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
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.
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 abilit
Raiding as an Arcane Mage
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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Final Fantasy XI
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