All posts by Pike

Good Games That Are Good: Endless Legend

I’ve had this game sitting around for a while (like some 300-odd other games on Steam), but I didn’t actually install it until a few days ago.  You see, I was feeling a 4X scratch that needed to be itched, and since everything I’ve heard about Endless Legend has been overwhelmingly positive, I decided to try it out.

It’s only been a few days and I’m already confident that this is probably the best 4X since Civ IV.

urlEndless Legend is vaguely set in the same universe that Endless Space was.  The main difference is that Endless Legend gives us more of a fantasy spin on what is still probably ultimately science fiction, where Endless Space was planted pretty firmly on the spaceships side of that scale.  In addition, many of the gaming mechanics and aspects of the UI are similar, so if you’re familiar with Endless Space, jumping into Endless Legend is pretty easy.

But Endless Legend definitely improves upon and refines what Endless Space did, and the result is a game that is actually one of the best in the genre, rather than being a pretty good attempt.

As a ground-based 4X (as opposed to a space-based one) , this plays very similarly to, say, Civilization.  But it really shines in flavor lore and also in battles that you can actually run yourself!  It’s like a tactical mini-game in the midst of your big strategy game.

endless legendAnd yes, that delicious flavor lore.  Endless Legend takes a page from RPGs here, offering a variety of quests (including a main quest for each race) as well as hero units that gain experience and have their own talent trees.  I always appreciate a strategy game with good “other-worldly” lore, since so often you either get history (think Civ and most Grand Strategy games) or you’re just expected to go in and kill the bad guy without thinking much about the why (Warcraft before III, basically.)

Also in one of these quests you’re a robot, so that’s cool.

I AM A ROBOTAnyways, if you’ve ever enjoyed a Civ game, I recommend looking into Endless Legend.  It’s a lot of fun so far and overall a very smooth and polished gaming experience.

I Have a Secret And I’m Not Telling Blizzard (Shhh)

Okay.  Do you guys see this thing?  This thing right here?

Filled Festive MugI got it for the Fourth of July or whatever the Warcraft Universe equivalent is (Fireworks Spectacular or some such.)  Anyways it’s pretty neat because it gives you slowfall and the cooldown is only five seconds so you can give yourself slowfall basically as much as you want.

You will notice that it says “Duration: 1 day”.  That’s because one day after the fireworks show was over, the mug became empty and I couldn’t use it anymore.  So I tossed it.

The next day I logged in and it was, mysteriously, back in my bags.  And full again.

That’s right about when I decided that Blizzard’s bug is my gain because now I have instant slowfall whenever I want it!

Evil-Laugh-Cat-GIFI keep wondering when (or if) this thing is ever gonna disappear.  I mean, it’s been a month.  But for now it’s my little secret.  Don’t tell Blizzard.  Shhhhhh!!!

What If… There Was A New Class That Was “Almost” Hunters?

We’re getting a new expansion announcement in a week and, of course, the rumors are flying.  One rumor that I’ve seen in more than one place is the idea of a new class that uses ranged weapons but is not a hunter.  Demon hunter?  Ranger?  Scout?  Who knows?

Let’s talk about this idea, though.  A non-hunter hunter.  What would that be like?  I imagine they probably wouldn’t have pets, and I feel like a new ranged weapon class would focus more on magic than on physical damage to further differentiate themselves.  Maybe a sort of… gun-wielding spell slinger.  That sounds pretty cool, right?

Even more interesting would be if this class came with a tank or healing spec (or both).  Blizzard has not introduced a pure DPS class since Vanilla and I honestly I don’t see them introducing another one since DPS queue times for things like LFR are currently through the roof.  Healing with a gun?  Tanking with a gun?

spock_fascinatingHow do YOU GUYS think something like this would play out?

P.S. Kind of unrelated but I wrote a Warcraft fanfic and then tossed it on AO3.  If you want to read about elves doing elf things, check it out.

You Know What This Whole Draenor Pathfinder/Flying Thing Reminds Me Of?

It reminds me of attunement.  Good old fashioned attunement.  Remember when that was a thing?  It looked like this:

WoWRaidsStuff was gated behind even more stuff and it took forever to get into anything you wanted to do.  I mean, it was kinda fun… in a masochistic sort of way… but yeah.  It all basically went away by the end of TBC.

But now we’ve got this thing, courtesy of Wowhead, which tells you how close you are to being attuned for flight.

flyingLook at all this.  It seriously reminds me of old-school attunement.  I ain’t even mad, just kind of… amused, I guess.  We really are bringing things back to ten years ago!

How close are you guys to getting your Draenor Pathfinder acahievement?

Windows 10 And Oh Yeah The Expac Is Gonna Be Announced Soon

Couple things to talk about today.  First:


So today my Windows 7 partition (cause I’m a nerd who dual-boots with Linux) decided to update to Windows 10.  The update itself took about an hour and after some initial awkwardness where my screen resolution wasn’t being properly recognized, everything seems to be working fine and dandy.  I did have to disable my custom Firefox theme for now because it’s not playing nice with the minimize/maximize/close buttons, but I imagine that’s something that will get fixed in a future Firefox version.

So anyways, everything else seems to be working A-OK, including the important things like Steam and  I figured I’d let you all know because some people on Twitter told me they were concerned about the upgrade and I have to say that it went pretty smoothly.  The entire updating process took about an hour, though, so have a book or Nintendo 3DS to hand while you wait.


So sayeth the Mighty Blues from On High.  What’s it gonna be?  Council of Glades?  Something completely different?  New races?  Classes?  Revamps?  Eight more days until we find out!


My SECOND favorite raid is…

It’s no real secret that my favorite raid in the entire game is Karazhan. But what’s my second favorite?

latestThis guy right here.  Naxxramas, my friends.  Naxx is brilliant.  Just utterly brilliant.

Now, I never did do the level 60 version, so my experience with Naxx comes from Wrath of the Lich King.  And friends, I know it’s hard to believe now because years later I think most people consider WotLK to be one of the major high points of WoW (if not the high point), but I tell you what, at the time there was a LOT of griping about the expansion and this raid in particular.  See, Wrath launched with three raids.  Two of them could be done in like twenty minutes, and the third was Naxx.  So everyone spent months in Naxx and everyone got tired of it.

Except for me!

naxxLook at these bosses.  I just love them all.  Want one of the greatest boss encounters in the entire game?  Here’s Four Horsemen.  Want to test your DPS on a Patchwerk fight?  Well I’ve got some great news for you, this is where the term Patchwerk fight came from!  Want to Safety Dance?  Say hello to Heigan.  Want Warcraft 3 lore goodness?  Kel’Thuzad and Sapphiron are right here!

Everything about this raid is great.  I love the design in its simplicity and elegance.  And you know, I was never too big into the 2spooky Halloween aesthetic, but if you’re gonna do it, this is how you do it.

Oh, also, Mr. Bigglesworth.  The most important part of the raid, bar none.

So yes, Naxxramas.  Learn to love it if you don’t already, because it’s just fantastic.


P.S. I also did this raid on my druid and two-healing Patchwerk (on ten man) was the most intense fight of my life.

Apparently Blizzard Trademarked a New Thing. Let’s Take a Look.

DISCLAIMER: This could all be fake.  But it looks real to me so for now let’s roll with it.  I can’t think of anything else to write about today anyway.

So yeah, apparently Blizzard trademarked a new thing.  It’s called “Council of Glades” and it’s being trademarked as computer game software, i.e. not a book.

The million dollar question relevant to WoW players is, of course, is it Warcraft related?  My money is on yes, and here’s why:

  • The Council of Tirisfal is a thing in lore.  Tirisfal Glades is a thing in game.  Thus, Council of Glades.
  • StarCraft 2 is already getting its (final, I think) expansion.
  • It doesn’t really sound Diablo related to me.  Councils exist, but I’m not so sure about glades.   But who knows, I guess?

This brings us to four possibilities: A WoW expansion, a Hearthstone expansion, something involving HotS, or something entirely new.  Hearthstone just got a new thing and I don’t really see Blizzard doing anything completely new with the Warcraft universe, since Hearthstone is still pretty young.  It might be HotS, but that’s not nearly as exciting as wild speculation.  (Although I would sell a kidney for a Medivh hero.)

So, let’s see here:

  • Medivh was (is?) in the Council of Tirisfal
  • Medivh is connected to Khadgar
  • We were just reintroduced to Khadgar
  • It’s about time for a WoW expac announcement
  • “Council of Glades”




Summer Games Done Quick

Speedrunning fascinates me because it’s all about people who are way better at video games than I am.  I mean, I love video games and I’ve been playing them for about three decades, but I’m pretty sure I suck at them.  I’m also very slow at them.


So watching some of my favorite games get absolutely demolished in no time at all is just really fascinating and magical to me.

Enter Games Done Quick, which happens twice a year and gives donation money to charity!  If you’re not watching it yet, well, it just started about an hour and a half ago and it’s happening right here.  (Yoshi’s Island is getting destroyed right now, a game which I maintain is the greatest 2D platformer of all time). So if speedruns are your thing, come and check it out.  Even if speedruns aren’t your thing, check it out anyway.  Here’s the schedule so you can find a game you want to watch and then tune in at the right time– the schedule is super nifty and it should automatically match itself up to your time zone.

Gotta go fast!

Tanaan Jungle Basically Did Dailies the Right Way

I’m not a huge fan of trillions of dailies which is probably why I only played MoP for like two months.  I mean, yeah, we all did them back on the Isle of Quel’danas in TBC and whatever and it was all well and good.  But that was then and this is now.  And now I’ve definitely had my dailies fix for a lifetime.

Actual picture of my mind when I got to level 90 in MoP and there were dailies everywhere.
Actual picture of the inside of my mind when I got to level 90 in MoP and there were dailies everywhere.

But I really like how WoD has done it.  You only get a couple!  And they’re like… “freeform” so can improvise on them a little!  You know, pair this up with that today, and pair that up with this tomorrow, and so on.

I dig it.  I dig it a lot.  The one thing I do wish that Blizzard included was more of a story, the way they did with the Dominance Offensive in MoP.  I mean, I guess there’s kind of a story there but I don’t think it was pulled off as well.  And besides, WoD’s story isn’t super engaging to me anyway (it’s one of the few aspects of this expansion that I find truly lackluster.)

Anyways, I realize that this expansion hasn’t exactly had a lot of fans but I hope that Blizzard doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to future expansions!

What are your thoughts on the dailies this time around?