Thoughts on BlizzCon

Watching a convention that’s celebrating something you’re not into is a weird experience. I mean, normally most people just wouldn’t do it at all, but in my case, MMO news and all of that, plus friends chatting it up on Twitter.

BlizzCon was, as always, quite the production and spectacle, and I’m sure it was a blast for those who attended. But for me? It was fairly tepid stuff. There were no huge game reveals (Blizzard decided to blow its Legion announcement months ago), World of Warcraft continued to get pushed into the background, and Blizzard is certainly hammering home the point that it’s diversifying its library, darnit.

The Warcraft movie trailer was a huge disappointment. It looked every inch the generic fantasy SyFy channel presentation, albeit with a higher budget. Orcs are such a turn-off to me, so to have the movie be about them and the bland humans is like picking the least interesting aspects of this franchise and running with it.

On the other hand, props to Blizzard’s cinematics team for creating a slam-bang Legion trailer that was — as always — quite well-done. So much so that it put the movie trailer to shame, in my opinion.

Diablo III really isn’t exciting to me these days (although it was a solid title), and I couldn’t care less about Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, or Hearthstone. Or Starcraft II, I think that’s still a thing. I’m just not part of the Blizzard ecosystem in the same way that, say, SOE players used to be back when SOE Live came out.

BlizzCon is weird to me because of the WoW hype (again, less this year than in years previous… perhaps because Blizzard is bleeding subs like crazy and is actually going to stop reporting on how many players are in the game after this quarter). It’s kind of like how I feel any time I hear or read a story about my old college. It’s a place that I used to belong to and have strong memories and emotions relating to it, but it’s also not where I’m at now.

I think it’d be too weird to go back to WoW. Sure, I think about it now and again, and I’m sure that a lot of ex-WoW players feel that pull around BlizzCon time. But I think about the sub fee, and I think about how happy I am with the games I’m enjoying, and I think about catching up to the new content and systems, and I think about how the world and classes that I used to know and enjoy don’t really exist as they did back in 2008 (when I was last playing full-time).

But one never knows. There’s something about WoW’s design and personality that I’ve always loved (which is also why I’m so attracted to WildStar). If I did go back, I think I’d start all over with a fresh character and play uber-casually. I wouldn’t want to touch garrisons with a ten-foot pole, however.

WildStar: Last (wo)man standing

So fun little WildStar vignette to share.

Last night I got invited by my guild to join a veteran dungeon run. That’s a little above my gear/skill level, but what the heck, why not. We jump into Stormtalon and methodically make our way through the first boss (beat after two wipes) and to the second. This was the furthest I had ever seen in the dungeon, by the way.

It was a good run, but that second boss was pretty tough. We wiped far into our first fight and redoubled our efforts for the second. It was getting really crazy at the end, with lots of moving tornadoes, red circles everywhere, and a boss that wouldn’t sit still. Our tank and healer were magnificent, and all I was trying to do was to keep pumping out damage while staying out of the poop.

Well I start hearing on teamspeak, “Almost there! Almost there! Keep going!” and soon enough, the boss dies. And then I look up and realize that I’m the only one still alive. Apparently I had been fighting it for 10-15 seconds or so at the end all by myself and didn’t realize it. Good thing too, because I would’ve probably frozen up.

WildStar: Building a new casa


Goodbye old house. You were cozy, you were neat, but it’s time to get a little more room and rebuild!


Hello new spacious Exile house with all of the trimmings! There’s something liberating about wiping the slate clean and starting all over.


Even with additional room, the new house was only really two rooms (one big downstairs one, one big upstairs one) with a bit of stairway and hallway. So the first step was to figure out how I wanted to modify the floor plan before plopping everything down.

In the downstairs I created a loft over the ledge area. Nothing fancy but I like how it overlooks the rest of the room.


If there are two house decorating rules that I’m learning in WildStar, it’s these:

  1. You don’t always have to use decor for their most obvious purpose
  2. You don’t always have to place decor in the most obvious way

Flipping and repurposing decor items can result in a lot of neat additions to the home. For example, I noticed that the exile tactical tables that I crafted have cool animated surfaces. So I flipped them and slapped them on the wall, resizing a second one so that it was smaller than the first. Now I have wall monitors that are in motion.

I spent a lot of time on this loft, trying to make it warm and comfortable. Still needs more work (and lighting) but I like how the fireplace is in the corner.


Originally this downstairs ledge was going to be a kitchen area, but I started fiddling about with things in my crate and ended up going a different way. I noticed that the metal platforms had cool neon stripes, so I linked three together to make a new countertop. Then I added the animated Protostar lights and flipped two more tables (the animated blue lounge ones) to go on the wall there. Now it’s all sleek and high-tech.


For the stairway I knew that I wanted to hang pictures, but everyone does that so I kept thinking of something a little different. Then I came upon the idea of putting some candles to use, so I created little ledges under the paintings with metal suitcases (repurposing, remember?) and then plopped different sized candles on each. I really like the end result, especially in a darker house.


For kicks I added the window that has a moving train lighting effect to the back of the stairwell. This way when people come up, lights flash on both walls like a car is driving by.


Little lounge area at the top of the stairs. Just wanted to use all of my heart furniture in one place.


The last thing I had time to do over the weekend was to split up the upstairs into two additional rooms (plus the landing). One of the rooms has an angled entranceway, which was a little tough to get right but I like the end result. I used a red awning with little lights for both.

Still a lot to do in the house, but it’s a really good start I think!

Retro Gaming: Master of Magic part 6


(This is part of my journey going checking out Master of Magic. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

We start out today’s session with a dire event: Two bears have wandered down the hills and decided to attack my heavily fortified town of Ranni. It’s bear-ly a fight, as the critters are massacred.


I found the last two towns on the new continent: Murf and Mogsy. I spend a lot of gold to give them a boost, with spearmen and starter buildings. I have four cities on the second continent, bringing my total to 12. Hopefully, I’m outpacing my computer rivals nicely now.

I think I’m all settled out for now, so I’m going to focus on two projects: to build a fleet of ships to map out the world, and to build up an army to conquer all of these NPC nodes that are around the place. War bear summoning commence!


“Sir, don’t you think we have enough bears at this point? They’re crapping everywhere!”

“Shut your face hole, corporal! One can never have enough bear calvary!”


As my navy begins mapping the world, I quickly bump into another rival. Don’t know her name, but by the looks of her, she’s the CEO of a goth makeup corporation.

Can we trick or treat well together, lady? Because I think you’re already prepared for October 31st.

A turn later, Kali here declares war on me. Just because. Aw, and here I was hoping we would be bestest of friends!

Retro Gaming: Master of Magic part 5


(This is part of my journey going checking out Master of Magic. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

Right from the get-go this gaming session I’m offered the chance to hire a new hero. So let’s see who is chatting up my Twitter feed right now… it’s Rubi! OK, Rubi, you’re now a healer with a gaudy pearl necklace. Don’t stand in the fire.


I also get the opportunity to buy a Wand of Arcanus, which for the life of me sounds like a prop from a D&D parody movie. No, I’m not going to drop 750 gold on your wand, dude. Look at that guy! He’s totally shady.


There’s a simple joy to seeing your towns grow over time in this game. There’s some basic animation too, and the pixel art is pretty charming. Here we see that Weakness has become one of my powerhouse cities, churning out new buildings every few turns.


I’m so clever! I use my ship to form a sort of bridge between my continent and this new one that I’m trying to frantically settle. Works like a charm!

Settlers stream over to the new landmass and I quickly found the town of Ardwulf. Rubi trots over to be its defense, I hire a thief named Belghast (who is a rather attractive lady), and Weakness starts churning out bowmen to send to each of my cities. Can’t neglect building up a strong defense!

Soon enough, I build a second city on the new continent, FilthyCasual. Whew! Empire building is hard work!

So excited about Fallout 4!

“Let’s go boy.”

Chills. Lump in my throat. Oh yeahhhhhhh. I cannot wait for Fallout 4!

I haven’t been following the game super-close — I knew I was going to get it, so no need to fully spoil myself here. That said, the trailer is pretty good, cheesy Institute talk aside. I like how colorful the settings are in a wasteland-like way — no endless fields of brown and gray. And the weapons look pretty dang awesome.

“I know war.”

“War never changes.”