The Grouchy Gamer

Yeah, I'm cranky. That's kinda the point...

Month: June 2009

Blizzard Expert at Prolonging Game Time

So you have been plodding along playing WoW. You’re over the group that you have been playing with or your guild disintegrates. One of your friends (or a blog writer) convinces you to restart on another server and on the opposite faction. You level that character up, all the way to max or near-max level. You fall in love with the new class you are playing. Then that deal falls apart too.

You get talked into going back to your original faction, but you miss your high-level (insert class here.) Oh, that character also has a few thousand gold. What do you do?

Fret not my friends. Blizzard has sensed your malaise and has offered a solution. According to an article on WoW.com Blizzard will soon be offering a new Faction Switching Service, for a reasonable fee I’m sure, that will allow you to turn your gnome into an Orc or your Tauren into a Space Goat.  This wow.com article was derived from this post on the WoW forums, which now has over a hundred pages of responses.  People definitely have an opinion on this service.

I opined earlier that a lot of the catering to the user base is bad for the game.  I’ve reconsidered.  Exploiting a title for all it’s worth is management’s job.  So in spite of all the altruistic qualities we gamers would like to see our fearless leaders espouse, at the end of the day they report to their stakeholders.  How well they deliver what we want is what is going to drive the revenue to satisfy those stakeholders, so it’s a blade’s edge they walk.  This is something at which Blizzard has become expert.

As soon as I brought this up in guild chat, people started thinking and every one of our core players mentioned not one but two high or max-level characters that they would bring over to the guild from the other faction.  Myself, I have a Lock and a DK over on Rexxar that I wouldn’t mind playing more.  I loved my DK but I haven’t had time to start leveling a new one over on Jaedenar where I play now.

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WoW H8 and Shaman Love

So WoW it coming up on another major sub-version upgrade to 3.2 soon.  At the same time that there are critics about what the patch will or won’t contain there is a growing sentiment in the blog community that the thing is just getting old and tired. Some of this is fueled, I believe, by one of the most influential bloggers out there (Tobold) giving WoW a rest.  Cries of ONOES! were heard.

I say that the news of WoW’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.

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I was wrong. I was SO wrong.

Turns out that the site listed in the previous post is indeed Brad’s.

There was too much about it that made it seem “off” that I didn’t believe it.  But I got from a trusted source today that it is his site.  Too bad, a spoof would have been funny.

As it is, it’s kind of creepy seeing some of the posts there.  There are sycophants and there are vitriolics, and not much in between.

Judging from Brad’s post today, there isn’t going to be an interview, which is too bad.  I guess we’re going to pretend that everything never happened and there is no culpability.  I wish when I didn’t make my sales figures for a month, I could go to my boss and say; “I’m really looking forward, not looking back.”  Like that would work.

I hear from my sources that Brad is in a better place, and that he’s healthier and doing better than he has in years.  I’m glad for that.  I never wanted the guy to be sick or unhappy.  I just don’t want him around any game that I’m playing.  From all accounts, he’s a good guy.  Just not a good manager.

Good luck, Brad.  I don’t know what you are trying to accomplish.  I think the road is going to be a little rockier than you may expect.

And I’d still like to do an interview.  Shoot me an email when you are ready.

That’s NOT Brad McQuaid

I think someone fooled my friend Darren over at The Common Sense Gamer.

As most of you know, I started off my online “career” doing a fan site for Vanguard.  During that time, I got to read a LOT of Brad McQuaid’s essays, posts, and manifestos.  After a while, I got to where I could easily recognize his style.  So I was surprised today to see that Darren posted about how Brad was popping back up with a couple of posts on his blog at bradmcquaid.com.

Here’s what Darren and most of you probably didn’t know.  bradmcquaid.com’s domain registration expired in February.  What you also don’t know is that on a flyer, I took a shot at picking it up when it expired.  I didn’t get it.  It was scooped up by;

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