Wow-Pro: A World of Warcraft addon review

16 12 2010

As is the case with every expansion release, everyone is leveling characters up. Maybe you’re like me and leveling a new character (probably Goblin or Worgen) from 1 to 85, or maybe you’re just getting your main up to 85 for endgame raiding. Either way, almost everyone is doing at least SOME questing at this point in the game, whether its dailies for reputation, for leveling purposes, or for other reasons. So I thought I would review an addon that I use which really helps with my questing and leveling. That addon is Wow-Pro.

Addon: Wow-Pro
Author: Jiyabi (Sarah Herzog)
Category: Questing/Leveling

Wow-Pro will greatly suit anyone who is looking to better their questing experience in Azeroth .  Whether you are leveling an alt, going for the Loremaster achievement, looking to make some extra gold through questing, or leveling your main to 85, Wow-Pro will make your questing experience more efficient, more productive, and most importantly, more enjoyable.

There are numerous addons that are designed to make your questing experience more productive, more efficient, and more fun (questhelper, lightheaded, cartographer, etc).  And although these addons can be helpful, all of them that I have used have had their fair share of drawbacks.  Almost all of them are huge memory hogs, they feel very clunky to use in general, and are not very user friendly.  WoW-Pro is better than all of these addons in nearly every way.

WoW-Pro takes almost all of the quests in a single zone and lays them out for you so that you do as little backtracking as possible.  It is used in conjunction with TomTom, so that as soon as you complete a quest, a waypoint is added to your map at the location of the questgiver.  Once handing the quest in, a new waypoint is added at the location of the next quest objective.  It is almost like turning an entire zone worth of quests into one huge quest.

By utilizing Wow-Pro, you will level at a pace incredibly faster than with any other leveling addon, and with zero extra effort.  There is less time spent alt+tabbed and studying quest text, and more time spent actually getting XP and level gains.  It even tells you where to set your Hearthstone in order to minimize travel times.

There are almost no drawbacks to this addon.  If I had to come up with one, it would be that it limits travel a bit due to having to set your hearthstone to the inn corresponding with the guide.

Simply put, Wow-Pro is the cream of the crop when it comes to questing assistance.  I know, Blizzard has introduced their own questing guides, which can be helpful at times.  But in no way does it stack up to the features, benefits, and pure awesomeness that is Wow-Pro.  If you want to level faster, more efficiently, and have more fun doing it, then I highly suggest trying it out.  If you want more information on the addon and what it has to offer, then check out their website.  Theres a great informational video that you will find helpful.


My post cataclysm thoughts and impressions

9 12 2010

My Goblin's name is Peedrinker

As I stated in my last post, my plan for cataclysm is to level my Goblin Shaman from 1 to 85. I would like to do this uninterruptedly, meaning I’m really going to do my best to not even log onto any of my 4 level 80 characters until I reach 85. I really want to relive every aspect of leveling up to endgame, only in a new and interesting setting and with new friends.

So far, my impressions of cata are very good. Sure I’m only level 15, but I had fun completing the early Goblin quests in their new starting zone. I love how well they implemented the phasing into my little journey. It kept things interesting and made it rally hard for me to stop playing and go to bed at night.

I’m hoping that playing and leveling with my new guild of fellow bloggers will add the missing element of fun that I’ve been looking for since way back at the release of BC.  I can’t wait to start hitting the revamped 5 man dungeons with them.  What are you guys looking for in cata?  To enjoy the new content?  The guild ranking system?  Pwning noobs while they are innocently attacking a murloc?  Or are your goals and expectations similar to mine that I mention above?

Cataclysm will eat my soul

6 12 2010

Its no secret that the Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft comes out tonight at midnight. I’ve even seen it mentioned on news websites, tv stations, and even saw a cloud in the shape of Deathwing yesterday. The WoW community as a whole has very high expectations for Cataclysm (I’ll just call it Cata from this point on), and for good reason. WoW has been a stagnant mmo for quite some time now. Many debate the reasons why, but there is no denying that the game is simply not as fun as it was in the glory days of vanilla. But I think that Blizzard has gotten a good grasp on what people are looking for in their game. They performed a lot of experiments in Wrath of the Lich King and I feel that they will really deliver on this expansion.

So what are my plans for Cata? Well, I want to fully experience the new guild ranking system, the new leveling content, and the new races. I’ve already joined a guild of great people (more on this later) and I’ve locked down a name for my new Goblin Shaman. My plans for Cata are to level my new shammy up at the pace of the rest of my guild. I want to fully experience and enjoy the new questing content in a way that I haven’t since my first character in vanilla. And I feel like that is completely possible, mostly because of the guild I’m in.

My guild, Latency Lowlifes, is a group of fellow mmo and gaming bloggers. Some of them I have known for quite a while, and a few of them I have hardly met. But the one thing that I do know about all of them is that they are great people. I can tell this from their blogs. They’re all fun, easy going, and best of all, not the elitist prick that everyone else playing WoW these days seems to be. I can’t wait to see all of the new and exciting things that Cata will bring to the table alongside these guys. I think it will not only add a higher level of fun and excitement to the game, but to my blogging as well.

So until Azeroth is shredded and gorged into tiny little bits, I should probably do the work that I’m getting paid to do right now.

Halo: Reach – My impressions

27 09 2010

Before I begin to unload my thoughts on Halo: Reach, I want to apologize for my lack of updates over the past week. I had to replace my phone due to a blown external speaker, so I was phoneless for a few days. Without my smartphone, I’m unable to access the internet at work, which is where I write most of my posts. So again, I’m sorry. Now on to the juicy stuff.

I recently picked up Holo: Reach from Gamestop for the low price of $65 (shoot me now). To be honest, I have never been a fan of the Halo series. I’ve owned every installment leading up to reach, but traded them in after cakewalking through the story mode for the achievements. But at the suggestion of a friend, who has an opinion on gaming that I respect, I bought Reach with an open mind. After playing it constantly for about a week, I am hooked.

In the previous Halo games, I couldn’t enjoy the multiplayer gameplay because of how slow the game felt. I always felt like I was moving around in knee-deep mud. It just made the experience seem awkward and unnatural to me, and as a result, I grew bored quickly. But Reach has rectified that with a sprint ability that does actually speed the pace of the game up considerably.

There is also a jetpack that can be utilized at certain points in.the story mode and in some multiplayer matches as well. It adds a fun factor that was somehow missing before, and it brings me back to great times playing Tribes online until the sun came up.

The graphics in this game are incredible. Easily some of the best graphics I’ve seen, on any console. Bungie has done a great job of making an environment that is foreign and fictional seem very real and believable, and the smoothness of the movement and controls really make you feel like you are a part of the world itself.

The online play is very addictive. The different maps and game modes are fun, and the competition is fierce. I have yet to experience any law or packet loss, and the experience is honestly the best I’ve seen when it comes to a polished multiplayer experience. The ranking system rewards those who prefer to play online, and the daily/weekly tasks add another aspect of enjoyment to the matchmaking system.

I.definitely give this game my solid recommendation. Both the story and matchmaking modes are exceptional and engaging, and you will have a hard time putting the controller down for work or sleep. So buy a box or three of cheezits, call in to work sick, and get ready for a solid gaming experience with Halo: Reach.

Four days until the release of Civilization V

18 09 2010

Set to drop on September 21, Civilization V has been on the minds of many PC gamers lately, mine included.  With its release only 4 days away, I’m seriously considering buying Civ5 over Starcraft II.

I was in the Starcraft II beta when keys were selling for hundreds of dollars, and at the time, I really enjoyed it.  I was never much of a RTS gamer before I tried the beta.  I always associated RTS games with terrible graphics, boring gameplay, lightning bolts, and bottle cap glasses.  So when I tried the beta, it was a complete new experience for me and a welcomed change from WoW.  I have not bought SC2 yet, because $60 is a lot for a game when you’re broke as hell, but was planning on getting it in the next week or two.  However, after reading some reviews and previews of Civ5, I’m really starting to lean toward it instead of SC2 for a few reasons:

  1. It’s new. The last game of Civ I played was probably about 18 years ago at a LAN party with some relatives.  It was fun, but I was more into FPS games like Quake and Unreal at the time.  I played the SC2 beta and buying Civ5 instead would be something completely new and fun.
  2. I have friends that are avid Civ players. Everyone knows playing with friends is always more fun.
  3. The community. SC2, and pretty much any Blizzard owned game these days, is chock full of elitist pricks and epeen strokers.  My experience with the community surrounding Civ so far is the complete opposite.
  4. The price. Civ5 preorders are averaging at a price around $45.  That much more reasonable than the bloated price tag on SC2.

Almost every review I have seen for Civ5 so far has been incredible positive.  The more I think about it the further I lean toward buying this game, but honestly, comparing this game to SC2 is probably a case of apples vs oranges.  Is anyone else giving it consideration?  Did anyone play the beta?  How did it rank against SC2?

Looking forward to these games? I know I am

14 09 2010

There are a couple of games set for release later this year and early 2011 that I am really looking forward to.  It’s been a while since I bought a game that I was truly excited about sitting down and spending a couple 10 hours on, while doing the peepee dance on the couch and nuking 5 minute burritos during cut scenes.  While the burritos will definitely no longer be a part of my gaming tradition, the peepee dance will live on!

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II – October 26, 2010 – All platforms

The first installment of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was a big hit for LucasArts.  The game delivered in areas where most previous Star Wars games failed to.  It provided epic battles, a great story line, and just a general feeling of a polished and awesome game that was fun and engaging from beginning to end.  While it had its downfalls, the overall experience of the game was positive throughout the gaming community.  SW:FU2 picks up where it’s predecessor left off which will give gamers a chance to follow on a path of darkness and revenge.  It will be interesting to see how the story is explained, however, due to the original story ending with the main character, Starkiller, being left as either dead or a half-man puppet for the Emperor after “killing” Darth Vader.  Can’t wait to put my thumbs to the sticks with this one!

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – October 5, 2010 – Xbox 360

When I was sucking my thumb and carrying around a blankie, Castlevania was one of my favorite games to play.  With its original release on Famicom and NES, the game set the groundwork for an amazing story line chock full of good vs evil, werewolves, and pure epicness.  Nearly all follow-ups to the original failed to provide the entertainment and enjoyment of their roots, however.  All attempts at a 3D Castlevania were failures and poorly received by gamers worldwide.  Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, however, is sure to deliver where it’s predecessors could not.  Using a fighting system much like that of recent 3D action games such as God of War and Dante’s Inferno, the battles will be epic and the entertainment plentiful.  It will feature insanely oversized opponents, like those which were found in Shadow of the Colossus, an experience point system for building up skills and abilities, and combination moves to counter evil with.  I will be picking this one up from Gamestop the day it is released.

Portal 2 – February 9, 2011 – Xbox 360, PS3, PC

The original Portal delivered gameplay in a way that had never been done before.  It combined FPS and strategy with one simple tool: a portal gun.  It challenged gamers to think with different processes and different reasoning, which is always fun on a different level than the run of the mill mindless hacking and slashing that many games provide today.  Portal 2 will also feature a coop mode, which will challenge players to thinking even harder, and refrain from smacking their buddy in the back of the head.

Metal Gear Solid: Rising

I have never been a fan of the Metal Gear Solid series, but after seeing this trailer at E3 this year, I was really looking forward to trying this game out.  The combat mechanics with the katana looks completely original and a welcomed change from the unorganized button mashing that competitors offer.  And that in conjunction with the stealthy aspect of this storyline, I believe it will be a fun and original way to play an action game.  The katana that Raiden, the main character, uses has the ability to slice through anything and anyone that the player wishes to.  It will be tempting to slice heads throughout the whole game, but there is also an achievement for the tree huggers out there who are able to not harm any human being.  While it sounds fun and challenging, it’s just not my way of doing things.

A few useful Extensions for Google Chrome

9 09 2010

I will be the first to say that I love Google.  I love the fact that they offer many of the great products that other companies do, but do it for free.  I love the fact that their company seems to have a respectable moral and ethical stance in an industry that is severely lacking in that area today.  I also love their internet browser, Chrome.  For me, it just seems a bit cleaner and more polished than it’s competitors.

One of the best features of Chrome is the Extensions.  What is an Extension?  Basically, it is an app designed for your browser that offers additional  functionality.  I thought I would take a minute and list out some of my favorite extensions for Chrome.  If you are looking to try out the extensions feature in Chrome, maybe start with a few of these.

  • Chromed Bird – This is an extension for managing your Twitter account.  You can compose tweets, view timelines, send direct messages, manage lists, and do basically anything you would want to do from your twitter account.  This is by far the best Twitter extension I have found for Chrome.
  • Google Reader Notifier – Adds a button to your browser that will notify you when a new unread item appears in your Google Reader.  Clicking the button will show a drop box with links to all of the unread items.  Very useful for bloggers and RSS whores, if you use Google Reader that is.
  • Delicious Tools – Bookmark manager for  Allows you to add a bookmark from any page or jump directly to your inbox and bookmarks pages.  Simple and effective.
  • URL Shortener – Google’s URL shortener.  When you click the button, it shortens the url.  Its fast and easy, in complete Google fashion.
  • Digg for Chrome – Digg’s official Chrome extension.  Allows you to submit the current site to digg or share the story with multiple other social platforms.
  • SmoothScroll – Makes mouse and keyboard scrolling smoother.
  • Aviary Screen Capture – Allows you to take a screenshot of your current window and edit the screenshot without having to ever leave your browser.  Very handy extension.
  • Google Dictionary – Allows you to see the definition of a word by either doubleclicking the word directly or clicking the dictionary extension button and typing the word in.

I do use a few others, but they are mostly for personal preference.  If there is interest, I’ll post those as well.  If you decide to try one of these out based on my recommendation, let me know in a comment below!  Tell me if you find the extensions you tried useful, or if you thought they not so useful.