BlizzCon 2008

blizzcon 2008 098Two weekends ago I went to Anaheim California, for Blizzard‘s annual BlizzCon.  BlizzCon celebrates all games developed by Blizzard.  Those games being Warcraft, Starcrat, Diablo, and World of Warcraft, which I know I’ve talked about before.  The convention shows off their latest games, and is host to numerous panels about game developing.  For two days its a geek heaven.

One of the two new games they were showing off, and letting us play, was Starcraft 2.  Starcraft is considered an RTS (real time strategy game).  Two or more players are put head to head, to create an army to destroy the other player.  I’ve always been a big fan of RTS games, starting with Warcraft.  When Warcraft 3 came out, I was actually volunteering to host tournaments for a Blizzard fan site.  We would have weekly tournaments and I would arrange the games, and track the players.  Starcraft 2 looks to be turning into a great game.  I just hope I’ll have enough time to play it. 🙂

The other game that we were excited to play was Diablo 3.  Diablo is more of an action/RPG (role playing game).  The diablo series was another game that hooked me in for a long time.  When Diablo 2 came out, I had actually taken days off work, so my friends and I could all play together for days on end.  Ahh those were the days.  We were the first to play Diablo 3, and what a pleasure that was.  With its improved graphics and game play, its a huge improvement over Diablo 2.  I can’t wait to play it again!

blizzcon 2008 091Other than waiting in lines, BlizzCon had some good entertainment.  I saw a few of the panels, which were always entertaining and informative.  Also there were plenty of eye candy, with dressed up characters from all their games.  One of the panels featured actors from an online web show called The Guild.  Its a comedy based around WoW.  Its star is Felicia Day, who recently also appeared in the tv show House, and I believe we will be seeing more and more of.  It was very entertaining seeing them, and hearing their stories about filming.  During the closing ceremony Saturday night, they had a few comics, L70ETC (blizzard employee rock band), and the always impressive Video Games Live.  Video Games Live is a group that gets a local orchestra together to play music from all genres of video games.  Gwendolyn and I were lucky enough to see them recently, and I was glad to have the opportunity to see them again playing Bizzard music.

Overall it was better than I imagined.  I’m sad I missed the first two years.  I hope I can go again at some point. 🙂

Photos

Deal or No Deal

We just got back from my parents house, and I just have to make a post now.  We went over there to celebrate Gwendolyn’s birthday.  We also haven’t been there since they’ve installed their new Bullfrog Spa.  Let me tell you, its the king of hot tubs.  With 4 seats, and interchangeable jet packs on each seat, you can customize your own spa.  Another feature I enjoyed was the mood lighting.  You can set the underwater light to a number of settings, changing its color, or having it cycle through colors at varying speeds.  Finally after spending about an hour in the spa, they had to force me out.  I’m still so relaxed as I type this.

When we came back inside, my parents said that they had a game for us to play.  I couldn’t think of what they could be talking about, and as it was getting late, I hoped it was a fast game.  We sat around the new kitchen table and they bring out a bunch of folded index cards with numbers on them.  They then say we are going to play Deal or No Deal!  The game was set up so they had 10 index cards (the briefcases) numbered 1-10.  Inside each card they had written an amount from $1-$100. (1, 2, 5, 10, 20,25,40,50,75,100).  Whatever money we won, was going to be our anniversary present, as our 2nd year anniversary is next Tuesday.  So to pick our ‘briefcase’ I thought of using one of the #’s 4, 2 or 9 (4-29 our anniversary).  I didn’t like only being able to choose one of those 3.  So I combined them:  4+2=6; 9-6=3.  We took briefcase 3.  To pick our next cases we went with #2.  Inside was $75!.  ouch.  Each turn my dad was playing Host, and the Banker.  My parents say he is really good at guessing what the banker will offer on the show.  I’d like to know how they come up with the bank offers myself. The banker offered us $22 on the first round.  No Deal.  the game then went as follows:

  1. Opened case #4 = $50! Banker offered $17.  No Deal.
  2. Opened case #9 = $40! Banker offered $24.  No Deal. We just lost 3 top amounts. 🙁
  3. Opened case #8 = $2! Banker offered $27.  No Deal.
  4. Opened case #10 = $10! Banker offered $36.  No Deal.
  5. Opened case #6 = $25! Banker offered $38.  No Deal.
  6. Opened case #7 = $1! Banker offered $55.  No Deal. It started to get more tempting now, and we had to debate if we should try one more time.
  7. Opened case #5 = $5! Banker offered $75.

Now there was only case #1 and #3.  With the amounts of 20 or 100.  Although my parents did not know what was in what case, I saw my dad try to sneak a peak into case #1.  At this point he was saying we shouldn’t take the deal.  I just couldn’t decide if I should trust him or not.  He might be wanting us to win, or he might be trying to save himself some money! 🙂  I said I would rather lose $25 and take the deal, then to lose $55.  So we took the deal at $75!  As it turns out, we should have listened to my dad, as we held the winning briefcase!  What a fun game of deal or no deal.  That was way better than watching it on tv, even if they added dramatic pauses, and it was for much less.  We still had a great time getting 75 bucks!  Thanks mom and dad!

Games vs Violence

I was going to put this in for this weeks links, but I think its too good for it not to have its own post.  Here we have the best graph ever made:

Games vs Violence

And the data that backs it up: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/viortrdtab.htm

I don’t think much more needs to be said, but this digg quote:

“If this trend continues, Crime might be non-existent by the time Nukem Forever is released…”

Flying Dragons

Game talk time. Amazingly in exactly one month since I received my last netherwing dragon for Melyne, I now have a 2nd netherwing dragon for Zuria! This time around I went with Onyx. I’m amazed by how fast the gold came for my epic flying mount, and how fast the reputation grind went. I did the grind in 12 days or so, the secret is in the netherwing eggs.

Unfortunately, while trying to get my other netherwing, I’ve slacked off in my other gaming. I was playing both Super Mario Galaxy and Bioshock for a while, but they slipped off the schedule. I think it’s time to put them back on, and I’m going to start with Bioshock.

Upcoming Weekend

So this weekend Gwendolyn and I are going to head to Austin to see Marilyn Manson. While there we will be staying with Jake, Beth & Brian. I hear they have already organized a Rock Band party for our arrival! I also believe that they just released 3 Nine Inch Nails songs for it, which I am also excited about.

On a random note, I was just checking the weather in Austin, and I thought I would share a new site to check the weather. Its SimpleWeather.com. Its absolutely wonderful. Its quick, easy to read, has the information you need, and non obtrusive ads. Actually there are no ads at this time. You can enter your zip on the main page, or access your zip directly by going to www.simpleweather.com/<insert zipcode>.

What I’m Playing

As it turns out, I’m a gamer. I’m sure any of you actually reading this, would also know that. I say this now though, as I always struggle with what to write. I figure why not write about what I know and what I’m doing. Since its games I know and play on a day to day basis, its games I shall write about. Granted every post won’t be about games, but it will help me fill in the gaps when I have no other news to share.

So without further ado, here’s what I’m playing currently:

  • World of Warcraft (pc) – This will always make the list. 🙂  My latest accomplishment though was receiving my Azure Netherwing Drake!
  • Zelda: Twilight Princess (wii) – I had gotten to the last boss months ago, but somehow never finished it. This weekend I finally finished it. yay me.
  • Bioshock (pc) – After my computer upgrade this past Christmas I decided to start fresh with Bioshock. I didn’t make it very far the first time around and wanted to refresh the story, along with changing my ‘moral decision’ in the game. The game makes you decide between removing a parasite, from possessed little girls, for Adam (upgrades) which kills the host, or you can send them off to a lady who says she can cure them but you receive less Adam. I’ll keep it a secret which path I have chosen. 😉
  • Super Mario Galaxy (wii) – Again, I played this for a while and forgot about it. I’m going to pick it back up and hopefully finish it now.