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Archive for July, 2008

Gargh, damn Blizzard! I was supposed to be on WoW about 5 hours ago to do some 3v3 with 2 buddies, but I got caught up helping my mate sort his new computer out and genuinely forgot about the whole 3v3 business. I’m currently trying to log on to explain to them; if they’re still on, about why I skanked them earlier. I feel bad about it but I’m sure they’ll understand. GRRRR AUTHENTICATING MY ASS!

Anyway, I should probably write something a tad more constructive. Seeing that my brother Rob had trouble with Ninja Gaiden 2 with it freezing on cutscenes, I’ll post the solution to the problem so to help anyone else. Also it might mean I’ll get a few more views from google searches, hooray!

Basically, if you are having trouble with Ninja Gaiden 2 freezing on cutscenes repeatedly since the update, you’ll have to delete the latest update. Now to do this on the XBox 360 (sorry PS3ers) go to your Harddrive and press Y. Once you get the next screen up, press the following to erase the update information:

X  X  LB  RB  X  X

This should erase any updates you have for games, not just Ninja Gaiden 2. But as always, after firing the game up you can always download them again but don’t redownload the NG2 update otherwise you might aswell not have bothered with wiping the updates. Anyway, I hope WoW authenticates some time soon.

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Tiny update

Just a small post this one. I forgot to write in my review that there are some awesome stickers that come with the game. So if that gives any weight into persuading you to buy it, you really are fickle. But more importantly, updated my blog roll link. I’ve added to the list Sam – Chief Illustrator. This is my older brother’s blog and is updated fairly regularly (like this one I guess hehe) with his ramblings and drawings, some of which are actually very good. So to start, here’s one of his drawings of 9 of the 10 Doctors together. (Doctor Who obviously).

(Click to Enlarge as always)

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As a big player and fan of the Guitar Hero games and Rock Band, I bought Guitar Hero: On Tour a few nights ago on Amazon. I was looking forward to its arrival as the reviews of it seemed to give it a fair amount of praise and since im fond of the series, why not? Well, I’ll tell you exactly why by the end of this review.

I was like an excited 5 year old child this morning when it arrived and couldn’t wait to have a go on it. Unfortunately I had a bit of a social life today and had to wait until I got in until I could tune it up and let rip. First thing I noticed when I got it out of the box is that the buttons are pretty small. For an 18 year old, these buttons are way too small to stay comfortable for more than 20minutes. However, the build was very sturdy and there’s even a nice little section to hold your stylus-plectrum when you’re not playing so you won’t lose it.

Now, being used to the high button mashing and concentration required on expert on GH2 and 3, I thought i’d cake walk this game on expert withtout too much trouble. I strapped my hand ready and had my plectrum in the other. I fired up All The Small Things on Expert and after 18% I failed. Now, if the same button combos were coming down on the proper GH2/3 versions, I would have aced this song, but the problem for me wasnt the difficulty of the song, but the difficulty of the strumming. Although the strumming is meant to be more realistic as you are using a plectrum, it feels really false. It’s hard to tell whether you are strumming in the hit box for the strum and it’s actually quite difficult to strum fast without hitting your DS screen with a fair amount of force.

I then pushed the difficulty down to Hard and an hour or two later, I had worked my way through the entire track list bar the unlockable track. Now, for just 2 hours of playing, i’ve managed to get through all the content. Sure there are extras such as multiplayer (only offline) and a Guitar Duel mode which to be honest, is just a way to get you to play through all the songs again just to unlock a Freezepop song. So if you include another 2 hours of single player game time to the total, that’s still only 4 hours of game. Also, what you get in those 4 hours isn’t what I’d call fun. I spent most of the time wrestling with the strumming and at one point even managed a 158 note streak, well over tripling anything else I managed whilst playing this game.

The track list also doesn’t really redeem this game. Coming from GH2 and 3, I had already played most of the tracks as they were just rehashed versions. Sure they are great songs that I enjoy, but I bought this game for a few new tracks rather than tracks that I had already played but had now been butchered to cater for 4 buttons. The music ability of the DS also compromises this game as the tracks sound rather tinny and horrible. There’s nothing worse than listening to Maroon 5 on your tinny DS whilst wrestling with it to even hear the song.

To be completely honest, I felt that I paid £30 rather badly. It seems like £20 of it was for the rather well made button peripheral and the rest was for a game that only played for a quarter of what i’d expect a DS game to supply me with of game time. Sure I can see this being enjoyable if you have yet to venture into the Guitar Hero franchise. This game to me feels like a cheapening of a great idea. It feels as if they want kids to get this off their own back, get hooked, and then want the real mccoy. If you haven’t touched any of the GH games and don’t want to spend £70 but like the idea, then this might be for you as I’m sure you’ll get more game time out of from getting better and playing through all the different difficulties. But if you have played the GH games before and consider yourself to be pretty good (finished Hard/Expert) then don’t waste your money. You’d be better off spending your money on Pokemon or something as it’s cheaper and is actually enjoyable.

Also, Pokemon Diamond/Pearl are the nuts!

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Finally hunters are getting what we’ve always wanted, customizable pets. As a hunter I don’t currently see any difference between pets other than a few abilities (especially since the normalisation of pet attack speed all those patches ago) and the way they look. Sure there are slight differences to their base armour, damage and health but these things don’t seperate one hunter’s pet to another’s. So finally, after 3 and a bit years, pets are going to finally be varied. And I do mean varied.

The Talent trees for pets have already made their way onto the net and are certainly looking good. With three different talent trees (depending on your pet depends on what tree you get) there’s alot of variety there. Cunning, Tenacity and Ferocity are the names of the new talent trees. They are available for the following pets:

Cunning – Bat, Dragonhawk, Nether Ray, Owl, Ravager, Serpent, Spider, Spore Bat and Wind Serpent

Ferocity – Carrion Bird, Cat, Hyena, Raptor, Tallstrider and Wolf

Tenacity – Bear, Boar, Crab, Crocolisk, Gorilla, Scorpid, Turtle and Warp Stalker

This means that if you tame a Bat, you will have access to the talents in the Cunning tree. Now to be completely honest, after looking at each trees’ abilities, it’s quite obvious to see what Blizzard want each pets to be good at. Cunning; to me, looks like a nice solid raid PvE spec. There are talents for extra damage and even a nice little ability that will recover 40% of the hunter’s mana over 8 seconds. I don’t however see it being a truely restrictive PvE only tree as there are talents to remove all impairing effects on your pet and also an ability that reduces it’s chance to be critted when under 35% health.

Ferocity to me looks like the pure PvP build pet. There’s extra damage, reduced stun duration, but most interestingly, an instant self res. I can see it being very useful in PvE, don’t get me wrong, but I can see this talent alone being VERY useful in Arena or PvP. Heart of the Pheonix will resurect your pet on 10% health and is only bound to a 10minute cooldown. But if you are going to spec BM for PvE and get those extra 5 points to spend, you’ll be able to hit some of the nicer talents in this tree for PvE. There’s a talent to increase your pets attack power by 5% and subsequent hits have a 50% chance to increment that by 5% all the way up to 25%. With the effect lasting 30seconds and the ability only being on a 10second cooldown, this will be a nice little talent to dump some Focus.

Finally, Tenacity. Without a doubt (and you could probably tell by looking at the pets that can have this tree) this is the tanking tree. The talents in this tree are amazing for getting a pet to help with the leveling to 80 and also the grinding of gold from then on. There are talents to increase its bonus from healing, increase its dodge chance and even a Last Stand like talent, but with 2 minutes less of a cooldown than Warriors at only 6 minutes. There are taunting talents in this tree and even an Intercept talent. This tree will definately be my favourite when leveling to 80 and beyond.

Well, i’ve written enough for one post but if you want to look at all the talents for yourself, here are the links for them over at mmo-champion.

Cunning

Ferocity

Tenactiy

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Well, since there’s not a great deal of sense to get into a raiding guild now, the most I can do on WoW for my short bursts of time is to pvp. The rewards are half decent (even if it does mean I look like the rest of the riff raff with their welfare epics) and means I can replace those pieces of gear that I didn’t quite manage to get from when I was raiding TK/SSC. But what’s more important is that PvP is actually alot more fun than it used to be. Now im not talking about it being more fun than pre-bgs/honour in the day of the ranks, as that wouldn’t be a fair or accurate comment. What I mean is that i’ve finally gotten to accept resillience as a required stat for pvp as it makes sense.

I hadn’t really gotten to terms with resilience when it first came out but that was mostly due to me not really caring about pvp. I wasn’t a massive pvper so I nearly completely dismissed the stat and carried on pvping in my pve gear. When there was only one Season out it also didnt really matter too much to not have the Arena gear for pvp, but now the arena gear and other pvp items are vital. If you want to survive in pvp (especially arena) you need the resilience. If you are like how I was when it first came out and didnt see much point in it, try to hit over 200 resilience and tell me the same thing. You do notice the difference and you can tell who is in pvp gear and who isnt. There’s nothing better than critting down a mage because he’s lacking pvp gear 😀

But what this post is really about is how introducing a stat like resilience has worked so well. Blizzard saw that they had a problem pre-TBC when people who were dominating PvE content could also dominate on the PvP scene. Sure the PvP gear back then had more stamina for survivability, but you still would have no chance against people kitted in full T2 and above unless equally geared. I’ve seen people bitch and moan about the introduction of resilience making battlegrounds less accessible (which we all know is bullshit as most pvp items are pretty much handed out for free) but why should someone in T6 be able to swan into PvP and own up? Simply, they shouldn’t and this is the whole crux of my post. I’ve finally seen the brilliance of resilience and hope Blizzard keep this up with WoTLK pvp itemisation.

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Why did I bother reinstalling WoW, when I just spend my time on there sitting about in Orgrimmar bored. But I think that only happened because I knew I had to get off soon as I have work in the morning and I don’t want to be irritable in the morning. Starting things on WoW when you want to get to bed soon is a bad idea as anything in WoW takes longer than 20mins. Especially that pvp earlier today on top of the Goldshire blacksmith roof.

A friend and I were pretty bored and fancied some world pvp. But seeing that whenever you try to have a fight with some Alliance, their only tactic in winning is to get more numbers, we decided that we should give ourselves a vantage point. A place which would be difficult to get to. A place which give you maximum LOS advantage. A place slap bang in the middle of an Alliance town. The Blacksmith roof in Goldshire was the perfect location.

My friend logged his warlock (as his warrior would pretty much be useless up there because of the beauty of the spot) and we set out. We made our way to Goldshire without being flagged and firstly tried the Inn Roof. It is apparently possible to do, but we couldnt manage it. We then tried the Blacksmith roof and it was taking some time. We were trying in ghost form and I got bored a little and had a spot of lunch. When I came back he was still trying but had had a break through. I then tried and managed it fairly quickly and he shortly followed. The enslaught too shortly followed.

You’d be surprised at the amount of low level players that flag themselves in Goldshire. All those beautiful level 12s ready to be killed. We spent a good 20mins up there before some real competition: 5 level 70s. We managed to keep them down below and keep ourselves alive whilst aoeing all the low level players trying to get up to us. What we didnt account for was a rogue being able to make his way up. We took fire from a mage, a druid, a pally, a hunter and that bastard rogue. They finally managed to beat us down to death. After that we pretty much got bored and logged off, but for 30mins or so, we were the centre of attention and gave a few dozen people something to do other than killing bores or time.

But yer, that’s all im going to write on that as I now have to go to bed. Night night.

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I’ve been wanting to see these talent trees for a very long time now and I am the least bit disapointed. As a hunter, I welcome the changes to the talent trees (especially survival and BM in fact) and can see some interesting combinations coming from them. I like the changes to Deterance as this gives Surv hunters a CoS like spell. Hunting Party also looks like an amazing way to push Surv hunters into a raid and also means that a raid will benefit from more than one deeply specced Surv hunter. I like the end BM talents and I can see some interesting things happening with Cobra Strikes and Invigoration in particular. I could go on endlessly talking about all the talents im loving, but that wouldn’t be that informing. So instead, here’s a link to all the new WoTLK talent trees. Enjoy 🙂

http://www.mmo-champion.com/talent/

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