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Violence, Children and Video Games

Horde and Alliance Level 3 Garrisons

When I heard that Bliz­zard were intro­duc­ing Gar­risons to WoW I was ini­tially excited, the con­cept sounded great and the idea of char­ac­ter hous­ing had been some­thing play­ers had been after for a long time. So, we now had this home base all of our very own to go back to, with every­thing you could need under one roof, bank­ing, pro­fes­sions, quests, all in the com­fort of your own Gar­ri­son. But some­thing was ter­ri­bly wrong, the Gar­ri­son got tedious very, very quickly.

Apart from your Gar­ri­son mak­ing you feel extremely iso­lated from every­one else in the game, one of my par­tic­u­lar bug­bears is that by incor­po­rat­ing the pro­fes­sions into the Gar­ri­son it felt like you just had all these bor­ing tasks to be com­pleted before mov­ing on to some­thing more inter­est­ing – log in, you’re in your Gar­ri­son, go to the mis­sion table and send out fol­low­ers, time to go to the mine, time to go to the herb gar­den, time to go and col­lect tim­ber for your mill and so on. By doing this it took some­thing away from hav­ing to go out into the world and actu­ally look for things which is part of the enjoy­ment of the game, it some­what bypassed explo­ration for the fun of it and run­ning into ran­dom events and other play­ers on route. I hon­estly miss log­ging into a tav­ern some­where in Aze­roth and being sur­rounded by other play­ers, at the moment I log in, I’m in my Gar­ri­son and it’s time to go to the mine, sigh!

Now, how about the Gar­ri­son and Ship­yard mis­sion tables? Each mis­sion takes between 30 min­utes and 12 hours to com­plete on aver­age, so you basi­cally log in and then depend­ing on the level of your fol­low­ers you assign them to mis­sions aim­ing to get an 100% chance of suc­cess – there is very lit­tle strat­egy here and once you have the hang of it (which takes no time at all) it’s just another bor­ing task to com­plete at your Gar­ri­son in the hope of get­ting Gar­ri­son sup­plies, gold, or other items. You do not inter­act with your fol­low­ers, you just assign them to tasks, wait till the time is up and col­lect your loot, think microwave pop­corn, ding, take out pop­corn put in next batch. And, that is not even men­tion­ing the Shipyard’s pol­icy on com­pletely destroy­ing ships that you’ve taken the time to level up should you not com­plete a mis­sion, there­fore, for every mis­sion it is just bet­ter to make sure it has a 100% chance of suc­cess oth­er­wise be pre­pared to kiss your Destroyer goodbye.


Garrison mission table

I guess it’s a bit of dis­ap­point that it hasn’t worked out as I ini­tially thought or as Bliz­zard had planned, but it was a good idea and I accept that some good things did come out of it, it just didn’t work in the game for me and a lot of other play­ers, par­tic­u­larly as end-game con­tent. At this point in time, the idea of lev­el­ling a new char­ac­ter and then hav­ing to level another Gar­ri­son for each new char­ac­ter makes me cry a lit­tle inside. I’m glad that the new expan­sion, Legion, is mov­ing away from the Gar­ri­son and get­ting us all back out into the world and inter­act­ing with other play­ers. I have no doubt that Bliz­zard will build upon every­thing they have learned from the Gar­risons and the feed­back received from play­ers and I’m opti­mistic that Legion’s Class Hall will be a much bet­ter fit for the game dynam­ics as a whole.


Class Hall image

From what we know, the Class Hall is going to be sim­i­lar in some ways to Gar­risons, build­ing on its good points, and as their name sug­gests they will be unique to each class. At the Class Hall you will be able to get class-specific quests and mis­sions and cus­tomise arti­facts. How­ever, the main dif­fer­ence is that they will also be avail­able to other mem­bers of your class which takes away that com­plete sense of iso­la­tion and inac­tiv­ity expe­ri­enced within your cur­rent Gar­ri­son. We also know that instead of just pick­ing up fol­low­ers to send on yet another mis­sion via your Gar­ri­son mis­sion table, we’ll have select cham­pi­ons of our class who will assist us in our own quests. The infor­ma­tion avail­able on the Class Halls are not set in stone but it has def­i­nite poten­tial and to be hon­est, I’m not sure it can be worse that the cur­rent Gar­ri­son set-up.

So, what will I miss from my Gar­ri­son? Well, the sec­ond Hearth­stone was pretty handy.

WoW Soaring Skyterror

As you know, there has been drama, there has been uproar, and after a lot of spir­ited dis­cus­sion Bliz­zard announced the rever­sion of the orig­i­nal plan to restrict fly­ing in Draenor. Although they still firmly believe that keep­ing your feet on the ground is a key part of dis­cov­ery in WoW, they also under­stood that for many it was an impor­tant aspect of the game and some­thing that wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily com­pro­mise their objec­tives for explo­ration. So, they came up with a com­pro­mise. Unlike other fly­ing achieve­ments which just rely on hit­ting a level require­ment and buy­ing the fly­ing abil­ity for a sum of gold, play­ers would need to com­plete the achieve­ment ‘Draenor pathfinder’ released in Patch 6.2 which would award the abil­ity of flight as well as a chro­matic rylak mount, the Soar­ing Skyter­ror. Once achieved and with Patch 6.2.2 fly­ing in Draenor would become pos­si­ble for all your char­ac­ters at level 90 or above.

In a blue post ear­lier this year Bliz­zard said that: “We believe this strikes the right bal­ance between ensur­ing ground-based con­tent lives up to its full poten­tial, while pro­vid­ing play­ers who’ve already fully expe­ri­enced Draenor’s out­door world extra free­dom to “break the rules.” This also pro­vides a gen­eral blue­print going for­ward for con­tent to come. Play­ers will explore new and undis­cov­ered lands from the ground, and then once they’ve fully mas­tered those environments—a notion that con­tin­ues to evolve with each new expansion—they can take to the skies and expe­ri­ence the world from a new van­tage point.”

What is the achievement?

The Draenor Pathfinder achieve­ment is a multi-step achieve­ment that can be tracked via the achieve­ment page in-game. It does take some time to com­plete and so now is the time to get started if you haven’t already. It is com­prised on the following:

  • Explore Draenor: Explore all of Draenor’s zones
  • Mas­ter Trea­sure Hunter: Col­lect 100 Treasures
  • Lore­mas­ter of Draenor: Com­plete all major story quests in Draenor
  • Secur­ing Draenor: Com­plete 12 spe­cific Apexis Dailies
  • Tanaan Diplo­mat: Hit Revered with the three new Tanaan Jun­gle fac­tions — Order of the Awak­ened, The Saber­stalk­ers, and Hand of the Prophet (Alliance)/Vol’jin’s Head­hunters (Horde).


For a com­plete look at every step of the Draenor Pathfinder Achieve­ment, Wow­head have pro­duced the Draenor Pathfinder guide which will pro­vide you with every­thing you need to know in order to make get­ting the achieve­ment as easy as possible.

Track­ing your progress

You can track your progress in two ways:

  • Track your objec­tives in-game by open­ing the achieve­ment win­dow, search­ing for the Draenor Pathfinder achieve­ment and select­ing the ‘track’ option which will add the objec­tives on-screen under­neath your quest list.


Wowhead Flying Tool for WoW

The good news is that the achieve­ment is account-wide for the most part, mean­ing that you can com­plete the objec­tives towards this achieve­ment on dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters. The excep­tion to this is Secur­ing Draenor, for this you must do all of the quests on one char­ac­ter only.

Log­ging in this past week­end it was great to see every­one hard at it, work­ing through those quest­lines for the achieve­ment. Good luck, I look for­ward to see­ing you in the skies of Draenor very soon.

WoW Legion Image from Blizzard Website

These are excit­ing times for all World of War­craft fans, with the announce­ment of the lat­est World of War­craft expan­sion, Legion. The expan­sion was just announced at Gamescom 2015 and since then Bliz­zard has released a raft of infor­ma­tion which includes the key fea­tures and nec­es­sary lore to enable all fans can get up to speed before jump­ing into the action.

Legion will be set on The Bro­ken Isles, which is a new and expan­sive con­ti­nent com­pris­ing sev­eral small islands in the heart of Aze­roth: The Bro­ken Shore, Sura­mar, Stormhein, High­mount­ian, Val’sharan, and Azsuna. In War­craft lore, before the Great Sun­der­ing, the region that would become the Bro­ken Isles was a part of Ancient Kalim­dor . It was here that the ancient for­est of Val’sharah, home of Cenar­ius, was located, as well as the city of Sura­mar, home­town of Tyrande Whis­per­wind, Mal­fu­rion Storm­rage, and Ill­i­dan Stormrage.

The Broken Isles Map

In this new expan­sion, the mutual enemy of the Horde and the Alliance, the Burn­ing Legion, has returned. In order to com­bat the armies of the Legion invad­ing Aze­roth, both Alliance and Horde must secure mighty arti­facts and join forces with a new hero class, the Demon Hunter — an elven out­cast shunned for dar­ing to wield the ter­ri­ble pow­ers of the Legion. The objec­tive is to find the Pil­lars of Cre­ation which are the secret to Azeroth’s salvation.

Apart from the set­ting and the famil­iar addi­tion of new Dun­geons and Raid, World of War­craft Legion will also be bring­ing plenty of addi­tional con­tent into the game­play. The new fea­tures are sum­marised below:

  • New con­ti­nent: The Bro­ken Isles
  • New class: Demon Hunter (Tank and DPS available)
  • Arti­facts: cus­tomiz­able weapons that grow in power as you do
  • Class-specific Order Halls and followers
  • All New Dun­geons and Raids
  • New World Bosses
  • Level cap raised to 110
  • Re-vamped PvP pro­gres­sion system
  • Improved trans­mo­gri­fi­ca­tion system
  • Improved social features
  • Char­ac­ter Boost — imme­di­ately raise one char­ac­ter to level 100

You can sign up now to opt in for Beta test­ing later this year. All you have to do is log in to your account, go to Beta Pro­file Set­tings and check the War­craft option, mak­ing sure you click Update Pref­er­ences to save your choice. You will then be eli­gi­ble to be ran­domly selected for a Legion beta invi­ta­tion once the test­ing process begins.

I hope you are look­ing for­ward to see­ing what Legion has to offer as much as I am.  For more infor­ma­tion on the lat­est expan­sion and more details about the new Demon Hunter class, new arti­facts and expan­sion lore you can visit Bliz­zards ded­i­cated Legion site at


First I wanted to say sorry I haven’t posted more, with life, school, work, Des­tiny, Shad­ows of Mor­dor, Forza Hori­zon 2, and Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS has taken all of my free time. I will how­ever, try to take the time more often to post, and start­ing with that here are a cou­ple of videos I put together to show some of the goofy things we have been up to in the world of Des­tiny. My thoughts on Des­tiny are split, the story is a inco­her­ent mess, the loot sys­tem is all based on chance, the voice act­ing is hit or miss (mostly misses); but the game play keeps me com­ing back almost every­day. Enjoy the videos and will be back shortly with another post.



TGB Twitter


As the eighth gen­er­a­tion of con­soles are still rel­a­tively new, new games are hard to come by, and devel­op­ment can be delayed while learn­ing the ropes for these con­soles. As games that are next gen spe­cific like Bat­man: Arkham Knight are see­ing delays, we are see­ing a return of pre­vi­ous gen games that pushed the older hard­ware to their break­ing lim­its. This past Jan­u­ary we saw the re-release of Tomb Raider in the Defin­i­tive Edi­tion for PlaySta­tion 4 and Xbox One. At the end of this month we will see the re-release of The Last of Us in the Remas­tered Edi­tion for the PS4, and at some point this year Grand Theft Auto 5 will jump to the new hard­ware as well. While some may scream that this is sim­ply a money grab from com­pa­nies, I see this as an oppor­tu­nity for peo­ple to play gems that could have taken visual, per­for­mance, or even game­play hits from the aging sev­enth gen hard­ware. I pur­chased Tomb Raider: Defin­i­tive Edi­tion for the PS4 recently and I am sur­prised over how good the game looks and run on the fresh hard­ware. I still have my orig­i­nal 360 copy and that was by no means an ugly game, but their is a stark visual and per­for­mance con­trast. This maybe the con­tin­u­ing trend of HD releases we received dur­ing the last gen, which I was well on board with. Play­ing the game the past cou­ple of days has also given me a new respect for Jason Graves incred­i­ble score. Graves is also known for scor­ing the Dead Space fran­chise, Mur­dered: Soul Sus­pect, and Alpha Pro­to­col. Tomb Raider’s sound­track may have been some­thing I missed in the past ( with the amount of games I play and sound­tracks I lis­ten to, some­thing just get lost), but I am cor­rect­ing that today with a look at its fan­tas­tic score.


Secret of the Island Com­plete — Jason Graves — A very per­cus­sion heavy piece, laid with early Japanese/tribal feel; Secret of the Island is a great rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Yamatai, the island in which Tomb Raider takes place. When the strings enter you can feel the sense of dan­ger; the mys­te­ri­ous Storm Guard; the Sun Queen, Himiko; and the deranged cultist led by Math­ias. The per­cus­sion makes this piece, enjoy


SOS Tower Final In-game (unre­leased) — Jason Graves — This track was not on the offi­cial sound­track, but thanks to Sound­Cloud and Graves, we get to lis­ten to what is one of the more hap­pier moments in the game. The part of the game where this piece takes place is a huge step for Lara. Still shaky about her sur­round­ings, she is less than con­fi­dent to climb the dilap­i­dated radio tower. She does, and proves to her­self that she can do this, she can become the char­ac­ter we know. The sight from atop the tower is beau­ti­ful, and this piece cap­tures that won­der­ing beauty.


A Sur­vivor is Born — Jason Graves — The main theme from Tomb Raider, is sweep­ing, beau­ti­ful piece of pro­duc­tion. Lara’s theme that starts around the (1:25) mark is epic, encas­ing all that Lara has been through on Yamatai and becom­ing the strong pro­tag­o­nist she is meant to be. At the (2:02) mark, the Lara theme is played again but by a solo piano. I love how in the piece there is the same cen­tral theme, the same notes even, played three dif­fer­ent ways, at dif­fer­ent tem­pos; but yet it all fits together so per­fectly. I hope you Enjoy!



Nor­mally I only post a Gam­ing in Stereo once a week but this track from Over­Clocked Remix has been on repeat since yes­ter­day and I can’t get enough of it. “Tor­na­dosaurus­Rex” by Pro­to­type­R­ap­tor is a remix of Mega Man 9’s Tor­nado Man’s theme. It fea­tures a take on the theme from K-wix “Thun­der Tor­nado” and mashes it with a drum and bass beat sim­i­lar to one of my favorite bands Pen­du­lum. Funny how things come full cir­cle, I only found out about Pen­du­lum via a video game (Motorstorm) and now a video game remix is hark­ing back to Pen­du­lum. Pro­to­type­R­ap­tor did an excel­lent job of just mak­ing a fun track to jam to. It was a real sur­prise to hear lyrics near the end of the track, but I think was a very good fit. Enjoy the track and if you are inter­ested in down­load­ing it, it is free over at Over­Clocked Remix.


Assassin’s Creed is one series I never tire of. Some may argue that the yearly titles are start­ing to set in fran­chise fatigue, and to a point, I agree. But unlike other yearly releases, they are given ample devel­op­ment time, they are always try­ing new ideas and mechan­ics (some that stick and oth­ers that only appear once), and the sheer amount of con­tent you get can be stag­ger­ing. To me, they are like tak­ing a walk through a his­tory book, but with fun action doo­dles in the mar­gins. I am cur­rently work­ing through Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, since I play these on the con­soles I waited till I was able to play the PlaySta­tion 4 ver­sion of the title to jump in. For a cross-generation title it is quite stun­ning. Black Flag has been a dream come true since I fin­ished Assassin’s Creed 3. One of the stand­out ele­ments from AC III was the naval bat­tles, which in Black Flag, take the fore­front. As a bonus we received one of the best pirate themed games of all time, some­thing Dis­ney (Pirates of the Caribbean) could never deliver. Jes­per Kyd has helmed most of the series as com­poser. Kyd com­posed the scores for Assassin’s Creed, II, Broth­er­hood, and shared duties on Rev­e­la­tions with Lorne Balfe. Balfe scored parts of rev­e­la­tions and Assassin’s Creed III. I have shared Balfe’s work on AC III on a pre­vi­ous Gam­ing in Stereo. Assassin’s Creed: Lib­er­a­tion, a spin off of AC III that landed on the PS Vita (later con­soles and PC) was scored By Winifred Phillips. Black Flag was scored by Brian Tyler, known for the excel­lent Far Cry 3 sound­track. Though some peo­ple, myself included, were a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed when Kyd didn’t return for Assassin’s Creed III, but I feel it was for the bet­ter. Kyd did a great job dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing the sound of AC and AC II, and I feel fresh com­posers did the same for the fol­low­ing titles. Today we are going to look at those dif­fer­ent sounds with some tracks from Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed II.


Jes­per Kyd — Ezio’s Fam­ily — Assassin’s Creed II

This track is sim­ply beau­ti­ful. With the piano, stings, and vocals it feels very fit­ting for renais­sance time period. Since the Assassin’s Creed series is a tale of two time peri­ods, one mod­ern and the other a his­tor­i­cal point in time, the track adds an elec­tric gui­tar ele­ment at the (2:44) mark. Eas­ily one of my favorite tunes from this series, enjoy!


Brian Tyler — Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Main Theme

Brian Tyler cap­tured the escapades of Edward Ken­way per­fectly with this theme. The drums and vio­lins give a sea shanty feel, breath­ing a sense of play­ful­ness in to the tune. The fran­tic drums at the (1:29) are the high­light, but like the game, this feels fun. You can feel in the music that Ken­way likes his “pri­va­teer” lifestyle, though the game does have its more seri­ous moments as well.


Bonus Track: Brian Tyler — On the Hori­zon

I am going to let the bonus track speak for itself. There are epic drum sec­tions later in the piece, so lis­ten for those. This does show a more seri­ous side to Black Flag, enjoy!




I know I have been away for some time, plan­ning a wed­ding, even hav­ing a year in advance, can be a dif­fi­cult time. The most dif­fi­cult of these choices has clearly been what song I wanted played while danc­ing with my mother. My mother has been the most influ­en­tial peo­ple in my life, push­ing me to always do bet­ter and always tak­ing an inter­est with the things I love. She is a con­stant reader on the site, always for­ward­ing me arti­cles on the good the gam­ing indus­try does, and when ever she vis­its, takes time to sit and watch me play. My love and appre­ci­a­tion for clas­si­cal music stems from her push­ing me in mid­dle and high school. I started learn­ing music when I was around 9 years old. I played the trum­pet from then till I grad­u­ated high school and I can still read sheet music to this day. There had been sev­eral times I wanted to quit, with the rea­son either being some of my friends or a teacher had annoyed me to the point of no return; but, because of her I stayed. Now, as an adult, I see that it was for the bet­ter and I can now hon­estly say, thank you. When choos­ing the song to dance with my mother, I wanted it to incor­po­rate all of the above. I wanted it to have emo­tion, be gam­ing related, and be an orches­trated piece with no lyrics what so ever. I am not a tra­di­tion­al­ist by any means. I feel there is more emo­tion in music with­out lyrics. Lyrics can be an empty shell, devoid of mean­ing, and can be crafted by any­one. Real com­po­si­tion takes an artist, and I looked to one of my favorite game com­posers, who I deeply respect as an artist and com­poser, Nobuo Uematsu for a com­po­si­tion. I chose “Zanarkand” from the Final Fan­tasy X sound­track. It is the ver­sion taken from Uematsu-sans “Dis­tant Worlds II: More Music from Final Fan­tasy” album, it has a full orches­tra play­ing the piece instead of the MIDI ver­sion from the game (the new HD Remas­ter has much bet­ter audio, Yay!). I wanted to say thank you for your hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to me for the past 29 years. I have grown into a young man that appre­ci­ates the arts and well crafted music because of you. I try to pass that love of music and games with each Gam­ing in Stereo arti­cle I write. Mom, if you read this before you leave, I love you and hope you enjoy the music! To every­one else, I will be depart­ing for a bit, but will return in force, with arti­cles pop­ping up, hope­fully next week. I may have to blog a bit while the misses is out shop­ping on our trip, and don’t think I would go on a hon­ey­moon and leave my handhelds!




I had a dif­fer­ent set of songs picked out for this arti­cle this week, then I came across this song and things changed. Hands down, one of the best remixes, and one of the best songs I have heard in quite a while. “Bub­ble Dragon: A Bub­ble Bob­ble Trib­ute” by 7Bit Hero is a remix of the “Bonus theme” and “Main Theme” from Bub­ble Bob­ble, a game that was released in arcades (one of the many cab­i­nets I have had the plea­sure of play­ing) in 1986. 7Bit Hero, out of Bris­bane, Aus­tralia, com­bines music with gam­ing to cre­ate some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent. The orig­i­nal tunes mar­ried well with lyrics, one of the few times this actu­ally works. The result is some­thing that feels like a pop tune from the 80’s that feels fresh. The song is free for down­load either at Over­Clocked Remix or 7Bit Hero’s site. The music video is below and is incred­i­bly well done as it is sad. I love the song so much I have added it to my wed­dings playlist. Enjoy this won­der­ful tune, and if you are inter­ested in more from 7bit Hero, they have a free inter­ac­tive app on Google Play and the Apple App Store as well as their albums “We Eat Loot” and “Hey You! a Flappy Bird Lament” are avail­able for purchase.


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