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C.K. Sample, III


C.K. Sample, III, co-lead blogger for The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) and contributor to PSP Fanboy, TV Squad, and Cinematical began his gaming career with Pong. Since then he has owned and played almost every gaming console that the world has thrown at him. His all-time favorite games are Populous, Legend of Zelda, Super Puzzle Fighter Turbo II, Diablo II, and, of course, World of Warcraft. He also loves making the PSP do more than it was originally intended to do to such a degree that he authored a book on the subject: PSP Hacks.

Room full of bloggers on shared EVDO

We're all crammed in a hotel room in the vicinity of E3. 12 bloggers getting ready to cover the heck out of E3 from every angle possible for the Joystiq tier of Weblogs, Inc. So, of course, the first thing I thought of when I arrived in the room was: I wonder how WoW will perform over an EVDO connection being shared over a Kyocera stompbox by a bunch of bloggers. The answer: Not totally horrible. The frame rate was shooting 17-20fps on my MacBook Pro with no noticeable lag during the minute or so I ran around the Crossroads with a good spattering of other players. In any case, check back over the coming days for more E3 goodness (Diablo III!?!?!).

Poor leadership kills BattleGround teams

Oh, man. So last night, I got a chance to play a few rounds in Warsong Gulch. Usually, I have a good amount of fun doing so, following along with nicely placed orders and helping out while trying not to get slaughtered, lose my tank, or go through all my soul shards. I'm not going to name names here, but last night, I was in a group with a complete and total jerk who continually bossed everyone in the team around because he was a higher level, continually calling us all noobs and flipping out constantly about how we all couldn't do anything right.

The thing is, we were winning until he started yelling repeatedly, "EVERYONE IN THE MIDDLE NOW!" And since the team was a little n00b heavy, most people listened to him. This left our flag unguarded by any but my lone self, who ignored him until I just gave up, and we quickly had our flag stolen and planted and he just kept shouting "WHAT? HOW!?"

Because your strategy sucked. You need people to charge in the raid, and people to guard the flag. Put all your cards too heavily in one place or the other and you are screwed. Word to the wise: good leaders don't start yelling at you and calling you all noobs. If that happens to you in game, it is time to pick a new leader. What do you think? What's your best BattleGround strategy? Who has been your worst leader?

ps—There's an update this morning, and I only need one more signature on the charter for Akama's Horde WoW Insider Guild.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, PvP

WoW Universal Binary for Mac is FAST

This is much better. After this morning's patch, the new, universal binary version of WoW running on my 17-inch iMac Core Duo is very speedy. I'm seeing between 50 and 60 frames per second consistently. That's on a 1.83Ghz Core Duo with 2GBs of RAM and 128MB of VRAM.

Who says a Mac isn't a gaming machine?

ps—I'm in the Royal Quarter of the UC on Akama if anyone wants to come sign the charter.

Filed under: Odds and ends

We have update...

So, I grew tired of the maintenance message and decided, "What the heck?", so I tried logging in. To my joy, my screen immediately started downloading an update. I launched the updater and there it was:, streaming down through the Internets to warm the dark rotting recesses of my Undead heart.

Why am I so pleased to get an update and still be locked out of doing anything since the realms are still down, you ask? Easy: I have a new Intel-based iMac, and this patch seems to have finally made World of Warcraft run natively rather than via Rosetta, as the comment at the bottom of the login screen no longer mentions Rosetta, but only GCC Intel. Nice!

For the HORDE!

Filed under: Patches

All Realms down for maintenance until 11am PST

All realms are currently down for scheduled maintenance until 11am PST.

Looks like I picked the wrong day to log in and sit in the UC all day waiting for people to come up and sign the WoW Insider guild charter on Akama. In any case, later on today, after things are up and running, I will be logged in on Akama, sitting in the Royal Quarter of the Underground City waiting for people to come by and sign our charter. I will simply have it running while I am busy doing other work on my computer, so if I'm AFK for a while, just be patient. I will return.

For the HORDE!

UPDATE: They are back up now, and I'm waiting in Akama for anyone who wants to sign our guild charter. My handle is Cks.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, WoW Insider Business, Odds and ends

WoW Patched and now I cannot get the wand I won

So, I eagerly loaded the new patch and logged in. I noticed that I had some new mail and low and behold I won the Shadow Wand I was trying to nab over at the Orgrimmar Auction house. Very nice. So I open the mail expecting to grab the attached wand only to find no attached wand!

As I sat there cursing into the screen, I noticed the broadcast message: "We are aware of the current issues with the mail system. At this time we are working on a resolution and we ask that you please do not delete your in-game mail. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Who else thinks I should get the wand for free for this inconvenience? ;-)

Comments back up and running

Hello readers,

Sorry for the technical difficulties over the long weekend; however, I'm happy to report that things should be performing more the way you'd expect them to now. Comments are back up and running. I just did a test one on another post.

Thanks for bearing with us. More content to come soon...

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

New to WoW: A few basic tips

mulgore map
I'm still relatively new to World of Warcraft. I've been playing for about 3 months, but only on and off with a few days here and there of serious questing. The highest ranked character I have is a level 15 Tauren Warrior. In any case, I'm at that intermediate stage where I'm starting to learn a lot of things that the seasoned gamer takes for granted and that the complete newbie has no idea about, so I thought I'd share a few of these basics that I've noticed recently for those of you who are just getting started. These will most likely garner  "Well, d'uh" from those of you who have played the game for any amount of time. In any case, here's three random bits:

Yesterday, when I was riding over to Mulgore, someone else on the airship with me kept asking "Where is this going?" I then told him/her to hit M to pull up the Map. n00b: "Oooooh!"

Also, while at the Crossroads when you see the little guy with the big guy as his bodyguard on the road selling weapons, if you think, "Wow, that seems a bit overpriced," that's because it is. Don't buy from him.

You can kill as many Plainstriders as you want, but if they are not in the area that the quest you are on says they need to  be when you kill them, then you're not going to make any progress on that quest.

Any other tips that you'd like to share?

Filed under: Tips

Please not the fishies

World of Warcraft
Joystiq is reporting a bit from Gaming Steve with an image that seems to indicate that the new race everyone has been talking about may be the Murlocs.

I hate the Murlocs. They have killed me multiple times when they all swarm together with that annoying gurgling battlecry of theirs.

Please, say it ain't so, Blizzard.

Filed under: News items

Word of Warcaft: Paladin

paladin definition
Have you ever noticed how, after playing WoW for hour after hour, you start greeting people on the street by saying things like, "Well met!" or you start making odd connections between your real life and your virtual World of Warcraft life?

Well, I don't have a Paladin in Azeroth (yet), but I had that odd feeling that the Matrix and the real world were colliding somewhat when I launched Bloglines this morning and discovered that's word of the day for today, December 14, 2005, is Paladin. Definition: "1. A knight-errant; a distinguished champion of a medieval king or prince; as, the paladins of Charlemagne. 2. A champion of a cause."

Filed under: Paladin, Odds and ends