WoW Classic versus Retail: a game and it's sequel for one sub fee
Posted by Yeebo Fernbottom's MMO Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 December 2019, 2:27 pm
With the launch of Classic, a subscription to World of Warcraft has become a pretty good value in my opinion.  Until August it had been years since I set foot in WoW.  In fact I skipped the last three expansions because I didn't want to support Blizzard financially. The studio had chosen to gradually close down a game that I really liked one piece at a time and replace it with some other game I didn't enjoy as much.  Warlords of Draenor was where the game finally crossed a line that completely killed my interest.  The fact that Retail WoW shared the same world, classes and races I remembered from the Classic-to-Cataclysm era game I enjoyed made my loss sting even more.  It was as if an impostor was parading around in a suit of skin stripped from the corpse of "old WoW", the eyes of the developers laughing at me through two dark misshapen holes in a crudely tanned hide.

All that changed when Blizzard launched Classic.  I really wanted that old game back (despite what the developers thought), and I have had an absolute blast in Classic these last few months.  Revisiting the old quests and class designs gives me a keen sense of nostalgia.  However, it's more than just nostalgia, Classic is overall much more immersive to me.  The stately pace of the game makes it seem more like a living breathing world than Retail. You don't blaze through a zone in an hour, you spend days or even weeks in each new area.  You get to know each zone intimately.  "Cruft" like needing to learn skills for various weapons or needing to visit your class trainer every two levels, fill the game with events that seem important.  I also love other "clunky" features like class quests to unlock basic abilities (e.g., defensive stance for fighters, the succubus for warlocks, Shaman totems) and the absurdly deep pet system that hunters need to deal with.   It makes the experience of playing different classes feel really distinct, and again it adds a series of events to your journey that seem impactfull.

However, an unexpected side-effect of the launch of Classic is that I can now judge Retail on it's own merits, since it isn't inhabiting the corpse of something I love. If you think of Retail as a sequel to Classic, it's actually pretty good in its own way.  Much the same way that EQ and EQ II are both fun games set in Norrath, or FF VII, VIII and IX are all good JRPGs with a few shared elements, Retail WoW is an interesting take on the same setting as Classic. Admittedly some classes that I enjoy in Classic like the Warlock and Hunter have been completely gutted in Retail.  But some classes/ specs that are almost unplayable to me in Classic have also been greatly improved. For example, in Classic I can't stand playing Paladins.  They have terrible rotations and are just generally tortuously slow at solo questing.  In Retail Paladin's are actually pretty fun. In Retail my Balance Druid is an absolute joy to play (55 so far), and I was barely able to get one up to level 20 in Classic.

Retail and Classic are different games with different core design philosophies.  Classic hearkens back to much older MMOs like DAoC and EQ, and includes a lot of details that serve no purpose save to flesh out the world being portrayed.  Retail strips many of those out.  In many way it plays like a lobby game that happens to be embedded in a MMO, rather than a MMO per se.  Things like crafting and a world to explore are there if you want them, but are really an afterthought in the current design.  The quickest way to advance a character is to spend most of your time queuing up for dungeons and battlegrounds.  However, that's not inherently bad.  If you are in the mood for a quick dungeon crawl or light questing where you don't really need to pay attention to anything, Retail is actually pretty good.  It also has a somewhat stronger emphasis on narrative than Classic.

Now that you get access to both games for one fee, I think it's actually a good thing that Retail is so different from Classic.  It would be similar to getting FFVIII for free when you buy FFVII.  One game is a classic that brought a genre that was previously a bit obscure into the limelight, and the other is a controversial game with some highly suspect design choices.  However, both of them together is a heck of a lot of entertainment for one price.

Galactic Hour News Roundup: Yoiul Festival Trading and Talks Edition
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 December 2019, 2:27 pm

The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx brings your roundup of the latest news from all across New Eden as the Yoiul Festival period witnesses accelerated trading and renewed efforts at peace as the start of YC122 approaches.

PKN Interstellar Declares Launch of HyperNet Relay "Successful Beyond All Projections"

Jita, The Forge – The PKN Interstellar consortium has issued a glowing report on the first 48 hours of market activity on their newly-launched HyperNet Relay trading and communciations network, hailing the launch as "successful beyond all projections." While detailed financials are not available, the consortium – led by the CBD, Lai Dai and NOH megacorporations – has confirmed that transactions on the new network are "well into the multiple trillions of ISK after only 48 hours of operation."

PKN Interstellar has also noted that the high activity has allowed it to accelerate its associated FTL communications operations as the influx of Quantum-Entangled 4-Helium HyperCores allows it to synchronize and encrypt vast numbers of QE 4-He pairs for distribution across the new communications network it is constructing.

In related news, the next phase of the Jita 4-4 Caldari Navy station redevelopment and expansion project is advancing on schedule, according to PKN Interstellar's latest updates to the Chief Executive Panel and Caldari Navy board. The project is now moving forward to prepare and lay down the foundation frameworks for construction of a communications and science hub that will eventually be a major element in PKN's FTL communications backbone. Deep Core Mining Incorporated has also begun to work on preparations for a mining operations center that will co-ordinate exploitation of the vast resources of the Jita 4-4 moon itself.

Above: Next Phase of Jita 4-4 Redevelopment and Expansion Underway

Inner Circle Starts Fourth Round of Peace Talks on New Protocols for Militia Warzone Planets and Orbitals

Yulai, Genesis – CONCORD's Inner Circle has formally begun a fourth round of peace talks aimed at resolving the recent escalations in militia warzone fighting and occupations on planetary and other orbital bodies. The urgency of the talks is due to the ongoing conflict in the Amarr-Minmatar militia warzone, particularly the House Sarum invasion of the Minmatar colony world of Floseswin IV.

However, a number of recent incidents on militia warzone planets, moons and other orbital bodies have exposed shortcomings in the interstellar legal framework and conflict resolution protocols. A number of loopholes and gaps, that were until recently covered by mutual understandings and informal pacts, have been torn open by incidents such as the FDU's pacification of riots by Caldari citizens in Iralaja system, Seykal Clan attacks on Huola VI, and notably the lengthy corporate warfare and asset removal operations carried out by Lai Dai Protection Services on Intaki V. The full-scale invasion and high-intensity warfare on Floseswin IV is the worst incident yet in terms of the level of interstellar conflict in the border zones and raised tensions between all the CONCORD powers.

Reports from Yulai suggest that the Inner Circle is establishing a framework that will provide time for a number of initiatives being promoted by the Gallente Federation and Caldari State to proceed while the CONCORD Assembly prepares draft protocols that may form the basis of addendums to the Yulai Convention and Accords, together with significant amendments to the Emergency Militia War Powers Act of YC110.

Above: Operational Meltwater-Snowball Exchanger

Citizens of New Eden Look Forward to Yoiul Festival Celebrations Despite Conflicts Across Cluster

Yulai, Genesis – Despite a year that has seen escalating invasions by the Triglavian Collective, and considerably heightened tensions along the border zones between the "Big Four" empires, the citizens of New Eden are apparently determined to make the best of the increasingly cosmopolitan and cluster-wide celebrations of the end-of-year Yoiul Festival.

As part of the festivities, a water reclamation project is encouraging capsuleers to turn in any stocks of meltwater they may have for processing, with a return of water ice "snowballs" for use in the traditional capsuleer activity of firing charges of compacted water ice crystals at one another in mock space combat. The Meltwater-Snowball Exchanger facilities can be found across New Eden's high-security zones at Yoiul Festival sites.


In Other News

  • Kaalakiota and Sukuuvestaa Delegation Meets with Lord Arrach Sarum to Discuss Militia Warzone Conflict
  • President Jacus Roden Rumored to be Attending Bilateral Talks at Habu VIII Sponsored by Quafe
  • Senator Kelen Ontbad Declares Sarum Invasion of Floseswin IV an "Affront To Civilization"
  • Mannar Seginde Councillor for Diplomacy Wayaki Kayara Cautions Against Undermining Roden Peace Initiative
  • Capsuleer Candidate General Julianus Soter Eligible for Presidential Election Fee Funds Under Federal Military Provisions
  • Minmatar Militia Gains in Warzone Mount Against Background of Sarum Occupation of Floseswin IV
  • Valklear General Kanth Filmir Hails Efforts of Minmatar Militia but Urges Swift Recapture of Floseswin System
  • House Sarum Forces Reported to be Fortifying Positions on Multiple Planets in Aset, Uisper And Vimeini Systems
  • Republic Fleet Operations in Heimatar Warzone May Indicate Preparations for Counter Invasion of Devoid
  • Kameiras Assault on Floseswin IV Leads to Capitulation Of Southern Continental Colonial Capital
  • Khanid Secret Police Execute New Sweeps Across Mishi IV as Theology Council Considers Evidence Against Holders
  • Vimoksha Chorus Assault on Chamume III Mining Colony: "Total Destruction of Settlement and Thousands Captured"


Meltwater Snowball Exchanger
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 December 2019, 3:00 pm
Trade in your melted snowballs for fresh new one as part of the Naughty or Nice event.  Available at local beacons in a high sec system near you.

The Holidays Come to EVE Online with Login Rewards and More
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 December 2019, 1:15 pm
The Holiday season has started in New Eden as CCP kicked off the Naughty or Nice event today at downtime. Gone are the Yoiul Lads of old, replaced by the now familiar, and recently updated, daily login reward interface, which is the cornerstone of this

The Uncertainty Principle
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 December 2019, 11:56 am
Eve's greatest strength lies in uncertainty. The sheer amount of variables involved, which only seem to increase as the game goes on, make knowing anything for certain extremely unlikely. That next jump could be your last. The new ship you are so proud of

Back to Battlegrounds?
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 December 2019, 8:01 am
I have considered recently giving Player Unknown Battlegrounds another try. I had a lot of fun using the emulator to play PUBG mobile until the population for the emulator dropped off and wait times climbed to over 5 minutes or more. I tried to pick the

Das Hypernet Relay II
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 December 2019, 12:30 am
Jetzt ist die Katze aus dem Sack. Oder besser die Hypernodes, die man für die Hypernet-Lotterie in EVE Online braucht. Ich habe mir das Ganze mal genauer angeschaut und möchte Euch zwei wichtige Tipps mit auf den Weg geben...

Nothing and Everything Changes
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 December 2019, 11:35 pm
I can mark the passage of time from Eve with Intuition's age. He turned four last month. Today, Corbexx sent me a chat on Steam and we spent hours chattering about this and that as if it was yesterday. That is friendship.One of the things we noticed is

Geek to Geek Podcast S4E49 - Holiday Gaming - “Traditional Traditions”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 December 2019, 8:00 pm

In This Episode:

We talk holiday gaming traditions and how we approach games around the holidays.  While Void is sprinting ahead toward finishing up sampling a ton of games before end of the year lists come out, BJ is too busy with the holidays and finds himself playing more mobile gaming.  We dive in and pick each other’s brains about it!

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Music by CarboHydroM

Sleepers Scan a Scalpel
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 December 2019, 3:00 pm

Return to the Crowd Pummeler
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 December 2019, 1:15 pm
The group didn’t really align itself over the past weekend, so we spent some time doing quests in smaller groups.  On Saturday Fergorin and Alioto finished off they elite quests in Duskwood and Alioto got to 30, so we have a backup healer close in

WoW Classic gets Battlegrounds and Key Rings Today
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 December 2019, 2:15 pm
Today’s WoW Classic US downtime sees the deployment of World of Warcraft Classic version 1.13.3. (EU realms won’t get this until 1am tomorrow if I read things right… but that will still be today here.) This update brings with it a few changes, the

The December Update Brings Gambling and Structure Changes to EVE Online
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 December 2019, 10:45 am
The December update for EVE Online has gone live after an extended downtime and brings with it an array of changes for New Eden. Called the “Free Market” release, the headline item for the update is the HyperNet Relay gambling interface that will

Milestone: 7,000 Kills
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 December 2019, 9:25 am
Yesterday I exploded three ships and a pod to finally reach my 7,000th kill in Eve Online!1 - A Vexor that Angor and I found inside a Medium Plex2 - And his pod, which was empty sadly3 - An Algos I managed to solo with my Comet, good fight, was very

EVE Online's Stormy 3rd Quarter
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 December 2019, 7:00 am
The Pearl Abyss investors call on 8 November basically ended the stream of data those outside CCP would receive for the third quarter of 2019. Designated "The Chaos Era" by CCP, the summer of 2019 was dominated by an event officially called "Blackout" and

My Games Played for 2019
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 December 2019, 1:15 pm
I realize that we’re only a few days into December at this point, leaving almost 8% of the year left to go, but there are also only so many days in a month and I had nothing else brewing for a post, so I am going to run with this a bit earlier that

Tempest Tackled
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 December 2019, 3:00 pm

Finding a Lost Quad
Posted by Blue Kae [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 December 2019, 10:00 am
It was the first trip to the in-law’s farm after getting my HX100, and I was looking forward to trying it out where I had lots of open space. I’d already had a good set of flights with my Acrobrat

Minmatar Militia Makes Gains in Warzone as Sarum Assault on Floseswin IV Continues
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 December 2019, 8:13 am

Floseswin, Metropolis – While the House Sarum campaign to "Reclaim" the planet of Floseswin IV continues, as Amarr control of the system is maintained, the fighting in other systems of the Metropolis region miltia warzone has resulted in a number of gains for the Minmatar Tribal Liberation Force.

CONCORD's CDIA Conflict Monitoring Section has previously indicated to the Scope that Amarr control of a number of systems in Metropolis was "facilitating" the House Sarum "Reclaiming Operations" in Floseswin. With a number of key systems on the periphery of the warzone changing hands, the Scope obtained an update from the Conflit Monitoring Section:

"As you suggest, in our previous assessment it was clear that Amarr control of a number of systems in the militia warzone was facilitating logistics operations and enabling the so-called 'Reclaiming' on Floseswin IV to proceed more readily. Given the long real space distances between the Floseswin system and House Sarum's staging bases in Myherra and Gammel, it was apparent that a corridor of way-station systems was being used to move materiel and military forces from the Sarum bases directly into the warzone."

"As you may be aware, Amarr logistical doctrine calls for movements of materiel and troops to proceed under heavy escort. The favored platform for the Empire remains the workhorse Archon-class carrier. Use of unescorted freighters by the Amarr is generally an emergency provision only, and their jump gate networks in the area are no better than the Republic's after years and years of warfare in the militia warzone. We would take the view, today, that the recent capture of Isbrabata and now Eszur by Minmatar militia forces has significantly reduced the options for House Sarum logistics, which clearly allows counter-operations to be better targeted by the Republic. The breaking up of control within the area surrounding Floseswin would also increase the risks associated with use of star gates by conventional drive ships, and further narrow the options for Sarum supply operations."

The Scope can also report that gains made by Minmatar forces in Metropolis have also led to the capture of the Ardar system adjacent to Floseswin, and lying on a route back to the Minmatar Republic's staging system of Amo. The CDIA also noted, "Evidently it is helpful for the Minmatar to have a system cleared of Amarr jamming installations to which the Republic forces massed at Amo can directly jump. Both the Republic and the Empire are engaged in constant efforts to rebuild their own beacons and establish new jamming nets. Regardless, House Sarum control of Floseswin continues to give them the ability to project forces direct to that system, albeit less easily with fewer way-stations available, and the political impact of system control remains the key enabling factor to their planetary operations."

The Scope will continue to cover this major border conflict between the Amarr Empire and Minmatar Republic.

In Other News

  • CONCORD Inner Circle Schedules Fourth Peace Talks Session for Yoiul Festival Period; Multilateral Diplomacy Continues
  • Eifyr & Co. Signs Deals to Supply Infantry Combat Boosters to Intara Direct Action and Seykal Expeditionary Group
  • Mentas Blaque Remains Tight-Lipped Amidst Rumors President Jacus Roden Will Decline to Endorse any Candidate as Successor
  • Kaalakiota and Sukuuvestaa Send Joint Delegation to Sarum Prime with Militia Warzone Ceasefire Negotiations on Agenda
  • Blood Raiders Mocked for "Cowardice" as Attacks on Amarr Loyalist Structures in Derelik "Evaporate" in Face of Defense Fleet
  • Shaileen Ramnev Schedules New Speaking Engagement in Arcurio Amidst Speculation of Renewed Presidential Candidacy
  • Ni-Kunni Holders "Put to the Question" by Cheshm Khan Reportedly Implicate Prominent Mishi IV True Amarr House
  • Senator Kelen Ontbad Visits Leremblompes; Itinery Includes Talks with Mannar Seginde Politicians
  • Frostline Laboratories Rumored to be Developing "New Long-Range Exploration and Resource Extraction Technologies"
  • Duke Chakaid of Fabai Vows "Total Elimination of Ammatar Treachery and Collaboration with Terror in Khanid and Aridia"


Top Five Rejected WoW Squish Ideas
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 December 2019, 5:15 pm
We know Blizzard isn’t exactly a font of new ideas.  When they find something that works, they like to re-use it, to hone it, and to stick it in completely unexpected and inappropriate situations.  We have had the stats squish twice already, and what

Virtual Eve and Real Life
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 December 2019, 3:13 pm
Resurrected via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine: The hands behind the Dire suffer multiple limitations.  One limitation is a …Continue reading →

SpaceMom Hiatus in 5… 4… 3…
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 December 2019, 7:51 am
Editor’s Note: From our SpaceMom as posted on our forums and shared here. We wish Mynxee well in her new adventure. o7 So… I’m embarking upon a long hiatus from all things EVE, and it is probably permanent. I’ve been drifting in this direction for

Eagle Fleet Lit by Explosions
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 December 2019, 1:00 pm

The Test of Righteousness
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 December 2019, 1:15 pm
At some point around when we were doing the Fire Hardened Mail quest, Skonk had mentioned that we ought to make sure and do the Paladin class quests, which culminate with a nice 2H weapon. This all starts out with the Tome of Valor quest chain.  Skronk

Eve Comic #89
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 December 2019, 9:46 am
The very first panel of this on-going strip appeared on Eveoganda on March 9th, 2010 believe it or not. That means that in a little more than three months I will have been doing this strip for ten years! Good grief. I had no idea it would go on this long

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