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Posts Tagged ‘PAX East’

When I first mentioned on the blog a few weeks back that I was going to PAX East I got an email from a reader asking me if I played the Wow TCG and if I would recommend it.

Being that I am a nerd of epic proportions and that I have enjoyed other card games, I started wondering why I had never picked up the Wow TCG? I put on my thinking cap (my knitted Megaman thinking cap) and started brainstorming a possible article for newbies, who might be thinking about picking it up.

Having never played, I was completely in the dark about this game. So, I thought it might be cool to go straight to the source and bother them with questions until I fully understood what the game is all about. I emailed the folks over at Cryptozoic and they were nice enough to set up an appointment with me for Saturday morning, during PAX.

For players like myself who love Wow and know nothing about the TCG, the first thing you should know is that all you need to play this game is two people with class starter decks. Class started decks are preconstructed and come with varying cards but are still  balanced with each other. So if you just want to check it out, you don’t have to spend mad money just to see the game.

The second and most important thing you should take from this article is that most class decks have loot cards and some even have the über Spectral Tiger loot card, which is selling for over 500$ on eBay as I write this.

So , in spending ten dollars on a class starter deck and trying out the game with your buddy you have a chance at loot cards printed in past sets and possibly getting some really cool in-game bling.

My ears perked up when they said loot cards because that was almost the only thing I knew about the TCG before I started talking to them. It reminded me that I also knew that the game offered a raid deck set and that I had this on my list of things I wanted to know more about.  

When Cryptozoic took over the game they improved the raid deck sets with the release of Icecrown Citadel by making it a standalone set. Meaning, everything you need to play with three of your amigos in one box. This set offers four preconstructed decks where you play 3v1, the heroes of Azeroth vs the forces of the Lich King.

This wasn’t the only thing that Cryptozoic set their sights on improving. They hoped to buff the Wow TCG community, and have been largely successful. They now have twice as many events as well as better access to resources for retailers who want to run the events.

They have a forum where players can interact with community managers called Champions of the Black Flame, who have led live Q&A, much like the Wow forums. They also have a community blog with news about plans for development of the game, which is something most companies are reluctant to share ahead of time. Looking over their most recent Wow TCG article I get the impression that they are very open to community input.

I got to demo the game and thematically it works really well. I love the idea of being able to play the same class and spec I play in-game in deck form. Also I love, love, love the artwork. I am a huge fan of illustration and Warcraft fan art. I felt kinda bad that most of my demo I was distracted by pretty pictures but I blamed it on a sever lack of sleep as a result of PAX.

So the five million dollar question… Would I recommend this game to Wow players who have never tried it? I would recommend it for people who are either fanatical about Wow or to people who have played and liked other CCGs with the caveat that you should make sure you have someone to play with.

If you have a local game store they may be able to demo the game for you. Also they may have sealed deck tournaments which are going to be friendly to newbies with some sweet door prizes just for playing. If you’re starting to feel WoW burnout, this might be something fun to keep you busy while we wait for Firelands.

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Music has always served to enhance our gaming experience. I look back on what I think are some of the best game franchise and strongly believe that so much of their grandeur comes from the soundtrack. I have played games with my own soundtrack. Game soundtracks carry with them the ability to take us back to the place and age where we became lost in-game worlds. It’s interesting to me to think about the way music and video games have evolved together.

Today many game production companies spend large amounts of time and resources creating soundtracks for their games. These companies sometimes release copies of soundtracks and even sheet music for purchase by the players. There are bands that range in genre whose music is inspired or derived from classic games. A bunch of these artists are going to be playing at PAX East next weekend.

I was checking out the bands and was disappointed to see that Anamanaguchi is not going to be back this year. If you have not heard of them, they are my favorite 8-bit band. They composed the complete soundtrack for Scott Pilgrim: The Game, the double dragon style brawler. Their music is created using a NES System so they have to keep multiple on stage in case one stops working. It was really cool meeting them at PAX and hanging out a bit last year.  Despite this minor setback, there are some acts I am stoked about.

PAX features two nights of nerdy gamer music fun. MC Frontalot, The VGO and Metroid Metal are going to be returning to the stage this year. I am stoked to see these acts back again. I can’t wait for The VGO to tip over their awesome repertoire of video game classics and see what comes pouring out. It’s going to be hard to top last years performance which featured tracks like Yoshi’s Island (Super Mario), Vampire Killer (Castlevania), FFVII Opening/Bombing Mission, and Snake Eater (Metal Gear Solid). You can check out some cool vids of these tracks over on the Youtubes.

I will welcome newcomer Jonathan Coulton to the stage here in Bean Town. JOCO wrote what is probably my favorite video game theme song, the song that marks the finale of a game near and dear to my heart. I would hope that everyone reading this has played through Portal and heard voice actress, Ellen McLain’s singing this insta-cult classic. In case you were wondering, the vid I posted is the coolest kids ever performing this song Still Alive. I haven’t heard anything about whether JOCO is going to try to follow this up in the sequel to Portal.

 Well, this all got me thinking. When will Blizz bring some acts like this to their Con? Would it be hard for them to live up to the spectacle and auditory prowess of former players like Ozzy and Tenacious D.  Could they fit an orchestra on stage to perform some of the tracks off Cata? I am hoping that Elite Tauren Chieftain will be making a return to the stage this year. I hate that I did not get a chance to see them do their thing. Who would you like to see come to Blizzcon? What are some or your favorite game tracks? I’d love to know.

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