Why are you reading this instead of playing SC2?

Hiyas,

If you havn’t heard from me in a while, there’s a reason for that. I was playing ball with my kids the other day when I demonstrated the fact that I am no longer a teenager. Hell, even my 30′s are behind me now.

In short, things went badly and I managed to really trash my knee.

Like torn MCL and possibly chipped and/or cracked femur trashed.

Like MRI’s and wondering wether it will start to knit on it’s own or wether I am looking at surgury trashed.

How does that effect the site?

Well, pretty much everything I had even partially written is sitting on a flash drive that is locked up at work.

Guess where I am not allowed to go for a while…

Anyhow, A while back I sent in a short bit of Starcraft related fiction for Big Bear Butt’s contest. The somewhat updated copy is sitting on the aforementioned flashdrive, but I was able to get the original from the “sent items” folder on my email account.

With Starcraft 2 launching today it seemed like as good a day as any to post it.

After all, BBB did suggest posting it. I learned a long time ago not to anger the bear. (then again that long ago Scoutmaster was telling us not to anger bears that might actually eat us, but I digress) 


In the original Starcraft everyone I ever played with had a favorite mission in the campaign version. Mine, particularly the first few times I played it, was ‘Desperate Alliance” from the Terran campaign. The objective? Still be alive in 30 minutes when the dropships came. I love a good defensive battle, especially against the Zerg.
 
Here is a little bit of something I put together about that mission. It is very very rough, only partially complete, and generally needs much polish. However today is the day Starcraft 2 is coming out so you get stuck with it as is. Hope you like it (or at least get a chuckle out of it)
 
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The moonless nights were as black as coal on the grey and desolate world on which they had found themselves. Sergeant Gideon recalled thinking how peaceful it seemed, not a bad assignment at all after some of the places he had plied his trade.
 
The world was a desert, or at least as much of it his men had seen. It was a great place to sit and watch the stars during your downtime. Funny thing about the stars, they always look so peaceful from far away, twinkling in the sky like diamonds. That was before he had started to travel them, now he knew he held few illusions about finding a distant paradise.
 
A few weeks ago things started to seem a bit off. First a few scouts and then an SCV had gone missing. Since then patrols had been stepped up and folks had been much more on edge. Second platoon was just coming back from a three day sweep of the area.
 
Three days walking through a desolate landscape without seeing anything that could explain the disappearances. Oh well, he thought, at least Don and Janice from mining control would be interested in the Vespane gas vent they had discovered. For once keeping radio silence made sense, he looked forward to seeing the looks on their faces as he showed them the vids he had taken.
 
Topping the rise Gideon lurched to a stop, taken aback by the scene before him. Supply buildings sat torn and melted, their contents littering the area. The barracks was nothing but a blackened shell. Flames rolled through great gashes in the sides of the command center. Broken vehicles littered the landscape.
 
Then there were the bodies.
 
Dozens of torn insectile bodies formed lines from the shattered ring of bunkers that had encircled the base all the way back to the ruins of the burning command center. Scattered here and there an armored figure or two lay motionless, weapons still close at hand.
 
Questions rolled around in his mind as he took in what remained of the base. With a trained eye he could follow the course of the battle that had been fought here. There had been no rout, and Charlie company had given much worse than it received.
 
“Corporal! Get me an uplink!” Gideon called.
 
“On it!” One of the armored figures separated from the group and headed to the wreck of a nearby ship.
 
Here and there came a dull thump as ammo stored in burning buildings and vehicles cooked off. Sergeant Gideon found himself wondering if having the second platoon gone had been just too much when the time came.  
 
In the flickering light of the fires that raged across the base three dozen armored men hunkered down, taking cover in the wreckage of a burned out line of siege tanks. They moved slowly, carefully, taking positions to guard themselves against the creatures that had done this.
 
 
“Tommy! You got that uplink working yet?” called the sergeant.
 
“Working on it boss… Got it!” called an armored figure from the wreckage of a nearby transport.
 
Static filled Gideon’s helmet speakers as the long range circuit came to life.
 
 
 
Pressing the transmit key he spoke slowly and carefully, far more calmly that he felt.
 
“Mayday, mayday.  This is research outpost one one four broadcasting in the clear. Any Terran unit please acknowledge…”
 
The static in his ears sputtered as a faint voice came on the line. “Outpost one one four, this is Mar Sara admin. What is your situation?”
 
“Returned from patrol to find outpost one one four destroyed, no survivors. Requesting airlift for my patrol, myself and thirty-five others.”
 
“Roger that one one four, diverting a transport to your location, eta two hours.” Crackled the speaker, faintly.
 
As he was speaking he began to notice something. Here and there the firelight began to reflect from the tops of the ridges on both sides of the valley.
 
Eyes… Hundreds and hundreds of eyes.
 
A hundred or more Zerg came pouring over the ridge tops like waves cresting near the shoreline. The firelight glinted off of countless claws and carapaces as they swarmed towards the marines.
 
The guns of the second platoon came to life, beating out a staccato sound of flying metal. Dozens of Zerg screamed and crumpled, adding their bodies to the piles already littered about.
 
As he started squeezing off rounds himself Gideon hit transmit once again.
 
“Mar Sara. Broken Arrow, I say again Broken Arrow. One one four is being overrun. Request immediate evac.”
 
“Sorry one one four, two hours is the best I can do.”  Said the voice on the radio, unconcernedly.
 
Seconds later the long range link sputtered and hissed in his ears. “One one four, this is Arcturus Mengsk. The Sons of Korhal are nearby with two dropships. Your call, we can be there in a half hour.”
 
“Roger that Mengsk, bring ‘em in.” Called Gideon.
 
Keying his mike over to the platoon freq Gideon called out. “Thirty minutes till evac people. Take cover in the wreckage and hold what you got. Watch your ammo. One shot, one kill, make it last!”

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Starting from Scratch

Good morning and happy maintenance day.

Though I have not played  much at all lately I did try out a little experiment.

Actually it was more of a bet with my son than anything else, but I found a way to make it useful.

I made money.

Pretty good money considering.

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It started as a question. When we go over to the Horde side to level our Goblins how are we going to have money and bags and stuff?

Well, I answered, we could do a lot of different things.

We could roll a Death Knight or three on the target server. They start at a high enough level that we could easily make decent money through gathering mid level mats.

We could do it on the same server that we already have a high level character on, even if it is Alliance it would help out a lot. With multiple accounts transferring money through the neutral AH would be easily done, if a bit expensive.

But what if you don’t have all that  available to you?

What, he asked, if this is your first character ever? 

How could you possibly have any money?

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A good question, and one with as many answers as there are people playing the game.

Probably the favorite is to take two gathering professions as soon as you leave the starting zone and grind up some leather while gathering either herbs or ore for sale in the Auction House. It’s a favorite because it works.

I decided to do something just a little bit different. Since the character is nothing more than a placeholder until Cataclysm anyhow I decided I did not really want to spend a bunch of time leveling and grinding just so I could turn around and delete him.

Enter a shiny new baby Tauren Shamen. One who is in essence just a placeholder anyhow.

I leveled him through the starting zone and picked up skinning at level 6, right after reaching Bloodhoof village.

Walking right outside of town I proceeded to kill and skin my way to two whole stacks of light leather, reaching level 7 in the process. I was also fortunate enough to loot two 6 slot bags by this time, which helped a lot. Total time invested at this point was under two hours, probably closer to one.

I really should have done a /played just as I got the last piece of leather, but didn’t think about it.

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Taking my level seven self to Thunder Bluff I ran over and listed my Light Leather for a few gold a stack, whatever the market would bear, and then logged out of him for two days.

Logging in to find my inbox had a bit of coin in it I headed back to the AH to run a quick scan. I then bid on items where the bid price was lower than the vendor price until I ran out of cash. Then I logged out until the next day.

The rest of the week saw me doing the exact same thing. Log in, check my mail, scan, bid, log out. Maybe a total of 10 minutes a day, most of which was me scanning while tabbed out reading blogs.

In the space of  just a few days of this I was able to turn the two stacks of leather and perhaps 30 silver I walked into town with into 21 gold.

I wonder just how well off my little Goblin will be by the time Cataclysm gets here?

I also wonder if I should grab some screenshots and write up how I did that, amongst other things that work as well, as a newbie money making guide.

I wonder if there would be any interest?

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Dech gets Twisted

Something interesting happened earlier this week. I was invited as a last-minute guest on the Twisted Nether Blogcast.

It was a fun time, though I am pretty sure I sounded like an illiterate fool. I blame it on my being both tired and sober at the same time. Thats my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

On the plus side Fimlys and Nibuca sound great as always. You should go check it out if you haven’t already.

Anywho, during the show Fimlys brought up a good point. I have been writing little stories here off and on for a couple of years now. One thing I have never really done is link them all together.

Well, enough of that. Today I am going to go back and link all my little bits ‘o fiction in one post. That way I can link it in my sidebar and just update the list as I add new stuff.

Sounds like a win to me, I get to post stories today without actually going and posting the one I am saving for Starcraft 2′s release.

here goes:

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The first of my fiction posts was a look at a server transfer from the point of view of the character that had moved. It’s a theme I came back to a time or two later as well. I called it Mirrior Mirrior after a classic Star Trek episode involving a parallel universe.

During the podcast Fimlys mentioned one post that was fairly moving. I think he was talking about Blood in the Water. It is a look at the devastation that the crash of the Exodar brought to Azeroth, and why this particular Druid doesn’t care much for the Draeni.

If it wasn’t Blood in the Water he was talking about it might have been this one. Not really seen through a characters eyes, it tells of a dream I had the night Bre, former co-host of the Twisted Nether Blogcast as well as the former author of Gun Lovin Dwarf Chick, announced she was closing down her blog. I called it And the lights grow dimmer.

Actually not even WoW related, the post Missing went up on my non-wow blog in response to a writing prompt from the Saucy Wenches podcast. I did link it here, so I am linking it again.

Speaking of my personal blog, on the off chance anyone is interested it can be found here. Another piece I wrote and posted there for the Saucy Wenches podcast  was Odyssey. It came out ok, though I really need to continue it.

Though a poem and not really a bit ‘o fiction I will go ahead and link The Banker here as well. It’s one of my favorites.

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Altaholic? Who me?

This morning started off easy enough.  I woke up, got dressed, and made coffee. Spying a notepad sitting upon my desk I decided to make myself a list.

Not a grocery list, though I need one of those this weekend.

Not a list of things that need fixed around the house, I don’t have enough paper. My house is nearly a hundred years old, I would need quite the list to cover it all.

Nope, I was thinking about heirloom items as I sat here waiting for the coffee to percolate. More specifically I was thinking about the alts I was considering for Cataclysm and wondering if I would have the stuff I wanted for them when the time comes.

You see I like alts.

A lot.

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I raid, but I am not a raider at heart.

I PvP, but I am not a PvP’r at heart.

I run heroics, and I am perfectly content to run five mans all day long, but it’s still not my favorite thing to do.

My favorite thing above all else is questing my way through well designed areas. I will toss on my headphones and quest my way through, losing myself in the story. All of Wrath and a good amount of other areas were put together well enough for me to do that.

Then again some places were just annoying grindfests. (Blasted lands, Westfall, and Hellfire Peninsula come to mind right off the bat.)

In Cataclysm that’s all supposed to change, with all new quest flow, several new starting zones, tons of new content to explore. It’s like they custom made an expansion for people like me that love leveling, but were bored to tears with saving the same village over and over with no noticable results.

I have this dream of seeing all the shiny new stuff that Blizzard has made for us.  To that end I plan to level at least one of each race and class, at least to the point where all the starter zones feed into the main quest lines.

Then I will level at least one character per faction through the main quest lines up to level 60.

Once I get to 60 we shall have to see if any of them are sticky enough to make me want to do the level 60-80 grind yet again so that they can join my current high level characters. Both of my level 80 Hunters will see 85 for sure, I am as yet undecided about everything else.

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So anyhow, I sat down and made myself a list of all the starting zones I would like to see and all the characters I would like to see them with.  I realised that I am already planning fourteen alts, and thats taking into acount that I have no plans for Dreani or Blood Elf characters.

Granted most of them will only ever make it to level 20 or 30, but damn that a lot of alts.

Here is what I plan to roll, though probably not in this order.

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Night Elf – Mage

Human – Hunter

Gnome – Priest (that I will likely keep)

Dwarf – Shaman (that I will likely also keep)

Worgen – Rogue (Ninja Werewolf  FTW) and later on an Arms Warrior (that I may keep if it’s sticky enough)

Orc – Warlock (The only one of the race/class combos I am planning that’s already in-game)

Troll – Druid (Technicolor tank FTW)

Forsaken – Hunter

Tauren - Paladin

Goblin – Hunter and later a Shaman

I also plan to roll both Goblin and Worgen Death Knights to see how they have incorporated them into the DK starting zone. I won’t be keeping them though, unless it’s as a chatting alt on another server. I already have an 80 Death Knight that I don’t feel like deleting. (Diashan the level 80 banker toon)

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Damn but that’s a lot of alts.

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I already have heirloom armor for everyone and an assortment of weapons and trinkets. I really should sit down and figure out what I plan to use for each one of them and list it as well.

Not best in slot heirlooms exactly, but how to get the most mileage out of the ones I have and minimize what I still plan to farm up.

Face it, heroics are getting really old, especially when I am waiting through queues that take longer than the instance.

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Well, lets see here. First I think I’ll just list out the Heirlooms I already have sitting about and see what I can make of them.

Cloth armor:

Leather Armor:

Mail Armor:

Plate Armor:

Not a bad collection of armor if I do say so myself, and I just did. The only thing missing is a set of spellpower plate. In the remote event I ever decide to level a Paladin as an LFG healer I guess I will just fall back to wearing the mail gear. Not a big deal.

Lets just say I have armor covered.

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Next I’ll take a look at trinkets since there is not really much to say about them.

The way I have been doing it is simple. If you use mana you carry one of each, if you don’t you carry both Swift Hand of Justice. It worked for me so far, even leveling my Resto Druid almost exclusively thru the dungeon finder. I suppose if I was having mana issues early on I could get another Discerning eye of the beast, or if I was planning to do a lot of PvP on the way up I could get an Inherited Insignia of the Alliance (or Horde).

I think for now I am good with what I have.

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Weapons now, that’s a horse of a different color.  I most certainly have enough to get by right now, though there are a few things I still plan to get.

So far I have:

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Not a bad collection of weapons either really. In fact I could make do with nothing more than these. There are a few more things I would like to pick up though.

  • A second Balanced Heartseeker for Dual wielding on the Rogue and Hunter.
  • A Repurposed Lava Dredger for both the Druid and Shaman, possibly the Warrior and Ret Pally as well, depending on what works better.
  • A second Venerable Mass of McGowan for dual wield on the Shaman. I could always use the Blessed Hammer of Grace I already have, but it would not be quite as good.

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That represents a lot of badges right there, months of farming. Twenty-two heirlooms down, three to go.

Only 145 more badges, not bad at all really.

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Like I said earlier, I like me some alts.

An altoholic though? No, I really don’t think so.

I could stop rolling alts any time I wanted to.

Honest.

Random thoughts on Cataclysm

Lately I have been following a lot of the Cataclysm updates that have come spinning through my feed reader. There is a lot of good information out there, definitely enough to get my mind spinning with possibilities.

 So, since I don’t have anything of substance to write about,  this morning during downtime you get afflicted with my random musings.

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 It has been said that at level 10 new characters will have to pick a spec and stick with it until they have reached 31 points in the tree. This is supposed to happen at about level 70. It has also been said that support for changing specs will be in place in case you change your mind.

I wonder if this will lead to having either the level requirement or cost of dual spec lowered. 

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 I really like the idea of a Goblin Hunter with a Ghost Saber for his pet.

I like the idea so much in fact that I leveled a Hunter to 20 just to hold my Goblin’s name and get the cat. If the Ghost Saber goes away I’ll simply level my Goblin to 20 only to delete him and pay $15 to convert the one that’s waiting.

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Worgen Druid… The more I think about it the more likely I am to just wait till Blizz will let me convert my Night Elf. Love the idea of my Druid and love playing him, but I am not leveling another one.

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Speaking of Worgen, for the first time I am actually really looking forward to both a Warrior and a Rogue. More so the Rogue, but I plan to level both at least up to 40 or so.

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As I think more on this I realize that my knowledge of Rogues comes from one that made it to the mid 20′s before getting deleted. I had fun, but got distracted by my Hunter and never really went back.

I really should read up a bit on how they work (other than the obvious “stab things repeatedly with sharp objects until they fall over dead”)

I know for instance that there are three talent trees, but for the life of me can’t think of all of them right now. I really should go find me a good Rogue blogger and read their stuff.

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While I am at it I should do the same for the Warrior I want to try leveling.

WTB knowledge, pst.

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I have this crazy idea of leveling one of every class and one of every race to at least 20 once Cataclysm hits. 

I want to try that to see all the new starting zones, after that I will pick one on each faction and finish leveling it up to at least 60. After that I already have characters at 80 that I can see the other new content with.

The odds of me pushing through the Outlands/Northrend 60-80 grind of things I have already seen a lot of are not good.

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Since I plan to do this I actually took a sheet of paper and wrote all the races down as a grid. Then I put classes on post it notes and went around till I had all of them filled up. Kind of like pin the tail on the donkey, but this was more of a pin the class on the alt.

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As part of this whole “see all of the new stuff” plan I have been farming emblems like a crazy person. I am trying to fill out this ginormous shopping list of heirlooms for all the alts I plan to level. This includes 5 breastplates, 5 sets of shoulders, 10 assorted weapons, and of course 4 trinkets.

I won’t crank out the whole list here, but the total cost is 810 Emblems of Heroism and 1,275 Stone Keeper Shards.

I am down to needing another 185 Emblems and I’ll be done with the great heirloom farming binge of 2010.

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Writing that was the first time I actually crunched the numbers and saw the total cost of my heirlooms.  Damn thats a lot of instances.

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I have also decided on what the first thing I will do in Cataclysm, whether it’s live or through a beta invite.

The first, most important thing. Even before I respend my talent points.

I am going to run my Troll Hunters butt out to the Barrens.

I am going to go searching.

And I am going to find out what happens to Mankriks wife.

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An open letter to Blizzard

Good morning Blizzard,

Last week I have to say that I was less than happy with you. I know this happens in every relationship from time to time, but the whole concept of real names on the forums was truly a wedge. One that very nearly caused a nasty breakup.

I bring this up not to reopen old issues, but to set a frame of reference.

With a long view towards the future you made the decisions about the forums.

Decisions that, lacking the frame of reference you are using made little sense to me. In fact, the policies seemed to be a deliberate attack, at least from my point of view.

I did the only thing I knew to do at that point, lacking any information to explain why the change would be a good thing I raised my voice against it. I screamed and railed as loud as I could, to anyone that would listen.

So did fifty thousand of my closest friends.

Then you did something that amazed me.

You listened.

You turned your back on what you wanted and what you thought best for your website in favor of a compromise that we could agree on.

It takes courage to take a very public decision like this, listen to the feedback, and then make changes.  You have to  know that which ever way you go you will be looked at as either a pushover that failed to stick to their guns or an uncaring corporate monolith. There really is no easy way out.

You did the right thing.

Much of my faith in you is restored.

Thank you.

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Dechion

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Blizzard likes Farmville, too bad we are the sheep

I am pretty sure that this will be my last post about Real ID and it’s implementation into the forums.

EDIT: Blizzard has since announced that real names will not be required on the forums. Also I do not plan to quit the game at this time. I am removing all the other hasitly written edits to this post in an effort to make it half assed legible again. Anything else on this topic will be rolled into its own post.

Not because I don’t have anything more to say after this, but because the next thing I say will be goodbye. Actually I had a long talk with my kids that possibility yesterday and we all agreed that would be the next logical step.

Just as an FYI Blizzard, even a couple of WoW loving teenagers like mine can see how monumentally stupid this is. They are willing to quit as well, and are simply waiting for me to make the call when to pull the trigger on all our accounts.

The thing with that is that Blizzard could care less.

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The conversation, particularly with my son, got me to doing a lot of thinking on this.

Not about how stupid it is, because it’s not stupid. We just see it from the wrong point of view.

Not about how people are going to get hurt, or even how likely a few will die as a direct result.

There was one question my son asked that flipped a light switch in the part of my brain that loves making buckets of gold in the auction house.

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He simply asked “Why are they doing this?”

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Such a simple question, and yet not.

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Blizzard is not doing this to clean up the forums, that could be done in a dozen or more ways that have nothing to do with compromising the identities of its player base.

It also has nothing to do with the evil genius at the helm of Activision-Blizzard sitting in his office twirling his mustache while figuring out new ways to hurt his customers.

In the world of business, especially big money business, it simply does not work like that.

This is about money, and lots of it.

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Businesses make their money by keeping their customers happy.

What  a lot of people don’t realize (or choose to forget) is that the player is not the customer.

The players of Blizzard games (or any company’s games for that matter) are no more the customer than the sheep are the shepherds customer.

They are the resource, the source of the profit.

You, me, my kids, everyone that plays the game are just part of Blizzards vast herd of sheep.

Like the sheep, players need to be fed and maintained just enough shiny new things to keep us nice and docile so that we are still around, still making wool (or paying $15 a month as the case might be).

The stockholders of the company are the real customers.

When you are wondering why in the hell they come up with ideas remember a lot depends on your point of view.

Just as a Shepard would gladly feed a few sheep to the wolves if it ment getting thousands more in return, so Blizzard has no problem losing a few of its long term customers in exchange for a whole lot of new ones.

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The thing to ask is that knowing how many of their sheep they expect to lose, and knowing that the creation and implementation of this is going to cost them considerable capital, not just in cash and loss of developer time but also loss of  goodwill and bad press,  why do it?

What are they gaining?

How does this benefit the customer?

Show me how this makes them money, because that my friends is what is the driving force behind this.

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I know that somewhere, likely in a meeting room in Irvine, the decision to enter social media was made.

Someone standing at the head of a table, likely near a Powerpoint projector, convinced a group of people that this would make the company a profit.

I can see that somewhere the decision to gather all of the gamers that play Blizzard games under one banner was made.

Someone, maybe even the same one, convinced the powers that be that this would generate revenue as well.

I can see the company intentionally making it harder (and i predict it getting ever harder) to keep your gaming separate from any other internet presence you might have.

This like everything else was approved at a board meeting and expected to turn a profit.

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The big question here is not whether Real ID is good or bad.

Just like forcing people to put their real name out there, to essentially out themselves as gamers, is not the issue.

It is in fact the desired result.

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Blizzard is, in my opinion, attempting to overcome the social stigma in this country against gaming and gamers in general. They are doing this by slowly (though not slowly enough, some of the sheep are noticing) becoming one with social media.

That is why they partnered with Facebook.

That is why there are IPhone apps.

That’s why Ozzy played Blizzcon.

That is why Mr. T is still on my television tossing mohawk grenades, and why William Shatner is casting chain lighting.

That, my friends, does not come free.

Blizzard is paying good money to try to make its games more and more mainstream.

How do they see that investment paying off?

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I  believe that this has very little to do with World of Warcraft as a franchise, or even with the Starcraft series of games. I believe that we are starting to see glimpses of are shadows what the Next Gen MMO they are creating has in store for us.

We can’t see the game, but you can see it’s influence like ripples on a pond tell you something disturbed the waters.

The next generation game is going to try to capture the social media crowd as well, and will likely be partially integrated into Facebook. I don’t know how they plan to implement it, I don’t know what the game will be, and I don’t know exactly when it will happen.

But I am not fool enough to think Blizzard doesn’t want to harness the Farmville crowd as well. After all, they have proven very adept at herding sheep.

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Don’t honestly tell me you thought they entered into a partnership with Facebook just because they wanted to do an export friends list feature. 

They partnered with Facebook to make money. That is what businesses do.

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Just like the ripples in the pond told me something made a splash, I can see ripples of corporate policy coming through in some of what is happening.

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Those ripples tell me that social media is the way they are headed, and noting we can say or do is going to stop it.

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In fact, I can guarantee you that on that Powerpoint slide show was a graph.

A graph that showed how many of us old timers they plan to feed to the wolves, and how many more new sheep they will get in return.

Someone smiled when they looked at that graph, said “Let’s do this” and then went and bought the speaker a cup of coffee.

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Just another day at the office.

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On the slaying of internet dragons…

Today I read a post that simply blew me away, I thought I would share.

Shade over at Shades of Grey wrote an open letter to Blizzard, and Wow… just wow.

I still think there is a lot more going on here than meets the eye, and I think it has a lot to do with the agreement with Facebook. Then again I sometimes over analyze things.

However, I am not going to rant on any more about my thought on the matter, just go read what Shade had to say.

Blizz, kindly keep the real world where it belongs, not in my video games.

Yesterday something kind of sad happened.

After reading of the monumentally stupid idea of forcing Real ID on anyone wanting to post in the official forums I started thinking. I have always known Blizzard is a company, and as such is chasing the almighty dollar.

Long have I played this game, and even though I always knew Blizzard was a company I always considered them as doing things in the best interests of their clients. Last night though I found myself unable to find any joy in playing.

Three times I logged in, and not once did it last longer than  a few minutes.

The real world kept encroaching on my fun time.

You see, I have this knack. I can look at a given situation and very often figure out where a company is going with some of its ideas before they come to pass. I see little things, and like the pieces of a puzzle they snap together to show parts of a bigger picture. I don’t know how it works, I just know it’s right more often than not.

Right now I am nearly certain that the Real ID “feature” is the wave of the future.

First it was an optional in game service.

A few weeks later it’s announced that it will be mandatory for the forums.

Give it time and I see it being mandatory everywhere. At least I think that was the plan.

Whether they will go through with it amidst the outcry about this remains to be seen. Something tells me that they will though.

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Right now I see four solutions.

Just keep right on playing like nothing is different. (the head in the sand method)

Use parental controls to block Real ID on all three of my accounts. Delete all my forum posts including the several guides I have posted there. (the Shermans march to the sea method)

Or I can do what Gnomegeddon did and simply cancel my account. (the vote with my wallet method)

Create a new Battle net account with a false name and start over. (not happening, I have three accounts and I am not paying $210 for new copies of the software)

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As of right now I am leaning towards number two just to be safe. If things continue down the road I see them on I’ll simply pull the plug and go find another game to play.

This whole post was actually supposed to be a rant, but oddly enough I can only rant about things that anger me.

I find I am not so much angry as I am disappointed.  It’s the same kind of feeling I would get if one of my kids brough home a report card full of failing grades. I know they can do better, just like I know that Blizz can do better.

This time though? The missed the mark by a wide margin.

This time they failed.

I almost wish I could be angry at them, somehow disappointed is much worse.

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WTF are they smoking?

This will likely be disorganized and rambly. I am sick, like stay home from work don’t stray too far from the bathroom sick. Having a hell of a time keeping down water sick.  (food poisoning sucks FYI).

Firstly the reason I am dragging my horrid feeling butt in front of the computer, this post  by Veneras of the EU forums.

The short version is that coming soon any posts on the official forums will be forced to be made with your Real ID identity.

Thats right, they want me to put my real name out in that wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Um, no. Not going to happen.

I have seen a friend of mine get stalked by a teenage boy who wanted to get to know her in the biblical sense of the word. One that would not take no for an answer, it ended with the police involved.

Another friend of mine, John over at The Big Bear Butt, had someone who did not like something he said find his real life address and send him pictures of his house along with a death threat to his son. All because he happens to like bacon. He put his views on this forth here.

Am I over reacting to this?

Maybe. Only time will tell.

What I will say on this is that my days posting on the official forums are rapidly coming to a close.

It’s one thing to go by name in game with people I am already on a first name basis with. It’s another for me to have to put my real name out there on the tech support or realm status forums. The other forums are one thing, they are optional chats. Tech support in particular should be excluded.

There is a day I see coming in the future that I will be required to use Real ID simply to chat in game.

Thats the day I find something else to play.

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In other far more pleasant news we have come to a decision on the names for the cats.

The interwebs have spoken, and her name is Pixel.

And the other that I did not mention here was Pixels brother. He got his name for defending his piece of string against two other small cats, an adult cat, and a small dog… all at once. When it was clear he was about to get it taken away he cleverly hid the string in the couch cushions, thereby denying victory to his harrassers.

My kids named him after this event.

This is Sparta.

Have a good one, I am going back to feeling like death warmed over now.

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