Cheapest Warcraft Gold

August 30, 2010

buy WOW gold

My dumb phone woke me up at 4:13am this morning, with a suspicious looking e-mail from “WoW Expansion Beta” causing the ringer to go off. I guess I forgot to turn the phone off. My mistake. The e-mail, entitled “New World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Beta Client Available” talked about how Blizzard had developed a new WoW beta client, one that would, via a new Launcher, implement some new sort of streaming technology that would make downloading and applying patches easier for everyone. It turns out, yeah, that was a legitimate e-mail, as a Blue post on the forum confirmed first thing in the morning.

I’ve taken the liberty to take a quick video of the new Launcher in action. You can see how the game streams data from its servers to your computer.

The gist is that you’re now able to partially download an update or patch, and begin playing almost immediately—certainly faster than you otherwise would be able to.

This particular instance shows a patch less than halfway completed, but I’m able to log into the game and play.

Oh, also: the Worgen, Zorres, is messed up because Blizzard updated the Worgen textures after I created him, so you get those weird splotches. The joys of beta testing!

Woo!

A Guest Post by The Blog Tyrant

photo credit: andronicusmax

World of Warcraft has over 11 million subscribers paying monthly fees. It is one of the most addictive video games of all time. In fact, there are several websites devoted to just helping people quit the game. There is even a “detox center” in China that addicted kids are sent to. It is that bad. And while I don’t think these addictions are particularly funny, I do think we can learn a lot of valuable lessons from WoW that we can apply to our blogs. In this post I am going to show you how you can make your blog addictive just like World of Warcraft.

Unethical? Did they made it addictive on purpose?

A few months ago there was a TV show where a video game company was being sued over the death of a teenager who died as a result of being addicted to their game. During the case it was exposed that the company had hired psychiatrists to make the game play as addictive as possible and this addiction was the cause of the death. While the show never made any mention of names, a lot of people assumed it was based on WoW because there was a real life law suit on a similar matter. There had also been a lot of reports where medical experts said that the game was more addictive than cocaine. As to whether it was talking about WoW we don’t know and saying so would just be speculation.

As I have already said, I don’t think these addictions are funny. And if a company knows that their product is doing harm to kids and then continue to make it more and more enticing then I think some ethical questions have to be raised. The downside to any capitalist system is that the desire for profit often outweighs the side effects. And this is a shame.

I do not wish to celebrate the fact that some people are addicted to WoW, but I do think we can learn some valuable blogging lessons from their example. The reason I think it is okay to delve into these “tricks” is because I don’t think anyone will ever become addicted to a blog. And if you can grow your blog with these methods and then use it as a platform to help people I think that is a very good thing.

How to make your blog addictive like World of Warcraft

photo credit: mangpages

Now that I have ranted about my ethical concerns we can get into the bulk of the post. I am going to go through a bunch of WoW features and then show you why they are so addictive and how you can apply that to your blog. As always, if you have any other ideas or thoughts please leave a comment and let us all know.

1. Appear popular

The first reason that WoW is so addictive actually starts before you even play the game. Before you even buy the CD. Every gamer you know has played Wow, all your friends are talking about it and you constantly hear about it in the media. This sets up the game in a very positive way because it makes you feel like you are missing out. When I heard that 11 million people were subscribed to the game I just had to take a look at what all the fuss was about.

This phenomena is called social proof and it is anything that shows someone that they aren’t the first to try out your service. People do not like to miss out on popular things but they also don’t want to be the first to try it. If you can appear popular you take away their concerns and set yourself up for success.

How you can apply it to your blog
There are quite a few ways you can apply these social proofs to your blog. Remember, you want to make people feel curious about all the other people involved but you also want to address their fears about being the first to try something. In order to do this you can try:

  • Showing recent comments
    Show your recent comments in your sidebar. This instantly tells people that there are other people interacting on your blog and that you have some level of popularity. Showing your recent comments is a wonderful idea as it also gets people involved in any discussions that you might be having.
  • Use Wibiya
    Wibya is a new toolbar that I am starting to see on a lot of the big blogs and websites, including Darren’s Digital Photography School. And yes, it is free. All you do is sign up for an account and then add some code to your site and you have this nifty new footer that shows everyone the number of people on your site, how to connect with social media, etc. It is a very useful way to make your blog appear less static and more dynamic.
  • Reference readers in posts
    When you are writing a post it is a good idea to give shout outs to people who visit your blog. For example, if some guy called Ben left a really good comment about something relevant to your latest post, why not give people a link to the discussion and mention his name in the article? This has the dual effect of showing that you get comments as well as increasing loyalty by being very personal and in touch with your readership.
  • Use subtle testimonials
    Everyone knows about testimonials on product websites but for some reason people don’t use them on blogs. A subtle and well placed testimonial can do wonders for making your blog more sticky. For example, in your About page you might want to have some dot points about your traffic, subscriber numbers or comment count. This has the effect of showing people that others are using your blog without plastering it all over your sidebar.

Appearing popular is important if you want people to feel like they need to be a part of the action. It is terrible when you arrive on a blog that looks lifeless and dead. On the other hand, when you arrive on a site that is awash with conversation and energy you just have to get into it. Be creative with your social proof.

2. Leverage people’s need to be in a group

Something very similar to point number one, and one of the most addictive things about World of Warcraft, is the fact that it leverages people’s need to feel a part of a group. This is a very primal and subtle psychological phenomena that all humans possess. We find partners, get married and have kids. We play team sports, join clubs and hang out in packs at school time. Humans need to feel part of a group.

When you play WoW you don’t play by yourself, you join groups of players from around the world and form guilds. Sometimes these guilds become very close and chat by email and IM and often log on at the same time each day to play together. This is an extremely powerful tool for making the game addictive, especially if the people have trouble making friends on the outside world. If you want to make your blog more addictive you have to leverage people’s need to be in a group.

How you can apply it to your blog
So how do you apply this to your own blog? How do you make people feel like they are special and a part of a group that wouldn’t function properly without them? Here are a few ideas:

  • Send emails
    When someone leaves a comment on your blog they usually leave their correct email which allows you to shoot them a message to thank them for commenting and let them know that you appreciate their input on your site. Now, there are plug ins that do this automatically but that is not what I am necessarily talking about. If someone leaves a great comment you might want to send a personal message thanking them for their expertise. Or if someone constantly leaves comments whenever you write you should thank them for the frequency. Make sure you reward the aspect of their behavior that you want them to continue.
  • Refer comments to other readers
    One of the first websites I ever sold was a fitness site that was mostly used by women. Over time I built up some very loyal readers and a lot of them were fitness experts, personal trainers and dietitians. If someone posted a question in the comments about a workout or diet plan I would occasionally send emails to the experts asking them to help them out. These experts then become frequent users of the comment section and always seemed willing to be a part of the action.
  • Name your team
    Something extremely subtle but extremely addicting is a team name. In the gaming world it is called a clan. Some clans are extremely hard to get in to and involve several “try out” phases. For example, in WoW you need to be at a certain level before even being eligible to join. Once you are in though you have brothers who look out for you in battle, give you hints, etc. It is just like high school! Giving your loyal readers, subscribers and commenters a clan name is an easy way to maximize the team spirit.

Make people feel like they are part of an exclusive group and you will have fans for life. Everyone needs to feel as if they have some sort of ownership in the blog, as if it might not be as good if they stopped visiting. This group mentality is an extremely strong tool for all online marketing.

3. Lure with the promise of rewards and new features

Why do people spend their entire lives playing Wow? Partly because the game is incredible, partly because the pollen outside gives me hay fever and partly because there is the ever enticing possibility of leveling up. Why is reaching the next level so amazing? Because you get to access new powers and weapons and challenge new bosses. You also get the bragging rights associated with being a level 80 as opposed to a pitiful 79.

photo credit: videocrab

Blizzard (the makers of WoW) constantly add new things to the game. They tweak the maps to make sure they are perfect, they change the damage of certain spells by minor margins to make the battles more interesting and they periodically release new updates that allow you to access new bosses, maps and, of course, levels. All of this keeps the game fresh and new and stops boredom setting in.

How to apply this to your blog
To make your blog feel super addictive you need to have a reason for people to come back. It has to be something that compels them to check back again and again and they have to feel like they might win or gain something new by doing so. Here are some ideas:

  • Have regular competitions
    Your blog should have regular (but not too regular) competitions that give away something useful. The prize could be won by leaving a certain amount of comments, subscribing to a feed or mentioning your blog on Twitter. Whatever your competition is it should be interesting. Something that gets people talking. Shoemoney and Overnight Prints did this extremely well once with his business card competition.
  • Have a long term but secret release
    One of the coolest thing Darren ever did on Problogger was build up a new feature that he was adding to the site. This created a lot of buzz as it wasn’t really something done before. Now the great thing about this was the way he did it; very subtly. First he acquired the domain name www.problogger.com which he previously didn’t own. We knew something was up. Then he dropped a few hints over the months. Finally he launched a new community on the address once everyone was seething with curiosity. Perfectly done. Try and have a long term reason for people to keep checking back on your site.
  • Plan your content and reveal it carefully
    We all know that you need compelling content to succeed but what a lot of people fail to do is release that content in a way that is interesting and alluring. WoW doesn’t just let you access all the maps and features at once. You’d be bored of it in a day. Rather, they slowly let you at it after you have earned it with interaction and game time (and subscription fees!). Try and think of your content in a similar way. An example we all know of is Darren’s 31 Days to Building a Better Blog.

Your content alone should be enough to get people to come back to your blog. But, if you add an extra incentive, some kind of nifty reward or new level, you are going to generate a lot of interest amongst those regulars out there. Without new levels, weapons and magic spells WoW would be dead and gone by now. So what are you adding to your blog in order to keep it exciting and new?

4. Create an alternative world for your readers

The real fans of WoW don’t see it as a game, they see it as an alternative world. A world in which they can perform magic, make friends, conquer towns and change. When playing World of Warcraft you get an almost identical physiological response to events that take place as if they had actually happened in real life. When you run into battle you get an adrenalin rush that makes your vision fuzzy and when you can’t solve a puzzle you get flooded with stress and frustration.

How to apply this to your blog – The ultimate way to make your blog addictive is to create an alternative world for your readers. A place where they can go and get away from the problems of their daily life and absorb themselves in a community of like-minded people. A place where they learn new things, feel more powerful than they really are and discover their inner potential.

  • Make it as interactive as possible – A blog should not just be a place where you read/write about something. That might have been the original intention behind their popularity but now they are so much more. If you want people to become addicted they need to be involved on every level. Let them suggest topics, ask questions in the comments and chat to you on Twitter and Facebook. Ask your readers for help and give them tasks to solve. The more interactive your blog is the more time people will want to spend there.
  • Make it beautiful and easy to use – Your blog’s design is so important because it has to sell your content. Read that carefully because I think a lot of people fail to grasp the idea. Your design sells your content. How many times have you left a blog because it was ugly or the font size was too small or the colors hurt your eyes? That could have been Shakespeare himself writing that blog and you wouldn’t have cared. Make sure your design is beautiful and your navigation is as simple as possible. The look and feel of your website should become like a second home to your readers.
  • Solve real world problems on your blog – One reason that people find it hard to leave WoW is because it solves some of their real world problems. The classic example is the kid who struggles to make friends in school but in Azeroth he commands an army. Your blog should always try to make people’s lives better. Your content should address issues in their life, even if only indirectly. But what if you run a product blog that only talks about antique cans or something equally as boring? Well make sure that you address concerns, give amazingly detailed responses and help people find the answers they seek. What do your readers want to feel and discover? What makes them happy? These are essential questions to know if you want to create an alternative world for your fans.

What do your readers want to feel and discover? What makes them happy? These are essential questions to know if you want to create an alternative world for your fans. And creating an alternative world is the best way to make your blog sticky.

Conclusion

This post could go on forever because World of Warcraft gets so many things right. In fact, it might have been quicker to just write about what they do wrong! In any event, if you give people rewards, help solve their real life problems and make them feel part of a group you are part of the way there. Perhaps most importantly, however, you should do as Blizzard does and constantly add new features, content and always be testing for ways to improve and grow. Now go outside for a while.

About the Author

The Blog Tyrant has sold several blogs for large sums of money and earns a living by relying soley on the internet. His Blog is all about helping you dominate your blog and your blog’s niche and only includes strategies that he has tried on his own websites. Follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his feed for all the juice.


Gold for Warcraft

August 27, 2010

WoW- Beside just eating dirt, and having Warlocks walk all over me, and taking my frustration out on poor Warriors. I’ve just been doing a VOA here, Wintergrasp there. Trying to make some more gold. Been hustling and grinding on an alt for a special project I’m doing.

Star Trek Online – Not much as of late, but I’m burning to get back in the fray, I just read a book called “The Burning House” about Klingons, and a little more about their culture. So I’m ready to blast a petaQ to Sto-Vo-Kor.

High Latency Love -

First off a friend of mine, Mike an old guildie of mine from the Dark Ages of Camelot Days, then he tracked me down in World of Warcraft. He played a Pallie, and I played a Prot Warrior in the days. He’d bitch at me that I suck at tanking, then I would bitch at him his heals suck. Me and Mike been friends for some time, though we never saw each other face to face, which is the awesome thing about the internet, but his bitchy voice is burned into my brain thanks to Vent….

Anway Mike made a short film for Corpus Christi 7 day film festival and it was pretty good. Check it out. It’s called Apart.

Make sure to show him some Love.

Also some love goes out to our very own Bee. I hope she doesn’t quit WoW, maybe you can convince her to stay if you tell her why should stay. Anyone who tries to convince Bee to stay will get some love next week….and if anyone convinces Bee to pose in a cheerleader costume…I’ll give you a kidney.

Something Funny…

Classic….

With That…

MY PING SUCKS….AND I’M OUT OF HERE G!

here i come. lol. what a mess. uhukuhuk. *wiping the dust*

moral of story; don’t ever forget the password.

okay, i just import from my LJ. later on, we’ll continue with the pairs.

======
i’m still long-searching her ‘one-person-in-a-deep-gaze-day-dreaming’ photo in this event. i saw it once and she’s wonderful brilliant. too bad, i couldn’t find that photo again. found it. yeay. anyway, CONFESSION promo … together with school students and educators.

the movie really something na. a phenomenon. with shock and complicated confessions and messages… time for appreciation and discussion, everyone.

flash forward january 2011 – matsu takako will be in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  it is a romantic comedy masterpiece. matsu gonna be in double role plays as twin sister Viola [later masquerading as a young man Cesario] and twin brother Sebastian. wow, sounds interesting… it would be challenging to play as a woman and man roles at the same time, but well yeah, she can do it. she’s matsu anyway…   frankly, i didn’t know Shakespeare did romantic comedy stuff, lol. for this reason, i started watching BBC production Twelfth Night [Or What You Will] movie. waaa, i’m so excited with the storyline. moreover the male lead will be ishimaru kanji.. huhu, one of my favorite stage/musical actor. handsome maaa. and lovely voice. .. oh wait, is Twelfth Night gonna be a musical. i wish so…. btw, ishimaru kanji once did Phantom of Opera stage. oh ok, this gonna divert my mind to kimura takuya. … …. chotto, apparently there was a connection. ishimaru and kimura did combi work together in tv commercial ‘Oronamin C Drink’. hehe, when was that.. really wanna see that old commercial.

tanaka rena – i watched her latest mobile BeeTV drama ‘Fast Marriage’.. first episode – hehe, i love it.. gosh, where i could find the rest. this exactly a sequel of ryokiteki na kanojo. i just keep on o-hehe imagining saburo on the screen. somehow i could feel rena was longing recently. reading few entries of her personal diary, she’s talking about that person and missing him. words and things like happy drinking, yellow, sunset, blue rose, red rose, sky photos… and marriage. hemm. something missing. something empty. something lonely. awh, keep in touch will ya. finding and borrowing books could be a good excuse, na…. sou da, talking about books… rena love books so much. she bought, read and share with fans and others. she even discussed the topics with her parents. i’m happy to know that she bought FLOWERS novel and CONFESSION novel at the same time. kusanagi tsuyoshi once read the same title ‘The Eight Chicada’ novel [ah, i still haven't watch that NHK drama]. …. btw, regarding the building with yellow light photo.. rena suddenly mentioned about keigo higashino‘s novel.. i wonder which one she was referring. so i check his novel lists. G@meGalileo, RyÅ«sei no Kizuna, Suspect X, Samayou Yaiba, Shinzanmono. hehe.. all my fav stars.. nakama yukie, fukuyama masaharu, ninomiya kazunari, toda erika, tsutsumi shinichi, yasuko matsuyuki, yutaka takenouchi and abe hiroshi. …. how good if rena as a guest in shinzanmono drama. oh she will be in a new movie ‘Days in the Morisaki Bookstore’. probably a cameo or supporting role. hemm, tsuyoshi love watching girl with book.. if only there’s a plot of tsurena meeting at the bookstore.

aoi no bara .. crayon song .. blue riko – white saburo

there were so many shinarisa rumors on net. also speculation of their upcoming dorama. well, i’m all for that. 120 percent my support with a BIG smile. recently, watching her five episodes drama ‘Tenshi no Wakemae’ without sub. she looks lovely in the kitchen ne. lol. not to late to learn the cooking. i could see recipes in the official site. like haken no oscar, hopefully dvd with sub will be available on shelf. ‘SAZAE-SAN’ too…

oh, i also spent my free time watching old doramas and movies… and past variety shows.
shabekuri 007 with CONFESSION [matsu, kimura, okada] ..
i love this episode. haha. okada was so cute and tennen. yoshino too. love her white dress. and matsu.. she never fail giving oishii reaction to those top comedians. where she got that ‘pua kumbu’ dress. it’s kinda ooonique mix n match.

glad. at last o-matsu was wearing the ring properly. she said ‘sumimasen’ and showing her fingers. haha. i bet somebody already scold her before.. two years still forgetting her own marriage. find the happiness, otaka. if not, return back to the right place, onegaishimasu. stand by him. stand by us. .. emm, guess he already learn something. am i right o-taku. i am .. i am. oh, some people might wonder why i refer kimura-kun as otaku. hemm, how to say.. well  he is simply an otaku.

next autumn season,
kanno miho
will be in ‘Akuma to Keiyakushita Onna‘ drama with tamaki hiroshi. and karasawa toshiaki will be there as supporting. meanwhile yutaka takenouchi will be in ‘TBA’ drama. i’m fine with miho’s drama storyline… but reading takeno’s drama synopsis and cast line, i was crack.. omg, UETO AYA. nanda kore. iyada. for the first time i feel like to erase his co-star. i dunno. the image of makihara risa should be play by yoshitaka yuriko i guess.

aa, what a waste ……. imagine miho with tamaki and takeno with yuriko ;p

demo, since both are FujiTV production…. there’s possibility for takeno-miho appearance in Ii TOMO  or Nakai-kun drama FESTIVAL. i wish so. kinda sad there’s no opportunity for amami-sorimachi appearance in ‘GOLD’ drama promo.

while takashi sorimachi was doing GOLD, his lady nanako matsushima was filming GHOST.

anyway, all i know inagaki goro absolutely gonna watch miho’s drama. and as takeno came to amami’s musical last time, amami yuki should repay with a house visit. hekhek.

world of warcraft gold

New Web Service Helps Lazy Parents Spy On Kids' Little League Games

Want to be over-involved in your child's life, but can't spare the time it takes to smother them with attention? A service for you: A company is installing webcams at Little League games, so parents can watch from their phones.

It's called Youth Sports Live, and will help you monitor your child's every screw-up at the base, according to the New York Times:

Youth Sports Live is striking deals with local leagues around the country to make that possible by installing and maintaining Webcams at local baseball and softball fields. Games can be replayed on demand. Subscribers to the site are charged $14.95 per month or can buy access for an entire season. They can also purchase games on DVD for $19.95.

Wow! Soon, this conversation will be occurring in suburban kitchens everywhere:

FATHER: So, Timmy, saw you missed a pretty easy fly ball today at the game. What happened, buddy?
TIMMY: Wait, you weren't there. How… how did you know?
FATHER: Oh, I was on spying on you from a nearby rooftop.
TIMMY: …
FATHER: Just kidding! I subscribe to a service that records all of your games on a webcam. Now if they could only put one of those little guys in the bathroom. What the hell do you DO in there for hours?

[Picture by Youth Sports Live]

Send an email to Adrian Chen, the author of this post, at adrian@gawker.com.

The Best Games Of GamesCom

These aren't the games we think were the best of GamesCom. They're the games that an “independent expert jury” has deemed to be the official best in show.

This expert jury was made up of representatives from the German press, namely Michael Trier (IDG Entertainment), Petra Fröhlich (Computec Media), Christian Bigge (Computerbild Online), Harald Hesse (G+J Entertainment Media ), Oliver Hartmann (Brot und Spiele) and Bernhard Schneider (Müller), none of which we've ever heard of, but all of which sound suitably German to be handing out the awards!

And the winners were:

BEST GAME: Gran Turismo 5
BEST HARDWARE: PlayStation Move
BEST CONSOLE GAME: Gran Turismo 5
BEST HANDHELD GAME: Super Scribblenauts
BEST ONLINE GAME: Guild Wars 2
BEST PC GAME: Crysis 2
BEST FAMILY GAME: Kirby's Epic Yarn

Send an email to the author of this post at plunkett@kotaku.com.


FF 14

August 25, 2010

Here are some of the best deals at Target this week, with thanks to Marcy from Stretching a Buck for her help in compiling them:

Post-It Notes (3×3) – $1
Use $1/1 printable
Free after coupon

Scotch Magic Tape – $0.50 each
Buy 3 and use $1/3 coupon from the 8/8 SmartSource insert
$0.17 each after coupon

Mead 5 Star One Subject Notebook – $1
Buy 2 and use $1/2 coupon from the 8/8 RedPlum insert
$0.50 each after coupon

Danimals Yogurt – $1.67
Use $1/1 coupon from the 7/18 SmartSource insert
$0.67 each after coupon

Dannon Activia Yogurt (4-6 pk) – $1.67
Use $1/1 printable here (IE) or here (FF)
Or use $1/1 coupon from the 8/8 SmartSource insert
$0.67 each after coupon

Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells (12 ct) – $1.50
Buy 2 and use $1/2 printable
$1 each after coupon

Get a $5 Target Gift Card when you buy 2 Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power or Venus Breeze Razors or Cartridges: (Note: There is also a $10/$30 purchase mail-in-rebate here.)

*Deal Idea*

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor – $8.99
Buy 2 and use 2 $4/1 coupon from the 8/1 P&G insert
$2.49 each after coupons and gift card

See the full list of deals at Target this week here.

Did you find a great deal at Target? Just post about it on your blog and leave your link below. To make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your Target deals post. Links going to the homepage of your blog or any other part of your blog besides the direct link to your Target deals post will be deleted.

Before anyone asks, the methodology in place was largely informed by necessity. Rhio existed prior to the experiment, had her subjob but naught else unlocked (including airships), and had monk sitting at 18 — well into the point where my admittedly archaic knowledge told me she couldn't level without a party. While I admit a new player wouldn't have the subjob, for the most part it didn't have a major impact on the experiment. A Poisona here, a Cure to reduce downtime there — it would not invalidate the results, just skew them slightly.

And despite my jokes, I understand that this experiment fails at most qualifications of scientific rigor. It still produced some interesting results. Enough so that there are some worthwhile final observations at the end, as well as ongoing testing beyond the scope of one column.

I've organized the results by sessions in which I ran around, including the area I was working in and the Fields of Valor page I made use of as a training regime. Except where noted, each session was engaged with the assistance of an Empress Band, and most sessions ended when I was stuck in the “limbo” between training regimes.

Session 1: La Theine Plateau, Page 4

My first session set the tone, really. I had expected to play for a while and wind up massively disappointed. Instead, I played for about an hour and fifteen minutes and managed 3000 experience, which comes out to roughly 2400 an hour. That's not awesome, but pretty solid considering I was all alone in lousy gear.

I had picked Page 4 largely on a whim and found it to be an excellent regime for the level range because everything fit into the same general area. Sheep and crabs both concentrate around the small lake in the northern center of the map, along with worms, goblins, and the occasional bat. Relatively speaking, it was easy to both arrive at and return from my destination. Regen largely took care of my HP, with most of the enemies on the mid-to-low range of Easy Prey.

Session 2: La Theine Plateau, Page 4

This session worked even better than the first — I played for a single hour and made 3000 experience. Ironically, it was also the only session during which I didn't level up, due largely to the fact that I had started only a sliver into the level. Rock Eaters and Goblins both proved to be excellent targets of opportunity as I moved between my training regime victims, which helped up my experience without a great deal of extra effort.

If I could, I would also like to take an extra moment to impotently curse at whoever decided to make inventory space in Final Fantasy XI so mind-bogglingly anemic. A disproportionate amount of time each session is spent trying to make five pounds of flour fit into a two-pound bag. Realistic? Not really — the items in question are of vastly different sizes, yet each takes up one spot in the inventory. It's just obnoxious.

Session 3: La Theine Plateau, Page 4

As the single longest session in the whole project, this one really drove home the essential problem that inventory space presents when leveling solo. Out of two hours played, I earned only 4500 experience. Part of this, I'm sure, is that I didn't have Dedication running the entire time — Empress Bands only last so long, and I was reluctant to fire off my Anniversary Band this early into the experiment. But a big part of it was the fact that after about an hour of play, I was simply out of inventory space and had to travel back to San d'Oria to unload some of my excess garbage.

That having been said, aside from worms beginning to be just a touch less useful as filler targets, the actual fight-to-fight mechanics still worked smoothly. I tossed out the occasional Cure, but there were no fights in which a healing spell was the difference between victory or death, just downtime or lack thereof.

Session 4: La Theine Plateau, Page 4

In stark contrast to the prior session, this one was incredibly short — only 20 minutes or so of playtime. In that time, I earned 1100 experience. This time, rather than heading all the way back to San d'Oria, I had left Rhio parked by the Field Manual, allowing me to jump right in and get down to business without the inconvenience of transportation. That enabled me to simply grab a regime, run through it, and leave without a hitch. Astute mathematicians will note that this still brings me out to around 3000 per hour, which (as noted before) is pretty darn good in the grand scheme of things.

By this time, however, I was also noticing the limitations of this particular regime. I had reached level 20, but each kill was worth less and less, and it didn't take much further thought to realize I was going to have to expand somewhere else. But where to go? I settled on either the first page of Valkurm, which would be risky, or the fifth page of Konstacht Highlands, which would mean more traveling. So for the fifth session, I tried them both…

However, that's the sort of thing better left for its own column in the future. My conclusion at this point was fairly positive: The first 20 levels of the game can be soloed with minimal difficulty, even if you don't yet have a subjob. That's enough to get to Jeuno, get a chocobo license, and with a little luck get some help getting said subjob items. But whether or not you could get straight to the subjob items yourself was another story.

I'm eager to hear what everyone thinks about this installment, as it was definitely a change of pace for me. If you loved it or hated it, voice your opinion, either via email to eliot@massively.com or by leaving your thoughts in the comment section. There's more to be told about the experiment, but if no one cares, I'll let it lie. Either way, tune in next week for some community discussion highlights as we barrel toward the Final Fantasy XIV release!


Star Trek Online

August 24, 2010

I gots the warmonger blues

Remember when STO launched six months ago? Cool, me too. As it happens, not everyone was super-duper pleased with Cryptic Studios' product. We've noted as much before. But what really narfled fans' garthoks was the game's emphasis on shooting and explosions, which many thought missed the point of Star Trek.

See, in the movies and the various incarnations of the show, exploration and peacekeeping were integral to the Federation's existence. For every Mutara Nebula firefight or Chekovian nose dive off an aircraft carrier, Star Trek offered episode upon episode of discovering things and first-contacting folks.

STO, not so much. Non-combat missions appeared infrequently, and they usually were pretty pointless. Mostly, you'd have to collect anomalies from a deserted asteroid field. If your captain got lucky, she might have to speak with a handful of disgruntled colonists. Meh.

Happy day!

Well aware of players' dissatisfaction, the developers offered a fix in July as part of the Season 2 patchasaurus. With the Federation Diplomatic Corps on the scene, FDC doesn't just stand for the Federation of Dance Competitions anymore.

The basic idea is that non-combat missions should be more plentiful now, and they grant special diplomacy experience when you complete them. As you accrue those points (which appear under the Progress heading in your character window), you can eventually unlock new missions and titles. You'll even gain the ability to transwarp to places other than Earth Spacedock!

When I first logged on after Season 2 went live, I gained 10 diplomacy experience (diploxp?) automatically. So, now what?

First impression

Sadly, don't expect the new diplomacy system to wow you right out of the gate. Other than that random, retroactive earning of 10 diplomacy experience when I first fired up STO, I saw no indication whatsoever that the Federation Diplomacy Corps even existed. Other players directed me to Ambassador Jiro Sugihara, a new NPC in Admiral Quinn's office on Earth Spacedock. Although Sugihara explains the basics of the FDC, he doesn't inform me how to get started with it.

Seriously, what the heck? I love highly touted new features that you can't access because they arrived with no in-game explanation. A tiny, insignificant breadcrumb quest is all we needed, Cryptic.

To Memory Alpha

Unlike the totally useless ambassador, my fellow players directed me to Memory Alpha, where five new quests await beginner diplomats. I will cover those quests in no particular order.

Fetch, captain!

The first new quest I encounter sends me to Deep Space Nine to retrieve a Bajoran jumja stick for Whatshisname O'Brien. Oh boy. My introduction to STO's great new diplomacy initiative … is a fetch quest. This does not bode well.

Interestingly, when I warp into the Bajor sector looking for O'Brien's snack, another diplomacy quest, Standoff, pops up in the form of a fight between angry Cardassian captains. In the hope of brokering an accord, my captain invites the Cardassians into my ship's conference room. After speaking with both captains, I realize that one is trying to kill the other for treason, despite the latter's protests of innocence.

In a neat twist, the accusing Cardassian offers up several pieces of evidence to demonstrate the treason, and it's up to me to prove that they're fakes. By interacting with a console in the room, I can access a transmission, a piece of weaponry, and a video, and fiddle with them to find hints of tampering. Sadly, I manage to destroy the weapon, failing the mission and dooming the accused. Oops!

After blowing up the potential weapon and failing again, I succeed on the third try. (Hint: Listen to everything the two captains say, and be sure to research everything using the second console in the room.) Standoff is a fabulous use of both the diplomacy corps and my ship's interior. The mission feels totally fresh, and the possibility of failure elevates the proceedings above simply reading a bunch of flavor text.

Unfortunately, the fetch quest turns out as boringly as possible. I buy the jumja stick at Quark's Bar and deliver it to O'Brien for 10 more diplomacy experience. Yay.

When you're facing danger, and reinforcements would take too long to reach you, what's a good commander to do? Well, if you're playing Star Trek Online, you could simply separate the saucer section of your ship and give yourself the ability to fight the enemy on two sides! Today we have a great shot showing a ship that has just separated — the U.S.S. Vesuvius — courtesy of its commander, Vice Admiral Feis. He writes in:

Exploring the B-Tran Cluster and for tactical reasons, engaged the saucer separation. The purpose is that it creates two ships to attack the selected target, but more importantly, it allows the Star Drive section to have the same maneuverability as an escort class ship. The retrofit Galaxy class cruiser is available in two models: the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation look or this newer 'armored' look.”

One Shots is in need of more screenshots! If you'd like to contribute something, just email it in to us here at oneshots@massively.com along with your name, then name of the game that the image comes from, and a description of what we're seeing in the picture. Please make sure your image is at least 1024px wide and has as few UI elements as possible. (If in doubt, leave the UI in, but don't make the image smaller than 1024 pixels wide, please!) You never know — yours could be the next one we feature here on Massively!


Gold for World of Warcraft

August 19, 2010

"Diving!" I thought. I didn't dare get my fake Tag near anything moist, for that would mean certain death. In rainstorms, I took off my fake Tag, placing it in the driest available pocket. If I were in a high humidity climate, I kept fake Tag near a de-moisturizer packet, again in my pocket. I treated fake Tag better than I did my real Tag, which was a true Tag diving watch.

Here are a few *HOT* new Target deals:

Gold’n Plump All Natural Whole Chicken (3.5lbs) on a Price Cut for $0.99
(This is down from the regular cost of $4.99!! WOW!)
Plus, use the $1/1 coupon from the 6/20 SS
(or use the $2/1 coupon that was previously available)
Final cost FREE chicken!!!!
**Let us know if you find this on a price cut for this unbelievable price too!

Kraft Shredded Cheese on sale for $2

Use the $1/1 peelie coupons found on the cheese
Final cost ONLY $1!

Werther’s Originals Caramel Coffee Candy on sale for $1

Use the $1/1 coupon from the 5/9 SS
Final cost FREE!

(Thanks so much for the picture and heads up on these deals, Hooked on Bargains!)


Also, Jennifer, a reader, found Colgate Total with a mini travel size toothpaste attached priced at just $2.99. Plus, it includes $10 in Target store Coupons for Colgate and Palmolive products!

Coupons Include:

(Remember, these can be combined with manufacturer’s coupons for even more savings!)
$1.00 off 16 oz Palmolive dish liquid
$1.00 off Colgate 360 Toothbrush
$1.00 off Softsoap Body Wash
$1.00 off 2 Lady Speed Stick/Speed Stick Deodorant
$1.00 off Irish Spring 12 oz or lgr wash or 12pk bar soap
$1.00 off Colgate Max Fresh Toothpaste 4.6oz or larger
$1.00 off Softsoap (one refill OR 2 pumps)
$1.00 off 56 oz Fabuloso
$1.00 off Colgate Total 4 oz
$1.00 off Palmolive automatic dishwasher detergent

**Use the $1/1 any Colgate coupon from the 7/18 SS (or 7/11 SS) to score the toothpaste for $1.99! Plus, you’ll get all those great coupons. …AND then you can go back to do this deal and you’ll be able to stack the $1/1 Target coupon above with the manufacturer’s coupon to score the toothpaste for just $0.99 + you’ll get another set of coupons!

Wow gold instant delivery


WOW Gold For Sale Cheap

August 16, 2010

How to Have Telephone Sex

May 10, 2010

my cell phone by amberrenée.com

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Cheap Phone Sex


Welcome to StoreBlogs!

May 10, 2010

Welcome to StoreBlogs, a service by Visible.net. This is an example blog post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging today!