3 January 2013
| | iTZKooPA
SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ upcoming MOBA.
Lore: Xbalanque, pronounced Shib-a-lan-que, is one half of the Maya Hero Twins. The tale of Xbalanque and Hunahpu is the most retold, well known and common motif in all native American mythos since the pair are protagonists to the Maya creation myth.
The brothers were created from the seed of their murdered father after he and his brother were summoned to Xibalba, the Mayan underworld, by the Lords of the Underworld. Their pregnant mother fled the scene, raising her sons to avenge their father and uncle. Taking after their elders, the pair became famed ballplayers, eventually challenging the Lords of the Underworld under guise and avenging the death of their relatives. The realm of Xibalba was never the same. Continue Reading
7 November 2011
| | Randy Denosha
Rusty Hearts, currently in Open Beta, is being crafted by Stairway Games in conjunction with Perfect World Entertainment. PWE should sound familiar. The growing Chinese company is responsible for publishing multiple titles on this side of the pond, including Perfect World and Forsaken World. Rusty Hearts is a massive multi-player, fast paced brawling game.
Confused? Check out iTZKooPA’s introductory video from a few weeks back.
Who’s got large breasts, carries two loaded revolvers and had one hell of a Halloween costume? Natasha, the newest addition to the growing list of playable characters for Rusty Hearts, and the first that is focused on ranged fighting. Naturally, I had to give her a spin and see if she is as good as I really hoped her to be.
Stick with me and together we go down the road and discover how she works.
The first thing I noticed when I played her was that she is definitely a divergence from the other character’s gameplay. It took some getting used to, but then I noticed the gun play felt familiar. She shoots like a certain demon hunter, but then the female version of him. What makes it more outstanding from the rest of the characters is that she has to reload every time she has emptied her clips, and her abilities include stationary turrets. Making her versatile in a support role, as well as direct damage. Continue Reading
4 May 2011
| | Kershocker
Lately, Blizzard has been releasing a ton of information in regards to Patch 4.2, “Rage of the Firelands.” So far, everything looks amazing. The new quest hub sounds like a good concept and all the phasing that is being implemented with it is going to make it 100% cooler. Oh yeah, Firelands (The raid) also looks a.w.e.s.o.m.e. I can’t wait!
Over the weekend, the World of Warcraft community website released one of the things I was most anticipating about Patch 4.2 — Tier 12 Armor Set previews. Only 6 classes have been covered so far, but that’s fine because 4 out of those 6 are classes I have at level 85!
Here, I’ll cover each of the new Tier 12 Armor Sets, and I’ll also let you know what I think about them. Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment to let me know. Now on to the loot:
1. PALADIN [9 out of 10]
I love it. In my opinion, it looks pretty similar to the Paladin’s Tier 2, which is considered by most people as the best looking armor in-game. I’ve heard a few people complaining on how this set doesn’t look like plate, but it looks more like cloth instead. That is true, however, you can’t deny the fact that it’s a very nice model.
What do I think about wearing a skirt again? First of all, it’s not a skirt, it’s a kilt. Erm, anyway, I really think kilts look much better than actual pants when it comes to Plate DPS, but that’s just my opinion.
22 April 2011
| | Amatera
Whether you need a refresher or just haven’t been keeping up with it, Blizzard has put up a full post detailing every nook and cranny of the upcoming content patch. Despite my current disappointment with the state of World of Warcraft, I can’t deny the fact that packing 4.1 with new features at least partially redeems the lack of a new raid dungeon (it certainly shows they’ve been working on something). Here’s a quick summary of what to expect, with the full notes on Blizzard’s site:
Rise of the Zandalari
The days when great troll empires stretched across ancient Kalimdor are long past. Millennia of war and internal strife have stripped these nations of their power, lands, and glory. As Azeroth recovers from the destruction of the Cataclysm, the world’s divided troll populations face a bleak future. These dark times have spurred the trolls of the Zandalar, the historically wise and scholarly tribe from which all trolls originated, to take drastic action. They have embarked on a bold crusade to save their race by uniting trolls into a single mighty empire. With the Zandalari’s aid, the fallen capitals of the Gurubashi and Amani nations—Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman—are already rebuilding, replenishing their forces for a bloody campaign to expand their territories.
Yet Vol’jin and his Darkspear trolls are not aligned with the Zandalari. They have sworn to stand with their Horde comrades—and even work with the Alliance—should the trolls ignite a new war on Azeroth. Soon, Vol’jin might be forced to act on his promise, for if the Gurubashi and Amani are left to their own devices, the world will know the legendary strength and savagery of the ancient troll empires once again.
Built into the Info panel of the guild user interface, Guild Challenges are weekly tasks guild groups can tackle for additional guild experience, achievements, and gold. At the top of the guild user interface Info pane, a new Guild Challenges section is displayed and broken into three categories: Dungeons, Raids, and Rated Battlegrounds. Any guild group will qualify for Guild Challenges credit and there is a set number of times each challenge can be completed per week.
Guild Finder is a new system designed to enable easier and faster guild recruitment. Guild leaders and players who are looking for a guild to call home will use the Guild Finder to meet one another and begin communications that can lead to a prosperous membership. Whether you’re a guild leader looking to fill your ranks or a player looking for a guild that meets your strictest requirements, the Guild Finder provides an easy way to make new friends!
Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms
A new system intended to lower queue times, Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms offers additional rewards for queuing as the currently least represented role. To be eligible for the additional rewards you must solo queue for a random level-85 Heroic in the role that is currently being Called to Arms, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss. Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you’ll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/potion, a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount
Clearly the most important thing, though, is that this is a good indication Blizzard is ready to release the patch itself. There is a high chance we will see “Rise of the Zandalari” this coming Tuesday.
14 February 2011
| | Kershocker
Kersh - Survival Hunter
DING! Your hunter just reached level 85 and, now that the level bar is gone, you have no clue what to do next. So where should you go to get the pieces of gear missing to reach an average iLvl of 329 — and be able to queue for Heroics? Let me help you! Here I’ll list the best pieces of Pre-Heroic hunter gear you can obtain so to get you prepared to step into heroics.
This list will include items you can obtain by quests, crafting, reputation rewards, regular dungeons and Justice Points. The reason why I’m including Justice Points and iLvl 359 Reputation gear is because you can technically get those without spending time in heroic dungeons.
To be honest, I’ve always been a Survival Hunter. While I’ve leveled as BM, SV is the only spec I use for End-Game Content, but, from what I’ve read, stat priority is pretty much the same between the 3 specs. Oh, and just like in WotLK, Agility is still the best stat.
Agility >Haste [Soft Cap] > Hit [Until Capped] > Critical Strike > Haste > Mastery
If you feel like investigating a bit more about Stat Priority for your spec, take a look at:
Beast Mastery – Elitist Jerks
Marksmanship – Elitist Jerks
Survival – Elitist Jerks
- Willow Mask – 2200 Justice Points
- Windhome Helm / Snarling Helm – Revered with Wildhammer Clan / Dragonmaw Clan
- Wildhammer Riding Helm - Grim Batol: General Umbriss
- Wrap of the Valley Glades – 1650 Justice Points
- Bloodpetal Mantel – Halls of Origination: Ammunae
- Mantle of Moss – Honored with The Earthen Ring Continue Reading
12 October 2010
| | Amatera
As sweet as this water looks, it's the least of the changes being made in 4.0.1.
[Update: Servers still aren't up, so why not freshen up on those stat changes?]
Whether through the internet or the game client itself, you’re probably aware by now that the massive Patch 4.0.1 for World of Warcraft is set to hit live servers today. While it needs to be reiterated that this is not the patch that forever changes the world, it will change yours. And by that, I mean everything you know about how the game, and your class, should work.
There’s simply so much to consider that it would be a waste of space to reproduce the entirety of the changes here (though we may post official patch notes when they’re up). Instead, we’re going to run down the litany of new features and, if applicable, let you know where you can find out more about them. Look ‘em over while you wait for the servers to come back up:
- Major Classes Changes: In an official Blue post, Bashiok clues us in to the most critical, paradigm-shifting class changes such as Eclipse for Balance Druids, Soul Shards for Warlocks, and switches to alternate power sources for Hunter and Paladin.
- Minor Class Changes: As the bulk of the update, individual changes to spells and whatnot are hard to track down. Chances are, if you play World of Warcraft, it’s safe to say Blizzard changed something critical about your class! The link provided will take you to Elitist Jerks. If you can parse the theorycrafting jargon, check your class forum, as they’re already diving deep into the tweaks.
- Talent Changes: This one’s huge, too! Remember that Blizzard has actually shrunk the talent tree, changed the way in which you spec into multiple trees, and added Mastery! Most of the “useless” talents have been removed, changed, or replaced. The EJ link above probably has a lot of information, but if you’d like to play around with the new system in a sandbox, this WoWTal link has you covered.
- Glyph Changes: As skills and talents shift, so must Glyphs. Prime glyphs have been added and you now only have to use a glyph once to “learn” it, after which it can be switched in and out when not in combat. Blue Lylirra gives us the lowdown.
- Currency Changes: Badges are out, points are in. Any Honor or high-tier badges will be immediately converted to the new system. Low-tier badges and other non-monetary currency will be converted to gold. The system applies to current raiding and battleground content, but will come into its own with Cataclysm.
- User Interface Changes: Improvements are coming to just about every aspect of the UI, which is great but means that you’ll probably have to reorient yourself over the next few days. Check out many of them in the linked video, put together by our very own Mordil. It’s worth taking a look at the one he produced for the Druid UI, as well.
- Flexible Raid Lockouts: Bashiok comes at us again with more learnin’. Flexible raid lockouts mean that even if you missed some days in your raiding week, you’re not completely out of the game. It’s being put into the game now, but will make even more sense when the Cataclysm comes.
- Stat Changes: Don’t fret if you log in and all your gear has changed. Some stats have been changed, converted, or removed in order to simplify the system a little bit. Remind yourself what’s been done to your precious gear by following this link.
- Reforging: NPCs in major cities can swap secondary stats with other secondary stats on your equipment. See if you can squeeze a few more points of awesome out of your gear.
- Power Auras: The popular third-party mod has been co-oped (read: copied) by Blizzard. The basic idea is that custom graphical effects will pop up around your character when it’s kosher to activate an ability or when it comes off cooldown. While some may still opt to use the original, the rest of us will get the functionality built in.
- Socketed Relics: Relics now have stats and sockets for gems. Rejoice, relic-using classes!
- New Water Engine: Those shiny, new water settings we’ve seen in previews for the expansion are coming in 4.0.1, but make sure your rig can handle it first.
- New Guild Member Cap: Mega-guilds, beware! If you’ve already listened to our most recent podcast, then you’ll know we look like fools talking about the 600-member cap. Bashiok followed up the initial announcement stating that feedback had caused them to “re-evaluate” the decision and bump it all the way up to a cool 1000. This is now a had cap and necessary to accomodate all the new new guild features.
Can’t wait to check out of this stuff, myself, but I still don’t expect to be playing hardcore until 4.0.3, myself. While all the new changes are cool, there still isn’t any new content (well, beyond the impending pre-Cataclysm events which should be a part of this patch, as well). Tell us what has you pumped (or disappointed), and if I’ve missed anything, please let me know.
5 July 2010
| | Mordil
Most of these refer to in-game mechanics, inside jokes, or pop culture surrounding World of Warcraft inside jokes. You can add to, agree with, disagree with, or remove any of these as you see fit. I sat with a group of friends and jokingly brainstormed these up. Hope you get a kick out of them as much as I did.
You can eat and drink at the same time.
This just blows everyone’s minds when they first log in and start playing the game. It’s just something that goes against nature. Seriously, when was the last time you tried to eat and drink at the same time without, you know, choking? I’ve had problems doing just one without choking!
You can create fire under water.
Despite being once again against the laws of nature and physics, it is possible for fire to exist underwater. Many times I’ve laughed while playing a Mage and realizing that when casting Fireball underwater, it flies toward the mob without sizzling out.
You can run through walls.
With all games you’ll find some graphical and clipping errors, the ones where your mount’s head is sticking through a wall or your gun is inside some other person’s body (without blasting a hole through them). Some even use this to their advantage in PvP, such as when they stand on the upper platform in the AH of Stormwind.
Click through for the remaining rules.
16 April 2010
| | Amatera
The latest Twitter developer chat is officially under way over and we’ll be bringing you we have all the answers to questions submitted by the community. Today’s Q&A wass primarily focused around the large amount of class information Blizzard dumped on us over the past couple of weeks, but there are a few other tidbits in there, as well.
It’s hard to pick out any particular highlights, since the breadth of answers really covers so many different topics, which I’ve conveniently set up in the following categories past the jump:
- Death Knight
- General Class
- General Race
- General Stats
- General Equipment
- User Interface
Some categories have several questions under them, others only one. People always ask weird things in these Twitter chats and, for some reason, the developers choose to answer them. You’ll find those under WTF?!
If I had to pick out anything that I thought was particularly interesting, it was all content-related. Such as the fact that you’ll be able to train up to a new 310% speed flying skill (though Blizzard says they don’t want to go any higher than this) and you should be able to use your aerial mounts in the “old world” right away. Likewise, Stonetalon will reportedly be virtually unrecognizable compared to its current incarnation and the Western Plaguelands will change to reflect the receeding Scourge forces (but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous).
They’re also going to continue streamlining the user interface, but they don’t want to go too crazy since they know people enjoy their third-party mods so much.