Three Science Fiction Series Starters
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 December 2014, 3:00 pm
I do love me a good science fiction series… or even a not-so-good one as long as it knows how to keep my attentions… as I have written in the past. I tend to try them out in audio book form as they are especially good for passing the time in the car during the […]

Unpopular Culture
Posted by Terra Nova [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 December 2014, 2:27 pm
As my Pandaran reached level 100 in World of Warcraft, knowing that 10 million other people were playing alongside me, and something over 100 million accounts had been created over the decade lifetime of that influential game, I couldn’t help but think of how much I personally like some of the most unpopular games. If our goal is to study “popular culture,” then of course popularity matters. But there are so many other scientific, scholarly, and personal goals we might legitimately have! Experimental studies typically use small Ns of research subjects. Ethnographies of cultures often study low-population societies. How many...

The Problem with Night Elves
Posted by Troll Racials are Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 December 2014, 1:01 pm
A giant crytals space ship crashed into Azeroth a while back. It irradiated a nearby lake and mutated the wildlife. The alien survivors set to work understanding the damage they'd caused. At times this was a violent process, gathering blood samples to study them. As they learned more, they found a way to clean the lake. Moving outward, they worked to inoculate nearby wildlife from the remaining radiation. In further stages they sought to understand the damage and limit further harm.

Contrast this with the night elf method:

Quest Giver: Demons have corrupted the poor widdle bunnies! You have to kill them!
Me: Sure thing!

I go off to kill a dozen demons and return, looking for a reward.

Quest Giver: Demons have corrupted the poor widdle bunnies! You have to kill them!
Me: Huh, must be bugged.

I go off to kill a dozen demons and return, looking for a reward.

Quest Giver: Demons have corrupted the poor widdle bunnies! You have to kill them!
Me: Third time's the charm?

I go off to kill a dozen demons and return, looking for a reward.

Quest Giver: Demons have corrupted the poor widdle bunnies! You have to kill them!
Me: Could you clarify that pronoun there? I think we're having some problems with the "them" that you want me to kill.
Quest Giver: You have to kill all the bunnies!
Me: Sure thing!

I go off to kill a dozen bunnies and return, looking for a reward.

Quest Giver: Demons have corrupted the poor widdle bunnies! You have to kill all the demons. And also some more bunnies.
Me: Why didn't we just kill the demons in the first place, then decurse the bunnies?
Quest Giver: Because I'm not secretly an ambitious demon using you to kill bunnies and my rivals.

FeralPony on Masteries and Feedback

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

So I have a question for you. Out of curiosity, what was the reason for not changing masteries for Season 5?? Too busy with other changes, or just that the masteries are still good for another season or two, or what??

Few reasons, on the value side updating the trees has increasingly less value each time we do it. Not saying there isn't value but it gets more and more into small scale numbers tuning (or in mastery cases REALLY small numbers tuning) and less about solving largescale problem. This isn't terrible surprising as when we approached them initially in Season 2 it was a pretty substantial overhaul, the S3 and S4 updates while certainly improvements were more on the lighter tuning side of things.

In addition, the cost of doing this adjustment is really high. We need to wipe all players mastery pages each time we do an update beyond a very simple balancing change which based on a lot of player feedback is something people don't want to go through unless there are really substantial gains.

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Community Cantina Tour Arrives in San Antonio, Texas!
Posted by Bwblog | Star Wars: The Old Republic [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 December 2014, 3:21 pm
We’re happy to announce that the next stop in the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Community Cantina Tour will be happening on Friday, January 23rd, 2015!

Added New ‘Published Articles’ section
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 December 2014, 4:57 pm
Between 2008-2013, I wrote a column for Game Developer magazine called “Design of the Times”.  As part of me enjoying my time off, I created a new Page for these articles – you can find them from the Published Articles … Continue reading

The Night the Lights Went Out in Norrath
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 December 2014, 5:00 pm
A memory of the Great December Downtime in EverQuest II It was just about ten years ago. EverQuest II had be live for a little over a month.  There were troubles.  After having a couple weeks to itself in the market, World of Warcraft launched and the harsh comparisons began.  It wasn’t that EQII didn’t […]

Suddenly I Had 280 AA Points
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 December 2014, 12:00 pm
I knew that the patch was coming to EverQuest II yesterday, the patch that included the change to how Alternative Advancement points would be awarded.  I mentioned it in passing earlier in the week, how the game would now award some AA points with levels so as to make sure that by the time you […]

TL;DP: Serious Sam BFE
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 December 2014, 6:43 am

Sponsored by: RNR Clown

Time Played: 70 minutes, but only 60 of them seriously.

Seriously Short Review

Back in the 2001, some Croatians wondered what Smash TV would be like if it were a first-person shooter, and created an engine specifically to render an obscene number of enemies in wide-open environments. Ten years later, they wondered what a Smash TV FPS would be like if it were heavily influenced by Doom 3.

Seriously Longer Review

Serious Sam: The First Encounter is one of the few PC games I beat back in the early aughts (I call 2000 through 2009 “the aughts,” because I am apparently a hundred and fifty years old). I beat it on an HP laptop (this was back when HP laptops were good machines), children, on normal — using (and this is where I brag a little) only the trackpad and keyboard. How did I do it? Well, let me introduce you to my little friend, the D key.

We are not, however, here to talk about Serious Sam: The First Encounter, the game that started this whole “episodic” fad. We are here to talk about Serious Sam 3.

read more

What Your League of Legends Role Says About You

New Theme: Radcliffe
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 December 2014, 4:57 pm
Radcliffe is a bold, modern theme that puts your content at center stage.

My MMO Outlook for 2015
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 December 2014, 12:00 pm
Another of those regular end of the year posts where I either try to reflect on the past or peer into the future. I don’t do this post every year, but once in a while I am driven to it for one reason or another.  Last year it was because I could come up with […]

What do you think of 2014 in gaming?
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 December 2014, 8:55 am
It's not even Christmas yet, and I've already seen several articles on the internet claiming that 2014 was the worst year in gaming ever. The evidence cited in those articles is a varying list of triple A games that failed to impress, or even failed to be playable on launch day. Seen from that point of view, the MMORPG genre isn't an exception: Both The Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar, the two big triple A releases of 2014 failed to hold onto their subscribers. Somewhat surprisingly the one MMORPG triple A product of 2014 that earned both critical and commercial success was Warlords of Draenor, an expansion for a 10-year old game.

But what if we look at 2014 in a different way? Do triple A games really matter all that much?

Personally, for me as a gamer, what is important isn't the success or failure of any single game. What is important for me is whether I have a game to play, and whether I have fun playing that game. And looking back at 2014 with that in mind, I don't think the year was all that bad. I played lots of different games, and I had lots of fun with many of them. And the games I played weren't even very expensive!

I am wondering of those game journalists talking about a bad year are too much considering gaming from the point of view of the industry. Honestly, I wouldn't want to work in the gaming industry today, nor would I invest my money in it. As I see it we are in the middle of a huge glut of games, and that is driving down prices and profits. $60 games being a disappointment has a lot to do with there being $6 games which are just as much fun. I spent a good amount of gaming time this year with iPad games that cost only a tiny fraction of the cost of a $60 console game. And because the PC gaming industry is producing games much faster than I can play them, I can afford to wait and buy them in Steam sales for 50% to 90% off.

I would say that the "bad year" is still to come. We are in the glut phase of the videogames pork cycle. It might well be that after years of overproduction we will have some years of underproduction, until the industry is profitable again. Well, Steam will probably survive and I have a large library of games in reserve in case we see those 7 lean years.

How was 2014 in gaming for you? Did you buy a lot of disappointing games, or did you enjoy the consumer benefits of the surplus in supply?
Tobold's Blog

WOW WoD: The Story and Old Friends
Posted by Home of my personas Saylah and Alysianah [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 December 2014, 7:30 am
It’s only a couple of days away from my real life holiday vacation. YEA!!! I’ll be M.I.A. the last two weeks of the year. Here’s wishing all of you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The Story thus Far So far I’m happy with Warlords of Draenor. It’s Blizzard doing what they do best. It’s also the first release where I’ve been able to see the phasing technology in action. I haven’t quested much since BC. When I have to quest, I appreciate how the experience is being personalized with my character at the center of the action.

On Progressive vs. Normal Criticism
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 December 2014, 2:10 am
Erik Kain of Forbes Magazine says that on the topic of GamerGate, I understand it among the best.  Which is high praise, as he’s been fairly plugged into the controversy from the outset, and is actually reasonably sympathetic to some of … Continue reading

Field Notes: BlogHer PRO 2014
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2014, 9:00 am
We sponsored BlogHer PRO '14, a conference focused on the business of blogging. We connected with WordPress users and promoted Automattic's various products, from Jetpack and VaultPress to Akismet and Polldaddy.

Editors’ Picks of the Year: Notable Reads on
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2014, 12:00 pm
Popular posts and community favorites, published in 2014.

Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 12/18/2014
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2014, 9:10 pm


Ahri Splashart Update!

Champion Ability Changes


  • Queen's Wrath/Prey Seeker [Q] - Unburrowed now has a .3 AD ratio (down from .4) and burrowed now has a .7 AP ratio (down from 1)


  • Dark Sphere [Q] - Now deals 50/95/140/185/230 (down from 70/110/150/190/230)

Item Changes

Poacher's Knife

  • Now grants 30 bonus gold per large monster kill (reverted from the last pbe notes)

Stalker's Blade

  • No longer reduces cooldown when used on enemy champion (reverted from last pbe notes)


Welcome Nick and Bill
Posted by Terra Nova [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2014, 4:29 pm
All at TN would like to welcome Nick LaLone and Bill Bainbridge on board. Many of you will already know Nick and William''s work, but for those of you who do not: Nick is a currently PhD Student in the Information Science and Technology Program at Penn State University. His work centres on the intersection of play, design, literacy, and simulation. As he says "This is a fancy way of saying that I study communication between development teams during design, the impact of literacy and comprehension of virtual environments, and the loss of complexity as we virtualize simulated content." Bill...

A Safe Pick for Your Bobblehead Collection
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2014, 12:19 pm
Gross up your bobblehead colletion with GamingHead’s new bobblehead of The Evil Within’s most iconic adversary, The Keeper. Standing at a less-intimidating 6 inches tall, he will still be a formidable foe for your other collectibles — including Vault Boy. And he’s definitely endearing in a weird sort of way! The Keeper bobblehead is available […]

Back from Operations in Querious
Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2014, 1:00 pm
Another deployment behind enemy lines has wrapped up.  This was our fourth deployment.  Previously we have been down in Insmother, Feythabolis, and Omist, the heartland of N3’s rental empire.  This time we moved to the southwest, to Querious. (Somewhat out of date map from the usual source.) This deployment was different from the last three.  […]

Editors’ Picks of the Year: Notable Reads on
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2014, 12:00 pm
Popular posts and community favorites, published in 2014.

Field Notes: BlogHer PRO 2014
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2014, 9:00 am
We sponsored BlogHer PRO '14, a conference focused on the business of blogging. We connected with WordPress users and promoted Automattic's various products, from Jetpack and VaultPress to Akismet and Polldaddy.

Breaking away from the Ubisoft formula
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 December 2014, 6:05 am
I am having great fun playing Assassin's Creed IV : Black Flag, cruising my pirate ship through the Caribbean, exploring, and getting into naval battles. I'm pretty much ignoring the story mission at the moment, because pirating is so much more fun. And somewhere that is the problem with AC4: It is great fun *because* it doesn't play like the other Assassin's Creed games. I mean, yes, I climbed all the towers of Havana and visited all the points I found that way. But after one city like that I was free to do something a lot more interesting, and lead a pirate life instead of the life of a tower climber / parkour runner. The Ubisoft formula doesn't work all that well for me, and I'm happiest in the parts of AC4 which break away from that formula.

One problem I have with Assassin's Creed in general is that they aren't all that great as stealth games. I haven't played Unity yet, but up to there the AC games didn't even have a crouch button. In AC4 I can only "sneak" if there is a sugar field or similar brushwood around. So frequently when I am approaching a target from behind to assassinate it, my avatar is showing the same animation that he has when strolling through a city. Compared to other stealth games I played, like Deus Ex : Human Revolution, the stealth movement in Assassin's Creed is really weak.

Related to that is the fact that combat is somewhat easy. It takes a *lot* of enemies at the same time before they even start to cause you any trouble. In general you can just wait motionless until you see the little red icon of somebody attacking you, press the counter button followed by the attack button, and the enemy is dead. So in many cases I didn't bother with sneaking, because simply killing everybody was a lot easier.

Naval combat in AC4 on the other hand is really good. You have various weapons you can use, cannons, mortars, fire barrels. And as the enemy ships have different strengths and come in different numbers, and there are also interesting weather effects to consider, there is a lot of variety to naval combat. The only thing missing is wind direction and speed, the "sailing ship" in fact moves like a motor ship, with equal speed all the time and in every direction. Over a quarter of a century ago, Sid Meier's Pirates! had wind direction, but apparently Ubisoft judged that to be too complicated.

So the game I am mostly playing is labeled "Assassin's Creed", but the part of it that I am playing isn't actually part of the Assassin's Creed brand and series. If I play any other game of the series (not counting the mobile AC Pirates game), I won't be able to play the part of AC4 that I am having fun with. I don't know if any of the newer AC games even has much in the way of other gameplay elements than the classic tower climbing / parkour running / assassination Ubisoft formula.
Tobold's Blog

GWJ Conference Call Episode 427
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 December 2014, 9:02 pm

Episode 427 - December 17th, 2014
FarCry 4, Dead State, Ultra-Wide Monitor Review, Irrational Feelings About Games, Dragon Age: Inquisition Spoiler Section (See Show Notes!), Your Emails and More!

Right Click Here and 'Save As' to Download!
(An Irrational 39.8 MBs, 1:09:31)

This week Sean, Julian and Cory talk about irrational feelings about games! We also have a Dragon Age: Inquisition Spoiler Section with Lara, Karla and Shawn you'll find as a separate download!

read more

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