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Revisiting Spartan Ops Episodes 8 and 9

Revisiting Spartan Ops Episodes 8 and 9

This week we’re looking at Episodes 8 and 9 of Spartan Ops. I had said last week that Episode 7 was pure filler. It was a level of awful that we hadn’t seen since Episode 3. I also skipped over discussing the cinematic for that week.

Today, I’m going to be talking about Doctor Catherine Halsey.

In Episode 6, she tells Captain Lasky that there are secrets left in the universe, and that she so desperately wants to know everything. That’s why she abducted children, you see. She had them indoctrinated and their bodies augmented to be the perfect soldier. Halsey created the Spartan-II program, because she wants to know everything the universe has to offer.

Oh, and she designed the MJOLNIR Mark IV power armor, too. Equipping super children in the most advanced armor that humanity has ever seen so that they can be the best soldiers humanity has ever seen furthers her goal of understanding the universe.

Healing LFR Isn’t Fun

Healing in LFR

Healing is something that comes naturally to me. I like healing in World of Warcraft. I like playing as a Holy Priest. Being responsible for the virtual lives of other characters doesn’t bother me. I leveled as a healer. I didn’t level as Shadow until 81-85, when Cataclysm came out; for Mists of Pandaria, I went back to Holy because quest rewards were based on specialization, and I needed to have Spirit on my gear, not Hit Rating.

It always makes me uneasy when I’m playing as a non-healer. I always feel like the healer who is taking up the mantle is going to do something wrong. Seeing health bars that aren’t full actually makes me panic. I’ll be yelling at my monitor, “come on, heal the tank, they’re going to die.” The tank rarely does, of course. You’d think I’d have learned to trust other healers by now.

The weird thing is, I don’t like healing in LFR. I didn’t know why until this weekend. It was something a death knight said when we were in the Halls of Flesh Shaping. What they said was so idiotic it was actually infuriating. I wanted to turn on caps lock and just chew this person out.

Assassin’s Creed III Review

Assassin's Creed III Review

Assassin’s Creed III was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and first released on October 30, 2012 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Though the name might be misleading, it is actually the fifth game in the Assassin’s Creed series. Thus far, every numbered game has introduced a new protagonist to the series. This time around we take control of Ratonhnhaké:ton, or as he is more commonly called, Connor.

The game takes place in the 1700’s, around the time of the American Revolution, and Connor is half Mohawk Native American and half British. The game centers around Connor’s struggle to protect his people from the encroaching American and British soldiers. As with previous Assassin’s Creed games, there is also a parallel story being told in the present day through the character of Desmond.

So how does Assassin’s Creed III stack up against previous games? Let us take a look.

Revisiting Spartan Ops Episode 7


Episode 7 brings us to the UNSC Infinity. It’s been a long time coming. When I first played this Episode back in January, I thought it was really cool to visit Infinity. However, I didn’t really think about what I played. The After Show didn’t really demand that; it was a stream of consciousness guised as dialogue for flavor. But now that I’ve gone back, played through the episode, and given it some serious thought?

I don’t like this episode. It has some major issues. It’s probably the worst episode since Episode 3, and Episode 3 was pure filler. It’s bad.

Only one way to get through this: feet first into hell. See you after the cut!

Could World of Warcraft Survive Without Guilds?

Could World of Warcraft Survive Without Guilds

On May 3rd 2013, Robin Torres posed the following question over at WoWInsider: What if WoW didn’t have guilds? An interesting question to be sure! I can’t say I’ve ever thought about it in the past. Having guilds in WoW is just something that comes with the territory, isn’t it? I think the only way I can imagine what it would be like is to think back on how guilds have shaped my WoW experience. Although as I think about it, the idea of a “guild” really didn’t begin for me with WoW. It all goes back to Halo 2 as I recall.

Revisiting Spartan Ops Episode 6

Revisiting Spartan Ops Episode 6

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? A little more than two months ago, we saw the season finale of Spartan Ops Season 1. We haven’t posted much on the site since then. We’ve been busy, you see. Everyone is always busy when they’re not doing something, aren’t they? I have been keeping busy with things related to World of Warcraft, but I haven’t finished any of them. Soon, though.

Last time we talked about SpOps, I was just finishing the awful After Show. Let’s go a little further back to Episode 5. I talked about how Jul ‘Mdama is a cunning villain. He started as a Very Evil villain who was bad because Palmer said so. In the three not-so-short episodes that we saw him, we learned that he’s playing a long game.

Let’s watch the Episode 6 cinematic after the cut before we continue.

Revisiting Spartan Ops Season 1.5

Revisiting Spartan Ops Season 1.5

When I first started playing Halo 4’s Spartan Ops, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with what I saw. Everything I read about the mode leading up to the release of the game suggested that Spartan Ops, or SpOps as I like calling it, was going to be something special. The original Firefight mode in Halo 3: ODST was just wave after wave of enemies. It was an arcade mode. Halo: Reach expanded upon the options somewhat, but it was mechanically more of the same. SpOps was supposed to be different. It was supposed to weave in narrative elements to continue the campaign.

Episode 1 was an exercise in tedium and monotony. It left a very sour impression upon me. I played through each episode as they came out in the following weeks, and I remained unimpressed. When I sat down and played through each episode again in preparation for the Recap series, I found something different. Episode 1 was still as boring as I remembered it, but Episode 2 was different.

Before, my expectations were being tempered by 343i’s hype machine. When I sat down to replay the first five episodes, my expectations were tempered by reality. That is to say, yes, there is going to be a lot of running around and a lot of killing Covenant. I knew there wasn’t going to be much in the way of story content for each chapter. So I paid more attention to what little content I thought there was.

Surprisingly, I found more than I expected.

World of Warcraft: My Quest for Green Fire

Ah, green fire. It is something Warlocks have been asking Blizzard to implement for years. Warlocks draw their power from fel energies, exposure to which causes green discoloration. Orcs’ green skin and Blood Elves’ green eyes are both examples of how fel energies can corrupt and change a person’s physical features. It is only natural that a class which harnesses that energy would emit the color as well. It took some time, but Blizzard was finally happy with a way of implementing it in-game, and I was fortunate enough to experience it.

When all was said and done, I spent about two weeks working towards my green fire. It was probably the single hardest challenge I have faced in World of Warcraft, and no other victory has filled me with as much feeling of accomplishment. I would like to share how I personally was able to finally defeat Kanrethad Ebonlocke, Leader of the Black Harvest.

I’m Excited About Blizzard’s New Game, Hearthstone

I'm excited about Blizzard's new game, Hearthstone

Yesterday morning in Boston, Blizzard Entertainment announced their next game. During their announcement panel at PAX East, they revealed Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a collectible card game similar to Magic the Gathering. Unfortunately, I could not be at PAX East this year, but the announcement was being broadcast on the official PAX livestream. I’d like to think that the live audience was excited, despite the livestream chat having only negative things to say about it. I’m sure many of the people playing the game on the show floor right now like the game; comments on the Hearthstone subreddit indicate as much. I would envy them, except I know how the queues are. There are many other panels going on at PAX, and I could only be in one queue at a time. I wouldn’t be playing the game this weekend even if I were in Boston.

That’s not to say I won’t be playing Hearthstone when it comes out. I will! It has sufficiently piqued my interest. I like the Warcraft universe, and I like the major characters. Well, most of the major characters, anyway. Death to Garrosh! Victory for Sylvanas! Death to the Alli—sorry, went a bit off-topic there. I like Warcraft. I like the exaggerated-yet-whimsical aesthetic. But there’s something more to Warcraft that I like—World of Warcraft, specifically—and I trust Blizzard to follow in their own footsteps.

Revisting the Story of Halo: Combat Evolved

It is difficult to know where to begin writing about Halo’s story; I became enthralled in it from the very beginning. When I came upon the fan site HBO, I read through all of the entries in the Halo Story Page. I even made a few submissions of my own. I went to the HBO Forum and began engaging in wild theories and speculations with fans even more captivated than myself. It was a very enjoyable experience. Halo’s story seemed to lend itself to that kind of discussion.

But why is that so? It is difficult for me to quantify it. I cannot easily express what makes the story in Halo so fascinating. When I considered whether 343 Industries captured my interest in Halo 4 in the same way Bungie did with previous Halo games, I began to wonder what exactly got me so hooked in the first place. The universe? The characters? The conflict? Rather unintuitively, the combat?

I cannot think of a better way to find out than breaking down the story level by level to try and glean from the parts what makes the whole so good. So why not join me as we awake from our slumber aboard the Pillar of Autumn?

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