I was originally going to comment on the news about how all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is killing us faster then we were being killed before (or something like that). Look, I'm not one of those... what do you call them... climate deniers or anything, but the sensationalist bullshit that's being passed off as science in this discussion quite frankly insults my intelligence. Thankfully, the gaming industry in recent days has been undergoing its own climate change. None of the news is really good, but it's a more fun discussion compared to the stupidity of the global warming debate. It also requires me to do far less research. So, first on the list, the news that World of Warcraft has suffered a fourteen percent drop in subscribers. The pundits, naturally, are all over this story, blowing their I-told-you-so trumpets in a triumphant orchestra. I can imagine them blaming everything from catering to the lowest-common denominator to the Will of the Forsaken nerf for the drop, but the more likely reasons are pretty much out of Blizzard's control. First of all, the game is old. Nearly a decade old, in fact. We're well past the stage where growth is to be expected as the natural state of affairs. The suits are aware of this, saying that they're expecting the numbers to drop even more before the year is out. The second, and probably more significant reason, is that the subscription MMO is dead. The collapse of Star Wars: The Old Republic pretty much signaled the end of the line, and with Rift going free-to-play next month, WoW will soon be the only major MMO left that still uses the subscription-based model. (Well, there's EVE Online, but I'm not sure if that counts as "major.") Inevitably WoW will join the ranks of the no-sub MMOs, but in the meantime they still boast at least twice as many players as their nearest competitor, Guild Wars 2. Hate Blizzard all you want, they're still gonna be cashing checks.
In a recent earnings call, Activision/Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft has dropped to 8.3 million subscribers, down from the 9.6 million from the last quarterly earnings call.
It stated that most of those lost subscribers were from the East (China, Korea, etc.) and could be attributed to the ever increasing market rise of free-to-play MMOs. Aside from that though, it's obvious that the mighty Goliath of the MMO market is on the decline. No, WoW isn't dead, so all of you doomsday callers can put away your signs now, but it's clear that Blizzard needs to make some changes in order to save their flagship franchise.
I've been more of a loyal Blizzard fanboy than I care to admit. I'm not one of their original fans who played Warcraft 1 in all of its 2D glory, in fact I only began playing in the October after the vanilla World of Warcraft release, but since then my life has been consumed by their games - It's seriously horrifying, every time I typed /played on my WoW account I felt sick to my stomach because I could actually work out the uncannily high percentage of my life that I'd spent running around Orgrimmar in circles on my mount.
Last week, a friend of mine accused me of "pulling the black card". We were talking about Lindsay Lohan, a woman who I personally despise for her apparent immunity to the criminal consequences of her actions. I've pretty much lost count of the number of things she's been arrested for by now, which include everything from DUIs to hit-and-runs to grand larceny to even tax evasion. For all that, the girl has served a grand total of a few days of jail time. I mentioned (in a bit of an unexpectedly angry rant) that had the same crimes all been committed by a black man instead of a rich white girl, the man wouldn't be seeing another sunrise. People who know me well know that I'm one of the last people to cry racism for any particular situation. Hell, I've even claimed that the frequent use of the N-word by internet bad-asses isn't really racism. I tend to embrace most racial stereotypes as a big joke. So what if I like fried chicken and Kool-Aid? That shit's good, man.
Back on December 16, 2009, the last issues of the World of Warcraft: The Comic was published. At the time, it was supposed to mark a change in the comic. Rather than being one comic, it would be two comics. World of Warcraft: The Alliance and World of Warcraft: The Horde, both as an ongoing series. Jump forward a few months and both the Alliance comic and the Horde comic were canceled as ongoing series, but we are given the promise they were now going to be graphic novels. Then the waiting started. I can't image many were waiting too long, since in the time it took Blizzard and DC comics to get their act together to publish this comic, they published Ashbringer, Curse of the Worgen, and Pearl of Pandaria. If you are a long time follower of my old blog, you might remember back in 2011 when I broke the story that these books were still in production, since Jheremy Raapack, the artist, was talking about the Horde book on his blog. However, it wasn't until the San Diego Comic Con 2011 that we got official word that both the Alliance and Horde comics were still, in fact, in the works and the had been renamed Dark riders and Bloodsworn, respectively. Then back in February when I talked to Mickey Nelson he said they were still doing the art on Dark riders. So, knowing all that on May 7, 2013 we finally get to see the story of some of the characters that were introduced almost three and half years ago. Lets take a look.
I haven't turned on my TV in about two weeks. Doesn't seem like there's anything good on lately. Well, there's Game of Thrones, but that's been collecting virtual dust on my DVR while I do other things like play games and watch anime on Hulu. So, I managed to miss most of the coverage on the big story last week, the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the manhunt afterwards. Well, I missed the mainstream media's TV coverage, I should say. Twitter seemed to do a pretty good job at keeping me up to date whether I cared or not, and I browsed through the cliff notes at the end of the day on my RSS reader. I've never been a big fan of TV news coverage as whole. Probably the most minor offense is that they fill time with bullshit when there's nothing new to report during a major event. The biggest two issues are their need to be "first" as opposed to "true", and their need to over-dramatize everything to make a "compelling" narrative instead of just giving us the facts. The coverage of the Sandy Hook shooting back in mid-December was pretty much the last straw. The perpetuation of the assault weapon meme went so far as to claim that the shooter actually used an AR-15 to commit the crime; the truth (which most people don't even know, shockingly) is that the evil rifle was found in the trunk of Lanza's car, and was never fired.
Ladies and gentlemen it is time for my PAX East retrospective! I was both overwhelmed and underwhelmed by PAX East 2013. It was my first ever convention and it was definitely a good one for my first con, but there were some times that I was disappointed. I started out my day by being rudely awakened by Octaveus, my dad, and I was told to get ready to go, then two and a half hours pass, all because mother can't get ready to go anywhere fast to save herself. We finally leave at about 9 AM, I'm slowly starting to freak out/ getting pissed off because the con starts at 10. We have an hour to get from home, no I'm not telling you people where I live, to The Boston Exhibition and Convention Center (BECE for short). This is why we can't have nice tings, we will be late to our own funerals if we go as a group. So off we go to PAX! Thus begins the hour and a half drive to the BECE, where I listened to my playlist of VGM, which has a lot of OC Remix music. at about the China Town point I stumble across the Sephiroth Boss music remix, this song was quickly put on loop and it set the mood for the rest of the day.
So yet another "C" Block, Yet another Blog Post. Interesting how a lot of my ideas happen in the 90 minute Foundations of Algebra 2 Part A class. Yea "C" block is my first class this week, 4 block rotating schedule is a thing here. So I'm going to PAX East on Sunday, and it is the first convention I will be going to of any type. I'm pumped, but also a little unnerved. This will be the first convention I will be going to, suppose I hate it? I highly doubt that I will tho. My Mum and little sibling? Well mum's a germaphobe so I expect quite a bit of hand washing when we get home. The little monster, he/she/it/thing might like it. Octaveus (dad), and I? We are gonna have tons of fun. What I plan on doing; See as much as I can, get as much information as I can for multiple posts, get all the free stuff. What you can expect from me; at least one or two posts, one retrospective, and one writeup for information about different games. Oh and expect a photo gallery of pictures I take at the con.
So Shawncaster why havn't you done a Daily 5 every day? Short answer, I'm lazy and didnt think of anything. Long answer, I have been busy. With school, StarCraft 2 Heart of The Swarm, and running a Minecraft server (Which you can play on) I have had little time to think of stuff. I'm gonna fix that, somehow.