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Solid Sean's blog

2:20 PM on 10.24.2011

MMO Stories: Sound, Scenery, and PVP

World of Warcraft has taken away years of my life that I cannot get back, like it has for many, but some of my favorite memories of playing videogames with my friends come from it. I have relapsed on World of Warcraft multiple times, but I have been clean for well over a year now, and nothing makes me want to come back more than hearing a song that I listened to while questing in Stranglethorn Vale, or another game triggering memories of open world pvp battles.

I began playing World of Warcraft a few months before The Burning Crusade released, but quit before that content became relevant to me and quit. A friend of mine and myself decided to start playing again once Wrath of the Lich King came out. I always had music playing while I played, and to this day I will hear a song and it takes me back to trekking through Stranglethorn Vale, or defending the top of a pyramid in Zul'Furrak. I would hardly consider World of Warcraft one of my favorite games of all time, but I cannot think of another game that can pop into my head at any given moment like this game can. It isn't just the music connection either, listening to other people talk about it puts me in a special place too, or some scenery in real life snaps me into a trance; a nirvana that for a split second wants me to go back to Azeroth. And these experiences were not limited to Azeroth; they stretched to the skies of Outland.

As mentioned before, I never got to experience The Burning Crusade when it launched, I had quit before I reached the content, but the first time I had reached the Dark Portal was nothing short of awesome. The amazement of going through the Dark Portal and seeing what I had missed in the Burning Crusade was a great feeling. The massive battle happening as soon as you step through, the giant new enemies, and of course flying mounts. It was like playing World of Warcraft for the first time again; completely new zones to explore, new quest lines to do, and new instances to tackle, but that wasn't my favorite memories of exploring Outland.

My favorite memories of exploring Outland come from a very heated open world pvp battle a friend of mine and I had gotten into. We were still fresh to Outland and were still questing in Hellfire Peninsula. He was a priest, and I a rogue were no more than level 63 when we spotted some Alliance scum, a warlock, that we decided needed to be vanquished. We took action and killed him, but shortly after he revived and healed up a friend of his came to his aid. Inevitably, it turned into a 30 minute battle of supremacy. My friend and I were never into pvp, so we did our best with our pve builds and eventually caused the Alliance to flee, declaring us victorious.

A similar situation arose when we had made it to Northrend, but by this time we had grown tired of our rogue and priest combo, and were new classes. It was our first time doing the quest lines in Northrend when we once again spotted Alliance. I cannot recall the exact details, but my friend was a 76ish warrior, I was a 77ish hunter, and the Alliance was mid 70's but I do not remember his class. The Alliance minded his own, hoping we would do the same. Of course we didn't that's part of the fun on pvp servers. We killed him once and carried on. No more than a minute later a level 80 Alliance Death Knight shows up and kills us. The one we killed earlier on with him taunting the entire time. We go back to our corpses, revive and heal up. Over Ventrilo my friend and I come up with a plan to take them on. By the time we take action another low 70 Alliance shows up. Luckily one of the others was in combat, so we dispatched the 80 quickly and turned our attention to the other lower levels. Once they were dead we hastily left in fear of retaliation and being corpse camped all day.

In the end World of Warcraft has given me some fine videogame memories that I haven't forgotten after years, and for the most part in great detail. My friend and I still occasionally bring up our adventures together in World of Warcraft and it still brings smiles to our faces. Rarely do I play a game that affects me like this game has, and it's no wonder Blizzard is as successful as they are, hopefully Diablo III will bring me the same quality memories World of Warcraft has.   read

9:17 PM on 07.01.2011

Late to the Party: StarCraft 2

This is a bit I'm going to try out where I write about games I'm late to playing. Clearly, StarCraft II is the first game I'm going to write about.

I just picked up SC2 a few months back, and held out with good reason. The main reason being my computer at the time couldn't run it as well as I would have liked, the other big reason was that I just assumed it was StarCraft with better graphics and a few new units. Essentially that's all it is, and those of you who have played them both know that isn't a bad thing at all. If it ain't broke don't fix it, right?

Back in my SC1 days I didn't play much of the normal multiplayer. I played the campaign, but when it came to the multiplayer I was all about tower defense and RPG maps, on account of being too young and stupid and slow to keep up with the Koreans. I didn't touch much of the multiplayer on SC2 before I finished the campaign. I was overwhelmed with the new honestly, but once I finished the campaign it was time for me to dive in.

A friend of mine had been following competition SC2 heavily for awhile, so I took his advice and skipped my practice league and went straight to placement, after some more coaching from a couple of other friends. I got placed surprisingly high for how well I thought I was doing. I have to admit, I was proud of myself. Since I've started playing it has been quite addicting doing 2v2 matches with a friend of mine. It became even more entertaining when we began commentating our games under the names Jeremy Lolerson and Sean McLmao. The matchmaking in SC2 is really what makes the multiplayer enjoyable, like I said earlier I couldn't keep up in the SC1 days, but the great matchmaking is allows people like me to keep playing SC2. But the multiplayer isn't the only great thing about SC2, the single player campaign delivered.

The SC2 campaign exceeded my expectations by far. Not only was the story more entertaining than I expected, but the game play varied significantly in the missions. I found plenty of replayability in the single player game between easter eggs and achievements. Apart from the campaign there are a handful of fun challenge missions, and you can play against the AI, which has more difficulty options than anyone should need.

I may be late to the party, but anytime is a good time for this game. No question about it, SC2 will last as long as SC1 did, especially with the expansions on the way. And for those who may retire from the multiplayer, chances are they will get sucked back in with Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void.   read

8:51 PM on 06.30.2011

The Grumpy Old Men of Team Fortress 2

Valve has pissed off many veteran Team Fortress 2 players with the Uber Update. The biggest thing the Uber Update brought to TF2 was a massive increase in activity, but that irked many of the people who paid $20-$60 for the game in the past four years.

I myself just started playing TF2 about five months ago (My Steam ID is SolidSean, if you want to play), and I payed $20 for it, and have no problem that it is now free. The TF2 veterans are acting like a bunch of grumpy old men looking for anything to complain about. One can only assume they are trying to get some sort of compensation from Valve, which is undeserving. The increased activity, more populated servers, and potential increase in challenge for all skill levels is the only compensation I see fit.

Killzone 3 is one of my favorite games to play online, and lately I haven't been playing it much, mostly due to a backlog, but if Sony came out tomorrow and said that it is now free for everyone to play, I'd probably hop back on. I wouldn't be pissed, and that game came out just four months ago.

Basically, if you're bitching about a game becoming free years or months after you paid for it, shut your mouth, and if you don't want to shut your mouth I suggest waiting years and years before buying any game, in hopes that it too becomes free.   read

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