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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

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

Im Excited About Blizzards 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

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?

Spartan Ops Episode 10 After Show

Spartan Ops Episode 10 After Show

Season 1 of Spartan Ops has wrapped up. We’re sitting down with the actors portraying Fireteam Crimson in Halo: Infinity. Today we’ll be picking their brains for their thoughts on the big finale. This is also the last time we’ll be talking with Crimson for the foreseeable future. Season 2 might be on the way but we have no information about that at this time. Let’s get right into the action.

How Blizzard will bring Diablo III to the PS3 and PS4

How Blizzard will bring Diablo III to the PS3 and PS4

Have you ever had a good idea and started working on it? I did, back on May 18, 2012. I had read several quotes from Jay Wilson, then-director of Diablo III, where he had said—and I’m paraphrasing here— “we’re not officially doing a console port.” I started writing a post about how Diablo III was made for consoles, but ultimately I decided to scrap it; honestly, who would have wanted to read about that?

As the year went on, I would revisit the draft and add a few notes, but shelve it again. “Diablo III is old news,” I told myself, “No one cares if it comes to console or not. It’s not as if anyone will read this anyway. You’re wasting your time.” If you’re a longtime reader of the site, you might recall we weren’t good with putting content out consistently in our first year. Lack of self-confidence (and procrastination) was a huge issue for me.

Fast forward to a few nights ago when Sony announced the PlayStation 4. During the presentation, Blizzard’s Chris Metzen came out on stage and said Diablo III was going to be released for both PS3 and PS4. As you can imagine, I am kicking myself right now for not putting this post together sooner. What’s particularly frustrating for me is discovering this article was 80% done when I dusted it off after Chris Metzen left the stage. All I was missing were images.

But enough about how I dropped the ball on this one. Let me tell you how Diablo III might work on the PS3. I’m willfully ignoring the PS4 because I haven’t thoroughly reviewed the system specs, but the increased memory will definitely help.

How to Capture the Scourged Whelpling and Minfernal

How to Capture the Scourged Whelpling and Minfernal

If you are a World of Warcraft battle pet collector, there is probably a list of pets you have been unable to capture no matter how hard you try. I am willing to bet that the Minfernal and Scourged Whelpling are somewhere near the top of that list. I have recently been lucky enough to acquire them both using a method I discovered at WoWHead.com, and I am very excited to share it with other pet collectors.

I Want to Resurrect in Combat!

I Want to Resurrect in Combat!

In World of Warcraft, there is a limit on the number of combat resurrections. Normally a player can only resurrect another player outside of combat; a combat resurrection allows for quick revival during a fight, which could make the difference between a success and a failure. In a 10-man raiding environment, only one combat resurrection is allowed. Twenty-five-man raids are allowed three.

Priests, Paladins, Monks, Druids, and Shaman—every class capable of healing—are able to cast a standard resurrection spell outside of combat. These spells have a cast time of ten seconds. Druids also have Rebirth, which is a combat resurrection spell with a two second cast time. Warlocks have Soulstone resurrection with a three second cast time. Death Knights have Raise Ally, which is instant cast but uses a significant amount of runic power. Lastly, Beast Mastery Hunters can tame a quilen, which can use Eternal Guardian to bring a party member back to life.

Put the Sandbox Tigers away, it’s time we talked about changing the status quo.

Spartan Ops Episode 9 After Show

Spartan Ops Episode 9 After Show

We’re back once again with the cast portraying Fireteam Crimson! We’re discussing Episode 9, “Key,” this week. It’s the penultimate episode before the season finale, and I am personally excited. Let’s jump right into this the same way we always do!

Is Blizzard Releasing Too Much Content?

Is Blizzard Releasing Too Much Content?

The big World of Warcraft news this week is patch 5.2, the Throne of Thunder, is due out by the end of February. It will likely come out on the 26th. It will have been almost exactly three months between Throne of Thunder and Landfall (patch 5.1).

We saw Landfall come out two months after Mists of Pandaria. In the span of five months, we’re going to be looking at two content patches this expansion. For comparison, Rage of the Firelands (patch 4.2) and Hour of Twilight (patch 4.3) were released six months apart.

I have to ask the question: Is Blizzard releasing content too quickly?

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