WoW Trivial Pursuit: The Review

I spoke at Christmas time how excited I was to have the World of Warcraft Trivial Pursuit game show up under the tree.  Due to schedule and what have you, it wasn’t until recently that the Mrs. and I finally sat down to play it.  If you’re a WoW enthusiast at all, you are going to be incredibly…disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the game.  It’s just ridiculously easy.

The categories are broken into Villains, Lore, Player Characters, Geography, Loot, and Encounters.  Six categories over 100 cards gives you 600 questions related to the game.  I was actually surprised there were so few cards, and after playing it I really do wish there were more.  I don’t consider myself hardcore when it comes to the knowledge of the game, but perhaps my wife and I are further along the path that we realize.  I got my first pie question wrong.  It pertained to Mogu’shan Vaults and as I’ve never been there, I had no idea.  I then proceeded to get the entire pie in under 20 minutes.  However, my first thought was I’m now screwed and the Mrs. will end up winning…and she did.  It wasn’t because I started getting a lot of questions wrong, it was because I couldn’t land on that damn square in the middle, lol.  Still we had fun.

As the two of us are inclined to do, we played for a bit without the board, just trivia’ing each other up and we continued to be amazed at the questions.  My thinking is this: while someone might suggest a non-WoW player could get into the game and have a chance, the answer is quite frankly no they can’t.  There’s no nice way of putting that.  So then the game is for the WoW player and as such should be catered like it is.  It’s fine to have “who is the son of Grom Hellscream” or “name two of the three Rogue specializations.”  Questions like that belong in the game and give you something to build off of.  The problem is that out of 600 questions, there’s probably 400 or more that are like that.  I remember playing Trivial Pursuit and nearly having an aneurysm trying to figure out the answer.  Out of all those questions, I can probably count truly difficult ones  on two hands…or less.

Visually the game is great.  I honestly love everything they did with it (as I said when I got it though, surprised by how small the box is).  I just think a game like this could’ve been made far more challenging and still been just as much fun.  You’ll probably get one or two solid games out of it but then you’ll likely remember any questions that stumped you the first go around and then it becomes a race to see who gets a question wrong before they hit the middle.

What I’m Learning From The WoW TCG

As I have mentioned, Flagsworth/Healblade finally found an exploit in the system to get me interested in the Warcraft Trading Card Game over Christmas.  The details are what they are and despite the fact the game is discontinued we find ourselves expanding our collection on a weekly basis, if not almost daily.  Keep in mind I’ve played less than twenty actual games, but did thoroughly enjoy myself -including three of us taking on the Deadmines Dungeon Deck this weekend.  But while that holds some importance, I’m instead amazed by what I’ve discovered just indulging in the game to begin with.

It’s Still Relatively Expensive
Okay, if you live in the US it’s not so bad.  A number of sites are reducing their prices, no doubt to clear the stock.  However, living in Canada this means next to nothing.  I’m still looking at over thirty dollars if I want to ship a box of cards to the house.  Locally, despite the fact a dollar store chain has somehow started selling packs (huzzah!), the gaming stores that have had the same stock since Hallowe’en are content to leave their prices marked up.  Of course part of this is observed under personal greed and is weighed against the fact people still want the loot cards.

I Miss Old Talents
In going through some of the early sets like The Dark Portal, there are abilities that have fallen by the wayside.  Raptor Strike, for example, reminded me of the days of Melee Hunters.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I can Green Arrow things right in front of me.  It’s just I can’t help but think back when something would get past Liouxpold’s pet and the bow would disappear in exchange for two swords.  Little things, you know?

I Miss Old Quests
I don’t remember which card tripped my memory (though it was probably Defias Brotherhood related), but I started to think about some of the quests pre-Wrath of the Lich King.  Quests like The Missing Diplomat chain, and Orc Peons.  Funny, yet story driven.  More importantly with the story ones was the fact you often didn’t out level them (unless you just decided to do something else completely) before you were done.  Heck, sometimes the next chapter required you to gain a level or two before you could even do them.

The Flavour Text Is Awesome
There are some amazingly funny cards out there.  It could be a character name like Hugh Mann, or something more like the Hyjal Stag.  “Fuzzy meat get suck in teeth but come with great toothpick” -Warchief Grok’thol

Warcraft Artists Are Phenomenal
I don’t think it’s much of a secret that I’m still trying to get my hands on the art books from the first two Collector’s Editions of the game just because of said artwork.  In getting into the card game now, there are literally thousands of art images for me to now enjoy.  Some I shrug at, but there are plenty more than I’m just in awe of.  I can’t say enough good things about the artists.

The Game Isn’t Necessarily Like The Game
This one just amuses me, to be honest.  It’s no secret my Priest and Paladin are the most active toons (despite my love for Druids).  When it comes to the game, a Warlock intrigues me, and I found myself getting ideas for a Fury Warrior as well.  It was definitely different for me in terms of class love (by the way I’ve played Warlock, Druid, Death Knight, Priest, and Mage decks thus far).

Evolution Is Inevitable
In looking at the TCG, particularly old cards versus new, you can definitely see a change.  Change certainly is inevitable, and you’re definitely going to see it in a collectables game that lasts any amount of time.  At the same time it evolved to a level that has seen an altered version gone digital (in Hearthstone).  World of Warcraft itself is seemingly doing the same.  Come Warlords of Draenor we are going to see updated character models, instant 90’s, and more…to the lengths of which, who knows?

I could also go on about the fact my financial self-control also goes out the window at times (the Mrs. too), but you get the picture.  It’s just really interesting as I sit and go through the cards all of the different game-related thoughts and memories that pop up in my head.  It’s nostalgia, but it’s also appreciation.  It’s quite the myriad that the game has become as it hits the ten year mark this year (and twenty for the Warcraft franchise).  Amazing that it can be captured so simply in a handful of cards.  Okay many handfuls…but one will still give you an enjoyable trip.

Warcraft Christmas: In-Game And Out

There's a tree...somewhere.
There’s a tree…somewhere.

It’s now 12pm EST and I haven’t yet had the chance to log back in to the game to see if Greatfather went and slapped the CRZ engineers or whatever is responsible for the gift chaos today.  Some realms got theirs, and some have not.  Some have the luxury of asshole players mount camping the tree and any quest givers in the general area.  Yes, there is a way around it but the average player wouldn’t know how.  Also, I’m not sugar coating such nonsense.  But regardless of all the mess that is Winter Veil (CRZ, connected realms, whatever), I know it will sort out.  I also know it was a WoW Christmas to some degree outside of the game.

It started earlier this week when we received a lovely Warcraft combo from Flagsworth/Healblade.  The Mega Bloks Murloc set for the Mrs; the Naxxramas Raid TCG…which makes me actually considering the game at long last (yes, I realize Cryptozoic is putting out the final set for the game).  The momentum of that carried over to me finally opening my Mega Bloks Spectral Tiger this morning.  It wasn’t a Winter Veil present, but it felt good just the same.  Where the day itself was actually quite kind was the Mega Bloks that Mrs. Amateur hauled in.  Santa plopped the Fire Element/Skoll pack.  She hasn’t opened it yet, but already has the rarest extra pets that you can get.  Still, if all goes well then she’ll have 4/5 random pets…and that’s the kind of luck she has.  On top of the stocking, there were Mega Bloks Pandas: the Dragon Turtle and the Sha of Anger sets respectively.  I’m quite surprised they haven’t been fully assembled yet.

As for yours truly, Azeroth slipped under the tree for me as well.

This was quite the surprise to be honest. I had actually tried to get it through Amazon, but it was just too pricey to bother.  I even asked my local gaming store to look into it just last week.  So yes, I was a happy Amateur when the wrapping paper unveiled this to me.  At the same time, I was surprised by the size of the box.  If you’ve seen any of the Mega Bloks “mount” sets, they’re actually bigger.  Not as deep, but bigger.  Given the history of Trivial Pursuit, I’m surprised.

Everything looks great and the categories are pretty straight forward: Geography, PC stuff (classes, races, profs), Lore, Loot, Villains, and Encounters.  There are 100 cards with six questions each.  Admittedly I hoped for more questions as that doesn’t seem like all that many.  Even more so, we looked at a few of the cards and either we play way too much WoW or the questions just aren’t that hard.  I think out of 20 questions, my wife got one wrong and I got one wrong.  There are some tough ones in there, but they seem to be far and few between.  Having said that, I’m looking forward to playing this as soon as friggin’ possible.

On the whole, the Amateur household was pretty blessed this Winter Veil.  The wee one most definitely, as 2/3 of the couch was covered in his loot rolls.  More importantly, though, is the family we’ve seen and the family we will be seeing.  That’s what it is, and always will be, about for me.  Hopefully I’ll even see some of my Azeroth family over the next few days.  In the meantime, from mine to yours, I truly wish you the best of the holiday season – whichever one you might be celebrating.

~JD

Thought Bubbles

Thoughts

If each of those bubbles was a thought, there probably still wouldn’t be nearly enough in the picture.  People ask me where I’ve been as of late, and I can’t say it didn’t come without fair warning that I’d grow quiet.  Some suspected I had sent my laptop off for repairs, but that’s not the case.  It remains wired to a television upstairs, which actually works alright.  It’s just near impossible some days to read the chat window.

I’ve been asked a little bit on my thoughts about 5.2 and I’ll try to articulate a post when I actually care.  That harshness isn’t directed at Blizzard or the content or anything like that…I just…well my interest in a lot of things lately (including WoW) is there one moment and gone for many more a heartbeat later.  So when WoW’s not of interest, it can be hard to want to even write about it.  So aside from the Transmog Contest, I really haven’t had much to say for some time now.

It’s weird.  One moment I want to race change my Worgen Warrior to a Pandaren, and the next I’m ready to cancel my subscription.  I haven’t, and in the near future I won’t.  There are times when I very much want to hop into Azeroth, and so I’m not turning my back on it.  I’m sure a few of you have seen me pop on here and there for moments at a time…and yet I never logged in for the Darkmoon Faire last week and aside from the first two days, completely skipped the Lunar Festival.

That brings me to Laid Back Raids.  With everything going on (and yes, I know exactly why the things I’ve talked about are the way they are), by the time an LBR comes around, I can be completely exhausted.  I’ve pushed through it most nights, but it takes more effort not to (unfairly) snap on people over trivial comments or matters that come with booting through a raid.  Trust me, for those wondering, you never genuinely bother me in the slightest.  As the ex always tells us, “it’s not you, it’s me.”  That’s the case.

But, LBR is important.  It’s a tonne of fun and there are always people up for it on some level.  As such, I’m continuing to schedule them and will even show up I’m sure.  My appearances are just going to be sporadic for a little while (much like my WoWing in general).  With that in mind, I asked both Healblade and Repgrind if they would be contacts and both graciously accepted.  Their contact information is on the LBR page, and I can’t thank the two of them enough for looking after things in my absence, especially when the two of them can almost always be counted on to be in attendance and bring both wisdom and laughs.  Kinda suits the LBR model (not that I ever bestowed much wisdom).

I’m trying to work on more chapters of Posthumous.  Yesterday’s was honestly written ages ago, but I kept forgetting to pull the image from my computer.  Yes, I’m obsessive like that.  I couldn’t publish it without that little raptor image.  I’ll see what I can do about posting more soon.  It’s a matter of getting the writing bug and the time to dedicate to writing it.

Saw an article that Trivial Pursuit is putting out a WoW edition later this year.  That’s exciting.  Combines two things I happen to enjoy a lot, and Mrs. Amateur is a trivia addict (and an Illidan damn wealth of knowledge to boot).  I can see it ending up in our collection in no time…barring an elaborate price tag.  Personally, I’d like to see them replace the pie with a generic character that has spots for Legendary weapons instead of pie slices.  That would be sweet.

Speaking of Legendaries…I think I got the quest that starts Tarecgosa’s Staff with Tum.  I doubt I’ll get past that first part, much like Siori’s daggers.  I know folks were willing to help me, but if I’m not on much…let alone when others are, it’s kinda hard to complete.  But, I’m ok with that.

I guess ok is probably the best way to sum things up all around.

Rage: The Best And Worst Of The Week

Well, it’s been an interesting few days to say the least.  First off, I’m seriously long overdue on congratulating Kamalia on her spanking new Ashes of A’lar.  It was the result of something exotic finally dropping during a Laid Back Raid.  I joked in the days that followed that perhaps I should stick with organizing them but not actually attending (as was the case Sunday night).  Perhaps my not going is a good luck charm.  Some of the others disagree and for that I say thanks.

I’ve not been on a whole lot this week.  ‘Tis the season and all that wonderful jazz, but truth be told another hobby of mine took a great deal of my time and because I like to keep that stuff organized, I’ve been working on that.  But, in the meantime I have gotten a little bit of Warcraft action in.

Courtesy of warcraftpets.com

This morning, I joined Healblade and Shoryl and her friend Farron to delve into Blackwing Lair to hunt us some pets.  First boss dropped the egg, alas I rolled a 13 to Shoryl’s 77.  Looks like I have something to farm again as I think that little guy is awesome looking.

Speaking of pets, I went over 350 battles and managed to amass 18 rares.  I have no idea if that includes environment rares or what, but if it does it pretty much sums up my luck.  I’ve focused more on just getting various pets than their rarity, but even still.  Having said that, in less than twenty battles yesterday and today…FIVE RARES!?!?!

While I had battle pets on the brain, I thought I would visit the Blizzard shop for a couple of items, as I still had not purchased Mrs. Amateur’s Cinder Kitten.  Unfortunately I didn’t think of it until I was on my way to work.  So, when I went to checkout and entered my ID, this is what I got:

Due to suspicious activity, this account has been locked. A message has been sent to this account’s email address containing details on how to resolve this issue. Visit http://us.battle.net/account/locked.html for more information.

Not this again…

I go to login to hotmail, but that doesn’t want to cooperate in the sligthest (I sure hope it’s the firewalls here at work).  I curse and swear a bit (in the sense that Thrall’s a bit of a Shaman), and then get an idea.  Second account!  I repeat the process and low and behold I get the very same message.  Okay, so I’m definitely thinking it’s something work related.  But the good news is, gmail isn’t stupid and I can login to it.  So I go through the process, which involves resetting my password (can’t wait to likely have to do THAT again when I get home) and then head back to the shop. 

First happy moment?  The order is saved (man did I have to refrain from buying that Orc Shaman…still need that figure).  Second happy?  It allowed me to enter the information.  AMEN!  So my order is complete.  Alas, I can’t redeem my Lil’ Ragnaros until I access my hotmail account, but that’s ok.  So long as it sorts out, the rage will go away. 

I’d love to share what else I picked up, but prying eyes could be receiving hands…

Mega Bloks Update!

I have no idea how I missed this on Friday, but WoWInsider showcased the first “season” of WoW Mega Bloks.  The two that look the best to me:

Zeppelin with Judgement Saintvache!!!

The Goblin Zeppelin as I expected and it does look pretty cool.  I might kick the Goblin off and just let Saintvache fly it.  Or try to build an Oddfodder.  I don’t see any Tauren yet with Engineer Goggles though…

Frostmourne Hungers!

Dunno that the Frozen Throne doesn’t look kinda tacky in the Mega Bloks world, but damn if Arthas and Sindragosa don’t look pretty sweet.

Looking at the rest of the sets proved several of my predictions were accurate back in February.  The Valley of Heroes looks good, not sure about “shiny” Deathwing though.  Interesting to see what parts will be swappable.  If I can make some of my in game toons to sit on the shelf in Mega Bloks form, God help my son’s college fund.

This Tastes Like Rambling


 

Server downtime and busy periods before and after kept me from putting the finishing touches on part two of my racial transmogrification series.  Also, one of the outfit ideas I had no intention of doing until a mask inspired me.  I think I have a couple more to tweak and then we’re good to go.  You can definitely expect it tomorrow.

I haven’t said much regarding the 2012, but you can expect an update on that in the next couple of weeks.  I can’t speak for other people but my progress seems to be “on again, off again.”  Around President’s Day (Family Day here in Canada) I cranked off 20 levels in less than two days on a character and thought I was going to have a huge boost…I think I’ve gotten a total of 4-5 levels across the board since.  Disheartening, but not discouraging.

It’s funny, you know?  The simplest thing can have a Butterfly Effect.  The most playful comment was made on another blog, and their response triggered an idea in my head that’s now moving forward and we both look forward to sharing it with you (and including you in it!).  You’ll have to wait a bit for the details though… /wink

I’m not sure whether to wish for things in my blog or not.  I like to muse about some of the WoW stuff I’d like to eventually acquire, but at no point am I outright asking for it.  Still, the last time I did, fellow bloggers came through on both.  I mentioned wanting the AMPM cups but living in Canada didn’t give me a whole lot to work with.  Then guildmate and fellow blogger Reluctant Raider tagged me with the news she could pick up a set of four if I was still interested.  That came after I had lamented in the same post about the Heart of the Aspects mount.  Within minutes of posting that, The Godmother hooked me up as she got the US version by mistake.  A formal thank you again to both of you!

Having said that, I am going to toss out a branch here.  Among other things I’m looking for in relation to World of Warcraft are the art books that came with the Collector’s Edition in the original game and The Burning Crusade.  We have the two most recent expansions but I would like to have all four.  I’m not looking to pay a hefty price for either (which, hey, based on popularity I have no problem with people asking for it), but I do always keep an eye open.  If you have connections, hit me up and we can talk price in private.

The Godmother’s Azerothian Soundtrack challenge comes to a close tomorrow and I’ve made it clear I got in on that action real quick (and have lamented my issues with shortening my list, heh).  With the contest closing, I’ll be posting that playlist in the coming days, likely on the weekend.

E-mail!  The Amateur got even more sophisticated with a personal e-mail address.  You can now send all love and hatemail and “you’re crazy” comments to arcanewordsmith@gmail.com.  Looking forward to hearing from you.