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What Would a Player Made Expansion Look Like?
May 25th 2013
With patch 5.3 live, and this expansion winding down, murmurs and speculation have begun about what the next expansion could bring.
Nothing is known about the 5th expansion to the most popular MMO on the planet, but there is one thing that is absolutely, 100% guaranteed.
Not everyone is going to like it.
Edge of Sanity- The 80/20 Design
May 22nd 2013
So I was in the RivalCast Teamspeak and was overhearing Varyar and Lilrex discussing their Neverwinter characters and hearing just how far ahead they were of me. Needless to say this dampened my spirits for the game and reminded me why I stopped playing standard MMO's in general, the whole 'my friends get so far ahead of me and I'll never catch up so why bother playing' issue. This is an inherent flaw with most multiplayer RPG's. With my own show,Trial & Error, we are currently playing Torchlight II, and thankfully everyone for the most part is staying together level-wise. But if one of my show hosts can't make it for an episode he'll be set back an hour or so. Thankfully with this short time span it'll be easy for him to catch back up. But when you are dealing with a situation where there is no self-imposed time limit on play time by a group the situation quickly gets out of hand.
But how can this issue be fixed? Character progression is one of the core aspects of video game rpgs. One of the most fun aspects of the game is getting new stuff to play with, new abilities to try out and adapt them to your already established game play style.
While talking to Varyar about his article on the XBox One Reveal I started remembering some of this generations earlier PS3 games. Games like Eye of Judgement, a flawed but neat concept trading card game and Folklore, an action-rpg that used different methods of storytelling between two different characters. However there was one game that I still hold as one of the best co-op experiences I've ever played. That game was Resistance 2 from Insomniac, an alternate World War II'esque timeline where non-human creatures spread across Europe and then all over the world. That game had a great solution for allowing long term character progression and making sure you could always play with both your friends and new players at the same time.
A Brief Gank - Balls to the Future
May 22nd 2013

By Shriggs
Shriggs gives his view on Microsoft's "Customer Services".
Microsoft Unveils XBox One
May 21st 2013
Today, Microsoft unveiled the new Xbox One to the public at their campus in Redmond, promising not only a gaming console, but the new center of your living room. The Xbox One reveal showed off its ability to not only play games, but also play movies, music, and TV shows, as well as take Skype calls and perform multiple other functions. Don Mattrick, Microsoft President of Interactive Entertainment Business, took the stage and announced that much more gamer-centric news would be revealed at E3, with today’s showing focusing on the overall abilities of the console. PlayStation 4’s unveiling, on the other hand, focused almost exclusively on its ability to play video games
Microsoft is the last of the console giants to reveal their new hardware to the public, with Sony’s PS4 being shown off earlier this year, and the Wii U having already been released. However, Microsoft has announced that they plan to release the console later this year, which means that they may very well beat the PlayStation 4 to market. Of course, the Wii U has already been released, but as a distinctly second tier system, the release of the Wii U should not affect Xbox or PS4 sales. It has been 8 years since the Xbox 360 was released, and the old console is going out on top, holding down the top of the sales charts for the last 21 months. However, the question now becomes whether or not the Xbox One can take up the crown and defend the throne from Sony’s PS4.
Climate Change
May 15th 2013
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.
Loss of World of Warcraft Subs Should Make Blizzard Think
May 9th 2013
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.
Diablo 3 - After the Storm
May 8th 2013
Diablo 3 â€" After the Storm

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.
Two isms, one post
May 8th 2013
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.
Non-spoiler review of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders
May 7th 2013

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.
What else is on?
Apr 23rd 2013
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.