Archive for the 'Games' Category

15
Sep
09

Are you ready for some ball of foot?

Hello there internet, it has been a while. I’ve been neglecting my very important duties as wordsmith and all around hyperspace badass and for that I apologize. In the last few weeks I’ve tried a few new games, learned the ancient language of the Volcano, and eaten a frog. In these next posts I figure I’m gonna just run through the random games I’ve played since we last spoke (shut up im speaking) just so I can continue call myself a “blogger”.

“Hey Breedo what’re you doin’ this fine evenin'” “Oh u no me bro, bloggin’ fo’ sho’.” (If you didn’t know I rhyme at all times in my everyday speech, it gets very hard if I have to ask about a door hinge.)

NCAA 2010: OH SNAPS ITS BOLD TIME TO GET SERIOUS.

NCAA Football. Now with more fire.

NCAA Football. Now with more fire.

Now some of you may know that I enjoy a good game of the American Football. Yes, I’ll put ‘merica in front of it this time because A. ‘Merica always comes front, and B. I know my blog is blangin’ internationally and wish not to confuse my foreign patrons. Cheerio good mates cheerio! Anyways, football to me as a child was never interesting. “Me as a child” didnt like catsup either so we can’t very well trust him anyway, can we? I was always tall for my age and would be asked at times by my elders about sports. “Breedo! How fare thee at thy ball of foot?” they would inquire, “Nay sir I fare not.” would be the solemn answer. “Tis a shame child, ’tis a mighty shame. Thou dost “wreck” thine competition.” Alas it was not to be. At the time I didn’t see the excitement in it, the majesty if you will. But now? Now I behold the majesty in all it’s glory like a half-eaten bacon sandwich warmed under the midday sun.

I got my hands on a copy of NCAA Football 2010 a few days ago. I subsequently played it for a total of 17 hours in a 3 day stretch with my good friend Mr. Peabody. Thats sportsmanship people. Mr. Peabody and I were living out all of our NCAA fantasies…the ones without the cheerleaders anyway…and even got to participate in the first ever Sacred Bowl, the unpalpable university of Kentucky against the esteemed University of Rutgers. This is a game that could happen at some point in the future and if it does I hope that I am there, witnessing it with my own eyes, but for now I must settle on the thousands of pixels grinding against eachother in unregulated bliss, known as the “Play Now” Mode. There’s a lot of different modes in this game, some I haven’t even tried yet, but one did stick out as my favorite…known simply as the Road to Glory. (RTG if you’re into slang. I am.)

RTG is basically pretending I’m in an alternate universe where instead of learning astrophysics and magic, I learned football. You make a “dude” and cover him in all the slimes that you feel necessary to make him yours, much like when you first got a pog as a child and had to “claim” it. We decided to make a Quarterback and see how large he could be. “Lotsa Cox” was born as a 7 foot tall 400 pound QB who went to Rape High High School. Once all that nonsense is taken care of, you get to finish out his high school senior year and try to impress scouts in the state playoffs. We made his hometown in Fayette Kentucky…fancy that…and sent him out.

Lotsa made an immediate impact in his first game throwing 6 touchdowns and winning in a blowout. He mainly did this by audibleling every run play so much so that Rape High didn’t have a single rushing yard. Mr. Peabody and I imagined his coach standing on the sidelines screaming “DAMMIT DIX YOURE A LOOSE CANNON” and then Lotsa would shout back “NAMES COX SIR”, needless to say he only ran around half of his coaches plays. Anyways we made it through the games easily enough stomping all the competition and won the championship. Then Lotsa was presented with the colleges that had offered him a contract, which was literally every school in the game. The neat thing about this is you don’t get to start everywhere though as obviously number one Florida doesn’t need a rookie quarterback so theres accurate depth charts, at least for the 2010 season. We considered going to Florida but decided since Lotsa was our first slime covered football child that we’d keep him home, he went to the University of Kentucky.

OMG ERIN ANDREWS

OMG ERIN ANDREWS

Here’s where I’d like to mention a connecting point of the whole RTC experience. Erin Andrews. The sideline reporter who I guess some people find attractive from the loading screens (PLAY ROAD TO GLORY FOR YOUR CHANCE TO BE FOLLOWED BY ERIN ANDREWS…YES…THE ERIN ANDREWS) I guess she’s pretty enough but that’s not the point I’m heading towards. What we noticed was that throughout your entire career, which is 5 years long mind you, she wears the same clothes in the videos. I understand she can’t wear a completely different outfit in every scene but one for ALL of them? Seriously? Mr. Peabody and I kept expecting her to come on the screen welcome us to the RTG segment and then beg to be freed from her invisible captors, “Please someone help…they’re not feeding me…” and then her producer yells “YOU EAT WHAT YOU KILL” and throws a rabbit on stage. Alright maybe we didn’t expect that exactly but she could have at least worn 3 or 4 different outfits. We probably wouldn’t have even noticed then.

Alright so this is also a good time to mention we changed Lotsa’s name to Breedo Jackson, deciding that as he matured so did his name, plus the other players were making fun of him :(. Breedo was the starting QB for UK so there was no reason to run practices which was great and got us to the games that much quicker. The first game was upon us quickly and it was against a pretty weak opponent. That didn’t stop Breedo from having what we dubbed as “the shakes” however. The shakes happen when your player is nervous or made a mistake, and it’s especially susceptible in happening at an away game. It causes your player to forget button assignments and routes and the controller to vibrate to express his nerves. No big deal we figured, Breedo can handle the pressure of his first ever college game. Well, we weren’t exactly right…his first game was probably his worst, but we did win and the shakes left him alone for the most part after that barring a few tough road games. Speaking of tough games the second start of his career was against number one ranked Florida, who beat us in a 62-64 triple overtime victory. We decided this game was too good to try to replay and left the loss in the books, especially after it awarded us an “Instant Classic” title.

I must stop here and really iterate how much this game felt like a real NCAA game. I was at the UK victory over number one ranked LSU two years ago and it was probably the best “football” experience I’ve taken part in. NCAA 2010 somehow manages to recreate that excellent tension and heavy air with amazing likeliness. Both Mr. Peabody and I thought that it was almost as good as a real game, and he wasn’t even playing.

I ran this play like 60 times, Magnum rarely let me down.

I ran this play like 60 times, Magnum was a glorious man.

So we continued Breedo’s freshman season and didn’t lose another game. He broke numerous school and NCAA records but for some reason still lost the Heisman at the end of the year. Also despite Kentucky’s amazing play in the SEC we never broke in the top 10 in the polls. We considered maybe the game has the bias that the NCAA holds to create more “realism” but I’d hope they’d let you be number one with anyone. I think it had more to do with our team only had two real star players and if Breedo had been injured or something they’d probably lose to any of the top 10 teams. Speaking of that the other star player besides Breedo was his “X” button wide receiver, a man we dubbed as Magnum. Magnum was in the running for the Heisman as well having broken a few records but didn’t win either. We ended up in the Capital One bowl against Michigan and had a very solid overtime victory in it. All in all I’d be happy if Kentucky came anywhere close to this bowl in actuality, so I can’t be discouraged we didn’t make the NCAA Championship or anything.

We did start on the next season and it appears to consider Kentucky a powerhouse now, mainly because Breedo is still on the team. We got some good recruits and were even ranked preseason and as of the last time I played we were 9th in the nation, after only 5~ games.

There are some other game modes we tried out and the same screen multiplayer is a blast but overall the Road to Glory mode was by far my favorite. I would like to try it at other positions, especially those that can’t audible to make the play include more action from them. The best part is that if you aren’t on the field or don’t like the play call you can just skip it and let the computer simulate it…not that you’d do this as a quarterback on offense but for a runningback it’d be helpful to skip those dang pass plays.

All in all I’d definitely recommend the game if you have any interest in College Football, but if you do you probably know all about it. If you don’t and are lookin for somethin different and new it could be up your alley though. I’ll talk about somethin’ less sporty next time probably Aion or Champions Online but until then I leave you with my favorite song off the new Protomen CD Act II called “The Good Doctor”.

Breedo thinks A. Merica would be the best name ever.

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17
Aug
09

Cataclysm confirmed?

Go human hunters!

Go human hunters!

Theres a hefty front page news post on www.mmo-champion.com that entails everything they’ve learned about for the new WoW expansion from their sources. The track record for MMO Champ’s front page is pretty great for this type of thing so it’s definitely more than idle speculation. So what exactly did they break?

Oddly enough the next expansion won’t be directly tied to the Maelstorm like was speculated by most (including me!). It’ll instead be the other idea I mentioned briefly in my original expansion post. Instead of introducing a new island chain, MMO-Champ describes a changed Azeroth torn asunder by a “cataclysm”…fitting.  However, it does seem like the naga and black dragonflight are still the major villains as thought before. Using phasing quest lines and completely changing a few zones causing a cataclysm is very possible…but why this instead of something new?

A large portion of the player base has been asking for a revival of Azeroth or vanilla WoW. I’m not sure how I feel on the matter yet, I need to see more in action but I can see the appeal. It would be great to fight C’thun and some other great old world instances and areas but it’s also a double edged sword as it won’t feel completely new. If they do it right though it won’t need to feel new, it can just feel “changed” which really could be even better than new as instead of doing the same “new continent grind”, you can finally feel as a permanent member of a world thats changing around you. This is something mmo’s have been trying to do for a very long time. If Blizzard manages to nail it it could be pretty spectacular, but I’m slow to believe as it’s never been done before…unless you count the transition between Everquest 1 and EQ 2.

Speaking of the EQ cataclysm this has a very similar feel to it. I didn’t play much of EQ2 but I was quite the avid player of the original. Sony had a very similar event happen between the two games that allowed players to experience a distant future of the lives they lived in EQ1. It almost seems like if Blizzard does go through with this it could be better suited as a complete sequel to WoW, like Sony did with EQ. It’s a lot of work containing all these different events in one game and convincing players they’re still a part of them. Theres a few other problems as well, the major one being with all this phasing how will you group with your friends? For example if you’ve seen part of a cliff explode and crush a town and your friend hasn’t will the two of you be able to do quests together from that town? Or will your friend have to catch up first? Alright so besides the theme, what exactly are the main points that MMO broke?

Well first up is the level cap being raised to 85. This seems like it would bring half the content as the other expansions but in reality I think it allows Blizzard to make more “high end” content, which in actuality is great for most of their player base. The problems with it though are that there will only be 5 talents added in each tree but really it seems like they’re stretched thin on new talent ideas as it is so this was probably coming. It also allows them to slowly inch us up to 100 which has been stated as the eventual game ending cap.

The other major point has been talked about for a few weeks now but they’re confident enough to say that Worgen are going to Alliance and Goblins are going to horde. The Worgen to Alliance is pretty obvious, it brings a beastial orc type race to the allies and fits their needs in the expansion. The Goblin one is a little more of a reach but considering what MMO reported about the catacylsm destroying most of their towns it seems like they’d need to reach out for help once again. If they pull a gnomish style “exiles of steamwheedle” for the horde goblins it would fit fairly easily into the lore. The thing that stuck out to me is the oddly specific part where it mentions Goblins saving Thrall from the Alliance and realizing their place with the Horde because of it. That part is a bit confusing as if the rest of the article is true than Thrall isn’t even going to be leading the Horde anymore but I’ll touch on that a bit later.

multiclassing

Now to a really interesting part. Instead of a new hero class Blizzard is going to allow certain race/class combos that should have probably existed before to work now. Basically they’re adding a few classes to every race. I’ll link the list and under it give my thought on why they’re being added:

Human Hunter: This ones probably the most obvious of them all. Humans hunters are already in the game in various places and really its not a stretch to believe they’re finally added.

Ex. Houndmaster Loksey http://www.wowwiki.com/Ranger http://www.wowwiki.com/Farstrider_Lodge

Orc Mage: Orcs already have warlocks which when it all comes down to it are basically mages corrupted by demon magics. Really theres no reason they shouldn’t already have mages. The most prominent of them would probably be Med’an and this is a perfect chance to introduce him into WoW.

Night Elf Mage: This one seems like it’s out of nowhere but in actuality its not that farfetched. Just take a look at the Shendalar in Dire Maul. They’re still Night Elves although they are Highborne as well and theres no reason they’d be forced to remain in exile, especially during a catastrophe like this.

Ex. Prince Tortheldrin http://www.wowwiki.com/Shen’dralar

Blood Elf Warrior: This is one Blizzard said they wanted at Burning Crusade launch but dropped to include hunters instead. It’s obvious the blood elves would and do have warriors in their society so this is a logical choice. Ex. http://www.wowwiki.com/Silvermoon_City_Guardian

Dwarf Mage: This one was included in the alpha and maybe even beta stages of testing but was dropped before the game was released. The fact is theres tons of dwarven arcane casters spread throughout the world and with such a close connection to gnomes and humans theres no reason they wouldn’t be able to learn.

EX. http://www.wowwiki.com/Sorcerer-thane_Thaurissan

Dwarf Shaman: For the normal Ironforge dwarf this one doesn’t really fit at all but when you take into consideration the Wildhammer dwarf its a very easy solution. These are dwarves that have been at nature for hundreds of years…they’ve found better ways to survive. One of those ways is an appreciation of nature, moreso than any of their brothers before them.

Ex. http://www.wowwiki.com/Wildhammer_Clan

Undead Hunter: If a human can be a hunter than they can keep their abilities even in death. The Forsaken have a few hunter examples but the main one is

http://www.wowwiki.com/Nathanos_Blightcaller

Tauren Paladin: This is by far the most confusing choice. As of now theres really no lore in the game or otherwise that suggests the Tauren have any connection to the Light. What this means is if they are included something will be added much like the Naaru for Blood Elves for the Taurens so that it fits. The main speculation is that it will be a “Sun” tribe who worships the light the sun brings and recieves similar powers as a blood elf, human, or dwarf paladin. This is the only source so far: http://static.mmo-champion.com/mmoc/images/news/2009/august/injuredcolleagues.jpg

Tauren Priest: If the taurens can understand the Light enough to be a paladin it isn’t much of a stretch to believe they can become priests as well. The more gentle natured light worshipping Tauren would fit into this role. Like the Paladin theres no real sources for this.

Gnome Priest: I love this one. It’s something I’ve been waiting for since the beginning of WoW…a gnome healer. Some think it makes no sense for gnomes to use the light but in my mind theres no reason for a curious gnome to not get enamored with the Light like any gets enamored with Arcane magic or Demonology. If this is true I’ll be very happy with it.

EX. http://www.wowwiki.com/Nethergarde_Cleric (various race healer npcs in Blasted Lands that include gnomes)

Troll Druid: With the huge variety of trolls in the world this ones not a far stretch. Theres obviously some trolls who understand nature well enough to use the powers that a druid harnasses. The only problem with it is that the Night Elves probably won’t be so quick to accept them into Moonglade but who’s to say Moonglades even standing after this?

EX http://www.wowwiki.com/Zul’Aman http://www.wowwiki.com/Gundrak

Alright so after going through those it leaves all the sides even on their class distrubution except the Alliance with Druids. This causes many to speculate that Worgens will be able to be Druids which is very odd but it’s probably pretty likely. Maybe the connection to their feral side leads them to the worship of nature or something along that line. It’s not certain of course as it could be left uneven but I doubt that will be the case. Another part of the MMO post states some of the changes the world will experience. Let’s take a look:

  • The Barrens will be split into two separate zones of two different level bands.
  • Azshara will become a low level (~10-20) zone.
  • Some of the zones like the Thousand Needles will be flooded.
  • Durotar is wrecked and apparently Orgrimmar could be destroyed. A new Orc city is rebuilt over the course of the expansion.
  • Gnomeregan will be part of the expansion as well and gnomes might be able to reclaim their capital. (The last part is still unconfirmed)
  • Wailing Caverns will be become a lush tropical area as a result of the druid’s magic.
  • The Blackrock Spire will erupt and a new version of Blackrock Mountains will be available, apparently Ragnaros will be back too.

First off splitting the Barrens, destroying Orgrimmar and making Azshara a low level zone means that the brunt of the destruction will be on the center of Kalimdor. Thousand Needles becoming flooded and Wailing Caverns a lush paradise make me think that a wave will wash over the middle of the continent crushing a huge part of the landmass and taking a large chunk underwater. Azshara as a lowbie zone means to me that this might be where the new Orc capital will be built making Azshara the newbie area for Orcs and Trolls. Gnomeregan being a part of the expansion is huge in my book as I can’t wait to take that city back finally…hopefully for good. Finally Blackrock Spire erupting and the return of Ragnaros sounds neat but I really hope its a completely new set of instances as I can’t see myself doing Molten Core or BRD and having a good time. /shudder

He finally got his PHD!

He finally got his PHD!

No mention of Theramore and Jaina so it seems that her nation is still in tact. Same goes for both Alliance home cities on Kalimdor as they were too far north to be hit by the devastation. It seems like this is a major change for the Horde but other than Gnomer the Alliance won’t see a huge hit to their cities or in a broader sense their lore. Speaking of the lore MMO has revealed that Thrall will give up his position as warchief of the Horde and become The Guardian of Tirisfal. This seems like a major stretch as Thrall has never been anything but a Horde figure however if they do something drastic at the end of Lich King I could see it happening. The part that confuses me though is where he leaves Garrosh in control. I mentioned my dislike of Garrosh before but it’s obvious he’s supposed to be seen as a brash idiot currently and if he’s made Warchief and matched with the “Alliance King” Varian it’s going to be anything but peaceful.

The part that bothers me about Varian is the Alliance is five self contained groups working towards a common goal, they do not have a common “leader”. Making Varian into the spokesperson of the Alliance is a bit ridiculous in my book as any of the faction leaders would have the same sway that he does with their own people, unlike Thrall who holds the power of the entire Horde in his voice. The other thing of note is that it appears Tauren Chief and good friend of Thrall, Cairne Bloodhoof isn’t making it to the next expansion. Apparently he’s outed as a traitor by Garrosh…of all people…who then murders him. I think if this actually happens itll be either that, after Cairnes murder Thrall can’t stop the Horde from slipping into their past ways like he’d hoped by himself and seeks help from the folks of Tirisfal…OR…Thrall leaves Cairne in charge of the Horde, a much more obvious choice than Garrosh…and Garrosh murders him in cold blood to take the title of Warchief that he believes is his.

Either way if this happens the Taurens by all means shouldn’t be friendly with the Horde anymore. It’d be akin to Varian murdering Magni or something (not that that could happen =P). By all accounts the Horde would be in complete upheavel and the Taurens would do the ironic thing and actually become the traitors that Cairne never was and join the Alliance. I don’t see this as likely to happen but it’s what I think would happen if Cairne was murdered by a member of the Horde…at least in my book. Another point I’d like to make out is that currently the Alliance and Horde are about the same in moral ambiguity. They both have their examples of cruelty and heroism and neither is truly evil or truly good. If all of this does come to fruition the Horde will definitely start heading down the darker road. The murder of one of their leaders the destruction of their town and the seat of power handed to an angry child, this is definitely the makings of a brand new war.

The problem is most players who play Horde don’t consider themselves evil. If Blizzard goes down this path it definitely seems they’re trying to make the Horde the evil faction choice which I think is a bad thing. It’s like they’re trying to match WAR which has a very obvious good side and very obvious bad side but I don’t think theres any reason for it. The Horde can evolve on their own without devolving into the savage uncontrollable force they were for years.

Other things of note include revamped dungeons and flying mounts in Azeroth. I mentioned earlier I don’t particularly look forward to doing Molten Core 2.0 myself but if they change it into something new and different I could be swayed. Flying mounts in Azeroth were never that big of a deal to me, you could tell they hadn’t ever planned on it happening so I never let myself believe it’d be patched in or anything. I mean really the amount of time needed for such a minimal change would have been ridiculous to undertake if not for a return to the old zones…which seems to be exactly what this expansion is aiming for. Overall I think flight and revamping can give the player a better connection to the world if they’re done right and not just simple rehashes…cough cough Naxx.

So all in all this expansion concept does show some promise and it’s great to see Blizzard shaking things up a bit. I just hope they can pull through and keep it interesting. I haven’t had that problem yet so here’s hopin’.

Breedo knows that when two suns are shining, the battle becomes blinding.

21
Jul
09

PC Gamin’ Extravaganza

It’s been a while since I happened uponst the internets and made a post so I figured I’d type something up just to get the gumption goin’. I don’t have anything in particular to talk about for this one and in fact haven’t even named it yet but lets see what happens.

I’ve been playing a few different PC games recently so i’ll start with that. First off, I just got Plants vs Zombies, it was kind of neat for a while but it quickly lost it’s appeal for me. Some people herald it as a glorious magical super-fun zombie killing plant simulation experience, and I cannot fault them for the facts in that statement, it just wore thin for me. They spice the gameplay up every few levels and if I spent more time it might grow on me…no pun intended…but I really think I’d perfer to play a Warcraft 3 tower defense mod.

I also have been playing Neverwinter Nights 2 sporadically in hopes to prepare myself for Dragon’s Age: Orgins when it comes out in October. The Neverwinter series hasn’t really ever been a staple in my gaming cabinet, mind you, I’m as much into Dungeons and Dragons as any self respecting geek should be but I just was never huge on the idea of dice rolling in a video game…unless you count that one time I wanted to make an open world Monopoly MMO…THIMBLE LFG 4 BOARDWALK HAS EPICS…Don’t hate.

worldofmono

The problem is you don’t see Diablo showing me the number I roll to hit the several thousand pterodactyl-zombies storming down on my grill, instead it simply splashes their blood as they meet my cold hard steel. NWN is like the thinking mans Diablo. They’ve replaced guts with math. You have to pause the game and strategize, what spells should I use? Should I even use spells? Who’s on the frontline? Why is my bard not wearing pants? These are all critical questions you wouldn’t bother with in most dungeon crawling adventure games…but that’s why NWN is different.

Neverwinter Nights 2 brings about a ridiculous amount of customization I was truthfully not expecting. I haven’t played Dungeons and Dragons for a couple years now…I know…blasphemy…but I try to at least take a look every now and then to see what ridiculousness is blowing about. NWN 2 harnesses all of that wayward crazyness, the rampant amount of DND knowledge, and makes a computer game out of it thus creating a DND experience without the usual apple flipz and cursing. Actually I did have a fair share of cursing as the game can be surprisingly hard, but thats for later.

The customization starts when you make a character, who, if you have all the expansions can be anything from a normal halfling rogue scamp who’s loved by all to a hate mongering war-king from the plane of fire whos hair burns as bright as his fury. This is the level of customization in DND now? I can be a dude made of rocks?!? Count me in. After that you choose your class which again gives you a ridiculous amount of choices…like Spirit Shaman which even after reading the description I have no idea what it is, and Swashbuckler which I’m sure, involves a fair bit of buckling the swash. Not to mention theres 15+ prestige classes you can’t even be yet. The game does not lack in the customization department.

Dynamite Jack, The Flaming Dragon.

Dynamite Jack, The Flaming Dragon.

I settled on a Half-Drow monk that I named Tyr. Now the story starts out and you’ve got a foster dad in this quaint little village. I love how you can be a super evil psychotic half orc serial killer with a ‘foster’ dad in a ‘quaint’ town but I digress…Tyr may have been a bad choice for a name because apparently in NWN the monks all worship Tyr. They literally have a monastery named after him. I was completely confused when I entered it and thought maybe it was named after your character no matter what but no, somehow I named my character after the god of my class choice…very peculiar.

So Tyr met some new pals and went on big adventures saving the world from evil. I’m a good 12 hours in so far and I’m not sure how long the story is but it’s still pretty interesting. I found that apparently I’m too ‘good’ when I play these games as I went from lawful neutral to lawful good fairly quickly in the events of the story. I do want to play through again and be as evil as I can murdering people left and right, but for this run through I just answered how I would answer if I were a half drow monk whos mom was murdered by demons or something…that parts still a little vague.

Chicks dig mysterious men...in opera masks.

Chicks dig mysterious men...in opera masks.

As I mentioned earlier the game does randomly amp up the difficulty like crazy sometimes. I entered a house for a sidequest, died and reloaded probably a dozen times before finally beating the guards. I’m not sure if they were just higher level or if I was doing it completely wrong but eventually after many loading screens I feasted upon their cakes and sold their swords. Thats another scary part of the game, the loot.

Theres tons of things that can drop some completely useless others…ridiculously good. For instance in some random dungeon I didn’t even have to enter I got a morning star that made my next 3 hours worth of fighting trivial. The loot used for crafting is even more confusing as theres an extraordinary amount of it. I’m not much a fan of crafting in my games, it’s a nice touch for some but I don’t usually go near it. Some gamers like watching their characters make new items, I’ve never really enjoyed it past my first foray with it in Star Ocean for ps1, where it was so new it was interesting. Perhaps it was Everquest’s Coldain Shawl quest that killed crafting for me…I may never know…

My shoulders, I can now brush them.

My shoulders, I can now brush them.

Alright so besides NWN and Plants v Zombones, I’ve tried out the new Battlefield shooter for PC thats a ‘freemium’ game from EA, Battlefield Heroes. The concept is simple, earn in game ‘money’ to buy items or buy the ‘money’ yourself with cash and get it faster. Theres a level cap if you’re not paying but it doesn’t hinder the experience so really the entire game can be enjoyed for free. I’m not really a huge fan of Battlefield games, vehicles were never my forte, but this did remain fun for a good duration.

The goals are the norm for a BF game, drive a vehicle to an area, capture and defend it. The class system is still in place and theres an obvious art reference from TF2, with a more playful style than normal Battlefield fare. The gameplay is rather simple but theres a solid amount of maps to keep things interesting. My favorite part of the entire experience was literally sitting my character on the wing of a biplane firing a gatling gun as my friend flew it. Gravity does not effect MrBrundo.

Out of game, the interface is very clunky but It’s still basically in beta so I can forgive it, logging in can be a hassle and it can also be very annoying to buy guns as it sometimes won’t count your coins. Also finding your friends can be a headache if the server gods don’t look down upon you, although I do recommend playing it with a few people you know. The best part is it’s a very quick download for a briefly enjoyable game, overall it was worth trying out. I recommend it if you’re bored and want to shoot some mans pick it up.

Of course, besides all of those I’m still playing WoW as well. Breedo’s guild 10-man managed to beat Freya tonight with 3 adds up so all we have left for Algalon is hard mode Mirmiron which some say is harder than ol’ Al himself. If anyone has any tips feel free to post ’em we’ll be trying him next week I think. I think I may record some of our future hard modes just for fun and throw ’em on here…assumin’ fraps doesn’t give me guff.

Oh speaking of WoW recently MMO-Champion broke the news that they believe the new races will be Goblin and Worgen. Not to blow my own horn or anything but those were totally the best picks I had in my previous post which is pretty sweet. Even had their factions right. I’m just sad there won’t be pandas, but I’m still hoping for a hero class as well.

Alrighty, I rounded this post out pretty well I think. I’ve got a few other ideas in mind for the next few posts so there should be more action on here. Oh, speaking of action, if anyone wants to play TF2 or Left 4 Dead with me my Steam info is simply Breedo now. Add me and we can tussle like kings. I think that about covers it for this update, I would like to talk about a certain beta I’m messing around in but I’ll have to wait on that one. Not to worry, I’ll put up more info when I can. Also I’d like to thank all the people commenting recently, this part of the internet is getting more and more busy everyday, I appreciate it.

Breedo can’t wait for the Park Place Expansion Pack. Now with 50% more park.

10
Jul
09

Predicting the next wow Expansion: Hero Class Time!

rodney_dangerfield

So in my last post I went into a pretty long loregasm about Cataclysm and the races that might be included in a watery Maelstorm endeavor. This time around I’m going to suggest some classes and other thoughts on what I think could make it into a third expansion for World of Warcraft. First we’ll start off with the basics.

What are the requirements for a new Hero Class?

  • Must be connected to the lore of the expansion. This one is a given, just like a new race, a new class must be involved with the story of a new expansion, just as death knights are a major part of Wotlk whatever new class must join the fight against Azshara for a reason.
  • Must be playable by all races. This one isn’t definite, it could just be for Death Knights. However, I don’t see Blizzard not allowing certain races be certain things if they didn’t do it for death knights I don’t see them doing it for anything.
  • Must have a starting quest hub. The Death knights set a precedent for this and it’s expected of all future hero classes. More than likely the class will start at at least level 55 and will have it’s own area to ‘learn’ how to play it. They won’t be released into the world as high level with no training grounds and its doubtful they’ll start at level 1 either.

These requirements are not very stiff, in fact most classes could fit into these with relative ease. There’s a lot of other problems though that aren’t set by death knights but more by Blizzards current vision for the game. First, what type of class will it be? Looking at the talent trees and the outcry for more healers these days the new class will almost certainly be able to heal. The death knight was created to fill a vacant hole of tanks that players experienced at the end of Burning Crusade because at that time most players found tanking boring or too hard, depending on the class. DKs made tanking exceptionally fun I mean my mains a DK tank for cryin’ out loud, but it also proved their plan worked. Players still need tanks and can at times find a shortage but the discrepancy between healers and tanks is growing larger especially in the pugging/casual area.

This means the new class will more than likely not be a tank. There’s no reason for them to add two tanking classes in a row. The new class instead will be able to heal. I don’t see them allowing every tree of the new hero class to heal. It seems like a mistake they’re still trying to correct with every patch that they allowed every dk tree to tank, a healer would have a similar problem. The new class will probably have a single healing tree and it also won’t be a pure healing class as all healing specs have at least one dps spec. The conclusion is that we’re looking for a dps/healing hybrid much like a priest or shaman.

Now we know it will be able to heal we can try to figure out the armor it will wear. I don’t see any chance it will wear cloth as that tier is already packed (priest mage warlock) and while plate has only paladins with no other plate wearing spellcasters I doubt the new class will wear plate simply because there aren’t many in the lore that do. That leaves either leather or mail as they each have one spellcasting class (druid and shaman) vying for their loots, just like plate but both are more likely to be worn by healers. Plus for dps gear theres already 3 classes going for plate and another would make it 4 which would be absurd.

Another addition with Death knights was the brand new runic power/rune system that only they use. It’s pretty obvious if they do include a new hero class I doubt it will simply use a mana bar or energy it will most likely have some ‘gimmick’ like the dk’s system. I doubt it will be anything new or groundbreaking but it will be something different that attracts players who never heal to give it a second thought, just as DK’s did for tanking.

Alright so with these stipulations which hero classes qualify? Let’s have us a looksee(I’ve included links to wowwiki’s descriptions which do a fine job, I’m just adding my own thoughts):

Runemaster (http://www.wowwiki.com/Runemaster)

ultimatesinister

Ahh, the Runemaster, WoW’s version of the Monk from other fantasy settings, these guys have a pretty solid fanbase and are actually my front runner for a new hero class. They basically fit every criteria except for perhaps the leather/mail one, they almost exclusively wear cloth, but I can see them fitting into leather if need be. They are honorable protectors who can heal and would have a new way of combat, mainly martial melee combat with their fists or a staff. Their ‘gimmick’ would involve invoking various runes, like the death knights as well as possibly using a combo point system to heal opposed to mana. The only problem with something like this would be a rune master would never worry about going out of mana, something that is necessary to keep fights hard on healers and challenging for raids.

Other abilities include laying giant ‘rune fields’ on the ground that buff allies and hinder enemies that stand in them. I can see them easily getting a rune that does the same as heroism as long as you fight within it or a rune that does moderate area damage while the enemies are inside it. Their dps trees would involve melee with one more focused on buffing and debuffing while the other on pure damage. If balanced correctly they could recieve a bulk of friendly buffs only weaker and only able to be cast one at a time giving them a good niche, “we dont have a certain class tonight so you do ‘x’ buff”.

Another positive they have going for them is Blizzard has admitted they considered and even devoloped the Runemasters up during Wotlk’s start but decided to stick with death knight instead. They obviously already have a foundation. The only major problem would be connecting them to Maelstorms lore. It wouldn’t be as obvious a connection as death knights to Arthas but being that they’re good and have huge connections to the earth from which they draw their runes they could easily seek to stop the seeking “tide of war” that Azshara is leading against the solid ground. They also have a similar skin tone selection that death knights have when you create them, as you could give them rune patterns in the same way death knights got pale skin.

Chance they’re in the Cataclysm Expansion: 75%

Shadow Hunter (http://www.wowwiki.com/Shadow_Hunter)

scorpionking

The Shadow Hunter is another possibility as they fit almost all of the requirements. They can heal, wear leather or mail and are a ranged/new type of class. They’d probably share upgrading bows with hunters which is something Blizzard has mentioned as a concern in the past but also they’d bring another physical ranged dps to a raid. There are a few problems though, the Shadow Hunters are exclusively trolls, theres really never been any other kind, so fitting them into the “can be every race” clause would be quite the stretch. They also don’t really care for outsiders at all so saying they train other races would be far fetched as well.

They do have a major connection to the Maelstorm as the troll capital is on an island in the South Seas so there are bound to be shadow hunters. They would also bring a solid gimmick in the use of voodoo as their energy source. Theres quite a few ways this could work I’d probably stick with a do damage to gain voodoo use voodoo to heal/buff your party. This would make them feel less like a healer and more like a dps but also give them an ability to heal. Their trees would probably be two ranged dps trees and a healing tree, one of the dps trees focusing on nature damage and the other on physical, one more dot oriented the other more burst oriented.

The chances Blizzard adds them to the game are very high, but the chances they’ll be playable aren’t so much. If it weren’t for them being exclusively trolls I’d put them at least as high as Runemasters but because they are quite reclusive and seeing them run around as any race would be fairly confusing I doubt they’ll make it in as a playable class this expansion.

Chance they’re in the Cataclysm Expansion: 30%

Dragonsworn (http://www.wowwiki.com/Dragonsworn)

kain

The Dragonsworn are more of a dream of mine than anything. I can see them as mail wearing knights, much like Dragoons of Final Fantasy lore who use pikes, spears, staves, and warhammers to battle evil with valorous zeal. To me they’d be much like a paladin but instead of swearing to the light they swore to the Dragon Aspects and their talent trees would reflect that. It’d be best if each aspect could have a tree but because they can only have 3 and theres 5 aspects that’d be a bit much. What I would do instead is make a healing tree that’s red/green together, a ranged casting tree that’s just blue and a melee/debuff tree thats black/bronze. If you really wanted just 3 aspects then I would make it a red tree for healing, a green tree for melee/dot, and a bronze for ranged caster, but I like to include all 5 aspects, even if ones ‘evil’ and ones without a leader. Technically the blues should have a leader by next expansion and though the blacks leader is evil it doesn’t make all of them inherently evil so they could be included as well.

The problem with this class is that the Maelstorm, unless it includes a lot of dragon lore involving Deathwing as well as it’s island fun, won’t have enough about dragons to make this a very viable choice. There won’t be much connecting them to Azshara, but a reason could be made simply that Alexstrasza sees her as a huge threat and has rallied her greatest champions. Regardless of how they are included i would love to play as one. Their playing style would probably involve some sort of combo point energy plus something new like maybe charging abilities to do more damage or healing.

If it were up to me I’d jump on this class in a heartbeat for a new expansion but considering they aren’t very prominent and don’t have a huge connection to the Maelstorm, I doubt it will be included for the next expansion. I can dream though!

Chances they’re in the Cataclysm Expansion: 25%

Tinker (http://www.wowwiki.com/Tinker)

isaac-asimov

Tinkers! Yeah! These guys are what gnomes everywhere have been waiting for, a healing class they can be! A Tinker is different from an Engineer in that they’re not just doing it as a job, they’re doing it as a lifestyle. Every tinker builds their own bot or ‘mech’ and has it as a pet. This pet would change depending on the talent trees but also you could customize it with things you find and build, much like runeforging for death knights. The trees would probably revolve around a pet dps tree, a ranged physical dps tree and a healing tree that uses potions and gravity shields to ‘fix’ damage. I imagine their healing tree to be like a disc priest with powerful single target heals and maybe a few bursty ae heals but nothing like a holy priest.

They would be a ranged pet class for their dps trees but there’s only two of those right now and I figure they could use certain magics and physical abilities depending on their choice of attacks. A flame thrower for instance would do fire damage while shooting a gun would be physical. For the pet tree I’d focus more on the bot than the character itself,  maybe even have it do more damage than the Tinker. There are quite a few players who miss the pet classes of old mmo’s who were known for their pets, not for the damage the player does and would love to return to a class like that. For their ‘gimmick’ I’m not sure exactly what would set them apart from hunters, maybe a combo system that exploits weaknesses. The pet tree could have a lot of neat pet buffs maybe even letting the Tinker ride the bot for a short duration and other things of that sort.

This class actually would fit very well with the lore of Maelstorm, what with the introduction of Undermine, the only problem is they aren’t usually known outside Goblins and Gnomes. That problem however is not a big deal as either race could easily teach these things to the rest of their faction, as they’ve taught them engineering already. That would be another glaring issue, distinguishing the Tinker from the Engineer tradeskill but I think if you focused on what a Tinker can do that an engineer can’t the differences should be obvious. I like the chances of this class making it eventually but probably not this time around.

Chances they’re in the Cataclysm Expansion: 20%

Other Random Thoughts:

Alright so thats a good amount of new Hero Classes that could be included in a Maelstrom expansion. There are quite a few other ones that I don’t know as much about that are being tossed around, like Sea Witch (Vashj?), Brewmaster, and Blademaster. I see these as maybe being included at some point, especially blademaster, but I don’t particularly see it for this expansion. Another melee would just be overboard. Some players believe there won’t just be one hero class introduced but two or three. I don’t see them bringing more than two in but I’m fairly certain there will be at least one as they will not leave Death Knights as the only ‘hero’ class. They’ve already set a precedent, I doubt they’ll break it. So what else can we expect besides these races classes and zones?

Well with Burning Crusade Blizzard announced paladins and shamans would be available on both factions, something months before they’d said would never happen. Did they know they were going to do this? Probably not, as no other MMO had tried what they’d done. You can’t keep a game balanced in pvp or pve with a completely different class on two warring factions. It wasn’t as bad as say giving one side a healer and the other a dps or something but they realized they couldn’t keep the game even at the rate it was going and it made perfect sense to put the classes on both sides. So will there be anything as game breaking and shocking as this? I think there will be. I believe that Blizzard will allow cross faction communication and even grouping and raiding with the next expansion.

The hippo seems pleased.

The hippo seems pleased.

Now now read me out, I’m not insane. Currently with the ongoing story of Wotlk they’re building up a war between the two sides again, a rivalry that’s really based on nothing but two obnoxious leaders who are angry for no reason. I believe that something devastating will happen in Icecrown Citadel, maybe Jainas death? This would galvanize both sides into realizing who the true enemy is and lead them to defeat him. This would be a complete 180 turn around from how things appear now and the devs have mentioned that the next expansion will have surprises that will be unbelievable or that we’ve never experienced before. I think that the Goblin city of Undermine at the very least will allow cross faction communication and if not certain raids and grouping, then at least an AH and the ability to communicate in certain areas. This would easily fit the devs ‘shocking revelation’ and be a fairly surprising twist after the way the game appears to be headed.

Many people argue that this will never happen because the game is called World of Warcraft. I realize the title has war in it but that doesn’t mean it must be a war between the two player factions. Technically in the game right now the players are at war with like 10 different world shattering evils, any one of them can fit the war motif. It wouldn’t change pvp as really pvp isn’t really included in the lore anymore, none of the characters who die in a pvp instance stay dead and since you can fight and kill each other in ranked arenas on the same faction its the same as fighting in a battleground. Some players think that this would be the end of WoW, when they have to team up with the “dirty” other faction but I think it’s something they’ve been building up to for quite some time. Only recently did they start sparking the war again with Varian’s blatant orc hatred and Hellscreams stupid kid who thinks hes a badass or something spouting off all the time. It’s obvious they’re leading this somewhere and i think its to crossfaction communication…I could be completely wrong and instead the next expansion will have like 12 battlegrounds for an all out war because of the events of Icecrown.

What else will they throw in? Almost definitely a tradeskill, they’re 2 for 2 so far but for the life of me I can’t think of anything they could possibly add. If anything I’d like to see some customization options added to spells, more stuff like the dalaran arcane brilliance and things like that just for visual flair. I don’t know that a tradeskill is what can achieve this but if they let mages shoot pink frostbolts or felhunters wear sunglasses I’d totally be down. If they wanted to start working towards player housing they could add some kind of new gathering skill like lumberjacking where you go collect wood and make sweet patio furniture and stair rails or something.

Alright thats probably good for this one, if you made it this far you’re quite the trooper. I appreciate the readsmithing you just endured and if you have any comments feel free to leave em, I welcome ’em all.

Breedo much like the King Beetle plans to fly headlong into the blazing unknown.

08
Jul
09

Predicting the next Wow expansion.

blizzcon_exterior

So as I’ve mentioned before on this here blogspace internets, I’m a pretty avid player of World of Warcraft. I have a few level 80 characters, 2 of which are pretty well geared…one with all of Ulduar cleared in 10 man sans ol’ Alganon and most of the 25 man cleared, the other a glorious pvpsmith with a handful of Ulduar epics. Like most fans of the game I’m anxiously awaiting Blizzcon…well I guess ‘anxious’ would be a bit melodramatic…let’s just say I would kill for it. So what’s all this hubbub about!??1?

Blizzard will announce a new expansion for WoW at Blizzcon, it’s 99% certain. That’s as certain as you can get without knowing for sure, like if someone asked you “Tom Cruise eats chalk right?” thats how certain we are. The past Blizzcons have fluctuated between “huge game breaking announcements (ie an expansion) to nothing special (ie why did we hold this again?)” This years Blizzcon is one of the former, as last years was just bland, almost no new information with Wrath of the Lich King only a few months away and most of which had already been slowly seeped of surprises.

So what can we expect in the next expansion? Well that right there is the 11.5 billion subscriber question, and it takes a bit more brain gumption.  Last week Blizzard copywrited(copywrote?) the term Cataclysm for the use in computer gaming. Ohhh, thats sort of like the time I copywri…I trademarked…the term Cathyclysm, a tale in which the Cathy comic comes to a horrible yet foreseeable end…Anyway, they also took it for marketing a ton of things (like stickers!) that are usually sold with an expansion (STICKERS!), which cause many to speculate that the Cataclysm is involved with the next WoW expansion. So what could the Cataclysm be?

Most speculate that it’s referring to the events that created the Maelstorm in Warcraft’s history. Basically when the Well of Eternity was destroyed it ripped the land of Azeroth in half forming the seperate continents that are in the old world game currently. Before that they were one giant Pangea style landmass, I assume with volcanos dinosaurs and albinos, but because of the cataclysm they were broken in half and drifted away from each other…much like Emmanuel Lewis and Alex Karras after the final season of Webster. What appeared between them was the Maelstorm a “swirling vortex of power” the Naga hail from.  It can be assumed that this would be where the expansion would be set, the Maelstorm and its surrounding islands which harbor a large variety of locals from goblins and pirates to crabmen and dinosaurs.

Theres really nothing else tying the word Cataclysm to WoW’s lore. The only other thing it could mean, if it’s still an expansion, is that the world of Azeroth has entered a “new Cataclysm”, changing the entire old world and bringing in new beasties and villains. I don’t see this as a very likely possibility as that would take a serious amount of work, but it would actually be very neat if they used phasing technology once you hit a certain level or did a certain quest, and you saw an entire continent rip in half or something. The likelihood of this however, as I mentioned is very low, as it’s almost certainly referring to a Maelstorm-style ocean expansion.

So what would a Maelstorm expansion entail? There’s plenty of ground to cover for new zones, tons of new races to introduce and bad guys to loot…I mean vanquish. The main villain would almost definitely be Azshara, the queen of the Naga, who according to the art below looks sorta like Ursala from The Little Mermaid. Sweet, I’ve always wanted to fight a giant squidlady. Another area would be the peninsunation of Gil’neas, a kingdom of humans who said “You know what, fuck it.” and locked themselves away from the rest of the world. Everything that’s happened to them since then is a mystery which is wide open for exploration in a Maelstorm expansion.

Hot.

Hot.

Besides those areas, theres the Bloodsail Buccaneers who have been involved in a ton of the quests in original WoW as well as a few in Northrend. Their base/island/fortress would definitely be involved as well as their grand pirate leader, Duke Fairevere. A rival nation to the pirates would be Kul’Tiras a nation of humans who have allied with the Alliance in the past, they ship most of the goods the pirates pillage and would likely be a pretty large quest area.  The Goblin town of Undermine would most definitely be the new city hub, like Dalaran and Shattrath before it. The areas are mostly tropical except of course the Maelstrom, but they do include a variety of species and geography much like how Lich King didn’t have only snow areas but forests and tundras.

Another possibility is the inclusion of Deathwing, a major lore figure who has yet to be seen in the game. Blizzard likes to put dragons into a major element of the story such as Malygos going insane for Lich King. This would also give them leeway to include some other old world zones players have wanted to see for quite some time, like Grim Batol. Plus you can never go wrong with evil dragons.

So besides locales what else will draw players into the expansion? The lore could actually be a problem as many players have stated they see Arthas as the main villain of Warcraft and that fighting someone besides him after hes “dead” would seem a step backwards. I don’t agree as Arthas has really only been a major character since Warcraft 3 and there has been plenty to play off before that.

What Blizzard will have to do is convince people Azshara is a bigger threat than even the Lich King, which really she could be as she not only has a kingdom of intelligent, super powerful devout followers, opposed to the thoughtless undead of Arthas, she rules the entire ocean. It’d be akin to the Alliance and Horde both twice as large and working under one ruler. The amount of power she could demonstrate if she were to attack the land would be phenomenal especially if she was backed by a powerful force, say an Old God or Deathwing.

Blizzard would have to depict her doing something at the end of Lich King that causes the player factions to target her. Much like Arthas had a brazen invasion of the capital cities she will have to do something of that magnitude to get players to come after her. I doubt it will be the same as an invasion every expansion would grow very old, besides I see her a much more cunning and sneaky villain than Arthas, she’s someone who would assassinate a faction leader or somehow create a coup. Perhaps she won’t even be involved at all but one of the island nations leaders comes to the factions and informs them of her quickly spreading influence and asks for help.

Besides lore there will most definitely be new features. The last two expansions added first 2 new races in Burning Crusade and then a new class of Death Knight in Lich King. Can we expect more of this for whatever comes next? The answer is yes. New races are fairly easy to implement and can give players a reason to play even more, something Blizzard wants to happen. New classes, while much harder to implement, do the same but also give the player base a direct connection to the new expansion as well as give them a completely new character to experience. Blizzard will not leave Deathknights as the only ‘hero’ class so there will almost certainly be a new one for that reason as well. First though, lets take a look at what it takes to even be considered as a racial candidate.

What it takes to be a race for a Maelstorm Expansion:

  • Must be connected to the lore. This is the most important, a new race must be involved with the workings of the Maelstorm and have some direct reason for joining the conflict otherwise there’d be no reason to include them.
  • Needs a reason to join a faction. For Burning Crusade the Blood Elves joined the Horde because they were scorned by the Alliance and needed help following their leader. They weren’t outright accepted like the Draenei were for the Alliance but they still had a reason. The Draenei on the other hand were forced to crash land by members of the Horde, that gives them plenty of reason to want to join and fight.
  • Needs to be reasonable. There are some races that without a major change to their design will never be playable. I highly doubt we’ll ever get to play as glorious crabmen because not only do they not fit the top two but they wouldn’t be taken seriously. Some say Draeneis were the same before their model change and that could be a valid arguement but without futher examples I don’t see certain races ever being playable, races without legs for example.
  • Needs a home. So far there have only been two new races, but both had their own starting areas and capitals. It could be that Blizzard just made an exception with these two and plans to add more that simply begin like the gnomes and trolls, in another race’s town, but I’d find that unlikely. In order to connect to the new race there must be some starting ground…a newbie zone. If they ever add a mass influx of new races maybe they could be refugees to a major faction’s town but I don’t see them adding any race in the third expansion who doesn’t even have a home.

Alright so who does that leave?

Goblin

goblin

Goblins are likely to be a major contributing race to a Maelstorm expansion. They have a huge merchant town and a vast amount of ships and information. They also have close ties to both factions but have only officially joined the Horde during the second war. They broke it off however as working both sides is more profitable. That’s the problem for them to be playable unless its a brand new offshoot of Goblin who has different ideals theres almost no way they will commit to one side. The only other chance for them to be a playable race would be for them to be neutral and either pick a side during creation or work both sides as a faction free character. The chances of being faction free however are miniscule and while choosing during creation might be interesting it doesn’t really bode well for “a reason to join a faction” when you can join either at a whim.

Chance they’re playable: 45%

More likely to be on the: Horde, the goblins have joined them once before and it would be much more likely than to join only the Alliance. The alliance already has gnomes anyway which fits a similar role goblins would bring.

Pandaren

panda

The pandarens are a favorite of many fans, some of which have been demanding they be included as playable in an expansion. Rumors floated during the vacant Alliance race debates of Burning Crusade that they were supposed to be the Ally race but were axed because of China’s adoration of pandas. This seems more a vast exaggeration to me as Chinese people do love them some pandas they are not going to ban a game because it depicts a giant pandaman’s death. They do have some pretty harsh censors in place anyway so if all else failed Pandarens could just become giant black bearmen and still serve the same purporse. I think the major problem for most of China was that they were pandas but they wore traditional Japanese garb, something that is pretty taboo over there. The more pressing problem i see with Pandarens is that while most love them some fans hate them. They did start as a April Fools joke so to some taking a giant pandaman seriously would kill what “realism” of the fantasy world that is Warcraft is left. I however think it’s just as realistic a giant panda can talk and fight as a giant cowman can. They may not be included simply because of that, but I do think there is a chance they could still make it as playable…just not a great one.

Chance they’re playable: 40%..if not in this expansion then they probably won’t ever be.

More likely to be on: Alliance, this was a tough call but there are a lot of similarities between Pandarens and Dwarves but enough to still have a pretty big disparity and bring something new to the Alliance, unlike for the Horde who already have the Tauren which have a similar disposition as most Pandarens.

Wolvar

beast

The Wolvar are another great rumor from TBC but this time they could actually be involved. If Arugul makes a move in Northrend and reveals something about the isolated kingdom of Gilneas, something horrible like they’ve all been turned to werewolves (sweet) that would give a link between the expansions but also open up the kingdom as a new faction. This faction could join either side, they were never great friends with much of the Alliance, but also bring a new savage race to the game something fun and different, akin to the Draenei. I think out of most new race ideas this one is one of the more solid ones as many players want to play as one and they have a pretty epic backstory. The only problem would be that wolvars are one of the few races in Warcraft that are inherently evil. They were brought from a plane of hate or something, so to team them up with a faction would be a stretch…unless they were diluted of course.

Chance they’re playable: 45%, like the pandaren if they don’t make it in this expansion they probably won’t ever be.

More likely to be on: Alliance, I went with Allies for this one mainly because they don’t have a race like the Wolvars already as I imagine them being a lot like orcs. This could of course make them more likely to join the Horde but deep down they’re still humans so I think the allies win out.

Naga

cobrat

The Naga have a huge history and would be a perfect candidate for a new race in a Maelstorm expansion. While they will probably be one of the major forces of villainy they could easily have a ‘good’ offshoot who doesn’t see the point of their queen’s expansionist ideals and murderous intent. This would be a lot like the blood elves of the horde after they found out Kael’s plan. The major problem however is they have no feet so no..shoe slot…and theres no telling what they’re ride for mounts. Another problem is there are literally two ‘good’ nagas in the entire game and neither are very friendly with either side.

Chance they’re playable: 20%

More likely to be on: Horde, the Naga have a similar ordeal that the Blood Elves faced in TBC and a similar outlook on the rest of the world as the Forsaken. The only problem is believing theres a group of Nagas who think their Queen is wrong, a rebellion that is much more understandable coming from a Blood Elf.

Drakonid/Dragonborn

charmander

This is one of my favorite ideas for a race, the dragons left from the various experiments throughout the game. Any of them could work, from Deathwings tampering in Blades Edge or the work of Nefarion in BWL. There could easily be one faction who is ‘good’ who escape their captors and join a side to fight back against their oppressors. Plus how cool would it be if BWL was a starting ground for a new race…I’d be all over that. The problem is most Drakonid are huge and not very understanding of human ways so joining a faction would more than likely be beneath them but really the same could be said of Draenei before they had their model and lore changes.

Chance they’re playable: 20% in a Maelstorm expansion…ever? 70%, dragon races are all the rage these days.

More likely to be on: Either, Depending on how the lore is written either side could work with a race of dragons, fighting back against more than likely Deathwing. Just like the death knights before them which both sides accepted, they really could go either way.

Furbolg

berenstain bears

Furbolgs have a huge connection to the Emerald Dream, which I haven’t mentioned yet but could very well be involved in a Maelstorm expansion. They also have tons of animations and could easily get an updated model to become a new player race. They also have plenty of room for a capital and great ties with the Night Elves already. The only problem is in just a Maelstorm expansion they don’t really fit.

Chance they’re playable: 20% in Maelstorm expansion…ever? 70%

More likely to be on: Alliance, while the taurens do have some connections with them and they are on good terms they are definitely better friends with the Night Elves. They also bring a more savage race to the alliance which some people say is still needed.

Alright thats enough for now. These are my thoughts for the next expansion but I’m only halfway done. Next post I’ll put what I think would make for good hero classes as well as some other ideas for what they’ll be adding thats  “completely new and different” for an MMO. Most of the above  race ideas can be found on http://www.wowwiki.com and have many more ups and downs than I mentioned, I just made my own opinions for them for this particular expansion. If you have some thoughts I welcome those as well just toss em in the comments.

Breedo would like everyone to know it took way to long to find out the name of the snake in Mario Brothers 2. It’s Cobrat btw.

02
Jul
09

Casting Metal Gear Solid: The Movie Film.

Alright since the Batman casting call is still my most popular article, not that anything is that popular on here but I decided I’d try another one. I’m gonna run down who I think should play the characters in a Metal Gear Solid film. I’m going to stick to just MGS1 for now mainly because theres just so many characters it’d take a while to cast em all plus I can do the rest in later posts anyway. There may be a few spoilers in this for MGS1 so you’ve been warned. Alright so lets start with the first and most important…Solid Snake

Solid Snake

It's easy to forget what a sin is in the middle of a battlefield.

It's easy to forget what a sin is in the middle of a battlefield.

Snake is the most pivotal character in the whole game, you have to have someone with chops but also someone who can pull off his grandiose badassery without being unbelievable. You need someone down to earth and someone the audience can relate to who’s stuck in a situation he doesn’t understand anymore than them. It’s a very tough list of requirements and nearly impossible to nail them all.

Who should play him: Gerard Butler

gerardbutler

Yes this is probably an odd choice but I really think he could pull it off the best. His work in 300 while obviously over the top was still great to watch and exuded the ruggedness a Solid Snake would need on the big screen. Lots of people have been throwing Christian Bales name around for the part and while he’s a good actor and gets into his roles I just don’t want to see him at the head of MGS, it doesn’t fit for me. Gerard has shown he can be very serious, even overly so, but also I believe he has the wit to pull of a believable Snake, more so than anyone else.

Runner-Ups: Christian Bale, Keifer Sutherland, David Hayter (if he seriously buffed up)

Liquid Snake

Ask the father that you killed. I'll send you to hell to meet him.

Ask the father that you killed. I'll send you to hell to meet him.

Ah Liquid Snake the good old fashioned twin brother rival who hates the hero’s guts. While technically they are twins and really should probably be played by the same person I think Liquid looks different enough that another actor could play him and still pass off as his cloned brother, I mean Liquid seems to take ample steps to prove hes better than Snake there’s nothing saying he wouldn’t modify his appearance a little bit. Plus in a realistic standpoint making one actor play both the main character and the main villain doesn’t usually work…unless it’s Eddie Murphy of course.

Who should play him: Sean Bean

Sean-Bean

Sean Bean easily has the acting ability to play a convincing Liquid as well as the physique to look the part. He’s most well known for his role in Lord of the Rings but he’s a great actor in almost everything he’s in. Bean is easily my favorite choice for Liquid but there are a few other good ones.

Runner-Ups: Aaron Eckhart, Viggo Mortenson

Roy Campbell

You will accept this assignment.

You will accept this assignment.

Roy comes off most of the game as a friend but at times can be very stern and demanding.  In a film he probably wouldn’t have much screen time and more than likely just be a voice in Snakes head warning him of dangers and the like. I think he needs a relatively recognizable voice but really any elderly actor with some pinache could pull him off. Most fans won’t care if he doesn’t look much like his game counterpart.

Who should play him: Gene Hackman

gene-hackman

Hackman basically already played this exact role in Behind Enemy Lines and worked perfectly at it. He’s got that demanding voice but can also come off as a friend to sympathize with. He easily has the chops, the only thing might be he’s already done something like it and it’s not really a main character so he might think its beneath him or something.

Runner-Ups: Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Clint Eastwood

Hal “Otacon” Emmerich

 Life isn't all about loss, ya know.

Life isn't all about loss, ya know.

Otacon is basically Snake’s sidekick and as such will have a ton of screen time and if you follow the first game directly even a love interest. He’s also a geeky coward who is a complete opposite of Snake, but thats why theres such chemistry. He needs to be played by someone who can look smart but at the same time vulnerable.

Who should play him: Cillian Murphy

cillian-murphy2

Cillian Murphy plays a character like Otacon in a lot of his movies just not exactly. He’s played vulnerable killers and a terrified guy running from zombones. He’s pretty much the perfect fit for this role as he can easily bring the panic and cowardice but also come off as exceptionally smart and calculating. He even looks the part which is a major plus as well.

Runner-Ups: James Franco, Daniel Radcliffe

Meryl Silverburgh

...You're a sad, lonely man.

...You're a sad, lonely man.

Meryl Silverburgh is the rookie trapped in the middle of Shadow Moses when MGS starts. She acts as tough as Snake and early in the game she even surprises him a few times but she actually has little to no combat experience. She’s basically the girl playing soldier who doesn’t really know whats shes getting herself into. Meryl is very smart though, and needs to be played by an experienced actress.

Who should play her: Keira Knightley

keira_knightley1_300_400

Keira basically played a Meryl-lite in her movie Domino where she played a female bounty hunter. All she has to do is be an inexperienced version of that but act tough which is easily within Keira’s range as she is a multiple academy award nominee. In the game Meryl has some of the most groan worthy lines but shes also got some of the best comic relief so it’s going to take someone with an actual ability to act, as opposed to simply being ‘eye candy’.

Runner-Ups: Felecia Day, Emily Deschanel, Maggie Gyllenhall

Revolver Ocelot

Can't you even die right?

Can't you even die right?

Revolver Ocelot is easily one of my favorite characters, hes got major gumption and a glorious angry old man attitude. He also wields a single 6 shot pistol, which his name describes and loves it with a passion. He’s the first boss in the game and lasts through the entire series, showing up in many unexpected places, proving just how important a character he is. He may sound too hard to portray by those terms but I know just the actor.

Who should play him: Daniel Day Lewis

daniel_day_lewis

In my opinion theres no one more perfect for this role. He exudes the tension and drama that Ocelot is associated with. He’s also got the perfect mannerisms and style of speech in a lot of his films to where its not even a stretch for him to fit in the role. The only problem would be it’s probably not a character he’d be interested in but I can dream can’t I?

Runner-Ups: Gary Oldman, Sam Elliott, Sean Connery

Sniper Wolf

 I watched the stupidity of mankind through the scope of my rifle.

I watched the stupidity of mankind through the scope of my rifle.

A female sniper who works in solitude, Sniper Wolf is one of the deepest characters in the game. She doesn’t have much screen time but what she does have she steals the show even from Snake so you need someone with star appeal and great looks as well as the ability to make everyone else on screen nervous.  Wolf also has a tendancy to have a huge emotional range in her characters feelings, probably a side effect of the drug she’s addicted to. She needs an actress who can portray all of this in a relatively short time.

Who should play her: Scarlett Johansson

scarlet-johanson

It’s asking a lot of Scarlett Johansson to step into the shoes of Sniper Wolf but I think she’d do very well. She’s show the ability to act in a range of different roles the exact thing needed for someone with Wolf’s emotional spectrum. She’s also gorgeous which is another mark off the ol’ list.

Runner-Ups:Elisha Dushku, Megan Fox

Psycho Mantis

I am the top practitioner of Psychokinesis and Telepathy in the WORLD!

I am the top practitioner of psychokinesis and telepathy in the WORLD!

When first I fought Psycho Mantis he literally freaked me out so bad I stopped playing for the night. Hideo used a range of tricks for his battle that involved him reading your mind, and to someone who hadn’t seen anything like that before it was a huge surprise. He’s a pretty straightforward character though and doesn’t last long after he’s introduced, I still regard him as one of the best bosses ever though.

Who should play him: Alan Cumming

alan

Basically all you need for Psycho Mantis is someone with a voice that sounds cool through a gas mask and a creep aura about them Alan Cumming should fit both of these pretty well…I’ve never heard him whisper through a gas mask but I can imagine. He should have no trouble handling Mantis but if he wasn’t up for it theres a few other good choices.

Runner-Up: David Hyde Pierce, Doug Jones

Vulcan Raven

Snakes don't belong in Alaska

Snakes don't belong in Alaska

Alright Vulcan Raven! The first real badass moment you have in the game is when Snake fights VR while Raven’s in a tank. Its a glorious scene that shows just how determined Snake is, meanwhile the whole time VR is asking him deep philosophical questions or just insulting him. So really his actor needs to be someone who is known for their strength, I mean he carries a gatling gun around, and can go from completely unstable to questioning existence in a split second.

Who should play him: Dwayne Johnson

DwayneJohnson

Some may disagree with me but I think the Rock is a good actor and I can’t think of anyone more perfect for Vulcan Raven. He can easily handle all the big mans dialogue as well as come off as a bigger than life character, I mean he did it for years in the WWF. He’s my first choice for Vulcan Raven but there are a few others I could see working.

Runner-Up: Mickey Rourke, Djimon Hounsou


Gray Fox

I am like you. I have no name.

I am like you. I have no name.

Gray Fox is an interesting character because he’s basically a renegade in the whole affair. He only wants to get involved so Snake can finally end him in an epic duel but he’s also not willing to let anyone finish the job. He grows as a character during the small amount of time hes on the screen and has some of the most ridiculous scenes in the game. He’s also for the most part only ever a voice through a mask so really you just need a strong voice actor and I have just the one.

Who should play him: Liam Neeson

liam_neeson

He may seem old for the part but for the most part hes just going to be the voice of the character who will probably be played by a guy in the suit most of the time anyway. Liam does have some action under his belt though so he should be fine for a role like this. The character of Gray Fox’s age is disputable anyway and considering the way Snake ages theres no telling how old he actually is anyway.


Dr Naomi Hunter

Live Snake... that's all I can tell you.

Live Snake... that's all I can tell you.

Naomi Hunter is a major character later in the series. In MGS1 she’s just a contact for Snake much like the Colonel who shares information about his targets. Later in the game shes a part of a major plot point so I figured she needed to be cast, plus in MGS4 she’s a huge character. She’s very sensitive and seems sad all the time but is also a genius so it’s gonna be tough for her actress.

Who should play her: Monica Bellucci

monica

Not only does Monica Bellucci look exactly like Naomi but she’s got the acting ability to pull her off. Monica should have no trouble fitting into the sad doctors role again just like Tears of the Sun, while also staying interesting and smart.


Whew that was a lot of choices. There are still quite a few lesser characters left but they have such short appearences in the original game besides dialogue that I’m not going to bother finding a picture for them. I will still cast them though:

Master Miller: Sean Bean with his hair tied up…What…thats how it is in the game =x

Mei Ling: I don’t know that Snake will need to save during the movie but if he does and calls her I think she’d be great played by Ziyi Zhang from House of Flying Daggers.

Natasha Romanenko: Really I can’t think of any famous russian female actress who would fit this part. It’d probably be best to cast a no-name for this one anyway.

Super Bonus Cast: Big Boss

big boss salute

There’s only one man who can play a hero of such magnitude…of such caliber.

Who should play him: Kurt Russell

Russell

There you have it, my casting choices for MGS1. I’m sure I’ll do the rest when I get around to it as these are quite fun to think about. If you would like to add your own I welcome it. Until next time~

10
Jun
09

The Sims 3: Oh Breedo you’re insatiable.

The-Sims-3

So I only recently started playing the new Sims game for PC. My previous experience with this franchise was rather brief but in my exploits I managed to have Gambit, Vision, Magneto and a pirate live together as bunkmates. From what I remember I had Gambit working the criminal career, Magneto was a lawyer and Vision was a stay at home man servant who hated his life. The pirate just wandered around eating other peoples food and living a pirates life, I couldn’t interfere with that. That was a pretty solid gaming experience all around but it seems ol’ EA has decided to up the ante with this new version that is The Sims 3.

Holla at yo boy?

Holla at yo boy?

 

First off lets just say the character customization is ridiculous, I made my usual Breedo Jaxon in just under 20 minutes creating a hybrid between T-Pain and Snake Pliskin. Now you get to pick your sims “traits” which are personality quirks that determine their thoughts in certain situations. Breedo was of course Brave and Charismatic, as well as Lucky. I also chose Daredevil because it sounded interesting and Genius because he’s that as well. This all added up to his dream being “International Super Spy” which I can’t fault him for so I agreed with.

Bravery would help him enter the career of law enforcement. Charisma seems like the best trait overall as it gives him a much more approachable demeanor which is somewhat demanding of a super spy. Lucky doesn’t seem to do much other than improve his mood on random days, while daredevil causes him to do everything “Extreme”. Genius helps him stay sharp keeping his logic going relatively easily, and this is neccessary as well for law enforcement.

After choosing my traits Breedo got to buy a house. I picked a nice little cabin looking place with a lake out on the edge of a subdivision. Breedo entered his home and immediately demanded I give him a couch. At first I was hesitant…how dare he demand from me?, but I conceded and delivered a couch upon him from the heavens. He immediately sat down and read the paper to which I could find him a job.  I set him up to become a policeman with the job “Snitch” and he started work the next day.  

The odd thing was during his first night in the new house I literally had a couch that he was sleeping on and the menial things the house starts with but a burglar crept in to rob him. Now Breedo being the bold, yet sophisticated gentleman he is, got up and proceeded to pummel the burglar into submission. This wouldn’t be a terrible thing except the burglar was a teenage girl…she left crying, ran to a taxi(what?) and left. Breedo immediately walked back over to the couch and went to sleep. Not only did he get a good nights rest but for the next 12 hours he had a special happy mood about how he had won a fight. Breedo was feeling good for beating up a girl…

Anyways, he woke up and went to his first day of work as a snitch bright and early at 9 am.  I’m not sure what kind of snitch works 9 to 3, monday to friday, but apparently its a solid job opportunity. Speaking of work, when you only have one sim it’s ridiculously boring.  You basically have to fast forward for 6 hours doing nothing while your sim does his job. It gets much more hectic once you have a few sims but with just one its rather boring…especially when you have to do the same when he’s asleep too.

At work you can set your sim to do random things depending on the job. I had him make best friends with his partner immediately and after a few days of working Breedo started getting romantic wishes about her. Wishes are basically requests that your sim would like at some point to be complete that you can indulge or ignore at your discretion. I was walking him around the park meeting people on a whim when I saw his partner and began to talk to her. She revealed to him that she was not single but Breedo was not discouraged, I immediately stopped talking to her and talked up a young lady walking past.

Breedo found out in his first conversation with her that she was rich, which would be an odd thing to reveal in normal chat but I’m fine with, so I had him woo her using his charismatic charms. He found out she was good and artistic and…unemployed. Alright perfect, thought Breedo as he began inviting her to his home every few days until finally he proposed to her. Now this was about 2 weeks into Breedo’s life, he had just become an “Adult” and was already engaged. I threw them a wedding party and invited a bunch of random sims who walked around my tiny house with the single couch talking to other sims and eating my waffles from the early morning. I would love to go to a party like this myself but apparently these people were haters because most of them complained and left.

Speaking of waffles I forgot to mention you get to choose your sims favorite food, mine started on waffles oddly enough so Breedo makes them almost every morning. I wasn’t planning on him being a cook but he got really good at it really fast so I left him that way. He also likes to spend 2 hours at night making mac and cheese. It must be laced with lsd or something because I don’t know why it takes him so long to make it but he seems to enjoy it.

Alright so after the wedding party it asked if I wanted to move in with my rich young fiance, to which I agreed. So it opens up this screen and has my old house and the new one which is a $200k  house compared to my 10k one. Apparently she lives with her elderly parents who make retirement money and one of whom I’d already met in a park…who I found out was evil.

 

Oh Breedo, thinkin about his daughter.

Oh Breedo, thinkin about his daughter.

 

Alright, so I move Breedo into her house sell my old one and rename their estate to the Jaxon estate. Alls well in Breedos world as now not only is my fiance part of my control now but her evil elderly parents are as well.  Turns out her dad is a retired vice president in a law firm and her mom was the mayor. So Breedo is sitting in their luxury dining room eating waffles as her dad walks in sits down stares at him for a moment then begins reading the paper. It’s quite possibly the greatest moment in my sims history.

After talking to her parents for a bit Breedo found out her dad wants to literally be a super villain and her mom wants to undermine charities…pretty horrible people for my honest super cop Breedo to be living with. So I begin just messing with their relationship completely. I had her mom bring a maid over and her dad hit on the maid for like 7 hours straight but it lead to no where as everytime I left them alone he began doing evil things and telling about how he kills orphans or something. That’s when I realized the father may be too evil to redeem and decided I’d see how long I could keep him awake. He made it 3 days before I got tired of clicking him, but the best part is he had hydrophobia and they had a huge pool in the back yard so I made him get in it over and over, basically sending him into a paranoid psychosis where he passed out for 5 hours on the deck of the patio. Eventually I let him go back to sleep but I’m convinced I’ll probably have to kill that old man.

The mother on the other hand is still evil but she does have some redeeming qualities. She likes to play the guitar…a lot. I left her in there for 12 hours straight one day until she was quite good and she began getting performance requests. I decided to enlist her as a musician at the theater and she just started as I stopped playing, so I’m not sure how that’s going to go.

 

Giggidy.

Giggidy.

Breedo and his fiance got married as well and his fiance started working in the medical field as a paramedic. It’s odd she had a request to invite one of her best friends over who was a girl, and she had a huge amount of “romantic” things she could do to her…which leads me to believe Breedo may have found the perfect woman. As for his job aspirations he’s almost to super spy but he has to spend more time rummaging through peoples trash and questioning townsfolk to get advancement, something he never seems to have time for.

Overall I quite enjoyed the Sims 3 from what I’ve played so far. Just a few things that irked me mainly the time waiting when you only have one sim and hes doing menial job/sleep related things that take forever to skip through. The other thing is when you have a bunch of sims, I mean I have four, it gets to be crazy micromanaging all their needs and desires I’m not sure how you would do it with more.