Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Rusty Hearts Review

Once again, my friend Nelson Williams from Vox Ex Machina has put together a review video for a currently popular MMORPG. This time it’s Rusty Hearts, a Castlevania-mixed-arcade style RPG with a cast of snarky characters.

Star Wars: The Old Republic the MMO

Yes, I made it into the beta weekend.

Yes, the game is pretty amazing.

Think of what a game would be like if it were a massively multiplayer online interactive movie. This is exactly what SWTOR appears to be attempting to emulate. There’s other people with me, and sometimes I’m forced to group together with them; but the game focuses heavily on the single-player aspect of the story being told.

In fact, each of the 8 different classes each have their own story from prologue to chapter-by-chapter. Every conversation is voiced and there’s a lot of reasons to keep moving on to get through the next storyline point.

It’s a single-player themepark MMO style that’s not been seen yet.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shame on you, Lieutenant Jon Pike


[Image credit, Brian Nguyen, student photojournalist.]

I may have titled this post reflecting the name and rank of the perpetrator of a violent chemical weapon assault on non-violent protesters on a UC Davis campus; but we’ll leave it there. This man is probably already subject to a multitude of ugly remarks regarding his shameful, immoral behavior and I cannot hope to offer an adequate mirror to display the open disgust that I have for this craven act.

Meanwhile, the next-best-thing we have as a society has been levied against him—and I wish against his commanding officer and the police commissioner for making apologetic excuses for it—in the form of a shame meme.

It’s almost beautiful.


Also, please stop ordering pizzas for him—this prank may be silly but it costs a pizza place money.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper condemning his actions—even better cc: it to UC President Mark G. Yudof, who is obviously a politician smart enough to immediately state that he was “appalled” by the behavior of the police. Unlike Police Chief Annette Spicuzza who decided to make apologetic excuses for the attack—who is now rightly been suspended from duty--or Chancellor Linda Katehi who failed to act like a human being in the face of this horrific act and condemn it for the vicious act it was.

Chancellor Katechi has since mended some of her bridges by coming forward and stating that she wants to advocate for the students injured in the attack; but people should be pressuring her as the beginning of her advocacy to unequivocally condemn the act of violently assaulting non-violent protestors with a chemical weapon.

Meanwhile, welcome Jon Pike to a special form of infamy. The Pepper Spraying Cop.


“I once heard a Python explain that the single goal in life of every British man is to make it safely to his grave without being the center of a major embarrassment. I think that needs to be updated in the wake of the OWS affair.

“It should be the goal of every person to make it safely to their grave without becoming a goddamn Internet meme that shows up on CNN.”

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Around Azeroth: Out of Northrend into Cataclsym, Already Level 84

It’s been a busy week for Blume of Thunderhorn. She’s seen a lot of the world and has fought her way out of the broken Outlands, into the frozen wastes of Nothrend, and then descended into the broken landscape of Cataclysm. All this and now she’s made the grand olde level of 84.


Before leaving Outlands, I figured I’d see some of the sights. And sights did I find! This screenshot comes from between Hellfire Peninsula and the ever-crumbling wastes of the Netherstorm. A boat stranded on a rock in the middle of nothing isn’t exactly what I anticipated finding in this region—although it’s not much of a shock—it’s made for an excellent screenshot for the end of my tour in the region.

Beyond the dry-docked ship, out on more stable ground, is what seems to be an entire human city (wizards possibly) lost to the Netherstorm.


Here’s Blume overlooking some troll temples and ruins in Zul’Drak. A zone in Northrend where the trolls have attempted to fight off the Scourge by turning on their own gods. This bloodletting weakened them considerably and has left them vulnerable not only to the Scourge but to other invading cultures. I spoke of as much when I leveled Anoxia, my blood elf rogue, through the same zone.

It’s a beautiful winter-scoured landscape full of troll architecture, undead, and a sad sense of loss for what may have been a beautiful savage race.


This happened in Ogrimmar during a raid in the Outlands into The Eye where we went up against Kael’thas Sunstrider—the beachbunny king of the blood elves—we attempted to deliver him some smackdown but our small 4-person team couldn’t muster enough firepower to actually bring him to his knees. Even with members a full 15 levels higher than he, we just couldn’t get the bastard to kneel to our superiority.

Meanwhile, this blue dragon appeared over the Horde main city along with a lot of azure drakes.

It seems that this is the culmination of a quest chain that starts with “Your Time Has Come” (in Orgrimmar and Stormwind) that starts after killing a Molten Lord in the Firelands. It leads down a winding quest chain that culminates in witnessing a dragon council and the choosing of the new Blue Aspect: Tarecgosa.

The quest line also makes receivership of a new legendary staff: [Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest].

I rather like it, I wonder if I’ve got the time and energy to get this staff for Blume (and if it might even be worth it.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

A League of Legends Video Review

My friend, Nelson Williams from Vox Ex Machina, has gone and done it again: he made another video. Once again, it's for and this time it's for "League of Legends."

Around Azeroth: Blume and the Phoenix Hatchling

I figured that I would start this back up again, perhaps as a weekly episodic addition to my blog when I have little else to do. For those who aren’t in the know, I’ve been able to get back into World of Warcraft and I’ve been tempted to start up a new character. This time I am trying to gather the time and energy to level a warlock all the way to 85. I already have two other warlocks: a demonology warlock and a destruction warlock. So this will be my first affliction warlock.


I figured that I would spice things up a little with screenshot “photographs” of my adventures. Pictured above is Blume of Thunderhorn—aforementioned affliction ‘lock and her small herd of pets. I recently got the ability to make [Critter Bites] that allow me to get a Warcraft “Critter” to follow me for a short period of time. This is required for the “Critter Getter” achievement.

What you see above is the result of going for that achievement in Ogrimmar—the main city of the orcs, and therefore pretty much the central hub of the entire Horde.

I started out about two weeks ago as a level 1 in Deathknell and above you see Blume pictured level 70. As a result, I’ve made my way into Northrend.


One of my favorite parts of Northrend happens to be something happening to the denizens of one of the Western coasts. An ancient Viking phantom enemy is incurring upon the lands of the Tuskarr (an anthropromorphic walrus people.) The invaders appear and act somewhat Norsk with very obvious Viking affectations.

They roll in on dragonships along with an all enveloping mist.

When slain, they explode into a wet splash of water and fall to the ground as a mat of seaweed and starfish fallen in a vaguely humanoid shape. It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on, even from the lore, but it seems that they once inhabited the same lands as the Tuskarr and the meddling of the Lich King has stirred their restless souls from the horrible depths.

When wandering in the shore overtaken by their menace, the fog pervades and produces the effect seen above.

It reduces vision distance and separates the player from the rest of Azeroth. Essentially they go out of phase with other players not in their group.


Finally, a close up shot of Blume and the most recent addition to my stable of companion pets: a [Phoenix Hatchling].

I have never to this date seen this drop, except for today when I received one! I had decided to use the Looking For Group Dungeon finder to make sure that I got the achievement for The Magister’s Terrace. I ended up going in with a group on Heroic mode—and this is an instance that groups would constantly fall apart whilst attempting.

We made it to the end. Fought the final boss, Kael’thas Sunstrider—the beachbunny Lord of the Blood Elves—and after striking him down, this little beauty dropped. As I wanted it badly and I was in a PuG, I just hit Need (part of the loot distribution system) and it fell into my lap. I’ve been trying to get a nice pet for Blume since her birth, opting for the cockroach that you see in other screenshots.

I think that she’s going to keep her phoenix hatchling.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A World of Tanks Video Review

My friend Nelson Williams from Vox Ex Machina recorded this review for and his review has already exceeded over 5,000 views on YouTube. Way to go!