Archive for the ‘MMO’ Category

GamingMMO

Achievapalooza 2008!

“Just One More Achievement…”According to the rather disturbing countdown clock on WOW Insider, Blizzard’s second expansion for World Of Warcraft – Wrath Of The Lich King, is due in just under a month (okay, okay, 23 days, 3 hours, 56 minutes and 6 seconds at the time of writing. See, I told you it was rather disturbing… who needs to be that fixated on an expansion’s launch?). I have mixed feelings about the launch day. On the one hand, I’m excited by the prospect of exploring all new lands and running away from all new critters but I also remember the launch of The Burning Crusade, the last expansion. The starting areas were flooded with players just as excited and due to a tweak in respawn timers (to ensure people weren’t sat around waiting for mobs to reappear, or more likely, at each other’s throats for ‘kill stealing’), you could down a critter and before your attack animation had ceased, a replacement had spawned and already be kicking your ass. It was a little… um… hectic, those first few days.

One of the things that I was rather looking forward to and something I’d talked about in the past, was the achievements. Well, a few weeks (months?) ago they announced that they were rolling some things previously assumed to be part of WotLK forward (such as pet revamps/class revamps, vanity pet/mount interface shuffle and the incription profession). Well, in the Tue/Wed 3.0.2 patch last week, they all arrived along with the new achievements feature.

Achievements boil the game down to it’s most basic of tick-box orientated gameplay. Visited all the areas in Durotar? Well done, you earn some points. Beaten seven shades of shinola out of Edwin VanCleef? More points for you! These are just some of the easy-peasy achievements. They also combine into sets so your Durotar wanderings add to your overall Explorer achievement for East Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outland and Northrend. Your dungeon boss killing spree counts towards your various ‘Dungeonmaster‘ achievements. Some of these achievements will even earn you some lightweight rewards like titles, tabards and vanity pets. There’s tougher achievements in the mix, some that require long-term commitments and some that acknowledge bouts of luck such as rare kills/drops. All in all, that’s one helluva list (750 achievements… currently) of boxes to tick.

Me, I’m going all OCD on the easy ones. I’ve decided that the rest are going to have to be happy accidents if I get them or I’ll end up driving myself batty like the dopes on the forums. I have to admit, it’s kinda nice going about your business, playing the game as usual then seeing the whoosh of an achievement occur. Even reviewing your ‘progress’ on some of the others tempts you into focusing your gameplay a little more.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to infiltrate an enemy faction city and spend countless hours trying to catch a rare fish, all the while getting my ass handed to me by players trying to earn that bizarre “kill-then-/hug-emote-the-corpse” achievement…

GamingMMO

Gotta catch ’em. All of ’em

EgbertApologies for butchering the Pokémon catchphrase but this latest announcement by Blizzard Entertainment for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion – ‘Wrath of the Lich King’, just puts me in mind of Nintendo’s obsessive collect-’em-up title.

I thought the hook was already buried deep within my cheek in regards to announced features for the expansion. Extensive new content? Yay! I want me some of that. Raise the level cap? Mmm-mmm! Loving that progression. Then they did it… They appealed to the brainless grinder in me. They announced their Achievements system.

Basically they’re borrowing the system Microsoft have made popular with their XBox Live ‘experience’, and bolting it into the perfect casing for such a devious set of enticements – a Massively Multiplayer Online game. With it they’ll be awarding points for completing various chores and attaining specific conditions (from the bizarre; getting your hair cut in a new WotLK barbershop… to the obsessive; raising your reputation with 40 factions to ‘Exalted’).

And what do points make? Prizes! (sorry, Brucie). And by prizes, I mean some fairly innocuous little rewards in the shape of titles, vanity pets and tabards. “More pets?” I hear you scream, “But I’ve got pets coming out of my ears! I can’t possibly devote yet more bank space to all these cute little critters!”. Worry not, that’s where Blizzard’s announcement comes in (you did click the link before, right?).

Blizzard CM, Wryxian, revealed that in WotLK, players won’t need to forever juggle bag & bank space due to their insane need to collect each and every mount and vanity pet in the game. You’ll simply ‘learn’ the pet/mount as you would a spell and it’ll appear in a new tab in your character info window to be called up whenever desired. Cool huh? Yeah. That’s me tied up until the expansion after WotLK comes out desperately trying to catch ’em all, too.

Oh, crapcakes!

ps. Almost forgot to mention – if you are planning on expanding your critter collection to near-legendary status, the website with all the information you could ever want is ‘WarcraftPets.com’. Consider it a to-do list as well as a how-to guide.

GamingMMO

Sunwell Mailbox Watch 2008

Sunwell MailboxI guess, seeing as it’s the second most popular search bringing people to my awesome humble site (as mentioned before, the first happens to be George Hamilton), it behoves me to post an update to my previous article – Patch 2.4 – Fury of the Mailbox.

The server which houses the majority of my most impressive characters (read as : some of their stuff actually glows!) just today unlocked Phase 4 on the Isle of Quel’Danas and with it… the mighty mailbox! (pictured). So yes, there is a mailbox on Sunwell Isle / Isle of Quel’Danas but it doesn’t appear until your server has plowed through all the other quests and started Phase 4. Chances are, at the time of this posting, your server will either be very close or have already done it.

The mailbox can be found before the entrance to the large building (now an inn) at the northern end of the Isle, in the area referred to as Sun’s Reach Harbor.

I suppose I should also mention that only the other day I managed to check up on the long overdue ‘correction’ in Darnassus and can confirm there is now a mailbox back outside the inn there too. So all in all, great new if you have a mailbox fetish. Not that I do, I’m just providing a service here… for all you freaks enthusiasts.

GamingMMO

Patch 2.4 – Fury of the Mailbox

Patch 2.4 - Fury of the MailboxGlancing through the notes for the new World of Warcraft patch ‘Fury of the Sunwell’ that hits tomorrow (or already has in the US), I came across what was probably one of the most important changes to WoW since launch. Okay, not really but it raised a smile with me and that’s pretty much all I need to start waffling on Skoardy.com about things.

Amongst all the regular blah blah about the new area, daily quests, class tweaks, fishing dailies (!) and bug fixes, the thing that caught my eye was this line…

“- A mailbox has been added to the inn in Darnassus.”

Fairly innocuous, you might think? The simple addition of a mailbox, handily placed outside the inn in Darnassus close to the local tradeskill merchants without the need to trek over to the bank in order to access your mail. Yes. Perfectly straightforward. Except…! We’ve been here before. This isn’t your regular tale of mailboxes, oh no. This is a story of mailboxes that includes a hefty dose of stupidity on Blizzard’s part.

A long, long time ago in Darnassus, there was a mailbox. Yeah, no change there. But, this mailbox was situated outside the inn. Ah, see, that got your attention. The only problem was, everyone moaned and moaned and moaned about having to journey all the way from the bank to the mailbox. The players called for a mailbox situated right next to the bank, like other cities, for easy access… and Blizzard listened. Back in patch 1.3.1, spookily enough almost 3 years ago exactly, Blizzard placed a mailbox next to the Darnassus bank… and removed the one next to the inn. Whoops. People moaned.

Skip forward three years and Blizzard have apparently (and finally) seen the error of their ways and replaced the inn mailbox in the new patch. I’ll update tomorrow if the bank one vanishes *wink*