It is the middle of January already in the year 2016, a date that literally seemed like “The Future” when I was a kid. Yet it feels really normal, right up until I watch some TV re-run from the early 90s… my daughter and I started watching The X-Files earlier this week, starting with season 1 episode 1… and not only aren’t there any iPhones or iPads or flat screen TVs, but there aren’t any cell phones at all present.
Clearly, future me is some sort of alien, since I can barely remember a time without such things. 1992 wasn’t THAT long ago, was it?
Anyway, some small items to note.
Diablo III Patch 2.4.0
We’re getting pretty much the only thing Blizzard deigned to speak about on the Diablo III front when it came to BlizzCon last year.
I was disappointed by the lack of new stuff for the Diablo franchise… like another full expansion or something about Diablo IV… but I must admit that, reading the 2.4.0 release notes, they did deliver a decent pile of stuff. A new island, some expanded areas in older zones, new rifts, a new season, and the inevitable new gear sets.
It makes me want to go back and take a look. On the flip side, I am more about playing through the story… and exploring every single square centimeter of the map… than I am about the post-story gear grind. Maybe I will start a season 5 character and run through the story again.
WoW Legion Alpha
I keep reading bits about the alpha for the upcoming WoW Legion expansion.. because it has no NDA… and I have to wonder what this means. Is this how Blizzard is trying to keep their fans invested, by letting them into the next expansion even earlier than usual?
My gut says that this might mean the actual launch will be far closer to the September 21, 2016 than, say, the Warcraft movie release. We’ll see.
I also wonder if this now constant exposure to the expansion content starting in alpha will make the post-launch enthusiasm window for the expansion even smaller than we saw for Warlords of Draenor, which lost 46% of its audience in under six months. Basically, will all but the non-hardcore be mostly “done” with the expansion before it starts?
Anyway, I am averting my eyes from this… which means not reading a couple of blogs and avoiding some stories that are grinding through every detail… so as to keep myself fresh for the eventual launch.
Amazon Prime Discounts
Amazon announced that Prime members would be getting a 20% discount on new and pre-ordered games this week. We have Prime at our house, and get our value out of it largely via the video service, the occasional free Kindle book, and a bit of free shipping now and again. But now I can pre-order the WoW Legion expansion at 20% off months before it goes live.
Remember back when The Burning Crusade stayed at list price for nearly a year after it launched?
Stormhold Moves On
During the summer I was trying to get myself engaged in the Daybreak first run at an EverQuest II nostalgia server; specifically the Stormhold PvE time-locked expansion server.
I failed to get there… I played a bit, and actually had some fun, but I never got quite enthusiastic enough about the whole thing to get very far.
Time, however, moves on… as noted at the top of the post. Last week the Stormhold and Deathtoll servers both moved to the Kingdom of Sky expansion, which also moves them out of my prime nostalgia zone. That whole pacing question comes to mind again I suppose, but my nostalgia for the game sort of ends with Desert of Flames, with everything after that feeling like “the new stuff.” Again, time is strange.
New LOTRO Servers
Earlier this week the team at Turbine moved Lord of the Rings Online over to their new server farm. This was part of their 2015 plan that also involved server merges to boost populations along with promises better performance and all the other things that go with fancy new hardware.
Unfortunately, with new hardware there can also be new problems, something the game has been experiencing. On the bright side though, the server upgrade did fix my inability to log in on the Brandywine server, something that shut down my nascent return to Middle-earth in early December. Maybe once they get this settled down I can get back to Mirkwood.
Boot Camp Denied
I have a spoiler laden post about Star Wars: The Force Awakens sitting around waiting for the right time to post. Maybe this weekend. But as an indicator of the reaction at our household, my daughter had the sudden urge to play Star Wars: The Old Republic. I gave her a taste on my computer, but to get that back I had to promise to setup a Windows partition on her iMac. Easy stuff, right? She has a fairly recent iMac… it is probably the best computer in the house… I have the Windows 7 media and an extra license key and there is plenty of drive space on her system.
And it mostly worked, right up until Boot Camp wanted to install the drivers for the iMac hardware, at which point it announced that the version of Boot Camp was not for this Mac model. Google gave me a variety of possible solutions (the problem seems to come up a lot), none of which solved the problem. Without the drivers, I have a fairly useless version of Windows 7 hanging around the house.
Now I have to guard my computer to keep her away from it. Nothing is ever simple.
Such is life in the video game lane for me this week… at least for some games I am interested in but do not actually play.