Interface Exposé Episode 1: Shadowed Unit Frames

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - No Comments »

On this edition of Interface Exposé, we take a look at Shadowed Unit Frames.

Get Shadowed Unit Frames (WoWInterface/Curse)

Shadowed Unit Frames is an amazing unit frame addon. It is highly configurable and lightweight. You can make it appear however you like and give you only the information you are interested in. I highly recommend it.

Screenshot Of The Day: 4/30/10

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Update: Much to my surprise, this screenshot is not of Gilneas. According to Bornakk this is actually a portion of the new Blasted Lands. While I know the changes to certain zones are extensive, this particular zone likes virtually unrecognizable! Of course, some people are speculating this is from the Tainted Scar area of the zone, so the whole of the Blasted Lands may not end up looking like this. Wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing was being reclaimed by the nearby swamplands, though…

Today’s screenshot comes to us from what I can only assume is the macabre homeland of the Worgen. If Blizzard and Tim Burton had a baby, it’d probably end up looking a lot like Gilneas (and considering the clothing partnerships of both, expect to see expensive t-shirts sold at Hot Topic). Despite my joking cynicism, I think this is a pretty classy image. It takes the best of the game’s graphical updates and just mashes ’em right together. The shadowing adds a lot of atmosphere, and every time I see those new water effects, I continue to be amazed.

Blizzard’s always had the ability to create something visually and artistically attractive, even when working with aging engines like the one World of Warcraft runs on. As usual, you can see a larger version of the screenshot simply by clicking on the thumbnail below, or view all of the updates right from the official gallery.

Boy Scouts of America Honor Video Games With Badges

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - 6 Comments »

I’ll admit that upon receiving the announcement from a pooh-poohing friend, I thought it odd.  But I implore you to not join the derision.  Stop scoffing at the headline.  While you’re at it, unroll those eyes and retract that snicker.  Before you get all high and mighty about the Boy Scouts trying to become hip, or attempting to remain relevant in today’s connected age, let’s look at the badge itself.

Earning the belt loop (tier 1 gear) is fairly straightforward.  The institution wants its pupils to be responsible.  Belt jockeys need to do the following: Only play games geared toward their age group (as determined by the ESRB), schedule game time after chores and homework have been completed, and then tackle an approved video game.

Tier 10 loot isn’t something that can be done on a rainy afternoon.  No welfare epics for the Boy Scouts of America, you’ve gotta grind the Academic Pin out.  To score the scholarly achievement  – the real mark of a boyscout – the tiger cub, (bear) cub, or webelo must take planning to the next level.  Five separate tasks have to be performed, such as shopping around for the best deal on a title, hooking up a game system, coordinating a family video game tournament, sharing and teaching a game to someone, or playing a game that can promote real-life skills (math = WoW spreadsheets, reading = BioWare’s space opera, etc).  It’s nothing to sneeze at.

Read more…

World of Warcraft PvP Changes

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - No Comments »

The next expansion of World of Warcraft will have a lot of changes to the current game and player versus player (PvP) is no exception.

One of the biggest change to World of Warcraft’s PvP system is the introduction of the PvP point system. Currently to get high end PvP items you need honor points, arena points and a high personal arena rating. The new system in Cataclysm will introduce Conquest points which is explained here:


* Honor Points — Low-tier, easier-to-get PVP points. There will be a maximum cap to how many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can earn them. Earned from most PvP activities.
* Conquest Points — High-tier, harder-to-get PvP points. There will be a maximum cap to how many you can own, and a cap to how many you can earn per week. Earned from winning Rated Battlegrounds or Arenas. (currently called Arena Points)

In other words the current Arena points will now be known as Conquest points and there will now be two ways to receive these points: Arena and Rated Battlegrounds.

Another big change to the PvP system will be the remove of almost all personal rating requirements on PvP items. The reasoning behind this is because Blizzard believed that rating requirements was a rich-get-richer syndrome.

More info on these changes can be found here.

Wintergrasp Queueing to be Updated

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - 1 Comment »

One of the biggest problems with playing on a server with a population imbalance is Wintergrasp. However, this may be a thing of the past in a future minor content patch.

The new model will be a “one in, one out” model. Put simply, the queueing system will only allow you to enter the battle if your faction has equal to or less players than the other side. This means, for example, that if 20 Horde players and 50 Alliance players queue, then 20 players from each side will be entered into the battleground. Additional Alliance players will only be added in when more Horde players enter the battle. There will be some “minimum cap” where players are let in regardless if there aren’t enough people in the zone.

This new queueing system was developed for the Cataclysm PvP zone, Tol Barad, but it seems that Wintergrasp will be a testing site for it. The old mechanic of a stacking Tenacity buff will most likely stay in place for Wintergrasp, but not necessarily Tol Barad. This will be useful when a lot of players leave, disconnect, or when players do not enter when the queue pops for them.

I am really excited for this change. Some of my friends has considered transferring off of Proudmoore because the population imbalance makes WG barely winnable. While I think thats a silly reason, I would really like to be able to do Vault of Archavon more often, have the extra 5% experience gain for leveling in Northrend, and and be able to collect stone keeper’s shards. I welcome this change with open arms!

Hit the cut for the full details and further analysis.

Read more…

APB (All Points Bulletin) Release Date Announced – June 29th

Posted by on April 30, 2010 - No Comments »

Realtime Worlds and Electronic Arts have announced the release date for APB (All Points Bulletin) for the PC on June 29th in North America, July 1st in mainland Europe and July 2nd in the UK.

Pre-ordering the game gives exclusive access to the following:

  • ‘APB VIP’ game time.
  • ‘Key to the City’ demo.
  • Exclusive in-game Asylum upgraded Criminal Car and Enforcer upgraded Patrol Car.
  • C.S.A Enforcer and Asylum Criminal clothing.
  • ‘Chicken’ and ‘Strike-a-pose’ exclusive Emotes.

The game includes 50 hours of game time out of the box. Once the 50 hours are up, players are given the option to pay £5.59 for an additional 20 hours, or the choice of purchasing a 30-day unlimited package for £7.99 with discounts available for 90 and 180 days. It was also announced that players can earn game time by actually playing the game.

David Jones, Creative Director of Realtime Worlds commented;

“We’re delighted to finally be announcing the release date for APB, and we’re looking forward to welcoming players on to the mean streets of San Paro. Gamers will soon get to experience a world of unparalleled customization, conflict and celebrity – whether they choose to be a Criminal or an Enforcer.”

If you are interested in making a preorder, head on over to either the official site or the EA Store. The game will be sold both via retail and digital distribution. The standard retail price will be £34.99.

For more information on All Points Bulletin, head on over to the official website.

Screenshot Of The Day Returns (Cataclysm Edition)

Posted by on April 29, 2010 - 1 Comment »

Blizzard is bringing back a long-lost feature: the good old Screenshot of the Day. Once used as a method to highlight caps sent in by the community, it has now been re-purposed to give us a glimpse into the post-Cataclysm world. Every day from here on out, we’ll be getting a single picture from the expansion. Being the good little tabloid bloggers journalists we are, it’ll be tough not to analyze them to death. But I’m sure you’re all craving information as much as we are, and hopefully the return of this feature will help ease the wait just a little bit each day.

To view today’s image, you can either visit the official gallery (which mostly features an archive of old Wrath content at this point) or simply click the thumbnail below:

It’s a bit obtuse, isn’t it? A picture of a wall and some deep sea flora? There’s a high chance that this screenshot was taken somewhere in the zone of Vashj’ir or a dungeon in the Abyssal Maw. Sure, it’s not the most interesting screenshot, but undoubtedly your eye is drawn to one key aspect of image: the surly, little Sea Goblin bearing his jaw full of serrated, shark-like teeth ready to sink into any hapless adventurer that might wander by. I think it’s actually a really cool design, especially how many of the core design elements of the average goblin lend themselves to the underwater life (long ears = fins).

What say you, Lore Hounds?

Instance Gratification: DDO Episode 3 – Korthos Complete

Posted by on April 29, 2010 - 2 Comments »

Lore Hound’s band of merry men (and the androgynous Warforged) completed Korthos Island this weekend.  After nearly a dozen hours, around a half dozen adventures, three levels and numerous trips to class trainers, the Instance Gratification team completed Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited’s lengthy starting zone.  This week’s video closes with a first look at what lies ahead, Stormreach and a ridiculous amount of more adventures.

Episode 4 will once again happen on Sunday, and is currently scheduled for an 11:00 AM EST start time on the Khyber server.  Please be sure to complete the tutorial questline of Korthos Island, otherwise you will not be eligible for a group invite.  We’ll be clearing the first few dungeons in the harbor district for Episode 4.  Supplies of DDO Point cards are limited, but still available to those that attend!

Don’t forget, Turbine is currently having a huge sale on Adventure packs in the DDO Store.  Amatera and I both picked up a pair of adventure packs that contain over 10 adventures in total.  All for less than the 500 point cards Lore Hound is giving away!

Prospective attendees should drop a line below so we can gauge the expected attendance.  Include your class if you’ve already decided upon one.  I currently have a warforged cleric (iTZKooPA) and a halfling bard (iTZKHuPA).