Author Archive: Isey

Maybe Worth The Price of Admission

Unconfirmed rumours from a reputable source about Blizzards Cataclysm expansion.

I would probably buy it and try it. I have complained about not using the world of Azeroth before – 80 levels shuttled into a handful of instances for the end game.

Those rumours, if true, are a brilliant move by Blizzard. That is what I would call an expansion.

Of course, bonus points if they let me into their content.

Online Reputation

A little bit of frustration is settling in with Blood Bowl my past handful of matches. No, not the gameplay (which can be punishing) No, not the randomness (which I love) – but Yes, the weak network programming.

BB keeps a “reliability rating” with your account. Basically it is a percentage based score of matches played vs matches completed. My first 17 games I had a rating of 100% and proud of it. Players who challenged me knew I would stick through to the end no matter how poorly, or how brutal, the game was going.

It is now down below 80% – none of which I have control over. Since the last patch I have been getting funky network sync errors and random disconnects. Strange, and very frustrating.

Final frustrations after the jump…

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Blood Bowl Part 2 : When Doves Cry

Online play is pretty spectacular in Blood Bowl. No, not the interface or lobby (needs a lot of work) or the random connection errors (before starting matches – I haven’t had it happen during a match) and the matchfinding needs work too. It updates slow. After a little nudge from Syncaine from Hardcore Casual (the only other blogger I read lately who is playing BB) in the online space, I learned a few lessons.

A few neat things happened when I started playing online. I’ll share them with you after the bump.

I started off my rookie online career in the public league, with a spectacular 0-1-7 record before realizing how wrong I was playing my chosen team (the agile, pass happy Wood Elves). I had a few players die, a few injured, and although I was getting destroyed I was having fun – but most importantly – learning how to play the game. Since the dreadful start, I have had a couple great things happen to me, some good roll of the dice, some strategy improvement, and hey, some wins! My record after tonights match is now 4-2-8. Still nothing to write home about but I am really finding a comfort level.

I ran with one Wardancer (one of the best Elf players in the game)- great movement allowance and great starting skills – Leap, Block, and Dodge. The way characters work in BB is based on 4 stats: MA (Movement allowance, how many squares you can move in a turn), ST (Strength, guaged for blocking (attacking) and defence against blocks), AG (Agility, used for dodge rolls) and AV (Armor Value: Used to see if you get injured or killed when blocked (attacked)). Wood Elves have high MA, Average STR, Good AG, but low AV. In a straight up fight-em-up match you don’t only lose, you get maimed. Besides the core stats that every player has, there are skill sets as well. For the Wardancer the base three (as mentioned) allow you to leap over players (Against a wall or cage, you have to go through your opponent typically), Block saves you from going prone on a “both down” roll, and Dodge allows you a reroll on a failed dodge as well as a pushback instead of a ‘defender stumbles’ roll. All of that basically means they can get around the field very well, and are hard to knock down. A player down is a useless player.

Doing things in matches gets you SPP (I don’t know the acronym – Stat Purchase Points? Star Player Points?) which can then be spent. The dice rolls, and if you are lucky you can increase one of your 4 main stats by one (which is huge). If you are unlucky you get to add other skills (which are still huge) – such as Pro (50% reroll chance on a failed roll), Sure Hands, Frenzy, etc. There is a long list and you can tailor your players to your style or team needs.

Back to my Wardancer, the first one I had was injured the first match and lost a point in her AV. That is bad news, meaning she is more likely to get reinjured or die. Regardless, because of how much that player costs I kept playing with her, and I became really lucky. I received a +1 in Agility (already very high), and a +1 in Movement Allowance (she can cover more ground on the field than any other player in the game that I have seen – besides the Wood Elf/Skaven Catcher who is base 9 MA). I also took Pro with her. I ended up saving up and bought another Wardancer, and on her first skillup she got +1MA as well. Now my team has 3 players who cover more ground than anyone else in the game. Needless to say (and Syn will confirm) that is pretty sweet for a 1400 rated team. (Teams are rated by the value of its players.)

I dare EA to put a lust contest on this asskicker. Double dare.

I dare EA to put a lust contest on this asskicker. Double dare.

The main reason why I am writing this tonight is I just had a crazy fun match. I played against a Chaos team (they have horns – and hurt). I kicked off first and it was shallow – on the kickoff event was a Blitz! That means I get to move before the receiving team does. I was able to position myself under the ball I just kicked, dodged a couple rolls and got a quick score. Bad news is, the Chaos guy managed to injure one of my players. Injury roll was “Badly Hurt – no long term damage” which is good – what is bad is that I couldn’t afford any subs. For the rest of the match – 2 turns into 16, I would be down a player (He has 11, I have 10).

Since I scored I kickoff again. It was a decent kick, and his front line injured 2 more players (both no long term damage – but out for game) before he even picked up the ball. He then positioned his players next to mine that were in range (forcing me to either block them, or a dodge roll success to move away from them) and then the rediculous happened. He failed a pickup roll. I ran in my 9 MA Wardancer – she failed a pickup roll. He failed his next pickup roll. I failed my next pickup roll. Finally, he picked the ball up and threw it accross the field to a lone runner, and it was caught – ran it in, Touchdown – but not before he injured ANOTHER one of my players (broken shin, -1MA, miss next match). And then it was my turn to receive a kick.

For those keeping track of players to this point, on the field it was 11 of his players against 7 of mine, at 5 of 16 turns. NOT a good sign, and with the score 1-1 with 3/4 of the match to go, I was starting to worry more about having a team left instead of winning the game. His players were pulverizing mine.

He kicks off to me, and leaves a hole on the left side while stacking the right side of the field (where my two Wardancers were – I had my Catcher (another MA:9) on the left hand side). A “hole” is when there is 3 movement spaces between two defenders. If you move within a “Tackle Zone” of a defender (the 8 squares surrounding him) he gets a free swing at you (Dodge roll to avoid). Because there was three spaces between two defenders I could sneak a player through without the chance of harm. I send my Catcher long, pickup the ball with a Wardancer, run my MA, hand it off to my Thrower, run until I have a clear passing lane (to avoid interception rolls), and Pass the ball to the Catcher. He catches it, but can’t make the endzone in 1 turn (no players can). With my remaining moves I stack a row of defenders around him, including my other Wardancer. If I can stave off his block/attack turn, I can make the endzone on my next turn.

He has a few players near where I am, and surrounds the ball carrier and the defender. The basic way group blocking works is this: if he has 3 players in the Tackle zone of my one player, he gets to roll three dice and choose the best result from the three (modified by Strength). Now, if I have defenders around my ball carrier, the surrounding players in adjacent tackle zones can cancel out the extra dice roll – giving him a much lower chance for success. If he has three blockers, and I have three attackers around the ball carrier and we have even Strength he only gets one dice to roll, and must take the result of that roll (be it good, bad, or ugly). There are skills that help you defend even if a player is in your tackle zone, but I will stick to basics here so it doesn’t get too confusing.

With his defenders around my ball carrier, he blitzes (you can only block ONE player per round from distance – the rest have to be in your tackle zone – so use that blitz wisely!) and knocks down the ball carrier – forcing a dropped ball. After bouncing around a bit, it ends up in the hands of my Wardancer. He has one player in her TZ (tackle zone) so gets another chance to knock her down – it fails, and pushes me back a square. No other player is in my TZ now besides the last attacker (who has the default option to “follow” a push to stay in the TZ – but since he has used up his action for the round cannot reattack). He gets the rest of his in range players to form a cage (Box) around my Wardancer – so next round he can pummel her good and force another fumble. Except, now it is my turn.

I use my Leap skill, hop out of the box, and bam, in for a touchdown. 2-1 for me. Yay. Except, I forgot to mention he Injured (no long term effect) another player. it’s now 11 Chaos, 6 WE on the match. He has double my players. My slim lead won’t hold. I manage to play out the half, 2-1 score and do not sustain any other injuries (yay). At halftime it’s just like football – if you received the kickoff at the start of the game, you kick off to begin the second half.

Without going into too much level of detail, with a lot of luck and some well skilled players I won the game 4-1. At the end of the game, I only had 2 players left on the field that weren’t Injured or KO’d (KO’s happen for temporary out of game injuries. After the ball changes hands they get to roll to see if they come back in or stay down for another drive). He had all 11. Goes to show what you can do against a frustrated player who wasn’t used to the Movement and Dodge ability of the Wood Elf team.

With a little lot of luck, some skill, I was able to beat all odds. Try doing that in your Raid team if 3 healers go down.

As a quick “prologue” here, I have had several matches go the complete opposite way – where I felt I did everything right but couldn’t buy good dice rolls for the life of me. I didn’t get frustrated though, because that is the magic in this game. ANYTHING can happen, and it does, and will, when you least expect it. While my gaming time is still very limited, I manage to squeeze in a quick 30 minute match or two a night when I need that break from work – it has been a great escape. I am curious how private league play works, and may start looking into it after I hit .500.

I’ll Take the Red Pill

One thing I loved about the Star Wars pen and paper game was the concept of the ‘red’ dice. SW was played with all d6 – and on your rolls you always had to had an off colored dice. That dice was the “special” dice. We called it the fate dice. It may have officially have been called the ‘Force’ dice. I’m not sure. Its been 15 years. The crux of it? You rolled real bad on that dice, even if you rolled all 6’s on the others, and crazy things would happen. Crazy bad. It also worked in the reverse, where a good roll – on that one dice – would make amazingly incredible things happen. Out of the ordinary. At least, that is how I remember it – and I was reminded of it while trying out Blood Bowl.

To hell with ordinary and predictable. While I can’t recommend this game to everyone, it has brought to my forefront that despite pretty graphics and neat mechanics, the predicatbility of gaming is killing me. So I kill my enemies on the Blood Bowl pitch. More chatter after the jump.

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Beta Fatigue

I am a very busy guy lately. Work is rediculously busy, family is busy trying to enjoy the summer, and a lot of games are getting closer to release. Since when was summer beta season? I am in 5 right now.

With little time to play any.

I manage to do a little in each each week but nothing I could dedicate in the past. This problem stems from two separate issues, real life being one and beta fatigue the other.

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A Survey request from EA/Bioware

I know a lot of people hate EA. I am in the small minority who have really enjoyed their products, and haven’t been dissappointed when purchasing their games. Of course I do a lot of research before buying games, and never buy a game by who it is from – but rather on the merits of the game itself.  I received an online survey request from them through Massive Effect, so figured I would oblige. Survey after the break!

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Building Blocks

grinders0018_06-19-09

Comic created by Masssively.com. Funny Stuff!

The Cities XL closed beta started last week (I cannot confirm or deny being a part of aforementioned beta) and it has brought a lot of attention back to one of the great PC staples of the ‘building genre’, and ties a little MMO into it. I loved Sim City (le original). I stopped playing at Sim City 4 (although I still boot that up now and again – great solo play game) and unfortunately the Sim series hasn’t really moved past that. Sim City Societies was a whole new ball of wax. I am surprised at the following of the game still from genre enthusiasts. Last time I checked, Simtropolis had over 350,000 registered users – who still mod, create skins, and are passionate for the Maxis Sim City series.

Interested to see how Cities XL turns out. Will be one of the first MMO’s of it’s kind, albeit in a typical complex gameplay format – will it be dumbed down to appeal to the masses or will it provide that “just right” challenge? Will City enthusiasts enjoy the core gameplay? Will it be the natural next step in builders – building online planets, instead of just single player cities – and why didn’t the Sim City folks – the creator of the genre – think of this step first?

Regardless, looking forward to this one (although it is only being launched in Germany and France first, September 3rd).

Lighter Topic

I am part of a WoW guild. I have spoken briefly about it in the past in a few topics, but nothing major (you know, the one I used to be GM of, yadda yadda). It’s going through a change right now, and the people that founded the guild are mostly gone. It was a great guild and will be interesting to see as a “casual” player what happens with it. They are working on their 4th GM right now. I have a Guild post lined up for the future. This is of lighter fare.

I still read the boards, and Clawdia/Orvie updated a thread that was/is kinda cool. It’s in private guild forums so I can’t link it.

Since the guild was formed at the beggining of Burning Crusade, we have had 12 kids born into guild members. Hell, that’s a solid 10 person raid group (with rotations, even). It’s a fun thought – a group of adult gamers grouped by an in game tag sharing parenting tips for newborns (after they read the Yogg-Saron strats, mind you)

Puts things into a fun perspective when gaming and real life collide.

Forswearing Greed – Developers take Notice

This post is inspired by the article of the same title in the June 6th to 12th edition of the Economist.

A group of Harvard Business MBA students have made attempts to turn management into a formal profession. Doctors have their oath, so do Lawyers. CEO’s have always had one too – except it isn’t nearly as flashy or encompassing as the other formal professions. “The only responsibility of business is to maximize profits” is hardly a mission statement to live by.

“..the students promised they would, among other things, ‘serve the greater good’, ‘act with the utmost integrity’, and guard against ‘decisions and behavior that advance my own narrow ambitions, but harm the enterprise and the societies it serves.”

About half the class took the pledge. The purpose, of course, is most likely to distance themselves from the  current gen of MBA CEO’s who have lived off the backs of consumers and are the root of the problem of the current economic crisis. Of course, detractors from the oath indicate there is no “bite” to it, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

“Defenders of the oath reply that the goal of maximising shareholder value has become a justification for short-termism and, in particular, rapid personal enrichment. They are concerend about managers doing things that drive up the share price quickly at the expense of a firm’s lasting health. Management gurus such as Jim ‘Good to Great’ Collins argue that shareholders are likely to earn better returns in the long run if firms are led by managers with integity and a desire to play a constructive role in society”

Loved that line in the read – because of it’s obvious truth. Jim Collins not only ‘argued’ the point above, but was able to demonstrate it over a long period of time through some great research that followed the top public companies that went “Good to Great” in comparison to those that did not. Of course, applying this to real life is still a ways away. I used to be heavily involved in Politics when I was younger – I dreamt of all the changes to yet another failed, redundant and inefficient system (goverment/party politics system) and worked my way into the Federal party and found out there were a lot of people like me. What becomes apparent though – quickly I might add – that in order to get into that position of “power” that would enable you to make those important changes you have to sell yourself off along the way. Once you get that power, you quickly learn that if you don’t listen to lobbyists and the guys funding the whole thing you will be out before you have the chance to make the change. What that boils down to is this – by the time you get into “power” to make positive change you are often a shadow of your former self. You will never be in a position of power for long enough to enact the changes that are needed – no matter how strong your vision is.

My point with that, while the MBA student’s pledge is definitely a step in the right direction, let’s see what happens when they have to go out, get a job, and have to make tough choices of doing the right thing for the company, or doing the right thing for their career. Will be a tough pickle.

So, all that being said – anyone care to draft up a MMO Developer’s Pledge Forswearing Greed?

Repetitive Monetization Theoretics

Newsflash: MMO’s make you grind.

(That new, informative and ground breaking statement should win me a blog-pulitzer, or blog-nobel, I am certain of it.)

Follow Up: People tend to not like grind.

MMOment of Truth: Grind equals profits for companies (both in the form of longer sub fee collection, and minimizing development costs)

Sad Truth: Inclusive of the above statements, MMO companies don’t treat their customers very well. [insert any analogy here that shows the longer a company forces a customer to wait for something, or to receive their item, or charges more to one customer for the same item than another customer, etc etc – the poorer the customer feels]

Solution 1: Develop a fun game that doesn’t have grind as it’s core, “innovating” feature (not going to happen anytime soon)

Solution 2: Enhance the experience with Real Money Transactions (community has a hard time accepting the current iterations of the model)

Solution 3: After the break! (oh, how I love cliffhangers)

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What is Hurting WoW’s Polish?

Warning – Fanboi’s may attack!

WoW has changed. Change is sometimes a good thing, and I’m not going to belabor the obvious changes (less challenge) or industry misconceptions (subs are needed to cover ongoing costs) instead, I am going to look at two things I have noticed the most since my foray back into WoW.

First, to stave of the flames – WoW is still a fun game. It presents well, plays well, and yes, we all know how many subs they have. They are obviously growing still, but there are two nagging things that jump out at me that aren’t typical Blizzard “style”, every time I log in and (try) to play. Confusing conundrums, after the cut.

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Un-Expectations

I took my 4 year old son and my wife (or did they take me?) to the movie UP! over the weekend. First off, I am loving the glorious 3D action that is making it’s way back into theaters. It is good to see the industry figuring out that if you don’t enhance the experience, it’s far easier/cheaper to just download the movie and/or wait for Blockbuster to release it. The 3D experience is one worth paying for, and seemingly only available in the theaters. [Note to self for future post: Why can’t you have 3D at home? And is it possible to have it in games?]

I didn’t start this post to talk about 3D though, but a small surprise about the movie – which led me to thoughts about gaming, kids, and all that jazz. Does the expectation of certain entertainment mediums skew our views on how it is perceived? More after the break.

*Warning – Spoilers follow for the movie UP! – Don’t read if you don’t want to know*

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Introducing (the) Pope

A friend of mine is going to start adding a post or two, here or there on this site. The thought came by in a discussion – he reads a lot of gaming blogs and wouldn’t mind sharing his thoughts. I thought it would be fun to give him an outlet.

I have known Pope for many years – back when I was a GM he was the RM. It was a fun relationship – often the ‘struggle’ of the needs of the RM and GM were on different wavelengths with what the guild needed. Took a lot of communication and compromise, but in the end we struck a dynamic balance of a hardcore raiding environment in a casual friendly guild. We hit most of our goals, and tackled most of the the things we had to. It’s funny how fast you can respect and rely on people you have never met.

We didn’t talk about what he was going to write about, or his writing style. Whatever it may be, I welcome him into the blog-gaming sphere and looking forward to reading his stuff.

I hope you do do.

Valve Announces L4D2 – Fans Rejoice/Hate

Exciting news for fans of the game for sure!

A sequel so close to the original – (Left 4 Dead launced last November) seems to have the fans of the title confused. Some, who have spent tons of hours in zombie guts glee are extactic that the new game, with new features and improvements, is coming out so quickly.

Others feel ripped off – and that in typical Valve style they would be playing free upgrades and mission packs for a long time from now (a la TF2).

Read the comments in this blog announcement to see the ruckous.

I can understand the fret from an economics point of view, but the fandom in me from a title I logged 100 hours playing for the box (through the single player, co-op, co-op versus and recently free released survival mode) and loved every minute. A game with set play, limited levels, and replayability isn’t going to hold me much longer than that. I am ready for something new.

So it comes as no suprise, that I am pretty excited about the announcement.

In Valve’s defence (if it’s needed) or additional cheering (which camp are you in this announcement?) they haven’t said the pricing structure, future support for L4D1, or anything of that nature. One would suppose that the majority of the fan base of L4D1 will pick up the new title, leaving less games for people who stick with L4D1. You could also make the argument that by next November, a lot of people will be tired of the original title and ready for new anyway.

Will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Whatever Valve has touched lately turns to gold – hopefully that translates into gold zombies, and not upset L4D1 fans.

Bing Vs. Google

Bing Search: I has PC

1.       Lack of consistency on offence, defence has PC’s Welsh in bind..

2.       Dell’s All-in-One PC Has the Guds, Design to Compete with iMac…

3.       I HAS PC

4.       Property: HAS PC member – semanticweb.org..

5.       Motorola’s Renew has PC Magazine’s GreenTech Seal of Approval..

Google Search: I has PC

1.       I HAS PC

2.       Property: Has PC member – semanticweb.org

3.       Renaissance chambara | Ged Carroll – Samsung Windows Mobile has PC..

4.       Motoroal’s Renew has PC Magazine’s GreenTech Seal of Approval..

5.       Kotaku – The Chronicles of Riddick On PC Has a Rediculous Install..

Google is still the champ, for obvious reasons.

Can the End Game be the Game?

MMO gamers seem to be lamenting the fact that everything starts at the “endgame” in current mmo-land. The grind/level mechanics exist mostly to slow you down to getting to a point where you can start having fun. While that sounds back-ass-wards, the common argument in support is traditionally “Developers can’t create enough content to keep up with the players”.

I don’t disagree entirely. Developers can’t create the current type of content to keep up – or can they? I am not going to get into alternate schemes (where players are the content) or anything crazy or off the wall – I’m just going to look at our good friend WoW and understand where all their content – and developer hours – went into their game. After the break of course.

World Building: End Game in WoW, to narrow it down to the final two instances, are indicated in the map below.

If you are generous, you can expand around those dots a bit, but honestly the entire game is funneled into those two spots (which are really just entrances into instances, anyway). That is an awful big waste of programming dollars, don’t you think? Especially for a game whose 95% of “end game” content exist in instances anyway? (Depending if you count Wintergrasp as “end game”, or the Argent Tournament).

Quests: The WoW quest system, while mired in mediocrity (typical escort/kill/collect) is a HUGE part of their development costs. WoW currently has 8027 Quests (searchable at wowhead.com, at least). How many of those are “endgame”? 223. WoW has 7804 planned obsolescence quests. While you could argue the quest system is just a means to an end to GET to the endgame – how many 5/10/25 man instances could you build in place of the 7804 one off quests?

Instances: WoW has ~80 pre-cap instances, (when you count instance wings and heroic modes) and only 22 targeted for max level. Isn’t that split in reverse? Shouldn’t there be 20 instances before the cap, and have 80 instances when you hit the cap – wouldn’t that make it harder for players to “run out of content” fast when the game truly begins?

Arenas/BG’s: Pretty much all instanced except for a few world ones – but think about how many we could have if resources were allocated to play the game for fun from the outset, not just burn 5 days /played to get to (slim) endgame.

I could link to various posts of mine and others who believe the level and time to level gap needs to close, keep the relative power closer from first level to final (so everyone can play together, regardless of how long each have been playing) and there are still plenty of carrots to dangle if you like grinding through achievements, etc. I just can’t help but wonder of developers focused their time and resources at the true “endgame” how much content would we really have there – especially if the majority of content that we just use once per character and throw away, was spent on end game materials.

Just a thought.

Continuing My Excellence in Game Breaking News

Tyson winking at you was scary back then, too

Tyson winking at you was scary back then, too

So much to get excited about, I’m not sure where to begin.

With that in mind I will begin here.

Released in the late 80’s (1987?) Mike Tyson’s Punch Out was a game on the SNES that my friends and I played for hours on end. It was a classic. Ah the memories.

The 2009 version, besides fun new Wii controls (disclaimer: I haven’t bought this yet.) Enjoys an expected graphics update.

I don’t even like boxing as a sport – but the game was so much fun. Sadly, without playing the game I am not here to review – just share in my excitement for the upgrade and then ponder a question that has been asked many times before: What games would you love to see “updated”? And as a follow-up – can the magic of a couple decades old game be recaptured with today’s tech and design differences?

Time for my top 3? Glad you asked.

3. Privateer (1994)

Be your own Han Solo, run missions, fight in space sims, buy/sell/kill? Yes thank you. Missions felt oft-repeated, but with today’s tech and design I would like to think this would be the easiest of games to update and make super cool. Could probably even Multiplayer it – or, (shudder) Massively Multiplayer it. Great part was there was a main story line, but you could freely stray from it to do an endless stream of side missions

 

Where is Chewbacca?

Where is Chewbacca?

2. Star Control 2 (1992)

I didn’t ever know, or figure out, how to win this game. I just explored and played and played and played. Diplomacy, gathering, and combat components as I ventured out to save the earth from slavery. I don’t want to include any spoilers here, in case you are thinking of picking it up to give it a whirl.

 

The fate of the earth is in on your highly pixelated ship.

The fate of the earth rests on your highly pixelated ship.

1. X-Com (1993)

‘Nuff said.

Resource, Research, Team Managment and turn based combat. Pure Joy – and a great challenge.

 

All ur base are belong to you

All ur base are belong to you

I know those are easy picks, but I wonder how Punchout (2009) will fare both on it’s own merits and the nostalgia merits. I wonder if PC gaming will go the route of Hollywood and start remaking old classics for revenue. I certainly wouldn’t complain – Although I am half afraid to pick any of these titles back up for fear of let down. What was great 10-20 years ago, may not feel so spectacular now.

What are your favorites?

Yay Spam?

Oh, the joys of Askimet.

After the break, I’ll show you my latest and greatest last 10 spam messages which were caught by the automatic filter. I “de-linked” them but kept everything else in tact (yes, there are some URLs in there – plenty, actually) so if SPAM makes you sick, or you do not have the capability to NOT copy and paste a link after the break, don’t go after the break.

I don’t fully understand spam. I just don’t understand how anyone would be even remotely interested in clicking links, especially when they are framed in the context as they are. I am sure there is some other point to it all – and even by posting them maybe I committed the ultimate evil. Anyway, if you dare, go read what our spam-friends are putting out there – albeit a very small sample – after the cut.

EDIT – i did mess up the URL stuff just in case listing them as is will help them on search engines, etc.

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More From the Mine

Not of Moira. Sorry LOTRO fans.

I hope Zardoz doesn’t end up getting sick of me linking to his posts, but data gets me all hot and heavy. WoW data is always fun, and a couple weeks ago he posted his Minority Report outlining level 80 class allocation at 3.1.1. His sampling methods are reasonable so let’s look at who is playing what.

 

Class Popularity
Death Knights 15.0%
Paladin 14.2%
Druid 10.3%
Warrior 9.7%
Mage 9.6%
Priest 9.5%
Hunter 9.3%
Shaman 7.6%
Rogue 7.3%
Warlock 7.3%

 

It’s actually not a bad spread, when you take out the top 2 and bottom 3. I would suppose the goal, with 10 classes, is to have each around 10% of the playerbase. That would be a great indication of balanced and interesting classes. 4 of the 10 are +/- .5% from that equal mark, with a couple glaringly high and 3 glaringly low. 

If you were a developer I wonder how they would take that info to adjust the classes (if they even thought it was needed) – Would you try to Jaxx up the Shaman/Rogue/Lock to pull from DK’s and Pallys specifically, or just work harder to make sure those classes are more fun, interesting, and useful on their own merits?

Not going to dig too far into it today, perhaps if discussion arises – just putting it out there as fun information to look at.