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World’s End Tavern has moved and may now be found at World’sEndTavern.net

NBI Finale

Back on the 1st of May, I saw a message scrolling through my twitter feed by one of the WoW Twitter folks about this interesting event they were participating in called the Newbie Blogger Initiative with a link to a forum set up for it. I had tried my hand at blogging awhile back (’09) but didn’t stick with it. I though this might be a good opportunity to start up once more but as a general gaming blog instead of just a World of Warcraft blog.

World’s End Tavern was reborn. I signed up on the forums and watched as the list of newbie bloggers was growing. The advice posts were starting to flow, not only from the Sponsors but from some of the Newbies as well., including myself. The forum threads of Sponsors and Newbies were pages long and still growing so I added a list to my site to make it easier to follow everyone. I found some interesting blogs and the amount of good I picked up was immense.

By mid month, I started running into the wall again and starting to lose interest but thought, what the heck and continued on. I set myself a schedule that I hope to continue. I kept starting to write posts and then leaving them as drafts. As a new idea would come up I would write it down. I started building up a backlog of ideas that will keep me going for awhile.

I got interested in site design and opted to move to a self-hosted site with a domain I had from back when I was origionally blogging (thanks to @vitaemachina at Safeshark Hosting). I went looking for a good design and started tweaking it. I may start learning to actually play around with the site coding itself later.

I want to thank all the people for participating in the NBI and especially @Sypster at Biobreak for setting it all up. I want to thank all the Sponsors for their excellent posts both on their blogs and in the forum in answer to questions. I want to thank all the newbie bloggers who participated, both those who continue to blog and those who dropped out after an initial spurt of interest. I have learned from everyone and hope to continue in the future.

In the future you can find me at World’s End Tavern

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My thanks to Syp for getting this all started!

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Gaming with a Heart

Everyone says that gamer are entitled, ego-centric, loners or just not social-able. There are event in game and out of game that put a lie to this. This past week the gaming world lost an inspiration. Ribbitribbit has passed. For those not familiar with his story, it started with  a modest request. The story ended this week and was passed on to the gaming community here.

A short time ago I saw this post about how someone was making an incredible journey and was immortalized in game.

The World of Warcraft and Diablo II have many NPC named after notable figures from Blizzard and the player community. World of Warcraft also has a couple of notable quests in game that no one should miss out on doing.

Alicia’s Poem – http://www.wowhead.com/?quest=11451

This quest pays tribute to a WoW player who died of luekemia.

Kyle’s Gone Missing – http://www.wowhead.com/?quest=11129

This quest was added as part of Ezra Phoenix (Ephoenix) Chatterton’s Make-A-Wish visit to Blizzard headquarters. Ezra got to design this quest, which is given by Ahab Wheathoof.

Often groups will get together to have in-game events for charities such as Child’s Play, Heart and Stroke and many others. To protest the ending of Mass Effect 3, players set up a Facebook group and fundraiser to to be donated to Child’s Play as a way bring attention to what many felt were poor choices for the ending. That event raised over $80,000.

With all the bad news in the gaming world this last few weeks, 38 Games and Bioware SWTOR layoffs and Diablo III launch issues, it is important to remember that there is good in games as well.

Towel Day

Towel Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Towel Day
 is celebrated every 25 May as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams. On this day, fans carry a towel with them to demonstrate their love for the books and the author, as referred to in Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after Adams’ death on 11 May 2001.

Origin

The original quotation that explained the importance of towels is found in Chapter 3 of Adams’s work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)
— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The original article that began Towel Day was posted at “Binary Freedom,” a short-lived open source forum.

Towel Day: A Tribute to Douglas Adams
Monday 14 May 2001 06:00am PDT

Douglas Adams will be missed by his fans worldwide. So that all his fans everywhere can pay tribute to this genius, I propose that two weeks after his passing (25 May 2001) be marked as “Towel Day”. All Douglas Adams fans are encouraged to carry a towel with them for the day.

So long Douglas, and thanks for all the fish!

— D Clyde Williamson, 2001-05-14

Chris Campbell and his friends registered the website TowelDay.org to spread the word, reminding people not to forget to bring their towels. Towel Day was an immediate success among the fans and many people sent in pictures to show off themselves with their towels.

Don’t go anywhere without your Towel today!

Personally I love the books but not the movie as much (except for Zooey!)

Griping about Diablo III vs Mass Effect 3

Recently we have had two very good games release that have resulted in a huge uproar. Both are basically single player games with co-op modes. Mass Effect had a huge fallout for the ending, that most if not nearly all people found lacking, to put it politely. Diablo III is having a huge fallout for players not being able to get into the game.

I posted a bit about both games earlier The Mass Effect Effect and What is Wrong With Gamers. I have seen multiple posts about both games and about gaming in general that seen to say this is leading to the downfall of gaming or throwing around things like gamer entitlement. What many people seem to forget is that games are written to make companies money. Companies stay in business by making products that people purchase or subscribe to. I can’t see Blizzard or Bioware folding anytime soon, unlike 38 Studios.

Bioware is producing a DLC to better clarify the ending of Mass Effect 3 and Blizzard Customer service is all over teh forums and Twitter trying to help with players getting into Diablo II. Blizzard has pulled down the servers several time to apply patches and do restarts to fix login issues. I saw one person complaining about them pulling down the servers in primetime instead of accepting it as a way to allow other to ejoy the game by applying fixes. Any support such as this is a huge cost to companies and does not make them money.

The problem with Mass Effect 3 seems to be mis-communication or lack of communication between the writers of the game and the players. Parts of the story are missing or hidden. This lead to an ending where many questions are unanswered or new questions created. Hopefully this will be addressed in the DLC.

The problems with Diablo III seem to stem from a fact that most people are ignoring. Everyone complains about the need for a persistent internet connection to play which is causing many of the login/connection issues. This is need for one simple fact, Real Money Auctions. If the game was offline, hackers could theroetically, hacking to item data base and start generating items to sell on the auction house. By having a persistent connection, Blizzard are able to control item generation and not allow people to start printing their own money so to speak.

Bioware’s DLC does nothing other than add to player satisfaction which promote customer loyalty. Blizzard fixes allow people into the game to enjoy the product. Again this leads to customer satisfaction. Both will lead to customers purchasing further product in the future.

Another little tidbit is comping to light about Diablo III. There is a large number of accounts being hacked. Anyone with an authenticator is safe but anyone without one is sort of asking for trouble. Remember your account is worth more now as it is not just virtual currency being stole but your real world cash as well. Blizzard has a good post up on the Diablo forums with tips to secure your account. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149619846

I have seen too many people hacked in WoW and although the accounts can be restored and item restored this will not happen in Diablo III. Sure accounts can be restored but cash will most likely not be restore (too tempting to try to scam the system). I am sorry but if people have a few problem logging into the game due to extra security, I am OK with that.

Screenshot of the Day 8

The Joys of Raiding Molten Core. Yes, that is someone stuck to the ceiling of the cave after being exploded by ‘The Bomb’ 🙂

What is wrong with Gamers

This week saw the launch of Diablo III. As with any launch, there were a few hiccups. May people had issues downloading or installing the digital version. Many more people were getting errors trying to sign in to the game. Blizzard has already had to take down the severs a few times, only 2 days into the game. They are post information on the bugs found and possible solutions on the website and linking to social media.

I signed up for the Annual Pass and got my game for free. I was in the Beta for several months. I downloaded the installer weeks ago and was able to actually install the game the day before it went live. As I live in the Atlantic Time Zone, it went live as 4AM. I decided to wait and play in the morning instead of staying up all night. When I got up, I logged into the game and proceeded through Chapter One. The only issue I had was when they took down the servers.

It seems like I was the exception to the rule as everyone is online, screaming and yelling, posting video about how bad Blizzard is and that the game is ruined. There are pages and pages of complaints in the forums and on websites. Twitter seems to be nothing but complaints about people who cant play the game.

Recently Blizzard released their earning and there are a few items that bear on this issue. They stated that Diablo had set a new record for pre-orders. With many people, such as myself, signing up for the Annual Pass, either for the mount or guaranteed Mists Beta access, there were approximately a million people with free copies of the game, going from the Beta invite numbers. I don’t know the actual numbers but I and guess that there were anywhere from 1-2 million people trying to access the game when it launched.

With that many people try to get in, of course there are going to be issues. It seems all the problems are on the North American servers, the ones with the most players. I don’t really care about all the ranting from may people about the game, I am just enjoying the game itself. Blizzard have done their usual good job and I am enjoying the look and feel of the game.

 

Addendum: The issues with Diablo are being blamed on the DRM requiring a persistent connect. With looted item being able to be sold for real world currency, I don’t blame Blizzard for tight control. If the item database was part of an offline game, hackers would soon be generating items on demand and it would be a licence to print money.

For anyone on Twitter and not following @BlizzardCS or @Diablo, please do as they are pushing out updates about theses issues as quickly as they can.

Here is a great forum link they posted for anyone having issue, downloading, installing or connecting to the game. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4904620655

Mists of Pandaria Pre-Release Event thoughts

When the Burning Crusade expanasion was released, we had the opening of the Dark Portal event and we fought back the demons for a week. When Wrath of the Lich King was release we had the Scourge Invasion for two weeks marked by the zombie plague and Scourge attacks on Stormwind and Ogrimmar. With the release of Cataclysm, we had three weeks of tremors, cultists and elementals invading.

For each expansion, the pre-release events have been lasting longer and are more elaborate. It is going to really interesting to see what they come up with time. Rumor has it that there will be an increase in tension between the Horde and Alliance forces. The results in the attack or possible destruction of Theramore. I can there might be possibilities for Open World PVP in contested zones such as Ashenvale, Arathi Highlands, Northern and Southern Barrrens to name a few.

With the previous expansions, there has always been an external force, demons, scourge or elementals attacking both sides. This time around I think we will be attacking each other in escalating battles all up and down Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms. I can’t think of any other way for an event to be staged at this point.

Screenshot of the Day 7

Aurora over Grizzly Hills. Blizzard does do the sky right!