>Countdown to Cataclysm: Part 2 — Leveling Improved!

>While playing World of Warcraft today on Gorto, the Shaman that never seems to level far I noticed something new and wonderful. Blizzard changed some of the classic instances levels recommendations and content. In particular the Stratholme – Service Entrance is now for levels 46 to 56. In the original World of Warcraft this was a 56-60 level instance. There were not enough late 40′s or early 50s instances in the original game so this is a good thing. A super added bonus quest givers for Stratholme were right inside the instance. Three quests for some decent xp. The best gets better, if you die, the walk from the rez angel is a lot shorter than in pre Cataclysmic World of Warcraft. All good!

I also ran a random BRD, Levels restrictions and mobs were reduced there also. The other woohoo moment was seeing maps in the older instances of the instance. Seeing where bosses are sitting and how the corridors work makes it a lot better for newer players. Maps of instances were started in Wrath of the Lich King. It made dungeoneering a lot easier. Now Blizzard has retro fitted maps into Azeroth instances. Hit the M key and no picture of the continent or zone you are in, but where you and your friend are in the instance!

If you like leveling in instances then this is another good thing! Patch 4.0.3a makes leveling from 70-80 25% quicker. The XP requirement between levels in now 75% of what it was. If you have a toon that is 74 percent done with his current level before the patch then when you log in now his level bar is 1 percent from complete. I had a toon that was 72 and in just that position. I turned in a quest and he dinged. (leveled to 73) Awesome sauce!

Well I will post more as I play. Have fun!

>Countdown to Cataclysm: Part 1

>If you play World of Warcraft, Christmas comes early this year. December 7th actually. Instead of changing everything overnight Blizzard has been piece by piece updating parts of World of Warcraft to prepare for Cataclysm and implementing them now for over a month.

Change is good unless you are a serious raider and have everything just so. Yesterdays prolonged update gave us a new map in the older/original part of the game. New starting areas for some races and new class combinations. You can now have a Tauren Paladin. All I can say is the shoulders will be huge on that character model.

If you are a WoW player and have not logged in for while, this might be the time. New quests for leveling in the 1-60 range, new places to explore and 9 million people to play with. Fun! I will report more detail as I explore!

>Fallout: New Vegas: A first look.

>I am famous for purchasing computer RPGs and playing for 10 hours. Then never inserting the disk again. One of the games I did play to the ending was Fallout 3. I I enjoyed combat system and the setting and story for the game were intriguing. I looked forward to Fallout: New Vegas and when it was released in October we purchased it and I took it for a spin.

The game starts with you being dug out of a grave by a robot. In the Mojave, not far from Vegas. You don’t remember much but you get a reboot, an old doctor patches you up and you create your character during your post op exam. You begin the game searching for the person who shot you in the head. What is not to like?

The game is definitely older teen to adult. The game’s premise for healing your character is taking drugs and eating irradiated food you find in various animals you kill in the desert. Oh and don’t forget old fashioned alcohol consumption. Interestingly if you use drugs and intoxicants too often in the game you develop dependencies which weaken your character. You can get them removed by doctors scattered about in the game.

The game play is not too much different from Fallout 3. There is a system for modding weapons and changing ammo to overcome various combatants. You can build your own AMMO by breaking down AMMO you have found and rebuilding it.

Like Fallout 3 you may find people (and a robot) willing to follow you around and help you. These followers will use weapons and armor you give them and will hold items you find when you become overburdened with what you have collected yourself.

The game is interesting as there are different ways to “win”. No spoilers here but it is easily worth playing several times as choices within the game you make dictate which quests you are given. There are a dozen or so factions, some at cross purposes and aligning yourself to one will ostracize you to another.

I have played through once and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I have just started my second trip through. I will let you know how it goes…..

>Saphra’s DPS Drama

>Ok. So the life of an elemental shaman is a glamorous one: awesome mail armor, those cool frost witch shoulder thingys that do that frozen-ghosty-air thing (“I’m not a witch – I’m nothing you heard…”), cruising on the proto drake looking for Saronite and Titanium veins. But it’s not all parties all the time, you know.

At the moment, Saphra is struggling with her DPS. Using the cool new Earthquake spell in large groups, I can get my DPS up to the 6000 range. But by the end of the instance it’s considerably lower. I’ve been told I need more haste. More elemental mastery. More cowbell. I’ve tried new gems, I’ve tried different food buffs, I’ve tried more caffeine – come on, I play after the baby goes to sleep. I’m tired!

What’s the magic formula? I don’t know. I see other shammies in instances with me doubling my DPS. It’s embarrassing! I check their stats in recount, they’re using the same spells as me. I check them out in the armory, their armor is a little different but……. I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions!

Who has an elemental shaman around here who can advise me? Help me out, folks!

>All I Want for Christmas Part I

>Tops on the boys’ Christmas lists (at the moment) is Lego Universe:

http://universe.lego.com/en-us/splash/default.aspx?icmp=COGamesProductsUSLU1

This MMORPG looks like “WoW Legos”! I’m sniffing around the website and so far, I am impressed. The game is moderated 24 hours a day 7 days a week to try and ensure player safety. Parents have to consent to accounts for kiddos under 13, and the game includes a dictionary to give players an idea of what words are ok in chat and what words aren’t ok.

I sure hope Santa brings this one, Mom thinks she wants to play it too………….

Welcome to Wired For Games….

Welcome to wiredforgames.com….

Our family welcomes you to our running commentary on family life, fun and games, and the general hilarity that ensues in between waking up and falling asleep at the end of the day.

Our Family:

Don, photographer and IT Infrastructure consultant and work-from-home dad who takes care of Baby Erin, and is an afficionado of all things gamer: board games, word puzzles, online games, video games, RPGs, you name it….

Buff, a full time working mom who loves puzzle games and World of Warcraft, ignores her WiiFit responsibilities, and is working on an MBA because she’s a glutton for punishment…..

Nate and Cam, teen and preteen brothers who own (or have owned) at least one of almost every video game system made since 1998…..
Baby Erin, who is currently fascinated by television remote controls and the iPad…..

Oh and there’s a dog and two cats too, but they aren’t big on gaming……yet.