Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh Blizzard, How I Love Thee (StarCraft 2)

StarCraft 2 came out earlier today, and I of course bought the Collector's Edition at 9am local time. It was £70 well-spent. But first I'll take a little break from boring you all shitless with WoW stuff and give you a rundown on how that shit went down.

Okay, so yesterday morning I hopped on a train bound for Cambridge. I'd arranged to visit some friends in one of its suburbs for an afternoon of films, videogames and alcohol.

Den and Dave are two of the nicest, most genuine people that I know. I met them when I was 15 years old at a Misfits concert at the Cambridge Junction, and they have since then become two of my best friends. It was a real pleasure spending an afternoon chilling out at theirs, eating Kettle Chips and watching Hardware, Highlander and Bubba Ho-Tep - all of which were films I had not seen before, and all left a lasting impression on me.

I'd mentioned to Dave that Blizzard's latest work of art was released the following day, and he said that they'd make sure that I got to Game in time. Considering that I actually had to get a train to get there, Dave slung me in the car at about 7.50am. Worked perfectly, though - and for this, I owe them both more donuts and trifle. Maybe some trifle donuts? Hrm.

Anyway, I got home, and after doing some essential stuff (spend a couple of hours on Facebook doing fuck all) I decided to install it. For a 12gb game, it certainly doesn't mess around and I swear the CD drive on my laptop was going to break. After a painfully anxiety-inducing installation (if you'd heard the noise my disc drive was making, you'd understand) that was broken up by really rather pleasant audio logs to serve as a recap of the StarCraft mythos up to this point.

After the install, the game started up and within seconds I was at the main menu. After logging into Battle.Net I began the campaign and the first thing I noticed was that everything is so excellently designed, but the technical side made me grin like a motherfucker - Blizzard have, yet again, designed their product so well that it will run on older PCs as not to alienate a large portion of their fanbase. Top marks for that.

Everything about this game fits so well - the return of established characters and recommencing the narrative was a step in the right direction rather than a tangiental sequel that may have been as good in terms of game mechanics - however, the story really draws you in.

The edition that I got is fucking awesome. I'm not talking about a garden variety 'Collector's Edition', either; you get so much cool stuff it's unreal. In the HUGE box it comes in, I found:

StarCraft 2 game disc
'The Art of StarCraft 2' A4 hard-bound artbook
Jim Raynor replica dogtag - 2GB USB stick that contains the original StarCraft + Brood Wars
'Making of StarCraft 2' DVD w/ Development Diaries etc
Soundtrack CD
Exclusive in-game content (decals, avatars, variants of units)
'Mini Thor' companion for World of Warcraft
2 WoW guest passes (10 days each)
2 StarCraft 2 guest passes (10 days each)

Holy shit, that's a lot of stuff.

Basically, StarCraft 2 is awesome and if you don't buy it people are going to question your taste. Also, the Mini Thor is ADORABLE:

Oooshie booshie booshie, who's a cute little walking death machine?

And since this blog's about WoW, I guess I'd better do something WoW-related. Here's my character as of today standing in Orgrimmar with his newest little buddy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ding, 30

So I hit 30 last night.

I achieved what I wanted to in the first week. Go me. I now know the value of quest-leveling. Speaking of which...


Thursday, July 22, 2010


My good friend Dan is GM of a guild that we all have high hopes for. It's called Animosity.

This is their website.

And now, I will fill out an application form for the guild for the lulz; despite the fact that at present there is little point to me being a member.

A. Name: Viking

B. Age: 21

C. Primary Language: English

D. Connection: Stable

E. Do you have a mic and Ventrilo? Both.

F. Time Zone: GMT-London

G. Character Name: Vikíng

H. Class: Paladin

I. Main Spec: Protection

J. Why have you chosen this spec: Because I'm an epic tankadin!

K. Offspec: Retribution

L. Previous raiding experience including vanilla and BC if available: None actual, but extensive knowledge of raid dungeons, bosses and tactics in WoW, BC and WOTLK.

M. Previous guilds and why you left them: Ghost Council on Bronze Dragonflight due to my discontinuation of WoW two years ago. A year later, I was in Dissidence on the same server. Left for same reasons.

N. What professions do you use and why have you chosen them: I have yet to level professions but I'll probably end up doing Engineering and Alchemy.

O. What can you bring to Animosity: A sense of humour, tactics, strong leadership.

P. We raid 3 nights a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) from 10-1 server time and we require 2/3 raid attendance. Which of these can you attend? All of them.

Q. Have you read and understood the guild requirements listed above: Yes

Optional Questions
R. Is there anything you would like to add: I got the skill, motherfucker!! The skeeeeeeel!!1!

/2 after Midnight

I think I remember why I used to say that players on PVP realms were very black-and-white.

On one side, we have the high-level players who are geared for PVP, play to win and are sporting. They're also mature and generally cool people to know, and willing to help out younger players / wiave fees for enchants/portals/potions etcetera. These people make up a majority of the realm I'm currently on.

Unfortunately, though, the other side of the coin is the other type of player. If you're familiar with general WoW structuring and sociality, then you'll understand what I mean when I say that this type collectively need to /delete themselves. They're high-level (but poorly specced or poorly geared - in most cases they're both), hypercompetetive but an extremely sore winner/loser (rubbing it in when they win, ragequitting and crying when they lose) and sell crap on the auction house for extortionate fees. These people are the kinds of people that would still have twinks, if Blizzard didn't already remove that problem with a previous patch.

Such an example of the immaturity of these players is their willingness to, instead of leveling, sit in a city and use the chat's trade channel (/2) as a social toy. Instead of listings for raids or items, we instead are treated to the delights of what fourteen-year-olds consider 'funny':

HERP DERP. Fucking seriously. Get out of trade with this crap. If you or anyone you know pulls this kind of shit because it's 'funny' or 'edgy' or you 'like taking WoW less seriously', facedesk yourselves. You're not clever. You're retarded.

On a less rage-filled note, I managed to get to 30 today! Well, almost. I said yesterday that I'd try, and I did - I've been doing other shit today, though. Still, I'm halfway through 29 - chances are I'll make 30 before I go to sleep if I run instances with Heather.

I'm out for now. Peace.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vikíng, The Unstoppable


Hooah. Gear is kind of shitty right now. Been levelquesting a lot in Hillsbrad recently, where the experience gain per kill is 200exp+ on average. Means that things are fucking impossible to kill, and often they'll run before I can Justice them - so I end up getting swamped by mobs and have to pull some epic Paladin maneuvers to stay alive.

Ran Gnomeregan for experience with Paul earlier because I couldn't be bothered to quest for the additional experience it would have taken me to level. Turns out that I still had to quest for the final 400exp. I'm not shitting you. Thankfully I'd just stumbled on an interesting Blood Knight quest line wherein the second stage of the exercise sees you throwing down against 4 level 20 non-elite NPCs. As a 26, I laughed, layed down AOE Consecrate and /popcorned 'til they died.

Thanks to this quest line, I have gained an additional half level. Unfortunately the next stage of the quest will see me going into 4 separate instances - details of the quest are here.

Looks like I've got a long one tomorrow. With all the exp I'll gain from elite mobs in these instances, I'll be lucky if I hit 30 tomorrow. Fuck it, I'll be lucky if I hit 28 - quests are starting to dry up and I've got stuff to do.

Logging for the night. Peace.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Prot Paladin vs Mage Tank

So me and Dan and Paul were standing in south Westfall having just completed a Deadmines run. Dan pretty much aggroed the entire instance and layed down some fierce AOE with his priest Ihealú, which is an 80 - meaning that exp from individual kills ranged from 10 to 50. In terms of instance exp, normally this would be atrocious - but since he was able to kill so many of them so quickly, we reran a few times. This is known as 'boosting' for those of you unfamiliar with it and it's a moderately effective way to level up quickly between the 20 and 40. After 40, it gets tedious.

Anyway, me and Paul were both low-level at the time, and Dan suggested that we duel. After I was initially unenthusiastic (I couldn't be arsed) we started dueling.

As soon as the countdown was over, Paul placed upon me a freezing effect which cut my movement speed drastically - he then backpedaled, casting bolts of fire and frost at me. Unfortunately for him, Prot-specced Paladins can absorb damage like Zorbeez absorb water, so I walked up to him and just beat him to death. Being that we were on Skype at the time, I was quite amused with his mild rage that such an effective tactic had been shot down by sheer retarded damage-soaking.

A second duel started. He immediately began casting as many spells as he could to try and do as much damage as possible, but with my Devotion Aura enabled I took less damage - and after using Holy Light on myself until he was out of mana, I walked over and slapped him to death.

This got me thinking: Are certain classes/specs not meant to duel each other? I mean, later on that afternoon, Dan served me several platefuls of my own arse using his rogue alt. Granted, he was using extremely good bind-to-account gear that no average level 20 player should have.

I guess it's the old rock-paper-scissors conundrum. This reminds me of an old video I saw a while ago which is now horribly outdated (it's pre-Burning Crusade)


Somewhat true.

It's late. I'll totally finish this off later. 'Night.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Walking out of Eversong and into Ghostlands

Well, I've already broken one rule of this blog. I had planned to write after my first play session, but that didn't quite happen. I have so far been online for three days and played about 14 hours so far, and am already at level 17. However, my original plan had to be revised a little.

My plan, as detailed in the previous post, was to level my preexisting character to 55 so that I could roll Death Knights on various servers. I still plan to do this, but it's taken a back seat.

You see, about 3 years ago, my friends Dan and Adam (who I knew from college) persuaded me to get online. Around about the time that I quit the first time, Daniel also decided to quit, vowing never to play the game again. However, recently he and his girlfriend started playing again - on a different server, different faction.

As I didn't want to pay £40 to change realms and change faction, I decided to roll a new character - and so began the adventures of Vikíng, the Blood Elf Paladin(Prot). I decided to spec Prot due to one basic fact: at the moment, Paladins fucking own as tanks. Fortunately for me, the new dungeon finder system seems to favour parties that are lacking a tank - either that or on PVP servers, tanking is a forgotten art.

I jumped back in at the deep end to find some changes to the UI and the menu systems, but the core elements of the game itself hadn't changed.

One thing that I will say is that I never appreciated the Blood Elf starting area before - everything is so nice and streamlined that within my first play session I was level 10. That's 10 levels in four hours - not overly impressive, but pretty good. I think this was partly due to my class choice, though, but I could care less.

I'll update this later. More to come.

Friday, July 9, 2010


This blog will serve as a journal of my adventures in World of Warcraft. I have played WoW before but due to lack of enthusiasm/time/effort I never leveled a character to the preset cap. This time, I will. However, I refuse to pay the extortionate fees that would enable me to play with my friends (I would be charged for a server transfer to Frostwhisper-EU as well as a Faction change) - and so will level my Paladin to 55. When I reach that goal, I will buy the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and roll a Death Knight.

I have seen gameplay videos of Death Knights in various specs and roles but I fell in love with them long before Wrath was ever released purely on how awesome they look. Heavy plate armour with animal pelts and runic weapons is a tasty combination.

I have yet to decide my spec, though I suspect my natural aggressive play style will mean that I pour all my talent points into Blood, which is, as far as I know, the primary spec for DPS. My first character, Ésko, was a Fury Warrior and my second character Vikíng (who ironically got to be a higher level than Ésko did thanks to the fact that Warriors are a pain in the arse to level) was a Retribution Paladin.

I'll probably update this after my first play session - for now, I plan to enjoy the summer and when I get access to a decent Internet connection I'll reinstall and re-register. Chances are that I'll carry this hobby over into the next academic year - however my work takes priority, so when deadlines are looming, WoW will take a back seat in favour of studying.

See you in Dalaran!