Many players enjoying World of Wacraft’s pet battle system are also fans of Nintendo’s Pokémon games. Pokémon has been frequently criticized for being a dark concept. A ten year old boy goes out into the world making animals fight one another to near death. He traps them in small spheres, several times smaller than the pokémon being caught, and carries them on his belt or in a digital storage box. The protagonist in the anime and in the video games is always trying to do the right thing and fight some great evil, but that does not necessarily make capturing wild animals and forcing them to fight acceptable.
Denying the similarities between Pokémon and pet battles is silly, and even though pet battles in World of Warcraft are nowhere near as complex as they are in Pokémon games, the core mechanics are all there. So how does World of Warcraft’s pet battle system compare to Pokémon? Can the concept be considered just as dark? Could it be less morbid? Could it be even worse?
My main character in World of Warcraft is a Priest. When I’m healing, I have access to three dispels: Purify, which can remove malicious magic effects and diseases from my allies; Dispel Magic, which removes beneficial magic effects from an enemy; and Mass Dispel, which removes magic effects from allies and enemies within a 15-yard radius.
Purify is on an 8 second cooldown and is limited to the Holy and (inferior) Discipline specializations. It clears all magic- and disease-type debuffs from a single ally. Mass Dispel can affect up to 10 allies and 10 enemies, clears a single magic effect from each of them, and is on a 15 second cooldown. Dispel Magic clears a single magic buff from an enemy and has no cooldown.
The music of Mists of Pandaria is some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard in World of Warcraft. It’s not like the previous Cataclysm soundtrack, which featured a lot of ominous strings and chanting to make you feel uneasy. Instead, the Mists soundtrack is calm and soothing. Part of this is due to the nature of the traditional Chinese instruments used—the guzheng, a plucked zither; the erhu, a two-string fiddle; and the dizi, a transverse flute. The composers had to learn how to compose music for these instruments; Western music (aka classical music) typically uses a heptatonic scale—seven notes per octave—while traditional Chinese music uses a pentatonic scale—five notes per octave. This radically different composition brings a new character to the world, and it fits the new continent of Pandaria quite well.
I think my favorite part about the Mists of Pandaria soundtrack is that you can’t tell who composed what. It’s a seamless soundtrack. It’s very difficult to hear a piece of music in game and think, “oh, this track was composed by Neal Acree.” The soundtrack is one with itself, which is again befitting of Pandaria.
The next five episodes of Spartan Ops Season 1 are available! That’s Episodes 6 through 10. It’s a 2.21 GB download, available for free on the Xbox Live Marketplace to owners of Halo 4 with an Xbox Live Gold Account. That last bit sounds redundant considering that a Gold Account is required just to start a chapter, but whatever.
The package has only been available for 20 minutes as of this writing. As I wait for the download to complete, I have to wonder what’s in the package. In the teaser 343i released, I counted the number of new environments we’ll see. There are at least six, including one that is onboard the UNSC Infinity. These all needed 3D models and possibly new textures.
What else is in there?
I don’t really player vs. player (PvP) combat in World of Warcraft that much. If I feel like I have support, I’ll try to gank players who are flagged. Otherwise I do not engage in PvP. I don’t even have a set of PvP gear or a trinket! I’m not involved in PvP, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt. I only have impressions to go by, mostly from developer interviews, comments, and conjecture on my part.
Comments from the community and developer interviews have left me with the impression that PvP is out of control. Blizzard has acknowledged that burst damage is too high, and that outside of those burst windows it’s really difficult to kill someone. Blizzard already has plans to reduce burst damage. Crowd control (CC) is whack. Many abilities are instant cast, and that doesn’t sit well with the developers. They’d like to shift CC abilities over to a cast time, but perhaps there is another way?
Since 2009, Blog Azeroth has been hosting a Furtive Father Winter event for bloggers who talk about World of Warcraft. The concept is simple and endearing. Bloggers put their name in a virtual hat and are assigned other sites at random. Once you have your assigned site, your job is to learn about your blogger and “create a gift post using prose, poetry, music, graphic art, screenshots, or anything else that inspires them.” It is a secret Santa for writers who gather inspiration from a common source, and I think it is a lovely idea. This year was Clever Musing’s first year participating. I was assigned blogger Stubborn from Sheep the Diamond and I highly recommend perusing his blog when you get the chance. This morning I was excited to see that Amerpriest from AmerPriest Blog was our secret Santa!
© 2011-2017 Clever Musings All Rights Reserved