If you have $200 slowly burning a hole in your pocket, you could do worse than spending it, and any associated fees on a ticket to Blizzcon 2015. Going on sale through the Eventbrite website on April 15 and April 18, Blizzcon is the destination for the Blizzard Superfan in all of us. It was at the hallowed halls of the Anaheim Convention Center last year that the public got its first look at Blizzard’s first new IP in over a decade, Overwatch. Although nothing as groundbreaking as that is probably coming this year, Blizzard as a company does have a huge amount of stuff to show off. Figure information about what is next for WoW, new information about Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm will be revealed at the event.
The event itself is November 6-7 2015, again at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim California. And to get more specific as to when you can get your tickets to Blizzcon, make sure you’re home and awake at 10pm ET/7pm PT. On April 15, 2015 at 10pm ET, the first batch of tickets goes on sale, and usually sells out within minutes. The second grouping of tickets goes up April 18 at 1pm ET. That may seem like BS, as a lot of people would be at work then, but that is on a Saturday afternoon, so it should be easier for a lot of people.
Of course, if you cannot attend the show for whatever reason, Blizzard also sells a streaming version of the convention which I think was 40 dollars last year. On top of getting to watch the panels live and in archived form, you also got the digital goodies for the Blizzard titles you know and love.
It’s right before Christmas, and we’re soon tumbling headlong into 2015, in the Gregorian Calendar. Consoles matured, games came out, more games got delayed, and those that came out were often broken as all hell. I did manage to get through a few games, and am currently playing through a few more. I got a PS4 this year, but I haven’t beaten much on it. I find when I am at home, most of my time is spent on the PC, or with a handheld system. I have Shadows of Mordor, but frankly got stressed out by it a lot of the time. The game is incredible, and will probably be the game of the year for many, but it wasn’t for me. Frankly 2014 was the grand conclusion of what happened to me in 2013. Thanks to Persona 4 Golden, I got back into Japanese RPG’s in a big way. I found that I missed grinding, I still love the insane tropes, and I love the colorfulness and the often wacky nature Japanese RPG’s exhibit. So I played a bunch of those this year. As it turns out 2014 was a good year for those games, especially if you have a handheld system.
I am not gonna go into some huge list about my best games of 2014, because frankly I don’t have a huge list. I played a bunch of games, but not many of them came out in 2014. I played Tales of Xillia, and loved it. But that came out last year. I played like…half of Tales of Xillia 2. That came out this year, but it’s not that great. Or good at all. But yeah, I have 3 games that I want to talk about in numbered order, but first I want to give an honorable mention. Also before that, I want to talk about one game that I haven’t finished yet, but should be talked about. If I finished it, and it remained as good throughout, it would so be on my list. So without further ado, let’s get crackalackin. Continue Reading
If you’re playing the new, excellent World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, you might be interested to find out raiding officially starts this coming week. On Tuesday, December 2nd, the normal and heroic versions of the raid open, with the LFR first wing, and the new mythic setting opening a week later on December 9th. While this is saddening to me because I don’t have a normal raiding guild to hit the normals with, I am still looking forward to the LFR and their trashy versions of weapons and armor. So until I can find a group that fits my timetable, I look forward to sporting the crappiest looking armor in raiding, and hiding it all behind my transmog clown suit.
World of Warcraft has shown itself to be a resilient game. Once riding high on the subscriber numbers of the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion, the number of people paying their $15 a month has dropped off pretty steadily. After receiving an uptick of people paying up last year, it seems Blizzard’s title is back on the slow decline. Back in July, Blizzard said during an Activision earnings call that the game had lost some 600,000 subscribers, going from 8.3 million to 7.7 million. The earnings call today also reported a loss in subscribers, but nothing remotely as dire. World of Warcraft went from 7.7 million subscribers, to 7.6 million. While it sucks that 100,000 people are no longer paying their $15 a month (me being one of those people), that is still a lot of people paying for the privilege of snagging 15 moose pelts for a walrus man.
On the upside though, over 1 million people have pre-ordered the next WoW expansion, Warlords of Draenor. No doubt a lot of people did it for the Level 90 boost that comes with it, but that is exactly the kind of bonus that would get a lot of WoW fans buying early. If the pre-order number is any indication, it seems Blizzard will probably be reporting a good uptick in subscribers when Warlords of Draenor is eventually released.
Source: Game Informer
Well it’s finally out in the wild. After months of beta testing, and really smooth game play, Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now officially released. While nothing big has been changed in the release patch, Blizzard has made a few changes that aims to make Hearthstone a game literally anyone in the world can play, against anyone in the world. Past that, WoW players who also play Hearthstone will get an easy mount, and there are new card backs to be earned. But really, what matters is that it is a truly free to play, great game that offers a near-endless amount of enjoyment. I plan on writing something longer about this game, but I have a simple message that overshadows the details of a review. I can say to anyone: Go try it.
Source: Hearthstone Website
I haven’t really quit WoW. I have tried. Believe me, I have tried. There are just those times though, where you really don’t want to be doing anything, but yet you feel as if you should be doing something, no matter how easy or insignificant. So even though I often will throw the TV on and blindly level an alt, or go mount-hunting in Kara, I have not actually been playing WoW in some time. I still pay every month, I log on once every few days, but I don’t really play at all, but I play. Does that make sense? Kinda? Alright, good. Okay point is that the more I read about the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor, the more it seems like something that will get me back into WoW, perhaps actually doing endgame content in something other than a half-hearted LFR setting in which I die a lot because I cannot be bothered to pay attention. Why you ask?! Okay maybe you didn’t ask, but let’s talk about it anyway. Please can we? Thanks, you’re the best.
New Character Models: Those new models look friggin fantastic. WoW has never been a game about top end graphics, it has been more about finding a middle road that everyone can run. However, as the game has gone on, the engine has proven to be very adaptable, allowing for a lot more than I am sure Blizzard ever thought would be possible. The new races (Worgen, Goblins and Pandaren) all look fantastic and that is great, a real technical feat from Blizzard. However in making these races animate so well and be just so full of life, it has shone a huge spotlight on just how dated the older models are. Humans have always had horrible faces, but next to a Worgen, they just look worse. The Forsaken look silly now, and the Tauren are basically just a few stretched polygons. Blizzard is finally fixing this and from what has been revealed so far, the game is getting a fresh lease on life with the new models. Everyone is so animated, but retaining the style and overall feel of each race it seems. I cannot wait to see the options all my older toons have available to them when Warlords drops. Continue Reading
MMO’s have been around for a while. Remember Ultima? No? Probably for the best. Everquest? Probably rings more bells. Lord of the Rings Online? How about Dungeons and Dragons Online? Rift, Aion, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Wow…lots of fantasy MMO’s there. I have no idea if Ultima is still around…I don’t think so. Otherwise, all those other games have something in common. Know what it is? Do ya? Do ya? You probably do. You’re smart. Kinda. Yeah that’s right, they are MMORPG’s that all eventually went onto a free-to-play model after having subscription numbers drop like that cartoon coyote in Looney Tunes. When this happens…things change. With the base game now being free, game developers and publishers need to figure out new ways to monetize their game. You know…to have a prayer of recouping the massive costs to make an MMO.
That new form of monetizing the game usually comes with a 2-tier approach. First…they keep the subscriptions for anyone who wants them. That subscription however, now becomes a greatly enhanced experience. Instead of being the baseline for people playing the game, it now comes with VIP perks; a sort of thank you for the continued normal income. The second and more popular thing that comes to free-to-play MMO’s is some sort of microtransaction shop. This is typically what saves these MMO’s from shutting down the servers, and even what causes these things to turn a profit. For many games, especially titles like Turbine’s Dungeons and Dragons Online, and Lord of the Rings Online, this change has been a major lifeline. These games went from being money pits to largely popular services that allow people to play the way they want, for the amount of money they feel the game is worth. In a system like that, it seems like the perfect world for a MMO, and it would be great to see most MMO’s use this model from day one. It seems like the best way to make a return on the initial…insane investment a MMO is. Continue Reading