I know I said I wasn’t going to whine about this, but I am. Call me….well don’t call me anything, it’s rude.
After arriving in Northrend and ascending to lvl 71, I became very alarmed when, after completing quests for peasants and wayward seal-people (who seem to be under siege from the same pirate apparitions that plagued Scooby Doo for so long), I was handed very nice gear. Ridiculous in fact. Most of it blue, one or two green, all superior to my current adornments.
I should be happy, I know. After all, it’s an upgrade! For whatever reason I am unable or unwilling to grasp that concept. As someone who struggled with 39 other people to solve the riddles of BWL and Nax, wipe after wipe, for fortune and glory and all things epically purple and shiny, I can’t quite bring myself to put on this new gear. I know it’s better, but I can’t put it on.
Time for the obligatory metaphor to make my case. Let’s say that you were a hard working, self made person of intrigue and power in the early 1970’s, and you had a real thing for racing cars. At the time there was one car in particular that you coveted, for sake of our tale lets say it was a 1970 Ferrari 246 GT Dino. It was the best of it’s time in power, performance, style. It was also the hardest to obtain. You got it, you tuned it, acquired every supporting part and accessory available to make it the best it could be. And it was the best. You raced it, and you won. A lot.
As time went on, for whatever reason, you lost interest in cars. You keep your prize, but covered and in storage. Now, in present day, you suddenly find your passion for racing renewed. You pull the cover off, hop in and head out to the track. People still stare, still admire, but for an entirely different reason: Nostalgia. Or, in the case of the traipsing ninny in Episode 1, utter confusion. “I bet that was fast” they remark, smiling with the confidence that while they could never have attained such a car in it’s time, they car they have now is in most ways superior and thus it doesn’t matter.
After some qualifying races you realize that your car is still fast and worthy of competing, just not at the highest levels. Being the enthusiast that you are, the time for upgrading is at hand. That’s when the screaming starts.
You see an impressive machine, say a Lancer EVO. It is faster than your car, better performing in nearly every way, and at 1/5 the price to attain. You can just have it. But you don’t want it. You drove a Ferrari damnit, and even though you may not be able to pick up a new 458 Italia right now, you know that if you work hard enough you can get there.
I want my Ferrari, and I’m not ashamed to say so. So instead of racing an EVO until I have the chance to join the elite ranks once again, I will stay in my Dino. Sure I’m not going to get there as fast or win as consistently, but hey: I’ll look good doing it.
As a lifelong gamer, WOW was a number of firsts for me. It was my first MMO, my first game with a lifespan >1 year, my first cooperative gaming effort with >8 people. I played it with the feverish dedication that many of you know all too well.
My guild was well organized and skilled. We were the second guild on Dalaran to clear MC, and the first to complete BWL. I was one of our primary tanks, and I loved my job. As a result my toon was purple head to toe in the latest fashions of the time. Like others, I began to lose interest when the thrill of conquest turned to the bickering of looters, which turned to the monotony of the grind. Eventually I hung my Helm of Wrath on the hook and retired.
After nearly 3 years WOW has become yet another first for me: the first game I have picked back up. I have decided to return to the game, largely due to the incessant prodding of a couple of my friends who have enthusiastically jumped back onto the wagon. I came to find a world that was a great deal larger in size and features, but not necessarily in content (I am withholding judgment for now).
I am not going to bore you with the cynical whining I assume has already found elsewhere on the interwebs (”You made simple quest items better than my epics? REALLY???”). However, I did feel it was worth mentioning that my character seems to be quite the curiosity for the majority of players I encounter.
The first thing that became clear is that the game clearly is no longer designed for my toon and his deprecated gear, as the quests for level 60-70 are very easy. The second is that most players who are level 60-70 have absolutely no idea how a level 60 toon can be epically equipped. The following is an excerpt of the first in-game conversation I had after logging in for the first time.
PLAYER - “A lvl 60 geared? WTF?”
ME - “I haven’t played in a couple of years.”
PLAYER - “No”
ME - “Ok then”
PLAYER - “Did u buy him?”
ME - “No I made him a long long time ago in an Ironforge far far away” (an attempt at levity)
PLAYER - “Do you want to tank ramps?”
ME - “No. I haven’t played in a couple years, so I could use a little time to get acclimated. What is ramps?”
PLAYER - “You have all that stuff and you don’t know ramps? You def bought it.”
ME - “Do you want to run BWL?”
PLAYER - “What is BWL?”
ME - “Exactly.”
Needless to say we aren’t exchanging Christmas cards.
Looks like the 10 lbs I put on over the holidays will have to wait until Q2 to come off. I can wait.
The “Wii Fit” is Nintendo’s next great controller and has been a huge success in both Europe and Japan since its release in Q4 2007 will be coming to the US in Q2 2008. The Nintendo Wii-based exercise game and tool has been included on nearly 150 games announced by Nintendo last week including “Mario Kart”, “LEGO: Indiana Jones”, “Super Dodgeball Brawlers” and some sequels to “Pokemon Mystery Dungeon”.
Disney is currently field-testing the use of DS Lites as an interactive tour guide and map for its Magic Kingdom resorts. I think they should also include download stations for games or other items - or let park goers bring their own.
Far cooler than my first impression from the first few minutes - usually these things don’t impress me so much.
Head tracking technology has been around for quite some time (Track IR), though it hasn’t been quite as ever-present as it is now with the Wii’s release.
Don’t get me wrong: this is still a niche hobby, and the live-television market probably won’t ever be effected by this. Additionally multiplayer gaming simply wouldn’t work, which is the lifeblood of the interactive console of the decade: the Wii.
But with all the pieces already being mass produced - this technology will only get cheaper - perhaps there is a niche market for first person games for the PC on your TV, or even a gaming platform to go with it. Since all you’re doing is moving the in-game camera, I don’t see how this puts any extra load on the game engine itself. Games just have to be written with this sort of device in mind.
Short term: the NES had a light gun that came with a game back in the 1980s. Why couldn’t the Wii have a motion tracking hat bundled with a game, too?
I had a chance to play Civilization Revolutions at E for All on Thursday. It looks like a pretty fun game, which adds back in some of the lightheartedness that has been missing from the series lately. Graphics were not yet finished, so the graphic quality was only so-so, but they were fun to watch. If you reach a certain milestone, a minor civ (the Phoenicians, more on them later) will give you a reward of dancers, which jumped around inside your palace (yes, the palace is back). The arctic barbarian chief Gray Wolf climbs or pulls himself into the screen before he starts insulting you. Take away a city of his, and he’ll tell you he did not really want it anyway. The demo only lasted about ten minutes, but it gave a pretty good impression. However, the game was fun to play, although it took me a few minutes to learn the controls (not owning a console).