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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Minecraft Monday: Patch 1.9 Pre-Release 5 is Live

Welcome to another Minecraft Monday everyone!  Team Mojang has been pretty tame in terms of news and twitter, but I did find a handful of nifty things to mention.  First of all, and likely the most prominent is of Patch 1.9 Pre-Release 5 which can be found right huah’.  One interesting thing on the change list is that iron blocks now look different.  Instead of totally silvery and flat, they have many ‘ridges’ and almost look like a stack of iron bars.  Was that what they were going for?  I have no idea XD

Minecraft News

Minecraft was awarded the GameCity videogame arts prize.  It was a new one they apparently just sprang at the last second, and while I’d like to avoid an Obama Nobel Peace Prize connection, I will admit that I find it funny how a game based on blocks and tiny graphics won an award for art even though I saw a screenshot for From Dust on the very page of this article.  I’m not gonna deny Minecraft doesn’t look super pretty, just think it to be kinda funny it won an award for it ^_^

Minecon might have had a minor setback as lead programmer Jeb was curiously locked out of/in an office for four hours this week.  Here is the shot of the alleged door in question.

The benefits of only crafting wooden doors is never depending on levers to open them

It took two security teams to get him freed.  Either that’s one heck of a door, or that’s one heck of a lackluster security they got over there :P

In other news, Notch tweeted not only that he is a playing and enjoying Battlefield 3, but even his in-game name which is apparently “Nizzotch” which I am fairly certain matches his youtube name. (source)  So if you enjoy shooters, Minecraft, and have Battlefield 3, like someone I know -_^, feel free to hunt down and claim his dogtags.  Can you still get people’s dogtags, or was that a BF2142-only thing?

Minecraft Halloween Mod!

Minecraft Monday ON the day of Halloween!?  This is some cause for celebration!

Happy Hallows, Everyone!

That picture took way too long to make haha  Next year I just might torch an NPC village or something to save some time XD

Also, be sure to check out this awesome Halloween Mod.  It is really cool, has a bunch of nifty things from new mobs like “Jumpkins” that pretend to be pumpkins, zombies that reach out of the ground to get you, and Halloween creepers that blow up and give you candy!  Here’s a video of it in action.

Have a great week everyone!  Get plenty of sweets but be sure to lock up all excess candy (and there is ALWAYs excess candy!) in like a Tupperware thing and seal it.  Not only does it preserve freshness, in just a few days you end up with a wonderful potpourri of soothingly sweet chocolate, caramel, and good ol’ sugar.  Just remember, that smell lasts as long as the candy stays in there, mind you.  So don’t gobble it all up and wonder where that pleasant scent disappeared to.  Happy crafting everybody!  Post any Minecraft related outfits you happen to see this year!

Minecraft Monday: Feature Freeze and Minecraft Pulled of Kongregate

October 18th marked the day that no new features will be added to Minecraft ’till Minecon a month later to the day.  This is the time the team has put aside to tweak the game as good as it can be so it is nearest to flawless as it can be by November 18th.  Personally I’d like a real patch before then as it’ll be about three months since we got one then… but I got a an angel-winged horse and a free Diablo 3 game coming my way eventually so no sweat off my back ^_^

Minecraft News

The only thing really news-worthy this week is that Minecraft was originally put onto game-site Kongregate before being taken down a few days later.  Neither Notch or Kongregate have any admitted hard feelings, but it is nifty how massively popular things in the media are turned down only to rocket to super nova status later on.  Harry Potter and South Park, for example.  Notch called it “a bit of fun trivia.”

As for our own Minecrafting, we haven’t even booted the game up for weeks to be honest.  Last time we played was when I showed the Misses the place I etched out of a ravine on our buddy Ben‘s server, which was probably a month ago :(  I haven’t even thought about playing the game after they mentioned the patch has been yet again postponed till Minecon and I am more than a bit miffed that they settled for such conclusion.  Don’t want to harp on it, would end up a rant and either way they aren’t coming out with it sooner.

Meanwhile we opted to play WoW again.  Started up before 1.8 (as that patch was delayed several times as well /zing) and haven’t really stopped playing since.  Leveled up a few toons, got them pretty high pretty fast considering it takes the Misses ungodly long to level any of her toons.  She is basking in hallow’s end right now, though she has yet to see Sylvanas during that event atop Undercity.  Speaking of which, that should be occurring in just about twenty minutes so I’mma go log on and watch that again.

Happy crafting everyone!  Catch you next week!

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 2 Review – It Was Good!

Score this one as a small, but important victory.  The episode wasn’t over-flowing with either zombies or action, but it never felt dull and always changed things at just the right time.  It found time to expand on characters, kept the story flowing, stuck in a flashback right at the beginning and T-Dog even got some camera time.  Also, Andrea almost was a decent person that I didn’t wish harm upon.

Till she snubbed Dale again.

As she was near the RV at that point, I really hoped a zombie would blind-side her like her sister.  The one in the woods was tantalizingly close to taking a chunk out of her, but ah.  Patience…

Carol is still a pointless character.  At least this episode she gave quite an emotional blow to Andrea when she mentioned right in front of her that she prays her daughter doesn’t end up like Amy.  Ah, it was great.  Misses and I had a good laugh at that one.   I still think Carol is zombie grub on two legs, but wondering if they are going to the polar opposite or irony and going to end up making her daughter a zombie that actually takes her out in the end.  Rather Dawn of the Dead style with the girl in the basement, but if done right would still get a laugh.

More Like This, Please!

More like this episode, and none like the first episode, please!  Feel free to improve upon it, of course ^_^  Let’s hope the next episode is another actiony one and not a talky.  Break the curse of the first season!  Happily surprise us!

I have to give pointers to Rick’s actor.  He completely nailed being in shock when he was on the porch after dropping off Carl.  Seeing him jitter about, glazed eyes and staring off on auto-pilot as Shane wiped the blood of his forehead.  Seeing him nervously muck about with the soiled rag was spot on.

Hats off to the writers this season, as Shane is a completely watchable human being right now.  He usurped some of the Mary Sue out of Rick and has become a great guy and hero of his own story in his own right.  Last season I wasn’t pleased with his actions but felt he was also getting a terribly raw deal.  This time around they are showing him in a different light which is interesting to see.

Inversely, I am a bit miffed at how often Rick is crumpling this time around.  While the too human, human last season was a bit much in one direction, this time around we get the opposite.  A mess of doubt and emotions who is constantly second-guessing himself and full of questions on reality, morality, and even his own reasoning abilities.  I gather from the interviews of Talking Dead after the shows that this is temporary and is sculpting him to be ‘the great leader his is in the comics’ but right now, I’d like that to happen a bit faster.  I don’t have comics to base this on and keep saying “I know it’s bad now, but just wait, you’ll like it.”  Heck, Andrea was supposed to be an awesome character and thus far I cannot see why Dale would have stayed with her, nor how anyone with ‘gun rights’ (or crossbow for that matter) would want to save her at all, if not straight up do her in themselves.

I can envision this comic where Andrea is on the RV doing nothing productive as usual in panel one, panel two shows Dale opening the door to check up on her, and panel three is just his left arm and leg in view as the door rips off his hinges and giant crimson letters spelling out “RAAAAAGE” have knocked him out of frame as they fly out from inside the vehicle.

Just give that chick a bullet already. I don’t even mean shoot her.  Just give her a bullet and let her fall onto it from a great height.

And coat the bullet with salt.

Dale is still a cool guy.  T-dog is in a tight spot, we’ll see if the drugs kick in to save him or not. Glenn finally got some camera love and even got a joke this time around!  Yay.  Daryle is being hyped up as this uber cool tough guy, but I sorta think he was more awesome last season.  Perhaps this time around he feels… a bit stock?  Too soon to judge, but that’s my gut feeling at the moment.  It’s like every scene he’s in he just dominates and everyone else there is only there to serve him his best representation possible.

Side note:  There were two mentions of Merle this episode.  Will that amount to anything in the near future?

Anyone else flashback to Left 4 Dead when they started throwing flares?

As often is the case, a decent product following a terrible disappointment tends to shine quite brightly by dynamic comparison alone.  (Matrix 2 vs Matrix 3.  Star Wars 1+2 vs Star Wars 3.  Cataclysm vs Mists of Pandaria, though MoP would have done fine on it’s own.  I just wish Cata didn’t seem like such a waste or even a filler by comparison.)  I liked the whole episode.  I liked how commercials weren’t shoved in my face this time around, in fact instead of dreading the commercials themselves, I dreaded having to wait five minutes to get back into the episode because it hooked me this week.

This was a minor victory.  This proves you are actually adequate for television.  By many standards, being adequate is proof you are actually too good for television, but I digress.  Kudos to a good job, but keep it up.  You have plenty of room for improvement and to grow, so do not drop the ball again!  Continue to dazzle us in the coming weeks, please ^_^

Furthermore, Andrea should be destroyed.

Mists of Pandaria CONFIRMED! New Race AND Class!

Wassup my babies!  Didn’t feel like shelling out the thousand plus it would cost to get down to Blizzcon?  Couldn’t afford the pay-per-view blizzcasts on your ramen only diet?  I gots you covered!

Welp, it’s confirmed.  Mists of Pandaria is in fact the next expansion to World of Warcraft.  If you missed the other things mentioned due to information overload, here’s a bullet point list of the things planned for WoW:

  • New Race: Pandaren  (Available to both Horde and Alliance factions)
  • New Class: The Monk
  • New Continent: Pandaria (Of course XD)
  • Level Cap Increased to 90
  • Challenge Mode Dungeons
  • PVE Scenarios
  • Pet Battle System
  • New Talent System

“Well that’s good and all.  I like lists so you started off on the right foot.  But uh, what does that stuff actually mean?”

Kudos my inquisitive friend!  I dug around the WoW site and found linkies!  Shiny, shiny linkies!

New Race: Pandaren

While leveling up a brand new Pandaren, you’ll have the option to choose which faction you side with as you quest along your journey.  The classes available to a Pandaren are Monk, Mage, Rogue, Warrior, Hunter, Priest, and Shaman.  No feral Druid love, quasi-ironically.  Interestingly they already released their racial traits as well.  Food buffs will last twice as long, you’ll take half of the normal falling damage, cooking skill increased by 15, biggest one in my opinion is rested xp lasts twice as long as usual, and their active puts an enemy asleep for three seconds.

(source)

New Class: The Monk

The Monk will be a melee-based class that has offensive, defensive, and healing roles.  Aye, it appears we got another pally and druid in our midst.  It appears they will start out wearing cloth and then upgrade to leather after leveling up a bit, like druids, hunters, warriors, pallies and I think shaman do currently.  They will use Chi as their mechanic (like Rogues have Energy or Warriors have Rage, etc.) and it appears they will be entirely melee based as their available weapons are fist weapons, one-handed axes, maces, and swords, as well as polearms and staves.  Pandaren will not be the only monks, of course.  You can also level up one as a Draenei, Dwarf, Gnome (gotta make me one of those!), Human, or Night Elf for the Alliance.  For the Horde you got Troll, Orc, Blood Elf, Tauren, and Forsaken.  So pretty much everyone except the new races in Cataclysm; Worgen and Goblin.

(source)

Challenge Mode Dungeons

This one, I really-really like. Choose the Challenge Mode before entering a dungeon in Mists of Pandaria and you will be treated to the same instance as normal, but with the added bonus of a timer ticking down.  Depending on how fast you clear the instance and kill *every* boss in it, you will be graded from bronze to silver and gold.  The better you work as a team and the faster you complete the instance, the better your rewards. Every medal you earn will be saved to your character and can be used to compare to other players, guildmates, and even your entire realm.  Not only bragging rights are awarded, but you can unlock increasingly awesome looks to use with Transmogrification as you climb your way up the ladder and get more and more medals.  Only the coolest stuff will be handed out to winners of the gold, though.  So bring your A-game.  Also, to keep things even, all those who run a Challenge Mode instance will have normalized gear that matches the content.  No one is going to be allowed to get top-tier raid gear and go back to a normal run and cheat the system.  Think you are up to the Challenge?

(source)

Pet Battle System

This one is the funniest yet well thought-out additions to WoW.  Think Pokemon, and you got the right idea.  Not only can you duel your vanity pets with other players, but each pet will have its own unique abilities.  If you don’t like what ones they have, you can train them new ones and customize them however you’d like.  Every battle you and your pet wins grants them experience and levels, allowing them to grow stronger and unlock even more abilities down the line.

Fan of hording this little vanity pet-lings and companions?  Have an uncontrollable urge to catch them all?  You’re in luck.  Hunter’s aren’t the only ones who can tame animals now.  In Mists of Pandaria you’ll be able to purchase them, get them as random drops, or even capture them in the wild.  Just toss out your favorite companion pet and challenge it.  If you win the fight, you capture it all for yourself!  In order to make this process as addictive as possible, each pet in the wild has varying stats so if the loot gods above shine down on you, you can get a terrifically strong pet this way.

You can even train your little pets with NPC trainers.  Not all will give information willingly and require you best them in pet combat to prove your worthiness as a vanity pet trainer.

(source)

For all this and more, check out the official Blizzard Mists of Pandaria website.

I can already hear the Misses squeeing my ear off when she gets home to this news. While I find nearly everything mentioned to be massive steps forward for WoW, between the new ‘shinies’ and the Misses adoration with the Asian culture, it looks like I might as well get a year-long subscription now and save the money.

Good news!

If you actually do that, not only will you save like a gob of money, but you’ll get Diablo 3 for FREE.

Nurse?  Thank you.  Would you mind putting these games in a blender and shoot them straight into my veins?  I gotta feeling after these two release Mr. 101 will be seeing sunlight before I head ‘out there’ ever again.

…Lest we run out of nachos.

Blizzcon 2011: Predictions, Please! Mists of Pandaria, Races, New Classes, What Have Ya?!

Well lads n’ lasses, I believe that we have crossed the twenty-four hour threshold.  In less than a days time, Blizzcon 2011 will be streaming ‘cross Teh Interwebz and minutes later onto youtube.  People will attend for loot bags and a chance to talk to the Devs, as well as watch some pvp competitions spanning multiple games.

But thus far, minus a very mysterious title, we have nothing to go on.  Last year was horrendous, I must admit.  Reading MMO-Champion and hearing goblins and worgens and all that actually made me laugh aloud and think MMO got duped somehow.  And then nearly every line posted was mentioned months later at Blizzcon.  Rather disappointing, it were.  Was more shocked these terrible predictions were true.  (“Tauren Paladins, whaaat?”)

Much like MTV botching a live event, last years no-no’s have made this year rather dull.  (No offense, Mr. McCartney.)  This has also lead to a great deal of predictions and venomous declarations as to what is going to happen and what is not.  As I haven’t seen a WoW-playing psychic just yet (but based on sheer numbers there is bound to be at least one), how about we throw up some of our own ideas?  Keep it light, of course.  No need to bash anyone else, but feel free to gloat if you are correct ^_^

My zany predictions lie with in-game and book-related goings on meshed with previous expansions’ history.

  • We are ‘due’ for a new class as we got two races recently.

Not only would this co-inside with the beliefs that if Mists of Pandaria is the next expansion we will not be able to play an actual panda as it keeps with the ‘no new race’ idea.  So, if is a new class, which will it be?

  • Last time talk of a new Hero class was mentioned, they stated they would like the next one to be ranged.  Possibly a healer.

The common idea is that ranged + healer, plus hero class mix (as Death Knights are like arms warriors mingled with warlocks and a dab of necromancers) tends to be a Shadow Hunter which is pretty much a blend of shaman and hunter.  Meaning the next xp might focus on Vol’jin.  (Hopefully off-ing Garrosh just in time for Thrall to retake the reigns, but a man can dream…)  But this is a common thought, and as Cata’s ideas were really out there when I first read them, how about I take a stab at the darkness and throw out a different prediction?

  • In the new Lionheart book a certain Warden is mentioned.

Yes, the crazy metal hula-hoop weapon chick that had a dominatrix fetish on Illidan.  Among other things, they mention she is actively training a new batch of Wardens, which is quite curious.  Could this be the new class?

But what about Horde?  They have no connection to Warden stuffs at all!  Aye, that is true.  This is when I got another out-there idea.  What if all those Dark Rangers that have popped up since Wrath and even more in Cata?  One just yesterday told me in Scarlet Monestary that Vishas tortured her mother.  We saw Lil’ Vishas in the Caverns of Time when we free’d thrall.  The guy can’t be that old, meaning this chick is a relatively new addition to Sylvanas’ arsenal.

So if the Night Elves are training new ranged hybrids, and the Forsaken are training new ranged hybrids…

In a weird way I think this kinda fits.  Cata was all about bringing the game back to Classic with increased difficulty, more ‘balanced’ health pools, and sparking up the ol’ faction hatred.  Why not go the extra step and bring back the old Shaman and Pally model of one side not having the other?  Likely to happen?  Nearly “not a chance.”  But wouldn’t it kinda be cool , anyway?

So there’s my hair-brained and drooling idea.  Two new faction-dependant ranged classes.  What’s your crazy idea?

Minecraft Monday: 15 Million Registered Players and Counting, Circle Suns and Moons, and a PSA for Project Zomboid

Minecraft Monday!

Hey gang!  Somewhat of a slow news week this time around.  Minecraft will be feature-locked tomorrow as they work on squashing bugs and maybe actually releasing the new content any time soon.  They are still on Beta 1.9 Pre-Release 4, and no new patch in sight.  Still hoping to get one prior to a month from now, but what can ya do?  Onto the curious bits!

Minecraft News

Something that really stood out as annoying to me was Notch’s decision to ditch the old sun and moon graphics and go with a circular model instead.  While the bonus to this change is the moon at least will have cycles (like crescents and full moons and that), the down-side is… it’s a circle.  A circle made of squares… but it is still a circle.  He made a poll and ‘promises’ to honor the result.  But he also mentioned that he added up all the people who voted “do not care” as “round”, putting his preferred look in favor over the actual results.  So while the poll clearly states an advantage sticking with the old square version, he will up and change it anyway.  People have asked to make it a choice in-game to choose from square or circle which Notch outright denied.

I know the first thing that I will be changing once I get my hands on 1.9 >.>

In lighter news, Notch also mentioned that they just hit 15 million registered users.  That’s  six zeros, folks (15,000,000, see?  Six!).  ‘Only’ about 25% of them have paid for the game thus far, but even that is huuuge in terms of marketing and carry over.  Getting people to jump from free to pay is a hefty task, but Minecraft is still finding a way to do it ^_^

Project Zomboid

In a bit of sad news, Project Zomboid has fallen on some really rotten luck recently.  I’ve been checking up on this game from time to time, as it is fully decked out RPG survival game all about living with zombies.  Well, living as long as you can with zombies XD (Including barricading doors, finding supplies, and keeping yourself and any living person you meet sane.  If not they might just up and walk out the door one day.  And if that happens when you are asleep, guess who is going to be starting over in the morning -_^)

The short version of it is they sold their game through PayPal till that got mistakenly frozen.  They went and make a Google Checkout account and made a huge boost of sales through that, but that, too, got frozen.  PayPal has since noted their error and got that account back up, but Google is refusing to release about 80% of their income at this time.  Pirates are copying their game, as all online games seem to draw this crowd, but recently the noticed some pirates were able to access their real deal servers and update their clients to the current content.  It went from old and outdated copies being passed around to full-blown clients being stolen.  To make matters worse, they use a Cloud system and get charged every time someone downloads something from it.  The pirates not only are stealing the game, but charging them to do so.

Over the weekend their apartment got trashed by a burgalar.

Among the emotional damage, they took off with the two laptops with a massive cache of game-related content and code.  While they found a semi-recent backup online, this still was a pretty devastating blow.   To make matters worse, there are a bunch of people dogging the game for delays in spite of these giant obstacles.  Any single one of those would have put a lot of people out straight away, but these guys have taken each one on the chin and continued on.

I just caught a glimpse of in-game footage and highly recommend you guys plunk down the tiny cost of this one for the game as well as to help these guys get back on their feet yet again.  (It costs 5 in Brit-cash, so probably 7ish American.) The game is coming along really well, and even in such early stages it looks like a blast.  If you cannot afford it at this time, at least send them an encouraging email for support.

That’s it for this Minecraft Monday.  Happy Crafting, and we hope you all are gearin’ up for Halloween!  Just a few short weeks away, gettin’ ready?  We leave you this week with some pre-alpha footage of Project Zomboid from the always humorous youtuber paulsoaresjr.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Premier

What did I think of “What Lies Ahead?”

In a word: “Commercials.”

In another word: “Let-down.”

And yes that is a single word. It’s hyphenated, it counts as one! XD

It wasn’t bad, but I was expecting more.  This was yet another ‘Talky’ episode that I disliked last season.  I understand a lot of stuff is going on and they are explaining a lot and setting a stage, but I also think they only made it 90 minutes to sell the insane amount of ads that we running near the end.  If they cut it down to an hour not only would the ad problem go away, but they would be forced to terse and tighten up the action and lop off the boring bits that were ever-present.

Again, it was not bad.  But it was clearly edu-tainment.  It told us stuff so they can actually act on it later.  In comical terms, it was the setup of a joke, and the punchline will be given next week.  Or two from that.  Sometime.  Just not *now*.  And I wanted payoff *now* after waiting a year to watch this.

Some good news though!  Shane and Lori are now actual, factual characters!  I’m so proud.  Last season they were just graduated foil characters.  This time Lori is actually doing something and holding her own, while Shane is apparently shedding the ‘crazy’ bits and going rogue for the good of the group.  He went from neutral villain to anti-hero.  Kudos to him.

Andrea can go stick her finger in an outlet.  I don’t care what she does in the comic, I want this chick dead.  Nothing but hate and angst.  Every scene she was in was like watching a highschool poetry class unfold.  Big words people do not normally use, let alone under threat of zombie attack, and again not when that ticked off. You just don’t have higher brain functions going on when you rage as much as she was against poor Dale. Ungrateful for his intervention she wishes nothing more to be killed off.  We here ate Encrazed Crafts truly wish that she succeeds in her goal.  Quickly and with gory detail.

Dale is still awesome.  Delaying the group from making a tough decision so coyly and seeing T-Dog willingly go along with it was great.  “Tricky hose” indeed ^_^  Sadly, Rick is still a Mary Sue.  This time with extreme comparisons to Jesus.  Well done on the subtly there, crew.

The gore this episode wasn’t over-the-top, but I did notice the rest of the group I saw it with got a bit squeamish and complained at how realistic it was.  The only thing I was thinking when I saw Andrea attack the one zombie in the Road Warrior was frustration as I had an idea to write a story were people really did resort to using a screwdriver in such a fashion against a zombie.  Now if I do it I’ll get instant comparisons and claim that I stole it from them.  Raspberries!

One final nifty thing of note, as I mentioned up top, last season I complained how every other episode seemed to be all dialog while the others were action.  The fifth episode prompted me to state the following:

One final bid for longer lasting viewership:  action keeps people glued to their seats.  Dialog and only dialog episodes make people feel like they are sitting in glue.  (Subtle change, that is.)  The first is exciting and pushes the story along wisely and still finds time for character advancement.  The second is slow, uncomfortable, and fairly boring.  (I did like the humorous explosion in the lab, though.  Nice comedic timing of the robotic voice.)  The Walking Dead doesn’t need to be *filled* with gore, action, and zombies…but if all it IS filled with is speeches and heart-felt discussions…well…we are left with this:

After they bite off your ear, they'll talk off the remaining one.

-Encrazed Crafts 11/29/2010

So imagine my surprise when I found out they were actually having a live after-party talk show titled the “Talking Dead.”  I don’t wanna say I called it, as I’d much rather prefer dividends for coining the idea XD

What did you guys think of this episode?  A little slow on the pace?  Commercials a bit much?  Also notice they still managed to squeeze in a shower scene as Shane opened water from the truck? Man, they sure do love shower bits on this show.  That’s what, three so far?  Every time the people in them are super smiling too.  Kinda creepy.  Tell us your thoughts on this Walking Dead episode below!

Furthermore, Andrea should be destroyed.

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