Archive for October, 2010

If you’ve ever played a Diablo game before, you pretty much know what to expect from Diablo III. There will be hacking. There will be slashing. Enemies will drop piles of gold upon death because apparently hell doesn’t have a bank. Been there, done that. Shamefully walked into Hot Topic and bought the T-shirt.

When we went to BlizzCon, we were pretty much in the same boat. But the devil’s in the details, and Diablo III’s newly announced PVP Arena system is a detail the size of the big red guy – no, not the Kool Aid man – himself. Better still, in some ways, it legitimately surprised us. How? Well, let’s run down the list.

Surprise!

1. The chaos – Sure, we expected three-on-three Diablo matches to be pretty wild, but we were still a bit taken aback when our tiny four-sided arena exploded into an ocean of fiery wizard magic, witchdoctor hell hounds, and barbarians hopping around like steroid-fueled, axe-wielding bunny rabbits. Basically, there were more than a few moments when our character keeled over, and we just paused, blinked, and said, “wait, what just happened?” However, confusing though it may occasionally be, it’s also wildly exciting. Matches have their share of tactics, sure, but this is no chess match. If you get bored while playing this game, you might want to check your pulse, because you’re probably dead.

2. The balance (or lack thereof) –
Between the masterclass in RTS balance that is StarCraft and the incessant tweaking WoW’s classes constantly undergo, Blizzard’s not a developer that takes balance lightly. So it was a bit shocking to hear Blizzard announce that Diablo III’s PVP will almost certainly have instances where players get to pick on someone who isn’t their own size. The reasoning? Thanks to Diablo III’s rune system – which allows for all sorts of modifications to each of your powers – there will be approximately 97 billion builds for each character class. We’re not exaggerating either. Blizzard’s words – not ours. Which is not to say there won’t be any balance. Blizzard’s tweaking the numbers on certain skills to emphasize counters over crowd control. In our experience, this held mostly true (teleport escapes and feign deaths being the best examples) – except with the Barbarian, against whom you essentially wind up playing tag. But in order to tag you, he uses a stun attack, and then you get diced to tiny pieces faster than an outlandish ingredient on Iron Chef.

3. The rewards –
Traditionally, Diablo’s preyed on the fact that – on the inside – we’re all still slobbering children who love pinatas. We like to hit stuff and make other stuff come out. In Diablo’s case, of course, that “other stuff” is loot and gold. Amassing a treasure trove of shiny things, then, is one of the series’ central hooks. Satan who? Man, we just want more medieval bling. In the Arena, however, Blizzard’s done away with loot and gold entirely. Instead, you’re risking life, limb, and – thanks to constant flashy spell effects – the occasional epileptic seizure for achievements and titles. Before you hop on the message boards for some good old-fashioned ranting, however, hear Blizzard out. The developer told us that it wants players to slaughter each other in the Arena because they enjoy it – not because it’s a mind-numbing, carpal tunnel-inducing grind for the best weapons and items. Vaguely sociopathic implications implications of that last sentence aside, that sounds like an excellent plan to us.      

If It Ain’t Broke…

1. The simplicity – While Diablo’s more cerebral than most hack ‘n’ slashers, it’s still – at heart – a game about fast, simple fun. The Arena definitely subscribes to a similar philosophy, and if you can click a mouse, odds are, you can have a blast with it. For now, the game’s only mode is a team deathmatch sort of affair. No fancy flags to capture or 45-minute Leeroy Jenkins-style pre-match formation talks. You charge in, weapon held high, and then you come out with either a hand raised in victory or slumped limply in defeat. But even if you kick the bucket within the first 15 seconds of a match…

2. The pace –
Diablo III’s PVP matches move at a clip that makes other multiplayer games look downright glacial. If, say, DOTA walks and Quake runs, then Diablo III teleports. Matches last a minute or two on average – maybe more depending on how competitive it is. The most obvious benefit here, of course, is that even if your main strategy consists of running at your enemies, screaming a bunch, maybe wetting yourself, and then dying, you can still hop back into the fray moments later. It also contributes to…

3. The addictiveness –
We would sell our soul to the real devil to play more of this game about the fake devil. Seriously. The rapid-fire pace combined with the gruesome satisfaction that comes part and parcel with Diablo’s particular brand of carnage had us glued to the screen right up until the moment we had to leave to make way for other players. We considered beating up a particularly impressive Worgen (WoW) cosplayer and stealing his outfit for another go in line, but his axes looked suspiciously real, so we decided not to chance it. Point is, Blizzard’s definitely not phoning in its PVP multiplayer arenas, and – while we’re not counting on it – we really hope Diablo III launches within our lifetime so we can leap back into the fray.      

If you’ve ever played a Diablo game before, you pretty much know what to expect from Diablo III. There will be hacking. There will be slashing. Enemies will drop piles of gold upon death because apparently hell doesn’t have a bank. Been there, done that. Shamefully walked into Hot Topic and bought the T-shirt.

When we went to BlizzCon, we were pretty much in the same boat. But the devil’s in the details, and Diablo III’s newly announced PVP Arena system is a detail the size of the big red guy – no, not the Kool Aid man – himself. Better still, in some ways, it legitimately surprised us. How? Well, let’s run down the list.

Surprise!

1. The chaos – Sure, we expected three-on-three Diablo matches to be pretty wild, but we were still a bit taken aback when our tiny four-sided arena exploded into an ocean of fiery wizard magic, witchdoctor hell hounds, and barbarians hopping around like steroid-fueled, axe-wielding bunny rabbits. Basically, there were more than a few moments when our character keeled over, and we just paused, blinked, and said, “wait, what just happened?” However, confusing though it may occasionally be, it’s also wildly exciting. Matches have their share of tactics, sure, but this is no chess match. If you get bored while playing this game, you might want to check your pulse, because you’re probably dead.

2. The balance (or lack thereof) –
Between the masterclass in RTS balance that is StarCraft and the incessant tweaking WoW’s classes constantly undergo, Blizzard’s not a developer that takes balance lightly. So it was a bit shocking to hear Blizzard announce that Diablo III’s PVP will almost certainly have instances where players get to pick on someone who isn’t their own size. The reasoning? Thanks to Diablo III’s rune system – which allows for all sorts of modifications to each of your powers – there will be approximately 97 billion builds for each character class. We’re not exaggerating either. Blizzard’s words – not ours. Which is not to say there won’t be any balance. Blizzard’s tweaking the numbers on certain skills to emphasize counters over crowd control. In our experience, this held mostly true (teleport escapes and feign deaths being the best examples) – except with the Barbarian, against whom you essentially wind up playing tag. But in order to tag you, he uses a stun attack, and then you get diced to tiny pieces faster than an outlandish ingredient on Iron Chef.

3. The rewards –
Traditionally, Diablo’s preyed on the fact that – on the inside – we’re all still slobbering children who love pinatas. We like to hit stuff and make other stuff come out. In Diablo’s case, of course, that “other stuff” is loot and gold. Amassing a treasure trove of shiny things, then, is one of the series’ central hooks. Satan who? Man, we just want more medieval bling. In the Arena, however, Blizzard’s done away with loot and gold entirely. Instead, you’re risking life, limb, and – thanks to constant flashy spell effects – the occasional epileptic seizure for achievements and titles. Before you hop on the message boards for some good old-fashioned ranting, however, hear Blizzard out. The developer told us that it wants players to slaughter each other in the Arena because they enjoy it – not because it’s a mind-numbing, carpal tunnel-inducing grind for the best weapons and items. Vaguely sociopathic implications implications of that last sentence aside, that sounds like an excellent plan to us.      

If It Ain’t Broke…

1. The simplicity – While Diablo’s more cerebral than most hack ‘n’ slashers, it’s still – at heart – a game about fast, simple fun. The Arena definitely subscribes to a similar philosophy, and if you can click a mouse, odds are, you can have a blast with it. For now, the game’s only mode is a team deathmatch sort of affair. No fancy flags to capture or 45-minute Leeroy Jenkins-style pre-match formation talks. You charge in, weapon held high, and then you come out with either a hand raised in victory or slumped limply in defeat. But even if you kick the bucket within the first 15 seconds of a match…

2. The pace –
Diablo III’s PVP matches move at a clip that makes other multiplayer games look downright glacial. If, say, DOTA walks and Quake runs, then Diablo III teleports. Matches last a minute or two on average – maybe more depending on how competitive it is. The most obvious benefit here, of course, is that even if your main strategy consists of running at your enemies, screaming a bunch, maybe wetting yourself, and then dying, you can still hop back into the fray moments later. It also contributes to…

3. The addictiveness –
We would sell our soul to the real devil to play more of this game about the fake devil. Seriously. The rapid-fire pace combined with the gruesome satisfaction that comes part and parcel with Diablo’s particular brand of carnage had us glued to the screen right up until the moment we had to leave to make way for other players. We considered beating up a particularly impressive Worgen (WoW) cosplayer and stealing his outfit for another go in line, but his axes looked suspiciously real, so we decided not to chance it. Point is, Blizzard’s definitely not phoning in its PVP multiplayer arenas, and – while we’re not counting on it – we really hope Diablo III launches within our lifetime so we can leap back into the fray.      

AT&T and Verizon are the only two wireless carriers allowed to sell Apple’s iPad, but they’re not the only two benefiting from the magical tablet. So is Sprint, says the company’s CEO Dan Hesse.

In an interview with Gigaom.com, Hesse said that sales of Apple’s Wi-Fi version of the iPad has caused an increase in demand for Sprint’s 3G and 4G Overdrive mobile wireless hotspot device, which consumers are using to hop online with their tablet.

It probably helped that Sprint has been on the iPad bandwagon since Day 1. When the tablet launched back in April, Sprint responded by selling a 4G case, which holds both the slate and the company’s 4G Overdrive hotspot (see pic below). The Overdrive has also been featured in TV adverts touting Sprint’s 4G connectivity as being up to 10 times faster than AT&T’s 3G service.

Image Credit: Sprint

Kevin Faler, a former police officer who made it his business to crack down on narcotics, has gone and registered over 1,000 Internet domain names related to marijuana. He’s just one of many who to hope to cash in on their stockpile of domains should Proposition 19 go through, The New York Times reports.

Proposition 19 is a California ballot that seeks to legalize up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use.

“Marijuana domain name values will fly off the charts once Prop 19 passes,” Faler hopes. “I’m hoping to make enough money to buy a condo in Morocco. That’s how big it’s going to be.”

As you can imagine, with over 1,000 marijuana-related domain names under his belt, more than a handful are…creative. Some of his more unusual domains include potfordogs.com and icecreammarijuana.com.

Will Faler’s strategy prove profitable? That’s hard to say, but it’s worth noting that some domain names go for big bucks. Sex.com, for example, recently sold for $13 million. Marijuana.com sold for $1 million back in 2004, and the company that owns it has recently turned several offers in excess of $2 million.

If you’ve ever played a Diablo game before, you pretty much know what to expect from Diablo III. There will be hacking. There will be slashing. Enemies will drop piles of gold upon death because apparently hell doesn’t have a bank. Been there, done that. Shamefully walked into Hot Topic and bought the T-shirt.

When we went to BlizzCon, we were pretty much in the same boat. But the devil’s in the details, and Diablo III’s newly announced PVP Arena system is a detail the size of the big red guy – no, not the Kool Aid man – himself. Better still, in some ways, it legitimately surprised us. How? Well, let’s run down the list.

Surprise!

1. The chaos – Sure, we expected three-on-three Diablo matches to be pretty wild, but we were still a bit taken aback when our tiny four-sided arena exploded into an ocean of fiery wizard magic, witchdoctor hell hounds, and barbarians hopping around like steroid-fueled, axe-wielding bunny rabbits. Basically, there were more than a few moments when our character keeled over, and we just paused, blinked, and said, “wait, what just happened?” However, confusing though it may occasionally be, it’s also wildly exciting. Matches have their share of tactics, sure, but this is no chess match. If you get bored while playing this game, you might want to check your pulse, because you’re probably dead.

2. The balance (or lack thereof) –
Between the masterclass in RTS balance that is StarCraft and the incessant tweaking WoW’s classes constantly undergo, Blizzard’s not a developer that takes balance lightly. So it was a bit shocking to hear Blizzard announce that Diablo III’s PVP will almost certainly have instances where players get to pick on someone who isn’t their own size. The reasoning? Thanks to Diablo III’s rune system – which allows for all sorts of modifications to each of your powers – there will be approximately 97 billion builds for each character class. We’re not exaggerating either. Blizzard’s words – not ours. Which is not to say there won’t be any balance. Blizzard’s tweaking the numbers on certain skills to emphasize counters over crowd control. In our experience, this held mostly true (teleport escapes and feign deaths being the best examples) – except with the Barbarian, against whom you essentially wind up playing tag. But in order to tag you, he uses a stun attack, and then you get diced to tiny pieces faster than an outlandish ingredient on Iron Chef.

3. The rewards –
Traditionally, Diablo’s preyed on the fact that – on the inside – we’re all still slobbering children who love pinatas. We like to hit stuff and make other stuff come out. In Diablo’s case, of course, that “other stuff” is loot and gold. Amassing a treasure trove of shiny things, then, is one of the series’ central hooks. Satan who? Man, we just want more medieval bling. In the Arena, however, Blizzard’s done away with loot and gold entirely. Instead, you’re risking life, limb, and – thanks to constant flashy spell effects – the occasional epileptic seizure for achievements and titles. Before you hop on the message boards for some good old-fashioned ranting, however, hear Blizzard out. The developer told us that it wants players to slaughter each other in the Arena because they enjoy it – not because it’s a mind-numbing, carpal tunnel-inducing grind for the best weapons and items. Vaguely sociopathic implications implications of that last sentence aside, that sounds like an excellent plan to us.      

If It Ain’t Broke…

1. The simplicity – While Diablo’s more cerebral than most hack ‘n’ slashers, it’s still – at heart – a game about fast, simple fun. The Arena definitely subscribes to a similar philosophy, and if you can click a mouse, odds are, you can have a blast with it. For now, the game’s only mode is a team deathmatch sort of affair. No fancy flags to capture or 45-minute Leeroy Jenkins-style pre-match formation talks. You charge in, weapon held high, and then you come out with either a hand raised in victory or slumped limply in defeat. But even if you kick the bucket within the first 15 seconds of a match…

2. The pace –
Diablo III’s PVP matches move at a clip that makes other multiplayer games look downright glacial. If, say, DOTA walks and Quake runs, then Diablo III teleports. Matches last a minute or two on average – maybe more depending on how competitive it is. The most obvious benefit here, of course, is that even if your main strategy consists of running at your enemies, screaming a bunch, maybe wetting yourself, and then dying, you can still hop back into the fray moments later. It also contributes to…

3. The addictiveness –
We would sell our soul to the real devil to play more of this game about the fake devil. Seriously. The rapid-fire pace combined with the gruesome satisfaction that comes part and parcel with Diablo’s particular brand of carnage had us glued to the screen right up until the moment we had to leave to make way for other players. We considered beating up a particularly impressive Worgen (WoW) cosplayer and stealing his outfit for another go in line, but his axes looked suspiciously real, so we decided not to chance it. Point is, Blizzard’s definitely not phoning in its PVP multiplayer arenas, and – while we’re not counting on it – we really hope Diablo III launches within our lifetime so we can leap back into the fray.      

 Page 3 of 164 « 1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »