WoW Update: 8/28/2008


The screenshot is of folks participating in the, “Anal Game” in the server trade channel. Apparently this game is a regular event, lol. I wonder if it’s a Proudmoore specific activity or if it occurs across all servers. I miss the global LFG channel beucase most part, the spamtards stayed there instead of leaking over into other channels. I used to legitimately follow the trade channel for trading…

We did Blackwing Lair last weekend with around 10 to 15 people (well up to Firemaw), retro raid! I was a heal bot the last time I was in there way back in vanilla WoW, so tanking it was interesting. lol at having people hearth back to grab their Onyxia Scale Cloaks.


My hunter is 68 and 3/4ths, almost level 69! His mining is at 337, 342 with the +5 mining enchant. It’s really easy to skill in Hellfire Peninsula because there is a virtual crapton of Fel Iron nodes all over the place. Selling the ore has yielded more than enough gold for my poor hunter to get his flying mount, and then some more to pad Keiya’s wallet for the expansion pack. Farming would be way easier with a flying mount.


I finally chanted my Zin’rohk with Savagery. Mongoose probably would have been better but I don’t have Mongoose and was too lazy to outsource the chant (I like chanting my own gear). It’s been sitting in my inventory for months and I am itching to use it because well, it is ginormous. Peen sword!


So I guess that more or less means that I’m going to, at least part of the way, level retribution. Hmm, I think I’ll do an audit of my retribution set to see what slots I need to fill, what gems/chants I’ll need, and what I should blow the rest of my badges on. I have so much spare gear and shit just lying around all over my bank (our melee DPS for the most part all wear leather or chain, guess who usually soaks most of the lolret pieces?). Possible level 70 retribution leveling build.

The Guardian Legend

A retro review! I loved this game as a child even though I am almost certain that no one else has played or heard of it. You can probably thank the horrid box art for its obscurity (US box vs Japanese box)…but anyway, the story in a nutshell: You are Alyssa guardian of Earth, a robot chick in a bikini who happens to possess the ability to transform into a spaceship. The deathst…err an alien world by the name of Naju is heading straight for Earth and it is up to you to destroy the 10 seals, needed to activate the self-destruct mechanism.

The Guardian Legend is divided into two sections: The labyrinth, a vertical scrolling shoot-em-up and the corridors, an overhead action/adventure type area. As you explore the labyrinth you will come across the corridors. When you enter one, Alyssa transforms into a spaceship and the game goes into shmup mode. Naju itself is divided into five different zones: water, biological, crystal, organic and wasteland. The Guardian Legend is one of the earliest examples of a multi-genre game.

Labyrinth stageThe labyrinth sections are very similar to The Legend in Zelda. It’s an overhead map with a grid based zoning system. The gameplay is exploration based: Every time a corridor bosses is beaten, you receive a key that can be used to unlock various areas on the map. You must search for the next corridor to destroy the next seal.

The corridor sections look and feel very similar to Zanac, which makes sense considering that it was made two years earlier by the same company, Compile. I guess in a sense, The Guardian Legend is its spiritual successor. There are a total of 21 corridors in the game, though only 1 through 10 and 21 are required. The rest are optional for the sake of point/powerup farming and completionism.

The graphics are decent. I wouldn’t say that they are as stylish as say, Mario 3 or Battletoads, but the sprites are nice looking, large and well animated (the gunship transformation in particular). Each zone has a distinct look appropriate to its theme. The biological area for example, is filled with fauna in plant life set against a green background, whereas the organic zones have creepy vein/flesh looking things. The corridors are colorful and detailed. The labyrinth areas could have used more detail. there are many rooms that seem to be little more than a couple of walls and a floor.

There are collectible power chips available throughout the game. You can obtain them from defeating enemies, they are also just sort of scattered around. The chips serve several purposes: to use as currency, to upgrade existing weapons, to increase your lifebar, and as ammunition for the powerful secondary weapons. Speaking of which, there are a total of 13 weapons available in the game, 11 of which can be powered up. You have eve







like most NES games The Guardian legend uses a password system to save progress. I know that this gripe isn’t relevant anymore, given that every plays it on an emulator but it was a pain in the ass way back in the day. Geeze, they are the worst passwords. Ever. This is an example that will get you to level 9:

073z !lN4 dLaZ g1qK jfb0 Xpur Y5e7 bD?B

Back on track: It’s a great game. Very interesting concept, plays well, great music, great appearance. If you are into older titles, pick this one up if you can find it somewhere.

5 Random Things

I really like the way the Keeley modified DS-1 sounds in comparison to the stock pedal, which is what I have. There is an option on Robert Keeley’s website to mail your pedal in to get it modded, but that costs $75, not including shipping (stock pedal costs around $35 retail). The exact instructions are posted online though. So, as I can find a place to buy specific capacitors/resistors, it in theory, shouldn’t be that hard assuming that I remember how to solder without setting my hand or other objects on fire.

5 ass-random things that have occurred or I have thought about within the past couple of days:

  1. Hah, I knew it. Blizzard is going to release a pre-expansion patch. I wonder if they are doing this to make the expansion release smoother, to cocktease, and/or because they are planning on delaying it. In any case, woot!
  2. I had a dream about yellow sticky notes the other night. In the dream, when I came into work one morning, someone had left a mountain of sticky notes on my desk. That was it, nothing else.
  3. I have an urge to play Neverwinter Nights again. By again, I mean past the first chapter. I bought it for dirt cheap a year or two ago, started the single player campaign, got distracted (*cough* WoW) and permanently set it down. I am really fickle about what I am in the mood to play. Is it wrong to torrent a game that you own because the CD’s are most likely stuffed in a box somewhere?
  4. Large fan related forums of any sort solely dedicated to any one group or thing are bad for you. Large being defined as having an active poster base smaller than the low hundreds. Good lord and I thought that I needed to get off the interwebs more…
  5. My favorite around-the-house lounging shorts have bleach stains on them. They are all fingertip sized, located on the right leg and right buttcheek.

Labor Day is approaching. Yay, three day weekend!

Multi-Tasking in Games

I really liked this article because it’s true and brings up a gaming element that is often overlooked. They’re right, of any “modern” game that I’ve played (and remember…), World ofWarcraft is alt-tabbing perfection, it tasks in and out instantaneously.

One of the PC’s greatest strengths is its versatility. It’s a shame that more games don’t multi-task well. Many titles will tab out quickly but not many will tab back in without lagging, crashing or bugging out. All source games as mentioned in the article take forever to get back into. The Sims 2 takes a good 15 to 30 seconds to load back into at full screen. To circumvent the lag, I play it in windowed mode. The catch is that you can only play it at a maximum resolution of 800×600 windowed, what the fuck is that?

I love the “maximized windowing” feature in WoW, I wish all games had that. It offers every single advantage of running a game in windowed mode but with no borders and no taskbar. It will maximize to fill the entire screen. The options in WoW are also easily accessible. No configuration file editing and no hidden commands.

Also, I like it when games (mostly strategy games) allow you to choose between edge scrolling and click dragging. The reason being that I have a dual monitor setup. If I run a game in windowed mode (which Iusually will), edge scrolling doesn’t work very because the mouse doesn’t lock into the game window.

WoW Update: 8/13/2008

You know, the rewards program is tempting me to sign-up for a second account so that I can two-box level my alts atop a glorious zhevra mount. Blacksmithing finally gets some love in the form of Blacksmith exlusive patterns that add a socket to armor pieces. Tailors also get love in the form of Flying Carpets. Why no Blacksmithing toys? Why am I not allowed to craft a flying magic anvil? QQ.

I’ve made up my mind on mining: I’m not going to drop it. Last night I skilled from 115 to 190; I’ll finish off mithril this week (a skill fo 245 is needed to poke at the small thorium veins), and hopefully be mining in the Outlands next week and onwards. Skilling mining is so damn painful because I’ve done it on my paladin. The same mining circuits over and over….The new areas should be mildly more interesting.

I would like to have 5k gold by the time the expansion rolls around. My original goal was 10k, but fat chance I’m going to get that unless a couple more Sunmotes roll my way. Oh by the way: Players can now be reported for both raid ID theft and guild bank theft according to Belfaire, a blue poster.

“People whose raid IDs have been “stolen” are encouraged to contact the Game Master department with an in-game ticket explaining the situation. We’ll examine the case and see what we can do.


Preemptively: Yes, regulars, this is a new policy.”

Another blue post in the same thread:

“Sure. We’re also asking any victims of mass guild bank theft, regardless of permissions the person may have had, to report it to our Game Masters for review.


We won’t be able to help all victims, but there should be an increasing number of actions against those who abuse their withdrawal privileges to hinder guild progress.”

Awesome, it’s nice seeing Blizzard taking action against asses who intentionally try to steal another guild’s progressed instance. I’ve had the misfortune of dealing with both issues in the past. To be fair though, the theft occurred way way long ago when “guild banks” were pretty much level 1 officer alts.

That was actually the incident that lead to Guild Master being passed down to me. I should post about my guild history one day. I think I did that already, but nuked the post when I dumped my old database.

Oh by the way: lol, comic of the day.

Initial Impression: Resistance Fall of Man

Resistance: Fall of Man, one of the Playstation 3 launch titles was inducted into the Greatest Hits line a couple of weeks ago. Setting wise, it feels like a cross between Call of Duty and the combine sections of Half-Life 2 with a standard Halo-ish console shooter feel. You play as Nathan Hale, a US solider who I swear looks like Keith Malley from Keith and the Girl…

Criticism: The cut scenes are awkward because they occur fairly often during odd spots and don’t blend very well with the gameplay. The game will blur out, a bit of dialogue with a slide show of pictuers will occur and then the game will fade back in, sometimes in the middle of a zone. Awkward. The plot, though engaging feels derivative. The AI (at least on normal difficulty) is semi-retarded…

Good things: It’s pretty, it’s high definition, and the areas are visually appealing. The checkpoints are well spaced and the difficulty curve so far at least, is smooth. It’s well paced and the plot, the maybe not incredibly original feeling is still very interesting and works well with the game’s atmosphere. The controls are also easy to learn. If you are comfortable with console shooters you should be able to pick this up with no problem

Verdict so far: It’s fun. I wouldn’t give it a perfect 10, but I like it and will probably purchase Resistance 2 whenever it comes out. If you have a Playstation 3, this is worth picking up because it’s a good console shooter. But, if you are looking for a groundbreaking plot with innovative gameplay, keep looking.

Tradeskills and WotLK

Back to WoW blogging! The trickle of Wrath of the Lich King news is exciting. Besides, game wise, there really isn’t a whole lot else worth playing or writing about until some of the AAA titles come out in Fall. I think I’ll hang onto some of my legacy gear a bit longer. It looks like, according to an interview with Jeff Kaplan, some of the achievements are going to retroactively activate through related quests that have been completed (ie Onyxia’s Head) and boss drops in your inventory/bank.

My paladin is an armorsmith and enchanter, that’s not going to change anytime soon if ever (I’m the guild armorsmith and one of the main enchanters). I have a large stash of enchanting materials stock up but, if I recall correctly, the low level Brning Crusade enchants starting using the new materials early on. The thought of having to level blacksmithing makes me retch a bit; that was so expensive…

My hunter is an alchemist and minter. His alchemy is stuck at 300 and his mining is below 100. I, as mentioned previously, will most likely drop mining to pick up inscribing. I’m tempted though, to level mining and drop alchemy for the sake of feeding Keiya ore. Mining was a pain in the ass to level though, I don’t imagine myself doing it again.

Apparently the new tradeskill uses raw materials extracted from herbs via milling. Milling is to inscribing as prospecting is to jewelcutting. My lowbie mage is an herbalist and a tailor. Since they upped the old world experience gain x number of months ago, and since as of the last patch she has her mount, I’ve had interest in leveling her once again. She also has an Staff of Jordan chanted with +40 spell power waiting for her (I was going to do Soulfrost, but that was way too expensive. Even for a twink lol).

I wonder if they will roll out the new talent trees and UI/mechanics changes before the expansion pack is released. I would love to start recollecting non-combat pets without negatively impacting my bag space.

Watching: Dr Horrible & Anime

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is free again via Hulu. It is a musical tragicomedy directed by Joss Whedon (of Buffy, Firefly, etc fame) and starring Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion, and Simon Helberg. It’s three 14-minute episode series about a super-villain, a hero, a girl and so much more! Short, sweet and awesome. You must watch it, there is no reason for anyone not to watch it!

I used to watch anime constantly in college. My interest in it has tapered off since graduating (and being employed and thus able to purchase every game that I was too poor to buy or lazy to pirate). People talk about Gurrin laggan and Gode Geass frequently; I don’t know anything about the other two other than they are supposedly good and worth watching. I’ll acquire the first 5 episodes or so of each and give them a go:

…I like having things to watch while I level characters. Getting Doombeard to 70 and possibly leveling the mage before Fall is my next project.

WoW Update: 8/4/2008

080802I’m hearing about raid attrition hitting a lot of guilds on my server. I wonder if it is a local issue or if it pre-expansion anxiety. One of the problems with my server is that when drama happens, instead of merging or joining into a pre-existing guild, the general thought is to branch off into a start-up raiding guild. So consequently, there are probably 50 guilds all at the same tier of progression and all fishing from the same pool of recruits.

So the expansion pack! Word on the street is that it is going to be released sometime late Q4 of this year. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that, my personal bet is on it being delayed to early Q1 of 2009. I’m actually hoping that they delay it so that I can squeeze a few more titles into my fall game budget *Fallout3Rockband2etc*. Blizzard works on Blizzard time lol!

Keiya will of course, will remain a protection specced tank upon hitting the serious level 80 content. Until then, I haven’t decided what I want to level as. You know, I haven’t leveled as a prot spec before; I specced protection a month or two after hitting level 70 out of guild need (and never looked back since!). Retribution is actually a pretty fun leveling spec. I might end up going lolret for the sake of pure novelty (I have a reasonable crit set in the bank, we shit spare plate DPS gear).

My hunter, well, he needs to get off of his ass and finish off his last one and a half levels. I’ll replace his mining profession with inscribing. Keiya will remain blacksmithing and enchanting, I’ve soaked way too much gold and time to ever change my professions (in addition to being the official guild armorsmither and one of the official guild raid enchanters). One of these days I’ll have to take a look at the WotLK profession materials so that I can get a better idea regarding what I need to start stocking. That’s what we all did pre-BC and it worked out well.

I might give Heroic Magister’s Terrace trinket/pet farming another go this week since I’m that “busy” during the weeknights. I need to replenish by badge stash anyways, I used a lot of it on my gem spree this weekend, to swap out some of my crap blue gems.

Save Points

Early console games either used a password based saving system or none at all. Later on, certain games (Final Fantasy for example) had a small battery, allowing game data to be saved aboard the cartridge’s RAM. Save points were used because at the time, it wasn’t possible to allow on-the-fly saving on most console games because of the game state being too complex or large for the game’s memory/card/whatever. This mechanic is a perfect example of something created through technological limitation, carrying through games today.

It really though, depends on the game’s design and how the save points are used. Not all save point based games are bad. Shadow of the Colossus for example has save points that are hard to find, but it doesn’t matter because it isn’t a character progression or a grind based game (if you can’t find one nothing is really lost). It also automatically asks you to save after downing each colossus; Should you lose a colossus battle, you will be reloaded ot the start of the fight.

The Metal Gear Solid series uses a zone based saving system. You are permitted to save at any point, but the game will reload your progress to the beginning of whatever area you are in. You will lose any weapons that you have acquired and any progress made, but the zones are small enough so that it does not matter much.

Final Fantasy XII on the other hand has huge dungeons and zones with very few save points. The lack of save points is frustrated because it’s a grind based game that artificially increases it’s difficulty by forcing you to level grind in areas with very few saves. Grinding for a while and not being able to save sucks.

Ideally, I like being able to save anywhere at will (quicksaves <3). At minimum, I would like the ability to save upon entering a new zone. Additionally, when a boss fight is lost, it’s nice when a game automatically loads to the start of the fight, so that time isn’t lost repeatedly having to run back and reshuffle spells.

It might be my style of gameplay though: I like creepsaving, partially out of paranoia that the power will go out or a situation will arouse in which I will have to leave. Also because I like to experiment. It’s nice being able to quicksave before I punch a guard in the face to see what happens.

 I don’t ask that all games allow on-the-fly saving, just they the difficulty level isn’t artificially increased by reducing where you are allowed to save. There are many many ways to punish a player, but I don’t like being punished by losing an hour of progress for having to attend to real life.