Gaming

August 28, 2015

The Final Verdict on Garrisons

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.

April 11, 2014

Diablo III Patch 2.0.4

On Tuesday Blizzard released a major patch for Diablo III. There have been a lot of changes to the classes as well as some fixes and tweaks, for the full release notes go to: http://www.battle.net/d3/en/blog/13532431/patch-204-now-live-08-04-2014.

The Big Changes

There is big news for pets in this patch with a boost to the damage that they can dish out, all pets, including Witch Doctor and Demon Hunter pets, now scale their damage with Critical Hit Damage.

Crusaders got buffed! They also now incur a 15% damage reduction. After the Crusader being so OP in the beta it came as a surprise that the class in live was so fragile, so this patch has brought the Crusader back to a level that is on an equal footing with the other classes.

Controversial change for Wizards, did it get nerfed? Frozen orb is apparently now ‘fixed’ because it was bugged before. Wizards were getting the maximum orb damage on every hit because the radius was too big and the time the orb lasted was too long. So although this will still be a good ability it’s affect will be reduced. In addition, Teleport has been changed to 3 teleports rather than 4, but the distance you can travel in any one teleport has been increased from 35 yards to 50 yards.

Crafting costs have been reduced, level 70 crafted sets no longer require Flawless Royal gems and instead now require Marquise gems which means that it’s not such a massive overhead and could reduce farming time for some items.

The drop rate of unique Legendary crafting materials has been significantly increased alongside ensuring that Nephalem Rifts are the best way to get legendary items. The number of chests and drops from monsters outside of rifts has been reduced with the drops you are getting in the rifts being tailored to your class now.

April 11, 2014

Blizzard at PAX East 2014

 

Visit east.paxsite.com for  the latest news from PAX East, schedules, forums, and more. You can also download the official PAX app for smart phones for free to your smart phone.

What’s happening at the Blizzard Booth at PAX East 2014

  • Warlords of Draenor hands-on demo featuring updated character models and the intro experience for the upcoming expansion.
  • Hands-on time with the in-development Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for PlayStation 4.
  • The latest information on Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and a chance to play the mobile version on iPad.
  • A brand-new demo for Heroes of the Storm, featuring new Heroes playable for the first time anywhere outside of Blizzard.
  • Blizzard developers will be on-hand to chat about your favorite games.

 

Follow @Official_PAX on Twitter and you can also follow @PAX_lines for the latest from the main theatre.

March 28, 2014

AMD, Crytek and the Mantle API

Another milestone for the Mantle graphics API has been reached with the addition of Crytek and its game development engine, CRYENGINE” www.amd.com

AMD and Crytek Collaboration

At this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco it was announced that Crytek and AMD had entered into a partnership that would add native Mantle graphics API support to CRYENGINE. CRYENGINE is an advanced game development solution with scalable computation and graphic technologies, effectively making it the fastest high-end renderer in the world. This is the latest iteration of the game engine that has powered Crytek game titles since 2004. Many game developers have chosen the all-inclusive CRYENGINE toolbox creating games including the Crytek titles Ryse: Son of Rome and Warface.

AMD’s Mantle API makes creating games for the PC more efficient than ever, this is done by streamlining communication between a gamer’s CPU and GPU. By alleviating communication bottlenecks and making the best use of existing PC hardware, Mantle helps to improve overall game performance. The GDC 2014 trailer shows the highlights of CRYENGINE-powered games from the industry:

Learn more about Crytek’s CRYENGINE®
Learn more about Mantle

March 15, 2014

WoW Lore Series: Draenor

Map of Outland

Many thousands of years ago there was a solitary planet in the universe unknown to Azeroth of which the Orcs were the native inhabitants. The Orcs lived simple lives, grouped into clans they held a belief in the elemental forces of nature and followed the path of the Shaman. The Orcs needed nothing more. However, fleeing from persuit, a group of aliens known as the Eredar came to the planet and set-up a colony. This group of Eredar called themselves the Draenei and they named the planet Draenor. Led by their prophet Velen, they were a splinter group from the rest of their race who would not serve Sargeras and the Burning Legion, hey had been mercilessly chased by Kil’jaeden, a powerful eredar demon lord, and finally believed that they had found a place where they would be safe. For the most part the Dranei and the Orcs kept a distance from each other, only sometimes meeting to trade in items that they needed. The Dranei, who were talented magic-wielders, kept their main city hidden and the two races co-existed peacefully on the planet.

However, that peace was not to last. Agents of the Burning Legion found Draenor and picked up the tell-tale signs of Draenei magic there, but when Kil’jaeden found out about the Orcs he immediately saw that they had the potential for destruction and wanted to add this race to his army. He cleverly deceived the Orcs into believing that the Draenei were plotting against them by disguising himself as the deceased mate of one of the elder Shamans, Ner’zhul, and so the Orcs fell into his trap, not only would he add them to his Burning Legion, he would use them to take care of Velen and his followers once and for all. Kil’jaeden gave the orcs dark magic, they had never seen such power and eagerly threw away their shamanistic ways, Shamans became Orc Warlocks. Ner’zhul finally realised what was happening, but it was too late, Kil’jaeden stripped him of the power he had bestowed upon him and instead allowed Ner’zhul’s eager apprentice, who craved power, to take his place as leader.Now that Gul’dan was in place, the Pit Lord Mannoroth was instructed to give his blood to the cheftains of the orc clans to drink to show their loyalty to the Burning Legion. Most Orc cheftains drank the blood which caused their minds to be altered and a strange bloodlust decended upon them, with their new power and lust for death and destruction the Orcs destroyed any Dranei in their path and their main city of Shattrath. Many Dranei were killed and many of those who did not fall to the Orcs bloodlust were infected by the fel energy of the new Orc warlocks and became corrupted.

Now hungry for more, Gul’dan with the help of Medivh of Azeroth, who was possessed by Sargeras at the time, opened the Dark Portal linking Draenor and Azeroth. Gul’dan saw a whole new world for the taking and this was exactly what Sargaras wanted. The Orcs went through the Dark Portal and destroyed anything in their path including leaving Stormwind in ruins. This was the first war and the Orcs had triumphed. But their victory was short-lived, the races of Azeroth rallied, the humans, elves and dwarves formed the Alliance of Lordaeron and thus began the second war. In the second war the Alliance pushed back the Burning Legion and attempted to close the Dark Portal, through the efforts of the Alliance it looked like the Portal had been destroyed, however a small tear between the worlds remained that could not be closed.

On the other side of the Dark Portal, now cut off from Azeroth, the clans fought against each other, unable to quell the bloodlust and with no enemies to fight – something had to be done. Ner’zhul, who had been injured during the destruction of the Dark Portal, was visited by the Orc deathknight Teron Gorefiend. Gorefiend had a plan to open more portals on Draenor to other worlds, but he needed two things: Ner’zhul to lead the horde once more and some rare artifacts – from Azeroth. Ner’zhul agreed to the plan and recovered the artifacts, but he was followed back to Draenor by the Alliance who sought to retrieve them, unfortunately the party from the Alliance were too late and Ner’zhul had already started to open portals to other worlds and by doing this Ner’zhul was destroying Draenor, the planet was literally ripping itself apart under the strain. The Alliance could only do one thing, they needed to break the link between Draenor and Azeroth before it was too late and both planets were destroyed. Ner’zhul quickly abandoned the horde and escaped through one of the portals just before the planet was ripped apart sending pieces of the shattered planet to float in the Twisting Nether, the Alliance party sent through the Dark Portal were presumed dead. The bits of Draenor that remained became Outland and though many perished in the destruction, those that survived lived on.

Years later, the Dark Portal between Azeroth and Outland was re-opened, but there was little for anyone in Outland anymore and the draenei were happy to remain on Azeroth with their newfound Alliance allies.

September 21, 2013

Noobcamp reaches its $25,000 Kickstarter goal

noobcamp trailer logo

13 hours ago project Noobcamp successfully reached it’s goal of raising $25,000, reaching a total of $25,305 with 166 backers. But what is Noobcamp?

“Noobcamp is a story about an ex-professional gamer who is forced to teach a video game camp for kids. Johnny7, as he was once known, was among the top pro gamers in the world and made millions in endorsements. The show picks up several years after his downfall. Johnny, now mid-20s, reckless and jaded from his fame and fortune, is probably the worst person for the job, but he may be exactly what they need.” Noobcamp by Mayview.

Reading through all the information on the Kickstarter page together with the video these guys have put together I find that I get drawn more and more into this idea and it becomes more fascinating. If you have an interest in gaming, film-making or you just like to watch shows that challenge your perceptions and provide a challenge then I think you are definitely going to be interested in this.

It interests us here at The Gamers Blog for two main reasons:

We respect what these guys are trying to do and it falls in-line with what we try to achieve on The Gamers Blog, we are all about getting information out there, inspiring people and helping to promote the industry and everything that it can achieve, we believe that we can make a difference and we do that by bringing forward new ideas and getting people to think differently.

We think that the concept of the show is brilliant and that the goal of integrating gamers and non-gamers is something that could really work well here, there can be a cross-over and it can be a happy medium, not a them and us. I personally love when they say that “Gamers don’t just play games. They laugh, they fail, they love, they search for adventure, they search for who they are.” – for me, that’s really key.

Look out for this one, I think it’s going to be a success! Let’s start with the trailer.

August 23, 2013

Win some Overclockers goodies with The Gamers Blog

Enter at: https://twitter.com/GamersBlogBytes

Simply retweet us and answer the following question – What are your inventive and off the wall ways to overclock your body for LAN party survival?

Competition closes Monday 26th August 2013 at midnight. Good Luck!

The Gamers Blog – Proud to recommend Overclockers, empowering gamers http://www.overclockers.co.uk

August 23, 2013

Hot News from Gamescom 2013

TK MMORPG Update PictureIf you’ve never been to Gamescom you are missing out, with the latest in the hardware and software sector it’s one of the years most prominent events. At Gamescom you can immerse yourself in the multi-faceted world of gaming and technology, have fun and experience all the latest game premiers. If you can’t be there, here are a few of the highlights that you might want to check out, as we get more information be sure that we’ll bring it to you here at The Gamers Blog. Here are a few of the announcements so far that I’m particularly excited about.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is coming to the PC
Ubisoft has finally confirmed that The Division is indeed coming to PC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F-Xu1S9wv0#t=12

Firaxis prepare to upgrade XCOM with their Enemy Within expansion
Enemy Within will be available on PC and Mac, while Xbox 360 and PS3 will get the “Commander Edition” that includes a copy of Enemy Unknown and the Slingshot and Elite Soldier content packs. Set in the confines of Enemy Unknown, it’s the same game just with more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4KdSli869U

Diablo 3 unleashes new terrors, in the new expansion, Reaper of Souls
Named after its new lord of darkness, Maltheal, the fallen angel of wisdom who has now become the angel of death. The expansion will add new zones to fight through, a new class called the Crusader and raise the level cap to 70 for all of Diablo 3′s current classes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb7QJwQ58T0

New screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The third game in the excellent Witcher trilogy will conclude Geralt’s story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0i88t0Kacs

Dedicated Servers for Call of Duty: Ghosts
Call of Duty: Ghosts on PC will will once again feature dedicated servers enabling more seamless updates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxnx3W-HA18

Crytek’s new CryEngine
Now just called ‘CryEngine’ features revolutionary PuddleTech. Crytek’s Carl Jones explains “We have revolutionised many parts of the engine: we have overhauled our entire lighting system, built movie quality character rendering and animation solutions, vastly improved the speed and effectiveness of our Sandbox editor, and even our rendering has changed with tessellation, pixel accurate displacement mapping and now physical based rendering; all of this while maintaining our first principal: that making games should be real-time, all the time.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF1zjDSqPoo

August 20, 2013

The i49 Giveaway Weekend 23rd – 26 August 2013

TGB i49 weekend giveaway graphic

Enter at: https://twitter.com/GamersBlogBytes

Simply retweet us and answer the following question – What are your inventive and off the wall ways to overclock your body for LAN party survival?

Competition closes Monday 26th August 2013 at midnight. Good Luck!

The Gamers Blog – Proud to recommend Overclockers, empowering gamers http://www.overclockers.co.uk

August 14, 2013

i49 Exclusives Update – Epigenesis and War of the Vikings

EPIGENESIS EXCLUSIVE FIRST LIVE MATCH AT INSOMNIA49
AUGUST 8, 2013 2:45 PM

Multiplay are proud to announce that for the first time ever, the game Epigenesis will be played live on stage, in front of the Insomnia49 audience. Epigenesis is a neon-pulsating sports / fps hybrid where players compete in a futuristic ballgame where the rises and falls are as tall and deep as the potential for strategy. In each play, players must both capture nodes and make their surrounding environment sprout crazy tactical mechanisms that help towards ultimate match victory.

The teams will be playing three matches on Saturday, with the presentation beginning at 10:30 AM. Besides this the game will also be showcased at the Logitech stand all weekend, so you can catch a less tense version of the virtual sport that’s yet to sweep the nation in a much calmer setting.

PARADOX INTERACTIVE AT INSOMNIA49: BRACE YOURSELVES, VIKINGS ARE COMING!
AUGUST 6, 2013 1:27 PM

Muliplay have worked with Paradox in the past to bring flagship titles such as War of the Roses to gamers via their online services and solutions, and now are happy to be able to provide a showcase for this particular upcoming title at the UK’s biggest gaming festival. War of the Vikings is a multiplayer close-quarters combat simulator set during the Viking Age in a Saxon controlled England. Featuring intense close-quarters combat, authentic settings and weaponry, rich levels of customisation, large-scale 64-player battle, and stunningly beautiful bears, War of the Vikings will continue Paradox’s trend of publishing really interesting and engaging combat-orientated period pieces.

Representatives of Paradox will be showing the game live on stage at Insomnia49. They also have 3000 early access alpha keys to give away for the game during the event. It’s a great time to be a Viking fan!

Courtesy of Multiplay – http://insomniagamingfestival.com/news/

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