World of Warcraft Satire: The Guild

While browsing YouTube as I typically do when I’m bored in the evenings, I found The Guild. The show focuses on “Codex”, a female WoW addict and her guild’s in and out of game interactions. The star, Felicia Day, is also the writer and has done an amazing job at capturing the varied personalities that you often encounter in an online gaming group.

As a former addict to World of Warcraft, I (and to some degree, my wife) could immediately relate with the characters and had us laughing throughout. The script is quality.

The Guild Logo

Here’s the first episode:

Episode 1

There are currently 3 episodes (with more in the making) and a gag reel. Check them out here:

I just found out from the official The Guild Site that episodes 4 and 5 just gained funding so those should be out at some point soon! w00t! I need to go donate :D

StarCraft II Announced

Cinematic Trailer

Note: YouTube doesn’t do the videos much justice as the quality is lacking. To see the videos in all their glory, check the StarCraft II website

I became as giddy as a school girl when I found out that Blizzard had announced the much rumored and anticipated StarCraft II! As of now, while the game is still shrouded in Blizzard mystery (unannounced launch date, lack of details on planned game features, etc), the game is far along enough to provide some seriously stunning gameplay videos.

A few things are known about the game thus far: The 3 races that we know and love will be returning (Protoss, Zerg, and Terran). The way Blizzard words the FAQs leaves them open for adding a new playable race, however…that’d be nifty. What it would be is anybodies’ guess. Secondly, we know that Blizzard is stepping it up a notch with collision detection and how units interact with each other. What we see in the gameplay videos made me drool like an excited bull mastiff. Before I get to those, here’s the game announcement on the official site:

StarCraft II continues the epic saga of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg. These three distinct and powerful races will clash once again in the fast-paced real-time strategy sequel to the legendary original, StarCraft. Legions of veteran, upgraded, and brand-new unit types will do battle across the galaxy, as each faction struggles for survival.

Featuring a unique single-player campaign that picks up where StarCraft: Brood War left off, StarCraft II will present a cast of new heroes and familiar faces in an edgy sci-fi story filled with adventure and intrigue. In addition, Blizzard will again offer unparalleled online play through Battle.net, the company’s world-renowned gaming service, with several enhancements and new features to make StarCraft II the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game.

Features:

* Fast-paced, hard-hitting, tightly balanced competitive real-time strategy gameplay that recaptures and improves on the magic of the original game
* Three completely distinct races: Protoss, Terran, and Zerg
* New units and gameplay mechanics further distinguish each race
* Groundbreaking single-player “story-mode” campaign
* Vibrant new 3D-graphics engine with support for dazzling visual effects and massive unit and army sizes
* Full multiplayer support, with new competitive features and matchmaking utilities available through Battle.net
* Full map-making and scripting tools to give players incredible freedom in customizing and personalizing their gameplay experience

Gameplay Video 1 of 4

Gameplay Video 2 of 4

Gameplay Video 3 of 4

Gameplay Video 4 of 4

World of Warcraft Addiction

This video – while one would first like to chuckle at the thought of a World of Warcraft addiction – speaks volumes to what is a reality for many who play the game.

I, for a time, was spiraling down towards addiction to the game when it was first released…if I had not been married at the time, I’m quite sure my life would have suffered with the addiction. There are a few people I know that are quite thoroughly enthralled by WoW that they spend gobs and gobs of time playing, sometimes forfeiting time with friends and family to opt to raid. It is fun, don’t get me wrong, but there is a balance that needs to be reached and many just don’t have the willpower to draw that line.

I am one of those people. I can’t play a game like that without getting fully involved…I thrive on that type of thing…so steering clear is the best bet. Thanks to Randy I’m a board game geek now and spend time playing Euro Games when I’m not doing stuff with my wife or programming or screwing around with EatPoopUCat.

Not everyone can pull themselves away, though…MMO addiction is sadly a reality. How much longer before we begin having Interventions for addicted gamers?

Settlers of Catan: Online & Free

747px-Settlers_of_Catan_-_standard_mapI have a blast playing Euro Games. By far my favorite Euro game is Settlers of Catan. I was introduced to this awesome game by a few of my cousins that used to live nearby. Sadly, they’ve graduated high school and have moved away leaving my Catan player base generally below par. To counter-act this lack of Catan playing, my pal Randy directed me to a location to play Catan online!

Aso Brain Games is a site built by a couple of competent developers from the Netherlands. They’ve coded an excellent Java version of Catan that allows you to play solo or multiplayer; basic ‘Catan’ or ‘Cities and Knights of Catan’. To avoid copyright violation, the game has been renamed to Xplorers.

If you’re on the hunt for an online Catan game…
Aso Brain Games is all you need :)

Also, if you’re a fan of Carcasonne, they’ve got that game as well…dubbed “Toulouse.”

Google Maps: Map World of Warcraft

mapwowGoogle Maps has been taken to a whole new level. The greatest mashup of the gaming world has been created using data from World of Warcraft and the Google Maps API. The end result is brilliant! Its name? MapWoW.

What is it exactly? Well, its a map of World of Warcraft that you can zoom in and out on Blizzard’s wonderful MMORPG world with the familiar controls of Google’s mapping tool. MapWoW gives a good description on what can be done with the tool:

The map utilizes the Google Maps API and therefore behaves just a like a Google Map. Clicking on the controls on the left side of the map will let you zoom in and out. Dragging the map around lets you scroll the map and view different areas. It’s that easy.

Use the menu to the right of the map to select resources and labels that you wish to display. Currently you can display herbs, ore, treasure, zone names, and city names. There are over 15,000 data points covering 69 resources with their exact map location in our database. The bottom of the menu provides quick links to popular locations in the game. Found a great area that you want to share with your friends? Go to the location on the map, click on the “Link to this Location” and then copy the URL.

We are always looking to make the site better; so more features will be coming shortly. If there’s something you’d like to see on the map or have an idea for a new feature, please [contact MapWoW].

The following herbs can currently be mapped: Arthas’ Tears, Black Lotus, Blindweed, Briarthorn, Bruiseweed, Dreamfoil, Earthroot, Fadeleaf, Firebloom, Ghost Mushroom, Golden Sansam, Goldthorn, Grave Moss, Gromsblood, Icecap, Khadgar’s Whisker, Kingsblood, Liferoot, Mageroyal, Mountain Silversage, Peacebloom, Plaguebloom, Purple Lotus, Silverleaf, Stranglekelp, Sungrass, Wild Steelbloom, and Wintersbite. The following ore can currently be mapped: Copper Vein, Dark Iron Ore, Gold Vein, Ooze Covered Gold Vein, Incendicite Mineral Vein, Iron Deposit, Lesser Bloodstone Deposit, Mithril Deposit, Ooze Covered Mithril Deposit, Silver Vein, Ooze Covered Silver Vein, Small Thorium Vein, Ooze Covered Thorium Vein, Rich Thorium Vein, Ooze Covered Rich Thorium Vein, Tin Vein, Truesilver Deposit, and Ooze Covered Truesilver Deposit.

Overall, a fairly groovy mashup with a lot of functionality for World of Warcraft! Awesome.

UPDATE: It seems the guys at MapWoW have an Outland map as well. w00t!