Which is better: World of Warcraft Classic or Retail?

Veteran MMORPGer weighs in on what’s best in (WoW) life…

My son, a 16 year old, walked behind me and peered at my screen for a good 10 minutes. Being around a gamer-dad since his first breath he was awestruck at “how old and clunky WoW looks”. He’s seen me play Eve, City of Heroes and Villains, a dozen other MMOs and Then, I told him the horrible truth:

It’s World of Warcraft Classic on the official Blizzard server!

-Me, to my son on how ancient the game looks.

He was disgusted but I knew why. We built his Ryzen gaming rig a year ago. Because he runs around with a 5th gen i5 when he plays games at his friends house on a laptop I gifted him and the Ryzen at home he gets in plenty of Overwatch and more current games but the rustic and “clunk” of Classic WoW was a shock to his system (puny human) but can play on 8 year old hardware.

Due to this shock between the spit-shine and polish of Shadowlands my son was vehemently against “Classic”. However, I am not. I was playing FF XI before he could speak. Therefor, I was ready and the grind-crawl to 60 was well on it’s way!

We all know what the Vulpera look like. Don’t pretend you don’t.

However, before my astute clone headed off I showed him my latest “Shadowlands” alt after using my /played of 6 days and 9 hours on my level 42 Mage. A Vulpera Rogue over on “Retail” with only 1 day at level 89. Sputtering followed, a shake of his head and then an embarrassing dab. With that he ran to the kitchen for a slice of pizza.

However, the pizza was inconsequential to the bigger picture. 62+ hours or more won’t get you to level 60 in Classic. An insane time-sink and grind worthy of angst for years to come back in the day have returned. With it, nostalgia, and the community.

So which is better?

Over on the Retail servers they running BfA and Pre-installing Shadowlands we have an “Item Grind” existing as an all-time-consuming event to be decked out for the next expansion and upcoming Level Crunch.

A question asked by children, the unleveled, and the casual player. Truth be told you can run through Retail in a few weeks of casual and light play but Classic requires a whole other class of gamer. So we’ll make it easy for you:

If you like-
Slow Burns on Content
Min/Maxing Gear
1 Mount you grind hours to get
1 Main Toon/Character and 1 alt
Raids with Class Priority
Thirst for that Mage Water
Slow Professions
Scarce Auction House Market
If you like-
Running through Content
Shiny Collections
Tons of Mounts with fast gold
1 Main Toon/Character and many alts
Raid Finder
Fast Secondary Energy Regen
Streamlined Professions
Plentiful Auction House

Let it be said that Blizzard has done right by players offering both a nostalgic blast from the past and a modern gear grind. Due to the overall statistical yoyo-ing of subscriber count many “Quality of life” improvements have put into play.

Even PVP combat in Southshore and the instances feel genuine. So, if you don’t feel like buying the “Newest Expansion” you can always take a trip to the past with a current subscription! Here, have a free pet on us for the first 4 people who use this official Battlenet Link!

We will see you there! We’re on Proudmoore for the Alliance, Antonidas for the Horde and Classic you’ll find us everywhere!

-Loremaster Robert R.

Joker movie revisited

Phoenix did it.

After the release we’ve got a few things to revisit now that folks have got a chance to see: Joker.

Watch it.

Many media outlets, mainstream, had prepared the world for a “Social uprising fallout”. Which, never happened. Joker, the movie, never struck anyone in our theater as a psycho-social narrative that inspires hate. It was a character study of the Pop Icon Super-Villain everyone has consumed as the “Greatest of Batman’s enemies” for decades now.

He’s really “Happy” in this role.

What people thought they were getting was some sort of edgy “turn up the hate” film. What they got was a roller-coaster of emotion, the breaking of a man, the fallout that follows how mental disorders can effect one’s view of the world and subsequent origin of two characters in the end.

It wasn’t the origin we were looking for but it was quite an origin story.

In stark contrast to the “scenes of riots” in the film the folks watching it and leaving the theaters were rather somber. The movie made you feel something. That’s worth the price of the ticket.

Now time to crunch some numbers…

The film made $90 Million on Thursday night in the USA and Canada where the film only cost $55 million to produce which means they’ve already pulled $40 Million earned on the first night. Yikes!

See this movie and get ready to feel this movie.

The Joker Movie

He’s us.

A true drama, with a coat of DC paint, on the human condition with the “Joker” as the audience stand-in. Ask yourself, who killed Captain Clown?

The Colors and pallet of the film are absolutely amazing on the screeners, however, the sepia tone filter changes the overall feel of the film.

People have been swarming over the chance “The Joker” could be some kind of social-activism trigger from the get-go. However, after we’ve taken a look at the script, and spoken to folks with the pre-screeners we’ve been able to ferret out exactly what’s going on. We’ve had a few of our writers check it out on their end and we’re pleasantly surprised at the overall outcome.

This poster displays lacks the insane whimsy that is usually portrayed with the joker in current comic/animation media.

Joaquin Pheonix walked out of an interview when he was questioned about the “social impact” of said film. It’s not some insane romp pushing for “a revolt” but a story to be told about how people are effected by a cumulative series of events under the Human Condition. This film, as per director:
(I) look at this as a way to sneak a real movie (about the nature of humanity) in the studio system under the guise of a comic book film.” -Tod Philips circa 2019 interview about “The Joker.” -Tod Philips. While we won’t be spoiling the film we will be saying it’s a treat for people who’ve been through a lot and not let it change their good nature while the movie itself depicts someone finding their own way to cope (if you’ve watched the trainer you already know what’s in store) or in the case of the Joker, break.

Sometimes you just gotta laugh…

While we would love to see an action packed Night of the Red Hood Caper where the Joker takes an acid bath and blames Batman for his “One Bad Day” we’re getting a much more human look at the Clown Prince of Crime. As far as we can tell, Joker is shoehorned in with a great nod to an actual character narrative where we are made to feel something rather than stare at a video-game cutscene for 3 hours straight. Will we see Batman? Harleen Quinzel? Larry, Curly, and Moe? All these questions will be answered when you watch the movie.

Star Wars: Rise of The Skywalker Title Theory

We remember “Dark Empire”.

Star Wars will have the Force Ghost of Luke Skywalker but we have a theory about the name…

We’re just a few months away from the next installment of Star Wars and people are grasping at straws to see what’s what. While some are huffing about the Japanese title being “Skywalker Ressurection” very few seem to even know about prophecies from the Extended Universe.

Grandpa Luke just doesn’t get it…

However, in the earlier Dark Horse comics incarnations which the newer episodes of star wars and the various canon content has been dipping their toes in the “Old Canon” with the “Skywalker Prophecy” from Vodo-Siosk Baas with the mix of Luke Skywalker’s statement from The Last Jedi.

The title is more than it appears…

Here is the theory:
Skywalker, is the name of the new Light Side and Dark Side force user which abolishes the stigma between the sides and embraces them both as a whole. The founders being the “Light in the Dark” and the “Dark within the light” of Rey and Kylo (Ben).

Dark Side users whom became became light from left to right:
Ventress, Revan, Jade

While it’s a working theory and won’t be further clarified until the movie comes out we can honestly say that it seems to be the closest to the “Re-imagining” to continue the franchise forward. The methodology of progressive writing and the idea that “no one’s really gone” leaves the entire idea of book-ending the light and dark side into a singular school of thought.

How many of these have you seen?

Does this mean all Skywalkers will be “Grey Jedi” or “Light Sith”? No, they’ll be Skywalkers. The Light and Dark side will be all parts of a complete whole which, in the end, will require those that are force attuned or sensitive to embrace and discipline themselves with the full range of the emotional spectrum rather than dwelling in a self-imposed state of zen-like introversion but a universally compassionate extroversion which recognizes hate and anger as symptoms of an issue rather than the issue itself. We could be wrong but it’s just a theory…

-R. Rankin

E3 Convention starts to decline while Nintendo comes out on top!

Spoiler: Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie will be added to Smash Brothers.

E3, The Electronic Entertainment Expo has come under sever criticism as overpriced tickets, lack luster content, and Industry Lead companies start holding their own events and conventions for releases…

From The Matrix’s “The One” to waking your ass up as a questgiver NPC in Cyberpunk, Keanu is back. Get HYPED, Samurai.

The year is 2019, E3 came and went, EA held their own event practically “Down the Street” on Saturday while Blizzard is already sold out for their own convention this year. Bethesda, Bandi/Namco, Lucasarts-EA, Nintendo and a few of the other huge AAA companies got to showcase their upcoming projects. However, this year we’ve seen a decline in popular opinion across social media and the general support provided.

Ikumi Nakamura hopes you like her game…

Games announced like “Cyberpunk 2077” from CD Projekt Red with the sudden resurgence of the titular “Secret Man-Crush” Keanu Reeves whom not only announced said game but seems to be a key character in the game that got the crowd hyped. Another presenter, Ikumi Nakamura, wooed the fans and internet alike with her playful display and otherwise cute approach for “Ghostwire” from Bethesda.

You can knock the weapons out of hands but don’t expect to take an arm or a leg…

While our hopes and dreams were lifted with these presenters and their products, Lucasarts-EA gave us a look at their attempt to “Cash in” on the popularity of “Dark Souls”/”Bloodborne”/”Sekiro” with “Star Wars: Fallen Order”. If you’re an Old School fan of Dark Forces, like I am, and they make a game 20 years after the fact where you can’t dismember enemies but you can impale them with your “Laser Sword” you’ve got to wonder just what exactly they were thinking when games like “Jedi Outcast” had better saber physics and realism. Not to mention the in game cinematic look like something from the Playstation 3 Era with less polish than the in-game cut-scene content from SW:TOR and a major step back for a franchise that already had so much. Mimicry is the greatest flattery for some but this is not a FromSoft game.

A faithful recreation of the content we remember from the 90’s.

The best, however, was saved for last. Nintendo quietly sat in wait like a puma with it’s DLC release for Smash Brothers, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Pokemon Sun/Moon, a Link’s Awakening Remake, Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Daemon X Machina, and some DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. All of this was great news but Nintendo usually lets us all know what’s coming out with “Nintendo Direct” so E3 simply served them as a platform for launching such news.

Some strangeness from Ubisoft this year…

However, it would look like the Corperately Owned IGN (by Gamestop) would be covering some strange content from our friends over at Ubisoft. What are you guys doing? Seriously, what exactly is going on? In addition Ubisoft and google Google “Stradia” is going to cost you every month like an MMO Subscribtion with a heavy emphasis on using as MUCH bandwidth they can however, in the USA, over in the pond Australia and the UK, and much of the rest of the first world data caps and bandwidth limits are more and more of an actual issue and “Playing lots of video games” is NOT going to “Make the ISPs increase your cap when they can just shut off your network and demand more money”. Someone didn’t think this all out (or they didn’t consider that you can’t strong-arm businesses that monopolize an actual telecommunication resource controls). I mean, at least they have a dog, right?

“Everyone like’s dogs” you know…

That all being said I’ve actually spoken to a few industry folks in California. They’re finding that it’s actually less money to spend starting their own venue and “Event” than it is to pay $3-8k for a table at E3 when other venues are willing to give you the whole floor and you can offer table space for vendors and smaller companies and require paid registration to get in. While E3 has been an industry staple since 1995 AAA companies are “Doing their own thing” as stated by one of the staff this year on the Show Floor (we’re not going to tell everyone your name but you know who you are). As mentioned earlier Companies like Blizzard-Activision, EA, Id, and various have begun their own “Events” and “Conventions”. Id of Doom and Quake fame have had QUAKECON for years (and this year QC will be “DOOMCON”) racking in tens of thousands in preregistration and attending fees while entertaining and providing an outlet for thousands of fraggers, gamers, fans, designs go to see the sights and while I’ve only attended in streaming form I can say watching John Carmack lecture on projects and game design.

QuakeCon back in 2012, expressing his apologies for shortcomings and educating us on the “State of the Games” at the time.

We have our fingers on the pulse and ear on the ground. Stirring from many West-Coast based companies has begun. Smaller “Retro Gaming” conventions have been turning a profit and pulling enough to justify venues like the “Pasadena Convention Center” and ballrooms at Hotels and Resorts. It’s only a matter of time before E3 loses it’s teeth and we have multiple conventions populated by key publishers populated with dozens of vendors and fan-works that brings back a sense of community rather than this strange force-fed narrative and “Razzle Dazzle” for sub par AAA products.

-R. Rankin