All posts by Pike

Gnome Hunters: The Good, The Bad, and the Short

So someone brought up gnome hunters in the comments on my last post, so are you ready to talk about it?  I am READY to talk about it.

In case you hadn’t heard, Blizzard has been dropping hints about gnome hunters on Twitter for about a week now.  Mechanical chicken pet included:

What do I think about this? Well obviously I am


about this, because I love gnomes and I love hunters.    Let’s talk a little bit more about it:


  • Gnome hunters will now exist.  That’s awesome.
  • Even people who don’t like gnomes will be happy, because this gives them more chances to kill gnomes in PvP (although why would you ever do that??)
  • MECHANICAL CHICKEN PET (assuming it’s not temporary, at least)
  • This gives me hope for the idea of MORE mechanical pets in the future.
  • Every race in the game can now be a hunter, which is good for diversity/player choice.
  • Roleplaying opportunities, anyone?


  • Like, nothing.  There are no negatives to this.



Let’s talk about faction stuff a little bit.  Long-time readers probably remember that I mostly played Alliance back in the day, and these days I mostly play Horde.  The fact is that, as time has gone on, Blizzard has managed to make the Horde more and more appealing to me.  I’ve always loved Tauren a great deal, but Blizzard later graced the Horde with blood elves and goblins (basically just green gnomes), both of whom I really love.  They also made Orgrimmar a heck of a lot cooler than it used to be.

Meanwhile, Alliance got worgen, whose movements and animations are weird and jarring to me (sorry worgen fans) and a Stormwind revamp that I’m not a huge fan of.   (I just miss old Stormwind, okay?)

Throw in the expansive vanity guild bank I have Horde-side and I’m pretty much playing that faction exclusively.

So on a personal level, there are pluses and minuses to gnome hunters.  The plus is that I can drop a level boost on a gnome hunter and then play with my friends, since I feel like approximately 99% of the people I want to play WoW with are Alliance.

But on the negative side, any gnome hunter I make probably won’t end up being a “main”, because a gnome hunter wouldn’t be Horde, and I’d prefer to stay Horde.

Oh well.  GNOMES!

I Figured Out Why the Warcraft Movie is Weirding Me Out

Yep.  I’ve figured it out.  Why the Warcraft movie trailer bugs me a lil’ bit.

And no, it’s not because there’s too much CGI.  On the contrary: I don’t think there’s enough!

Warcraft has always been very silly and cartoony to me– in a good way, mind you.  But the movie trailer is super serious and there are people in it.  Real people!  Not, like, cartoon people.  It’s giving off a weird reverse-uncanny-valley effect to me.

I feel like the movie would have been more palatable to me had it been done Pixar-style.  Yes, it definitely would’ve been a lot more silly… and honestly it probably would’ve felt (and looked) a lot more like Warcraft to me.

Alternatively we can just put me in charge of Warcraft art and everything will look like cute little critters with cat faces.
Alternatively we can just put me in charge of Warcraft art and everything will look like cute little critters with cat faces.

Anyways, I don’t mean to be a debbie downer or anything.  I mean, overall the movie looks really great on a technical level.  Granted, we’ve got Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob SquarePants as Rend Blackhand, so now I’m not sure how seriously I can take that character, but YOU know…

Dear Players, Have Five-Man Karazhan, Love Blizzard

First of all, I do want to apologize for having not updated in a little while.  NaNoWriMo and work are both piling up on me.  Suffice to say that I am still playing and am still interested in maintaining this blog, so never fear!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Karazhan, and so guess who was the first to freak out when Blizzard spent a couple of seconds at Blizzcon dropping hints about a five-man Karazhan revamp.  (Hint: it was me.  I was the first to freak out about it.)  Obviously I am excited, and it’s got me thinking a little about it.  How would a five-man Karazhan be handled?


In this day and age, I don’t think Blizzard will stuff all off its dozen-odd bosses into one five-man dungeon.  I mean, I’ve got a soft spot for the sprawling, endless maze that is BRD, but it’s clear that Blizzard has largely moved on from that.  In this case, it would make sense to split Karazhan into two dungeons.  Which is… fair, obviously I’d prefer to see my beloved raid as a glorious whole, but I wouldn’t blame Blizzard for chopping it up.

I don’t know who all remembers raiding Karazhan but back in the day Curator was sort of considered the unofficial “halfway point”.  It made sense because he dropped the first of two set tokens in the raid, and then you could use the backdoor to get to the second round of bosses.  As such, I feel like making Curator the final boss of Karazhan Part One fits, especially since it means you could open up Karazhan Part Two with the frenetic sock-in-the-gut fight that is Shade of Aran and that would be awesome.

The_CuratorGranted, this is all assuming that the dungeon will stay largely “as is”.  I know previous dungeon revamps have changed bosses and mechanics around, and even though I understand the logic behind this, I truly hope that Karazhan remains largely untouched.  Partially this is, admittedly, nostalgia, but partially I feel like it just stands up really well even almost a decade after release.  The bosses and their mechanics are interesting and memorable and I feel like too much change could take away from that.

Anyways, I have a LOT more to say about Karazhan (obviously) but I’ll leave it at that for now.  It may not even happen, because heck, we all know what happened when Blizzard promised us a dance studio.

What are your thoughts, though?

WoW Is Turning Into D3… And It’s Great!

BlizzCon is currently halfway over, and of course, a lot of goodies and news have already made their way to us.  (MMO-Champ has some good wrapups.)

Here are a couple of the things that stick out to me:

  • More “open world” style questing, including zones that scale to your level so you can do them in any order.
  • Diablo 3 inspired “bounty” system for daily quests
  • Diablo 3 rift-inspired dungeon challenges
  • Diablo 3 inspired transmog system (including tabards, which I am EXTREMELY happy about!)

As you can see, there’s a… lot of Diablo 3 going on.  And you know what?  I’m fine with that.  In fact, I’m pretty happy with it.  I think Diablo 3 is a great game to look at when it comes to thinking about what makes a good, intriguing “endgame”.  Even long after you finish the main story quest in Diablo 3, and long after you hit max level, you’re still running for Paragon levels, tier sets, legendaries for the Cube, and so on.

I do find it very interesting that WoW is definitely looking outside the MMO genre for inspiration.  Some people may not like that idea so much but I think it’s a great idea.  I recently read a great article about the making of Diablo 2; the devs pulled ideas from games like Civilization (which really is nothing like Diablo) and the result was a great game.  I hope the same thing happens here with WoW.

I’m really excited for Legion overall.  A lot of the new ideas that are being thrown around are really good ones.  What do you guys think?

The Best Hunter Transmog Sets Are From TBC

Recently I was stumbling around the internet, trying to avoid doing my writing for NaNoWriMo, and found someone lamenting the fact that hunters have no good transmog sets.

Mate.  You do know that The Burning Crusade exists, right?

For my money basically every hunter set that came out of TBC was good.  Heck, even most of the non-hunter sets were really good.  TBC was just overall fantastic for cosmetic sets and transmog purposes.

Here’s Althalor in the Sunwell set and Golden Bow of Quel’Thalas (no helmet because it obscures his pretty face):

CN6rq3PUsAA7WBp.jpg largeSure, the textures might be a bit dated, but it still looks great.

If the Sunwell set isn’t your thing, then Demonstalker, Rift Stalker, and Gronnstalker all exist.  And since TBC was approximately five million years ago, it’s pretty easy to farm the set tokens for all of these.  Oh, and the dungeon armor set, Beast Lord, isn’t too shabby either.

So yeah.  Hunter sets haven’t been too impressive as of late, no, but go back in time a bit and we’ve got the best there is.

Happy transmogging!

My Poor Authenticator Is Giving Up The Ghost

CSV_l5-UcAA98VxI got one of these babies back in… 2009?  I think?  It was during Wrath of the Lich King, I’m pretty sure.  Anyways, since then it has accompanied me through moves to another state and back, to different houses and apartments, faithfully spitting numbers out at me whenever asks.

It even got me a tiny Core Hound pet.

These days it doesn’t seem to be doing so well, though.  You can see weirdness on the screen (if you look closely enough at the picture) and you have to mash the button a couple of times before it actually does anything.  I’m assuming that at some point soon I’ll have to join the future and get one of the smartphone authenticators or whatever everyone uses these days.

But I’ll wear this puppy out first.

That’ll do, tiny physical authenticator.  That’ll do.

So Apparently Overwatch Beta Has Started

Overwatch, in case you weren’t aware, is an upcoming Blizzard game that basically looks like Team Fortress 2 except with new characters (many of whom look like they could’ve stepped right out of another Blizzard game).

Needless to say a loooot of people are excited and really want into the beta.  I’m more lukewarm about it.  It doesn’t really look like my type of game.  That’s not to say it doesn’t look like it has a fun design, because it does.  And it will probably be a good game, too, because Blizzard has always been solid.

But other than brief love affairs with Goldeneye 007 and the original Halo, shooters have never really been my thing.  I’m not “twitchy” enough for them, and in my old age, that is just becoming more apparent.

CrankyTFI’m also pretty sure the game is multiplayer based (like TF2 and most other shooters), and the older I get, the less I find myself interested in multiplayer.  Stay off my lawn, ya dang kids!

But apparently I’m opted into the beta for Every Blizzard IP Ever, so I might give it a whirl if I end up with an invite.  …not that I tried either Hearthstone or HotS when I got into the beta for either of those, but hey, this might be different, right?

What do you guys think about Overwatch?

My Favorite WoW Leveling Experience Isn’t Even All That Retro

Greetings, reader!  You’ve probably noticed by now that I love to wax nostalgic about the World of Warcraft of 5+ years ago.  And, I mean, I do.  I can’t really deny that.  But I was thinking about leveling experiences by expansion, and realized that I think the one that is the most fun to level through isn’t even all that retro.

World_of_Warcraft_-_Mists_of_Pandaria_Box_ArtMists of Pandaria, friends, has, for my money, the best leveling experience.  It’s just an absolute joy to level from 85 to 90.  I don’t know if it’s the quests themselves or just how relaxed everything is.  But it’s so nice to sit back with some pandas and have a little fun.  It’s a shame that the experience needed to do it these days was nerfed so hard that I feel like I just zip through a zone and a half and then rush away.  I mean, I’m 100% fine with a leveling nerf in regards to old content, but when I mess around on other alts in Outland or Northrend and then compare it to Pandaria, it just feels like Pandaria was tuned too sharply.  When you can dash right through a level in an hour, without flight, that’s just weird.

But yeah.  Thinking back on it it’s funny that MoP had a lot of stuff I liked in it (the 85-90 leveling experience, the music, the 5.1 storyline, etc.) and yet I played it the least out of all the expansions thus far.  Honestly, I think what kicked me out was the lack of normal dungeons at max level and the resulting huge congregations of jerkoffs in Heroic pugs who didn’t want to deal with a freshly-dinged 90.  But that, my friends, is all a story for another day and another post!