Tag Archives: World of Warcraft

Snippet: Blizzard’s World of Warcraft Mobile Armory app is LIVE!

Found this little gem via Kotaku, that the big reason Blizzard was killing all the pay-to-use and free-to-use Armory apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch was that they were working on publishing their app for free to the masses!

For you WoW + iPhone/iPod Touch folks… Click this link for the World of Warcraft Mobile Armory to get your copy for FREE!

The World of Online/Offline Gaming… [Editorial]

So many of you have probably read the few posts I have of me taking a small hobby of playing World of Warcraft on the intarwebs… Sole blame rests on Cousin Sol for dragging me into the mess as I have burned down many a day when friends have bailed on me to real world meetings. I kid about blaming Sol… LOL! I like many other gamers thought “Pay to play gaming… get serious… that’s crap!” but once I got my character to level 10, my opinion quickly changed. The chat channels are pretty clean of gold spammers advertising their “services” as it is harder to make a spamming account if you have to shell $30 just to take a risky venture in then an additional $15/month there after. If anything, there may be a little bit too much swearing and pre-pubescent children dropping the F-bomb because they wanted to win a certain battleground instance… though that’s not too big a deal to me.

It’s a bit of a change from Guild Wars and being sent random whispers from gold farmers promising me mythical riches for the ability of being able to finance my “dreams” of a guild hall… or just seeing my chat box full of spammers going “Go to my site here and for $9.95 our pro players will load you up with whatever you want!” or bratty kids begging you for some rare gear you have because it’s not locked down to you. Then again, the entry fee of World of Warcraft does exclude out a lot of others who would otherwise try to exploit a gaming environment for the sake of real world material wealth. I digress…

World of Warcraft is quite an expansive game as the realm spans over 3 realms with hundreds of quest and so many variations depending on whatever race or class you choose. There is some realism to the game as time is totally designated by the server affecting the in-game time. In addition to that, travel is somewhat realistic… as using a mounted animal will let you fly or ride past certain locales and rapidly improving the speed of travel. The only case that a person is beaming in and out of realms is if they are being summoned to a location or if they use warping/portal spells. The world expands supposedly this November with the release of [The Wraith of the Lich King] due to open up a Necropolis for the legendary Death Knight class and the city of Dalaran. My only gripe about the realms are that some of the “hub” cities or towns are not quite as equipped as say an Alliance or Horde fortress/castle town… That can be a drag when you need to buy something, but come to find that you took the wrong boat, flew to the wrong town, or teleported to the wrong capital city that lacked the vendor you needed. I do hold hopes that with the new expansion that change could definitely happen with balancing some of those sparse towns.

The game’s realm concept almost has a realistic element to it with the fact that if you’re too late to something… then you miss out. Looking for that one elusive beast that drops a body part you need? Well if someone got to the proving grounds before you and slayed all iterations of that monster… You may have to wait your turn when the monster comes back into the realm. No, you can’t hit the magic “reset” button and magically watch the monsters come back… because the realm is much like the real world. You can’t “zone-out” of a place just to force a monster to reappear either or to spawn exclusively in your own private zone. The only exception is dungeons and instances where you can reset the zone for say a friend who may have missed out on the first boss of a dungeon.

Socially, the game ends up being one of those “It’s a Small World” sort of game. This applies even more so when you join a pretty decent sized guild that’s made of members who were former members of ones that had petty drama. I have also found that should you keep a good reputation… it will follow you as you progress in the game. I have gotten a whisper or two from a friendly player who remembered me inviting me to partake in something fun every now and then. Sometime from just one’s own guild tag can be the firestarter of a conversation, just because your leader may have built their reputation with such a positive note.

Communication is rather dynamic in World of Warcraft to say the least. The in-game voice chat is a nice addition, though with the lack of adjustments like you would find in TeamSpeak or Ventrillo… It’s just not adequate for things like Raid coordination for a 25+ character battle. The chat system is a little clunky as you can only add the character’s name, but not a friend… However, this makes sense as Horde characters cannot communicate to Alliance characters in chat or via in-game postal service. So, if your friend chooses to make a Horde-side orc character to try meeting your Alliance character… They could be typing something like “You know Zero, by chance? I hear he’s a good frost mage!”, but to your chat window it would show up as “[Orcish] Gral gug grrr gra ralg.” Vice versa would apply as well. In addition, when you make additional characters, they aren’t bound to the guild your first character joined and same if you’re on a character with a different faction.

The game is also separated by different servers as well, as not to overload one central realm with millions of players all with different intents. By intents, I mean things like those who want to play the game for the game (Normal servers), constantly duel and fight for kill/honor points (PvP), and recreational acting of a part (RP/role-play servers). The governing rules on each server are a little different… One can only surmise that PvP servers are a no-holds barred killing spree of an orgy when you meet that poor bastard on the opposing faction (I would assume the Illidan server would be the pinnicle). Role-play servers, I have rather enjoyed as the community is a little more sympathetic and really get into their character roles. That has lead to some fun experiences (campfire stories in the wee hours of night) and as well as some disturbing ones (gnomes randomly having sex in a bedroom at an inn). Normal would be just what you would expect, players just focused on the game and just wanting to fight gloriously.

Skills and professions are all things meant to suppliment your character and even help flesh their details out. The combinations are almost endless… Supplimental skills like fishing, cooking, and first aid are all essentials that anyone can have. Once you get into the primary professions, that’s where everything goes deep… You have mining, blacksmithing, herbalism, alchemy, engineering, skinning, leatherworking, enchanting, tailoring, jewelcrafting to start… then depending on what you really want to specialize into inside those professions gets even deeper as well. As far as charater talents, each character has 3 path “talent tree” which determines which your characters battle skills and abilities. You can “re-spec” your character… but beware that initially it is cheap, but the cost rises as you decide to re-spec more and more. A “disadvantage” to some as games like Guild Wars allow for re-specing your character at will as long as you’re in a town. So re-specing your character could be a costly thing if you can’t decide what build you want or if you’re in a rather competitive PvP (player versus player, for the non-gamer folks) guild that requires you to be flexible.

As far as things offline that do somewhat affect the realm in-game… Blizzard has promotional conventions where attendees can get redeemable codes for promotional in-game items. A great example of this is to coincide with the release announcement of Diablo III, any attendees of Blizzard’s Worldwide Invitational got an item code for a special in-game pet of Archangel Tyrael that is permanently bound to the character you redeem the code for. Blizzard also has teamed up with Upper Deck Entertainment to create a World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, which also does link with the game as certain cards reveal codes to allow a character to obtain rare items. These rare items are typically novelty, however… there are promotional mounted creatures/devices that can be unlocked such as the Spectral Tiger or the X-51 Rocket.

I think the majority of what has made a positive experience with World of Warcraft is that the community is very strong. It’s interesting when you have a cousin (Sol) who’s in a lax guild and in turn you just run into others in the community who, being excellent gamers also turn out to be unique people outside of game. Funny enough is… My new staff editor, Miss Wyno, is one of those unique users. Funny how it happens, eh? With all fairness… with every gaming community, they have their share of good and bad users… I have enjoyed meeting the good users in World of Warcraft, even if I did have to suffer through some of the more childish users like Sol did who are apparently parents, but don’t mind screaming “Fucking shamen!”

3 Months – A Follow-Up and Progress

With retrospect to things… It’s close to 3 months when a chapter of my life that had cast an ugly hex on me finally came to a dead stop. It was a hard road full of memories I though were treasured, but when I analyzed them all and then looked at myself: I realized I was underestimating my own self. Of the 4 years worth of memories, there was only 1 year worth mentioning. The rest, I have forgotten and written in with brand new memories from my great and upstanding friends. You all deserve the highest honor for how well you all have supported me and kept me up beat. I lack the proper verbage and monetary flow to even express my gratitude, but to you all… I thank you dearly from my estatic heart.

So what’s been going on at the hallowed office of ZeroXR 13mg? Quite a bit actually! Russ and Yamcha had asked me to focus on good public relations due to the matter of my former associate essentially slandering and libeling my reputation in Dallas. So I have been trying to push myself to social gatherings for true fashionistas, original bohemian artists/photographers, geeks and intellectuals all around to immerse myself in good people and good vibrations. It has done well for my reputation as some of the supposed irreversible damage has finally began to shed off.

In light of the reputation talk… [Cue Announcement]

Rei who was runner up for my Bluetooth haiku contest will be receiving a Plantronics Explorer 350 courtesy of the “ZeroXR 13mg Looter’s Chest” and NewEgg. Newegg is where ZeroXR does his technology shopping online to snipe the deals and makes sure he gets a fair price on his goods. Let’s have a round of applause for Rei!

School is looming closer and closer with the passing of the days. I have my dormatory arrangements set-up and then the matter of financing my education being the final hindrance I need to seek resolution to. I basically have a short way to go before I may achieve my dreams of being a pharmacist, so I look forward with breaking new limits and setting the bars higher on my threshold for knowledge. The anticipation kills me as it’s like a showing me the gateway of power, but not giving me the keys to the kingdom. I look forward to possibly meeting new friends there and beginning the final steps on my career choice.

The site has been slowing down I know from my social tendencies to talk to others or even go to the bars just to drink and converse with good people. It’s been fun with my occasional quirky tangents, but I just haven’t had much of a budget for any new tech toys to test out. Conversely, that has lead me to enjoy some of my cheaper joys in life… like finishing my DS and PSP games which most are finally coming to happy conclusions! In addition to that, I have met a lot of new friends and building new relationships to build myself as sort of a ZeroXR remix rather than sadly dote on a past full of pain.

Lastly… I have been basically trying to relax when there’s downtime for ZeroXR 13mg or when friends bail on hanging out with me. Sol, my dear cousin, got me hopped up on World of Warcraft and I have been burning my time off there. Anyone who would like to venture around is more than welcome to contact me. Here’s my gamer data if you want to tag me:

Elune Server – Zeroxr – Human Mage (Primary)
Shadow Council Server – Luceferi – Human Paladin
Ravencrest – Elandranae – Night Elf Druid

Oh My… I think I am going to hate Sol for the monster he’s created…

After struggling to hasten installation of World of Warcraft’s installation by copying the patch files over from Sol’s computer… I would finally see an inkling of things picking up. I had to download the final big patch that brought me from v2.0.1 to 2.4.0 which was a hefty 1GB download that started when I got home from Sol’s at about 6:30 and the patch completed by about 12:10am. From there were the quick patch-ups from Blizzard that were 5MB and 15MB each respectively.

I had played for about 1 hour before I had tired out from exhaustion and required sleep. I got to a major city and Sol was trying to add me to his guild [Rejects] but due to the trial account, that wasn’t possible. Trade has been disabled as well due to the pervasive nature of people who would gold farm the game in exchange for real world cash… Which Sol understood naturally as he was hoping to try equipping me a little better for the hell that he could. Even for running the game on my sad machine, it ran rather tolerably… I can’t say the same for Guild Wars for the many times I have attempted to run that on my laptop Suzaku in failure. Though it was interesting to see that in 1 hour’s time, I managed to get my character ZeroXR, a human Alliance mage to level 3 and 75% close to hitting level 4. The battles make sense and I can already somewhat understand how the game can be a rather fun time sink. The interface, I will comment makes me feel ADD with so many meters and bars to gawk at while watching my skills, HP, MP and etc regenerate and/or cool down.

I am probably going to want a new machine for sure before I partake in playing recreationally as when the spammers go ballistic in a major city, it gets rather chaotic and things begin to lag from my poor integrated graphics card begins to beg for mercy. However… on reading Blizzard’s article on why the chat seems so sparse, it seems that I don’t even get the full chat functionality anyhow. Though it is good to know that even with my trial account, all the items I earn will still be available for me should I choose to buy into the mess.

Realizations on Modern Day PC MMO Gaming.

Boredom is a powerful and deadly drug in this modern day world… It can cause us to view some rather awful things that our human eyes were never ever meant to see. Great example was the viral “2 girls 1 cup” video that many laid eyes to and lead to some great “reaction” videos on YouTube. However… It has lead me to a rather interesting cross-road. I have lost quite a number of friends from the ex wreaking her drama around town which is a terrible shame really. In turn, this has caused me to play with an odd thought my cousin Sol tuned me to…

Zero, I dare to say that that your laptop could run World of Warcraft… I know you are getting cabin fever when people call out and cancel to your hang-outs. I have had friends who couldn’t even run Guild Wars with low settings on their machines, but somehow World of Warcraft runs like a champ. Plus you may have some fun on top of everything. Just hit up Blizzard’s World of Warcraft site and get your free trial key.

I would give it a shot and see what could come out of it… but sadly… there was one thing limiting me from playing. The updates. World of Warcraft’s base install from a v1.0.0 DVD took 20 minutes and about 2GB of hard disk space. Then add that there are several patches that lead to v2.4.0 that are about 450+MB a piece and NOT a direct “update to 2.4.0 patch” upgrade… Over a base DSL connection, that’s a rather agonizing download… I am on v2.0.1 updating to 2.4.0 currently at 24%, the patch being about 1GB in size, and my speeds from P2P downloads reading at 26 kb/s to 76 kb/s. The estimated time of completion being close to 5-6 hours. I could deal with slow updating, but that’s a rather hefty lot to be downloading almost 3-4GB of compressed game data just to enter the game. At the same time… Guild Wars has it’s own share of things… If you install the client, it does have to sync up with the server to download client software updates which can be agonizing as well. I assume that having to download all of the data before playing is much better than entering a zone and being prohibited from playing until the zone data completes, which is a slight issue I have with Guild Wars.


I would try to go somewhere like a zone after entering a town and my in-game friends would message me to death but due to the zone loading, I couldn’t see squat. I digress…

I haven’t played World of Warcraft in a long while, save for the one time Cousin Sol let me have a taste early on just to see… I didn’t care for it much then, as I had liked how polished out Guild Wars was with regard to errata. It should be interesting to see how things are now in the game after so many “nerfs” that have balanced/unbalanced (depending on your take) the game play.

It’s a shame my family doesn’t want to step into Verizon FiOS but I don’t have much choice. I will say that if World of Warcraft does run on my laptop, albeit crudely… 1) I will probably be seeking a dedicated Windows laptop for gaming and proprietary program use. Even if it does mean I have to donate Suzaku to my family and means I may not be using Linux too much… I don’t mind charity for them. 2) I will probably ask family to consider FiOS for bandwidth reasons.

I will say that I don’t plan to have World of Warcraft take over my life, I have decent self control from working out and knowing I only have a few years left in my pharmacy studies anyhow.

MMO’s are one hell of a drug…

Where do I begin…

I remember living the alone life and watching my life depressively fall apart. I was the low man on the totem pole at the office. My course-work was a shining example of a guy who had too many things to worry about and school could hit the back-burner. I will admit that I had a bad problem with alcohol addiction and only because I lacked supportive and close friends to break me from the slump. I only found one outlet for my loneliness and that was through online gaming. Sure, I was drunk most of the time I played, but for the few hours of my evening… I could be a character who was kind and sympathetic to other travellers of a fantasy world with mythical beasts and denizens. However… with how much computer gaming has changed with the years, my gaming computer can’t even barely play Guild Wars anymore. My laptop had a shot with the game, but the graphics chips just couldn’t handle splitting processor power to display the game and processing the game data at the same time. I have had to take a forceful retirement of gaming all because of dated hardware.

With my status change to an “eligible bachelor in training” (quoted from my boss) and with my reputation in Dallas being a tad tarnished… It’s been a little hard to try to do damage control to re-establish myself as a reputable person. With friends in summer school and some of my distant friends unable to take vacations to Dallas, I have been at a rather odd loss to going to the bars and wine parlors to only drink alone or watch my attempts to strike conversation only go so far. Then there are days where misery makes me yearn to put my time into a game… but I have lost my gaming consoles save for my PSP and DS and I lack funding for the new generation systems as well as a TV. I lack a digital SLR camera to fuel my hobby of macro photography.

Sad to say… I almost want another gaming computer. I know that there’s college for me around the corner… Lots of laptops on the retail market at the entry prices of $600 have GeForce 8000M series or ATi Mobility Radeon cards with supple processing power and RAM to boot. Not that I have anything against my loyal Linux laptop Suzaku, but booting into Windows bogs down the poor 1.73gHz Centrino from doing its job and I am damn near close to scrapping that partition… In essence, I’d rather have a dedicated Windows machine for gaming, Windows Mobile phone back-ups/hacking/modification, and proprietary academic programs that do not play nice in Wine or Virtual Box. I almost want to fork out the cash for a modest machine to play an FPS game, Guild Wars or even, dare I say, World of WarCraft. I have hated the cabin fever of staying in with nothing to do and even more so that my machine is so limited and my old gaming tower is damn near useless.

I guess ultimately what I am saying is… LOL! When friends turn me down to go out on the town to enjoy the night life over a pleasant drink and maybe dinner… I’d like to have an alternate plan to bask in the greatness of MMO’s and maybe feed my gamer side when no one online feels the need to talk to me. (I can assure you that I would not be neglecting ZeroXR 13mg in any form of fashion.)

I think I know what my next purchases will be, should I be able to hobble up my expenses… a new Windows laptop for strict use that minimize it from being a full time machine and a Canon Digital Rebel XSi with a 4 or 8GB high speed SD card as items celebrating my liberation from debts. I have just a little more to go before I am free from the biggest financial bondage… To be free of personal debts is something that I am so very close to concluding. I cannot thank my family enough for giving my that one chance to prove my filial worth as as son and to start over as an upstanding man in society.