Archive for June, 2011

30 Days of Diversity – # 16

Posted in General, HFL, MMO, Raiding, World of Warcraft on June 27, 2011 by Armada

Shaman Tier 5 – Cataclysm Set

Ironicly named after the expansion with the least amount of diversity in game, the Shaman Cataclysm set imbues the now very familiar “fire, lava and brimstone” look of scorched earth but did so at a time when Deathwing and the Cataclysm expansion where nothing more than a Power Point presentation on Chris Metzen’s computer.

Given the amount of orange and fire that the latest expansion includes, it is easy to think this set is somewhat stale and tired. However, try and place it back in 2007-2008 and you can appreciate the art and style. Besides another expansion will come along soon enough and make the “fire look” positively rare and exponentially more “cool” (pun intended).

 

Shaman Tier 5 was Cataclysmic before Cataclysm was "cool"

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Poll Question of the Week – June 26 2011

Posted in General, MMO, Polls, World of Warcraft on June 26, 2011 by Armada

30 Days of Diversity – # 17

Posted in General, MMO, Raiding, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on June 25, 2011 by Armada

Rogue Tier 1: Nightslayer

Many regard this as one of the better rogue sets and for good reasons. The Nightslayer set is one of the more classic sets, gathering its appeal from being more “rogue like” than having by crazy spikes and glowing “how do I stealth in this gear” light effects. So why is this set not in the top 10? That is a good question and many will dispute its place at 17. That said, there are some other great sets ahead of us and I only ask that we get to number 1 before you second guess its placement.

Regardless of its actual ranking, there is no doubt, this is an amazing set that deserves a place as one of the top sets in all of Azeroth. My only wish is that Blizzard would recognize its status and show reverence to the fine artists that created it.

30 Days of Diversity – # 18

Posted in General, MMO, Raiding, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on June 21, 2011 by Armada

Mage Tier 6: Tempest Regalia

This set not only screams Mage, it also shares a heritage from The Burning Crusade expansion by just dripping with Netherstorm art. I often regard tier 6 as the last of the truly classic and epic – without being over the top silly – set designs. I have no facts to back this up but I would bet a beverage of your choice that tier 6 also serves as a demarcation point for a change in not only the Warcraft art style, but perhaps a change in the actual artists whom are no longer with Blizzard.

A classic set that would be well served as viable today via an appearance tab.

30 Days of Diversity – # 19

Posted in General, MMO, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on June 17, 2011 by Armada

Hunter Tier 2: Dragonstalker Armor

The Dragonstalker set has a special place in my heart because while I have never really played the hunter class, I was infinitely jealous of this set upon its debut. That this set is ranked at number 19 overall and yet not even considered the best set tier 2 had to offer speaks volumes for just how cool some of these earlier sets were.

Be honest… this set even makes a female dwarf sexy!

 

Blizzard: Listen To My Grandfather

Posted in General, HFL, MMO, PvP, Raiding, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on June 12, 2011 by Armada

I would love to preface this article by stating in no uncertain terms that I am being un-bias in my words and tone. I would to love to state that I fully understand both sides of the argument and that I “get” the reasoning that the World of Warcraft is trending away from its roots and ultimately its heart and soul. However that would not be honest and truth be told, very few if any of you that read this article and have a history with the World of Warcraft can claim anything other than some level of bias.

The fact is I am biased and I am frustrated that with every iteration of the game moving forward, we seem to lose a little bit of the magic that drew us to the game initially. I write these words as someone who has happily given thousands of dollars to Blizzard to enjoy their online world and I do not regret a penny. I also acknowledge that my investment into this game gives me no more right or claim than any player in regards to the direction or future of the game.

That said, it is in my right as a consumer of and advocate for online gaming to speak my opinion and point out what I see as oversights or just plain bad decisions as it pertains to the direction of this game.  One such oversight is the lack of care, respect and reverence that the “new guardians” of Blizzard have shown to the foundation of this game . I am not speaking of the tycoons and millionaires who sit on the boards and reap the profits from the 120+ million dollars in monthly revenue.

Quite the contrary, I am speaking about the true but unknown founders of the game. I am speaking for the founding artists, developers and content writers that poured their love and talents into this game, many of which no longer call Blizzard home. These individuals created some of the most unique items, stories and content that online gaming has ever seen and they did so with less resources and minimal tools than today’s legion of developers who seen to churn out pretty but soul-less content as though it were a Honda Civic assembly line.

I do not make any argument that in many respects the game is much better now. Content holes have been patched, the art has been revamped and class balance and viability is as good as it has ever been. I hold no illusion that the game was actually “better” in 2005 than it is now but I will present an argument that much of the character of the game has been needlessly abandoned.

Too many younger players who have not resided in Azeroth for many years will only look at the newest technology and features and state the game is indeed better in every way. However while I conceded that many of the new features have dramatically improved gameplay and accessibility I have to ask why the development teams felt it necessary to trampled of the memories of the classic game in the process; could they not have been incorporated and/or preserved?

Case in point… how many of you remember the long quest chain to receive the staff Benediction? This quest was long, arduous and certainly by today’s standards very difficult.  In summary the quest involved gathering three items:

1. Eye of Divinity – You get this by defeating Majordomo Executus in Molten Core, the final boss before Ragnaros.
2. Eye of Shadow – You can get this by farming high level elite demons in Winterspring or killing Lord Kazzak in the Blasted Lands, a 40-man outdoor raid boss.
3. Epic Quest Completion – Finally, after you have both Eyes, you are ready to do the quest that will complete the staff. This quest is done in the Eastern Plaguelands.

Unfortunately like literally dozens (if not hundreds) of other items and quests, this amazing quest and staff can no longer be obtained due to the restructuring of the Eastern Plaguelands, but why? Surely if the development team was going to take the time to completely revamp the area, they could find the few hours that would be needed to preserve the amazing staff which is as far as I can recall, the only item that actually has the ability to morph into another completely different weapon providing a “light”  and “dark” side.

Sure in today’s “stats rule all” world… of warcraft this item is useless like thousands of other items in terms of game play; but Benediction/Anathema simply oozed personality and now it is no more. What is it about old content, old raids, old artifacts and gear that is so seemingly despised by today’s leadership that it would be so disregarded and tossed aside. For all the new development tools, slick interface improvements, quality of life mechanics, pretty visuals and ten fold increase in developer team size, the current stewards of this game still pale in comparison to the life force that was breathed into our world in prior to 2007.

The current game is improved from technology no doubt, but the game now seems processed and without the foresight to at least attempt to preserve the character and soul that first brought prominence to the game and Blizzard. My grandfather used to tell me to “never forget to dance with the one who brung ya”, I never fully understood that saying… until now.

 

 

Gone but not forgotten

 

 

30 Days of Diversity – # 20

Posted in General, MMO, Raiding, Role Playing, World of Warcraft on June 9, 2011 by Armada

Druid Tier 3: Dreamwalker Raiment

The Dreamwalker set I have not so affectionately labeled as the seed of laziness set. You see this tier 3 set has the infamous honor of being the only Warcraft tier set that was – almost 100% – copied for the tier 7 set appropriately called the “Valorous Dreamwalker” set.

That said its not the fault of this set that the developers got lazy a few years later and this “original” set clearly departed from the previous two druid sets which had a tendency to be very “druidish” with antlers and branches on the helm. Tier 3 on the other hand offered a more sleek look more befitting a caster.

If not for the green giveaway, you might mistake this set for that of a mage!