IntPiPoMo: The Stable, Part One

For the first time, I am choosing to participate in the blogging event known as International Picture Posting Month, generously organized by Chestnut of Gamer Girl Confessions. I’d like to say this decision is motivated by an upswell of community spirit, but in truth it’s mostly because I heard there were prizes.

You may accuse me of many things, but you can’t say I’m not honest.

Posting 50 new screenshots in a month is not much of a challenge for me. My picture folder on my computer has over 10,000 files, and the large marjority of those are video game screenshots.

Still, my usual posting schedule might not have allowed me to reach the goal, so I figured a special picture post or two might help. Ever the virtual narcissist, I immediately thought of posting some portraits of my many MMO characters… and then it occurred to me I have so many alts across so many games I could probably hit the 50 goal just by posting one of each. Let’s find out, and as always, remember to click the images to see them full size.

And so, without further ado, I present you… ALTS! ON! PARADE!

1: Human rogue, World of Warcraft

My human rogue in World of Warcraft2: Blood Elf warlock, World of Warcraft

My Blood Elf warlock in World of Warcraft3: Night Elf monk, World of Warcraft

My Night Elf monk in World of Warcraft4: Human paladin, World of Warcraft

My human paladin in World of Warcraft5: Blood Elf mage, World of Warcraft

My Blood Elf mage in World of Warcraft6: Blood Elf demon hunter, World of Warcraft

My Blood Elf demon hunter in World of Warcraft7: Orc shaman, World of Warcraft

My Orc shaman in World of Warcraft8: Dwarf warrior, World of Warcraft

My Dwarf warrior in World of Warcraft9: Worgen druid, World of Warcraft

My Worgen druid in World of Warcraft10: Tauren death knight, World of Warcraft

My Tauren death knight in World of Warcraft11: Nightborne hunter, World of Warcraft

My Nightborne hunter in World of Warcraft12: Blood Elf priest, World of Warcraft

My priest claims Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire in World of Warcraft 13: Chiss agent, Star Wars: The Old Republic

My Chiss Imperial agent in Star Wars: The Old Republic14: Mirialan consular, Star Wars: The Old Republic

My Mirialan Jedi consular in Star Wars: The Old Republic15: Sith Pureblood warrior, Star Wars: The Old Republic

My Sith warrior in Star Wars: The Old Republic16: Sith Pureblood inquisitor, Star Wars: The Old Republic

My Sith inquisitor in Star Wars: The Old Republic17: Sith Pureblood smuggler, Star Wars: The Old Republic

My Sith Pureblood smuggler in Star Wars: The Old Republic18: Cyborg bounty hunter, Star Wars: The Old Republic

My Cyborg bounty hunter in Star Wars: The Old Republic19: Miraluka knight, Star Wars: The Old Republic

My Miraluka Jedi knight in Star Wars: The Old Republic20: Zabrak trooper, Star Wars: The Old Republic

My Zabrak trooper in Star Wars: The Old Republic21: Dragon #1, The Secret World

My Dragon in The Secret World22: Templar, The Secret World

My Templar in The Secret World23: Illuminati, The Secret World

My Illuminati in The Secret World24: Dragon #2, The Secret World

My Dragon alt in The Secret World25: Dragon #3, The Secret World

My third Dragon character in The Secret WorldTo prevent this post becoming too bloated, I think I’ll stop there and bring you the rest later…

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BlizzCon 2018: It’s Worth It for the Warcraft III Remake

There was a profound level of cynicism going into this year’s BlizzCon. Blizzard themselves put a strange amount of effort into telling people not to get their hopes up, and the whole community — myself included — seemed to look toward the convention not so much with excitement as fatigue.

A shot from the cinematic trailer for Warcraft III: ReforgedI can’t say that pessimism has proven entirely unjustified, but for me, there is one silver lining.

A carnival of disappointment:

For the most part, BlizzCon 2018 has felt underwhelming thus far. Most of what’s been announced is predictable, uninspired, or otherwise disappointing.

World of Warcraft’s news so far consists only of a release window for WoW Classic, which I have no interest in, and a breathtakingly tone-death speech in which Jay Allen Brack sung the praises of Blizzard’s inclusive and welcoming community and then immediately pivoted into talking about Battle for Azeroth, an expansion specifically designed to divide the community and foster animosity between players.

Oh, yeah, and a new cinematic, which didn’t really offer much, actually.

Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch both got the expected new hero reveals. Am I the only one who thinks the Overwatch character looks like a grown-up version of the girl from Heroes? They’re both girls with white hair and red eyes…

Hearthstone has another new expansion, themed around Trolls this time. Maybe this is exciting for Hearthstone fans, but this just seems like more of the same to me.

A vision of the Xel'naga keystone in StarCraft 2: Legacy of the VoidStarCraft II saw Zeratul of all people announced as the next co-op commander. This got barely a mention in the opening ceremony, and I had to go to the official website to see the trailer and get details.

My knee-jerk reaction was serious disappointment. I can think of lots of more interesting characters to become commanders. However, having looked over the preview, he does seem to have some unique mechanics to offer, most especially his ability to enhance his army by collecting randomly generated Xel’naga artifacts.

His army is also more themed around the Xel’naga than the Nerazim, so it seems he won’t just be Vorazun 2: Electric Boogaloo. So Zeratul for me has been upgraded from “couldn’t care less” to “might buy, maybe.”

I still would have strongly preferred Selendis. Seriously, she’s been one of the most requested characters since co-op launched. What do we need to do to get her in the game?

Surprisingly little hype was built around the fact everyone on Battle.Net is being given Destiny 2 for free. That seems like it should have been a bigger deal. What I’ve played of Destiny 2 didn’t wow me, but now that I own the full version, I might give it another try at some point.

The wizard class in Diablo: ImmortalOf course, I’d be remiss not to mention the new Diablo mobile game, Immortal. As these things go, it actually looks fairly cool, but as it’s mobile-exclusive, I’ll never play it. I don’t use mobile devices. Never have.

Honestly, I’m wondering if Blizzard games are just not for me anymore. The company has evolved into a new direction. There’s nothing objectively wrong with it, but it’s not the same developer I used to love. And it’s just not the same without Metzen.

However, there is one thing here that excites me.

Warcraft III: Reforged

Now this was a pleasant surprise. I thought it possible a Warcraft III remaster might come someday, but I was not expecting it so soon.

I tell you, when they rolled that remake of the original Reign of Chaos trailer, I literally started shouting “Yes! YEEEESSS!” at my monitor. Such a moment of pure nerdgasm.

It seems too much to hope for, but how amazing would it be if all the cinematics were redone like this?

Arthas and Jaina in a cutscene from Warcraft III: ReforgedEven if they’re not, the updates to the in-game graphics are almost cinematic quality. It’s stunning. This is not a slapdash effort like the StarCraft remaster. This is a true modernization. In fact, the official site describes Reforged as a true remake, including balance changes and gameplay tweaks.

My one complaint is that it’s a bit over-priced. Pre-orders are already live, and even the base version is a whopping $40. Even considering what an impressive effort this is, that’s a steep price for a game from last decade with no new content.

I suppose I should try not to get too hyped. The other game remakes I’ve played — even good ones like The Age of Empires Definitive Edition — didn’t hold my attention for long. At the end of the day, it will still be a nearly twenty year old game I already played to death.

But Warcraft III was my favourite game of all time, at least until TSW came along, and even now it’s kind of a tie between the two. The thought of bringing it into the modern day brings out my inner twelve year old and sends a shiver of excitement down my spine.

If nothing else, I hope this encourages people who never played Warcraft III to give it a shot. It’s a true classic, and one of the greatest epic stories in gaming.