Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cataclysm Cinematic is out!

Many of you may know already, but the opening cinematic sequence for Cataclysm is out. Here it is!

It feels a lot like the WotLK cinematic, which also concentrated heavily on the rise of the cover nemesis, as well as a monologue, except in WotLK the monologue was by Arthas' father. And why does Deathwing hate Stormwind? We get facerolled by Arthas in Lordaeron, and just when we get a king, a dragon appears. It makes me wonder if the horde has any reason to fight Deathwing. Minus the whole death to the world thing, they don't really have a history with the gargantuan former Earth Warden.

Deathwing wrecked the Night Elves in the War of the Ancients, ravaged Stormwind, and forced the dwarves into hiding. Gnomes aren't a lore-rich race and the draenei have only recently began their tale in our realm. On the other hand, the orcs messed with the red dragonflight, Deathwing's archnemesis, using Deathwing's own Demon's Soul. The goblins even helped Deathwing become what he is, attaching smoldering plates onto his body. Why would they go against the most powerful being Azeroth has ever seen? It's not in their best interest. I'd say wait until he destroys the Alliance, then kill him with the army of Blood Elf Paladins and Death Knights that the Horde is famous for.

Friday, October 15, 2010


LFG ICC 25 6.5 GS! Does this mean anything? Sure, they're looking for a group for 25 man ICC. GS? What is that? Oh, you mean gearscore, that thing that everyone hates.

Who hates gearscore? Well, for the most part, casuals do. Casuals obviously are left behind in the dust as new gear is introduced, as they're unable to find the time to obtain it. This gap only widens as content patches are introduced. "It's not an indicator of skill" is the biggest argument against this third party device. I'm sure no one can disagree that it doesn't accurately measure one's competence. Surely, bad players can get booted in a raid, thus preventing them from getting gears. On the other hand, players who know what they're doing can get screwed out of gear or can't find the time to raid regularly.

Okay, that sounds fine to me. However, in top end raid, be it Ahn'Qiraj in vanilla, Sunwell in TBC, or ICC (or Ruby Sanctum) in WotLK, maximum output from skill is automatically assumed and expected of all players. That being a given, the only variable that remains is gear. It should be obvious that a person maxing out their DPS with 4k GS won't match up to a person maxing their DPS with 6k GS. Therefore, how can gearscore be a bad thing?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We might have our work cut out for us yet...

First of all, I'd like to apologize to my readers, as I have been negligent with posting. Midterms have been brutal as always. However, while training at a waterfall, a disturbing idea came to me, which I would like to share with you all.

SPOILERS: If you don't want to ruin the end of ICC for yourself, despite the fact that you can watch it without beating the Lich King, please don't read this.

As WotLK comes to a close, we are given an interactive plaque in the heart of Dalaran. Clicking on this plaque will show you the end of the Lich King. Arthas falls and is comforted by the spirit of his father, King Terenas II, at his deathbed. Then, Terenas tells Tirion Fordring that there must always be a Lich King in order to have peace on Azeroth. He dissipates afterwards and leaves Tirion pondering whether he should become the Lich King for the sake of his people. Suddenly, Bolvar Fordragon calls out to him. He is disfigured, burned black, and seething steam due to Sindragosa's torture. He resolutely urges Tirion to place the Lich King's helmet on his forsaken self, with which Tirion accedes to do. We are finally shown a visage much akin to the former Lich King, except with a flaming red deviation.

This is what Bolvar looked like by the end of the ordeal:

Anonymous: Hey, faggot, that's not Bolvar. That's Sauron.

Oh my mistake. I posted the wrong picture...or did I? How about this? What if Bolvar is 450 in Fishing. After this crazy ordeal, he went finishing in Stormwind and happened to find The 1 Ring. He already rules them all. The 1 Ring is a crappy item for a level ?? Boss like himself. However, as the new Lich King, he is an enemy of both the Alliance and Horde and so he could not access the Auction House. This drove him mad. He didn't want to use the neutral AH because the only things that were there were those Green Hills of Stranglethorn pages. With Cataclysm around the corner, he needed money for 310% speed flight training. At the time, a noob asked, "HAY CAN I HAVE 100G FOR MOUNT?? ^_^". This was the straw that broke the demented horse's back. Back in Bolvar's days, epic mount training was 1000 gold. The fact that people still wanted money for it drove Bolvar nuts. He punched the poor noob with a "Who wants a knuckle sandwich?" achievement fist and the noob was down. He right clicked the noob and found that he could loot him. 54 gold for ganking a noob. Sweet. He could get used to this...

Okay, this is all kind of far fetched. But what if it's true. Just maybe, Bolvar is Sauron. If this is true, then Sauron is not truly dead. The ring they cast into Mordor was just a green accessory with a item level of 15. We need the helmet. May the Light have mercy on us all.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I'm sure you all are aware but the release date for Cataclysm is "officially" December 7th. Officially in Blizzard terms means probably. And after currency exchange the word "probably" becomes "maybe when you get laid". So you better hold onto that 40 dollars. It's gonna be a while.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

WoW and Sports

You go to a bar and football is on. You sit next to a nonchalant guy and ask for bartender for a drink. Next thing you know you're talking to your neighbor about the Super Bowl.

It happens all the time. Outside the stadium, people can gather around for a purpose and end up talking about their teams and such. When we talk about WoW on the other hand, there are a lot of mixed responses. Generally, no one looks down for others for liking a sport, but WoW is fair game. Why is our society like this? What are the similarities and differences that tell us what to accept or shun?

First and foremost, sports are well ingrained in the American society. You can grow up on it, join your parents in it, go to college for it, and even make a career out of it. One can say it all started with a group of children trying to have fun. Gaming however, is only about two generations old. Even then, many gaming systems came from Japan. Naturally, they were easy to look down upon, as we were only one generation out of WWII.

Another key difference between the two are the qualities of the participants. Athletes are physically trained, resulting in toned bodies and better than average physical skills. Gamers train their intellect to optimize their gaming. However, it doesn't show on the outside, except in some cases the lack of hygiene. Anyone who is new to both areas would initially lean towards sports, causing a decrease in popularity for gaming.

Although these are significant, I believe the greatest reason is that there is too much competition within the gaming industry. Sports are divided by the type of sport, whether it be football or whatnot. Gaming emulates this too, boasting a plethora of genres, such as FPS, RTS, fighting, and MMORPG. However, unlike sports, these genres are divided. For example, in fighting games we have Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Blazblue, King of Fighters, and much more. These come with their own set of players and fans. Such division causes fickle and reluctant sponsorship, since you never know when a game is going to go out of style and become obsolete. This doesn't happen in sports. With the advancement of technology, the players are still there and so are the fans, leading to sponsorship and growth. The worst part about this is that gaming as we now know it strives on the creation of new games. This means that it'll never be able to become a mainstream phenomenon.

This is where WoW differs from your average game. Rather than making money off initial purchases, Blizzard uses subscriptions to get the green to flow. There is great potential in this, as it lays a foundation that isn't reconstructed every new release. A building that doesn't break can only grow. It all comes down to Blizzard pushing the game towards mainstream success.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What a nice day to fish...

I haven't looked at the forums lately. However, when I skimmed it over today, it was filled with players putting pressure on Blizzard due to the anticipation for Cataclysm. It irks me how people can be so selfish they can keep asking for blue posts, when Blizzard explicitly stated that the forums are not for fishing for blues.

One person went as far as saying that Blizzard doesn't respect the player base because they don't respond to questions. Of course they wouldn't answer questions they're not sure about. When they postponed WotLK, the forums were in flames. Blizzard will get burned for posting information without solid confidence. How can Blizzard respect the players when the players don't respect Blizzard enough to give them some breathing space?

Thursday, September 30, 2010


When WoW first began, buffs were a filler for DPS. A paladin would deal less damage in order to up the damage of fellow raiders. Obviously, when WoW's paladin was first introduced, it was designed to play much like Diablo 2's paladin. The main difference: it didn't work. Paladins, the premier hybrid class, through trial and error, has become an equal threat in the DPS meter as your staple DPS classes, like mage and hunter. Thus, there has been constant strife over "pure" and "hybrid" DPS.

Why didn't it work? One explanation can be that World of Warcraft is filled with narrow-minded nitwits (might be plausible). The people who don't even have the sense to factor in the benefits of buffs just take with them a warrior or a rogue. Another, more realistic hypothesis is that WoW is more PvP oriented than Diablo 2. Diablo 2's PvP function was strictly limited to dueling, whereas many can state that PvP in WoW is half the game. A buff heavy class would have to dry hump and bend over for their allies is no fun. And to the paladin's defense, it really was no fun.

However, the third explanation I have is much more tangible. A lack of a sophisticated DPS meter showing the contribution of buffs. Blizzard didn't implement a DPS meter when the game was first released and so the players had to use a third part add-on. Recount came after DPS Meter, which was very primitive at the time and only showed the individual damage output of each character. This quickly became a standard for raiding and so paladins were pushed aside. In response, the paladins kicked and screamed through several patches and a whole expansion before they were cast into the league of competitive raiding. Imagine how different the paladin class, as well as the shaman class, paladin's twin brother, would've been if Blizzard had just thought of adding a dedicated DPS meter into the game.

Release date

About three days ago I bet with my brother that patch 4.0.1 will come out last Tuesday. This was with the assumption that Cataclysm was going to come out November 2nd. Much to my dismay, the release date was postponed and now the patch seems to be coming out this coming Tuesday, which is the date my brother bet on. 1000g was never wasted so quickly.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Opening Day

Hello, and welcome to Pandaren Pub, a blog created specifically for World of Warcraft and all its cataclysmic goodness. I will go over patches, blue posts, and controversies as they arise, giving out the hardcore information in your everyday English. With a lack of anything more to say, let's go over an important aspect of WoW, currency.

We all remember the old days. We would get DKP, and then we were given Badge of Justice. Back in TBC, we were still using DKP regardless of the new currency, but these days, DKP is largely out the window, save for some old time guilds. You can call this a good thing but is it? There are two sides to this argument these days.

Many players since the beginning of WoW complain that the game has become more casual friendly. Surely, in TBC, Badge of Justice was created to help raiders who were just getting screwed by the DKP system. However, in WotLK, not only are we given badges for raiding, but for 5 man dungeons and even dailies. Players end up with many methods to obtain the top gear. Soon after ToC 5 was released, Ulduar gear was obsolete. Any raider would be frustrated, as all that time raiding just flew out the window.

And now we have the casuals, who state that the endgame is too elitist, and requires an unreasonable amount of time to participate in. And in their defense, trying to get a 40 man Onyxia together back in the day was like trying to get a win off of Horde in WSG. You just looked silly trying. And looking at World of Logs just brings up a ton of magi and warriors. Anyone would feel compelled to take a class reputed to deal more damage.

Blizzard have been trying to make both sides happy. But is it worth it? Is it even possible? The two sides are macrocosms of the conservative vs. liberal fight. The conservative side does not want Blizzard sullying their achievements by handing out epics like candy. The liberal side wants everyone to enjoy their 15 bucks a month. See where I'm going with this? When Blizzard fixes this problem is when they run for government positions. They're scrapping the WotLK currency come Cataclysm, and they're giving us a system much like honor points. In that case, they might as well scrap that and just let us use money to buy our gear, as it is more flexible since you can sell the gear you obtain but do not need in order to buy a gear you want.

Personally, I am economically conservative. I want to be able to work for the satisfaction that comes with clearing a boss. However, as a ret paladin in TBC, I know how it feels to be cast down in the process of clearing a boss.

I believe the currency system should not be used to balance the game for casuals and hardcore gamers, but to reward raiders who get shafted when loot drops. Raiding has become much more time efficient. There is no reason anymore to give currency that one can use to get top gear to players who don't raid. There should be no fine line between casual and hardcore anymore but a gradient. The currency system as it is right now creates this fine line.