Gaming is a lifestyle

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Just another WoW rambling

I have been playing World of Warcraft since April 13, 2007. Almost every day, with a few exceptions, and I’m still going strong, playing 5+ hours every day. I recently got asked why the heck I still play, since the game was dead and/or ruined and it was a waste of money and time. I’ve been getting this question a lot, especially since Mist of Pandaria got released, and honestly, I don’t understand it. Sure, I have been playing the game for over 7 years and I still love it as much as I did back then and it still feels as good to play and achieve certain things in the game.

When I first reached max level in The Burning Crusade I instantly fell in love with the endgame raids, and within long I joined up with the 3rd best raiding guild on the server <The Dragon> and started to do the hard raids such as Mount Hyjal and Black Temple (never got around to Sunwell Plateau). In Wrath of the Lich King I had a 6 months break when I moved to Denmark for half a year, and when I returned I found myself guild less.
I soon found a new guild and <Viri Fortuitus> was what I called home and family for the years to come, and still is today, even if I play under another guild tag. With Viri I saw the game from different perspective. We did serious raiding, without the hardcore raiding guild attitude that I had known before, and I had much more fun playing the game than I ever had before. In WotLK we had amazing progress and kept up with the top guilds, and even though we slowed down a bit in the following expansions we still had fun. Sadly, nothing lasts forever (except Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, that shit won’t die!), and in May 2013, the guild died completely. People lost interests in the game or got otherwise occupied, and we had our last official raid attempt on April 18, 2013. In the year to come I found myself wandering Azeroth alone or AFK’ing in Trade District, waiting for just anything to happen. I got lucky though, in November I found another guild, that had the same mentality as my old guild, and even though it was painful to do a /gquit for real, I was now in a new guild and back in raiding.
However I quickly found out that even if the guild reminded me of my old guild, it just didn’t feel like anything I could call home, so 2 months after I left the guild, had a server transfered and joined up with a new guild: <Indecisive>, and I’m now back to the old hardcore raiding, doing Siege of Orgrimmar 25m Heroic, trying to get rid the last threat of today’s Azeroth, and to show the might of the Alliance in the upcoming Warlords of Draenor. But it still saddens me that Viri Fortuitus is no more, and I am worried that even though I’m loving my new raiding guild and it feels amazing to do 25m raiding again, it might not last forever. With Viri Fortuitus I raided because of the people in the guild, and played for the people in the guild, and that’s not what I’m doing in the new guild, and I’m not 100% sure that I’ll enjoy it as much in say 3 months or perhaps in a year.

But as for now, I’m still enjoying the game just as much as I did 7 years ago, and I cannot imagine it getting worse in the next 2-3 years, unless Blizzard really screws up somehow.
Alitaliho the Light of Dawn will always be here to protect and serve the Alliance!


2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,200 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Mike is down for maintenance.. or something like that.

What’s up guys, long time no see!
It didn’t take me long to fuck up my “promise” to keep posting at a regular level.. it actually only took me a week.. oh well.. But it has just been one of those periods where I haven’t felt like writing anything, and me not feeling there is anything interesting to write about. I told myself to start streaming regularly as well, and it all went great! I had a few regular viewers, and got new followers by each stream session! However, it got interrupted by a series of events.. I got a friend of mine visiting me, family was in Denmark and Sweden that I had to hang out with, and then there was my second monitor deciding it was time to die. Sure, I could have streamed a few times with my family around and having a friend over, however it was the monitor that really killed it for me.
One of the best part of streaming is to read a (hopefully) active chat, and to interact with the viewers, no matter how few they are, and with the lack of a second screen it made it kinda hard, and I was left with two or three choices. 1. to only use one screen and therfore being forced to tab between the game and chat/twitch, to keep up with chat. 2. To move my TV so that it was next to the computer and 3. not to stream for a while.
The first choice was an absolut no-go. I would not put myself and the viewers through the pain of constant alt+tabbing. I would probably forget it most the time and just get absorbed into the game and therfore ignore the chat, or I would alt+tab so often, that I’d end up catching an epileptic seizure. None of that sounded appealing to me, if I have to be honest (even if an epileptic seizure would probably have gotten me a fair bit of views on YouTube.. “Nerd spasms out on live stream”.. yeah..).
I was tempted to move my TV though.. It wouldn’t be optimal, but I would be able to keep up with the chat. The biggest problem, however, was the fact that it’s a big ass TV (42″), so to put it next to the computer would make it look odd and missplaced, and it would look so messy. So I basically ended up with the 3rd option, to not stream for a while. So that’s that, I’m currently waiting to get my hands on a 2nd monitor (*hint hint* send me one!), and untill then there wont be much of a stream.

And just as I said there wouldn’t be a stream, I’ll say the exact opposite! In January I will be streaming (not on my pc though) Amnesia: Machine for Pigs. I’m not sure why I’ve agreed to do this, but I feel I owe her that much. And by her I mean Korobeiniki (sorry if I misspelled your name, too lazy to look it up). I’ve been “co-streaming” Amensia with her, and might have laughed a bit too much, and might have ended up promising on stream that I would stream the 2nd game. So that’s that. Now another interesting thing is that I will also be attending my very first international LAN event! Okay calm down..! It sounds a whole not more interesting when I say it like that. BUt it is a LAN however, no matter how small it is. I mean, it will be in Sweden, and there will be at least 2 nationalitis, pretty darn international, right?! I was talking about having a 31-day stream session in January (Streamuary?), but plans changed and we’ve decided to have a LANuary! Clever names, I know! So far we’re only 3, and I have no idea how many people we can fit, but it will be amazing! It will be streamed on two streams (Mine and Koro’s) and we’ll make it all fancy! I’m hoping to get a few other people (*hint* Adam *hint*) to join, however as I said, I have no idea how many we’ll fit.. but that is no reason not to hope! So that is what’s planned for the nearest future for me, gamingwise at least!N

Now, another thing I’m quite excited about, and looking forward to, is the WildStar beta stress test! Yesterday I received an email with a beta key (for the stress test only, sadly) for this weekend, and it will be amazing! I have seen quite a few videos and streams with it, and I cannot wait to try it out, hopefully it’ll be an MMO that can compete with World of Warcraft! What sucks however, is that a beta invite for this weekend doesn’t mean I am in for the future closed beta, and even more so that I cannot write or tell anyone about what I’ve played in the game. And since it’s a stress test I will probably just end up being stuck on the loading screen due to crashes, and not able to play beacuse of bugs, but I will enjoy it nontheless!

It feels good to write again, and I’ve really missed it. However my ass is starting to get cold, as I’m sitting on this ice cold floor in Copenhagen Airport, waiting for my flight home to the Faroe Islands. It’s really bad timing that I’m going home, gamewise at least, with the WildStar stress test coming up, as I cannot play it on my own computer, and will probably end up fighting with my brother to get my hands on his pc, so that I don’t have to play on my laptop. And I really wanted to play a lot of games, replaying Skyrim, completing Mass Effect 3 and all the other games I have lying around.. I was really in the mood to play, you know? But I got “interrupted” by my Mum, when she all of a sudden bought me a ticket home for Christmas! Yeah okay, that might have sounded negative, and it wasn’t by any means. I’m really glad I could get home for Christmas, but I was getting used to the plan of not going home and just staying in Malmö and do what I do best – Nothing.

Alright that’s it for now guys, and all there is only one thing left to say!

Christmas. . MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU FILTHY ANIMAL AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR-


Pokémon Origins

Most of us have played Pokémon at some point in our lives, whether it be for Nintendo, the trading cards, or perhaps even the figures – and most of us have most likely done it more than once, and in the later years. We all know the feeling of watching the Generation 1 series, and just get the urge to play the Generation 1 games for your gameboy colour; but for some reason it just didn’t quite do it every time. Something was wrong, and I was never really able to put my finger on it. But I do now, and I’m surprised I was never able to realize it before now. The story in the TV series and the story in the games didn’t fit! Not one bit!

But that is not a problem anymore. A few weeks ago the Pokémon Origins was released, and features a story that follows the exactly as it is shown in the Generation 1 games! The story follows the lead character, Red, as he travels through Kanto and encounters all the oh so well known problems, as the ghost in Lavender Town, Giovanni and Team Rocket, and others I’m sure you’ll be familiar with!

Although the Pokémon Origin only seems to be in Japanese it does have English subtitles and is more than worth the watch! It brought back so much nostalgia!
But do keep in mind that it is in Japanese, and although it might be subbed, the names still appear as the original names – just so that you don’t get confused while watching!

But now, go ahead, watch and enjoy it here!


Blizzard Allstars get’s a name change, and BlizzCon moves closer!

 

Finally there is something new about Blizzards MOBA game! It’s been a very long time without any information whatsoever, but now it is official. The Blizzard Allstar has changed name to Heroes of the Storm, and even has their own section on Battle.net!

With the name change and the new website, they released an announcement video, made by non other than the famous SC2 fan artist Carbot, and do I really have to say how awesome it is?!

 

Together with the announcement, they have also released the schedule for BlizzCon 2013. It is looking really good so far, although it doesn’t look like there will be any big surprises. Some Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls information, along with what’s next in the World of Warcraft and then a better look at said MOBA. All in all a really interesting schedule, but sadly no big surprises – yet.

With BlizzCon moving oh so close, I am still keeping to my predictions: Hearthstone released at BlizzCon, Heroes of the Storm will be announced and released in May/June 2014, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls to be announced for 2014, although they don’t want to set a date, and a new look into what the next World of Warcraft expansion might look like!

All in all, quite exciting news, and more to come in the near future! I will keep up with the updates and post anything new here, as my predictions will be confirmed, so keep an eye on it!


World of Warcraft: PvP – Are you an idiot or not

I’ve recently come back to World of Warcraft, and I’m not sure what I expected from it. I started to focus on PvP and Battlegrounds, to gear up and hopefully get into a Rated Battleground team. However for some reason people like to make it a whole lot harder than it needs to be! I mean, WoW is a fairly simple game when it comes to the basics, especially in PvP:

First rule of PvP/Battlegrounds: If you want to kill an enemy, target the healers first. You’ll notice how much faster the enemy team goes down.

Second rule of PvP/Battlegrounds: Objectives wins the game. Whether it be a Flag, an orb or perhaps a mine cart.

Third rule of PvP/Battlegrounds: Learn the two previous rules. Period.

 

Sure, you might not always be able to fulfill the second rule, meaning you wont be able to cap the base or grab the flag, maybe because someone is defending it, or perhaps someone else on your team got the objective, or  at least working on it. If this is the case, then it’s up to you, either to defend your flag carrier/player that’s capping the objective OR defend your teams objective, i.e. your flag/base.

If you’re not doing this, and for some reason you’re running in the middle of the Battleground trying to get a few kills, let me tell you this. You’re an idiot and should stop playing the game. Most of the time, if not always, it’s a complete waste of time to farm kills, and not help with the objectives.

Oh, you don’t care about the objectives, you just want the honor points. Oh my, why didn’t you just say so! Because then I would love to tell you, that 99% of the time you’ll get less honor farming kills compared to the honor you get for getting objectives/winning the Battleground.
It’s hard to find the exact numbers, but if you win a Battleground straight up you’ll get around 200-250 honor points. If you’re losing you’ll get around 100-120. so that’s 100-130 points you’re missing out on, and it’s a hell of a lot of kills you have to get to make up for the loss. Again, it’s hard to find the exact numbers/equations, but from what people have agreed upon is that you get X number of points per kill, all depending on how many allies are close to you and how often the said enemy has been killed. Main point is focus on the objectives!

 

Alright, let’s get back to how easy it is to understand the tactics in a Battleground. Most Battleground have straight up tactics: In Warsong Gulch you have to cap the enemy flag, first to 3 wins. Arathi Basin, gather points to win, by capping bases; the more bases you have the faster you get points – first to 2000 wins. So as you can see, it’s quite simple… If you’re fucking this up it’s simply because you’re an idiot.

Then there are Battlegrounds where people understand the tactics, but are overdoing it, like Isle of Conquest. IoC is a lot like Alterac Valley, you cap objectives and then go kill the end boss, and generally Alliance are quite good at this. The problem is when they don’t get when to do it and when not to do it.

On this map of IoC you can see the 3 main focus, The Hangar, the Workshop and the Docks. Then there is the Refinery and the Quarry.
Unavngivet

In the early days the tactics were, for Alliance, to rush Docks, get the glaives and win the game. However, in the early days it was important to get almost all down to docks, since Horde was doing the same tactics. However, Horde is now rushing Workshop and goes from there, but Alliance still rushes Docks and ignores the Horde. Fair enough, Alliance wins most of the time, so I shouldn’t really complain. But the point is that people aren’t thinking!

We know Hordes goes to the Workshop, so instead of us sending 35 of 40 people to the Docks, we could split them up, having 10 people secure Docks, send 5-10 to rush the Hangar and then have the rest actually contest the Workshop.

“But why on earth would you do that if the current tactics are working and you (Alliance) are winning?!” – Well that is a damn question sir! It might be because I quite enjoy a close match, where it isn’t a faceroll on each side, and that I’m actually excited. Or it could be that I’m just tired of doing the same bloody thing over and over again in a Battleground that has the potential to be great!

Alright alright, the IoC complaint might have been a bit weird, I agree, but I’m allowed to dream about more exciting battles! But the other points still stand! Don’t be a fucking idiot and try to see if you can grasp the idea of actually doing something for the team. Sure, you might lose, but at least you did it trying to fight for the win!


Stream, blogs and more!

What is up guys! It’s been way too long since my last blog post, almost 2 months, and I do apologize for that! There has been a whole lot been going on, and I’ve been kept quite busy, but no more! So as I said, a lot of stuff has been going on, and one of them is indeed that I am now able to stream! For this I can ‘thank’ two things… First of all, my new computer. I bought it end of August, but since I was stuck in the Faroe Islands I was unable to get it home, unless i paid shit loads for transfer. So it was stuck in Denmark for around two weeks, until I finally went and picked it up. Which leads me to the 2nd reason I’m able to stream. I picked up my computer as I was moving to Malmö, Sweden! So why is me moving to Sweden a reason for me to stream you might ask, well.. It has great internet connection! Like seriously, my internet connection was increased tenfold, which means I now have a 100/10 Mbps (don’t worry, I’ll upgrade as soon as I have some extra money!). So if you haven’t already, then by all means come by my stream, http://www.twitch.tv/epiclary, and hang out! Don’t make me talk to myself all day, people find me crazy as it is already!

So what else has happened? Well, as I said, I moved to Sweden. No reason for it though, but I have lived in Denmark for 3 years already, and when I moved back to the Faroe Islands, it all just became so dull, and Sweden really didn’t seem like all that bad an option, so here I am! Currently picking up on my Swedish lessons, and well.. playing games.. so that’s basically my life in Sweden right now – not so bad if you ask me!

I think being in Sweden has made a lot more possible for me. Yeah, it might have been able in Denmark as well, but it just seems so much easier in Sweden. First of all eSport is huge in Sweden, and there is a lot more activity here than in Denmark. I’m planning to soak up as much of it as possible, starting with Dreamhack Winter ’13 in November. I’m also planning to get a lot more done, in terms of blogging, streaming and uploads to YouTube, but I just have to figure out the details on that part.

Stream: This is where I want to get the most active… I want to figure out if I can have a certain streaming schedule, and if I should stick to one game most of the time, or have certain days for certain games. As it looks like now, League of Legends is the game that I’m most likely to stream the most, followed by World of Warcraft, but there are still a lot of games I want to play and re-play!

YouTube: I need to figure out how I do about this. I want to get some uploads going on YouTube, but I’m not sure if I should take it directly from the streams and just upload my broadcast. This would be so much easier, since it’s two birds with one stone – however if there is any activity in chat it might seem a bit weird to watch it on YouTube. But on the other hand, if I record it locally and then upload it, then I’m not sure how I should do it… Ah the decisions I have to make!

Blog: I really want to get back into “serious” blogging. There was a period where I had at least one post a week, and I do want to do that again. So this is a promise, mostly for myself, but you can keep me at it, that I’ll have at least one gaming related post a week, whether it’s a YouTube upload post, or just ranting about something, I’ll have 1 post up each week (let’s aim for every Wednesday shall we?)!

Hmm… that is the most exciting stuff happening at the moment I think… Well… I am working on a project with my brother, but I don’t think I’ll say too much about that at the moment, since it hasn’t been started just yet, but don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated on that!

Right, I do think that was all for now though, I’ll be back on Wednesday!


League of Legends at the Olympics

OlympicFor not too long ago it was announced that League of Legneds was finally deemed a professional sport, which means players could now get working visas for the United States. And this was huge for League of Legends and eSport as a whole.

But as if that was not enough: P4RGaming announced yesterday that it was accepted and announced for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro!

We spoke with the Jacques Rogge, current president of the International Olympics Committee, as to why they allowed this eSport to make it into the Olympics.

“We needed a way to make the Olympics more accessible for young people,” said Rogge via his translator, “The sad part is, youth these days do not have the interest or capability to take up other Olympic sports. By introducing the League of Legends as a sport, we hope to rejuvenate the Olympics and maybe get some more youth interested in other Olympic sports like weightlifting or handball.”

 

Okay.. now before I move on, let me just take my time to calm you down and reassure you that this is NOT an actual thing, there is no League of Legends or any other video game for the Olympics. After P4RGaming released this announcement I dug in to find some source or other websites having the same news, but without luck. They were the only one who had this breaking news, (although a lot of people and websites quoted them on this). So I did a bit of research on them and it turns out that P4RGaming is 100% satire. It’s very well written, and if you don’t know them and only stumbled upon them once or twice you might actually believe what they are writing, I know I did!

But anyway… what if this was actually true? I mean… sure, the IOC would never agree to let a video game become an Olympic sport, but what if? Even if it’s just a troll post, there is some truth in it. eSport, believe it or not, actually requires a whole lot of physical exercise. Yeah okay, you don’t need to be able to lift 70kg or run a marathon to click a mouse or keyboard, but it is exhausting to sit through those gaming sessions and be 100% focused, just like chess. And come on.. if curling can be called a sport then sure eSport can as well!

I had a post, many many moons ago, where there was a podcast that discussed the matter – should eSport me at the Olympics? Back then I said yes, and I sure as hell still do. Bringing this topic to the table and discuss it would in everyone’s interest: the game developers get more attention, the gamers and gaming community gets more recognition and the rest of the world gets to see what all the fuzz is about.
If this was to happen, I’m sure it would bring a whole new crowd to the Olympics –  there is a huge, huge group of people who are not interested in sport what so ever, let alone the Olympics.

Even though this would probably never happen, I’m sure this could subject could give a lot of positive feedback to the gaming community, and maybe some of the big media companies could start cover eSport, so that the people who are dedicated to it could actually make a living of it.eSports2

My head was filled with thoughts on the subject, and I wanted to write it all down, but somehow I just started to ramble near the end, but I hope you get my point!


The Dark Below

Blizzard recently trademarked a new title The Dark Below. Of course Blizzard haven’t said anything about this just yet, but that does not mean we can’t be excited and start the never ending speculation right?!

First thing first though… It’s been roughly a year since Mist of Pandaria was released, and if we look through the history of expansions we can see that it’s been 3 years ish between every expansion, so we really shouldn’t expect anything just yet – although they did say they would put out more expansions with less time between them, so maybe late next year? Either way, I’m sure we’ll get some insight on this at Blizzcon later this year.

So what I’m the most excited about is what is the expansion about? I mean.. We’ve killed C’thun, we slayed the Betrayer, banished the undead, and destroyed the Destroyer.. We’ve been all over the place and they just keep coming. In the past few months a few scenarios have been voiced on the internet… ideas and suggestions for the next expansion pack – The return of the Burning Legion, the Emerald Dream and the wrath of the Nagas, and to be fairly honest, all of these are exciting as fuck and I can’t wait to see all of them in game. But alas only one scenario for each expansion… and for this one it is most likely gonna be the wrath of the Nagas.

To fully prepare for a world of perfection, all the imperfect must be swept away.

A few years back, before the announcement of Cataclysm me and whole bunch of other people expected this expansion to come out… The Naga’s have been roaming Azeroth for years, but have never been a real threat.. at least not since the days of Warcraft 3 or the Serpenshrine Caverns, so it would seem like a perfect time to release it. There are numerous islands around Azeroth that are hidden or not accessible. But as we all know this didn’t happen.
In Cataclysm we kinda started to feel the anger and power of the Naga’s in Vashj’ir, even though it was easily beaten. It was also here that we for the first time ever heard of the “Dark Below”, it had never before been mentioned (as far as I know at least). It was the great and powerful Ozumat, Fiend of the Dark Below. The last boss in Throne of Tides, whom will has been overtaken by the Nagas.

If this is the scenario and idea for the next expansion it would mean that we could finally get to see the realm of the Nagas… we could see the great (I assume it’s great) city of Nazjatar at the bottom of the Maelstrom, and who knows.. we might see the resurrection of Lady Vashj!

But of course it’s all speculations, and we wont know anything for sure till Blizzard reveals something, either at Gamescom this weekend or at Blizzcon later this year. For now I’ll stay dreaming of the depths of Azeroth!


Stream time!

Alright guys, it’s time to tune in and watch me fail badly at everything and anything! My younger brother is out of town (and country) so I’ve hijacked his computer and decided to stream a bit and for as long as I can!

Now I cannot promise anything fun or exciting to watch, as I have to get used to having a camera on me, whilst talking to myself/chat and so on, but practice makes perfect they say!

https://i0.wp.com/gamershavennews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/tomb-raider-2013-wallpaper1.jpeg

But either way, I will stream anything I can and in less than an hour from now I’ll be streaming the new(ish) Tomb Raider game. So if you’re bored then head over to twitch.tv and let me know what you think!

 


3 years in denmark – time to move on

Heads up guys – this post has nothing to do with video games. Just some thoughts I’ve been having in the past month and that I felt I needed to write down.

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In a week from now I finish yet a stage in my life. In a week from now I graduate and put 3 years of school behind me. In a week from now I have been living alone for 3 years.

UnavngivetBut every time I think about this I get surprised of how fast time can go. I can’t actually believe it’s been so long already… I mean, I clearly remember when I got the keys to my apartment and had to go and buy furniture’s for the first time in IKEA, and not to mention the first time I had actually cook food every day to survive… Okay to be fair I haven’t cooked food everyday… far from it actually… but anyway! When I lived back home I had absolutely no worries in my life. I was guaranteed food every day, I didn’t have to cook myself, and I didn’t have to worry about rent or laundry. But I do now, and in a way it is an amazing feeling, but at the same time very frightening. There have been days where I have been oh so short on money and fell behind on some bills and so on, and I would be thinking to myself: “Dude what the fuck are you doing, you can’t manage to live alone, go home!”. But I am no quitter, and this sure as hell wouldn’t’ stop me. So yea

h, 3 years… Damn… I have been shown a side of “real life” that I haven’t been able to see while I lived at my mums, seeing what it actually takes to be a grown up.

Today I don’t feel all that different from 3 years ago… I don’t really feel more mature or grown up or whatever, but when I think about it, I am quite different. But of course you are, you say, 3 years is a lot! And yeah, you’re right, 3 years is a lot. One of the biggest differences is that I have become a whole lot more confident in myself. A few years back I didn’t say a word to strangers, and even with people I had known for years I wouldn’t talk freely to. Today, most people have to tell me to shut the hell up. But also an overall confidence has grown, I no longer care about what other think about me, if I feel good about myself then to hell with everyone else.

So what have I been doing in the past 3 years? Well first of all I have been studying math & economics… not my smartest choice in life, but it’ll have to do. But boy am I glad I chose this line of education. The class I was put in has been nothing but amazing. It is a small class of 20 people, and I have never felt so different and yet so welcome in a group before, and I cannot imagine ever having a better class to spend 3 years of my life with. They didn’t really give a crap of who I was, where I came from or what my interests were, and it made me feel at ease. I didn’t have to prove anything, or do anything special to be accepted. It was there right from the beginning. I will surely miss the people!

Living in Denmark also gave me the chance to travel a lot more. Although I didn’t abuse this, I still managed to get something out of it. I was able to go to Linköping, Sweden, where I have a bunch of online friends and that I was able to meet for the first time, and I am so grateful that I did this.
And speaking of travels… London 2011. The second guild meeting for Viri Fortuitus, and the first one for me to attend. This was probably one of the best weekends in my life. I have spent 6 years playing World of Warcraft and spent over 4 years with this lovely bunch of people, which I had never seen in person, but yet they were such a huge part of my life.

Whilst I have been in Denmark, I have been able to see a lot more to my Danish family. Living in the Faroe Island, I only saw some of them once a year, if I was lucky. I am really happy to have been able to visit them and just be around them a lot more, although it hasn’t been as much as I hoped for. When I’m moving in around 10 days it’ll be weird not being able to visit them whenever I feel like it – I’ll surely miss that.

It’s also quite interesting to see how you change your habits when you move somewhere new. I mean… I have always been a gamer and spent shitloads of time in front of the computer. But in the Faroe Island it has been sort of… taboo… okay taboo might be a bit of an overkill, but it sure as hell wasn’t something widely accepted. In the Faroe Island you have two options in your spare time: 1. You do sport, whether you’re good or bad it doesn’t matter… it’s just not cool if you don’t. And then you go fishing. It’s all about sport and fishing, and anything that is abnormal is not acceptable. So when I moved to Denmark it was quite interesting to see that no one gave a damn about what you did. You could easily find likeminded people and share a common interest. Damn… I could actually do what I wanted to!

In around 10 days from now I will move back to the Faroe Island for the time being, whilst I figure out what to do. I have applied for a university in Sweden, but I won’t know anything till end of July. If I’m accepted, great, new chapter of my life! But on the other hand, if I don’t get accepted I’ll just have to figure something out.

But I think that’s it guys. If you read it all then thanks for reading! If you didn’t … well thank you anyway!

 


Thinking of getting an Xbox One? Think again!

Hey guys! I have been quite excited about the Xbox One, but I guess I’m too easily convinced by the marketing people… I found this post and it opened my eyes to what was going on. The following post ISN’T written by me, but was originally written by a guy on Facebook. I did however feel that I had to share this, since what Microsoft is doing is outrageous!

It’s quite long but trust me, it’s worth the read!

Alright, if you’re a consumer and you’re considering picking up the new Xbox One console, then please, take a moment to listen to me. Before we begin, no, I am not a fanboy or a hater. I have no console BIAS. I have a PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and a Gaming PC. Each has their pros and cons but now onto business.

DO NOT BUY AN XBOX ONE. Why? See the reasons below:

Xbox requires an internet connection. Here’s how it works: Every 24 hours your Xbox will try to connect to Microsofts’ servers for verification. If it is unable to connect, sucks to be you. You’re blocked from playing even single player games until it can connect.

Source: http://kotaku.com/xbox-one-does-require-internet-connection-cant-play-o-509164109

Do you like renting games, lending them to a friend, or even borrowing them from a friend? No longer possible. Every Xbox One game you get must be registered to your Xbox live account to be played. After that point it will only work for you. No one else can use it unless they pay a fee. Essentially it works like this. You pick up a used Xbox One game from somewhere or someone, pop it into your console. The system verifies it’s been registered to your account. Uh-oh, it isn’t! In order to play it, you have to pay Microsoft a fee, which is currently slated to be full retail price. Doesn’t matter how scratched up it is or how cheap you got it at gamestop or from a friend. You aren’t just buying the physical copies anymore. You’re playing Microsoft for a LICENSE to be allowed to play the game.

It is worth mentioning Microsoft is exploring ways for you to trade in and resell your used games. This is rumored to mean that you can sell your digital license to play the game (registration) back to Microsoft, likely for microsoft points. You can then trade in the game at gamespot for some cash if you like. Either way, as it currently stands, the new owner would still have to pay a fee on top of the price of actually buying the physical copy.

Source: http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/05/21/xbox-one-fee-for-buying-used-games-full-retail-price/

Is it worth mentioning that Microsoft is shafting Indie Developers as well? Where as Playstation Network or (whatever the Wii has) Indie Developers can self publish their content easily. Playstation even encourages this. Microsoft however forces these Indie Devs to enter publishing deals with them to be allowed to market their content. You don’t go through them, you don’t get to sell what you developed.

Source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/05/22/indie-devs-cant-self-publish-on-xbox-one

I’m not quite done yet! Now, I’m sure you heard a lot about “TV TV TV TV SPORTS TV TV SPORTS SPORTS TV.” Yes, the Xbox is slated to be able to stream live tv, live sports, etc. So let me ask you this. You obviously already have something like cable or DirectTV. Do you really want to shell out hundreds of dollars more and pay a monthly subscription fee to have another television provider? Yes, I said hundreds of dollars, and I don’t mean the cost of the console. To view live TV from your Xbox you are required to purchase ANOTHER separate device for it to work. Why would you even consider shelling out more money for something you already have? Even if you didn’t DirectTV is cheaper. Or you could even subscribe you Hulu.com and watch live TV on your computer. FOR MUCH CHEAPER. You essentially have to buy another cable box if you don’t have one. And if you do… what do you need the Xbox One for?

Source: http://www.vg247.com/2013/05/21/xbox-one-live-tv-available-in-us-only-at-launch-requires-separate-device/

So far we’ve discovered that the Xobx One is not really a gaming console, at least… Not a consumer friendly gaming console. It’s being marketed as an all-in-one home entertainment system. Something to replace all of the other devices in your house. But there are drawbacks even to that. Put on your tin foil hats for this part folks. Take from it what you will, all I’ll say is… possibilities…

The Xbox One’s features will not function unless the Kinect is plugged in and active. This is not an optional piece anymore.

Source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/05/21/xbox-one-will-not-function-without-kinect-attached

So imagine your Kinect piece breaks? Tough luck, no more Xbox for you. But you what’s worse?

Pay attention, because this is important. The Kinect is always watching. Always listening. Even when the system is off.

Yes. One of the ways to turn on the system is to audibly say: “Xbox On” while the system is off. The Kinect, which is always on, hears you and turns it on. Now this might seem like a cool feature, but did you know Microsoft patented a feature that would allow the Kinect’s camera (it’s no longer just a sensor, but a camera) to spy on you for the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America)? While they may not actually do this, it is actually possible for them to do this now. It has a camera, and a microphone. The Kinect is always on. It is ALWAYS listening, ALWAYS watching.

An idea has been tossed around that by using this feature, it will allows game developers and movie producers to set a limited amount of how many people can be allowed to view the entertainment. So as a hypothetical example, you and three friends are watching a movie, which is the maximum allowed. A fourth friend enters the room and the Kinect’s sensor registers the fourth individual. The movie stops and you are prompted to pay a fee so that the extra individual may also view the film. Again, that is NOT currently the case, but these are the ideas currently being tossed around with the system’s current capabilities.

Source for listening: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/21/4352596/the-xbox-one-is-always-listening

Source for spying: http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/139706-microsofts-new-kinect-patent-goes-big-brother-will-spy-on-you-for-the-mpaa

Now, just two more things and I’ll be done here!

This isn’t really a good or bad thing, but it’s annoying. It also explains how they can prevent you from playing a used game if you didn’t pay their fee. Xbox One no longer plays games off the discs, you HAVE to install them to the hard-drive in order to play them. I believe PS3 also has you do this (on a number of games but not always it seems), except that PS3 isn’t trying to Nickle and Dime you at every corner. It also seems according to this article there is something related to the Online portion at the beginning of the post. The option is there for Developers to require the Xbox to always be online to play their particular game. Well, it seems PC gamers and console gamers have one thing in common now… DRM.

(At least pirates on PC can bypass DRM easily. Not an option for consoles.)

Source: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/21/4352314/xbox-one-hard-drive-game-installs

And last but not least, another annoyance… Xbox One will not be compatible with any and all current headsets. Nope, companies will either have to make new headsets altogether specifically for the Xbox One, and they have to adhere to what Microsoft wants. Look forward to price gouging.

Source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/05/22/xbox-one-incompatible-with-current-gaming-headsets

Oh, one more thing… If you have an Xbox 360, don’t get rid of it. Why? Well if you want to keep playing your old 360 games you’ll need it. The Xbox One isn’t backwards compatible. At all. Not only that, but President of Microsoft’s Xbox Divison Don Mattrick insults the very notion of backwards compatibility! He calls it: “Backwards thinking.”

Source: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/21/4350662/new-xbox-has-no-backwards-compatibilty

Source of insult: http://www.polygon.com/2013/5/22/4355984/xbox-one-backward-compatibility-backwards-thinking-don-mattrick

That is all I have to say currently folks, and I hope you took the time to read this far. I’ll conclude the following… please… PLEASE do not buy this console. Paying for this supports greedy and anti-consumer business practices. Speak with your wallet, and pass up on the Xbox One. No matter what games it might have that you want, even if they are exclusive. Do the right thing and make a statement. Refuse to be Nickle and Dimed like this. Refuse to be seen as a mindless consumer who will buy anything tossed at them.

Thank you, kindly

~Dylan Jordan

I really hope you managed to read it to the end and got as much from this as I have!


Midgard – a minecraft world

Minecraft – the sandbox indie game that took the world by storm, and now with over 10 millions copies sold. Everyone has heard of the game, and everyone should try it at least once in their life.

With all this said, I believe Minecraft has been ignored when people talk about addictive games. At least from what I’ve heard and read. It’s usually games like World of Warcraft, Football manager games, Diablo 2 and so on. But I don’t think any game comes close to Minecraft, not even World of Warcraft.
I have spent hours and days and months playing World of Warcraft, for almost 5 years now, and I have been addicted to the game. I just simply couldn’t stop playing it. But even then it really doesn’t compete with Minecraft. When I first heard of the game I was very sceptical… I mean, dig and build – what kind of crap is that?! But once you’ve started you cannot stop playing. You get so into it, wanting to finish whatever you started building. And before you know it you’ve spent 8 hours digging through the never ending boxes trying to get the materials you need.

Recently my brother asked me to play Minecraft on an online server with him. A role playing PVP server. It sounded kinda lame from the start, as I’ve never really been a big fan of role playing, but alas I tried it out, and as I said… once you’ve started you cannot stop.
In the first 4 days on the server I played for around 48 hours in total, yeah that’s right, 12 hours a day! Besides the amazing and addictive gameplay there is the server. The RPPVP server. The server is set in Midgard, the realm of the mortals, where you have to stand united against the ever possible threat of an attack from the enemy. You must establish a town, a home base, to defend against the enemy that might attack you without warning. You unite with other towns whom have the same enemy as you. You form a Nation. And this is where it really gets heated up. Two big nations facing up against each other, just waiting for the other one to make a mistake. The longer the Mexican stand off is, the more bloodthirsty the players get. But you cannot attack without making sure you’ve got the upper hand. You cannot let your towns be vulnerable, you have to be ready.

And that is what I have been doing, getting ready for the inevitable war. As High Lord of Vannheimr, the home to those with exceptional wisdom and the ability to see the future. And we have seen it. War is coming. I have been working for days to get the great walls of Vannheimr up and ready to hold off any enemy, and even though countless of hours have been spent we are still not finished, you can always improve something.Vannheimr

In Midgard, the realm of the mortal, we have joined in an alliance with the great Nation of Frossverd, and Vannheimr has an ever so important role in this nation. We are the front-line. We are the first line of defense against the vicious Chrace. Vannheimr is also where we will launch our attack against the nearest Chrace village, Anor.
But we do not know when or how the war will start, we are all waiting eagerly to be the one to draw first blood, but no one dares to make the first move and start off the war.

For now we stay idle. Waiting. Hoping.


World of Warcraft as a competitive game?

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As a long term World of Warcraft player I am sad to see where the game is today, and by that I mean the fact that less and less people are playing it. Blizzard recently released the subscription numbers and it was around 8 millions subscribers world wide (Still the biggest MMORPG by far), but it’s quite a drop from the glorious days of 2010 when there were 12 million players.

Personally I don’t understand why this drop in numbers has hit the game. Blizzard has really made a lot of improvement to the game and added loads and loads of new features in the past years, such as rated battlegrounds, looking for group system and not to mention the pet battle! Yeah, some might say that the game has become too easy, that in Vanilla and The Burning Crusade you needed lots more skills and whatnot to even have a chance to finish up the end game raids, and I do agree to a certain extent, but I don’t believe that’s what “killed” World of Warcraft. What I believe gave the game a massive blow are 3 things:

Heirlooms:
With people running around with heirlooms at any level in the game has had a huge impact on it. Everyone runs around with heirlooms, whether it be in the instances, the battlegrounds or questing. You no longer need to get that one helmet that will help you out. You no longer need to farm Scarlet Monastery to get Morgraines’s mighty Mace. No, you got it all from level one. By farming a little bit of instances/battlegrounds on your main you’re able to give your new character whatever gear you need from level 1. Levelling a new character has become ridiculously easy… I mean, I still remember when I levelled my main, it took me several months to get from 1-70 and it was an amazing feeling when I finally made it. Now levelling is just something that has to be done to get to the farming process at level 90.

Flying in Azeroth:
This is something that I’ve hated from the start, why would they add this feature? Sure, you can get from Stormwind to Scholomance in no time… great! But why?! Yeah, I remember when I had to get a group from Shadowfang Keep and we had to decide who went to summon the rest of the group.. Now that was a hell of a walk, which most often ended with 2-3 ganks, but it had its charm, as our dear friend Bilbo Baggins would have said “I’m going on an adventure!”. Yes, I do realise that flying in Azeroth is for the high levels, so it wouldn’t have had any impact on me running to Shadowfang Keep, but my point still stands.
Another thing with the flying in Azeroth is that you rarely see anyone more. There is no interaction with other players, especially not cross faction. I’m sure that most of the people that played in “the good old days” remember the endless ganks and ganking in zones like Strangelthorn Vale and Hillsbrad Foothills and it was FUN, even if you were the one ganked. All you see now is, if you’re lucky, a player flying somewhere high above. It starts to feel like you’re playing alone.

And arguably the BG/Instance queue system:
So this pretty much goes with the flying in Azeroth thingie. You don’t have to go out there. You don’t have to interact with people. You queue up, you kill some mobs and then never see the group again. I don’t know the locations for half the dungeons any more… Where the hell is the Siege of Niuzao Temple?! I don’t bloody know, because I don’t have to! All I need to do is to hit that lovely queue button and some magic happens and I’m in a group. Lovely right? No, because this group might as well have been an AI, no one is talking, there is no communication whatsoever.
When people had to run out to find the dungeons it added a lot more… life.. to the game, you saw a lot more players around. Same goes for the Battleground instances. I miss the days when people gathered in Stormwind Keep to queue up. There was always a lot of talking and people showing of their newly acquired PvP gear. There was a gathering point for like minded players.

ihealalotIhealalot, the greatest Paladin in The Burning Crusade era, misses the good old days

Now, I don’t know what Blizzard should do to make up for this fatal mistakes. You cannot simply remove the features, it doesn’t work like that. But I might have a few ideas that could help out. Or at least I wish it would. But here is my favourite one:

Competitive play:For those of you who have read my blogs know that I love the eSport scene, and I believe World of Warcraft has a lot of potential. In both aspects of the game, PvE and PvP.

PvP
I love the idea to see a better PvP competitive scene. Admittedly I don’t watch the arena sections and I find the insanely dull. But I honestly believe that if Blizzard put a team together to work out a tournament for battlegrounds it would have a massive success. The eSport scene has the great 1v1 games (Starcraft 2), it has the 3v3 (WoW Arena) and then it has the 5v5 (League of Legends and DOTA2). But it doesn’t have the huge 10v10, or even 15v15 if you dare. Yeah, it might be insanely difficult to make it work, to get 10-15 like minded players to work together in perfect synergy, but if there is one community there can do it, it’s the MMO community. We see it all the time, the top guilds of World of Warcraft going for that world first, and if they can do it in PvE then they can do it in PvP as well.
All Blizzard needs to do is to add some sort of spectator mode for battlegrounds. Not sure if it should be a 1st person view like Counter-Strike, 3rd person view like WoW arena, perhaps the spectating system from SC2 and LoL could work, or maybe a combination of all 3. And then Blizzard needs to make it attractive to the players. Give it a lot of talk, put bigger prizes out there, give the players a chance for fame. You have done it with Starcraft Blizzard, now do it to World of Warcraft.

PvE
So this one is somewhat already ongoing… The Race to Worlds first (Great documentary by the way, you should watch it), where the top guilds in the world tries to be the first to clear the content, to get the fame and glory. So what I think should be done here is to have tournaments, both for worlds first, but also fastest clear of a certain dungeon/raid. Have two teams/guilds facing each other and see who has the best strategy to clear it the fastest. This has already been done at several BlizzCons, where Blizzard has invited top guilds to go on scene and play, so why not go a bit further? Have a monthly tournament where you give the players a chance to get their 15 minutes of fame.

As I said, I don’t know what should be done with the game, but I strongly believe that this could help it out, make it more attractive to players, both the current one and people looking for an alternative competitive one.
Hope you guys like my idea and I wish we could get the word to spread and make it happen!


IdrA released from Evil Geniuses

It’s always a very interesting process when something big happens within a pro scene, especially the eSport scene, and the last one isn’t an exception.

On May 10 Evil Geniuses announced that they were releasing Greg “IdrA” Fields from the team. The reactions whenever something IdrA related happens is always controversial, there are the real fans that support him no matter what and then there are the absolute douche bags that enjoy seeing bad stuff happen to him and hope to see one of his famous reactions to whatever happens.

Personally I am a bit shocked when I heard the news. I have never been a big fan of IdrA or Evil Geniuses but I could never have imagined mentioning one of those two without thinking of the other, to me they are the one and same thing. Although I haven’t been the biggest fan of IdrA, I have been supporting him whenever I have had the chance to watch him play and I wish I had the chance to watch him play more (damn you time zones!). There is something about IdrA that makes it so interesting to watch… First of all he’s a great player and we have seen that many times in games and tournaments, but then there is his personality and his reactions to the game. He once said he didn’t enjoy the game and only played it for the money, but I just have somewhat hard time to believe that… I mean, how can you say you only play it for the money and then get so sad and upset when you lose a game? It just confuses me to see.

I think one of the main reasons of why I like him and his personality is, that it reminds me of myself. I get easily upset when playing Starcraft 2, especially if I get a cheesy player. I bash the keyboard and mouse and whatever I can get my hands on, and most of the time I have to stop playing, just to keep myself from destroying my computer. So I can easily understand his reaction to some the cheesy crap in games.

The day after he was released from Evil Geniuses there was an interview with him by itmeJP, where IdrA was asked about his behaviour and how he reacted to EG’s managements decision on releasing him. Also, in the interview IdrA said he was stepping down to competitive play, which saddens me, but at the same time is very understandable, to focus on making more content and casting/analysing games.
This is quite interesting to me, as I have never heard or seen him cast a game before, but I am very much looking forward to it and I am pretty sure he will do an excellent job with it.

I don’t know what else to say about this really. I’m sad to see him leave EG, but if it gives him more space to be himself and do what he loves then I cannot wait to see how it goes. Best of luck from here IdrA!


I wanna be a pro

Ever since I saw my first eSport match I wanted to become a pro gamer and make the plays you see on screen every day. Now, the problem is that you have to put a lot of effort and dedication into it, and people who know me know I’m lazy as fuck, which really doesn’t help. I can’t really play Starcraft 2 since I rage and smash whatever I can get my hands on when I lose, especially if it’s a cheese. In League of Legends I feel like I could be somewhat good, but then the problem is that I have to find 4 other players that have the same mindset as me. I find it so much easier to put lots of effort into it when there are other people counting on you, which makes LoL (or any MOBA game) a great pick for me, but I just can’t seem to find the right people.

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I have few RL friends that I play with and we have been trying to play some tournaments etc. but they just can’t seem to care as much as I want them to. We were supposed to play a tournament today with a signup deadline on Thursday, but they we couldn’t find enough players and some of the people decided to say yes Friday evening, which is way too late… Anyway, I just really want to play in tournament and actually have a chance to win! Ain’t that much to ask for is it? Ah well.. When I’m done with school in 2 months time I’ll be able to put more time and effort into it and see if I can find like minded players!
Oh well… always good to rant a bit eh? Anyway that’s about it for now guys, but before I let you go have a listen to my current favourite Youtube’er Temp0 down below!


Toxic behaviour in League of Legends

It’s well known in the gaming community that MOBA games have the worst and most toxic behaviour, especially League of Legends. There is always that one guy spamming, raging, and just completely destroys the entire game experience.

But in the past several months we have seen Riot taking action and trying to work towards a better community behaviour. First there was The Tribunal, where the community could look at cases from in game reports and ban/pardon said player.

This didn’t really do the trick though, people that got banned just seemed to get more frustrated, and not really changing the behaviour of players. So they decided to give the players that have been punished a chance to look at the case, so that they could see what they did to deserve the ban, and even share it with friends. This really seemed to change a lot of peoples behaviour.

More recently Riot started adding tips on how to behave in game. I can’t remember the exact tips, but they do give you some tips/hints such as if you show good behaviour you’re more likely to win the game, or if you do flame/rage/whatnot then you’re more likely to lose.

And then there is the new(ish) Honour system. I personally saw big change in the chat right away, after this was introduced. People seemed to really want to get the banner on your portrait, and therefore didn’t really rage or whine or anything. They were actually more helpful and polite. But of course this only lasted for a few months and now it’s as if they don’t care about that banner any more.

A friend of mine sent me a link from a presentation by Riot employee Jeffrey “Lyte” Lin, giving a speech on Fixing toxic online behavior in League of Legends. It’s only 25 minutes long, and I really recommend having a look at it. It might only be a PR show from their side, but it makes me believe that they are actually doing what they can do to get rid of the title as “The worst gaming community”.


Fraps test – Silver League duo queue

This post is more or less just a test from my site to see if I could modify the page a little bit.

I finally managed to get myself to see how fraps and games would run on my computer, and so far it seems to run rather smoothly.

I played a ranked League of Legends game with a friend of mine. Silver League duo queue with a premade botlane (Zyra/Draven), and we pretty much dominated the game, but still it wasn’t a game that went as good as it should, but let’s blame the others shall we?


Chinese artwork for League of Legends

I’ve always been quite a fan of Chinese/Asian artwork, and I recently discovered that the Chinese League of Legends server had different artwork (and regional skins) than the European and American. The Chinese artwork is more manga like I guess, while the western servers have more cartoonish stuff, which makes perfect sense I guess, but oh does the Chinese look so much better!

I mean, just look at the difference! Western artwork at the top and the Chinese at the bottom. How could you possible ever want the Western artwork when you can choose the blue badass?!

So as I found out how badass it looked I also realised that you could just switch out the artwork-folder-thingie and get it, which is awesome! Oh.. and while writing this I kinda realised that apparently it’s only the artwork and not the actual ingame characters that have different looks.. which kinda sucks.. but still, it’s worth changing!

I mean.. What on earth is that?! The Western (Upper picture) just looks like crap… I could draw that!

But either way.. Here’s a quite nice guide how to easily change it around and I do recommend doing it!

But that’s it for now guys, enjoy the Chinese artwork!


Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Oh god I have NEVER been so disappointed in an announcement as I was for the Blizzard one at PAX East today… I admit I might have hyped it up a little bit, but I expected Blizzard to have a huge announcement, but alas I was wrong.

Before getting into the what it was, here is what Blizzard said about the announcement before PAX:
“Blizzard has a little something new, and they’re bringing it to PAX East! It’s different from their other games, so it’s not a sequel, expansion, or that rumored next-gen MMO. Be among the first to see what the legendary development studio has been working on in this presentation.”

How can you not be over hyped about that one?! Yeah okay, I guess it might just have been me… But then let’s move on!

That’s right! Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a Free-to-play strategy card game from Blizzard! Yeah, see why I’m disappointed now?! Okay,  after I managed to calm down a little bit after the announcement, I have to say I am a little bit excited about this.. The ingame footage (and shoutcasting) made it look a lot more fun than I actually anticipated.

So just some quick facts about the game:

  • The game is an Online CCG. It’s free to play.
  • The game will be available on iPad as well.
  • The Beta will come this summer and the game will be available this year.
  • You can already sign up for Beta!!!
  • HearthStone will launch on Windows and Mac.
  • Over 300 cards in the game, 5 per pack, can earn and buy packs, many types of cards.
  • A pack of cards will be around $1, but it’s nothing set in stone yet.
  • You’ll be able to earn cards o build them yourself by disenchanting the spare ones.
  • We will have common, rare, epics, and legendary cards.
  • The game will be played as a hero: druid, mage, warlock, hunter, etc.

With that said, I am still hoping to see the Blizzard Allstar to be announced soon(ish)! But meanwhile I’ll wait patiently and cross my finger’s that I’ll get into the Hearthstone beta! But that’s it for me now guys, Mike is over and out!


Is the game imbalanced?

I have been following the Starcraft 2 eSport scene since I saw my first Starcraft 2 back in 2010, and I watch it every chance I get, whether it be at home, in school, on the train or even taking a dump. And I pretty much watch anyone play, from the hardcore pro’s like LiquidTLO, EGIdrA and MarinKingPrime to community streams like Day[9] and Temp0.. oh and obviously every tournament I can find (GSL, IEM, MLG and every other 3 digit tournament out there).

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On every stream chat, no matter who is streaming and what they are streaming, I see the same damn thing over and over again… The endless useless talk about how the game/races/units is unbalanced!
“Oh my god Marines are OP”
“NERF INFESTORS”
“Look, GGLords incoming!”
“WTF Zerg OP!”

And this is everywhere.. as soon as a race/player has a win streak you’ll see the constant whining of imbalance. You especially noticed it in the months leading up to the Heart of the Swarm, where zergs pretty much dominated everything and took 1st place in almost (if not all) any tournament, and most of the time there were several zergs in the top of the bracket. Now, you have to understand that I’m no pro nor do I have in any specific knowledge about the game, I’m just a Silver league Starcraft 2 fan, soaking in anything the commentator/streamers wants to share. But what I do know is that the game is not as imbalanced as people keep whining about. Yes there will always be a unit that beats the other and some races will be better in different stages of the game, but I believe that if the player is good enough they can win, OP races or not!

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Okay, so with Heart of the Swarm we saw a switch in the race dominance. MLG kicked off this weekend and let me just share the race distribution:
Round of 32: 12 Protoss, 10 Terrans, 10 Zerg
Round of 16: 3 Protoss, 8 Terrans, 5 Zerg

By now people should be screaming that Terrans are OP right? I mean 8 of 10 got to the next round?! And Protoss so underpowered, yeah? No…

Round of 8: 3 Protoss, 4 Terrans, 1 Zerg
Oh my god Zerg needs to be buffed and Terrans still OP! Only one left, someone call Blizzard and complain already! Hold on a minute people, let’s see how this goes.

Semifinals: 1 Protoss, 2 Terrans, 1 Zerg
Finals: 1 Terran, 1 Zerg
Oh, wait… Maybe Zergs aren’t that bad..?

And guess what.. The Zerg won the bloody thing!

Yeah yeah, you summarized the tournament, so what? Well… As I said earlier, I don’t believe the game is so imbalanced, and even if they are the really good players will find away to counter them. Terrans were praised by the commentators the entire tournament and almost guaranteeing us a Terran champion, but Life (the Zerg that won) is such an amazing player and managed to rip apart every Terran he met on his way to the finals.

So basically what I’m trying to say is that the game is NOT as imbalanced as the community keeps complaining about, and even if there could be done some minor adjustments, the real pro gamers will find a way to conquer the scene.

So I guess all there is left to say is enjoy the bloody game! And if you want to compete then you have to practice to beat the “overpowered” races. But that’s it for now peeps, Mike is over and out!


So much to do and so little time!

Oh wow I just realised how long ago since my last post here! Not exactly sure why I haven’t blogged for a while, but it’s a damn shame that I haven’t! Since my last posts quite a lot has happened so let’s take it from the start of the year (happy new year by the way!).

As most of you might have realised by now I spend quite a lot of my spare time playing World of Warcraft. Since I started way back I’ve been playing on Bladefist and never really got settled on any other server that I tried. But as many other servers it started to suffer from lack of players, and quite fast it became hard to even find a pug, profession crafter or a battleground group, the server was more or less dead. My guild then decided to transfer, and I have to say I’ve never been so angry or disappointed in their decision! As mentioned I’ve been playing on the server for ever, and it felt like home (or at least it did before MoP got launched), people knew my character and I refused to leave. I was still hoping to have take back my “glory and reputation” as it was in The Burning Crusade. But it seemed to me like I was the only one in the guild who didn’t want to transfer and so the guild did. Of course I moved with them, since the guild is pretty much the reason I still play the game. But still, almost 2 months since the transfer I haven’t quite got used to it, and I’m not satisfied. It just seems so wrong to play on a PVE server when you’re used to PVP! You can’t just let that scumbag horde take your mineral vein or the quest mob, you should kill him for that! Oh… nope, you just have to sit back like a sucker and wait for the next one. But of course the transfer had its benefits. We seem to be back to proper raiding and have gotten quite a few new recruits to the guild!

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But enough of the QQ’ing. The new year has also had great news from the eSport scene. eSport is bigger and more popular than ever! In February Riot’s League of Legends Championship Series started and I’ve never enjoyed watching LoL as much as now! LCS is, as far as I know, only in Europe and North America and each region has their tournament and teams. 8 teams in region, in Europe it’s Evil Geniuses, Gambit Gaming, Fnatic, SK Gaming, Giants, Dragonborns, Against All Authority and last but not least Copenhagen Wolves. In North America there are Curse, Team Solo Mid, Team Dignitas, Counter Logic Gaming, compLexity, Good Game University, Team MRN and Vulcun. I haven’t seen too much of the NA games due to time differences and so on, so can’t say much about that. But the European games have been amazing! We’ve seen such good plays throughout the season and there is only more to come! Now obviously everyone has a favourite in the tournament, and obviously I’m cheering for Copenhagen Wolves. Sure, they haven’t been able to take a win yet, but they have been playing amazingly good and have had their fair shot at taking the win. There are quite a few reasons for this, but I do believe the main reason is that they have had a stand-in ever since the start because one of their main players have been under aged and therefore not allowed to play. And then last week they needed another stand-in since their midlaner got mugged the very morning of the games and not being able to play. But I’m am 100% certain they will get their first win this weekend!
Oh yeah.. The NA games are being played on thursday and friday and the European games are played Saturday and Sunday, so do tune in to  enjoy and support eSport!

Another big deal in the world of eSport is that Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is being released! OMGOMG nerd chills! The game looks awesome, the new units creates a whole new style of play and absolutely throws over the zergs and their recent dominance on the scene. The new maps is also a pleasant sight, nice with a change you know? So 19 days, if I know how to count, and then the game is out! Obviously someone has been playing the beta, and I envy them so much! I have my own beta key and I feel so bad for not playing it but I simply can’t find the time to play it, and it bugs the shit out of me! But I swear I’ll play it a lot more, if not now then when the game is released!

But the thing I’m most excited about right now is that I have been able to get my foot inside of eSport! Sure, nothing big right now, but I’m hoping it’s going to grow and I’ll surely do what I can to make it so. I have joined Team ephix as their news reporter! The team is fairly new and only had a CS:GO and PES team to start with, but two days ago we’ve been able to add a LoL team to the squad. I’m really excited about this since CS:GO is kinda boring to watch, but mainly because the team seems to have really big ambition and is aiming to play in the midterm qualifiers for the LCS tournament!

But yeah, that’s about the big stuff going on right now for me. I’ve been doing a lot more of course, but I don’t feel the need to mention it, but all I can say is that there is so much to do and so little time!

But one thing is for sure… Mike is over and out!


Some thoughts on the multiplayer aspects of games

I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. I’ve played anything I could get my hands on, from Tetris to Starcraft. But I’ve realised what is the most important for me when it comes to gaming. Time and time again it’s not the singleplayer games that I keep going back to, it’s the multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, Left 4 Dead 2, League of Legends and so on.

I have been playing WoW for way too many years and even if the game has become rather dull I can’t stop playing it because the social aspect of the game is too big and too addictive to just leave. Same goes for shooting games like Counter-Strike and Left 4 Dead 2. I’ve played it on my own online but it gets boring after 30 minutes, but lately I’ve been playing L4D2 with friends that I’ve met on WoW and I can’t remember ever having so much fun playing a fps game as with them. Running around killing zombies in total panic and fear and hearing them scream on Skype is something I’d do any time! Okay.. The screaming on Skype might or might not just have been me… But that’s less important…

Then there is League of Legends. The game with the worst community reputation in the world. Everyone who tried the game has met that one person. That absolute cunt that ruins the game for everyone, raging and flaming and just being an idiot! There are times where I can’t stand the game and people. Playing several games a day for weeks with people being so childish you couldn’t imagine just kills the game for you. I’ve been lucky to have 2-3 people from my school to play with, which is 1 less cunt to worry about. Of course that leaves 3 others (plus the other team) so it can still be quite annoying to play. Of course everyone isn’t as bad as I make it sound.

In the past week I’ve played LoL for several hours with a group of people, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun and enjoyed it as much! It’s quite random that I ended up playing with this group, I started following their blog/site and got asked to play with them at some point. It is on the NA server so the time difference is quite a bitch and the latency ain’t the best, but it’s really worth it. Ud1eBy (yeah, that is actually the clan name and it’s quite hard to read what it says, but apparently it’s pronounced You Die By <Insert player name>) is a NA based clan, and although I only know them from LoL I’ve heard something about other games and platforms. I don’t really know what to say about it other than they are a bunch of great people who I’ve really enjoyed playing with, even if it hasn’t been more than a couple of hours and I do really recommend checking their wordpress blog/site!

I’m not entirely sure what this post is supposed to be about, but I think it has something to do with that for me it’s not always the game itself that’s important but rather the social aspects. I’d rather play the most boring game on the planet with good friends rather than playing an awesome game by myself.

I think that’s it for now so Mike is over and out!


Let’s talk about violent video games!

First off I want to say that this isn’t written by me, I saw it on IGN’s website and it explained perfectly what I’ve wanted to say for the past month or so, I’ve just not been able to write it properly! It’s quite long, but well worth the time! All credit to Casey Lynch from IGN, Original post is here.

On December 14, 2012, a twenty year-old gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and shot 20 children and 6 adult staff dead.

Television and print media wasted no time laboring to connect the shooting to video games. The National Rifle Association implicated the video game industry, calling it a “callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people”, and a small nearby town of Southington, CT, was almost ready to host a modern day book-burning.

Talking about acts of violence – and the violent games and entertainment frequently blamed for them – can be a terribly complicated affair. But that doesn’t mean we must do it terribly.

Let’s talk about violence and games then, with the zest and gusto worthy of our convictions. In the spirit of opening up a conversation, here’s a primer for talking about violence in video games.

Understanding the Objections

These days, many video games are violent, some of them excessively so. You don’t have to look far for examples. This wasn’t always the case, which factors into most of the objections against the pervasiveness of violence in video games. For the sake of clarity, let’s look at two prevailing criticisms against video game violence with the expressed purpose of starting the discussion.

“Objection #1: Video games are for children.”

For decades, generations of games were clearly created for and marketed at kids, and many still are today. Hell, I was one of those kids. Mario, Sonic and Zelda, these weren’t games adults played or cared for, not like we kids did. This was the stuff of our dreams and holiday wish lists. It’s not surprising that most games in the ’80s and ’90s were played by young children and tweens, much more so than by adults.

It makes sense by extension that the non-gaming adult community at large – people who did not grow up playing video games, subscribing to Nintendo Power or reading sites like 1Up or IGN – maintain the perception that video games are still very much the hobby of the young and impressionable, even now.

In reality, things couldn’t be more different today.

A 2011 study called The Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry notes the average gamer today is 37 years old, 82 percent of gamers are adults, and 72 percent of American households now play video games. It also states that 42 percent of gamers are women, with women 18 and older making up a third of the gaming population. What does this all mean? The kids who grew up on the games of the ’80s are still playing today, more than the kids.

In 2013, video games are ubiquitous. Tens of millions of people of all ages and persuasions play them every day, on home consoles, on phones and tablets, on computers and more. Games are specifically made for separate audience demographics, just like movies, books, television and other forms of media. Some are made for kids, some for teens, and some specifically and only for adults.

Distinctions between games for adults and those for kids are fairly clear these days, thanks to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). Formed in 1994, the ESRB rates all video games as a guide for parents similar to the way movies are rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).  Games are rated ranging from E for Everyone and T for Teen to M for Mature, 17+.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding that games are only for children. This needs to change for the ‘violence in games’ dialogue to advance.

“Objection #2: Violent video games are “worse” than other forms of violent media.”

he logic of this criticism goes something like this: the vicarious interaction of watching a soldier shoot an enemy in a movie or reading about it in a book isn’t as “bad” as the same interaction in a video game because in a game the player is acting as the soldier shooting the enemy. Hence, video games are “worse” than movies.

This raises the question: worse for who?

Most research around the games vs. movies subject is done so almost entirely in relation to children. We’ve already established that some games aren’t for kids. This objection then has more to do with the “who” than the “what”.

Let’s take video games out of the equation for a moment.

Were experts to conduct a study to measure the effects of ultra-violent movies on children, I imagine evidence would conclude that most children shouldn’t watch violent movies without very serious parental guidance and consideration, and even then, I have to believe it wouldn’t be recommended. Take the Evil Dead trailer below as an example – WARNING: it’s EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING. It’s worth noting that this video is just as graphic as any game, and it’s available for anyone of any age to view right now on YouTube.

The real issue is this: some kids see these movies anyway, just like many kids play M-rated, violent games. And no one can really do anything about it.

In 2012, an estimated 213.4 million retail boxed video games were sold in the US (down from 292.2 in 2011). Five of the top ten best-selling video games are violent, including Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Halo 4, and Assassin’s Creed III, and are rated M for Mature, and not for players under the age of 17. How many of those were bought by parents for their children, or were played by under-17 year-old girls and boys with the full consent of their parents?

Observing and enforcing the differences between games for children and games for adults is at the core of the issue. This is a part of the social contract we enter when we choose to recognize the distinctions between media for kids and media for adults.

This is the crux of this discussion, not changing, muting, or blocking the content of the media itself. And hosting a neo-book burning is hardly the answer.

General censorship is a related but separate topic altogether.

Understanding the Bigger Picture

If we remove children from the conversation and we simply talk about violent entertainment, we begin going down a very different road. Should violent games exist at all? Should violent movies like Evil Dead get made and released? What if we switch topics from violence to sex? Should housewives around the country be reading Fifty Shades of Grey? Should everyone everywhere have free internet pornography at their fingertips? How about just access? You can see how this conversation suddenly becomes much larger and incredibly personal.

In the end, books are not bad or evil any more than movies or games are. They are a medium, and only as potent as the context with which they’re loaded. But they do say something about us as a people. Our interest in violent entertainment may be a part of a larger statement about our insatiable appetites for the things we know aren’t good for us but can’t seem to quit. But as consenting adults and citizens, who’s to say I shouldn’t be able to play a game where I can stab people in the neck any more than I can watch pornography, read a political subversive website or wolf down a four-patty animal style cheeseburger from In ‘N Out Burger?

Should there be limits? And who decides them?

Moralizing about the indulgences of a society usually ends where the taste for our own vices begin.  One man’s sin is another man’s way of life. This is why censorship is such a controversial topic, and why burning violent games instead of trying to understand them does nothing to further the discussion.

Where do we go from here?

Why are so many kids playing violent video games?

Parents are allowing it, either by direct consent, ignorance, or some combination of the two. Being a parent is tough, thankless work sometimes, single, married, with help, or otherwise. Keeping up with grocery shopping, laundry, homework, sports and activities, chores and bills, who has time to sit down with their daughters and sons to see what they’re playing? You do, Moms. And you do, Dads.

No matter how diligent we remain, we cannot control the behavior of other kids and other parents. Some households will clearly ignore or overlook the social contract that says don’t show my kids inappropriate movies, don’t let them play M-rated games, and don’t go into schools and shoot people.

Personally, we don’t allow our kids to play M-rated games, period. Skylanders, Mario Wii U, Pokemon, Super Metroid are just the right speed for them. Halo, Call of Duty and Half-Life will still be there when they grow up.

And so will this conversation. But will it be different then? It’s an exciting and terrifying prospect to consider. Because make no mistake, fast forward ten years ahead, the ‘violence in games’ dialogue of the future will directly reflect the attention we pay or deny it today.

Let’s talk about violent games, then. Let’s give it a real go.

I promise, the fires will still be there for those who won’t be moved, along with all of our favorite games to burn.

Well, everything except Half-Life 3. Who knows when that will ever come out.