Posts Tagged ‘Cataclysm’

I just became a Busy-er Gamer

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Sometimes I go long stretches without playing games. Itís rare but it does happen. Either there isnít anything to catch my interest or thereís just not enough time for it. And then the end of the year rolls around and I find myself buried up to my ears in choices and most of them happen to be some of the most Busy Gamer unfriendly games you can imagine. Weíre talking about time investments galore from games that I really enjoy playing when I can make the time for the titles.

So Iím looking at the round up from the past few and the upcoming few weeks and having to set down some guidelines. For me, I can either split my time among several titles and not get the full experience or I can pick one, fully enjoy it, and hope that I wonít get too sucked in by the overall experience that my other titles start collecting dust.

Iím putting my list together and looking at how Iím going to divvy my time. If youíre as torn as I am and wondering about the pros and cons of certain games, Iím about to go over what I see as blessing and curses with each of the following five titles listed in no particular order.

The goblins are gonna getcha.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm: Itís a whole new world with the latest Blizzard crackfest, literally. Azeroth gets a makeover, the level cap is raised to 85, and the new talent system looks and plays great so far.

Pros: Iíve been looking forward to this for awhile. Blizzard raises the bar with each expansion it launches for the WoW franchise and from the hands on Iíve hand, this time looks no different. New areas, revamped areas, new enemies, new dungeons, old dungeons with heroic mode, new gearÖ The list could go on for days a long time and each item on the list makes me want to play again.

Cons: Every time an expansion for WoW comes out, I go into the new areas with what used to be my badass gear. I get my ass handed to me by some new mob and then a green drops that makes me want to punch myself in the throat because itís better than that shiny purple that took so long to get. Not my favorite feeling. Then thereís the fact that as an 80 and with the new talents, I have to relearn my class from scratch instead of growing into it as I have over the past few years. That means Iím going to be schooled by people who just started new characters because as new skills became available, they played with them to see what they could do. Instead, Iím stuck trying to figure out what each does on the fly.

Conclusion: I may avoid this one for a while. Oh, Iíll pick it up on launch day and tool around in the new areas but I may just have to sit back and read the boards for awhile to know what to look out for when I make it back.

Fallout: New Vegas: Iíll pretend that some of you donít know about my infatuation with the Fallout series and my post-apocalyptic interior designer addiction I picked up in Fallout 3. Suffice it to say I both cringed and rejoiced when a new DLC for Fallout 3 was announced. I rejoiced because I loved that Bethesda had managed to capture the old school feeling of the franchise and wrap an FPS around it. It made for a whole new experience and I wanted to explore every inch of it. Thatís what made me cringe. I had to know what was behind every burned out building and under every rock. I had to see all of it and the world was HUGE. Iíd start at one corner of the map and just pick a direction to explore and I would find something new every time. And now thereís a whole new world to explore.

Pros: Post apocalyptic gaming goodness. Anyone who was a fan of the original series was most likely won over by Bethesdaís portrayal of the Fallout world. From the 50s type vision of the future to the reintroduction of old characters, they nailed the feel of the franchise. Fallout: New Vegas looks to be more of the same and that is absolutely the right way to go. New perks, new faces, old enemy organizations. I like the sound of that.

Cons: Seriously, I explore everything. Every building, ditch, gulley, sewer grate, cave, whatever. If you can crawl, walk, or run into it, I was there. And I canít stop. Itís like an addiction but instead of a dealer, I get mutant cockroaches. Very little difference, I know. Definitely a time sink for anyone who might get the explorer bug as bad as me but this one may be the one that wins out in the end as far as my title to beat.

Fallen Earth: Iíve been tooling around with this game and I can honestly say Iím very, very impressed. Beyond what we saw at PAX this year, Fallen Earth is easily one of the most well put together games in regards to ďclassless??? game play. Devoting points to one stat doesnít mean you are going to get stuck playing as one role. Thereís enough bleedover between the different professions that a build that works with one choice can easily swap out to another. Itís easy to get interested in the game mechanics and overlook the story and the well written aspects of it as you go along but if you choose to pay attention, thereís a lot to be had here.

Pros: Easily one of the most ďcrafter??? friendly games I have ever seen. You pick up your mats, queue up the recipe, and then you can go run around killing things. Youíre not stuck standing in one place while a progress indicator climbs and falls. The learning curve is up there but this game has one of the friendliest and helpful playerbases Iíve ever seen.

Cons: I mentioned the learning curve. Itís more of a mountain some times. As you play, you begin to understand why itís so high but from the bottom, it is intimidating. If youíre not the type to ask questions or read the help files, youíre going to be frustrated until you can figure everything out for yourself. And if youíre the type who enjoys crafting, you may suffer full on withdrawal when you have to log off for a period of time. The crafting system is *that* good.

Borderlands: Claptrapís New Robot Revolution: Iím a fiend when it comes to Borderlands. Itís only the second game Iíve played on the Xbox 360 that made me want to get all of the achievements. Iíve played every class through at least one playthrough and every DLC up to now. The new free DLC comes out prior to the level cap being raised to 69 (for those who bought Secret Armory, 58 if you passed on it) and sets the old areas to match your new level when you beat the game in its entirety. In other words, you can go run around in the old areas and still feel challenged. Just what I needed. Iíve held off on this content specifically waiting for the free DLC to raise the level cap so I donít feel obligated to play through the DLC more than onceÖ for each class.

Pros: I never tire of the humor in Borderlands. From standing around listening to the various Claptraps, the radio announcements in T-bone Junction, or Marcus telling the story of Dr. Ned. More of the good stuff, please. Old enemies get overhauled by having their levels raised which means I wonít feel like a bully when I go back to Firestone and beat up Bonehead anymore.

Cons: I could play this game for hours at a time and not get bored. Run to the old stomping grounds, hunt for loot, listen to Tannis go insane, thereís just a lot I enjoy about this game. I can see the combo of the Claptrapís DLC and the level cap being raised as being very dangerous to my mental health. Thereís just so much to do and so much humor-y goodness to be had. In the end, the amount I devote to this one will end up depending on who I am playing it with in Multi-player. Other addicts like me and Iíll end up losing entire days of my life to it. Hopefully Iíll manage with just a couple of sessions with casual gamers.

Just in time for Halloween, some Red Undead...

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare: Oh, geez, where to even start with this one. Zombies and the old west. If that doesnít scream ďMatch made in Heaven??? to you, then you probably didnít get in on the game before there were going to be zombies. And you missed out if thatís the case. No other game has made me feel more like a cowboy than RDR and thatís the way I like it.

Pros: New single player missions involving the creepy crawlies. I wouldnít be surprised to see one new multi-player mission using the new content as well.

Cons: I have to be careful with RDR. I can set the game down for months and then decide to fire it up one day and the next thing I know, my entire weekend is gone. From running around playing shoot Ďem up in multi-player to riding on patrol and dodging bears in single player, RDR appeals to that part of me that never outgrew playing Cowboys and Indians.

So thatís my list. Iíd be interested to see if anyone had any thoughts on their own ďto play??? list or in regards to any of the games Iíve listed but for now, I have to go make some hard choices.

Gritskrieg Ė End of Line

PAX ’09 Coverage: WoW Cataclysm, Azeroth gets a makeover

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
You won't make fun of us for much longer. Goblin Crotch Punch, Activate!

You won't make fun of us for much longer. Goblin Crotch Punch, Activate!

One of the highlights of the Penny Arcade Expo this year was the playable demo of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. At least it was for the Reckon Crew since we’re big WoW nerds. We were able to play with both of the new playable races a bit and sat through the video Blizzard has put together showcasing some of the new features that will come with the expansion.

Two new playable races will be available with Cataclysm, the Goblins, who will join the Horde, and the Worgen who have decided to join with the Alliance. The Goblins you already know if you’ve been to the majority of the neutral cities scattered throughout the world of Azeroth. Engineering gurus, the Goblins racial abilities will be based on the technology they create. The first item, a rocket belt, will allow you to leap forward a great distance, similar to a warrior’s charge or more closely resembling the pounce ability of druids in cat form. They are also able to summon an assistant of sorts which allows them to access their bank slots.

The Worgen may be perhaps a little less known, having languished in the southern portion of Silverpine, the Greymane Wall, for some time since Burning Crusades became available. The Worgen are a group of humans with a terrible curse, that of lycanthropy. The quest for their humanity is foremost for the player when beginning in their starting area, eventually leading to the control of the curse. Able to take human form at will, the Worgen are unable to overcome their animal side when angered, changing into their wolf-like form when attacked or when initiating combat. Most notable of their racial abilities is a Sprint ability that is accessible in the wolf form.

Look, we're a couple, get over it. We have our differences but flea powder will always bring us together.

Look, we're a couple, get over it. We have our differences but flea powder will always bring us together.

The story behind the events leading to the Cataclysm is that an ancient evil has risen from the depths of the Maelstrom. That’s the hurricane looking thing in the center of the map of Azeroth you’ve been staring at for the past five years if you weren’t sure. The ancient evil is none other than Deathwing himself, the most fearsome of the Aspects, the Dragonflights charged with protecting Azeroth. Somewhere along the line, Deathwing went mad and sought to conquer the other flights and has been hiding, or perhaps slumbering, for several hundred years.

As Deathwing is unleashed on the world, the face of Azeroth is changed by the destructive energy of his escape. The Barrens has been ripped in two by a fiery chasm, entire forests have been burned to the ground, and the islands near the Maelstrom have become unsafe. While much of the land is visited by destruction, some areas appear to have become fertile. Desolate areas such as… Desolace have become lush forests, life returning in force to those places that barely sustained it before the event.

The level cap will be raised to 85, a move sure to disappoint some players who feel they’ve barely had time to experience the Wrath of the Lich King content. Yeah, all that purple gear you’ve been collecting? There’s going to be some new greens that make your gear look like the attire of a country bumpkin.

Flying mounts will be able to take advantage of the new landscape, allowing players who have flying mounts to view the destruction and regrowth of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms from on high. And apparently the event will inspire the existing races of Azeroth to take up new professions. Human Hunters, Blood Elf Warriors, Dwarf Shaman, Tauren Paladins, the list goes on. Don’t get your hopes up too much though. Rogues still don’t allow anything with hooves to join the guild.

There’s a new profession in the works, archaeology. While there is little information in regards to the new profession, it apparently allows players to discover and use ancient devices and technologies that have been dormant until the recent events. Overhauls are in the works for the existing crafting professions, providing a much needed boost to the lower level items they create rather than just grinding through for skill points.

It’s been stated by Blizzard that there will be a minor upgrade to the graphics engine, however, if it was in place for the playable demo, I couldn’t see any major differences. There is an announced underwater area which was unavailable in the content we played through so perhaps that is where we will be seeing the upgrades.

Announced on the WoW site is overhauls for existing dungeons including level 85 heroic versions of Shadowfang Keep and the Deadmines. Hopefully, the overhaul will include upgraded content for some of the older dungeons as well.

While we had to manage our time and only saw a portion of what was offered by Blizzard at PAX ’09, we were impressed with what we saw. There are currently only rumors of a launch date for the new expansion but we’re hoping for just a bit longer with Wrath of the Lich King before Blizzard swallows our souls all over again.

Gritskrieg – End of Line