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2010/08/24 at 7:02 PM
Just a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend an event called "Afroshoto", held at Boardners down in Hollywood. The event featured a small invitational Super Street Fighter 4 Tournament—8 total players, single elimination—as well as a small concert by a group called the Miles Mosley Band (which I recommend highly).
It was all in all a very successful event, especially for a Sunday night, which is hardly a major bargoing night. The band was excellent, the tournament was impressive (and watching Justin Wong go all the way with
, my character of choice, was nice), and it was awesome as always to be at a public gaming event.
The band leader said something interesting, though, as they were setting up. I can't remember well enough to quote exactly, but the sentiment was something like this:
For the first time in history, technology has advanced to the point that the toys of our childhood have evolved enough to remain our primary form of recreation as adults.
This stuck with me, long after the event itself. The more I think about it, the more I realize not only how true it is, but how
Gear Check: Razer DeathAdder Left Hand Edition
2010/05/11 at 10:55 AM
Though it's not exactly a matter for public record, I've always been of the opinion that
makes an excellent mouse. Most of the things that they normally brag about don't seem to make or break the product (“our mouse is almost 3000 points more responsive than a regular mouse!”), but I've never been dissatisfied by a product of theirs.
Razer DeathAdder Left Hand Edition
is no exception.
2010/04/14 at 6:47 PM
Personally, I prefer
Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Advance Wars 2
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
(Never really played the first
), and I'll tell you why.
In Advance Wars: Dual Strike (AWDS), as you play, you unlock skills (+8% attack, faster movement through woods and grass, etc.) that you can equip on your commanding officers before a match. If you get all the highest level skills, and equip them on your two commanding officers, much of the normal campaign becomes incredibly easy. I'm capable of playing through it without paying too much attention, and using it to unwind when I don't want to have to think about anything too hard.
On the flip side, it also has the hard campaign, which assumes you have the best possible COs and the best possible skills, and is still designed to give you a challenge. None of the other Advance Wars games had this ability t
Raiding as an Arcane Mage
2009/12/29 at 2:58 PM
I've recently started raiding heavily with an Arcane Mage, and I have to say, I'm loving it.
, threat management is as close to a non-issue as it could possibly be, and with the potential max DPS of
spam, there's an entirely different mini-game that emerges.
Algalon vs. Arthas?
2009/12/18 at 7:32 PM
You know, I've long since glossed over the concerns of various power levels of bosses in WoW. The fact that
somebody caught in the hills of Northrend can kick the butt of
stopped bothering me a long time ago, so I don't think that's the problem I have with the placement of the
So, with the fight with Arthas finally on the horizon, I've been thinking a lot about the road leading up to it: specifically Ulduar, and the fight with Algalon the Observer, and something about it just rings false with me.
World of Critcraft
2009/06/10 at 7:09 PM
Okay bear with me, guys—this one takes a little while getting in.
Secret of Mana
, two of your three characters have magic, up to a maximum of 99 magic points at a time. Your offensive caster has an MP absorb spell, but aside from that, the only way to restore your magic points mid-dungeon is to use a Fairy Walnut, which restores 50 MP. You can only hold a maximum of four.
By limiting the selection of mana-restoring items to one item type, which only restores mana in one large chunk, the game has rendered it almost pointless to increase your maximum mana above 50.
Are you with me here?
Blessing of Light
2009/05/05 at 12:06 AM
So, I have a problem, and maybe you can help me.
Warriors, Rogues, and Hunters draw their abilities from some amount of martial perfection. Mages and Warlocks derive their power from the demonic (yes mages too, read your lore), Shamans and Druids derive their power from nature, Death Knights from the Lich King, Paladins and Priests from the Light.
Now here's what gets me: As far as I can tell, the Lich King and the Light both couldn't care less if you're actually using their power to serve their own goals.
2009/04/23 at 8:45 PM
I was writing a bit recently on the nature of memory, and something occurred to me.
You remember that Level 60 Troll Warrior that gave you the last couple of gold you needed to buy your mount back when you were level 40?
I sure do, but the sad part is, I'm sure he doesn't remember you.
2009/04/21 at 8:42 PM
A little while ago, as some of you may know, I was at
San Francisco (Game Developers Conference), and while there, I learned a lot about gamer culture.
Now, E3 is and always has been a press event—an event where game companies get to show off the new cool stuff that they're doing to the public and to each other. GDC, though, is an industry event—where it's mostly about meeting other people in the industry, awarding innovation in games, and the new middleware type stuff that's out there. Being someone who works in the game industry, and only a short drive away from San Francisco, I just had to be there.
2009/03/12 at 2:50 AM
A long time ago, at the height of my raiding career in Burning Crusade, I sat down and wrote the following sublime piece of poetry:
I hope you are a warlock
I encourage you to contribute your own to my list of WoW haiku. The standard format is 5-7-5, and the person who contributes the best one may or may not win a gold plated skateboarding whale.
There's No Such Thing as a Cheap Lunch
2009/03/05 at 1:21 AM
I feel like I might have been a little too down on PvP last time, so I'd like to continue my Street Fighter metaphor from my
. To that end, I have a shocking revelation for many of you:
“Being cheap” doesn't exist in competitive games.
I, like everyone else, have fallen repeatedly to rogues in PvP situations where I've been simply stunlocked from 100% health until I die, and frequently even by rogues that have worse gear or are lower level than me, just like I've lost against people in Street Fighter that do nothing but jump kick/sweep.
We all know that classes have had balance issues in the past, and will continue to have balance issues in the future (though some might argue they're worse now than they have been), Blizzard isn't perfect, but when you get demolished in PvP by a Death Knight, ask yourself: Do you say, “Oh, well, it's a DK, so it doesn't count” or do you say, “Hmm, okay, what can I do differently next time to increase my odds of winning?”
Player vs. Street
2009/02/21 at 4:55 AM
I never got particularly into fighting games. Until fairly recently, I could never pull off any of the special moves with any amount of regularity, let alone ridiculously complicated combos, and without being able to do the move you want to do, suddenly you're not competing against the person you're sitting next to or against a computer, you're competing against your own hand eye coordination. I'm not down on personal tests of hand eye coordination, but I generally dislike situations in which I'm faced with a challenge that I need to surpass to even be able to compete on the same level as someone else.
That's why I'm so excited about Street Fighter 4. According to my brief experiences playing it (it only was released for consoles on the 17th), and what I've read about it, it seems like they're trying to move away from complicated special moves and combos, and towards predicting what the opponent is going to do, and reacting to it before they can do it.
I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that I don't particularly like PvP.
2009/02/04 at 7:55 PM
I'd like you to meet my good friend World of Warcraft. We've been friends for about two years now, off and on.
I could talk about all the positive qualities that my friend WoW has, that he's always available to hang out when I'm free, that he's got a bunch of other friends, invites me to parties, all those things.
More than anything though, I've always thought WoW was awesome because WoW
wants me to succeed
2009/01/28 at 7:50 PM
I submit to you the following question:
“Is your WoW character a violent person?”
Ostensibly, the answer would have to be yes, given that probably about 90% of what your character does involves fighting. And yet, I'm not exactly sure that needs to be the case. Is someone a “violent” character if they routinely use violence to accomplish goals that can
be accomplished through violent means?
Diabolocles, Tormentor of Children!
2009/01/13 at 12:14 AM
Everybody likes a good story, right? Everybody loves a good story about a hero overcoming tremendous odds to achieve victory even more, right?
No, those weren't rhetorical questions.
In particular, I'm a
for stories in which the main character is able to save the day and do the right thing exclusively because of the strength of his/her convictions. The quality that makes him/her able to save the day is that he/she wants to do the right thing more than anything else in the world.
What can I say? I'm a romantic. And yet, that's not really something that the story of my WoW characters can be about.
It's Pronounced "Awe-tour"
2008/12/08 at 9:30 PM
First, a brief introduction to
The basic idea of this theory of film criticism is that a Director's personal vision can be seen in any film they create, and they are the primary author (auteur being french for “author”) of any such film. If you're curious about the theory, Google and Wikipedia can assist you with that, but lemme give a little example of it in action. (Thanks to Brian R. for the example)
How many of you know who directed “Reservoir Dogs”? A fair number, I imagine. How many of you know who directed “Finding Nemo”? My guess is virtually no one. “Reservoir Dogs”, during its entire run, grossed less than $3 million. “Finding Nemo” has grossed over $800 million worldwide.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't about the quality of the movies. They're both excellent movies, but Tarantino is a name you recognize, while even an animation buff like myself doesn't immediately recognize Andrew Stanton or Lee Unkrich.
How many of you know who Chris Metzen is?
The Future of Storytelling
2008/11/26 at 12:15 AM
Someone recently brought the following to my attention:
It's a fascinating interview with
, but for those not interested in reading the entire article, I was drawn to a particular moment when he says “Storytelling in MMO's is the future”. Considering the limitations of running an MMO in a static, unchanging, endlessly repeating world, I found this to be an interesting philosophy.
Michael Bay Presents: World of Explosionscraft!
2008/11/17 at 3:39 AM
For those of you that don't already know,
announced around May 2006 that they had a World of Warcraft movie in the works, and eventually, it was wormed out of them that they predicted a 2009 release. The project since dropped off the radar, and it was discovered this year at Blizzcon that the movie is in fact currently being written, or at least that's what they say among other such vague-ities as “there are still plans for...” Who knows if it's actually happening, but it's certainly not happening in 2009.
Now, you don't quite know me well enough to care what I
about this (at least not yet), so let me settle for
you a couple things. If you're like me, at some point you thought “Isn't making a film out of World of Warcraft going to be difficult?”, since so many people play the game at different levels, there's no unified narrative, and lots of other reasons why it's not an intellectual property that you can make a movie out of.
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