Tenfold Hate

By Crom! A Light at the End of the Tunnel?
April 18, 2008, 10:20 am
Filed under: Age of Conan

I received my pre-order beta access code for AoC through Amazon.com this morning. I won’t have the full details until I plug in my order key to the AoC site from home, but from what I’ve gathered, you can start downloading the client now in anticipation of the mid-May release. If you’ve pre-ordered the game, you get access to the game three days prior to the May 20th release date.

I’ve been burnt one too many times from pre-ordering total duds, but there’s gotta be a diamond in the rough out there somewhere. Maybe–just maybe–it’ll be Conan…

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File Under “WTF? Oh, the Humanity!”
April 15, 2008, 2:27 pm
Filed under: World of Warcraft

I’ve known guildies who have conjured up RL romances through their virtual avatars in WoW. To the best of my knowledge, it’s never worked out. Personally, I’d imagine it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) to forge a legitimate adult romantic relationship within the context of an escapist video game where we’re all running around as dwarves and trolls killing warp stalkers. But to each their own. Now some wing nut decided to offer sex to anyone who’d buy her an epic flyer. We’ve heard of RMT sweatshops. What next? RMT brothels?

Shadows of Silithus
April 4, 2008, 9:40 am
Filed under: World of Warcraft

A good week-and-a-half into Warcraft’s patch 2.4 and despite the introduction of Magister’s Terrace I’ve gotta say–there’s not a hell of a lot keeping my attention. I guess WoW players jump through hoops with such willingness that Blizzard is just gonna continue serving us the leftover rep grinds of yesteryear (Timbermaw rep or Gates of AQ, anyone?) until WoTLK is released. Is anyone else getting bad flashbacks of the Silithus/Naxx grind they plugged in to satiate the masses pre-BC?

Part of Blizzard’s brilliance is their ability to recycle the same 5-10 basic tasks and make them seem fresh and new, whether you are level grinding, engaging in PvP, or dungeon crawling. When they succeed, they do so on a grand scale. But when they fail, they FAIL BIG. For every great thing about Warcraft, there’s a dark side–whether we’re talking about their chronically broken PvP system; the formulaic, dry, clunkiness of their raid scenarios; or the anti-fun rep grinds they seem hell bent on injecting into every aspect of the game.

But this has been a problem with WoW since day one–the huge discrepancy between the player experience from character creation to level cap and the drastically different, often regimented, playing field faced once max level is reached. There is little if any congruity between the two. I guess 2.4 just stirred up those old feelings of discontent in me.

It is stories–fantasy–after all, that got us here, and to sub out creativity and interactive storytelling with gear grinds, heroic key grinds, badge grinds, and any other sort of grind feels hollow as a suit of armor collecting dust in a museum, the hero who once animated its actions long dead.