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Author: G4Jedi Dial W for Warp.com
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System: 1.26 - 1.5 GHz G4     Location: Shippensburg PA, USA
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G4Jedi's tales of terror

World of Warcraft

Well, now that the European beta of WoW has ended, I feel a bit compelled to share my thoughts having played it consistently over the last few weeks. But before I do, I feel I must acknowledge the person who graciously and willingly handed over his beta key in order that I may finally have the chance to test drive it.

Some months ago, while the beta progressed in the U.S., I was denied several oppurtunities to be in the beta. Surfice to say, I was not a happy camper. If you're interested, read about all that in here. Anyway, to say the least, I was just plain mad at many things going on during that time and the fact that I was chosen and denied by FilePlanet ignorance only made me hate Blizzard even more. I really wanted to try World of Warcraft, and eventually thought I'd buy it for the hell of it just to play it anyway.

Thing is, I hate not being able to demo games first. My Mac certainly isn't the most powerful machine, and I was terrified the performance would be similar to Warcraft III. (WC3's performance in multiplayer is terrible for me, I don't know why, it's extremely jumpy and slow, and I've always played with all settings low). I don't want to waste $50 for a game that A) I would have to pay to play eventually and B) which wouldn't run too fantastic on my hardware at this time. (No G5 for another year or so) So, I waited and nearly forgot all about ever wanting to play WoW.

Suddenly out of the blue one day, I get this email from Johan (Whaleman). He asks if I was still interested to play WoW and would offer me his Euro Final Beta key to play. I couldn't believe it! Johan bought an Xbox, had already played a good amount of WoW beta already, and kindly offered it to me. Johan, you're the best Mac gaming friend a Mac gamer could have! I will find some way to return the favor. (I was willing to buy an American copy off the shelves and ship it to him, but he'd already preordered a copy. ;-D )

So when the European Final beta began, I spent two full days downloading the installer tomes off the Blizzard P2P network. It was well worth it though. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING went smoothly afterward. I installed the game (no problems), created an account (no problems), and logged on successfully (WITH NO PROBLEMS!) It was exactly the opposite as the last time I had attempted this!

And so... the addiction began. At 1:30 am, I entered the world for the first time and was amazed at how fast, huge, and beautiful it was. My machine, with two or three options turned down ran it smoothly. I almost cried tears of joy. Even across the Atlantic I was averaging 150ms latency. Not bad at all!

The quests are great, the balance is good, the leveling up is tedious, but not too difficult. Anyone can manage to play a quest or two in one night and get experience relatively quickly. I do have to disagree with Johan's opinion of the game on one thing though. WoW is great as MMORPG and I'm glad it is. If this was single player, it just wouldn't be the same. It's far too huge, with so much to do. You almost require groupwork in some situations and computer-controlled A.I. just wouldn't cut it for me. Having a real person come to your aid in battle is a nice feeling to have. Very reassuring. It also makes for good conversations and dance parties in town squares. ;-) I've said it numerous times, I'm a multiplayer person and love to play games aside actual human players (whether it be local or from far away). WoW absolutely feeds that multiplayer craving.

In so many ways it consantly reminds me of the first Diablo, only 500 times better and on a much larger scale. I was so addicted to the first Diablo, I played it every night, some nights even when I was supposed to be doing homework, until I eventually conquered it one night. I haven't been so addicted to any game since, as I have other tasks in life to do that come first nowadays. But playing WoW, even for as brief as, brought back some of that craving. I know, it's dangerous to get so attached to a game, and I've managed to avoid ever becoming so indulged in a game that I'd forget what things are priority. I'm not that hardcore.

Will I get WoW? Of course! I will buy it sometime in the near future. But I believe just buying the 2 month game cards will allow me to pace myself more. As in, play it some, and then come back to it later sometime and not have to worry about being charged for when I'm not playing it.

In any case, I take back (almost) everything I said about Blizzard in my rant some months ago. I love World of Warcraft. Look foward to seeing some of you in the realm soon. Now that my level 20 Paladin is gone, I have to start from square one again. And I look foward to it!

Posted on February 8, 2005 at 4:32 pm
The ginormous "what's new with me" blog™

I haven't blogged in about two months. When bad circumstances haven't befallen me, I've tried to be gaming and working on other personal projects.

Had a terrific UT2004 match over Thanksgiving weekend. Johan figured out how to "taxi" people on vehicles. First time I tried to jump on top of the car he got, he drove off without me! I simply said "I just wanted a lift!" ;-) Sunday drivers... Anyway, more UT2004 matches to come soon, perhaps as early as this weekend maybe. I'm always in the mood for UT, as it is STILL the best multiplayer frag game EVER!

Some of the IMG regulars have also begun planning some Warcraft III matches again. It's probably been 3 months since I last played WC3, I'm looking forward to seeing some strategy action again, with more familiar faces this time hopefully. I usually only play with friends over LAN matches and have maybe once or twice played WC3 over Battle.net. I don't know why I've stayed away from Battle.net, as I used to play Starcraft over b.net quite frequently years ago. Perhaps it's just holding out hope for a newer Mac/PC Starcraft game again...

I still would like to try WoW in the future, but not something I need to worry with just right now. I see it as a bit unfair advantage having WoW available first over the Europeans and for them to have to wait so long for it. Some of the best regulars I know on these forums (and elsewhere ;-) ) are from Europe, and likely would rather wait for them to get it as well, so it seems like a fair advantage for leveling up and such...

Will spend Christmas with family of course, but afterward, I intend to finish Myst IV and a few Gamecube titles like Sonic Heroes, for which I'm piecing away at but haven't gotten back to yet. Anyone who knows me better though, will tell you I'm a multiplayer guy, and mostly enjoy the online/community aspect of games rather than their single player counterparts. Not to say I totally hate single player, I just don't play as many single player campaigns through.

Played some XBox titles with 2 friends this past Saturday, before I came down with an extremely nasty stomach virus on Sunday which left me near powerless to do much of anything. (Damn you McDonald's!) Anyway, the titles were Dungeons and Dragons, Halo 2 on Live, and Mortal Kombat Deception.

As I said, I need to finish my remaining 1-2 Gamecube titles before Feb. 14, the release date of Starfox: Assault in the U.S. I can hardly wait for this title! Yes, I'm a Starfox games fanatic going back to the SNES. Got excited over Adventures when it was released over 2 years ago and will say it was quite indulging, despite lacking much of the flight/space combat (what makes Starfox games classic).

Little comment: One of the reasons I like Starfox besides the gameplay, characters, and series, is simply because the franchise is not as hyped or overdone as with most other Nintendo franchises like Mario, Zelda, Kirby, DK, and even Metroid now. There have been only 3 "officially released" Starfox games EVER, Assault becoming the 4th. (There was another game in development for SNES, but was scrapped shortly before N64, however you can find the ROM nowadays. I don't count Smash Bros. titles either.) Someone said once, that Miyamoto supposedly didn't care for the Starfox franchise as much, hence only saw one game based around it in a console's lifetime, however GC being the exception now to carry 2 titles.

Lastly, is the concern for the upcoming Stargate SG-1 PC/XBox/PS2 game. I'm a huge SG-1 fan as well. (Own all 7 seasons on DVD) Simply put, I WANT THIS GAME FOR MAC IN 2006! Perhaps in 2006, I will finally start to consider purchase of a new Mac tower depending on financial situation of course. I assume we'll have over 3GHz G5s by then, with PCIe graphics cards perhaps, and I will be sure to go all out, if I do. Since the Stargate game is supposedly using UT technology, I have a feeling we are likely to see it. The original Elite Force got rave reviews in its day, and it sounds the development company is working just as hard to make this Stargate game as perfect as the series itself, with cast members voice acting, vehicles, the shear sweetness of modern SGC weapons (P90 baby!), and new types of online gameplay specific to this game. I'm expecting a to see this game do really well, as they've got all of MGM to back them up on this, as Paramount was for Elite Force. So, Aspyr, MacSoft, or anyone, fight for this title please when it begins to get closer to release next year!

Well, it's 1:00am, time for sleep...

Posted on December 14, 2004 at 10:00 pm
Community gaming is fun.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say how much I appreciated the community gaming last Friday on #IMG (UT2004). Johan, buddy, I hope you got some well-deserved sleep. It was barely 11:00pm here and I couldn't believe you were still gaming at 5:00am over there. But, then again it was Saturday for you, wasn't it? ;-)

And Gaf, I believe you did pulverize me to bits with a tank once. Believe me when I say that for an experiment, when you came ramming speed with your truck to crush me and that one AVRIL round I shot made it explode into the air, I wanted it to become a projectile that would land ON ME when it came crashing down! Really, I tried to move fast into the landing zone and be crushed at the right angle. I can never seem to have my flaming vehicle come crashing down on some innocent bystander after they've already blew me up, so I was trying the experiment on myself. It failed unfortunately. :-D

This goes back to a blog I made a few months ago about needing more community gaming involvement. Really, I hadn't played UT2004 with anyone from IMG since the demo came out. And I must say it was a fantastic time. It didn't lag hardly at all either!

I know I really need to be more involved in #IMG chat at least once a week again. I do try hard to find the time, but often it's lost amongst work and other activities. Friday nights though, I didn't realize that many people are actually in #IMG. Granted I'm not always home on Fridays, but will try to make more of an effort to be from now on.

Sometimes I really do wish IMG would offer a dedicated game server for Mac gaming play that rotates games every once in a while. Would be a decent incentive to subscribe to Pro now wouldn't it?

Anyway, this is sort of my "Part 2" in calling for a collective IMG online. I really ought to give it some more thought and post a forum topic about it later.

Posted on October 25, 2004 at 7:49 pm
Myst IV: Revelation

Wow...thinking about it today, it's been 10+ years since my parents gave me the original Myst as a birthday gift. Long when I still lived at home and we had our Performa 5200. I remember how intriguing Myst became to me. I loved every aspect of the game, made journal entries and drew maps for each Age. Some of you may remember they included a paper journal along with the original Myst (which still sits on my shelf). I obsessed over it for months even after I completed it and bought all three printed novels reading them through high school and early college. (To anyone who hasn't, I highly recommend reading the novels as they provide an excellent background from the true beginning.)

While both Riven and Exile further advanced from the classic Hypercard stop motion to more real-time cinematography and 360 camera, there has always been something I've found nostagic about the original Myst more over the others, and perhaps I always will.

But moving on, being a longtime Myst fan, I had to of course pick up the latest and greatest in the saga. Though I've only played Myst IV: Revelation for a few hours now, that time alone warrants a review.

I must say, this has the most breath-taking (though prerendered as usual, but that's OK!) graphics. I'm saying this because I really appreciate the new support for higher resolutions (older Myst games only went as high as 800x600), as my cheap flat panel monitor makes things less than 1024x768 look horrible. So I can finally play a Myst title in pure gorgeous atmosphere and no grainy appearance. Video (Atrus, etc.) is much, much better too!

Another tremendous change I noticed is the animation. In previous Myst games you could always see a fuzzy look when objects you interacted with moved. Exile improved upon this problem somewhat but it was still noticable in darker areas. With Revelation, it's virtually non-existent.

The interface is also another huge improvement. The hand cursor is no longer some dinky pixeled OS 9 cursor either, it's a detailed hand! It has its own free flowing movement when you drag to open or close things, etc. The built-in journal and camera for typing notes and taking snapshots for records is ever so helpful! (I always had to draw pictures remember?)

I think any longtime Myst fan will appreciate the story, if you've played Myst games thus far then obviously you have to have a great appreciation of the story already, so I won't go into detail about it. I've not played very far myself and wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone.

The only reason I give it a 9 (actually a 9.8 if I could) would have to be the crappy installer. It simply reeks of Windows (uses some common Windows XP icons) and has the god awful "InstallShield" logo. I didn't think InstallShield was for Mac, but somehow they managed to whip up a Java installer, which is by far crappy compared to other Java installers I've seen. I mean, really, they could've used a nice, fancy Mac native installer which works like you would expect any other Apple app to work. (It doesn't even eject DVD #1 for you when you need to swap discs!) But oh well, I shouldn't be picky considering it's actually on DVD and ships as a Mac/Win hybrid boxset that included Myst III Exile on DVD as well. Like I said, I give it a 9.8!

It says "700Mhz G4 (G5 recommended)" on the box, however my rig plays it absolutely fantasic in 1024x768. I usually take fairly long breaks between sitting down and just going through a few hours of Myst games. I've played for roughly 3 hours today, so it's unlikely I'll come back to it for at least another week. As my gaming time throughout the work week is limited. But that's OK too, as it's good to take these games slow.

Posted on October 3, 2004 at 3:03 pm
I killed my PC. For some reason it feels good.

I was helping a friend try to solve his PC problem. This powerful Athlon CPU he had wasn't working. He supposedly thought it was the motherboard. So I risked my CPU from my PC (granted it's a crappy Duron) and swapped it into his. It booted fine...twice even.

Having thought we solved the problem thinking his CPU was simply bad, he bought another from TigerDirect.com. To our surprise, this one was a no-go either. The chances of having two bad CPUs in a row...is well, about as likely as poor Johan receiving two defective G5s.

After messing with the thing for a while to avail, I flipped through my motherboard manual and indeed my board shows it can handle his CPU. So I try it in my system. Nothing happens. At this point his CPU seemed the likely culprit (again). I simply thought having had my CPU work before in his machine I swapped mine into his, figuring it wouldn't hurt to try it again. After all it was the only option left to determine whether the new CPU he received from Tigerdirect was indeed another dead workhorse. So, after having installed my CPU into his machine again we power it up...this time, nothing. Tried again...nothing. I was getting frustrated by this point, and seriously thinking perhaps he killed the board.

I pull out my CPU, put it back into my machine, push the power button. Nothing happens. I tried again, nothing. Cleared the CMOS, unplugged all unnecessary cables and devices, tried again. Nothing.

He's still got a dead PC, but then so do I now. However, it doesn't hurt me to admit I killed my own PC. I seldom ever use the thing, only built it for school work and a backup gaming machine when company showed up. But otherwise, have little next to no use for it now. I'm debating whether to attempt to purchase a new CPU (perhaps even motherboard?). I really don't use Windows all that much at home. And frankly, don't care. Perhaps this is the oppurtunity to rid myself of any personal Windows usage once and for all? Hmm...it remains to be seen. I did purchase a UT2004 copy for PC as well as for my Mac. Does having another occasional player for UT2004 justify the expense of keeping a spare PC?

*sigh* I love UT2004, and always find the more people the better. Leaving someone out always feels bad. I'm going to have to give this some thought, indeed.

Posted on September 25, 2004 at 10:32 pm
Browse Archives: 11 Entries
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Games Playing:
Starfox: Assault (GCN)
Unreal Tournament 2004 (Mac)
WC III/Frozen Throne (Mac)
Starcraft/Broodwar (Mac)
Ocarina of Time Master Quest (GCN)
 
Reviews:
World of Warcraft 2/8/2005
   
Myst IV: Revelation 10/3/2004
   
 
Friends:
Johan
Conrad
Kev
Zack
Tom
Ross
Ludvig
Greg
Benny
Joel
Mike
Ebbe
Andy
Magnus
Gaf
Sam
SilentBob
Mav
Walter
Jav
Landru
Carter
Clave
Biablo
If I missed anyone, please say so!
 
System Details:
OS: 10.3
Processor: G4
CPU Speed: 1.26 - 1.5 GHz
Memory: 1 GB
Video: NVIDIA GeForce3
Display: Generic Flat Panel
HD Space: 81 - 120 GB
CD: Generic 32x
DVD: Generic 12x
Details: - Originally a 400Mhz Sawtooth, but currently has a GigaDesigns CPU upgrade running at 1.3Ghz.
- 64MB GeForce3 is actually a flashed PC card with a Mac ROM.
- 2 speakers and 1 sub.
- FireWire CD burner 16x10x40x.
- Internal Zip 100 drive.

Also own a 12" Powerbook (Rev. A) 867Mhz, 32MB nVidia, 384MB RAM. Not really a gaming machine to me though.
 
IMG Participation:
User Reviews: 1
Polls Voted: 4
 
Blog Stats:
Entries: 11
Reviews: 2
Comments: 16
Visits: 7296
 



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