Blizzcon: Day 2

Published under Gaming,Vacation,World of Warcraft.

So day two of Blizzcon was considerably more relaxed.  There was a lot more meaningful information about things happening to WoW in the coming patches.

I also got a glimpse of the Ret Pally changes that are upcoming.  I’m excited about those.

They’re doing lots of interesting things with Instance keying as well, such that whole guilds may get keyed at once.  Also, keying one character on your account may in the future key them all.  I don’t know if that’s just for raids, or for heroics as well.

Zul’Aman looks to be a fun instance.  They didn’t go into too much detail about the gameplay and bosses, but they did show off some of the loot.  Looks like DPS Plate is back baby!

Also, they really like the epic crafter-only items for professions like blacksmithing and are adding others soon.  Jewelcrafting, for instance, is going to be able to make epic gems out of blue gems that only they can use.  Among others, one is a +18 stam gem.

They also hinted at potions that only alchemists would be able to drink.

There’s probably more, but I just drove to San Diego for the rest of the vacation so that’s it for now.  Not a fun blog post, I know, but time is of the essence!  Shamu is calling.

Blizzcon: Day 1

Published under Gaming,Vacation,World of Warcraft.

hotties.jpgWell I survived Day 1 of Blizzcon and it was a very busy day! The day opened with Blizzard’s announcement of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

To my surprise, they actually had a playable demo on the showroom floor! The wife and I were able to get 20 minutes in the Howling Fjord — one of the entry zones into Northrend.

Interestingly (and wisely), Northrend will actually have two entry zones so not everyone will be crammed into the same zone come release day.

They went into pretty big detail about the game, showing off the Death Knight class and how it will work and fit into the game. It’s considered a “hero class” but it’s not a class that your character turns into.

Instead, you must do a questline (they compared it to the Warlock Epic Mount quest) and then you’re able to create new characters as Death Knights.

troll.jpgHe’s supposed to be a tank/DPS hybrid who doesn’t need shields in order to tank effectively.

He doesn’t use rage, mana, or energy but instead is getting a new “rune” system which involves him inscribing runes onto his weapon to determine the spells he can cast during combat.

Aside from the new expansion, there was Starcraft 2.

Honestly, it feels very very early in development and some of their ideas for the single player “story mode” are kinda weird. The plan is to take the time between RTS missions to give you an adventure/RPG like interaction with characters.

My first thought was that it was kind of hokey. I hope they work it out. In their defense, it was pretty early on into development.

There were also tons of folk in costume, which I hope to post up when I get back from Cali. There’s just a couple of samples here for now.

Day 2 looks to be less hectic and certainly lower on the new information flood. I’ll blog about it… eventually.

Vegas: Days 3 & 4

Published under Personal,Vacation.

Tired, busy… dinner with a Ferengi … Met Avery Brooks and Jonathan Frakes. Saw Brent Spiner, Armin Shimerman. Ate at Quark’s Bar. Watched a hypnotist show. Waited in line a long long long long time to get registered for the convention. Bought a Worf action figure for my desk. Bought a funny poster for my cube. Saw all sorts of other Trek related things.

Today is a bit slower. We’ll see Kate Mulgrew, Robert Picardo, and Ethan Phillips (Captain Janeway, the EMH, and Neelix). We also get to see a panel by CBS execs supposedly announcing future plans for the franchise.

Tonight we get to ride Star Trek: The Experience for free with our convention tickets. I’m looking forward to that a lot. Should be very fun.

Sorry so little… just sooo busy… soooo tired. Must presssssss on. :)

Vegas: Day 2

Published under Personal,Vacation.

Day two began with a trip out of Vegas into Arizona to take a gander at the Hoover Dam. Generally speaking, I wasn’t super excited about this trip. I mean, how could a Dam be more interesting than Star Trek, or swimming people? How could red sandy mountains best neon lights and tons of buffets?

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Hoover Dam was actually very interesting. I didn’t know much about Hoover Dam going in. The tour is pretty fun, taking you down into the dam to see the generators and stuff. There are also beautiful views to be had from up on top as well, as the picture above shows (I took the picture; it’s not a an internet find).

After the Hoover Dam, we got lunch at a burger joint out here in the west known as In’N'Out. Pretty good burgers, but nothing to write home about. I’ve known Californians who praise the place as if it were Five Guys or something. But clearly not so.

Next on the list was back to the condo for some rest while we decided what to do for the evening. We settled on The Improv at Harrah’s for some nice comic fun. We bought the tickets and left early to go out and eat somewhere nice. Unfortunately, the Will Call line at Harrah’s is ridiculously slow so we had to eat at Harrah’s again. And where else to go but Toby Keith’s again? So we did that so we wouldn’t be late for the show. This time I had a pulled pork sandwich with Toby Keith’s own personal barbeque sauce (he has his own seasoning, too–is there anything the man doesn’t do?).

Our seats at the improv were pretty silly. They had given us seats where we had to sit behind each other. We didn’t have a choice when choosing the tickets. Luckily the couple to our left were also scheduled to sit one behind the other, so that worked out when we pulled an old switcheroo. The show was good, though, so it was all worth it.

And that was Day 2. Today is the pre-registration for the convention which should be exciting. We’re also going to check out the MGM Grand side of the strip. Our condo has a free shuttle to Harrah’s so we’ve stayed on that end of the strip the entire trip thus far. Ironically, our condo is far closer to the MGM Grand. More to follow.

Vegas: Day 1

Published under Personal,Vacation.

Lykaon’s Log, Stardate 8/14/2006. The wife and I have arrived in the foreign world of Las Vegas, population 479,000. The inhabitants of this place are a bit strange and seem to like wasting resources and baring skin. Overall, the experience has been enjoyable thus far if not a bit alien.

We started our first day on this mission by eating lunch at a restaurant called “Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill” where I was surprised to find unique faire. I expected to find burgers, maybe steaks… the normal grill food, but to my surprise there were many unique dishes that I never heard of. I had a supposedly southern dish (though not a Texan dish apparently) of Biscuits and Gravy with Sausage — not breakfast sausage (that would be normal), but smoked sausage. The gravy wasn’t white country gravy, either. It was more the type of gravy you get on turkey at thanksgiving. Overall the experience was very enjoyable and I may revisit the restaurant before I leave Las Vegas.

After that we checked out the Venetian. We almost opted for a gondola ride, but settled for just window shopping instead. We spent a few minutes trying to get the human statue to break his pose, but he didn’t and we grew disinterested with the task. We left him a dollar for his resolve.

After the Venetian, we opted to head back to the condo for some midday rest. That’s right! I didn’t mention the condo. They didn’t have any rooms for us, so we got a free upgrade to a two bedroom. Now we have four beds to choose from every evening. Now that’s living the high life! We have a kitchen, complete with oven as well as 3 reasonably large televisions, a dvd players and a stereo system.

After our rest we bought some tickets to see La Reve at the Wynn. The show was quite amazing. It’s not of the Cirque du Soleil series, but it is in the same style; except there’s one catch. The entire thing is on a custom stage that is basically one big swimming pool. It has platforms which go up and down so they can have dry land when necessary. It was quite amazing and lots of fun to see a show with water as its theme. The costumes were amazing as well at times. I’d really like to learn some more about how the stage works, since there were actors who were under water for far too long to live without air. Many actors would exit the stage by diving into the middle of the pool, never to return.

After Le Reve, we found an Albertsons to buy some basic groceries to keep in our tiny little kitchen. I discovered that when leaving the strip, Vegas gets a lot scarier. We were accosted by a woman looking for money when we exited our car, but she was obviously not simply down on her luck. The grocery store was pretty small and pretty dirty. Perhaps we just picked the wrong store.

We made it out alive, however, which is good because there’s lots left to do on this mission. Next is to leave the city of Las Vegas and head to the Hoover Dam. I will try to maintain my log as we continue. End Transmission.