Daily Archives: November 9, 2010

World of Warcraft – The New Community Site

Blizzard has been working on a refresh of their community web site.  The current site hasn’t been radically updated in a few years, so I am sure somebody in Anaheim felt it was due for an overhaul.  (Somebody driving the Battle.net agenda, unless I miss my guess.)

This isn’t a big deal to me, unless Blizzard makes a mistake.  The current site is a bit busy, but at least I am used to it.

The site we've grown to know, if not love...

With the new site (here), they are updating the design with a cleaner look that is clearly pushing the integration with Battle.net.

A slick new view of WoW

Gone is the side-bar of a million choices.  Blizzard has discovered tabs and clean lines.

As far as I can tell, everything I am used to is still there in some form, on one of the tabs.  There will be some confusion I am sure, but that comes with any change.

I do, however, see one of my pet peeves and one thing I am sure they will live to regret.

The pet peeve is that there is still no RSS syndication button for game news.  You can find buttons for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even a feed for their infrequent podcast.  But a simple RSS feed for news?  Not that I can see.

And the thing they will live to regret?  They are allowing comments on news items on the main page.

Comments, on news items?  On the front page?

Have they not visited their own forums?  Have they not seen what happens when you allow comments on things?  Have they ever really visited Facebook? Did they read the comment thread for EA Louse? (1,345 comments at this point.)

Because that is what they are asking for.

I am not one to stifle discussion, but there is a time and a place.  If it were my choice, I would put a link at the end of each news item that pointed to a forum topic under which people could express their opinions.  As Spinks posted, discussion is the primary purpose of the official forums, even if I do not agree on her desire to exclude the game devs from that discussion.

What you will get in comments, judging from what I have seen elsewhere, will end up being:

  • I like it! (for want of a “like” button)
  • I hate it! (often with a long screed)
  • What about my unrelated issue? (often mixed in with “I hate it!”)
  • Pertinent comment, on topic, helpful, and informative (as rare as two identical snowflakes)

And all of that is fine in the forums, but on the front page of your game’s main public site?  Maybe if you had a small fan base, but for WoW?

This is just going to become a new place that will need moderation, and all the more so for being on the front page.  And people just love when their comments are deleted, which just leads to more anger.  Better to not let thing fester out there on the main site.

Or that is my opinion anyway.  But I might have a more negative view of community than some.

What do you think?

National Pokedex – It Is Done

It is done.

I have managed at last to complete the National Pokedex achievement in Pokemon SoulSilver.

I had twelve Pokemon to go about a week and a half ago.  I have been working on it since then.

At 8:40pm this past evening, having obtained an item called a “razor fang,” I gave it to my Gligar and went out to battle some wild Pokemon.  Several battles later, Gligar obtained enough experience to level up.  Since it was after 8pm and he was in possession of the razor fang, he evolved upon leveling up, becoming a Gliscor.


That was the last Pokemon I needed.

I ran off to Pallet Town and spoke to Professor Oak.  He congratulated me and now my trainer card is green and has two stars on it.

The Mark of Success

My wife and daughter were both underwhelmed with the prize.  But it was more about the sense of accomplishment.  Plus what was Professor Oak going to do, give me another Pokemon?

I have now captured, evolved, or otherwise managed to obtain all of the 485 Pokemon that are directly accessible in any of the standard Pokemon RPGs. (Plus 6 of the special even Pokemon, for a total of 491.)

This has taken quite a bit of work.  We received Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver back in late March, and by the end of June I was working on the last big fight in the story line.  Since then, my main focus in the game has been to complete the National Pokedex.

This has meant me sitting on the couch in the evenings with my DS in my hands and my Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver player’s guide next to me while I hunted in the Safari Park or dowsed for special items needed to evolve specific Pokemon.

The player’s guide for a Pokemon game is an absolute necessity for finishing the National Pokedex, though it does have a mistake or two… like the one about where to obtain the razor fang.  I would have been done a day earlier if it had not been for that.

You can find all the information online, but the presentation is rarely conducive to finding specific details.  The player’s guide is nicely laid out, indexed, and full of tables for finding just the item for which you are looking.  My only complaint is that the print in some parts of the guide is so tiny that I have to go stand under a bright light and hold the book practically up to my nose to read some key details.  I would say that it might be time to look into reading glasses, but I never have a problem with print in a standard paperback for example.

But the effort that went into completing the National Pokedex goes beyond playing Pokemon SoulSilver.  I was able to finish the National Pokedex because I had already started working towards it in other games.

Games that contributed to finishing the National Pokedex:

I spent quite a bit of time with Pokemon Diamond attempting to finish the National Pokedex.  That really laid the groundwork for me, as I managed to collect 380 Pokemon there.

And of those 380 Pokemon, some came from having access to the older Game Boy Advance (GBA) cartridges.  In Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, having one of the older games in the GBA slot of your Nintendo DS caused otherwise unobtainable Pokemon to appear in game so you could catch them.

My daughter and I also played through quite a bit of Emerald, LeafGreen, and FireRed, during which we captured and migrated quite a few Pokemon to Diamond.

And then there was the Global Trade Station in Diamond, a source of many of my rare Pokemon.  It turned out that Meowth, a popular Pokemon that is featured on regularly on the Pokemon TV series (where it is the only regularly appearing Pokemon who speaks English… I haven’t quite figured that one out), was not available in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, but was easily obtained in FireRed.  So I used to harvest and migrate Meowths to use for trade fodder in the Global Trade Station.

I was able to obtain some hard to find Pokemon for my many Meowths.  People in Japan seemed especially eager to obtain them, as I ended up with quite a few Japanese named Pokemon.

In all my daughter and I played through to at least the regional championship and National Pokedex kick-off in the following titles:

  • Pokemon FireRed
  • Pokemon Diamond
  • Pokemon Pearl
  • Pokemon Platinum
  • Pokemon SoulSilver
  • Pokemon HeartGold

But now I am done.

There are other goals to pursue in Pokemon.  There is a long list of other “end game” activities, enough to put any MMO to shame.  But the National Pokedex is enough for me.

Besides, I have to rest up.  Pokemon Black & White are due out in the Spring.