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Archive for February, 2009

So you’ve done some character research and you have an idea of what class to play, but you really have no clue what race to pick!  It’s a tough choice.  I always recommend aesthetics, if it doesn’t look cool to you then don’t bother with it.  And the racial traits are really just bonus abilities and stats, but who knows, they may affect your play.  In any case, let’s take a look.

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Commenter “Jimbo” asked the following question on my recent 3.1 Death Knight article:

So I have a dilemma…

This is for anyone who is familiar with WoW

I enjoy all genres of games, but any form of RPG really holds a special place in my heart. I’ve never been that interested in WoW, I’ve never even bothered to read up on it. I didn’t get in at the ground level when it first came out, and now the sheer magnitude of it is enough to keep me away…it’s like like trying to pick up a show 6 seasons in and having to go back and watch the previous 5 on DVD, I just don’t have that kind of desire.

The more I read about it here, however, the more appealing it seems. Keeping in mind that I have many other gaming interests to bogart all of my free time, what are the main barriers of entry to a game like this and how valid/difficult to overcome are they?

So you want to start playing the game, but you’re worried about having being behind the curve?  It’s a really fantastic question and I’d be more than happy to answer it for you.

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Patch 3.1 has hit the PTR and Shit has hit the fan ladies and gentlemen.  There is a LOT of new stuff a-comin’.  I…wow.  I don’t even know where to start.  Okay, let’s start with us, fellow Death Knights.  What changes will we be seeing?  I’ll be talking about the major documented changes to the class, followed by undocumented changes, and then finishing us off with a look at the various glyphs.  Savvy?

Death knights not your class?  Check out MMOChampion for more.

First: the documented changes.

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With one Death Knight to 80, I decided to revisit a Horde DK I made on my friend’s server in an attempt to play with him.  He momentarily quit to work on his short film, but since it wrapped, he has expressed interest in jumping back in game.  When I last left my undead DK, he was only level 60, while my friend’s character is in his early 70’s.  Time to grab a guide and get going!  Luckily, after two days of playing I’m midway through 63, so I’m not too worried.

I had originally specced the character as unholy, but I decided to try out the blood spec since I had heard a lot of great stuff about it.  This is my current spec on the Undead character, and this is my unholy Draenei’s spec, just to give you an idea of what I jumped from and to.

WHAT I LOVE

What’s great about the blood spec is that the rotation is extremely easy and it provides good results.  Once I have access to more abilities, I think it’ll get even better, but right now it keeps my health at a constant and I’m always overflooded with runic power, which is nice to throw off some extra death coils when I’m down on runes.  My rotation is this:

Icy Touch -> Plague Strike -> Heart Strike -> Heart Strike -> Obliterate -> Death Coil (to finish them off if I need to)

Once again, pretty simple.  I specced into blood worms, which is nice for a steady heal while you fight.  The only problem is that the way I specced, I don’t have a quick “get health back” button yet, so I might respec and get Rune Tape and switch out one of the three bloodworms talent.

What I also like is the 51-pt talent, Dancing Rune Weapon, which is your basic Runic Power dump that lets you do double the attacks.  This is my current “OH SHIT” button and it’s great, though there’s a three minute cooldown, which stops me from using it more than I should.  I save it for special occasions, unlike Unholy Blight which has no cooldown.

Also, I have a talent called Sudden Doom which gives me a 20% chance to be able to cast a free critical hit Death Coil.  I need to get an addon that let’s me know when this procs, but it’s a cool ability.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE

As I mentioned before, your health stays pretty constant if you do the rotation.  The problem is that once I’m thrown out of the rotation and my runes are down, currently I’m screwed.  I haven’t gotten any of my “refresh rune” powers yet, so I’m pretty much tossing out Death Coils until the blood runes appear.  So I miss the massive diversity of the Unholy tree.  I feel far more constrained as of now.  It’s great for leveling – I just move from a bunch of mobs to the next, but with unholy there is far more creativity in the way you play.  I also miss the massive AOE power of Unholy.  Unholy Blight, Desecration, the tree had a lot of AOE fire power.  Blood is pretty good for leveling, but I just miss the toys Unholy has.  Plus, I don’t get a permanent Ghoul, so I barely summon one.

I’m still learning the rotations, so this will probably change, but these were just my initial thoughts.  Both are viable builds and are fun for different people, but I’m glad that I specced Unholy.  Chances are good that when duel speccing comes out, I’ll be building a Blood Tank on that Draenei.

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Since it’s almost the end of this wonderful Monday I thought it would be nice to share with you a little trailer from the fine folks over at EA who have been working hard to adapt Dante’s Inferno for your gaming pleasure. This one looks seriously twisted, in a good way. Don’t worry fans, I’ll be watching this one closely.

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As Street Fighter IV has now been out in North America for over 24 hours, the positive reviews have been flowing all over the Blogosphere. Everyone loves this game it seems. And guess what? The Bird Nest does too.

A little disclaimer about me and fighting games: I’m terrible at them. Just plain awful. I was King Flawless Victory in Mortal Kombat, not because I was so good, but because I was the easiest to shut out.

So if I suck so much at fighting games, why would I even bother to pick this title up? Because it rules, dude! Honestly, comparing Street Fighter to any other next-gen fighter would be doing it a disservice. The game does not reinvent the wheel, but it succeeds in doing what all Street Fighters have done: creating an addicting, hybrid brawler that requires skill and thought to excel at.

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I wish I had the resources to write a preview myself, but check out the good people at GamesRadar.com and their God of War III preview. It’s written really well and if nothing else, provided a bit more of depth than I’ve seen in other previews, hence my need to link to it here. Release date is expected to be announced at E3, but I think I will start saving up for the PS3 now.

On another note, I picked up my copy of Street Fighter IV today, so I can look forward to playing it all night and you can look forward to reading about it tomorrow. Until then…

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