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So I couldn’t stay away from blogging about World of Warcraft, especially after I took a short break from it.  What with all the new announcements about the expansion, I had to start up a blog.

Hooved Vengeance with Elder Igorek” is mostly about my exploits as Igorek, my Draenei Death Knight on Cenarion Circle.  I’ll talk about runs, pets, achievements, the return of Holiday guides, etc etc.

Just figured I’d let some of you guys know! Hope to see you over there.

Hello Dave

This isn’t a real post. In fact, as you all probably assumed, thebirdnest is dead. I bought a domain name for a new site, but never merged the two. Then I stopped playing new games. I had no desire to write about the same things, had no passion for rehashing other blog posts, and had no time to find breaking news on my own. So, for now, until the world settles down a bit, The Bird Nest in this shape and form is effectively over. You can call it a hiatus if you want to get cheeky about it, but in reality, and what everyone already knew, the site is shut down. I don’t even really think anyone will read this, because what readers we might have had at one point have long stopped caring and I can’t blame them. So without further ado, peace out. (Picture the end of Old Yeller for reference)

Back to Rapture

Videos, pictures, reports are flying in. We are heading back down to that city under the sea, Rapture.  Bioshock 2 is coming, so get FUCKING PUMPED.Let’s go over some bullet points about this sequel, shall we?

  1. This takes place several years after the first Bioshock.  Rapture is falling apart before your eyes.
  2. You play as a Big Daddy.  Not just any Mr. B, but the first.  Which means you have access to guns, plasmid powers and that badass drill.  From the footage I’ve seen, this shit is gonna be bloody.
  3. We have a major villain – the Big Sister.  Rumor has it she’s a little sister from the first game, and she’s been stealing little girls from the surface world to turn them into her own twisted little sisters. The scary part about her? She’s fucking fast.
  4. We’re going to be traversing the ocean floor!  With Mr. B’s breathing apparatus, we’ll be able to take short cuts through the city by using the bottom of the Atlantic.
  5. DUEL WIELDING. That’s right ladies and gents, we’re going to be able to shoot guns and use plasmids at the same time.  Why are we going to need this? Well, picture Splicers coming at you in large waves…
  6. If you recall in the first game, we could either Save or Farm ADAM from Little Sisters, and the similar choice is found in this one. But you don’t just save, you can adopt.  You put the little sister onto your shoulder and go about your business, but when you come across a body on the floor, you can have your Little Sister farm the corpse for more ADAM. The downside? Well, when she farms corpses, Splicers tend to want to hurt her. Save her, Mr. Bubbles!

I’m pretty excited about this sequel.  Granted, I haven’t finished the first one (I just got my “shoot bees at people” power) but I plan on finishing it before the second one rears it’s head.  You can find a ton of videos over at Gametrailers.com.

What are your thoughts about this?

Tanks for Nothing

Well it’s happened.

I tanked a Heroic Instance.

In fact, I’ve tanked at least five by now.  I’m slowly getting the hang of it, but I wanted to talk about some tips, tricks and strategies I’ve found along the way.

First off, this is my spec.  I really have to go and buy some glyphs, but I was saving my money for my sweet Wyrmrest Accord Red Drake flying mount (which I have now and can only be purchased with Exalted reputation!).  I’m still working towards the Defense cap, which is 540 Defense for a Death Knight. Just some regemming/gear upgrades will fix that.

If you clicked my spec, you’ll see I’m a frost tank, mostly because that seems to be the best AOE tanking choice out there.  I’ve been having a blast learning my new powers and when to use what, and it’s been an interesting experience.  Here is some stuff I”ve learned along the way.

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The second I got home last night, I jumped into WoW to check out 3.1.  First of all, despite the ramant explosions of world servers, the game seems to upload faster.  Maybe I’m crazy.

I was given back all my talent points, so I quickly respecced back into Unholy (my main DPS of choice).  I tried out the “preview talents” option that can be found in Interface>Display, which allows you to mess around with talent points before you save them.  I didn’t experiment much further, but it was a neat new addition. I also didn’t have enough cash to purchase duel spec (since I was about 300g short), I jumped onto my bank alt to sell off my glyphs.

Guys, if you’re an inscriptionists, sell off stuff NOW.  I made over 400g in less than 2 hours.  Do this before the weekend while it’s hot!

While my glyphs were making money for me, I was off to test the new Argent Tournament.  I did a few of the daily quests (don’t worry guys, I’ll throw down some guides later on) and they were really fun.  The new mounted combat was really a blast, and getting to know the strategies for it was a nice change of pace.  It felt sort of like a fast of Pokemon; throw down defense? Or move straight to offense?  In any case, I know I’ll be spending most of my time there.  My only complaint is that the reputation isn’t for Argent Crusade (yet), but rather one of two factions that can be found in Dalaran (Silver Covenent for Alliance or Sunreavers for Horde).  Minor complaint, but the quests were pretty fun and quick to do.  I ran all five of them within 20-30 minutes (mostly due to fly time).

No, I didn’t not run Ulduar.  I don’t really think I’ll have a lot of time for that, I don’t like raiding when Shannon’s around because I’ll be so focused on the game for long periods of time.  But I love that they gave us PVE’rs so much to do.  The small changes to the map, icons, stuff like that are all welcome.  Next I plan on messing around with fishing (maybe getting it up past 75).

Later that evening, with 400g in my pocket, I went to buy my second spec.  I am now an Unholy DPS/Frost Tank.  The playstyle of Frost kinda scares me, it’s so foreign!  But the new powers seem cool.  I’ll definitely have to head over to Elitist Jerks to get their take on it.  But the Duel Spec thing is pretty badass – switching over is awesome as a Death Knight because you don’t spend any mana to do so.  So switching from DPS to Tank based on the situation will be a shit load of fun.  I’ll need to go collect some Tank gear from my various reputations in the meantime, along with requisite Gems and such.

So besides the world server going belly-up every once in awhile, 3.1 is a lot of fun.  The cosmetic changes are once again, cool, Argent Tournament will be a lot of fun to continue to run (in the effort to collect new titles, mounts and the like), and I’m seriously hoping I get a chance to at least check out the first boss of Ulduar.

I got a question asking what/where I play in WoW, so I figured I’d just throw up a post in case other people care to jump in game to hit up some quests.  My main is Igorek, a Draenei Death Knight on Cenarion Circle in the guild Northrend Commonwealth.

Here is my armory page, if you are at all curious about my gear/achievements.

3.1 looks like it’s going to be hitting servers this Tuesday (or next Tuesday).  I better get my money together so I can purchase a dual spec.  You’re looking at a future Unholy DPS/Frost Tank Death Knight!  I shall report my findings as I find them.

Feel free to throw down your name/class/race/realm in the comments!

3.1 Roundup

3.1 is coming extremely quickly, so I figured this might be a great time to talk about all the cool new changes and updates.  This might be one of the biggest patches to hit, giving everyone, hardcore, casual and hasual something new to do.  So let’s get to it.

RAIDS

Ulduar

We’ll hit the raids first, because, well, this is the biggest addition.  The raid of Ulduar is coming in this patch, which brings you 14 all new bosses for both 10 man and 25 man raids. On top of this, 10 of the 14 bosses will have “hard modes” that, when triggered, will give you better loot.

The lore of the zone is quite simple – Ulduar is an undiscovered vault of the Titans (large, powerful beings that shaped Azeroth) and we are going in to investigate.  Upon further investigation, we realize that the Titan vault is not holding vast treasures or superior knowledge, but rather the Old God Yogg-Saron, a ruthlessly evil entity whose vile influence has infected not only those who guard Ulduar, but a fair amount of Northrend (which we, the players, have come into contact with in various zones).  Because Yogg-Saron has broken free, Algalon the Observer is attempting to contact the Titans about his lack of imprisonment, which could cause Azeroth to be destroyed in order to save others.  The quest line has us going after Algalon to stop the transmission, and can only be completed when defeating most of the boss modes in their various hard modes.  Sound pretty badass, right?

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I know, I know. I’ve been a bad blogger. Sorry guys, I’ve been busy with my comic and other real life things. I’ve also slowed down my playtime in WoW; I’ve ceased to play during weekdays and now I play exclusively on the weekend for a few hours in the morning.

But what have I been doing?

WELL. I’ve mostly spent my time getting my gear up.  I’ve been running a shit load of Heroic Dungeons, along with the occasional raid if I find a good group.  I’ve been focused on getting my DPS to the top of the charts when possible, and most of the time that’s where I find myself.  I’m proud to say I was #3 in the damage meter for Sartharion 25man Raid, which I’m extremely proud of, and got a “Bag of Spoils” off the boss for my trouble.  I also received my first purple Raid drop of Archevon (purple DPS PVP pants, but still an upgrade) which made me smile with glee.

In the reputation end, I’ve gotten three important reputations up to Exalted (Wyrmrest Accord, which gives me a Red Dragon Mount that I’m 700g away from purchasing and Knights of the Ebon Blade, which gives me new Purple shoes for kickin’ ass) and I’ve just been whittling away at things.

While hitting some of the Heroics, I’ve had a chance to do a few of the fun achievements.  Man are they hard.  Most of the time I get them by accident and a few we’ve attempted and succeeded at, but most of the time we just murder the boss, collect our Emblems of Heroism and move on.  I’ve had enough badges to get two blue upgrades and I’m one log-in away to purchase my Tier 6 gloves!  I’ve never had any Tier Anything, so this prospect really excites me.  Do the heroic dailies, guys, you never have to wait long to find a group and you get extra gold/emblems for your trouble. For serious.

Other than that, I’ve just been whittling away at things.  Getting my Netherwing reputation up to get my cool smokey dragon mount, getting the other reputations up in preperation for 3.1, getting my gear solidified so I might be able to take part in Ulduar when that hits (apparently next week, but who knows).

Anyway, sorry for my absense!  I promise I will post more often.

A few things I want to cover before I get to the point of this post. One, yesterday was a crazy day here at the Nest, with my take on Fifa UT getting lots of traffic from the EA Forums and we broke all the single-day records here in our little spot. Two, my apologies to regular Nesters, who had noticed that I had taken an unannounced sebatical for a few weeks where there was no new content. I know Pat’s review of MLB 2k9 was excellent, but I’m sure you’re sick of the mullet after a week or two. Third, a friend and co-worker has a pretty funny sports blog that you might want to check out. It’s called The Dome Factor and for a Syracuse fan, he’s got some really good stuff up there. Check it out when you are bored and/or there’s nothing going on over here. It’s over on the blog roll for future reference.

Ahh, that felt good to get out of the way. Now, there’s something way more important to be discussed. You may know that two of the favorite games here are Fifa and Fallout 3, both of which had DLC released within a week of each other. The Pitt, which has been covered in several different posts over the last few months, was finally released today. Now, first reports are that there are so many glitches and bugs in this DLC that it is unplayable. There are missing textures, sudden crashes, and is a general disaster.

Add this to the server and database debacle found in FIFA’s Ultimate Team launch last week and we have two immensely popular games dropping the ball on what should be momentous releases for each of them. I’ve been looking forward to both the Pitt and FIFA UT for quite some time, and after spending 1600 Microsoft Points on them, you’d expect them to work. Alas, both companies have disapointed their legions of hardcore fans who downloaded the DLC as soon as they could, only to find it completely worthless.

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For any sports gamer, there has always been one company worth a damn. Electronic Arts has been both the prime example and biggest failure in all aspects of sports gaming over the past 2 decades. We’ve all made our friends heads bleed in NHL 95, and have all thrown controllers in frustration at the 7th drop of our stud receiver in Madden. And as frequent Birdnesters know, the most played game at The Nest is FIFA 09. And since the Ultimate Team DLC was released last week for it, it’s been an exciting time here.

But not really exciting in a good way. Granted the mode itself is set up beautifully. A quick recap for those not in the loop: Ultimate Team combines Collectable Card Game elements with traditional Manager Mode style of gameplay. Starting with a basic Bronze pack of cards, players create their “Ultimate Team” buy purchasing packs of cards that contain players, tactics, managers, training options, kits, shields, and contracts.

By using these cards, you work to assemble your best squad to be put to the test in either online or offline tournaments and single matches. After every game you get awarded an amount of coins, which are then used to buy more cards. The three levels of packs contain increasingly better cards, ranging from Bronze to Gold (with Silver in between, obviously.) Bronze packs cost about one win’s worth of coins, with silver being about 4-5, and gold being even more expensive.

What’s really cool about this mode is the secondary market that EA is creating, allowing gamers to trade their unused cards for more useful ones. Your entire midfield is Spanish but you just picked up Stephen Gerrard in your first gold pack? Sure you can play him, but if you want, try to trade for Cesc Fabregas and give yourself the morale bonus that comes with having players from the same country. The options are endless and EA is really trying to let the gamers develop their own market. Without setting prices, there is a real feel of the invisible hand in pricing trades. EA has been devoting message board threads to trading giving users a chance for negotiations and Craigs List-esque advertisements.

Now you know what Ultimate Team “is” and is “supposed to be,” here’s what’s been happening since it dropped on Thursday morning. It can be summed up in two words: SERVER FAILURES. As can be expected in any major upgrade, especially something as popular as FIFA, there were major server failures in the first 48 hours of release. I’d like to say that this ended after the initial night, but alas even when I logged in yesterday to check out my team after a weekend at my parent’s house, there was nothing but a frozen menu.
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