Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Hearthstone: Preparing for Naxxramas


The Curse of Naxxramas will soon be upon us. Vile evils and retched misbegotten abominations will cross our path and test our worthiness. I am talking about the upcoming expansion for Hearthstone, and as I do so, I will try to give you an advice or two, how to be ready for what is to come upon us.

We all knew (philosophical we, I mean I always believed) an expansion for Hearthstone was a given. And now that is upon us, we need to prepare accordingly. There will be five wings in Naxxramas, the first, the Arachnid Quarter will be free for all. With the Maexxna as the final boss of the wing. The remaining, that means: Construct, Plague, and Military Quarter, and Frostwyrm Lair need to be bought.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Inequity of the Character Boost


The character boost available in World of Warcraft is inherently flawed, and broken. The main reason it so, is that it differentiates between the fresh new characters, and the "veteran" characters that are above level 60. I would like to make it clear that I do not think the problem of the character boost is its existence. I do have a problem with its ridiculous price, but as it does not affect me directly, I do not particularly care for it.

So, what is then the real issue with the character boost? We do get one boost for free when we buy Warlords of Draenor after all. Well, if you buy Warlords of Draenor chance is that you are already a veteran player. Thus the premise that if you want your character to have the primary professions leveled up as well is silly. There is no difference between the character that is level 1 and character that is level 65 when you have a couple of characters at max level already.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Trip to Transylvania

Matthias Corvinus, Hungarian King, Cluj-Napoca

Last week I went on the excursion to Transylvania. It was a five days of exploring the country rich with legends, myths and history. We stopped briefly in Hungary, but majority of our visit was focused on Romania. All in all it was a great trip with a lot of things worth seeing.

It was a long and boring drive to Oradea where we arrived so late we just had to skip it in order to stay on course for the next couple of days. We arrived late in the evening each and every day. I can safely say that by the third day we managed to discover of how to sleep on the buss in the best of the all bad positions. What can I say, if you are tall, like me, there is little you can do. Seats are too short, space for legs nonexistent and only thing you can do is to suffer it through.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Master's Wisdoms: Treatise on Orcish Meaning of Honour


This week I am away exploring the castles of old in Hungary and Romania. As I wished you still had something to read here in my absence, I decided it was a high time to clarify what the orcs consider for honour. This was written some time ago but I just never found the right opportunity to post it. I hope you enjoy it.

In the second year of Sunwell's restoration I, Master of the Order of Blood Knights, Astalnar Impulos dor Peral of Silvermoon have decided to shed what little of light I can on the question of our allies the Orcs, and their ways. I believe this will serve well to many of my sin'dorei brethren and thus I find it necessary to put all my findings into writing. Here I shall discuss the meaning of honour among the orcs.

What I have found is quite fascinating unto itself, but instead of pestering you with my own fascination, I will elaborate on it. Orcs do not know honour as some more refined civilisations such as ours know it. That is not to say that the dwarves and humans are civilised. Far from it, they might yet turn to be greater barbarians than the orcs for all I can think of. But in order to differentiate between the honour as an orc would know it, I shall compare it to the honour of the humans. After all it is only fair to compare one simpleton to another.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Nature of Crime in Warcraft


As I was commenting the other day on WoW Insider, one of the commenters, called Catriona Shadowleaf disagreed with me. As I concluded that it is not likely we would come to understanding I decided to make a rather lengthy post here talking about it. We disagreed on the nature of crime in World of Warcraft and how this affects our characters in the game. I claimed that we do not murder, while Catriona disagreed with simply labelling it as another kill. I tend to tie the crime on authority, while Catriona seems to tie it to morality.

The argument that it is not moral to kill a living sentient being would in normal circumstances make much sense. In normal circumstances I myself agree with it. But as it is, these are not the normal circumstances. This is because killing is something our characters do on a pretty regular basis and do not seem to suffer by any means because of it. In pretty much any sense our characters are by and far amoral. Prime motivator of their actions in most of the situations seems to be personal gain. Our characters are in that aspect very similar to conquistadors, or by some stretch of imagination crusaders.
Silent leges inter arma. - In times of war, laws are silent. (Cicero) 

Friday, 4 April 2014

LoL: Team Builder


Recently Riot introduced a team builder to League of Legends. The idea behind it is that people prefer to play specific champions or specific lanes. Whichever you want to say. In any case, this is just another attempt at trying to enforce the metagame. I cannot really say if something is wrong with that. I remember times in LoL when going to bottom lane with Garen and Soraka was something normal, and nothing out of the ordinary. But these days, meta does not shift any more.

Roles became something very specific in League of Legends. I am not complaining. I do love familiarity. Fighters and Tanks will go to top lane, Mages to middle, Ranged attack damage champions will go to bottom lane and will be assisted by a Support champion. And then one remaining will go to jungle, most often a jungler is a fighter or tank, it can vary though.

While I welcome the initiative from Riot in introducing new game modes and features, I do wish they brought back One-for-All. It was really great experience and I do hope to see it again one day. The problem we are currently facing with the Team Builder is the long wait-time. I think I lost about 10 minutes just jumping in and out of the queue as a support left, or ADC left, or we waited for a jungler. It seems that the current version of Team Builder lacks smoothness of a normal queue. The second time when I queued with a friend was much worse. Half an hour after which we simply gave up.

The games still last as long as ever. So if you are like me, and do not like surrendering, this means the average game is between 45 and 55 minutes. In general Team Builder works as intended. It tries to put together a team of players that compliment each other. It really enforces the laning metagame. With the current results, I can say it does a good job. I played a few games, won two out of three.


What is even more surprising is the fact that the amount of raging has significantly decreased. There are no statements from the players like: "mid or feed." I guess it is because before you even join the queue you decide for yourself which champion you will play, on which lane, what runes you will use, and what masteries you will have. It really tries to discourage as much of negativity from the player as possible.

But after all is said and done, it is still a normal map we are all used to now. I must admit that after seeing relative amount of footage from Heroes of the Storm, I am hoping that it would be my new MOBA of choice, or Hero Brawler as Blizzard calls it. Heroes of the Storm appears to be much more casual and objective orientated which is all to my liking. I am the one who is pushing the towers while the rest of my team usually wants to just fight in the middle. I am the one who kills the unsuspecting champion lost in the jungle.

I love objectives and the "PvE" aspect of them. In my opinion, we play to win the game, to destroy the nexus of the enemy team, not to score as much kills as possible. I like winning, and I like following the carrot. If the fastest way to victory is objectives, then I will focus on objectives. If I wanted to win by having the most kills, I would play Call of Duty deathmatch or some such.

In any case, as I see I am derailing myself, Team Builder works, but it can work better. And while we are at it, let us hope beta invites for Heroes of the Storm come out sooner that later. Competition is good, it breeds innovation, and MOBAs, beside MMOs are the genre in need of innovation the most.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

For the Sake of Immersion


It dawned to me the other day that a thought experiment is in order. Ever since Blizzard said they are not sure if there will be flying in the next expansion most of us "affected" have a strong opinions about it. I myself strongly oppose no-flying decision in the next expansion. In recent the argument most often used in defence of no-flying is a point of immersion.

Damn Roleplayers... it is their fault we cannot have nice things. It feels so good to blame everything on Roleplayers, after all who else would readily sacrifice the useful in the game for the sake of more immersion. But, for now I stay my hand. I decided instead of trying to find a scapegoat and blaming it for everything bad that has happened, to roll with the idea of immersion. So here we are. Standing on the precipice of casuallity and plunging ourself into jaws of immersion.