World of Warcraft – Then and Now

It’s been a few months since the start of the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth and I have to say things have changed in the way I view and consume the game since the last time I wrote. Continue reading World of Warcraft – Then and Now

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth – The Road so Far

I’ve played World of Warcraft since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and I’ve loved the series from before the MMO even existed. I quested and raided my way through all expansions up until Legion, though in both that expansion and its predecessor, Warlords of Draenor, my life took a few turns that meant I couldn’t play nearly as often as I wanted to nor do so with my American friends.

I missed out on some content, getting raid clears only on one-off appearances. But with Battle for Azeroth, World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, I’ve made it my goal to return to the old days, when I logged into Azeroth at least once a day and completed every task set before me. Yes, it’s a grind, but it’s a fun one, especially during the initial stages of the expansion. Continue reading World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth – The Road so Far

Achievement Devaluation – What happened?

I want to discuss something—well, rant would be the most appropriate term, but let’s go with discuss—that has been on my mind as a gamer for a while now: achievements and their apparent devolution in the past decade.

Achievements have always been around, we just only recently given them names, points and kept track of them. From defeating the super bosses in Final Fantasy to obtaining the Street Fighter moves in Mega Man X, there have always been extra challenges in video games for us to discover and pursue. These are achievements as much as those we see listed on our Steam Pages.

But at some point, the nature of the achievement begun to change, their value diminished. The above examples of older achievements all had a bit of “gamer cred” attached to them, with harder such accomplishments having different values. Continue reading Achievement Devaluation – What happened?

World of Warcraft: Legion – My Nighthold Expectations

World of Warcraft: Legion Patch 7.1.5 launched this week and while I’m still getting used to the very positive changes to Balance druids—which in my case means more DPS and lots more fun—as an avid raider, my sight’s locked on the opening of the new raid next week, The Nighthold.

In the Nighthold we’ll bring the Suramar storyline to a close, take down the Nightborne leadership and bring the fight to the Fel Orc Warlock Gul’Dan, all while fighting his forces and the many abominations created by the wild energies of the Nightwell’s core, the last Pillar of Creation in our path, The Eye of Aman’thul.

It also means I don’t ever have to go back to Trial of Valor, because I hate that raid. I mean, I like the lore behind it, even if it makes me uncomfortable to help Odyn, who’s proven to be a monumental bastard—to not use a more fitting if extremely crude expression. I do hope Blizzard gives us the chance of truly beating Burnbeard the Viking to a pulp.

My issue with Trial of Valor is on the design of the encounters, particularly how much the fights drag on.

But the Nighthold is coming, and with it a slew of new bosses, new lore, more loot and hopefully some intriguing mechanics. So let’s go over what I hope to see in this new World of Warcraft raid and related content. Continue reading World of Warcraft: Legion – My Nighthold Expectations

World of Warcraft: Legion – Raid Season – The Emerald Nightmare

I’ve been enjoying the new World of Warcraft Expansion, the main reason I haven’t returned to Overwatch. And considering the Raid Season just started, I’m not likely to go back to it anytime soon!

Every expansion in World of Warcraft has one or more Raid Tiers, with an introductory raid early in the expansion’s lifetime to train newer players in what raiding is like and introduce new and old to some of the new boss mechanics that will surely become a staple of the expansion. Continue reading World of Warcraft: Legion – Raid Season – The Emerald Nightmare

Artifacts & Arcwine – The Best Stories in World of Warcraft Legion

I finally reached Level 110! My druid, Kadrell, is now Archdruid officially, with the title beautifully displayed above my name! Played through four zones to level up and a fifth I’m still questing in for reputation and an ever-expanding storyline in what is perhaps one of the most complex areas ever put in the World of Warcraft.

I’d love to say that every zone has a wonderful story and that every quest chain is wonderful, but after going through them all—though still discovering random quest chains around the maps every time I’m collecting herbs—I now have my definite list of best stories…that I have played. Continue reading Artifacts & Arcwine – The Best Stories in World of Warcraft Legion

World of Warcraft Legion – Bring on the Archdruid!!

Yesterday was the launch day for World of Warcraft: Legion and when the expansion went live I was stuck at the office, almost counting the hours to run home to log in with my Druid and take the fight to the legion in the Broken Isles. Continue reading World of Warcraft Legion – Bring on the Archdruid!!

Raids, Wipes and Giggles – World of Warcraft Memories

Next week, World of Warcraft: Legion launches. I am extremely excited. I want to dive back into WoW, to explore new lands, complete quests, level up and explore the many storylines I’m sure I’ll find on the Broken Isles. I want my Artifact weapon and I’m keen on relearning how to play my Balance druid—because they change the mechanics every expansion, so ever Boomkin has to relearn the class every single freaking expansion!

As we launch date approaches, I find myself thinking back to the best and worst of times in WoW. Yesterday I wrote about my favourite RPG systems and today I’ll do another soppy post on good memories and good times with a game by telling about these wonderful Warcraft moments.

By the way, the screenshots may or may not have anything to do with the stories. But they’re all full of nice memories! Continue reading Raids, Wipes and Giggles – World of Warcraft Memories

World of Warcraft: Legion – Lore Wishlist!

Note: Spoilers ahead. You have been warned

Last night I jumped into the first few moments of World of Warcraft Legion, running and hacking through the Demon Hunter starting quests, first on the Demon planet during the events of the Raid into the Black Temple, which ended with my Illidari imprisoned and sent to the Vault of the Wardens, and then in that location, freed by Maiev herself and fighting the Burning Legion.

After I had done that and left Lawgrimm, my Night Elf Demon Hunter, in Stormwind city, it was time to jump back into my main character, my Druid, Kadrell. I went over the pre-expansion quests and scenario, revealing the fate of some important characters in Warcraft lore. Continue reading World of Warcraft: Legion – Lore Wishlist!

Game Building – Homebrew or Third Party Engines?

Video Game engines are at the core of any video game development. They provide the tools the content creators will need to build the game the audience will enjoy. Engines also come with constraints, limitations that often drag games down or make further entries in a series a harder task.

We all know of the popular engines such as Unreal and Unity, but there are dozens out there we never hear of, as they are homebrewed creations by the developers, built from the ground up to serve the need for a specific game. It’s not unusual for developers to use these private engines once and then switch to a new original engine or adapt an existing one. Continue reading Game Building – Homebrew or Third Party Engines?