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Did anyone reading this ever play the Commodore 64 .. games like Giana Sisters, Chucky Egg, Wizzard of War, Pitfall, Mission Impossible, Wizzard, Bubble Bobble, Wonder Boy and all those clasics of your early gaming years?

What about  the early PC games, especially those played in DOS, like Doom, Heretic, Wolfestein 3d, pinball wizzard, wacky races and all those what now look like terrible graphic games?

You know what a lot of these games had in common (barring a start and finish) is that in playing a lot of earlier games you had something called ‘a score’ this score was generated by collecting items, killing bad guys and finishing levels etc etc depending on the game and the more you did the higher your score was.

You know what a score did? Nothing, it allowed you to boast to the person holding the other joystick next to you that you did something slightly better then they did. It allowed you to set a goal where you coudl say “ok next round I am going to beat such and such’s score”

Now lets fast forward the old C64 tape deck, its now a dvd-rom, its 2010 and a c64 is close to 30 years pat its prime. We’ve gone from playing text based adventure games to immersive online multiplayer roleplaying games. Welcome to Warcraft.

Guess what? Warcraft has a score screen. But of course score would mean that we are competing rather then all playing how we want, the truth is that it is indeed a score screen. If you do something right you get the points, if you don’t do something right then you don’t get the points and you come back later and try again.

What does this score provide now that the scores on the old c64 didn’t provide? The answer is next to nothing. The points you get still don’t allow for anything but bragging rights and epeen stroking.

So the next time you are Playing World of Warcraft (or Starcraft 2 for that matter) remember that although your score points .. sorry acheivment points as Blizzard have dubbed them .. give you absolutley nothing, remember that in 30 odd years of computer gaming history this is exactly what they have always done.

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Frankly I still don’t like that I won’t be in tree form continuosly. Tree form was an immediatly recognisable , iconic, form that showed what and who I was. Hell, I remember when learning certain fights how often the Raid leader would tell ranged DPS to follow the tree because he knew where to stand and run to – and how much easier isnt it to find a tree rather then just another armoured Tauren?

Anyway the reason for this post is that I can’t figure out where people who cry that they want to see their armour are coming from. I see my armour when I am not in a dungeon or raiding, as a tree or a moonkin I see it most of the time I am in-game. Truthfully I could stand to see it a little less because barring Tier 6 (which I adore with all my heart) Druid armour has been some of the ugliest armour I have seen in game. From Moose Horns to Shoulders with their Own Fruit Vines most of the Druid gear is not something I woudl want to be seen in.

So lets take a look at what Druid Tier Gear has been (since T3 & T7 virtually identical I only show T7)

So after review, ok there are 2 sets I would be proud to be seen it at all times (Tiers 5 & 6), otherwise I’d rather stay as a tree or a moonkin. But, as I said those are my opinions. What about you? Would you prefer to be seen in form or in the above style get-ups (and that means all of the above style, after all other classes don’t get a choice)?

I am a perennial blog browser much more then I am a blog poster despite running this small out of the way corner. Recently I ran across a post by Larisa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn, in which she decries the problems associated with the generation gap of when you joined or started playing MMO’s. More then the different mindsets her article made me wonder about how much people can adapt and accept change.
Like Larisa I am what she calls a TBC-Baby, and I am proud of it, to this day Kara still remains a favoured instance.. and steping through its doors and hearing the pipe-organ music start up brings back some good (and some horrifying) memories.

I joined shortly after the release of TBC so I have since joining been hearing about “how great classic was”, and here I will admit that when I was doing Naxx with people who had joined in Wrath I probably mentioned (often) how much more challenging raids and dungeons were in TBC compared to now.

People will point out why Classic was better then TBC and how TBC is better then Wrath, but overall I think WoW is improving. Yes, there are some things you will always look back on with fond memories but in general they are making the game less like a job and more like a game which is what is needed. I know this, yet I will still sit there and say things like “rep grind you called Sons of Hodir a Rep Grind?” when they complained how long it took.

In a naxx run just after release with 3 classic raiders, 4 TBC raiders and 3 fresh Wotlk players I can tell you that between capability and friendliness there wasn’t a lot of difference between the 3 groups.Since classic WoW we have experienced 20 extra levels, dozens of new rep grinds, a number of new raids with varying challenge, over a dozen new zones and hundreds of new quests .. and over the course of doing that it has changed from a game that required an almost work-like timeframe to make sure 1 character was at its peak to a game where even those with a few hours a week could experience everything. Even if they were not able to tackle ‘hard modes’ they can still see the Lich King

Already I know in Cataclysm I will be decrying how much better things were when Cairne was alive and Thrall was warcheif, when mana was more then efficient and Trees of Life Were a force to be reckoned with .. yes I know come raid time in Cata I will be extolling how much better healing was back as a tree. At the same time in Wrath at the moment after playing the game to death since the last expansion I (who am not a huge altoholic) am running out of steam, its been so long since I saw solo content updates that barring raids there is little reason to log on .. I am craving change, even if what is coming isn’t all that I am after.

The fact is Nostalgia, Rose Coloured Glasses, the simple fading of bad memories will all ensure that it doesn’t matter when we joined it will always seem that we joined when it was best.

My Grandfather spent his early teens years in Nazi Occupied Europe, he saw Jews executed in the streets, witnessed beatings of the local populace, was forced to dig up backroads for coal because resources were very limited, learn’t how to cook the old ‘roof rabbit’ and survive in a time that was filled with brutal violence and mass murder the likes of which haven’t been seen since. The other day he says to me “The world is so much more violent today then when I was young”, a few minutes of teh conversation later and I learn that until he was in his 20’s most of the news he ever heard was regional because no European cared much about what was happening in Africa, Asia or the Middle East. In effect the world hasn’t gotten more violent, but his perceptions of the world have grown while his memories of the worst things he has endured have softened.

Nostalgia is great, and hearing it expressed is fun .. to a degree, but with experience or age, wisdom does not necesarily come, yes there will always be something you miss from your ‘prime’ it doesn’t mean that things are worse now, nor that they are all better.. it does mean that things are changing and that things are evolving.

Change, and this is exactly what we need, after all if things didn’ change would you still really have been playing Warcraft since release/tbc/whenever you joined?

I was looking today at the new Horde Introductions for Cataclysm and in the end only 1 thing stuck in my mind .. I hope to blazes that they have the death of Cairne, and the Grimtotem seige of Thunderbluff as part of the pre-expansion event and not shunted away in a novel.

Cairne, while he has been pretty quiet for the last 4 years or so, is one of the pillar figures of the current Horde, and he is a figure who has proven himself again and again since the he first appeared in Warcraft 3. To dispose of him in a novel will not only be a great injustice but will leave the vast majority of players wondering how, with the duel, then the Grimtotem Uprising, the Tauren manage to stay with the Horde in any case.

What we need to see is Cairne dying at Garrosh’s had .. show it to us every hour for a weekend or something, and then launch a week or 2 long event to retake Thunderbluff from the Grimtotem – I know we are retaking the Echo Islands,but the leader who forged our entire race into a single fighting force has just been offed .. we need closure!

Its probably a pipe dream, and while I will read any book/comic as I have done in the past all I can say is if this event doesn’t happen in game then I will be one sad and dissapointed panda.

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