Monthly Archives: July 2013

Final Fantasy Xiv:The five Races

There are five playable races resembling those from Final Fantasy XI. 280px AkihikoYoshida FinalFantasyXIV Final Fantasy Xiv:RacesEach race has a new name and their appearance has been altered; additionally, each is divided into two clans. The “missing genders” for some races (Female Roegadyn, Male Miqo’te and Female Highlander Hyur) will become available upon the PlayStation 3 release. [1] A recent player’s poll presented the possibility of mixed races (Miqo’te-Lalafell, Hyur-Elezen), though nothing is confirmed as of yet.

·Hyur

The Hyur are a race not originally from Eorzea, having migrated there and brought their technology with them. They are split into two clans, the Highlanders and the Midlanders. They are similar to Humes from Final Fantasy XI.

·Lalafell

The Lalafell are a race from the seas south of Eorzea. The race consists of the Plainsfolk and the Dunesfolk. They are similar to the Tarutaru.

·Miqo’te

The Miqo’te are a race from Eorzea, and like the Hyur, are not native to the region. Miqo’tes are either Seekers of the Sun or Keepers of the Moon. They are cat-like beings, and similar to the Mithra.

·Roegadyn

The Roegadyn are a race from the seas north of Eorzea. This maritime race is broken into two tribes; the Sea Wolves and the Hellsguard. They are like the Galka, though they lack tails.

·Elezen

The Elezen are the race that has lived in Eorzea the longest and co-exist peacefully with the other races. Elezen can either be Wildwood Elezen or Duskwight Elezen. They are similar to the Elvaan.

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League of Legends:Summoner’s Rift

SummonersRiftTutorial

 

The Summoner’s Rift is the most commonly used Field of Justice. The map was given a graphical and technical update on May 23, 2012.

 

 

Summoner's Rift Lore
The oldest and most venerated Field of Justice is known as Summoner’s Rift. The Rift is located in a remote forest between Freljord, the Serpentine River, and the Ironspine Mountains. The Summoner’s Rift is one of a few locations in Valoran where magical energy is at its greatest concentration,making it a highly sought-after locale to pursue magical endeavors. Historically, the forest where the Rift resides was the site of several battles during Runeterra’s various Rune Wars. In modern times, this battleground is known as the ultimate proving ground for any aspiring summoner. The Rift is also the battleground where some of Valoran’s greatest political decisions have been made since the inception of the League of Legends.

SummonersRiftGameplay
The objective of Summoner’s Rift is simple – destroy the enemy nexus. In order to do this, champions must traverse down one of three different paths (or lanes) in order to attack their enemy at their weakest points they can exploit. Both teams have their lanes defended by numerous turrets; each turret grows in strength the closer it gets to its respective nexus and each turret must be eliminated in order to gain access to the next turret in that lane. Cooperating with fellow summoners is an absolute requirement for success, as it is easy for a champion to find themselves ambushed by enemies in the lanes of the Rift.

Features
*19000 unit distance from nexus obelisk to nexus obelisk (Measured with Caitlyn ultimate ranges)
*Three lanes to fight your way to the enemy base.
*A jungle populated by neutral monsters of varying degrees of toughness, the toughest of which provide buffs and/or gold for your whole team.
*Powerful turrets defend key areas on the map. You must confront these in addition to your enemies if you are to make headway toward victory.
*A map dividing river that lies in neutral territory, allowing for quick travel between lanes.
*Two bases at opposite corners of the map, populated by a shop, a nexus, two turrets to defend the nexus, and inhibitors that suppress the other team’s minions.

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wow:Under Development Updates — Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar

The Vale of Eternal Blossoms is spoiled, and the city of Orgrimmar—a triumph of civilization in rugged Durotar—is in chaos. Warchief Garrosh Hellscream is responsible, and if he’s not stopped, he’ll drag the Horde and the Alliance further down into darkness with him.

Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar introduces a massive multi-part raid, a new Flexible Raid difficulty, new locations on Pandaria and Kalimdor, and a diverse array of challenges for all play styles. Here are just a few of the upcoming major additions:

 ·New Raid: Take the fight to Garrosh in the Siege of Orgrimmar!

 ·New Zone: The wondrous Timeless Isle is revealed! Free-roaming exploration and treasures from out of time await you in this new land located just off Pandaria’s shores.

 ·The Proving Grounds: Master your role by engaging in solo challenges, and compare your best score against friends and guildmates.

·The Celestial Tournament: Pit your pet-battling prowess against unique trainers to earn the favor of Pandaria’s August Celestials.

. . . and even more. Learn about the new gameplay features currently under construction by going to our Under Development page, and prepare yourself for the siege to come.
Comments

Ibbi
Raiding sucks because the Lore Sucks. We’re Raiding against friggen dinosaurs!!!! When we were raiding against the Burning legion and wrath… It felt like we were apart of something really cool. I mean, how can I take something seriously when you dumb raid bosses like a Turtle. Can you imagine the “attack of the giant panda” with the special effect is to heal itself by eating “bamboo”. The entire raid system today is DUMB.

Dëathtoall
I’m actually Real happy about the new raid cause i actually Hate Garrosh and hopefully Thrall comes back from what ever he’s doing but, hoping it’s not going to be like the Alliance with the king and his son by his side… I hope that something good is changing but, i guess i’m happy about the raid is that i used to play back in vanilla for a few months before BC and played with Thrall being the leader and hopefully he comes back. Not trying to get people fluttering their feathers about this comment but, i am happy about this

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World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde Now On Sale

The latest World of Warcraft novel, Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde, is here, and you can purchase your copy now at Amazon & Barnes & Noble.

Warchief Garrosh’s assassins strike at Vol’jin, leaving him at death’s door . . . but fate smiles on the wounded Darkspear leader when renowned brewmaster Chen Stormstout transports him to the safety of an isolated mountain monastery. There, Vol’jin wrestles with old hatreds smoldering between the Alliance and the Horde as he struggles to recover alongside a mysterious human soldier.

Yet this is only the beginning of Vol’jin’s worries. Soon, he becomes embroiled in an invasion of Pandaria launched by the Zandalari, revered trolls driven by dreams of conquest and power. This ancient tribe offers Vol’jin a chance to seize the glory that is the birthright of all trolls . . . an offer made even more tempting after Garrosh’s brazen treachery.

Amid these events, Vol’jin is rocked by intense visions depicting his race’s grand history. As he questions where his loyalties lie, he knows he must make a choice about his own destiny that could save his people or damn them to languish under Garrosh’s heel.

In addition to the newly released hardcover and eBook editions, an audio book of Shadows of the Horde is coming soon. Stay tuned for additional details.

Check out the first excerpt—and just in case that’s not enough troll for you, here’s another!

Excerpt 2

Vol’jin for a moment found it curious to be stalking down a cobbled road with pandaren monks fanned out before him on both sides and a man apace with him. All he had known in his life had not prepared him for this. Hunted and hurting, homeless and believed dead by many, yet he felt completely alive.

He glanced at Tyrathan. “We should be shooting the tallest first.”

“Any special reason?”

“Bigger targets.”

The man smiled. “And it’s four and a half inches.”

“You know I not gonna wait on you.”

“Just get the one that gets me.” Tyrathan tossed him a salute and cut east, following the blues as they moved into the village.

Vol’jin kept on straight as reds hustled shocked pandaren from shadows and doorways. They’d clearly seen trolls before and, given how they cringed from him, it had been commonly in nightmares. Even though they might understand he had come to help, they could not help but fear.

Vol’jin liked that. He realized it wasn’t because, as with the Zandalari, he wanted to rule by fear, or felt that his inferiors should fear him. It was because he had earned their fear. He was a shadow hunter. He was the slayer of men and trolls and Zandalari. He had liberated his home. He led his tribe. He had advised the warchief of the Horde.

Garrosh so feared me that he had me murdered.

For a heartbeat, he considered marching straight to the quay that several longboats of Zandalari were approaching, and revealing himself. He’d fought against them before but doubted his presence would surprise them. Worse, it might alert them to the fact that their understanding of their enemy was incomplete.

Part of him realized that, in the past, he might have done just that. The same way he confronted Garrosh and threatened him while taking the Darkspears out of Orgrimmar, he would have roared his name and dared them to come after him. He would let them know that he wasn’t afraid and that his lack of fear should inspire fear deep in their hearts.

He nocked an arrow. This be what they need deep in their hearts. He drew and let fly. The arrow, with a barbed, flesh-rending head, arced out. His target, the troll hunched at the bow, waited to jump out as soon as keel scraped sand. He never had a chance of seeing the shaft. It flew straight out at him, a lethal flyspeck. It caught him in the shoulder, nicking the backside of his collarbone. It slid into him, running parallel to his spine, burying itself to the feathers in his body.

He collapsed, crashing into the gunwale. He bounced up, then slid over the side, his feet the last thing going under. The boat, unbalanced, listed to starboard, then righted itself again.

Just in time for Vol’jin’s second arrow to pin the tiller troll to the rudder.

Vol’jin ducked back and turned away. As much as he might like to watch confused soldiers in an unsteady boat, that luxury would have cost him his life. Four arrows thudded into the wall against which he’d stood and two more overshot him.

Vol’jin pulled back to the ruins of the next building. He arrived as a monk helped a pandaren with a crushed shoulder crawl from beneath rubble. Farther out in the bay, where the last boat was coming in, an arrow slammed into the pilot’s ear. It twisted him around and flung him from the boat.

The lead boat grounded. A few Zandalari sprinted for cover. Others tipped the boat up and huddled behind it. The middle two boats backed water quickly in an attempt to stop. The last had a hardy soul take the pilot’s place at the rudder. An arrow transfixed him through the guts. He sat hard but kept his hand on the tiller, guiding the boat shoreward as the other trolls pulled on the oars.

The troll commanding the invasion from a ship farther at sea, signaled furiously. The ships in the harbor renewed their assault with siege engines. Stones arced out, slamming into the beach in a great spray of sand. Vol’jin thought the half-buried stone a waste of effort, but one of the Zandalari sprinted toward it and threw himself down behind it.

And then another stone hit, and another.

So the game began. As Zandalari advanced, Vol’jin moved to the flank and shot. Spotters aboard ship would then turn the siege engines on his hiding place, smashing it to flinders. Off to the east they did the same with Tyrathan’s hidey-holes, though how they saw him Vol’jin had no idea. He couldn’t.

Each wave of stones drove Vol’jin back and let more trolls advance. The ships lowered more boats. Some of the Zandalari even stripped off their armor and dove into the bay with bows and arrows tightly wrapped in oilskins. The ships lay waste to a wide arc in the center of Zouchin, and troops moved ashore to occupy it.

The shadow hunter made every arrow count. He didn’t always kill. Armor blunted some shots. Occasionally a target provided him only the glimpse of foot, or patch of blue skin through a tangle of fallen timbers. The simple fact was, however, that for every arrow he possessed, the ships had a dozen ballista stones and half that many soldiers.

So Vol’jin pulled back. He found only one monk’s body as he went. She’d been struck through by two arrows. From the tracks leading south, she’d shielded two cubs from the shots that had killed her.

He paced after those cubs, trailing them back through the village. Just when their trail broke into the open behind a home collapsed on splintered pilings, Vol’jin heard scrabbling. He turned, quickly, as a Zandalari warrior slid into view. Vol’jin reached back for an arrow, but his enemy shot first.

The arrow caught him in the flank and punched out his back. Pain pulsed from his ribs, staggering him. Vol’jin dropped to a knee and reached for his glaive as the other troll nocked another arrow.

The Zandalari smiled broadly in triumph, flashing teeth proudly.

A heartbeat later, an arrow arced down between those teeth. For a half second, it appeared as if the troll was vomiting feathers. Then eyes rolled up in his skull and he pitched backward.

Vol’jin turned slowly, looking back along the arrow’s line of flight. Long grasses closed at the crest of a hill. Shot through the mouth. Four and a half inches. And he was wanting me to get the one who got him.

Dust still slowly settled over the twitching troll. Vol’jin reached back and snapped off the arrow’s head, then slid the shaft from his chest. He smiled as the wound closed; then he pilfered the troll’s quiver, and continued the fighting withdrawal.

Download both samples for your eReader below:

English: ePub – mobi

Spanish (Castillian): ePub – mobi

German: ePub – mobi

French: ePub – mobi

Italian: ePub – mobi

Portuguese: ePub – mobi

Korean: ePub – mobi

​Chinese (Simplified): ePub – mobi

 

Comments:

Finished it last week. Its a good read and ends RIGHT when you think you’re gonna get some juicy stuff on 5.4. I was like, “AWWWWWW!” Agree with another poster who said Stackpole isn’t a Christie Golden but it IS a good read. I’m kinda tired of Horde lore but it was cool to get a LOT of troll background and insight to their belief system.

 

I had picked it up when it had first came out. Two comments:

1) for players of the game…WOW books are incredibly easy to get into. Even if you do not consider yourself a ‘reader’, I do suggest giving one of their pocket paperbacks a try. (Try the Jaina or the Shattering as they are recent ones in mass market)

2) While he is no Christie Golden, Stackpole does a good job bringing a lot of interesting lore about the ShadoPan and about the Troll ‘religious’ system to the table. The ball is now in blizzards court to bring Tyrathan to the forefront (at least as the dude that deactivates the raid buff)

 

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Guild Wars 2: Living story to get more serious, more permanent, and more personal

Guild Wars 2 Living story to get more serious, more permanent, and more personal

An interview on US Gamer with ArenaNet Game Director Colin Johanson serves as an interesting follow-up to his Guild Wars 2 planning post from earlier this month. In it he addresses the direction that the living story is taking as well as his intention to overhaul many of the game’s dungeons.

Johanson said that the team is responding to feedback by working to make GW2’s living story matter more to the player with more serious stories that will “blend” with the player’s own personal story. He reiterated that ArenaNet has great plans to use the living story to shape the game’s future: “There is now, and certainly will be a lot larger focus on ensuring that the content we’re building is creating experiences that people can permanently have when they come back two years later. Instead of saying, ‘I see something that happened two years ago but I can’t experience it,’, we want players to say, ‘I’m playing this and I’m playing it as a result of something that happened two years ago.'”

The game’s dungeons are also fair game for shaping. Johanson confirmed that the team will be revisiting most of its dungeons to make them “more exciting, more fun, more compelling, and also more rewarding.” He even mentioned the possibility of “blowing up” dull dungeons to replace with something better.

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GW 2 lone wolves

GW 2 lone wolves
Races that were enemies in the first Guild Wars are now playable, including the feline Charr and intellectual Asura. You could easily draw parallels between the classes in Guild Wars 2 and most other fantasy MMOs, but the big difference here is there’s no trinity of tank, healer, DPS. Every race can be every class with no penalty, and every class is viable, so the selection critera for what you want your character to be really comes down to “What do I think is coolest?” Your class is important, your race is more or less a skin.

Grouping is also handled differently than most role-playing games. My friend asked me, “So is it a game like FFXI where you have to be grouped to get anything done?” No, I told him. “So it’s more solo stuff like The Old Republic?” No, I told him again. It’s not a contradiction; grouping has gone from a chore to my favorite feature, because Guild Wars 2 handles it organically.

Instead of thinking about grouping in terms of game design, think of it from a logical perspective: if you saw someone who was doing the same quest as you, doesn’t it make sense to team up? Share the bounty, share the experience. But other MMOs have relied on the all-powerful “/invite” command, and have decreed a group of adventurers shall number only five, and only these five can claim the experience of slaying a monster. You others will have to wait your turn.

That’s game design, not something logical that would exist in these fantasy worlds, and Guild Wars 2 dodges those stereotypical mechanics. When I run through the wilderness outside the city, I receive notifications of events nearby. Bosses, escort missions, collection quests and other things to do are peppered throughout the map, and a ring appears to highlight the area it’s taking place. See that giant ooze those adventurers are fighting? Help take it down! You’ll get credit, experience, and loot for your trouble, no /invite required.

You don’t even need to worry about threat management or playing a healer when you join up with these groups. There are no tanks, healers, or DPS specs in Guild Wars 2. Every class has a self-heal ability, every class can revive a fallen friend, and every class can deal damage. Enemy AI doesn’t accrue aggro the same as it does in most MMOs, so positioning becomes more important than threat level. It also gives a more personal feel to groups, as you’re no longer tied to staying below a threat threshold or dependent on someone else for heals. Whether that’s good or bad is debatable; I’ll admit to enjoying the MMO trinity and focus on teamwork it brings.

Earlier, I’d encountered another example of the Guild Wars 2 organic take to grouping. I bumped into a fellow Asura NPC who wanted me to check out a local laboratory. I could see plenty of other players heading in from where I was standing. “Crap,” I thought. Part of this quest meant killing bad guys, while another part involved collecting data crystals. With so many people heading in and coming out, I figured that it would be a considerable time before I could find a data crystal or enemy that hadn’t already been claimed by another player’s attack.

Turns out, I could help finish off someone else’s enemy and still get credit towards completion of the quest. As for the data crystals, they turned out to be the easiest of all. At first I thought it was a fluke or bug, but I saw it happen over and over throughout the world: people would run up to a collectible item at the same time as me and then run away, but the item would still be there. It wouldn’t disappear until I’d claimed one for myself. Yes, I was still collecting X amount of Y and slaying wandering mobs, but so far in Guild Wars 2, there’s not all that pesky “game” stuff to get in the way of the experience.

GW 2 return first game

Guild Wars 2 feels like the right game for the right time. Star Wars: The Old Republic is enjoyable, but the game’s dungeons, grouping, and key rotations feels old hat. The Secret World is quirky and absorbing, but its class-less, level-less system, and mission structures can seem experimental and ahead of its time. Guild Wars 2 feels like what World of Warcraft 2 would be, if there were such a thing.

You’re still in solid MMO territory with tab targeting and a medieval fantasy setting, but the process is streamlined to cut out extraneous or tedious busywork. The game play feels smooth and organic, and above all, convenient.

Guild Wars 2 is a return to Tyria, the world of the first game. It was a world that could use improvement, as areas were small and instanced, you could only play a human, the game had a strong focus on PvP and, though it looked nice, the aesthetics could come across as bland and unimaginative. Now I’m dancing the robot with my adorable Asura engineer when I’ve got a moment to spare.

GW 2 Storylines and Speed Up Movement

More Ways To Speed Up Movement and Boost Defense
With waypoints, you can get around the map pretty quickly. But I’d like to see either an overall speed boost to all the races, or more speed buffs spread liberally throughout the maps.

Virtually every MMORPG out there moves too slow, and Guild Wars 2 is no exception. I want to be able to run. Even adding a stamina-based running system would be fantastic, allowing players to move about the maps with greater speed and agility.

Along these lines, I’d like to see a buff to dodging at least for light-armored classes. It would be nice to be able to dodge more than twice in a row right off the bat, especially for classes with low armor ratings. More defense is always a plus.

I’d also like to see shields become more than just a weak second-hand weapon. Why not redo shields altogether, allowing players to use shield mode without a cool-down? Since one-handed weapons tend to be weaker than their two-handed counterparts this would give one-handed weapon builds more of a reason to use the defensive capabilities of shields.

Multiple Storylines For Each Area For Each Race
Right now in Guild Wars 2 if you start as a Human you’ll play a Human-centric storyline. Only one main story will be available to you throughout the game, and the rest of your adventures will be dynamic events, exploration, heart quests, etc.

I think it would be better to have multiple available storylines available either right off the bat, or starting around level 10.

In other words, if you played a Human Warrior you could follow the Human Warrior story or you could travel to one of the other areas and pick up an a new storyline there.

One interesting way to design this would be to unlock a second storyline at level 10 that the player could choose. Then at level 20, the player could choose a third storyline from the remaining areas/races and so forth. This would basically allow for more variety and create an incentive to travel to other areas and follow branching quests.

GW 2 update guild missions

ArenaNet have detailed the next step in their four-part update epic, Flame & Frost. The second instalment, The Gathering Storm, will add a new PvP map, guild missions, a choose-your-own achievements system, and the next part of the game’s Living Story. This time, the forces of good must hold back the titular storm. I assume it’s a storm made of bad people, and not bad weather. I doubt even Tyria’s talented citizens could battle an approaching cold front.

“The situation worsens for the citizens of Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau,” reads the update’s description. “Volunteers have eased the burden, but more refugees hobble down from the Shiverpeaks. The storm there gains momentum, but the forces of good are beginning to rally. They’re sending their heroes to defend the land and its peoples. Someone must hold back the gathering storm.”

Spirit Watch will be the new PvP map, in which players must capture the Orb of Ascension and transport it to one of three shrines placed around the arena. There’s also a new rated PvP mode, pitting two teams of similar rank against each other, with rating adjustments handed down to each player after the match.

Guild Missions appear to be the most exciting new addition. According to ArenaNet, “These missions, designed for coordinated group play, include everything from bounties to group puzzles to cross-country challenges.” Completed activities earn Guild Merits, which unlock “cool upgrades and rewards”.

Also, achievements have been tweaked to allow you to set your own dailies. ArenaNet say that this will let you choose the type of content you want to focus on.

GW 2 Flame and Frost

ArenaNet are teasing the finale to Guild Wars 2′s four-part Flame and Frost update series. Retribution will close out the “Living Story” that was started back in January, with a quest to assault an experimental weapons facility and defeat the Molten Alliance. It’s certainly a tonal shift after the happy pixel clouds and bright platforming of the MMO’s last update.

In addition to the story’s culmination, Retribution will also introduce a couple of PvP beta features – letting a limited number of players trial custom arena battles and spectator modes.

“With custom arenas, you can make your own place to play, you can organize private tournaments with friends, and you can challenge other teams to scrimmage,” writes ArenaNet server programmer Steve Bikun. Matches will be customisable through a number of rules, including team size, point and time limits, respawn type and balance.

Custom arena makers will also be able to toggle Spectator Mode on or off, allowing other players to watch these battles. According to programmer Evan Lesh, “Spectator mode is a great way for new PvP players to learn from more experienced players, and it will allow expert players to watch each other in order to refine their skill. It will also be an amazing tool for shoutcasting games between high-level teams.”

Other Retribution additions include new Guild Missions, new WvW abilities, and guild siege weapons for WvW. Flame on Frost: Retribution is out April 30th. You can see the full patch run-down here.