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Posts with tag Firefly

The sudden yet inevitable betrayal of gaming immersion


Warning: This post contains spoilers and Firefly references.

There's this quest in Loch Modan. To make a long story short, the gnolls and murlocs seem to be making a peace treaty. In the very least, they're making some kind of deal to lay down some awfulness on the Alliance. They are the Axis of Awful, after all.

When things get to this point, there's nothing else for an adventurer to do but dress up like a shrub, take a bottle of scent pheromones, and sneak out to sabotage the meeting. But that's not the exciting part. The exciting part is what the Mosshide gnoll screams when you lay the whammy on him.

"AAAAAAGH!" the gnoll yells. "CURSE YOUR SUDDEN YET INEVITABLE BETRAYAL!"

Rumors have it that in beta, the murloc responded, "Mine is an evil mrglglglglglglglglglg. Now DIE!"

Of course, this is a reference to the old Firefly series, which has many devoted followers among all kinds of geeks and gamers. On one hand, I totally love the reference. My wife and I giggled and laughed and loved the shout-out to one of our favorite television series.

On the other side of the coin, I can see the argument that pop culture references like this can take a player "out of the game." It disrupts immersion and adds silliness to an escapist hobby that some people take very, very seriously.

What about you? Where do you fall in that argument?

Filed under: Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: Which NPCs cause a double take?


You have to hand it to Blizzard. They have a way with pop culture references and inside jokes. One of the methods that developers use to express their sense of humour is in their naming of the various NPCs in the game.

For instance, the two Triumphant Armor vendors located outside Crusader's Coliseum. Champion Isimode (which I'm going to pronounce as "easy mode") is the vendor for the Alliance players, while Champion Faesrol (or "face roll") is the vendor for Horde players.

Harrison Jones guided us through the introductory parts of Zul'Aman (or at least, tried to). Unlike the real Indiana Jones, Harrison didn't didn't last very long after your raid hit the gong. He'd end up resurfacing again in an escort quest in Grizzly Hills (aptly named Dun-da-Dun-tah!).

Firefly loves might have missed this NPC over in Zangarmarsh. The engineering Grandmaster K. Lee Smallfry is a nod to Kaylee Frye who is the engineer on the television series.

Last but not least, a few Goblin NPCs are named after a few prominent Star Trek characters. In Booty Bay, there's a goblin named Scooty (Scotty)! The first time I ran Gnomeregan as a Horde player, I came through here and did a double take on the name. You could imagine my pleasant surprise when I activated the transporter only to emerge on the other side to be greeted by Sprock (Spock).

Which NPCs have you run across that have caused you to look twice?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor

The OverAchiever: Glory of the Hero strikes back


HARROW: I know him. And I think he's a psychotic lowlife.
MAL: And I think calling him that is an insult to the psychotic lowlife community.
-- Firefly, "Shindig."

Another OverAchiever, another Firefly quote. I wonder how much of the series we'll manage to get through here before we finish off Glory of the Hero, because this is one looooooong meta. Having gotten through Azjol Nerub and Culling of Stratholme two weeks ago with a few breaks for holiday achievements along the way, it's time to hit Drak'Tharon. Next week we'll be tackling Gun'Drak (which, as Amanda observed this morning, contains one of the more frustrating achievements). Live trolls, dead trolls, undead trolls, we got your trolls right here, pal.


DRAK'THARON KEEP


Consumption Junction

This has a tendency to confuse players because most aren't aware that Consume even exists (and I was among them; my group got this achievement entirely by accident). Consume is a buff that Trollgore gains based on how many things -- NPC or player -- are within his line of sight when he casts it. The adds that run down the stairs toward him? Any of your groupmates within line of sight? They're all potential Consume charges. He attempts to re-cast the ability roughly every 15 seconds.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Bosses, Guides, Achievements, The Overachiever

15 Minutes of Fame: A man and his (80+) pets

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

A couple of months ago, WoW Insider reported on the immortalization of WarcraftPets.com founder/owner Breanni with an NPC in Wrath of the Lich King. In the expansion, Breanni of US Scarlet Crusade-A appears as a NPC selling pet supplies in Dalaran. Curious about the growing public enthusiasm ("Obsession"? We think Breanni might agree ...) with non-combat pets, we contacted Breanni for more perspectives into the vanity pet craze -- as well as what it's like to run into yourself in the game as an NPC.

15 Minutes of Fame: Vanity pets – who knew? How many vanity pets are out there now, and how can players get them?
Breanni: Vanity pets (also known as companions, small pets, non-combat pets and mini-pets) are those adorable little critters that follow your character around the game world, catching the eye and imagination of others. Currently, there are 98 vanity pets, and new ones are added to the game nearly every major content patch. However, not all of these pets are available in the United States - a few are region-specific.

There are six ways to obtain vanity pets. Vendors, drops and quests offer players some of the most familiar pets. Additionally, there are a handful of pets crafted by engineers. Some of the rarest pets are obtained through real-world promotions, such as loot cards from the WoW trading card game and trade show giveaways. Finally, a new source has emerged for collecting certain pets: they can be earned through various feats, such as battleground victories or collecting a certain number of pets with a single character.

Read more →

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Fun surprises

As many of you are, I've been doing my duty to my server and pocketbook by completing the Shattered Sun Offensive daily quests every day. I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed that the reward for many of the quests is [Shattered Sun Supplies].

Before opening it, I was excited. I expected some nifty food and potions, maybe gems or herbs, and greens. I like to be surprised by some things, so I hadn't looked up the current loot list.

Needless to say, after a few days, and a bag full of useless 68 greens with + resistances on them, I became discouraged. Then I opened my first one of the day, and voila! A [Badge of Justice]!

Because I rarely have much time to spend in-game these days, I hadn't collected any of these yet (sad I know). The experience actually reminded me of the two times that [Wall of the Dead] dropped for me, and the time that [Kang the Decapitator] fell into my hands, and the roll came out in my favor. The two rarest pets I've ever farmed and received, the [Captured Firefly] and the [Tiny Crimson Whelpling], also definitely gave me a natural high.

What warm and fuzzy memories do you have of surprising drops and good fortune?
Patch 2.4 sounds great, but what's in it for you? Find out on our Sunwell Isle page where we list the impact on classes, professions, PvP, Raiders and many other playstyles and interests including walkthroughs on the new Sunwell Daily Quests. Looking for more great info? Check out the WoW Insider Directory for the best of our guides and analysis.

Filed under: Patches, Items, Breakfast Topics, Quests

New noncombat pet found in Zangarmarsh


I'm no noncombat pet completist (I am proud to have gotten Willy on my Shaman, but all of my other alts run with storebought pets), but the aptly named mfirefly of WoW_Ladies has uncovered a pet I've never seen before. Firefly must have come in with patch 2.1 (or was it in with the expansion, and I just haven't seen it till now?): It's a [Captured Firefly] that drops from the bugs in Zangarmarsh. How... cute?

She says she got this "very rare" pet after 586 Bogflare Needler kills, which seems like a lot, but then again, it might be worth it: the flavor text on the pet says "Still flying..", which is a great reference to the super fun and canceled-before-its-time Joss Whedon TV show that this little guy seems to be named after. If you don't want to kill bugs for the rest of your life, the pet is BoE, so you might keep an eye on the Auction House as well. Grats to mfirefly for such a cool pet!

With all the crazy pets that are coming out lately, can anyone really be a noncombat pet completist any more? Is there anyone out there that really has caught them all?

Filed under: Items, Tricks, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Economy, NPCs

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