Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mini Diablo

Mini Diablo Icon
If you bought the Collector's Edition of Diablo you had the opportunity of getting the Mini Diablo as a non-combat pet. Further, in the patch notes for Patch 1.10 this tiny little note showed up:
"The Diablo Stone now has a unique icon."

Previously it looked like the Citrine gem icon.
Now it looks something like what you see here:Diablo and his StoneIn the lower right hand corner of the screenshot you see that it now looks like something along the lines of a blood red sea shell.

Frankly, although the new icon is unique, I rather liked the old one. It reminded me of the very end of Diablo I. (I had just played and finally conquered this entire game to heroically save this SoulStone from the forces of evil, only to be rewarded with an animation where I SHOVE IT FULL FORCE INTO MY FOREHEAD! (more info here.))

Anyway, my trauma aside, Mini Diablo does two interesting things. He periodically will spout fire. I was starting this new character and talking to a quest giver and I look over and see this:
Diablo Spouting Fire
Don't mind me, Mini-D. I'm just negotiating a way to pay for our next meal.
He just spouts off whenever he feels like it. We were running out of Ironforge and suddenly he wasn't next to me. I turned around and saw why here: (Note, there's that Ironforge cannon in the background.)


The second thing he does is to periodically hop up with a very "weightless" air about him. This animated gif makes it appear that he's hopping whenever I'm not looking, but it was actually just one extended jump:
DiabloFloats

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Doing my Duty in Westfall


While I was in Westfall I did my elder duties (although being a 22 in Westfall barely qualifies, frankly) and took out every Dust Devil I saw.

As far as I know there's no quest for those Devils and they're just there to kill you and piss you off. If you encounter one of those on your jaunt from here to there, you are dead before your dusty corpse hits the ground. Anyone who's had the pleasure knows what I mean...

So I killed them. I killed them all....

Monday, May 29, 2006

Gurky


watchingwow.com pointed out a contest over at pcgamerpodcast.com where you can win a "Gurky" (baby murloc) pet. All you have to do is send an email, but hurry - it ends May 31st!

(This is my picture of Murky, I was too lazy to go get a pic of Gurky, who apparently has blue fins.)

Diseased Murk-Eye

During Children's week I had to take my orphan to the lighthouse in Westfall. I didn't realize I hadn't done the lighthouse keeper's quests with this character yet . So I went back the other day to finish them. But to my surprise, when I fought Murk-Eye he whipped up this weird disease which I swear he did not have before.
Luckily I do my questing solo so I didn't really have anyone to shoo me away in my diseased form.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

LFG: Ogre

As you get in line for the Shrek 4D experience you see WANTED posters for many creatures from the forest in the queue area. They made me think of those quests you find from wanted posters within World of Warcraft. One of my favorites is featured here, Hogger. It's side by side with a wanted photo from the ride:
And here I've pasted it together with the wanted poster for Shrek himself:
OgreWanted

Based on the size of the line he looked to be only a 100-person raid group (it was a light day at the park).

For more information on the attraction visit thestudiotour.com or the Universalstudios.com website.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Boatopia

The Sailing Ship Columbia is an attraction in Disneyland that is simply that. A big ol' boat that you take in a small circle around an area of the park (it's more of an "experience" than a "ride"). The collage of pictures below are some of those from the boat rides at both Disney and in Azeroth. The good news about the ride at Disney is that the boat doesn't disappear suddenly in the middle of the lake and leave everyone to suddenly drop into the waters like it does in WoW.



More information on this attraction can be found at the Disneyland website.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rotating Tunnel

My favorite attraction at Universal was the Studio Tour. At one point on the tour the tram drives through a very disorienting tunnel which has been used in several films and it seems, has also been used as the entrance to the Deeprun Tram. Here's a shot from the Bionic Man episode when it was an "ice tunnel," side by side with the entrance to the Deeprun tram:

I couldn't resist putting Steve Austin into Azeroth, heheh.

More information about the Tunnel/Studio Tour at thestudiotour and universalstudios.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Booty Bay vs. Water World

While we were at Universal Studios we saw the Water World show (which I recommend by the way; it was fun). Here's my comparison of that set (as seen from the stands waiting for the show to begin) to Booty Bay:


They both even have that same tallest tower to the right of the center and extended area to the right of that. Find out more about the WaterWorld attraction at these websites: thestudiotour.com and UniversalStudios.com.

p.s. It was great fun to try out the "Photomerge" feature of Photoshop which is how I got so much in one picture.

Monday, May 22, 2006

WoW is a Theme Park


The week I was away, I was at a conference for my job but I also took a few days to visit some theme parks in California. Previously you may have seen the Universal Studios' Jaws or the Disney's Animal Kingdom comparisons I made in this blog. Well get set for a few more as in the next few days I will compare:

Sunday, May 21, 2006

CD Cover Contest Winners

Blizzard announced the winners of the CD Cover contest.

These were so well done I have to give some commentary to point out some of the best stuff I saw:

Best Photoshopping:

  • James Bind gets kudos for all those typical spy activities (like the sub and the shark and the tux) in the cover.

  • Feastie Boys. In a tough, tough decision, I had to pick this as the best in photoshopping. Just look at that detail with the watches and the hand's gripping the radio.


Favorite Song Titles

Cover Emulations:
WoWVana and Meet the Horde! get credit in my book for the comparisons to the titles they emulated.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Server Refugee Chaos

Last night a number of servers crashed. So their refugee players started alts on new servers. The newbie zones were so crowded that players who were actually trying to do the quests couldn't find enough of the wolves, etc.. to kill for their quests.

But this post isn't about the players who were trying to level up their alt. It's about the Chaos. And it was chaos. These are some screen shots the a few moments where I remembered to take them:

Nudist Parade:


Pirate/Ninja Bar:

Friday, May 19, 2006

Rams

I found each of these three different colored Rams on the long trek between Menethil Harbor and Ironforge and photoshopped them together into one shot. There's something about that little nook of Azeroth that I like (apart from the whole "can I make it through without being killed" thing when you're running a low level character through just to get the flight path).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You're Playing Right Now

I love the last panel of this WoW Penny Arcade comic.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Walk of a Sentinel Video

I just found this video:

Walk of a Sentinel


It says a lot for a PVP video (which I don't normally like) that I would recommend it. It's well done, good quality, good editing and it moves fast.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

Children's Week

Blizzard added a new Children's Week page which describes the basic locations you have to take the Orphans to. This event is scheduled to last to the 16th. Here are the notes I've taken on it, mostly from the Blizzard page, Thottbot and my own experiences (today I ran through it to get each of the different pets).

AllianceHorde
Phase 1
Get Starter Quest
Go to the Human Orphanage - Located in one of the free standing buildings in Cathedral Square in Stormwind.Go to the Orc Orphanage - Located in the Valley of Honor in a building to the left of the mining trainer.
Starter Quest Link on ThottbotStarter Quest Link on Thottbot
Phase 2
Sightseeing
(Get 650 xp for each.)
Take your Orphan to see 3 Sites:
  • The bank in Darnassus
  • The lighthouse in Westfall (Off South Shores of Westfall)
  • The StoneWrought Dam in Loch Modan (North Border of The Loch)
Take your Orphan to see 3 Sites:
  • Mor'shan Rampart (Northern Barrens)
  • Lordaeron Throne Room (In one of the front rooms to the Undercity)
  • The Docks of Ratchet (Barrens)

Phase 3
Making Memories

(Get 650 xp for each.)

  • Get him a Strawberry Ice Cream (Sold in stacks of five but you only need 1). Available in Stormwind in front of the bank (temporary vendor)
  • Get Jaina Proudmoore's Authograph in Theramore (Top of central tower in town)
  • Get him a Strawberry Ice Cream (Sold in stacks of five but you only need 1). Available in Orgrimmar by the bank.
  • Get Cairne Bloodhoof's Hoofprint in Thunder Bluff
Phase 4
Take your Orphan Home
(1,650 xp plus Pet Reward)
Return the Orphan to the Orphanage

Pet Rewards (Select One):


Now for the real test as I try to run my new Priest (still level 10) through it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Draenei!

Well, a computer with an internet connection jumped in front of me. Let me tell you how tough it is to go a week with no internet connection. I should've made a t-shirt that said "I'm AFK - tell me what's going on at E3!"

So the first thing I do upon finding this PC is scoot over to Blizzard and there it was, the Draenei are the new Alliance Race. And frankly, they look pretty freaking cool. And proud. In a good way.

For me WoW needs something to reenergize it. I've been reading about Spore in USA today (don't you read that too when you travel?) and I started dallying with the thought of playing different games. Then I saw an article for Seed (anyone know much about this MMORPG?). Sorry, WoW, I'm thinking of cheating on you. But maybe the Burning Crusade will do it. The new races will be fun to experiment with.

So here are some links I'm going to come back and read more in depth once I'm home:

  • Wowinsider.com points to a New York Times article and has some great screenshots with an interview with a Senior Producer at Blizzard.
  • Screenshots from the floor of E3 via wowvault.ign.com
  • The worldofwar.net E3 portal


  • Update: More Articles referenced on the Blizzard Website
  • tentonhammer Hits the Burning Crusade
  • Gamespot's Burning Crusade Impressions
  • Joystiq Hands On
  • Gamespy Article


  • That's about all I have time for. Family thinks I'm getting bottled water. ;)

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    California Here I Come!

    Tomorrow I'll be headed to California for a work conference and a little vacation. So unless a computer jumps in front of me with an internet connection I won't be able to post until I get back the week of the 15th.

    In the meantime here's a video to tide you over:

    Wish Upon a Paladin

    Dark Legacy Comics

    If you liked the comic featured in this first "Honorable Mention" in the WoW Comic contest then check out more of them here: Dark Legacy Comics. It's been a favorite of mine and I'm glad to see it get some recognition.

    One of my favorite: Idle Animations.

    And in an beautiful tribute to Office Space: New Changes

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Allakhazam Purchase and Blizzard at E3

    Two interesting news stories I read this morning. Here are the links and some excerpts:

    IGE buys Allakhazam.com. For me, it was worth knowing that the web address might change. (Particularly since when I first tried to find it I put the "h" in the wrong place and navigated to a less savory website because I spelled it wrong.)

    "Reaction from the Allakhazam community (which is relocating to the more spelling-friendly Zam, has been less than enthusiastic. The backlash comes in the form of forum posters frustrated with Allakhazam's decision to "sell out" to the company that parents the most real enemy that some people think MMOs face - gold farming."
    "You know my stand on gold selling. Before agreeing to anything like this, I wanted to make sure that there would be no interaction between those divisions and that I would have complete control over the new network, including the sites that used to be part of ogaming. So this means that the Ogaming sites and Thottbot have been split off of IGE and into our network and no longer have any connection with them." "

    Blizzard at E3 - In a post about how we won't hear any Diablo 3 news, the article says instead Blizzard will be focusing on the Burning Crusade.
    Blizzard has no plans to show Diablo 3 at the conference, as they had told IGN editorial in the past. The developer is focusing all of their energy towards promotion of the first World of Warcraft expansion -- The Burning Crusade -- and will save any announcements they may or may not have planned for a later date.

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Children's Week Dates

    Children's Week Dates:
    The other night I emailed the error to the worldofwarcraft.com webmaster that the Children's Week dates looked wrong.

    One location said the event would run next week and another said it was running now. Judging by the fact that I went and got the quest, I figured the one that was wrong was the one that said it wasn't until next week.

    Wrong. Check out the updated Events Page:


    May 1, 2005
    (Said May 1-8)


    May 2, 2005
    (Now it says May 9-16)


    And now you can no longer start the quest:

    Surprisingly, though, I can still whistle up the orphan on the one character I had who took the quest.

    So, bottom line? (1) I am apparently a date crasher. And (2) Children's Week isn't until Next Week. (But ask me again tomorrow, the answer might change.)

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    2006-May Events

    From the Events Calendar for May:


    Children's Week **See Note Below**

    Darkmoon Faire (Mulgore) May 9 - May 16
    Call to Arms: Alterac Valley! May 12 - May 15
    Call to Arms: Warsong Gulch! May 19 - May 22

    Call to Arms: Arathi Basin! May 26 - May 29



    During a Call to Arms, emmissaries from that Battleground will be found in the major cities, and honor/faction rewards for performing objectives in that battleground are increased.

    **Children's Week**

    Well this is another booboo in dates in the Event Calendar. Children's week on the Events Calendar says it starts next week (May 9 - May 16).


    However, the Children's Week section of the "In-game-events" page says it's running now (May 1 - May 8th).

    Which is it? Apparently the latter because it's running NOW.

    I used the link at the bottom of the Events/Calendar page to "Report Page Error." Hopefully that'll get this fixed up.

    Of further interest is the fact that Noblegarden now says "April 16" as the calendar date(s). BIG change from what was previously posted as running for a month!
    See the history of date problems here and here.

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Tip Parade - Reading the Bar

    One day we were out trying to kill some pirate boss in the lower decks of his ship but there were players who would kite this boss once and somehow hide and let other players (in this case us) finish him off. (I think they put a ranged shot on him and while the boss made his way around the walls to the player, he would first encounter us who thought one of our party had hit him and would gleefully kill him off and then wonder why no one could loot him.)

    Durn taught me something that day that really helped. He pointed out that once a mob has been attacked by anyone who is NOT IN YOUR PARTY, his bar changes from Red or Yellow to grey. Sure enough, that boss's bar was grey and we couldn't get the credit we needed.

    It was hard to picture what he was talking about at first so here are some pic's to explain.

    Red or Yellow Bar = No one has attacked this Enemy yet:


    Grey Bar = Someone (not you or your party) has already attacked this Enemy and will get credit for its kill:

    Note - this holds in a PVE environment and you'll notice that PVP targets may show differently.