Monday, March 29, 2010

BlizzCon 2010 Goodie Bag Product Ideas

For those of you who haven't heard yet, Blizzard has finally announced their plans for BlizzCon 2010.  I'm not going to bother with delving into any of the details since there are plenty of other sites that are doing just that, including the official BlizzCon site.  What I am going to do is make some suggestions for what kind of things Blizzard should put into the highly sought-after BlizzCon Goodie Bag for 2010.

Anyone who's been to BlizzCon has surely reveled in the sights and sounds Blizzard and its affiliates and partners present for our amusement.  One decidedly less entertaining aspect however, is the smells.  Lets face it, jamming thousands of gamers into a giant convention hall built in a place known for hot weather isn't necessarily going to smell like a bouquet of roses.  Additionally, some gamers don't necessarily have a great handle on the concept of "personal hygiene"—I should know...I'm one of them.  =P

With this in mind, Blizzard has an amazing opportunity to satisfy the olfactory elite and fanboys alike by launching their own line of hygiene products—and what better place to test it out than giving it away as free swag at BlizzCon?  Here are some potential candidates:

Diablo III Deodorant: For those who want to look like Patrick Stewart but smell like Sean Connery!
Barbarian Breath Mints: Shout fresh!
Pumice Stone of Jordan: The new gold standard of foot care!
King Leoric's Lotion: For royally soft skin—brought to you by the Skeleton King.

StarCraft II Soap and Shampoo Shower Set: Hell, it's about rubber ducky time!
Baneling Bubble Bath: Now with 30% more Baneling bile!
'Tossian Toothpase: Smile like a Protoss!
Jim Raynor's Razor: A gift from the Queen.

World of WarCraft Wet Wipes: You are prepared! / For the MMOer on the
Eau d'Eck: Smell ferocious! / A fragrance for ferocious femme fatales.
Gnomish Gnail Cutter 5700: For Toe-meragon! | Requires 4 DD batteries (not included).
Holy Light Hand Sanitizer: Cleanliness is next to Pwnliness!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Secret World of Warcraft Wallpaper—Stormwind: Human Stronghold

I don't know about anyone else, but I am a big fan of Blizzard wallpapers.  I collect them like some people collect the WoW trading cards.  Currently I use Windows 7's built-in desktop slideshow function to randomly alternate my wallpaper choice on a regular basis, and even back before I had an OS capable of doing such a thing natively I used to utilize 3rd party software to enable such a feat.

Back in the days of WarCraft 3, when WoW was barely more than a public announcement, Blizzard started releasing information, screenshots, movies, and you guessed it: wallpapers in a slow drizzle.  In those days, I obsessively checked for any hint of new content—I was hooked on WoW before I even got a chance to play it.  I'd download the available media look through it time and time again.  I couldn't wait to find out more information about my favorite Azerothian Kingdom (back then it itself was known as Azeroth, although it's since been retconned into the Kingdom of Stormwind), and one day Blizzard released what was quite nearly the Holy Grail of Stormwind wallpapers—a map of the city.

You can bet I downloaded that sucker.  Hell, I downloaded it in every resolution they had available because the very thought of having to view such an awesome thing in a non-native resolution was scoff-worthy.  Months went by: the MMO was eventually released, it's original site fading into obscurity (and eventually deletion).  Several hard drive formats and a new computer later, I found myself browsing through the WoW wallpaper archives to re-download them all.  But one was missing.  My beloved map of Stormwind City was gone from the archives, and remains missing from the official wallpaper pages to this day.  Feel free to look at the World of Warcraft Wallpapers 2 page yourself—you'll find no map of Stormwind wallpaper there.  In truth, the map is craftily hidden, waiting for someone with sufficient drive to stumble upon it.  The clues are there, they just need to be followed.  Can you find them?

So where (and what) the heck is "wallpaper11"?  I'm sure you've guessed it by now.  It's the Map of Stormwind City wallpaper!  Hooray!  =)

Now the only question that remains is why is the map hidden so?  Is it a mistake?  Was the wallpaper intentionally removed?  Did someone at Blizzard just decide to hide it as an easter egg for little lion guards to find?  The world may never know.  =P

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Most Hilarious Heroic Old Kingdom Experience

...And quite possibly the most hilarious Heroic Old Kingdom run ever.  This is my story (and I'm sticking to it).

So, last Wednesday I had just finished my usual round of Icecrown dailies (Argent Tournament, Shadow Vault, and the bombing runs) and figured I may as well queue up for a random heroic group and get a couple frosties.  Of course, the Dungeon Finder tool—as it is wont to do—decides that my queuing choice of tank/healer is just a result of me being unable to choose tank/tank, and it chucks me into Heroic Old Kingdom as a tank.  As it turns out, the group consists of:
  • myself tanking,
  • a freshly 80 Druid healer,
  • a Death Knight,
  • a Hunter,
  • and the unluckiest Warlock ever.
We get inside and start working our way through the place, and for a while everything is going pretty normally (with the exception of a Frost Presence mishap, but that was quickly resolved).  We defeat Elder Nadox with relative ease and continue on down the steps to start on Prince Taldaram trash only to find that the Warlock isn't with us—she'd gone AFK after the first boss and was still upstairs.

'Eh,' I think to myself,  'it's just Heroic Old Kingdom trash right?  We don't need a 5th for this.'  Heck, there's an achievement for defeating Taldaram with only 4, and it doesn't seem like anyone else is too worried about it, so we press on and clear the 3-4 trash packs up to the first platform.  As we engage the platform mobs, the Warlock comes back from AFK and starts making her way to us...only she goes up the wrong platform.  Oops.  Sadly, the rest of us are just a bit too late to save her (although if I'd had another second, I probably would have been in Lay on Hands range).  =\

We clear the trash and start looking to resurrect her only to find that she's released and we can't seem to find her corpse.  Well, waiting for someone to make that run is just a fantastic waste of time (if only we'd had a Warlock to summon her to us...  >.> ), so we decide to press onward, and since the trash has all been cleared, that meant engaging the boss.  We pull, Taldaram knocks over one person who is immediately freed, then a second with the same effect...and then he disappears.  The four of us just kinda look around in confusion for a few moments.  What happened?  The boss shouldn't have been dead yet, so where did he g—Oh.  That's where.  "Warlock has died."  /facepalm

Apparently, Taldaram doesn't have a range on his blood sucking ability, Embrace of the Vampyr.  Any player in the entire instance is a valid target and the Warlock, unfortunately, was running past Nadox's room—close enough to be on our minimaps, but far enough to be effectively out of range of any timely help. Sadly, as it turns out, while Taldaram's Embrace of the Vampyr may have infinite range, the rest of his abilities do not, so rather than run back and resuming the fight, the coward despawns.  He may or may not have said something about it not being his time, the rest of us were too busy laughing to take notice.  >.>

Oh well, it's a PuG, things of this nature are to be expected, right?  So we start running back to the Warlock to go resurrect her before she dies again.  At least, I thought that's what we were doing.  However, "we" did not include the Hunter, who had run to Taldaram's spawn point when he vanished, and hadn't moved.  At all.  I'd managed to take three steps or so on the way back towards the Warlock when the boss respawned.  Ding!  Round 2!

Well, guess there goes that plan.  The Warlock can just hang tight for a couple minutes while we kill off the boss and run back to resurrect her, right?  It's not like we had much of a choice at that point, so I turn around, grab aggro on the boss, and we begin to repeat the fight.  Bite 1, no biggie.  Bite 2, hey that tickles.  Bite 3...guys where'd he g—Oh hell.  "Warlock has died."  Yes, when I said we repeated the fight, I meant it literally.  The only difference was where she died—this time it was at the bottom of the initial ramp.  You know, where the Ahn'kahar Watchers spawn for the All Things in Good Time daily?  There.

It would have been a complete waste of time it it weren't so damn funny.  We run back, safely escort the Warlock back (and even past, if you can imagine it) the second boss, and we're still laughing when we start pulling the trash at the Amanitar/Jedoga/Volazj split.

Feeling a bit bad for the Warlock now, we went straight for the Herald.  The trash was cleared without incident, no one stood in the Shadow Crashes, and we pulled the boss.  Insanity 1 passes without too much incident, so things are going pretty good, right?  Insanity 2 starts up and things are going well.  I clear my adds, others are clearing their adds, the Warlock is dead.  Wait, what?  Yep.  Old Kingdom really, really hated that Warlock.  Not just normal abhoration, but complete and utter "with passion rivaling the heat of a thousand suns"-level of pure hatred.  Or perhaps it was karmic retribution.  She was a Warlock, after all.  XD

Needless to say, once Volazj was down she didn't stick around for the optional bosses.  Sadly, neither did the Hunter nor Death Knight, but the Druid healer was up for them, so we just duo'd the rest of the instance.

The End.