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WoW’s Character Model Update: A Primer

WoWs Character Model Update: A Primer

Want to make me cringe? Make a post on Blizzard’s official World of Warcraft forums, or a fansite’s WoW forums, and demand that Blizzard updates the character models for WoW. Say that updating the models is easy and the artists are lazy. Be sure to mention how other games like RIFT, Guild Wars 2, or The Last of Us have much better looking character models. Then, include a wish-list of things you want to see on the updated character models.

I cringe because nearly everyone demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how WoW’s models work, let alone character modeling at large. Updating the models is a monumental task. There is a lot going on under the hood. There isn’t some magic button the artists can click that instantly upgrades everything to a higher polygon count. (Even if there were, there’d still be quite a bit of work to do to get the models ready for use in-game!)

Updating character models isn’t going to be an easy task. First, let me try to explain what a model is. We can get into updating the character models later.

Managing Your Backlog

Managing Your Backlog

At the end of October, Valve will be running their annual Halloween sale on Steam. No big deal, right? That’s more than a month away! Except Valve ran their annual Steam Summer Sale just two months ago, and that’s a bigger sale than Halloween. If you’re like me—weak-willed—then your gaming backlog grew considerably with minimal impact on your wallet during the Summer Sale. Not only that, but the first wave of new game releases is next week, with another coming at the end of November.

Or perhaps you resisted the sweet siren songs during the Steam sale, but somewhere along the way, you’ve accrued a backlog. A backlog that is insurmountable! You have all these games but no time to play them. If you do have the time, which one do you even start with? Do you have space on your hard drive to install the game? How long will the download take? Once you have all of that out of the way, you might not have time to actually play the game anymore.

Personally, I have a few games in my backlog. Let’s just say it’s somewhere between understating-four-dozen and four-dozen. Some of these are games that I have already played, but intend on replaying to write an article about it. I’ve started some games, but played them for only 2 hours before stopping. I have a few games downloaded but haven’t installed them. The rest I haven’t touched at all.

If you’re interested in cutting down your backlog before it grows larger, here’s how I’ve been working through my own backlog.

Is Leveling Too Easy?

Is Leveling Too Easy?

This week on WoW Insider, the Community Blog Topic is, “Is leveling too easy?

No.

Should WoW Servers Be Merged?

Should WoW Servers Be Merged?

The topic for this week’s Community Blog Topic is whether servers should be merged. This question hits a little close to home for me right now. Blizzard is having a sale on character services this week. Character customizations, faction changes, and server transfers are all 50% off. It was announced last night in trade chat that the top Horde raiding guild will be moving, making my guild the new number one. I was shocked.

My guild is not a progression guild. We have talented people but we only raid one night a week and we are very casual. If we truly become the realm’s top Horde guild, my apprehension for the state of my server will reach a new high. The economy is already struggling, and I fear this sale on server transfers may have far reaching consequences.

Revisting the Gameplay of Halo: Combat Evolved

Revisting the Gameplay of Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved was released on November 15 2001. Developed by then-Bungie Studios (now just Bungie, Inc.), it spawned a whole new franchise. Between the compelling gameplay and amazing story, the former of which will be covered in this article, Halo was a smash hit. It’s hard to make a case that Microsoft would still be in the hardware market if Halo wasn’t as great as it was.

But it didn’t just launch a console, Halo also brought forth many innovations to the console FPS scene. From setting the standard control scheme that would be borrowed by other developers for their games later down the line. So let’s look back at what made Halo great by looking at the magnificent campaign.

Three Features I Wish WoW Had

Three Features I Wish WoW Had

On May 23rd 2013, Robin Torres posed the following question over at WoWInsider: What three features do you wish WoW had? A few obvious choices came to mind when I saw the topic, but I tried to think outside the box a little and I’ve come up with a list that I hope causes someone to pause and go “yea, that’s a great idea!” But for the record, I too would love to have account-wide mail and class storylines akin to the green fire questline that Warlocks received.

The Fastest Way to Level Battle Pets in WoW

The Fastest Way to Level Battle Pets in WoW

Leveling battle pets can be a chore in World of Warcraft. The problem is that after an initial team of 25s is made, it’s unlikely that team will be a viable option for the more difficult trainers like the Pandaren Spirits or the Beasts of Fable. Ideally, you’re going to want to level a bunch of pets to have a wide variety of options in your toolkit. I’ve recently started preparing a team for each trainer and I think I’ve stumbled on a great way to level pets.

In order to take advantage of this method, you’re going to need a character that can access the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and two level 20+ flying type pets. Personally, I go with the Crow, which can be found on Darkmoon Island, and the Gilnean Raven, which can only be obtained by visiting a pet battle trainer on a Worgen character. They’re not necessary but they are very helpful.

Revisiting Spartan Ops Episode 10

Revisiting Spartan Ops Episode 10

This is the final week of my SpOps revisits. There doesn’t seem to be any indication that there will be a Season 2 as of yet, so this is likely going to be my last article about SpOps until Halo 5 comes out. It has to be a good article, and I’m not entirely sure I can deliver. I don’t like SpOps. It has some good moments, but there’s just a lot of repetition and redundancy in the gameplay. I don’t know what the designers in charge of development had in mind when they sat down and decided that, yes, this is what Spartan Ops is, and this is how it will play.

Last week, I had said that Episodes 8 and 9 were inconsequential. This isn’t entirely true. It’s mostly true, but there are only two key points that have any relevance. The first is that Madsen received a map after looting Gek’s corpse in the Episode 8 cinematic. This map was handed to Doctor Glassman, who is using it to discover the secrets of Requiem. It’s actually kind of cool, because Glassman was a worthless character before, but now he gets a chance to be useful. I’ll be touching on this some more later. Anyway, at the end of Episode 9, Crimson discovered another map, and when combined with Glassman’s map, it becomes a super map to all of Requiem.

Too bad Requiem is about to fall into a star.

What’s Wrong with World of Warcraft?

Whats Wrong with World of Warcraft?

On May 23rd 2013, Robin Torres posed the following question over at WoWInsider: What’s wrong with WoW? It’s no secret that WoW’s numbers are declining. If I recall the statistics correctly, WotLK was the height of WoW’s popularity. But I thinking asking what’s wrong with WoW presupposes a “yes” to the more important question: Is there anything wrong with WoW? And to that I say “no.”

WoW is over eight years old at this point. It’s been the king of the MMO world for quite some time. Many competing games have been introduced that were dubbed as “WoW-killers” like Aion, Rift, Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2. But thus far, nothing has lived up to the hype. The health of the game, despite the decline in subscribers, has remained strong.

In Defense of Damage Dealers

In Defense of Damage Dealers

Recently, Adam posted an article about how healing in LFR isn’t fun. I’m inclined to agree with him in principle, even though I’ve only done LFR on my main, a Warlock. However I disagree with some of the things he said, especially since I’m a damage dealer and apparently that means I’m one of the “. . . seventeen selfish, incompetent morons waiting to blow up the damage meters, stroke their epeens, and get their harmful ejaculate all over the raid.”

Well, I don’t know about that. As a damage dealer, I take just a little issue with the sentiment. Let’s take a look at the problem a little closer.

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