Tag Archive: world of warcraft

“Standard Fantasy”

Why is it that we can actually say the phrase “standard fantasy” and have people understand exactly what we’re talking about? Think about that for a second. We’ve become so entrenched in a set form that fantasy actually has a standard now. Not standard Tolkien, not standard Dungeons and Dragons, just standard fantasy setting. We’ve been here too long folks, and it’s fine we got out. Let’s see something new, new races, new worlds, new ideas. We need something to really change-up the formula and get these fantasy worlds to be full of fantastic adventure again.

New Playable Races:
This is a big one that is really dragging things back. We need new playable races. Remember the standard fantasy setting, now think about it. Ready to name the first four races that come to mind? Elf, Human, Dwarf, Orc, in that order. Elves always live in the forest and are tall, magical, aloof buggers, Humans are generally the ones screwing everything up and are never really masters at any one thing, Dwarfs are short dudes who live underground and get sentenced to death if they ever speak without an Irish accent or are ever caught being sober, and Orcs are usually the villains, sometimes not, who are brain-dead lunks that run around murdering everything often with little reason outside of the enforced alignment of Stupid Evil. Hey, there you go, four races done to death in everything that can be described as fantasy. Sometimes you find a game that tries to break this mold, but hilariously it’s almost always for the Humans or Orcs. Think about World of Warcraft for a second. Yes, you know that game. Stop playing coy. Orcs in that game literally were Stupid Evil until very recently in the time line, and now fight to regain a lot of what they lost. Way more compelling that short guys who drink forever and pretty elves who live in a tree. It only took 2 expansion packs for those two races to really get anywhere fun. Blood Elves though, oh my the back story. On a whole the Horde were at least trying to break the mold from time to time, and often in very refreshing ways. But… they are still ‘orc’ and ‘elf.’ We need something new, or at least a new take on it. Enter Guild Wars 2…
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WTB Power, PST Price

Well, late again to the party, as usual. I blame the dreamworld, seriously, who dreams of  Resident Evil for 7 hours and calls it a nightmare? Obviously I’m more loopy than I thought, if I’ve sunk that low. But no one wants to hear about hilarious zombie dogs and insomnia, so let’s kick this week into overdrive, starting with a little controversial piece that’s filtered down the grape-vine. Yes folks, we’re going to be going over the new auction house system in Diablo III, and why it is the most retarded and blatantly uncaring thing Blizzard has ever churned out. And if you couldn’t tell from that statement, you’re in for a caustic hate-filled bombshell of a post.

First off, I want to reiterate something that Blizzard seems to have forgotten and just to make sure no one else ever forget. Do not sell power for money. I’m not kidding, do not ever do that. Why, you might ask, should game devs not do that? Well, my silent readers, there are several reasons. Let’s go over them all here for now. First and foremost, you will shatter your player-base. Players who spend money will always be, without exception, more powerful than anyone who doesn’t pay. Now, think for a second on who the devs are going to devote time and energy into balancing the game for. If Player A has double the power of Player B, anything you design with Player B in mind is going to be slaughtered by Player A without any trouble. But anything designed for Player A will be unbeatable by Player B because of the gap in power between the two. So you have this choice; create a garbage experience for one player and a balanced experience for the other, or an ever more garbage experience (if Player B can even complete it) for one and a balanced for the other. No one wins, and no, you can’t create content for both that’s deep enough to entertain for long. In today’s hyper-graphic gaming scene, content takes ages to produce and test, and very quickly players are going to be forced into groups of who gets content and who doesn’t. Which leads us right into the next point…
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Forging Balance

Now then, as I promised, today’s post is on weapons in gaming and the aspects of balance for them. Note these are equip-able items not characters that use weapons. We’re just talking about the thing that (usually) goes in the hand(s), be it sword, mace, shovel, or what have you. Mostly we’re going to cover the variety of types weapons come in and how they all relate, and can have a bit of uniqueness to make each weapon fun to use. Right then, let’s just jump straight in with the weapon types themselves!

Weapon Types:
This is the most obvious and basic breakdown in weapon diversity. Usually there will be a fairly large amount to chose from, but the choice will be fairly unimportant. I’m talking basics like Two-Handed Sword/Mace/Axe, when which of those three you pick is mostly for flavor. Sometimes you have other things play in, like Race X has a higher damage threshold when wielding an axe, so you see players going for that, but ultimately it’s down to what you prefer (Or in some sad cases, which ever animation is least terrible).  What it boils down to is 1-hand slashing, 1-hand blunt, 2-hand variants of the same thing, and then, if you’re lucky, piercing damage (usually a bow), with the actual weapons all slotting into One of those 5 categories.
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Crafting, Crafting

Today’s topic is something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a little while. Today, we’re going over the crafting system that is found in some games, usually mmo’s. Remember that this applies for all crafting specialties in games, I’m just referring to Weapons and Weaponsmithing because that’s what I have the most experience with. Now with that out of the way, we can begin. Crafting is something of an oddity in gaming, that is both hated and loved, sometimes at the same time. I hate leveling my weaponsmithing because it’s expensive, and it just involves standing at a forge making what ever weapon uses the lest ingredients and get’s me the highest chance of leveling. And yet, my rogue was creating level 50 weapons when she was in her 30’s. I hit the max smithing level of 300 at level 39 and am close to already buying an epic recipe. At level 40. I can’t even use any of the stuff I’m now making or working on until I hit the level cap of 50. So how did this all go down?

Two words: Damascus Shiv. While I was leveling before, it was a common thing for me to use my marks, the currency you buy recipes with from doing dailies, when I noticed something odd. For one, this recipe was almost 5 times more expensive than it’s counter-parts. A normal recipe around this point cost me 13 or so marks. The Damascus items cost 68 minimal. I was intrigued by this odd recipe, and it was closed for me when I found out it was a blue, and a beautiful dagger too. I had to have. I began hording marks, doing every single daily to get as many of them as I could, until I could finally buy the recipe.  A more hidden reason for why I wanted the Damascus Shiv, it’s crafting materials were nothing special. Some planar dust I had kicking around, a piece of leather I already had for my warrior’s armorsmithing, and then the steel. Steel was the weird thing, I couldn’t make steel yet. Until I went out to mine a little…. and got the quest within a few lodes to learn how to create it. Now, the Shiv is a beautiful weapon. I’m level 40 and still using both of mine. They are relatively cheap and easy to make, and equip-able by level 32. It’s a wonderful item that really got me set and the fires of the forge burning for a long time. Finally around the high twenties, I was done. I had forged my own Damascus Shivs…

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