Make the objectives shorter. Change up the rules as the match takes longer. Do something so that the match doesn’t take 2 hours. Last night, the second battleground we played did literally take two hours. We were in a perpetual stalemate, where we had their flag and they had ours, and we were point sitting at opposite sides of the map. Nothing was happening. Players on my own team started begging our flag carrier to just drop it and end the map. Seriously. If that doesn’t scream bad design, I don’t know what does.

Those were my two major complaints with the system. It’s something that I feel could use some attention from the developers, and if it is made better, it could become a huge part of the game. Although I’m seriously enjoying my time in WoW finally, I think WAR captured the essence of PvP so much better than Blizzard’s Behemoth.

Don’t Hurt Me

I’ve finally decided to give World of Warcraft a fair shot. I know, I know. I’m a loser. But hear me out. Back in the early days of WoW, I played through a free trial, and thought it was kinda cool, but the concept of paying monthly for a game didn’t really excited me. So I let it go. A year or two later, I tried another free trial. It was still kinda fun, but I still didn’t want to pay for it. Then, the summer I worked for CompUSA, the employee discount on WoW made it cost $10 to purchase, plus $15 for a 60-day time card. So I gave in. And after a few days of playing, I got bored. I was lonely in the game. There was no incentive to stay other than to gain levels, which to me wasn’t exciting enough to keep me going. So I dropped it, and I think I actually gave away the time card.

Time passed, and I played a few more trials. Each time I got bored with it before the 10 days were up. And then one of my friends asked me to play with him, and so he send me a Recruit-a-friend invite this week, and we spend most of yesterday playing. And now I realized what I was missing. The social aspect! The game is awesome when you’re with someone else, because you have someone to talk to, someone to help you out, and someone to teach you. That’s why the game sucked for me, because I was all alone in this huge world. So, I’m going to continue this trial, then I actually purchased a new copy of WoW and TBC (the two were for sale on Amazon yesterday for $25 total, with two strategy guides thrown in too), and I’ll play over break. Wish me luck.

Help CME in their time of need

Those of you reading probably don’t follow MMO news closely, but Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, developers of the upcoming game Stargate Worlds, has been having financial trouble lately. This became clear when the internet discovered this site recently, detailing how long it’s been since the employees have been paid. Well, TenTonHammer decided to hold a charity drive for the families at CME that are hit the hardest by this lack-of-paycheck situation. You can read more about it and donate here. Please do donate if you can. These people are still coming in every day and working on a huge game, even when there is no end in sight of this financial issue. Anything you can give will help them, of course.