Saturday, April 30, 2011

Call to Arms "Huge Success"

So its been 4 days since patch 4.1 went live, the first new content for Cataclysm in almost 6 months. One of the new features is a "Call to Arms" which gives a bags of goodies for roles that are most needed in the random dungeon Que. Which most of the time means tanks sometimes healers. The idea is two fold warcraft players will do almost anything for non-combat pets and mounts, and more tanks and healers in the Que makes the time DPS has to wait to get into dungeon shorter.

I think the basic idea works inside what has become World of Warcraft. However I remember how much we all loved the random dungeon finder when it first came out. No more hunting for groups, no running to the instance. Just Que and do whatever til its time to do a dungeon.

Now go forward a year and a half and the number of low population servers is growing, as people waiting for the patch. Servers communities through six years of attrition, and the random dungeons finder have become little more than lose collections player with all the good names taken by dead toons.

The problem with the dungeon finder is that is has taken much of the massively out of Massively multilayer online game. This also follows what blizzard has done with the Death Knight, Goblin, and Worgen starting zone. In addition to must of the redone 1-60 content. Que times might be down but that was going to happen no matter what with a new patch. All the people saying everything is better now aren't really be honestly. The test will come in July when we still haven't seen the 4.2 the Firelands patch. Then in December when we are waiting on 4.3.

The problem isn't a "Call to Arms" that is a logical solution within the system. The question becomes is World of Warcraft an MMO, or single player RPG with co-op raiding and pvp. Because that feels like what the game is becoming the latter to me.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dark Trolls

All the talk of Trolls has been thinking about Dark Trolls and how come we haven't seen more of them.

"Led by a mysterious prophet known only as Zul, the Zandalari have issued a call to Azeroth's embattled troll populations: unite into a single mighty empire and save their race from extinction."The quote here is taken from the 4.1 preview. But when look look at the trailer that can be seen in my last post. We mainly see Jungle Troll and Forest Trolls, and one Ice Troll. That make sense when you think about Zul'Gurub(Jungle Troll Area), and Zul'Aman(Forest Troll Area). But this "call to Azeroth's embattled troll population" Doesn't that mean all trolls?

You would expect more Ice Trolls and Sandfury Trolls, any maybe some Dark Trolls at this meeting. Not realistically The Trailer was most likely made on a time scale that didn't give Blizzard time to work in all of these elements, as well as create new art for the Dark Trolls, but it would have been cool if they had. However we do need to take the Lore that we have at face value and assume that the Dark Trolls are still in hiding.

What is interesting about Dark Trolls is that of Troll faction they are the only one we know of that lives in Northern Kalimdor. We know this because during Warcraft 3 the Night Elves can ask for help during Battle of Mount Hyjal from a local clan of Dark Trolls. Dark Trolls were also seen in Ashenvale when the Horde first landed, and outside the Barrow Dens when druids were awakened. While small camps these settlements do show a wide ranging population in Northern Kalimdor.

IF we look the RPG books we find the in the Manual of Monsters Dark Trolls being listed as nearly ten feet tall, with rich charcoal-colored skin and pale yellow eyes. I posted at the start of this article some Dark Troll concept art that was done for the Cataclysm expansion.

The Manual of Monsters goes on "Dark trolls are the largest and rarest know species of trollkind. Though they can be found nearly anywhere, they prefer darkness to daylight. Their tribes dwell mostly underground, emerging in the night to hunt." So we see here a good reason we have seen no Dark Trolls in World of Warcraft so far is because they are mostly an underground group. Which other than the Nerubians is not something we have seen.

There is only one known tribe of Dark trolls. The ShadowTooth Clan This is the group that helped the Night Elves during the battle of Mount Hyjil. While we don't know what became of them afterwards we have yet to see the Shadow Tooth in the Mount Hyjil area. It should however be noted that they have been mentioned at least once in World of Warcraft via the Shadowtooth Trollskin Cuirass dropped in the original ZA. Or the Shadowtooth Trollskin Breastplate out of the New ZA. Items are often a for runner to groups or people coming into the game. How many items bore Krasas name before he was put into WoW for Wrath of the Lich King.

Here is hoping that concept art get used and we see Dark Trolls at some point in this or the next explanation.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Video Game Music April 28, 2011

For the last six weeks or so, I have been posting some of my favorite video game music tracks to my twitter. As I was getting ready to do that this week, I remembered this blog and I figured this lets me go into a bit more detail about why I like one song or another.

What we have today is music from the Afterlife Club on Omega. In the game Mass Effect two. This is not my normal style of music, heck, it's not even my normal style of video game music. But it's a great example of what fen from Ventchat says is there are no bad types of music just bad examples of that kind of music.

That and I really love the Mass Effect Games. Heck, I should get the podcast off the ground I have been thinking about reviewing the books. But Warcraft stuff first.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bad storytelling in Warcraft

Been thinking about his for a while and will most likely do a podcast on the subject at some point, with Rise of the Zandalari going Live, I can't help but feel his story just doesn't go anywhere.

They me walk you through my thoughts and walk through this story.
First we have this meeting of the trolls

This sets up the conflict. Which is good, and we get a good sense of who the main players are going to be. This is classic first act story telling.

The Second act is Vol'jin calling in allies to help. First in Ghostlands. This can been seen in his conversation with Vereesa Windrunner and Halduron Brightwing

And the quest line in Stranglethron Vale.

While neither of these is overly deep, the Ghostlands Conversation has a bit more lore dept as it shows a mending between the High Elves and Blood Elves. But largely this is setup for the big event the raid on dungeons.

So we are entering the Third act the climax of the story. and we get lines like "th You'll all suffer for this! Zul'Gurub is NOTHING without Zan... Zan..." from Zanzil or
"Spirit of Hakkar yells: Be freed, insects. I will deal with you another time.
Hakkar returns the heroes back to the mortal realm.
Spirit of Hakkar yells: You overstepped your bounds, Jin'do. You toy with powers that are beyond you. Have you forgotten who I am? Have you forgotten what I can do?
Jin'do the Godbreaker yells: No... NOOOO!
Hakkar destroys Jin'do, leaving behind a battered corpse." After killing Jindo.

We can see much the same in Zul'Aman.
"Mebbe me fall... but da Amani empire... never going to die." ~Daakara

While these instances are get for set up we have no falling action. We get no real information who the "Mysterious Prophet" Zul is, most of boss dialog feels little more than taunting.

That is the problem with dungeons telling a story. They can't. Bosses don't spend 15 minutes tell you why they don't like and what there plans are. And they can't really most people only care about this information once. After which that 15 minute lore speech which was so cool the first few times now become barrier to you getting dungeon done in 30 minutes. The issue with the story telling in a game like World of Warcraft isn't the set up. As I stated above I like the set up here. The problem in the climax and the falling action. Because of the need for the climax not to take 40 minute and it not to be all all blah blah, wall of text, tldr things need to be short for fight a person might seen 30-100 times during an expansion. The second problem is issue of consequence, and falling action.

Vol'jin just turned his back on the other trolls, whats more he helped the Horde and Alliance keep the trolls from organizing. What is the fall out of that for him? What will the Zandalari do next? Some of this will no doubt be seen in later content but for not it make the story unbalanced and without weight.

That was the great thing about the Warcraft Cataclysm we got to seen what Zul'Grurub was like after you cleared it out and help bring back people like Bloodlord Mandokir. But not we are back to where we started with instances that don't change in time for years if ever, and story threads left hanging.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Those that stand with Vol'jin

Whats this you say two updates in the Month and still no Podcast. Get to work...

Yeah sorry I'm working on not making the podcast the suck. Anyways. While you are waiting on that check this picture. Who are those four trolls who are standing with Vol'jin?
Its taken from 2minutes and 02 second into Cataclysm - Patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari

Who are the Two Male trolls on either side here? Been driving me crazy.

The Troll Female in middle is Zen'tabra she is best know for being the being the Druid trainer and the first troll druid you run into during Zalazane's Fall

The White haired Troll in the back is most likely Elder Torntusk leader of the Revantusk Tribe. The Revantusk are the only Forest Trolls still working with the Horde. If you been playing for a while you might have saved Elder Torntusk from Jintha'Alor a few times and if you did while they were still elites more power too you.

Both of these people make sense be been at this meeting of Trolls, but that still leaves us with the other two. I'll update this if I find answer but til then.


I got three ideas but I'm really not sure
First is Kontokanis he's an NPC from Dragonblight but is of no know importance. He's my guess for the fair left male.

Second is Krah'ranik for our mystery Troll in back. Krah'ranik is the member of the Shatterspear tribe is a group of trolls active in Darkshore. Before the Cataclysm this was dancing trolls.

The third troll guess is for the one on the far right is Tatai. Tatai is part of Horde Emissaries to Silvermoon. The main issue with this guy is first armor looks the wrong color but that is not a deal breaker. The second if you ever follow the Horde Emissaries around you find out real quick that Tatai is the stupid one. I find it hard to believe he would be on an important dipmatic mission but you never know. He might have well connect uncle or something.

Update 2:Added a second picture of the group moving away and I think we have a clear idea of the troll on the far right thanks to our friends over at Scrolls of Lore. Its Legati A rogue trainer. What the heck he is doing here I have no idea. But is a fun mystery.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No English no Problem

So as some of my readers might know I have been keeping tabs on the Wowpeaida Podcasting page for a while now. Taken over from others than came before me. I had a crazy idea came to me as I was updating the page. What we need to add to this page is non-English section.

I did a bit of research on Wowpeaida for non-English sites turned up no other podcasting pages. Talking to people on twitter so have much better understanding of language than me turned up nothing as well. So I started slowly going through Itunes and looking under different language sections searching for keywords that only show up in Warcraft and came up with this list.

* Azeroth.FR
* Les Chroniques du Père Bugli
* Le Podcast des Kaluaks
* WoWTaku
* WoW-News

* 1 Hit
* Buffedcast
* Ninjacast
* Russian World of Warcraft Radio
* Las Aventuras de Perle
* Pastando en Mulgore
* Fredagsraiden

I wish I could say I found everything that is currently being updated but with huge holes in China and Korea I know this can't be the case. If anyone knows any other non-English Podcasts that they would like added to this list let me know.