Daily Archives: August 1, 2017

Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire Expansion Announced

The announced announcement was announced today when ArenaNet announced the next expansion for Guild Wars 2, Path of Fire.

Guild Wars 2 – Path of Fire

I do like the art style they use for the logos.

There is, naturally enough, a site dedicated to the expansion along with a FAQ with a whole bunch of information ANet would like to share with you.

There are new zones, new stories, new specializations, and mounts.

Bhagpuss at some date in the near future…

They aren’t all bunny mounts, but that there are bunny mounts says something… I’m just not sure what.

The expansion itself is slated to become available on the morning of September 22, 2017.  You can, of course, pre-order immediately, which will net you some “bonus items” which are:

  • Sunspear Weapon Skin of your choice
  • a Miniature Balthazar
  • The title of Elonian Envoy

As is the custom of the time, the expansion itself comes in three flavors.

Path of Fire editions

The price range here, coming in at $30, $55, and $80, seems more in line with reality than the $40, $80, $130 price range that Standing Stone Games put together for the Mordor expansion.

And, like the LOTRO expansion, and the last couple of WoW expansions, Path of Fire comes with a booster to bring a character up to max level so you can go straight to the “good stuff” you’re buying, should you not already be at max level.

According to the FAQ you do not NEED to have the Heart of Thorns expansion in order to enjoy Path of Fire, but if you don’t have it you should to note the following:

  • You must purchase Heart of Thorns to unlock and use the gliding mastery, as well as all other masteries introduced in and exclusive to that expansion. You will be able to complete all of the content in Path of Fire without the use of any Heart of Thorns-exclusive masteries.
  • You must purchase Heart of Thorns to unlock and use the 9 elite specializations introduced with that expansion.
  • Path of Fire includes access to the revenant profession, but not the Herald elite specialization. If you only own Path of Fire, you will be able to create a revenant character and unlock the Renegade elite specialization.
  • You must purchase Heart of Thorns to claim the new guild hall released in Path of Fire, and access the Scribe crafting discipline to fully upgrade your guild hall.

But if you’re pre-ordering Path of Fire they’ll throw in Heart of Thrones for a discount.  Then nobody need ever know what a slacker you are.

You know you want it…

And if you’re not convinced about the expansion, ANet has some scheme to let currently registered users in good standing try it out from Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 13.  Since the base game is free, you could just create a new account if you were interested enough.

So there it is.  I expect we will see a big spike on the Guild Wars revenue chart when NCsoft announces their Q3 2017 financial results.

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Nine

We are getting close to the end of the thirteen week Fantasy Movie League summer season, so if anybody is going to change their place on the standings they need to do it soon.  The last week will be too late, unless Liore just doesn’t pick that week.  And I am not sure that would be enough.

I started out the week the way I generally do; I looked down the list of options and made my gut pick.  The options were:

The Emoji Movie          $400
 Dunkirk                 $373
 Atomic Blonde           $289
 Girls Trip              $219
 Spider-Man              $151
 Planet of the Apes      $126
 Despicable Me 3         $100
 Valerian                $99
 Baby Driver             $52
 The Big Sick            $44
 Wonder Woman            $39
 Wish Upon               $15
 Cars 3                  $14
 Transformers            $6
 Guardians of the Galaxy $4

My gut favored Atomic Blonde at those prices.  The Emoji Movie seemed likely to under perform, I wasn’t sure that Dunkirk was good for more than a week at the top, and Girls Trip seemed like a one-week wonder from which Atomic Blonde might steal viewers.  So I was in with three screens of Atomic Blonde, two of The Big Sick, and three of Cars 3.  That spent $997 of my $1,000 budget.  I could have hit $1,000 if I had gone with Wish Upon, but that hasn’t lived up to an expectation so far.

The gut pick is always just that, my baseline.  Then I start looking at reviews and update my spreadsheet to tinker with estimates and run “what if” scenarios.  That is the reason I use the spreadsheet, so I can see what happens if something goes over or under estimate and where the line is when it comes to choosing.

My spreadsheet took the estimates out there and told me that I should be all-in on Girls Trip, supported by Wonder Woman, and Transformers to fill in the last screen.  Never leave a screen empty if you can avoid it.

However, I kept seeing opinions that Atomic Blonde was going to out perform its estimates, that it was the only new action picture for the week and with a strong female protagonist it might be the R-rated Wonder Woman this week.  You see enough of this and you start to believe it.  So rather than going with what the spreadsheet told me I went with my gut.

My Monday gut pick locked in on Friday

Then, when the picks were locked on Friday, I saw Liore had gone with the same Girls Trip anchored set of picks my spreadsheet had been pointing at.  Nothing to worry about yet.  Maybe she was playing conservative.  Atomic Blonde might out perform.

I followed up by checking the “All Week 1 Starters” league, which lists out everybody who has been playing for the full season.  There I went through the first few pages and just about everybody there… the people winning, the people vying for first place overall on the site… was down with Girls Trip.  There wasn’t an Atomic Blonde contrarian anywhere near the top.  Not a good sign.

And then the Saturday estimates for the weekend showed up and I was in last place, just behind Belghast, who also anchored his picks on Atomic Blonde.  The Sunday estimates did nothing to improve the situation as Girls Trip and Dunkirk seemed to be over performing, The Emoji Movie seemed to be doing better than expected, and Atomic Blonde was  way under performing, running $8-10 million the estimates I was working with.

And so, when the official results hit, I had lost a lot of ground to Liore.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $91,164,740
  2. Ocho’s Octoplex – $79,717,900
  3. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $79,258,853
  4. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $79,097,410
  5. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $78,522,139
  6. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $75,924,105
  7. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $74,889,695
  8. Void’s Awesomeplex – $74,626,920
  9. Bel’s House of Horrors – $64,311,729
  10. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $64,083,255

So yeah, bottom of the list are the two people who went with three screens of Atomic Blonde, while two ahead of us is the person who went with two screens of Atomic Blonde.  Syl did better with one screen of Atomic Blonde, but she also had two screens of Girls Trip.

Still, it could have been worse.  I could have run with The Emoji Movie.

Liore did well, winning the week, but at least she didn’t get the perfect pick of the week, which would have added another $7 million to her score.  Transformers was the filler pick of the week.

Perfect Pick for Week 9

Only 14 people got the perfect pick this week, the lowest count I have seen so far this season.  But a lot of people got close and those going with four screens of Girls Trip still dominate overall.

So at the end of week nine the standings look like this.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $988,883,891
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $923,317,058
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $863,692,644
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $829,561,915
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $813,500,401
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $799,691,067
  7. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $777,900,530
  8. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $772,489,095
  9. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $724,835,336
  10. Bel’s House of Horrors – $711,041,163

Aside from Syl and Bel changing positions again, the rankings stayed pretty much the same though, as noted, Liore is even more solidly in first.  I am now $65 million behind Liore… more than my score for this week… and Ocho is $125 million back.  That is a long way to go with just four weeks left to go.

So now we are looking at the picks for week ten.

 The Dark Tower         $343
 Dunkirk                $201
 Girls Trip             $176
 The Emoji Movie        $171
 Detroit                $167
 Atomic Blonde          $127
 Spider-Man             $100
 Planet of the Apes     $70
 Kidnap                 $63
 Despicable Me 3        $62
 Valerian               $38
 Baby Driver            $33
 Wonder Woman           $32
 The Big Sick           $27
 An Inconvenient Sequel $13

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is off the list again, one would think for good at this point.  I’d ask who was still even showing it, but a couple of our local multiplexes have a couple shows running in evening still.

There are four movies opening this week that made the list.

At the top is The Dark Tower, based off of a Stephen King novel that is part of a series that I may have read some of ages ago… or maybe not.  I might be confusing it in my head with The Talisman, but I couldn’t say for sure.  Some of it sounds vaguely familiar.

Anyway, The Dark Tower is at the top of the chart as the only big opener this week.  Stephen King has a huge following, but movies adaptations of his works haven’t always translated well to the screen.  It is cheap enough that you can anchor your lineup with two screens of it and still have enough budget to get a few more solid titles in behind it.

Then there is Detroit, which depicts the events that sparked the 1967 riots in the city of Detroit.  Being long, rated R, and depicting unhappy events will probably limit its box office appeal, though I expect it will fare well in Oscar nominations.

Third on the list is Kidnap.  It stars Halle Berry, which ought to be something of a draw.  However, the movie wrapped up filming three years ago and the team has been trying to salvage something watchable out of it ever since.  Unlikely to find a spot on any of my screens.

Finally, Al Gore is back with An Inconvenient Sequel which has reviewed well and seems likely to outperform based on the current political climate, as it doing well at the box office can be spun as a rebuke of the current administration.  Also, it is the cheapest flick on the list, so I expect it will round off many a pick.

Looking at all of that, my early week gut is that the standard pick will be two screens of The Dark Tower at one end, a screen or two of An Inconvenient Sequel at the other, and then figuring out what to sandwich in between.  There are a lot of paths forward from there.  Of course, The Dark Tower doesn’t have to slip much to make four screens of Dunkirk an attractive proposition.  And how the hell do you get a Stephen King novel to fit into 95 minutes?

So the options for the week seem more varied that usual.