Sidetracked by Mists of Pandaria and Guild Wars 2

 

 

For the first time in a long while I spent the good majority of a weekend in front of a computer. In part it had to do with the fact that I would possibly have to head into work at any given time, but the main reason is my friend and I dove headfirst into World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and for the first time since I first played WoW I got sucked into the game entirely. The quest progression was actually fun, and we kept going on to find out what we’d see next. The new area is fun to explore, the dungeons are fun to run, and the pet battles are surprisingly addicting. I didn’t experience anything that made me want to stay in the world for hours on end during any other expansion (probably in part because when I first started playing, Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King were already out). After spending the majority of the weekend in Pandaria we’re both level 87 and just slightly burnt out. In the end it was a good time.

Guild Wars 2

I also decided to give Guild Wars 2 a try. I was actually convinced to purchase it mostly because ArenaNet released it for the Mac so quickly. As a new Mac user I feel it’s my duty to support companies that reach out to Mac gamers instead of making Mac gamers use BootCamp or emulators to play their games.

I’ve only spend about an hour in Guild Wars 2 so far, but it’s been an enjoyable experience. Guild Wars plays very differently from World of Warcraft so far. It’s more about experiencing the world and working together with other players, rather than working against them (or being annoyed by them). If you’re on a quest you’ll see other players working on the same quest and you naturally, and fluidly work together to complete the objectives. What I mean is, you don’t have to ‘group’ or anything, you just work together and it feels natural, and you each get your own experience and loot. Beyond standard quests there are world events that are happening all around and you can jump in and help complete the objectives, such as fight a boss, without having to accept a quest or anything. Stuff is just happening in Guild Wars 2 and you decide your role.

What if your wallpaper was digital?

So I had a random thought tonight and I figured I’d just run with it. What if there was wallpaper that was actually a think, digital, HD screen that covered the walls in the rooms of your house. And let’s say this wallpaper can connect to your computer via WiFi.

Now on your computer there’s a program in which you can enter any room in your house and click on a wall and ‘drag and drop’ designs, posters, and pictures that would all instantly appear on that wall in your house. You could change the color of your walls depending on your mood. You could change any picture ‘hanging’ on your wall whenever you felt like it. You could make ‘posters’ and drag them wherever you please. You could decorate for the holidays with ease.

How cool would it be to drag something from your computer screen and drop it onto a wall? A picture, or a movie even. Having a party? Project the iTunes visualizer onto your walls. Why not?

You’ve seen it in Sci-Fi movies. Walls that reflect the weather outside, or different scenes of nature (or cityscapes). When will it be coming to your home?

You could use projectors, but I think a thin sheet like fabric would be cool. And it should adjust to the light levels in the room as necessary and of course it should be able to be dimmed or shut off while sleeping.

So anyway, just a random train of thought I had tonight in my fatigued state. A guy can dream.

My MacBook Pro is here!

My 13″ MacBook Pro (also my first Mac ever) arrived after work yesterday and for the last 24 hours I’ve been in love with this beautiful machine. I intend to post some more detailed thoughts as I get to know the machine better, but for now I’ll leave you with a few (awkward) photos 🙂

13″ MacBook Pro
2.5ghz Intel i5
8GB RAM
500 GB hard drive

Chris Pirillo’s iPhone 5 unboxing

One of my all time favorite tech geeks, Chris Pirillo, unboxed his iPhone 5 live on YouTube today and it’s definitely worth a watch if you’re interested in the iPhone. The live stream is still going, but you’ll be able to watch the recorded version soon after it ends. At the moment the video is just over an hour, so there’s plenty of detail within.

Check it out:

The new World of Warcraft Battle Chest

World of Warcraft has been around for 8 years now, so it’s hard to imagine there are very many people who have yet to try the game, and yet there must still be those who are uninitiated. Blizzard already allows new players to download the client for free and play a character up to level 20 for free (probably a much better method of letting players get a taste of WoW compared to the old 14 day trials that got me hooked). Today, however, Blizzard took their efforts to hook new players even further:

The new World of Warcraft Battle Chest

The new version of Battle Chest includes WoW, The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King (the first and second expansion respectively) all for $19.99 (of course to play you still need to subscribe at $14.99/mo). But “that’s not all!”. Blizzard has made The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King content available to all subscribers at no additional cost. That’s right, if you already own WoW Vanilla (in other words WoW but not the expansions) and are a subscriber (or become a subscriber I presume) you will not have to purchase anything more and will be able to play the game to level 80 without any restrictions.

This deal should certainly appeal to new players and those who have tried WoW but never had a desire to purchase the expansions. Simply subscribe to the game and you can continue questing from level 50-80 at no additional cost (beyond the subscription fee of course).

Should new players then want to venture further they will still need to purchase Cataclysm (the third expansion) for $39.99 (price may drop sometime after the release of Mists of Pandaria), and WoW’s fourth expansion, Mists of Pandaria, which releases Tuesday 9/25 for $39.99.

Guild Wars 2 now on Mac!

My first MacBook is set to arrive in the mail Friday and now I’m even more excited because not only will I be able to play World of Warcraft and Diablo III on it without running bootcamp or an emulator, but I’ll now also be able to try out Guild Wars 2!

Yesterday it was announced on the Guild Wars website that Guild Wars 2 is now playable on Macs in beta form. Anyone who has purchased Guild Wars 2 can now download the Mac client. It’s in beta because the software hasn’t been finalized, however it’s a step in the right direction to release a Mac client so soon after the game’s release. Can’t wait to give it a try.

Humble Bundle 6, great deal!

If you don’t know what the ‘Humble Bundle‘ is, let me briefly explain. It’s a bundle of indie games where YOU decide what you pay for a bundle of 5 quality games and the money goes to charity (EFF and Child’s Play) and the game developers. Not only do you decide what you pay, you also decide how much of what you pay goes to charity and how much goes to the developers.

The Humble Bundle is always a great deal, but Humble Bundle 6 looks to be one of the best yet, mainly because it includes Torchlight. When Torchlight first came out on the PC it was $20 for early supporters and something like $30 after that (I believe). It also sold for $15 on Xbox Live Arcade and was well worth it. Torchlight is a single player game that’s very similar to Diablo and Diablo II and is actually developed by a lot of guys who worked on Diablo.

In addition to Torchlight you get 4 other games with any contribution. The titles are Rochard, Shatter, S.P.A.Z., and Vessel. However if you pay more than the average contribution (currently $5.71) you get a 6th title, Dustforce.

The games are DRM free, multiplatform, and are also available through Steam (with a contribution of at least $1).

You also get the soundtracks for 5 of the games with your contribution.

Check out the trailer for Humble Bundle 6 below: