Month: August 2021

World of Warcraft Tips for Beginners: Your First Mods

So you’ve been running around World of Warcraft and questing your way through the levels. You are still a beginner though and the longer you play the more you realize you have not really begun to learn the game yet. In the World of Warcraft chat window you often see other players complaining about mods that are no longer working because of a recent patch. By now, as a beginner, you are wondering if perhaps you are missing something important to make World of Warcraft easier and more pleasant.
First of all, a beginner needs to know what mods are. “Mod” is a shortened word for “modification”. In World of Warcraft, there are literally thousands of player-made mods that will assist players for every aspect of the game. At Curse.com (just click here) a beginner can download most of the useful mods that any player could desire for World of Warcraft, and a beginner could easily become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available.

Here is a very short list of basic and popular mods that a beginner might want to try out in World of Warcraft. These mods can be easily searched for at Curse.com.

Bartender 4 is nice for extra item and spell slots and they can be resized and moved around on the screen. A beginner would not really need this mod in World of Warcraft until later at higher levels when the default slots are all filled up. But it is a safe and easy mod for beginners to check out to see if they really want to use World of Warcraft mods at all.

Another useful and easy-to-use mod for beginners in World of Warcraft is the Omen threat meter. In World of Warcraft, monsters and bosses generally attack the character with the highest threat. Knowing where you stand in line of threat can be very helpful and will allow a beginner to begin learning a new level of tactics while grouping in World of Warcraft.

A third mod that is safe for the beginner in World of Warcraft is Atlas Loot. Atlas Loot is a library of items that drop from bosses, or rewards from arenas and battlegrounds, and other World of Warcraft loot. A beginner can spend hours gazing at the armor and weapons and even see how it looks on a character.

It is important to note to a beginner that mods are not required to play. Some mods can make the game easier a beginner, while other mods can change the user interface completely. Some players have never used a mod and never will, while others live and die by them. A beginner should not be afraid to try out the mods because the worst that can happen is that they simply won’t work.

Star Trek Online (PC)

Where to begin? Let’s start with the obvious. A World of Warcraft killer it is not. Star Trek Online by Cryptic Studios is great fun in some ways, less fun in others, and no fun at all in too many. However, it is the total lack of immersion that means it could not possibly endanger the life of any true MMORPG. You can really get into a space battle, you can sort of get into crafting, and you can’t really get into ground combat or mission story lines at all. In World of Warcraft, you can lose yourself in the world (of Warcraft) in every sense; in Star Trek Online it’s hard to get mildly misdirected.
There is first and foremost the “Star Trek” portion of the game. There is an attempt to stick to Star Trek lore that sort of works, but voiceovers by Leonard Nimoy and some text titles as you change maps are about as deep as it gets.

Still, there is some serious satisfaction from a Trekkie standpoint when you can fly a ship that looks exactly like those of the original cast movies and blast the hated Klingon War Bird with a spread of Photon Torpedoes. The ships are gorgeous, customizable, and the graphics are just beautiful. Weapons effects and explosions rock the screen, and if Star Trek Online was a standalone space warfare game, it would be fantastic. But it’s not.

Once you get past that rush, you realize the weaknesses of Star Trek Online as a game. There is little, if any, storyline. Missions are repetitive and there is a tendency towards the extreme. In one “patrol” mission, which is basically a collection of missions strung together as one objective, a player might find that an entire fleet must be dealt with by his single vessel. In the next, he might only need to talk to several characters and the mission is finished, with no difference in the reward levels between the two insanely varying levels of difficulty.

And ground combat? Don’t ask. It’s awful. The enemy AI is erratic, the friendly AI is clueless, and the ground environments are extremely linear and feel like the player is in a fishbowl. As with the space missions, it’s either too easy or too hard, and boring either way.

Crafting is underdeveloped and confusing. Don’t do it unless you’re a glutton for punishment. Exploration is generic and repetitive, following the same pattern of ground combat missions and occasional space battles as the regular missions.

One might also be tempted to ask Cryptic Studios whether or not they use spell check or any sort of editing when they write mission text. Missing words, poor spelling and mission instructions that don’t actually tell you what the mission is or where to find it are annoyingly common.

One can even choose to play a Klingon. The problem is, like much of the rest of Star Trek Online, the Klingon side of the game is rough, undeveloped and unsatisfying. After a very brief mission set, the Klingon player is left with player vs. player as the only activity to pursue. Very bad form, developers!

Since it’s an online game, server issues must also be taken into account. Connectivity is sporadic. There are often stuttering issues, which occasionally lead to death. Perhaps these will improve with age, but it remains to be seen how many players will stay on long enough to see it considering the game’s long list of issues.

Character generation is stellar, with almost infinite ways to customize your character. I spent nearly half an hour generating a character on my first attempt just because it was so much fun to play with the options. It’s just not enough to salvage the rest of the game.

It’s possible that Star Trek Online can overcome its problems, but the foundation is very weak at this point. To make the comparison, World of Warcraft has a huge base but occasionally annoying bugs when patched or expanded. Star Trek Online is sitting on a very unstable base, with many bugs and it will take major renovations to put it on solid footing. Whether Cryptic Studios can manage it remains to be seen.

If you like space combat, this might be the game for you. If you like Star Trek, this might be the game for you. If you like MMORPGs and think this might be World of Warcraft crossed with Star Trek, Star Trek Online is not for you.

Dargus Fox: Unity Super Report

Unity Super Report #10.9978.986: Dargus Fox
Birth Name: Dargus Fox
Date of Birth: 06/20/1988
Place of Origin: London, England
Occupation: None (but suspected criminal)
Estimated Power Levels:
Strength: 4
Intellect: 2
Speed: 4
Offense:4
Defense: 4
Versatility: 4
Popularity: 06%

Powers: Dargus Fox is what is commonly referred to as a “Luna”, a Super of relatively little power. The only abilities he has thus far displayed is a certain degree of enhanced strength, durability and the ability to project bolts of electricity of relatively low intensity. It should be noted that these obeservations are purely based on a few eye-witness reports. Dargus Fox has never approached a Unity facility for treatment so no detailed report can be made of his capabilites. There is an unsubstantited rumour of mechanical empathy, (he is said to summon unoccupied cars when he needs a ride somewhere), but as it its credited to one witness with an extensive criminal background it cannot not be taken to seriously.

Background: Dargus is one of hundreds low level Supers who wander into trouble due to a lack of personal ambition and/or lack of any moral code. A perpetual slacker, Dargus Fox has done little but frequent the nightspots of England and Europe for the last three years since his powers manifested themselves. For capital, he has been known to participate in the occasional crime on behalf of various shadowy underworld figures, although thus far he has refused any offers of permanent employment by them. To his dubious credit, Fox has rarely engaged in any criminal activities more extreme than larceny and the occasional act of drunken vandalism.

He seems something of a follower by a nature, and unwilling to take responsibilty for anything other than his own immediate welfare. He could have easily become an important figure in the criminal underworld, but had never shown any inclination towards doing so. He seems content to just do enough to pay for whatever low rent dump he is currently living in and the copious ammounts of foodstuff he needs to maintain his power levels. His only passtime of note, (aside from drinking, bar fights and the pursuit of the opposite sex), is the copious ammounts of grafiti he leaves on the buildings of any neighborhood he inhabits for more than a few days. This grafiti is skillfully applied, but is rarely of any artistic merit higher than graphic proclamations of the artists prowesss as a lover, fighter, and general bad ass.

Dargus Fox is of particular interest to Unity due to the fact that he has been known to socialize with various Superiox members. While not directly a member of the Superiox, (at least not publicly), and while he has never participated in any acts of Superiox terrorism, it is possible that Fox has some knowledge of Superiox activities and thus he is currently sought after by Unity officials for questioning.

The Video Gaming Industry: A Subculture Worth Millions, in More Ways Then One

When thinking of cultures, one usually thinks of different races, places or specific customs. What if there was more to culture then that? There is a subculture within every culture that has millions different races, genders and creeds interacting together. I am of course speaking of Gaming. No matter where on Earth you go, you will find some sort of gaming. Wether it be board games or MMORPG’s, gaming is everywhere and generates millions, of dollars for companies annually.
Board Games and the theory of coming together.
One of the main theories behind board games is to win and have fun. There is a much lesser known theory, and that is the theory of many people coming together to play an enjoyable game, They put aside their frustrating days and play a game with friends or family. Games like Monopoly and Risk are fun and, while they enhance skills such as reasoning, diplomacy and math, they also enhance other bonds. While playing a game, bonds of trust and friendship or love are formed.

MMORPG’s and the players themselves
Massively multiplayer online roleplaying games are a major hit right now, especially with the older teens and younger adults. They form bonds of friendship between different people of different races, who otherwise, might not be friends or even polite in the real world. MMORPG’s allow people to escape reality and take on the persona of a different person. Within the game, perhaps an Islamic person could be friends with a christian or jew. Or perhaps even a Christian could be friends with a Satanist. The culture that can be found online is huge, if you know where and how to look.

Professional Game developers and testers.
There are people who love gaming so much, they do it for a living. Perhaps they are game developers or testers. These people dedicate their time, finances and lives to enjoying gaming and helping the gaming subculture thrive. Everyday, they go to work with the mindset to better the gaming industry in some small way, and they do wether they realize it or not.

Professional Gamers and their equipment.
Professional gamers spend tens of thousands of dollars on special computers that run freon cooling systems and other special software. They compete in special tournaments and competitions where gamers all over the world compete for prizes ranging from cash prizes, to a new car. Professional gamers are like the high rollers of the Gaming industry. They have no qualms about spending $20,000 on the newest top of the line computer gaming system. This is all for bragging rights. They get sponsors and those sponsors get great publicity if their equipment wins the competition.

Wether it’s board games or MMORPG’s, this is truly worth millions in more ways then one. Perhaps the world as a whole could learn something from this unique and thriving bit of subculture.