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Legion signals WoW entering its endgame: Here’s Why…

Legion signals WoW entering its endgame: Here’s Why…

Ahh Syndrome. Poor misunderstood, appropriately-ginger, Syndrome.

Whilst the Incredibles is one of my favourite films of all time, it was Syndrome that really made that film for me. He managed to leave a lasting impression as a villain on me, with a simple, single line of dialogue:

And when everyone’s super, no-one will be…

So, right about now you’re probably asking yourself why I’m waffling on about an 11 year old Pixar classic, when I could be making a point. Well I am.

Once upon a time, Blizzard were very frugal. Downright stingy in fact. So damn stingy as it happens that they used to only give out very special treats to maybe one or two classes or specs every expansion.

In Wrath it was melee DPS and some tanks. In Cataclysm it was the turn of the casters and rogues. In Mists, well, as much as I loved Mists, that was the point where Syndrome…er…syndrome started kicking in.

Welfare Legendaries. Not my term, but it’s one that’s been bandied about by the special snowflake department of the WoW community care system since Mists beta, and again in Warlords with items of legendary quality that could be attained and used by everyone, regardless of Spec, Class, or indeed luck or ability as they’d have it.

Personally I’m a fan of this model of legendary item. Yes, it does of course mean a lot of mindless grinding, and baby-jebus-lord have mercy if you decide to switch mains mid to late-expansion (oh wait, been there done that), where you’ll have to restart that expansion-consuming grind over afresh.

But it means long-term effort equals substantial reward; You don’t have to be part of a top 10 raiding guild on your server in order to have a crack at getting your shiny orange item(s).

There is a counter-argument of course that if you’re not in a top 10 raiding guild on your server, then why the hell do you need a legendary cloak/ring/weapon/nipple ring/ or whatever?

The counter-counter-argument to that of course would be, well patently, no-one really needs a legendary in order to complete any content, including the hardest content the game has to offer in Mythic Raiding. If there were no legendary items, then Blizzard would simply tune the content accordingly and everyone would once again be on a level playing field.

Legendary items are merely there to make the player feel special, like they’ve achieved some measure of success and reward for effort expended. Even simply just for bragging rights, or as a measure of perseverance.

So, to get back to the statement posited in the title: Legion signals WoW entering its endgame: Here’s Why.

Whilst legendary items in the past were either very rare, or indeed low in number, or required a huge amount of effort put in doing busy work over the course of an expansion, Legion signals a significant shift in attitude by Blizzard.

At Blizzcon this year during the panels, it was mentioned that there would be a chance for some items to drop from world bosses, and that these items would have a chance to be legendary in quality. Not only that, but the reason they were Legendary in quality to begin with was due to the sometimes quite astonishing, bordering on OP, on-use or equip effects bestowed upon the player as a result of their use.

This to me seemed like a nice twist, where maybe a handful of items would have a chance at dropping in this manner, then I saw the still-incomplete list of orange items today on MMO-C, and frankly I was shocked:
[su_spoiler title=”Click for details…”]

Level Type Slot Name
940 Other Head Collar of the Lifebinder
940 Other Feet Nochtadh, Footpads of the Deft Assasin
940 Other Feet Aman’Thul’s Stride
940 Other Wrists Thornbraces
940 Other Wrists Nightmare Strands
940 Other Neck Star of Norgannon
940 Other Neck Earth-Warder’s Scale
940 Other Shoulders Tidecaller
940 Other Shoulders Stormwing
940 Other Shoulders Gilded Wings
940 Other Shoulders Amice of the Dreamweaver
940 Other Shoulders Dreamboughs
940 Other Chest Smolderweave
940 Other Waist Cord of the Nightborne
940 Other Wrists Storm Tempests
940 Other Wrists Timeshifters
940 Other Back Shroud of Ysera
940 Other Back Not Used – Stormtide Drape
940 Other Back Soulweave
940 Other Back Cursed Burden
940 Other Back Platinum Repose
900 Neck Neck Vermuund’s Beads of Great Convergence
940 Finger Finger Helztstone
940 Back Back Mantle of Ashildir
900 Back Back Mantle of Flames
940 Neck Neck Eyir’s Tear
940 Neck Neck Martyr Chain
940 Neck Neck Soulcaster
940 Neck Neck The Arcen Star
940 Neck Neck Nether Prism
940 Neck Neck Star of Norgannon
900 Cloth Head Wilfred’s Hood of Superior Summoning
900 Cloth Head Halo of the Ebon Martyr
940 Cloth Chest Vestments of the Wo-Chi
940 Cloth Chest Fatebender
940 Cloth Wrists Coiled Ley Lines
940 Leather Head Bramble Helm of Shala’drassil
940 Leather Head Draugr, Helm of the Everlasting King
940 Leather Waist Essence Accelerant
940 Leather Waist Cinidaria
940 Leather Waist Cannibal’s Fervor
940 Leather Feet The Haugbuir
940 Leather Feet Grovewalkers
940 Leather Feet Destiny Drivers
940 Leather Wrists Verjas, Protectors of the Berserker Kings
940 Leather Wrists Shackles of Bryndaor
940 Leather Hands Guillotine Grips
940 Leather Hands Ceann-Ar Gauntlets
900 Leather Feet Boots of Wondrous Rapidity
900 Leather Feet Hidden Master’s Forbidden Handwraps
940 Mail Feet Sparklight Stompers
940 Plate Head Crown of Helheim
940 Plate Hands The King’s Hands
940 Plate Hands Maelstrom Gauntlets
900 Plate Feet Pauldrons of the Golden Val’kyr

Above table courtesy of MMO-C – check out dem bonus effects!

[/su_spoiler]

That’s a pretty significant step up in numbers of different legendaries being offered to players. Heavily significant in fact.

In addition, consider the fact that our weapons will be artifact weapons, which will themselves carry substantial power and level-ups right across the entirety of Legion’s duration, as well as the fact that we will once again have an expansion-long legendary of some description to work towards, as per Blizzard statements at Gamescom earlier this year.

It’s actually conceivable that by the end of Legion, the luckiest and hardest working players will be decked out in quite a number of legendary items.

And, if we recall & paraphrase our opening paragraph, when everything’s Legendary…?

Nothing is.

Where else do you go in terms of power creep?

This process happened in Vanilla with epic items, where the luckiest players would have a few purples mixed in amongst all their blues. Time went ever on and into the following expansions, purples became the new blues, and raiders would expect (or in some cases demand) epic items for each and every slot, otherwise they would feel “left out”.

Snowflakes, they’re so very delicate dahling. Didn’t you know?

Now, with some of the lore-spoilers I’m seeing coming from Legion (again, no spoilers printed here), I can see Sargeras on the very distant horizon for the very first time in the history of WoW.

Hell he may even make an appearance either in person or via his Avatar in Legion itself. We are, after all, still awaiting news on this coming expansion’s Big Bad. We know it won’t be Gul’dan, he’ll be dispatched pretty early on in Legion, albeit with a bit more player agency over his demise. Certainly in comparison to that of Garrosh in Warlords. Feckin’ Thrall, in my base, stealin’ my kills *grumble*.

So with Blizzard now starting to shower everyone with items of a quality that was once long-ago, a once in an expansion treat for certain classes, from the get-go…

With players taking up the weapons and mantles of the heroes that we’ve fought under and alongside for over a decade…

With the expansion’s Lore starting to align with long-foretold prophecies…

Could it be the beginning of the end of the World of Warcraft?

The future’s bright, the future’s orange…

Posted by Sar in Gaming, Legion News, News, Personal, World of Warcraft, 0 comments
Legion: Alpha is Live!

Legion: Alpha is Live!

So, Legion beta alpha has gone live, and so far the only people with access are those that are either chummy with the devs, have loads of viewers/subscribers on Twitch/YouTube, or have tonnes of readers/followers on Twitter.

Obviously I fall into none of the above categories, so no Alpha here as yet 😛

So far though what I’ve been seeing from others who are in the alpha are limited. Alpha itself is limited to creating Demon Hunters at the moment, but datamining has pulled out both massive lore spoilers (none here), and some nice shots for the various class halls.

The first ones I’ve really liked the look of were the Paladin and Priest halls:

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Paladin Class Hall

Paladin Class Hall

The paladin class order hall is really lovely. It’s probably my favourite so far from all of the ones I’ve seen. It’s really classy and evinces a very holy and devout atmosphere. Great job by the devs and art team so far on this one.

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Priest Class Hall

Priest Class Hall

I like the Priest class hall for pretty similar reasons as the Paladin one. It has an appropriately designed aesthetic and looks pretty cosy as well.

I’ve seen the Hunter Class Hall, and tbh, I’m getting Horde Garrison flashbacks:

Outside

Hunter Class Hall: Exterior shots

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That said, the interior looks ok:

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Hunter Class Hall: Interior

Hunter Class Hall: Interior shots

Could be worse though, could be the Warlock one, which I have a feeling will look very similar to the Demon Hunter one.

I’ll be avoiding printing any major lore spoilers here, and if you’re looking to avoid reading any I strongly advise staying the hell away from MMO-C, WoWhead etc over the next few weeks…

Posted by Sar in Gaming, Legion News, News, Patch News, Personal, World of Warcraft, 4 comments
Why I love… Blogging (vs Vlogging)

Why I love… Blogging (vs Vlogging)

Apologies for the WIL… delay this week, Blizzcon articles, gnomes and work got slightly in the way a bit 


I’m a fairly old school kind of person in some regards. I’ve always been someone who has preferred writing over talking, blogging over vlogging, considering my words carefully before committing them to “paper” so to speak.

I’ve been blogging for nearly 20 years now, starting in 1997 on various temporary websites for 4 years before deciding to purchase my first domain name, www.the-yarn.net, to host my wafflings online.

I’ve been blogging in one form or another on and off all those years, and since then, obviously vlogging (the video version of blogging in case you were wondering) came along and has somewhat supplanted it’s parent form of personal thought divestment.

Yes, sure, I have a YouTube channel, but you’ve more than likely noticed that I’m way more likely to sit down and write a blog post on a subject rather than create a video.

Not only is this for the reasons highlighted above, that I’m a bit old school in that regard, but also because production of a video on the matter I want to talk about is a long-winded and time consuming process to get a video to the level of quality that I’m happy putting out there.

This involves recording of the audio, getting enough relevant video material to cover the subject at hand, and compositing all this material together in Adobe’s Premiere Pro CC.

That can, and does in fact, take hours to put together even a 10 minute video, and leaves me precious little time to do much else on a day I decide to put a video together.

The other option is of course lowering the quality of the videos to a point where the audio’s not edited and the video is hastily put together. I um and ahh quite a lot whilst gathering my thoughts on a subject when doing a voice-over, which is why I massively prefer writing to sitting in front of a mic and umming my way through a topic.

This has as much to do with my personality type as anything. Whilst I’m not by any means a shy person, I am definitely introverted, and other aspects of my personality in conjunction with that lead me to be the sort of person that prefers the written word over the oral.

I’m an IT educator and analyst by profession, and I have no problem standing in front of a bunch of people showing them how to do a certain thing, be it use a computer, programs like Word & Excel etc, so shyness is definitely not a thing I’m prone to these days, although I used to be when I was younger.

So that’s why I prefer blogging over the more modern version. I may still do the odd video here and there, but looking at the average number of views my videos get I sometimes wonder if it’s worth my while in all honesty.

Oddly enough, it’s my guide videos that tend to get thousands of views, which lends more weight to the fact that me ending up educating people may in fact be the right job for me. With an increasing and developing interest in Psychology, it may not end up being IT related 100%, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Anyhoo, I just felt like writing something this morning, and this has been knocking around in my head for a while as something to say.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming 😉

Posted by Sar in Gaming, News, Personal, Website, Why I love..., 0 comments
Gnome Hunters confirmed for Legion!

Gnome Hunters confirmed for Legion!

GNOME.

HUNTER.

GNOME + HUNTER = HUNTERS THAT ARE GNOMES.

GNOMES THAT ARE HUNTERS.

CONFIRMED.

GNOME HUNTERS PEOPLE, THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

GNOME HUNTERS!

*ahem*

Mechanical Chicken starter pet as well, as per the above image, recreated here for your convenience:

FUCKING GOD RACE/CLASS COMBO!

Seriously though, can you tell I’m excited about this?

Can you? If not, get your eyes checked, seriously.

Demon Hunte…who? Sorry Illidan, you’re yesterday’s news.

It’s no secret I’ve been a not-so-secret gnome lover since I began playing WoW. In fact my first ever character was, you’ve guessed it, a Gnome.

A Gnome Warlock in fact. Named Saroth, on Kilrogg in 2006. He’s long dead and buried now, deleted long ago when I came back to WoW in March 2009 (continuous sub since fact fans!) to be replaced with a server full of horde characters, given my guild of choice was Horde as well. That was Thunder, where I still reside and play to this day.

However, Gnome Hunters… man they’re making it really fucking difficult for me to stay Horde if they keep going like this…

I shall go and start thinking of appropriate names right now.

Posted by Sar in Gaming, Hunter Stuff, News, Personal, World of Warcraft, 0 comments
Blizzcon Day 2: Warcraft Roundup

Blizzcon Day 2: Warcraft Roundup

So Day 2 is mostly done and dusted, and we had the final half of our televised WoW panels.

First up was the Game Systems panel, and here we learnt quite a bit, including some massive news for transmog junkies!

No cross faction chatter in Class Halls

This is a big one. And an amazingly dumb decision to boot. The fantasy is that you’re the leader of your entire class, the head honcho, the boss, the guvnor. A leader of considerable power and repute, fresh from commanding a successful force on Draenor.

But you can’t talk to those guys over there. Yeah, those guys, the other faction. They have cooties. Eww.

Despite, in lore, both factions being able to communicate freely with each other (see any cutscene featuring Horde & Alliance such as the end cinematic for Siege of Orgrimmar), you, as the leader of your entire class, can’t.

Yep, that’s right, you won’t be able to communicate with 50% of the class you’re meant to be leading.

Sigh…

Demon Hunters will rule them all

Demon Hunter mobility, if it wasn’t already ridiculous enough, seems to have gotten even more OP. Not only can you double jump, but you can glide in mid-air and shoot yourself forward mid-air at will. If you thought DK’s were overplayed in Wrath, man you ain’t seen nothing yet…

Class Changes

Some good ones here for me.

First up, DK runes are being changed to all the same type of rune. No more death vs frost vs blood vs unholy runes. Nope, they’re all going to be the same rune type, thereby simplifying the DK playstyle considerably and making cooldown usage a lot easier. This for me is a great change, because the current rune system is something I’ve never really gelled all that well with tbh. How will current DK players will react? Probably negatively, as I’m sure that complexity is something they’ve come to appreciate over the years since Wrath.

Arcane Mages now have Arcane Charges as a secondary resource in addition to mana.

Shadow Priests are changing quite a lot. They no longer use mana, and instead their new resource is Insanity. The story is that their power comes from the old gods IIRC, and the more they use their power, the more insane they go. The more insane they go, the more powerful their attacks become, and when they hit full insanity they go all hentai and sprout tentacles. This only lasts a short time before wearing off however, so Japanese schoolgirls the world over can breath a sigh of relief.

Disc Priests are also seeing a change in their play-style, albeit one they’ll already be familiar with. In Legion Disc is going balls deep back into Atonement. They’re going full on smite mode, and this is going to be their play-style going forwards, and considerably less waving of their bubble wands.

Demo Locks are going to be all about demon summoning, getting back to the classic vision of Demonology Warlocks. No more Lock tanks.

Guardian Druids, big and bulky as they are, somehow became about dodging incoming damage? Doesn’t fit with common sense, so they’ll be the tanks with high health as they are now, but a lot more armour and straight up soaking damage.

Subtlety Rogues are becoming fucking ninjas bitches. Zip, zip, zip STABBY STABBY STAB….zip. Rinse & Repeat.

The big change though, it gets its own section…

NO MORE RESPEC! TRI-SPEC! QUAD-SPEC!

You get a spec, and you get a spec, everyone gets a spec!

Yes! Finally, after years of pleading and begging, having to make a choice of specs and having to re-spec at the trainer if you wanted to go from Resto/Guardian to Resto/Boomkin, no more! You’ll be able to use any spec available to your class at any time. For most classes that will mean tri-spec, and for druids it means quad-spec…

Professions get *some* love. Finally.

While there was no news on improving the levelling of professions in a similar manner to that seen in Engineering during Warlords (see my 1-700 Engineering guide in under 6½ minutes here), what is there at the moment is going to see some improvement.

Recipes won’t all be learnt from your profession trainer, but will instead be picked up out and about in the world. These recipes themselves will have 3 levels, and the higher a level you are in making something, the more efficient you are at making it.

Each profession will also have a tab with all the unlearned recipes you’re missing. This tab will also have information against each as-yet unlearned recipe about where and how to get it. Nice, and excellent for completionists.

Engineering helms btw? Oh yeah. And as a bonus? THEY FIRE FUCKING MIND BULLETS GAIS! Seriously, they have an on-use effect that fires a bullet at your target.

Major glyphs are GONE. DEAD. NO MORE. Instead it’ll all be minor glyphs. However, you’re not limited to 3 glyphs any longer. Instead, you’ll apply the glyph directly to the spell slot for the ability it amends. Without limit. Awesome.

Itemisation

So, it looks like orange is not the new black, it’s the new purple. Well, to a degree.

Legendaries will drop in the over-world, and these will be items with awesome effects. Like HoT/DoT effects doing their remaining damage all at once? Yeah, ok, so big deal right?

Well when you have that big chunk of damage/healing tick, it’ll tick again, and again, and again on each further tick, for the full duration of the effect. Like I said, awesome. Nerf durids OP.

Duplicate personal loot can be traded. If it’s the same ilevel or worse than what you’ve got or had in the past (yes they track that, and that’s going to be mega-important later in this post, I’ll come back to it), then you’ll be able to trade it to anyone else that was in on the kill. Any reason to keep using Master Looter? Nope! \o/

Transmog

Ok, this is the big one. This is what absolutely sold me on this expansion. Even if the raiding’s shit. Even if the 5 mans are wank, I’ll still be buying and playing Legion. Why exactly am I so excited?

Ok, first up, the Wardrobe is definitely IN and working. Once an item is soulbound to you, it will be unlocked in the Wardrobe.

ACCOUNT WIDE!

Yep, if you unlock a piece of mail on your hunter, you can use that look on your shaman. Unlock the sweet DK helm in Heart of Fear on your Paladin? You’ll be able to use that on your Warrior. Or DK if you must.

You’ll also be able to save a set of trans-mogged gear as an outfit as well. Per spec! So you can have different looks on each spec!

They’re going to take everything in your current void storage & banks and automatically unlock those as well.

The kicker? The thing that had the crowd go absolutely fucking nuts?

Blizzard are going to go back through all the quest items you’ve ever had, and they’re going to unlock those and put them into your wardrobe too!

EVEN THE ONES YOU DIDN’T FUCKING CHOOSE!

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SO. HAPPY. RIGHT. NOW. I need a moment…

Seriously. That is one mega-sized shit-ton of work. Every quest you’ve ever done. On every character you’ve ever had. Unlocking every quest reward you’ve ever had and never had.

Whoah.

stop_penis_erect_archer

Q&A Panel Info

So after the awesomeness that was the transmog junkies wet dream above, we were straight into the Q&A panel. Let’s bullet point this mother:

  • Flight will be unlocked later in the expansion, not unlockable at launch. However Hunters get some awesome class-specific flight paths no other classes get.
  • The one reality-transcending Legion vs one Legion per-reality will be addressed in Legion.
  • No updates for the TBC races’ starting zones.
  • Running into Alleria and Turalyon will change the way we view WoW…?
  • Class Quests are pretty much the Artifact quest system this expansion.
  • Dalaran has some big secret protecting it from the Legion.
  • Artifacts will have catch-up mechanics for secondary/tertiary specs.
  • Karazhan may become a new 5 man dungeon at some point in Legion?
  • We will be running into the expansion-end boss throughout the expansion, similarly to Arthas in WotLK.
  • Bolvar will be making a cameo appearance.
  • Jaina is a dreadlord. They said she wasn’t, but we all know they’re lying.

So that was Day 2, and I’m finishing this Blizzcon a bit happier than I was going in, but I’ll process my thoughts and do a final thoughts blog post in a day or two.

Posted by Sar in Gaming, News, Personal, RPGs, World of Warcraft, 0 comments
Why I love… The Flash

Why I love… The Flash

No, not that one, this one:

Barry Allen is… The Fastest Man Alive!

The Flash as a TV show has just begun its second season in the US, but what I really want to talk about here is its debut season last year.

The first season of The Flash, starring Gustin Grant as the titular character was in my opinion very probably the best debut season of any TV show I’ve ever had the fortune to watch.

But let’s start with the set up.

Barry Allen is a forensic scientist working for the Central City Police Department, when an explosion at the local particle accelerator (what, there’s not one in your city?) causes him to be struck by a bolt of golden lightning while working late one night in his lab.

This had the effect of putting him into a coma for 9 months, but when he awoke he found he wasn’t quite the same man as he was beforehand. The explosion caused a wave of “dark matter” (buzzword du jour alert) to instantly sweep over the city, causing some of the residents to change in unpredictable ways.

In Barry’s case, he found he could run faster than a speeding bullet, and that as usual, with great power…well you know that old chestnut already.

Does whatever a spider…erm speedster can.

With the series premise set-up, the first half of the first season concentrated on his harnessing of his new-found abilities, as well as building Barry’s back story; That his father was put in jail for the murder of his mother 15 years ago when Barry was a 10 year old boy, and that something weird happened that very night that he has never been able to explain…

Jump back 15 years to after his lab accident, and Barry is being helped to harness his powers with his new found friends at Star Labs, led by Barry’s hero: Dr Harrison Wells, a brilliant physicist who was also paralysed from the waist down in the same accident that caused Barry’s coma.

Team-Flash

Caitlyn, Harrison & Cisco

Also on the team are the lovable Cisco Ramon and the brilliant Dr Caitlyn Snow, both geniuses in their own fields. Cisco with a penchant for technology and coming up with comic-book nicknames for the bad guys, whilst Caitlyn looks after the team on a biological level.

Barry and his team work on honing Barry’s abilities in order to help fight the new wave of meta-humans (DCU’s version of super-humans) who are causing crime and chaos throughout the city. And yes, while the first season features your typical criminal of the week motif whilst finding its feet, there is a grander story arc at play, all tied into the death of Barry’s mother all those years ago.

In fact Barry keeps getting flashbacks of another speedster, but where Barry’s suit is scarlet, this one is all in yellow. In fact some might say he’s dressed like the reverse of Barry’s Flash…

The Reverse Flash

As the season draws towards its mid-season finale, Barry not only starts to vividly remember what happened that night, that this Reverse Flash was actually the one that killed his mother, but he starts to see him. On distant rooftops at first, but then he begins to run into him in person.

And then things really start to get interesting.

It was at this point in the season that I really became a fan of the show. The mythos it was building week to week was gripping, the characters were likeable and fascinating in equal measure, and with only a few exceptions, I never felt cheated when screen time was devoted to any of them, regardless of our main characters.

Never was I so frustrated to get to the end of those 42 minutes every week, and never had I been so engrossed in a series since Babylon 5, 20 years ago! And don’t you believe Sheldon, that was one hell of a series. Well until the networks fucked up and screwed the pacing for the final 2 season, but I digress…

The pacing and plotting throughout that built to the big reveal at the end of the first half of the season was judged perfectly by the writers.

The Man in the Yellow Suit

The Man in the Yellow Suit

In the closing scene of the first half of the season, before it went on a cruel 6 week hiatus over Christmas & New Year, we saw Dr Wells entering a secret room in Star Labs, speaking to a very futuristic AI, and literally pulling back the curtain to reveal…the Reverse Flash’s suit.

Boom! Mic Drop! Goodnight Seattle!

Viewers then spent the next 6 weeks wondering what level of mind-fuck we’d just witnessed, and if this was in fact true. Was Dr Well’s this great nemesis from Barry’s past? Was this mentor, this hero to Barry in fact the man that killed his mother? Was this a different suit he had gotten from somewhere? If he was the Reverse Flash then why was he helping Barry now, rather than trying to kill him, as it turned out he had tried to do originally all those years ago?

Flash vs the Reverse Flash vs Mrs Allen

Well as it turns out, the Reverse Flash, just like Barry, can run so fast he can tear a hole in the space time continuum and as a result can travel back and forwards in time itself.

The Reverse Flash is actually Eobard Thawne born in the year 2151, and his family have had a long running grudge with the Allen family, which all began with Barry Allen. So he came back in time to kill young Barry to stop it all before it began.

However Barry eventually realised he could travel back in time himself, doing it accidentally one week whilst chasing a bad guy. He then decides to travel back to try to save his mother but ultimately fails. The Reverse Flash, foiled by Barry Allen once again, vents his frustration at his failure on Barry’s mother.

Mrs Allen’s last moments on earth…

It’s after this that he realises that in travelling back so far in time he has drained himself of his ability to access the so-called Speed Force, the source from which all speedsters in the DC universe gain their power and ability to run as fast as they can. And yes, there’s more speedsters than just the Flash & Reverse Flash, as we find out in Season 2.

The remainder of the season is occupied with Harrison Well’s intentions and his true identity being slowly realised by the team at Star Labs.

The Reverse Flash intends to use Barry’s speed to open a wormhole to allow him to travel back to his own time period, but that goes as well as you’d expect.

The season ends with the defeat of the Reverse Flash, at a great cost however that leads directly into the second season. But we’ll come back to that at a later date 😉

Overall I enjoyed the first season of the Flash immensely. Much more than any other series currently on television.

The writing, the plotting and pacing, the characterisation, the humour, the actors, the effects, the main villain and Tom Cavanagh’s pitch perfect tightrope portrayal of him. All of it tied together damned near perfectly, and it is firmly right at the top of my to-watch list every week, just sneaking ahead of Agents of Shield, Arrow, iZombie, Walking Dead etc etc.

The Flash is now firmly into its second season, and it’s beginning to pick up the pace heading towards its own mid-season finale, and again the writing and plotting are looking to be coming together once again to ensure that this series is definitely going to remain top of my weekly viewing list.

The challenge here is to see if it will it maintain its pace and momentum from here on in as well as its debut season…

game_on

Gotta love Mark Hamill in that title photo though…

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Television, Why I love..., 2 comments
On design and updates…

On design and updates…

I’ve been working on a new design for headers etc over on Twitter over the past few weeks, and I think I’ve hit upon a design idea that I’m happy to run with for the foreseeable future!

Making it more generalised in step with the broadening of the theme of my writing, so it’s reflective of more than just gaming.

Started using Adobe Illustrator for the headers rather than my old favourite, Photoshop. It works quite differently, and there’s going to be a learning curve, but I really like the clean results vector artwork gives.

It certainly makes logo design a lot cleaner, but it’s definitely not as intuitive as Photoshop, but then again I’ve been using that particular application for over 15 years, closer to 20 actually!

I’ll be rolling out the new design to my very underutilised YouTube channel within the next week or so!

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Website, Youtube, 0 comments
Why I love… Stuff

Why I love… Stuff

I love stuff. In fact I love a lot of stuff that ain’t even games! Shocker, I know.

With that in mind I’m going to be writing a regular series of articles where I’ll be gushing over various things, such as:

  • TV Shows
  • Music
  • Games
  • Retro Games
  • Movies
  • Tech
  • Science
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Design
  • Diet & Exercise (noooo, don’t make me!)
  • And much more…

Essentially all the subjects I’d be covering in general on Crux, but this series of articles will be focusing on specific examples of the above list.

I’ll be working out a full posting schedule, for these and other articles, but at the moment I’m thinking this series of articles will be going out each Wednesday.

This is one of the reasons for the change from sargaming.net to sarcrux.com, so I could talk about all these sorts of things, both here and on Twitter freely without it looking or feeling odd, being on what was a gaming site in name at least.

Or indeed making me feel like I was mis-selling what this site and Twitter account were about.

I love loads of different TV shows, movies, bands, genres, etc, and I’m excited to start writing about them all!

If you guys have any ideas for subjects you’d like mentioned let me know in the comments below!

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Website, Why I love..., 1 comment
Lifting the veil of Sar Crux…

Lifting the veil of Sar Crux…

Yep, I’ve changed locations as well as names. For clarity, the following has changed:

Why the change?

Well, over the past 6 months or more, I’ve become a lot more vocal about other things outside of gaming, such as politics, atheism, and so on, alongside the things I’ve always loved like gaming, books, movies etc etc.

I’ve been discussing a lot of these on Twitter, and it didn’t feel quite right talking about the intricacies of socialism vs capitalism with a gaming related twitter handle.

Similarly I follow quite a lot of atheism related folk on twitter, as well as contacting a lot of companies via twitter, and the gaming part of the handle didn’t really sit right.

It’s fine when talking about WoW and gaming related matters of course, but when you’re tweeting Jeremy Corbyn about his policy choices, or insulting David Cameron for his alleged pig fancying, it’s not quite as “grown up” as it could be.

So I sat for hours and hours whilst on holiday in Spain over the past fortnight, and got back yesterday and gave it a lot more thought between then and today, and went through literally dozens of different permutations and combinations of various words that seemed to fit.

The other thing I had to keep in mind was being able to get the name on both Twitter and as a .com domain name. This is the first .com I’ve ever owned, usually opting for .net domain names, but I thought I’d give it a go after reading a few books on blogging and improving my writing whilst on hols.

So I obviously wanted to expand my horizons a bit further, and increase the range of my subject matter beyond merely gaming, and WoW in particular.

So what now?

Needless to say that WoW and games will still form the vast majority of the subject matter on this site and my twitter feed as we go forwards, but the change to sarcrux.com/@sarcrux at least lifts the shackles of gaming from my hands and gives me the purview to speak on a wider range of topics without it feeling incongruous or ill-fitting.

So I settled on the word Crux, because it seemed a good word to use for the way I want to use this site and twitter feed from now on. I like writing (dur), and I, as best I can, always try to get to the crux of the matter being discussed.

CRUX: noun, plural cruxes, cruces [kroo-seez]
1. a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point:
The crux of the trial was his whereabouts at the time of the murder.
2. a cross.
3. something that torments by its puzzling nature; a perplexing difficulty.

This site and my twitter feed will also form the crux of my presence on-line. I will still be making videos, but I’ve never really had the time or energy to pump them out like some YouTube producers can. It’s frequently weeks or even months between videos, and I do feel bad for seemingly abandoning my subscribers there when it gets to be a while since the last video.

I’m getting a new video card this week (The Geforce 970 GTX), so maybe the increased frame-rates and fidelity will inspire me to make videos more often, but I make no promises!

Comments enabled!

To celebrate this mini re-launch, as a test, I’ve enabled comments.

I’ve had these disabled for the past year because of spam, and bots attacking the site when they were enabled last, meaning about a year ago I was plagued with downtime and hacks by Croation/Russian botfarms.

If the same thing happens again, I’ll be immediately disabling all comments once more, so fingers crossed…

Wrapping up….

However what I will be actively trying to do is improve my writing. As I said earlier, I’ve been reading a few books on writing, specifically blogging, and will be trying out some of the tips I’ve garnered from those sources.

Anyhoo, that’s it for this one, I hope you like the new name, it’s subject neutral so I don’t imagine I’ll be changing it again any time soon, which is a relief as it now allows me to spread my author’s wings!

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Website, Youtube, 1 comment
Long term petting, in at the deep end.

Long term petting, in at the deep end.

So, over this past week I’ve managed to complete a couple of long-term goals.

First up, the legendary ring! Huzzah! Finally managed to get through the chain and get the final reward, Maalus the Blood Drinker. So once I’m back from hols and raiding again, that should give a nice boost to my DPS. Frequently over the past several weeks whenever I’ve not been top DPS, it’s been mainly our raiders that have already gotten their legendary rings that have been beating me.

It took me that wee bit longer to get mine because of course I switched mains a few weeks before HFC opened but couldn’t get gearing the hunter until the final few farm raids because I had to keep tanking at the time. That also meant I couldn’t progress with the collection of the various grindy bits of the various quests; runes, stones, tablets, tomes, yadda yadda yadda.

But, I eventually got there and was pretty pleased to get it done before heading off for a fortnight’s holiday. This will be my first holiday abroad in over 6½ years, so it’s long overdue, I assure you.

The other bucket list item I managed to chalk off this week?

celestials_cr

The Celestial Tournament, complete!

This was something I’ve been working on for a very long time. I used to hate levelling pets. It was long, tedious, and annoyed the hell out of me. But over the past few weeks I’ve been working on taking out all the grand master tamers. I started off with the Wrath ones, then onto the Cata, Mists and finally Draenor tamers. This of course opened up the grand master tamer dailies, which are a superb source of XP for levelling pets.

With a pet treat, giving an extra 50% XP, and my Safari Hat from beating 40 tamers giving an extra 10% on top, it means I can level a pet from 1 to 25 in 4 fights.

Yep, 4 fights!

The first fight takes the pet to about level 12/13, 2nd up to 18, 3rd to 22/23, and the last one’s the charm bringing it up to 25.

I usually go for Gargra in Frostfire ridge, then onto Aki in Pandaria, and I stay there and do the Thundering/Whispering Pandaren spirits, Farmer Nishi, Shu, Mo’ruk, Yon and finally Hyuna. Doing this I can level a couple of pets to 25 without much fuss, as I have set duos for all these tamers, with which I can throw in my levelling pet and get that sweet, sweet XP.

So once I got the necessary pets levelled off I went to the Timeless Isle. I followed this guide, and I thoroughly recommend it, as it’s faultless in its content, and there’s even 1 single weak spot in the entire strategy (round 7 against Xuen: If he crits you, quit and restart) that the author points out.

Following that guide with the eponymous 18 pets I was very much on for a win. It took a few goes to get past some shitty RNG crits by the NPCs, but a straight run through all 7 tamers/Celestials takes less than 45 mins.

So which pet did I go for?

Well, initially I wanted to do the tournament for the Zao calfling pet. I felt it represented the role I played at the time very well, and I wanted him because he looked so damned cute too.

However given my change of role, I felt it didn’t represent me as a player (listen to me, pretentious shit eh?), so it was a difficult choice between Xu-Fu and Chi-Chi.

In the end, and 4 tamer fights later:

xu-fu

Thank you for being so damned easy Courageous Yon!

So that was that. I was done and another long-term goal notched off the list.

Going on holiday has never felt sweeter.

Posted by Sar in Gaming, Hunter Stuff, News, Personal, World of Warcraft