Monday, January 31, 2011

Minecraft Moose Contest

For today's Moosey Monday I held a competition; my real life friends that play Minecraft could build a moose in Minecraft and the best moose would win a prize. I received 4 entries, unfortunately, three people could not find the time to build a moose and another flatout refused (I'm looking at you Nin). So without further adieu here are the Minecraft moose!

Eaglacius's Crap Moose (he made this in a single player world with gathered materials so it's...lacking):

Krazy_Kow's Moose Herd:

Anon's Horrible Block Moose (the maker of this moose was too ashamed to show his name):

Chris's Colossus World Destroyer Moose Deer Thing:

Good effort on everybodys part...well mostly, that block moose is horrible. All of you that failed to pull through and make a moose I R DISAPPOINT. Anyway, the winner has to be either Krazy's herd or Chris's colossus; I really can not decide. Chris's looks more like a deer than a moose but it is so huge and amazing, he put a lot of work into it. Krazy's herd looks a lot more like moose, and I really love the added touch of the drinking and fighting moose. I cannot decide so I will leave it to you blog readers! Simply comment on this post saying which moose you like best, the colossus or the herd. On a side note, Chris's moose is made of wood and highly flammable; I had to ban Krazy from the server for a while when he was running at it with a lighter while Chris freaked out.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Method Mocks Paragon With Their World 2nd Heroic Nefarian Kill

Holy crap that's a lot of moonkins! Owait. So yesterday Method became the second guild in the world to down heroic Nefarian, and the first to down him pre-hotfix. If you are unaware EU Paragon was technically the first guild in the world to down heroic Nefarian, however, they did it at a time when feral druids were ridiculously overpowered on the fight; Paragon stacked like 12 ferals to kill the fight and Blizzard hotfixed this very fast but still let Paragon keep their kill. This generated much debate over whether or not Paragon's kill was legitimate.

As you can see from the screenshot, Method seems to be almost taunting Paragon here, haha we got the real world first suckers. Before you ask, no, they did not have a raid almost entirely composed of moonkin. They just used potion of illusion's to make themselves all look like the one moonkin in their raid.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Starcraft 2 Custom Map: Aiur Chef

Recently Blizzard released three new official custom maps for Starcraft 2; the first, and silliest, one I will talk about is Aiur Chef. To play Aiur Chef go to the multiplayer section of then go to join game under custom maps. It will bring up a list of custom maps which look like this, the three new official maps are on top.
To play you will have to download the map but it downloaded in about a minute for me. The game will match you with 7 other players then its game on! In the game you control a zealot (with a stylin' chef's hat) with a fixed camera perspective. The goal is to run around the map and collect ingredients to complete one of the three recipes offered that round. Ingredients can be found around the map and some require you to kill things like roaches, ghosts, cows, or high templar. Every round has a feature ingredient that is required for all recipes. You can die and if you do you will respawn in the middle and drop all of your ingredients.

Once you gather enough ingredients for a recipe you run back to the center of the map and it will complete, awarding you points and sometimes a special ability. Two of the main abilities I received were blink and warp prison which can be used to trap enemy players. Each round lasts 6 minutes. At the end of the third round the player with the most points wins.
As you can see in this screenshot all the recipes for that round are displayed as well as their rewards and the mini map shows the locations of all the ingredients. 

Overall it was quite fun and the voice acting in between rounds was hilarious. "The feature ingredient for this round is....RAINBOWZZZZ!11!1111!" It's not somthing I would play regularly but its a good bit of fun and worth checking out. Also zealots in chef's hats are amazing!
If you wanna see some actual gameplay footage Totalbiscuit did a video on Aiur Chef that covers everything pretty well. I'll be covering the other 2 new custom maps in the following days.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Thoughts on Rift

Note: I only played the game for about 2-3 hours before getting bored so don't consider this an in depth review. It's just my thoughts on the few hours of gameplay I experienced; I made a marksman/saboteur/ranger rogue and a champion/beastmaster/warlord warrior. The game is currently in beta and is set to release in a little over a month.

Character Creation and Classes:
There are two factions and each faction has three races. Appearance wise the races are not vastly different. Each faction has a type of human and a type of elf. The Guardians have dwarves which  are just short humans and the Defiant have Bahmi which are big, muscular purple dudes. I was a bit disappointed by the variety of races. However, what makes races stand out is the racials, which are very powerful. My Bahmi had an ability that increased attack power by 40% for 10 seconds! My human had an ability that caused me to be healed for half the damage I took for 25 seconds up to a maximum of 50% of my total hp. These are some very powerful racials.

Customization was better than what I've seen in other games like WoW or WAR but it still seemed a bit lacking. Even with all the options most of the faces I came up with looked around the same, some just fatter. It wasn't bad but it could definitely use some work.

Classes are what really make this game stand out, the class system in Rift is amazing and I'd like to see other games take from it. To start off you choose a role: Warrior, Cleric (healer), Mage, or Rogue. This roll sets some basic stuff but doesn't give you an actual abilities. For example choosing a warrior lets you wear plate armor and bases your combos around attack points. Certain abilities generate up to three points then you unleash them with a finisher. Choosing a rogue lets you wear leather armor and bases your combos around combo points which are nearly identical to WoW rogues.

Where it gets interesting is when you choose your "souls" these are like talent trees. You may choose three for your character and each grants you new abilities and access to that souls talent tree. As you spend more points in each souls tree you unlock new abilities. For example when I chose the champion soul for my warrior I gained a charge, an attack point building weapon based attack, and a direct damage finisher. After I spent some points in the champion tree I unlocked a debuff to apply to my target.

Each role has 7 different souls to choose from and a player can also choose how to distribute their soul points. This leads to an immense amount of possibilities for players to mix and match different souls and build a "unique" class. To view all the souls and to get a look at how much potential is here click here.

Not bad but not great is what I'll say here. I played it on ultra with max resolution and was not impressed. For an mmo its fine sure but for some reason I just did not like it much. In prefer the graphics of WoW or Age of Conan (which had amazing graphics). The graphical style and quality reminded me of Warhammer Online if any of you have played that.

The UI:
The UI in this game is very, very similar to WoW's but still impressed me greatly. If you have played WoW you will learn how to play Rift very quickly and easily. What I liked about Rift was how smooth and easy to use the UI felt. It is completely customizable, action bars, the mini map, character portraits, etc can be moved around and resized which is very nice. The keybinding system is also very smooth and not clunky like WoW's. Rift keybinding works similar to the Bartender addon in WoW. Once you bring up the keybinding's menu you can simply hover over a space on your action bar and hit a key and it will be keybound, smooth and easy.

Bad, just bad. There are only two starting zones, one for each faction, and they are completely linear. You go from post to post along a straight path doing the same generic "Go kill Y of X" and "Go collect Z of B" quests. There were a few interesting ones like defending a position with an NPC but overall it was bland. There is a public quest system very similar to Warhammer Online's called Rifts. At random times a Rift will open in a location and monsters will pour out. Players in the area have to go through several stages of tasks and finally fight a boss. At the end they can roll on loot. I loved these in Warhammer Online and Rift does it quite nicely as well.

This is what killed the game for me. The combat system in Rift was simply not fun or satisfying for me at all. First off the animation quality is very poor and unengaging. None of my abilities felt or looked unique or devastating, overall the combat just looked bland. I appreciate some of the combo systems put into the game like applying debuffs or building up for a finisher but in the end it just felt like I was mashing buttons while my character twirled his sword around and the enemy just stood there in his boring combat stance and did the same. It's really hard to describe but I'll put it like this, the combat bored me and just didn't feel right, the choppy animations may be to blame.. I know in other mmos all you are doing is mashing buttons but in Rift it just didn't feel like anything was being accomplished. My favorite combat system in an mmo was Age of Conan; sure it was a bit clunky at times but abilities felt and looked unique and powerful. There was satisfaction with connecting a blow in AoC that is lacking in Rift.

Final Thoughts:
You may notice that there is no PvP category here. That's because I got bored before I could reach level 10 on either of my characters so I did not participate in any PvP. The game has a lot of good ideas in it, especially the soul system, but the bland combat just killed it for me. I still encourage people to try Rift because I saw a lot of other people in game that were enjoying themselves, the game just did not intrigue me. Try it and see if you like it while it's still in beta.

Here's a beta key for Rift, they are supposed to work up to 25 times so you can share them with your friends:

If that doesn't work Zam is still giving away keys for free just create an account, the link is below.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Little Tip for Making Some Gold in WoW

I don't have much time today so I'll post this quickly. The way I make gold in WoW is not by mindless, boring grinding but by taking advantage of unique situations where people will pay crazy high prices for things. The situation I will talk about here is the release of epic gems in the Cataclysm expansion.

Currently on my server the blue gem market is flooded, so there is no reason for me to spend my JC daily tokens on blue gem cuts; the 6 or so cuts I have are enough to generate a steady flow of money with very little work involved. So I am saving all of my daily tokens up so that when epic gems release in 4.2 (my guess) I can buy a ton of epic cuts and sell them at stupidly high prices; each cut will cost four tokens. Also, pay attention to the market before you start buying cuts. Know what the most popular gems are and if any other JCs on your server are doing the same thing as you. You want to be the only person on the server with a specific cut as long as possible.

The second part to this is making sure you have plenty of gems to cut the day the patch releases. Currently the price of pyrite ore is slowly dropping but it will skyrocket once epic gems are released. So now start buying it when you see it low and as the patch nears start buying as much of it as you can. This works for non JCs too as they can just buy low and sell high once the prices go up, JCs will want to prospect all of it though.

That's my tip for the day; I wasn't a JC in Wrath but a guy on my server did the same thing here. He literally had two bank alts with their banks full of titanium ore when epic gems were released and he made a fortune! Here's me on my shiny drake that I paid 50k for a while ago, completely worth the money ;).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Minecraft Execution Chamber

So I developed a way to kill people on my Minecraft server and felt like sharing! This execution chamber is located deep underground at the back of my prison; the walls are 4-5 blocks thick of obsidian so nobody is escaping fast.

Here is a picture of the room from the viewpoint of the doorway, to start the execution I teleport somebody to the location of the torch:
There are two holes in the ceiling, one above the torch and one above where I am standing in the above screenshot, that is where the lava or TNT will come from!
After teleporting somebody in I quickly run to the doorway and block it up so they cannot escape, like so:
Then, directly to my right is a staircase which leads to above the chamber, I run up there quickly to administer death!
Once up there I take two TNT or two lava buckets and insert them like so. The lava will automatically flow down and fill the chamber and when activated the TNT will fall into the chamber and explode!
Here is a picture of what the chamber looks like after  being flooded with lava, I removed the lava from the forward hole so you could actually see inside, nobody is surviving that!
The chamber only has two weaknesses that I have seen. Firstly on my server only admins can teleport people to them but anyone can teleport themselves to another player meaning people can just tele out if they think fast enough. I usually demote them to guest rank before killing ;). Also, a player can block up the two holes to halt the TNT or lava; I have actually had the walls of the upper room blown to bits before when someone blocked up the holes preventing the TNT from falling. This can be fixed with a demote as well.

This is a really fun and interesting way to kill people. Of course if it doesn't work and you have a score to settle you can always do this....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Introducing Tormented Ghost!

So a friend of mine wants to assist me with ze blogging so I will post most of the stuff he emails me onto here unless it really sucks. So comment and let him know how he is doing! Don't be afraid to be harsh, he has thick skin; at least he better if he is going to subject himself to the wrath of the internet!

"Microsoft’s Larry”Major Nelson” Hryb brought the news on his weekly Podcast. This map pack introduces 4 new multiplayer maps and 1 new Zombie map. Coming February 2nd you better have 1200 Microsoft points ($15).
Here are a few details from Treyarch’s Dan Bunting:

Discovery - Antarctic German research station, abandoned from World War II.

Kowloon – Inspired from the single-player campaign based off of Kowloon city in China. It's a rooftop map.

Stadium – Hockey rink in northeastern United States.

Berlin Wall – Takes place at Checkpoint Charlie. Is a battle between East and West Berlin.

Ascension - Zombie map.

No word on when first strike will be available for PC or Ps3. At E3 2010, Microsoft announced it signed a multi-year agreement with Activision that will see all future Call of Duty map packs released first on Xbox 360 through 2012. Go Xbox!"

By: Tormented Ghost

(Lol Bryan you didn't actually write that you just copy pasted so don't put by your name. Here is the link to the article peoplez

Rabidmoose's Thoughts: I may just be spoiled by Valve's awesomeness at releasing free DLC or Counter Strike's plethora of community made maps but paying for map packs slightly annoys me. To me five maps just isn't worth $15 bucks, I never bought the map packs for MW2 and still managed to enjoy the multiplayer immensely. I probably will never purchase this.

Also, the part about it being released on Xbox first, WTF Activision WTF; so PC gets the shaft....what a surprise (Ps3 too don't hate me Ps3 guys). Why can't it just be released for all platforms at once? Do they think somebody will purchase another copy of the game or buy a new system just to play their fancy 5 new maps early? Le Sigh.

Random Moose Facts!

It's time for our weekly feature, Moosey Monday! (Yes I know it's Tuesday I missed this yesterday). Also as a side note do not look up moosey on Urban Dictionary as it has nothing to do with Moosey Monday. Today there will be a simple listening of moose facts and next week something extra special will be prepared!

Did you Know?
  • Moose can weigh up to 1,800 pounds but still reach speeds of 35 mph.
  • Moose love water and often will feed off of underwater plants.
  • Moose can easily swim 10 miles or more in a day!
  • Moose are known as moose in North America but as elk in Europe and Asia.
  • The word moose means bark eater.
  • Male moose shed their 90 pound antlers every winter and grow them back in the spring!
  • Do not threaten a moose, they can be fast and aggressive if threatened, they are also immune to bullets.
  • Moose are better than you, and they know it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cata Dungeons are Hard!?!? MADNESS!

Recently Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft, released a fairly interesting post on the World of Warcraft website. Below is an excerpt from the post that sums up Blizzards stance on the new Cata dungeon difficulty and their response to the QQ.

"We've seen and heard a lot of discussion about the challenge presented by the Cataclysm Heroic dungeons, and to a lesser extent the raids. I'm not sure this is the kind of issue where we're going to be able to change anyone’s mind on the subject, but I can try to provide more insight into our point of view as well as offer some suggestions for success.

First, let me state that we do hear you. We understand some of you aren’t having fun and preferred the Lich King paradigm, or at least something closer to the Lich King paradigm. We greatly appreciate the feedback and it always makes us sad when players aren’t having fun. We're not ignoring you. We get it. We may not always agree on every point, but we understand where you’re coming from, and we want to try to help you understand where we're coming from.

The bottom line is that we want Heroics and raids to be challenging, and that is particularly true now while the content is new and characters are still collecting gear. They’re only going to get easier from here on out. We want players to approach an encounter, especially a Heroic encounter, as a puzzle to be solved. We want groups to communicate and strategize. And by extension, we want you to celebrate when you win instead of it being a foregone conclusion.

On the other hand, we don't want you to stumble your way to victory. We don't want you to be able to overwhelm bosses without noticing or caring what they’re doing. We don’t want healers to be able to make up for all of the mistakes on the part of the other players. While at the end of the day, dungeons may just be gussied up loot vending machines, we want you to do more than push a button to get the loot.
Ultimately, we don’t want to give undergeared or unorganized groups a near guaranteed chance of success, because then the content will feel absolutely trivial for players in appropriate gear who communicate, cooperate, and strategize.

We didn't like that the Heroic dungeons in Lich King and early Naxxramas had become zerg-fests. It made the rewards feel like they weren't earned. It made all rewards except the best-in-slot items feel transitory -- why enchant or gem an item when you don’t need the performance boost and you’ll quickly replace it anyway? Furthermore, it set the expectation that everyone would eventually earn all best-in-slot items rather than those being rare and treasured goals. It made class abilities feel less useful and interesting. Who needs that crowd-control or survivability talent when nothing is hurting you? Who needs a mana-conservation talent if you’re never going to run out of mana? Who needs a crit talent if your heals often overheal anyway?
Finally, the encounters, even the bosses, ended up having a sameness to them because you could ignore their mechanics. It didn't matter -- in fact, you didn't even notice -- if the dragon breathes or silences or drops a void zone. The fights all felt the same.

In Cataclysm, the Heroic dungeons and raids are intended to be challenging -- and they are, at least until you overgear them."

The rest of the post can be found here.

Check Out Totalbiscuit's Azeroth Daily for WoW News!

One of my favorite Youtube personalities has to be Totalbiscuit from His commentary is entertaining, funny, and cynical. Monday through Friday he puts out a show called Azeroth Daily which includes a ton of WoW related information and is a great way to spend 15 minutes of your day! He also does Starcraft 2 content, DC Universe Online content, and other miscellaneous game content. Check him out on youtube!

MMO Moose Launchs

MMO Moose will be a blog about video games, moose, and other random things. I play a lot of World of Warcraft so expect posts about that; I also am in the Rift Beta so I plan to post some feedback on the state of that game, hopefully it won't fail like most MMOs. Of course this blog will also include a weekly helping of moose information as they are the most amazing animal in the world. Quality is a bit low right now as the blog is just getting started, it will be improved upon greatly within the next few days, stay tuned!