Cataclysm Cutbacks, My Thoughts and Hopes for E3, and Gaming Keyboards

I’ve been pretty busy managing games, work, and hardware upgrades this past week, so I’ve been a little behind on the news. Sorry for the lack of Monday update, but there’s a few big things I’d like to touch on, so let’s get started.

Cataclysm Cutbacks

Original ideas for Path of the Titans

Path of the Titans represented one of the most intriguing updates to them game since… well, ever. Alternate advancement. Can I tell you just how badly WoW needs this? I know a lot of people scoff at the idea, but let me just say that, compared to a lot of other MMOs, WoW is pretty limited. It’s standard “quest, level, dungeon, raid” MMO fare– and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. By the time most players have hit the mid-to-upper 4ks in their gear score, they’re burnt out on the repetitiveness of it all.

PotT was a great opportunity for Blizzard to do what it does best: take good ideas from other games and make them their own. And it could have been good. The idea that PvP balance could have been a key reason for its failure bothers me. That’s lazy and short-sighted. WoW is a PvE game, no matter how much Blizzard tries to push the e-sportiness of it all. If it doesn’t fit for PvP, turn it off during matches. End of story.

It could have been cool but now I’d bet on mediocre. Instead, players that take up archeology can get lore tidbits (a strange decision considering most players claim to not even read quests) and vanity gear. Vanity items and pets are neat, I’ll give them that, but not as neat as AA.

Okay, enough said on that.

E3 Hopes and Thoughts

To be honest, I didn’t realize E3 started today until Ryan from Vagary called me on six hour drive in. It was nice to see so much big news flashing on my feed reader, though.

Microsoft’s Kinect (does anyone else think of those construction sets, Knex?) looks interesting but no different than any of the other motion devices. I was surprised to see that they’re offering a 360 “thin,” though. Apparently, it will come with a 250GB hard drive and built in wi-fi for $299. Comparing that to Sony’s 250GB PS3 at $350 and it’s easy to see the undercutting going on. Competition is good, though, and the PS3 needs a price cut, so here’s hoping.

I’m more interested in what’s to come. The Nintendo 3DS has my hopes high. If Kotaku is right, it will be the most graphically powerful handheld gaming device on the market. Cooking Mama will never have looked so good, but I’m looking more towards a new Zelda. Or, perhaps, a remake of a certain Ocarina filled Nintendo 64 game? Please?

But, and here’s my big hope, rumor has it that Sony might be unveiling the PSP2 at the expo as well. I love my PSP but, I’ll admit, I pretty much only use it to reader Google Reader before bed. It’s long in the tooth. If they’re able to pack the power of a Playstation 2 into their handheld, port some classics over (San Andreas, anyone?) and get rid of that god forsaken UMD, it’ll be a day-one purchase for me.

Plus, the MMO news. SW:TOR announced that they’ll be doing player housing in the form of personal space ships. That’s cool, in theory. I’ll wait to get excited until we see how useful it is. Will it be a solo-instance? Part of the world? Customizable beyond simple exteriors? And then there’s FFXIV. Square-Enix has some major signage in place, so I’m hoping that means some big news.

Gaming Keyboards

As regular readers may know, I’ve done a lot of computer upgrading lately. Originally, it was a new motherboard, processor, RAM, and Windows version. It’s been fun getting into my favorite MMOs and seeing how much better (or worse) they all run. I’ve also installed a few single player games for comparison too, namely Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. DA:O has more of my attention right now, since I’m not huge into sci-fi.

My new keyboard: Logitech G110

To top that off, I got my first full size paycheck from substitute teaching, so I treated myself to a new keyboard. You would be amazed at how in-depth things can get when you’re looking at gaming keyboards. I bought the G15 and returned it; the keys were too clunky (I’m used to low profile boards) and the LCD seemed gimmicky. I got the Razer Lycosa and returned it; without macro keys, it really offers very little to an MMO player other than its low profile. In the end, I settled on the Logitech G110. It’s much more powerful than the G15, the keys are nicer, and it’s more customizable in programming and color. I love it. Now comes the learning how to use it to its full effect.

That’s been my weekend. Now that I’m settled into my new hardware, I get to look forward to a fairly relaxed summer. This is the last week in session for the schools I sub at, then it’s summer break. I’ll work in between but not as much and not as frequently. Hopefully, that means I’ll be able to finally finish DA:O and gear out my Death Knight in badge gear.

Things look good. Now, how do I program MMO macros into this thing?

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