Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mass Effect 2 - A Mind Blowing Action RPG

In Mass Effect 1, the game developers of this game series set the foundations to create one of the greatest franchises in the video game history. Fortunately BioWare (the company behind the game) in Mass Effect 2 created an incredible complicated scenario for a video game at least, plus the developers listened to the gaming community and fixed all those little and big things that annoyed the gamers. Furthermore they added so much content and even more good features that they extended the gameplay and the experience by far when compared to the first part of the series.

Mass Effect 2 was an avalanche for the gaming world. It got so many awards that the developers were walking around like peacocks. And that is understandable and fair enough. The scriptwriters did an amazing job. If a studio would make a movie from their script, it would skyrocketed in the charts within a week. The depth and complexity of the story is incredible. It is one of the features that makes you to keep going without thinking about anything else. BioWare has hired some of the most talented people available in the video games industry and that is unquestionable. There is no other way to create such incredibly beautiful jewels

Now, every game has a few bugs and glitches, every game has a few faults that is not possible to be avoided. Despite all the testing before the game gets published. Every computer behaves differently, there will always be some problems no matter what.Do not forget that a video game is an incredible complicated program with some polished images and colors (a really simplified explanation). But when you play Mass Effect 2 you forget about all that. Fortunately these flaws are just not enough to hamper someone' s experience. In the first part there were some bad features that made the game irritating every now and then. Gamers and buyers were listened and all those bad little things disappeared.

While playing Mass Effect 1 it is a fact that someone will end up with more questions than the time he started. That was done on purpose by the scriptwriters and the marketing division so they could create a foothold for their next product. And let me tell you that it was a very, very successful technique. So now at the second part of our story questions will be answered and some small gaps will be filled.

EA Sports Active 2: New Way To Stay Fit

With this new game, you can revolutionize the way you work out and have fun, as you indulge in a fitness program that is custom made with you and your particulars in mind. It is a holistic approach that really seeks to have an impact on your life, overall, your diet, your lifestyle, suggesting tips to better your entire wellbeing, so it is not just a game but also a method of life improvement and self betterment. Routines are in the game that specialize in helping tone and toughen your upper body, lower body, as well as many cardio routines that specialize in being heart happy.
There are also an abundance of challenges that test muscle endurance and agility so you will have an all around method of staying fit and in the best shape of your life all from the comfort and convenience of your living room. So no matter what the weather or how busy your day, you can squeeze in some fitness time with a game that seeks to be a good influence on your entire life, enhancing your mental and physical wellbeing.

When you start the game, you might start off with a light jog that will get you moving and in the mood to working out, then you might be told to do some bicep curls for your muscles to get active before you do some cardio boxing that will help pump that heart healthy. The best part, you will have a virtual personal trainer who will be there guiding you to success. Your trainer will be there to motivate you and will have the knowledge of your particulars and goals so that the virtual trainer can lead you to the place you seek to go. Best of all, your personal trainer will offer you constant feedback so you will always have someone there telling you where you need to improve or giving you that thumbs up that will only motivate you to work out even harder.

You can join The 30 Day Challenge, which will offer you daily tailor made workouts that give you goals each day to succeed, as well as things that are custom created to match your level of fitness. As you commence with your work out regimen, the game will track your calories as well as the intensity you put forth and keep a track record of your progression so that you can see how far you have come and how far you have left to go. This will give you a written record of your goal and your achievement so you know just what kind of work you are doing.

Your calories will also be tallied, too, so you will be able to see some visible effects of all your efforts. And, you can keep all of this in the in-game journal, too. For an even more interactive experience, you can work out with a friend, as you and a friend do co-operative modes that help both of you do the work out program together side by side, maybe taking inspiration and motivation from one another.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Stay Fit With Wii Fit

A popular game for many reasons, the Wii Fit is appealing to thousands because of its unique way of making staying fit fun. You can custom create your own work out plan and goal, so whether you want to work out every day for twenty minutes, a half hour, or even more, you can easily choose to do so with the settings. The entire object of the game is to improve the user's fitness, so when you begin playing, you get to choose the routine that will specially target your specific goals.
Choose from things like yoga, aerobics, strength training, as well as games that specialize in balance. You can use the Balance Board to perform the activities, most of which will require use of it, and the motion pressure sensing device will sense all of your body's movements so that your motions will be received and your workout monitored. Your personal stats will also be recorded and reported to you so you know how you are doing and what more is needed to reach your personal goals. Also, like any exciting game, you can also fight to gain points, set high scores, and unlock more activities as you go along.

The commitment to personalization remains strong with the Wii Fit, as you can really determine how much of an activity you wish to do, altering the volume of activities as you go along. You can choose from so many exciting games, such as juggling, skateboarding, snowball fighting, an obstacle course, log leaping, cannonball evading, inspired by things that famous Mario characters had to endure, as well as Perfect 10, a game designed to combine balancing and mental health. With your custom made Mii, you will get to choose how often you play these activities, which ones you do, repeat them, or do all of them. You can also mix and match your yoga activities for a given day and you can enjoy all of this on an exciting course of events that will have you looking forward to doing your fitness workout because of the high level of fun associated with it.

Once you tire of some of the sporty games and courses, you might want to relax with some yoga, such as the Deep breathing, Dance, Bridge, Shoulder Stand, Warrior, Tree, Half-Moon, Sun Salutation, Pal Tree, Chair Triangle, or various muscle toning exercises that focus on your legs or arms or torso or squats, so each aspect of your body is targeted and improved. Whether you are working on one part of you or the whole part, the Wii Fit is equipped with just the features needed to keeping you fit and healthy and doing it while having a party of a time, too.

With the fun animation that Nintendo is famous for, and the exciting games that are great for people of all ages, the Wii Fit is the most fun way to stay in shape. You can encourage kids to do it or you can use it yourself and be guaranteed to improve your fitness in the most fun way possible.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Super Mario Bros. - A History

Super Mario Bros, designed and published 1985 by Nintendo for its Nintendo Entertainment System.


The video game featured gameplay that forever changed the way video games were designed. Super Mario Bros was truly a path breaking creation and was the first in its genre to feature different smooth scrolling levels, something which had never been done by other game developers. For the first time in video game, the story was given more importance and the gameplay was woven around it. Mario was loosely based on Popeye-Olive-Bluto love triangle. Bluto became a giant Gorilla and then Popeye became Mario, climbing stairs and leaping over barrels to rescue his "lady".

In its first edition, Mario the Italian plumber, must fight his arch enemy the the evil Bowser, who is the king of the Koopas and save the love of life Princess Toadstool. Luigi, Mario's fearless brother aids him in his quest in the two player mode. Mario and/or Luigi have to beat Bowser's minions and take control of the eight worlds (or levels) which comprise the Mushroom kingdom. If Mario is able to go through all the seven levels, he will be able to rescue Princess Mushroom in the eighth level.
Super Mario Bros is universally hailed as the largest selling video game to have ever been developed till date. It was in fact instrumental in making Nintendo Entertainment System such a huge success and also ended the slump in sales of video games in the United States.

Super Mario Bros, being one of Nintendo's best selling titles has been remade and re-released several times. One of its alternate versions, Vs. Super Mario Bros is an entirely different game in its own right. Though the early stages appear similar, the later stages are completely different. These changes make the Vs. Super Mario Bros, much more difficult than the original game.

In 1999, the game was re-released on the Game Boy Color, with the name Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. It featured a challenge mode and a multiplayer mode, but the visuals remained largely unchanged. However, the player could see what was going on above and below him by pressing the up and down key. Players could also simultaneously play as Mario and Luigi selecting the map screen.

Super Mario Bros. resulted in numerous sequels and rip offs and popularized the side scrolling video game genre. And this ultimate classic has now been released in new and exciting 3D version as New Super Mario Bros. - DS. Moreover, player can now go online and play with their friends as Mario or Luigi in the multiplayer mode.

Gaming Desktop

When you're thinking about gaming desktop, you're not just thinking about awesome gaming rigs capable of displaying the most realistic visuals out there, but a machine built with every specification to suit demanding applications. Gaming PCs are configured to run the best modern games today, but they can also be used to work in high-end applications which demand a lot of hardware power to run properly. You can use a gaming desktop for a whole array of tasks, ranging from video / audio editing, graphic design, 3D design or any other application which demands a lot from your system's hardware. With this in mind, think about all the benefits you can get from owning such a machine: not only can you game hard, with stunning visuals; you can also work a lot better since it will cut up loading times and improve your work-flow quite a bit.

Usually, such a desktop will incorporate a high-end CPU, with more than one built-in core. These are great for gaming, and are also great for multitasking when your job requires it. Since most applications rely heavily on the amount of information that can be processed, having a powerful processor by your side will improve the way you work by cutting the necessary time needed to get the job done by a decent percent.
You'll be able to run most applications with a quad-core without having to suffer from system halts or choppy operation.

Some of the new line of processors that recently hit the market has come out with the Hyper Threading technology built into them, which allows each separate core to take on two sets of instructions at once. What does this mean for you, the user? Well, in layman's terms, if your system is equipped with a quad-core with Hyper Threading technology, it will act just like an octo-core (just like having eight separate cores on your system).
The same line of new processors also incorporates the Turbo Boost technology which balances the processing power with the power consumption for a more "green" machine. When you need to run games or demanding apps, all cores will fire up to keep up with the application; but when the system is idle, the processor will step down to about 1600MHz to save power and deflate your monthly energy bill.

So having the central processing unit covered, it's time to move on to system memory. True gaming desktop will have plenty of RAM, since it's needed in large amounts for games to run smoothly. The lowest amount of RAM a gaming PC should be having nowadays is somewhere in the range of 4GB. Having this minimum amount will insure the application will run great without glitches or crashes. This is also great if you intend to use your gaming computer for something else rather than gaming.

Graphic designers, for instance will benefit from the added RAM to their systems, since they use applications which do demand a lot from a system, from processor to system memory. It's isn't unusual for them to run at least 2-4 applications at once, so the multitasking capabilities will come in handy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Super Mario Bros. Review

He's been reincarnated in various forms and formats but this time the Mario that we all know and love has been resurrected in true classic, plaforming action in the latest DS game, New Super Mario Bros.

New Super Mario Bros. returns to Mario's roots. We haven't seen a Mario game like this in over 15 years, and even longer if you consider that the N64 version was rendered in 3D. This version is a 2D side-scroller but it does incorporate some excellent 3D graphics. Mario is rendered in 3D as are many of the enemies and environments, although you can't explore them like you could in the N64 version.

Right from the first few seconds of play you can tell that you're in for a good time. The game just reeks of quality. It looks great, sounds like nostalgia, responds brilliantly and is great fun - and that's just the first minute of game play. You can tell that Nintendo has done their homework on this game. It retains the look and feel of the side-scrolling Super Mario Bros. series but manages to update and upgrade it with new moves, enemies, booby traps, puzzles, bonuses and secrets so that you will always be mindful that you are playing a new game and not some reheated rehash. There are plenty of nods to its heritage, including goombas, Koopas, question mark blocks and flagpole jumping at the end of levels but these are classic elements that I believe must be included to give us a sense of familiarity. Maybe this wouldn't have worked five or ten years ago, but enough time has passed so that we don't perceive these elements as hackneyed.

With today's games we tend to take the storylines too seriously, when in reality the story can't fix a terrible game. The Super Mario Bros. storyline is about as basic as they come, and we don't really expect it to be any different. Come to think of it, it doesn't need to be any different. It's all laid out for us. Are mission is to rescue to Princess from the clutches of Bowser, in this case, Bowser Jr. He's kidnapped her and taken her to the castle at the end of the first level. Once you reach that castle, Bowser Jr. takes Peaches to the next castle. This continues on through numerous levels. There are eight worlds in all, and an overhead map allows you to see all the different levels in each world. It's quite easy to get through the entire game since there are plenty of power-ups and extra lives, but you'll miss out on the whole experience if you just go barreling through the levels without stopping to smell the piranha plants.

There are a couple of hidden worlds to unlock. You should explore all areas thoroughly to find all of the unlockables, secrets, surprises and shortcuts. There is also the added challenge of collecting coins. Not only will you earn extra lives by collecting coins but there are three huge coins in each level for you to locate. This challenge isn't easy and I didn't find them all yet but I'm intrigued to return to the levels where I missed them. The replay value is tremendous if you decide that you want to find everything in the game and take part in all of the challenges.

Mario has plenty of moves this time round. He will still run, jump and stomp but there are a few more moves that give him more flexibility, and he'll need it to negotiate his way through some of the more deadly platform elements and enemies that he will encounter. A butt bounce will allow him to smash the blocks he's standing on. He can grow large enough to take up the entire screen, which allows him to smash tons of blocks and take care of smaller enemies by trampling them. A mini-mushroom will make Mario tiny and allow him to enter into small places. It will also let him walk over water. A wall bounce lets him scale walls to reach new heights or can be used if he falls into a pit. 

Platforms will twist, bend, warp, shrink, expand, hover, fall, elevate and destruct. I don't think the developers left anything out. Even the ground will undulate, causing Mario to experience a rippling effect not unlike a ship on a stormy sea. Despite all these new elements and moves, the game doesn't take full advantage of the DS's unique control system - not the touch screen control system or even the dual screen for that matter. The bottom screen is basically used just to display your progress in each level. The touch feature is used almost exclusively to access your power-ups. In other words, there's nothing that you would really miss, control-wise, if this game were released on the GBA. However, the graphics are what really matters and this game would never look this great on the GBA simply because of the DS's uber-powerful processing capabilities. This version not only looks 10 times better than the Super NES version, but it's just as big. Think about that for a moment. That should tell you how far Nintendo has come.

But wait, there's more...The game also features a two-player verses mode featuring Luigi. The premise is a race of sorts, to see who can be the first to grab five stars in a platforming obstacle course. You can purposely attempt to injure the other player by banging into him. This will cause him to drop his star and allow you to claim it for yourself. This mode can be played via sharing with only one copy of the game card. The same mini-games from the Super Mario 64 DS game are also included but they can be played with other players, requiring only one copy of the game. These mini-games make better use of the touch controls but they aren't incredibly exciting.

The sounds are fantastic. It's like having an arcade in the palm of your hands. "Is that an arcade in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" Mario has a voice in this game and repeats a few Italian-soaked clich├ęs. Thankfully he avoids saying, "That's a spicy meat-a-ball-a."

New Super Mario Bros. is new in looks, feel and gameplay but thankfully we still get to visit Mario's old super stomping ground. This game is reason enough to purchase the DS system if, gosh forbid, none of the other killer Nintendo titles have tickled your fancy yet.

Dragon Age 2 Review


Bioware (one of the more respectable video game developers in the world) seems they are on steroids. They are producing one masterpiece after another. This article will talk about the Dragon Age Roleplaying game series. Bioware first began the RPG series with Dragon Age Origins. Then they released an expansion named DAO - Awakening. And now they have released Dragon Age 2. Origins was such a great RPG. Awakening divided the players, some liked it a lot, some not so much and others hated it. Dragon Age 2 comes to stir the pot really good with many improvements.

Dragon Age 2 is an incredible role playing game and many developers and gamers consider it a reference point in the RPG industry. Unfortunately not all the gamers have the same opinion. There are players who need, ask and demand for more. They are not easily satisfied. Those people have played a lot of video games and have developed a solid base of experience. They know what they want and need and what is important in a game to achieve the "wow" title. I am one of them. If I am going to pay for something I want it to make me scream with excitement. Did DAO 2 achieve that? No definitely not, but still the game is wonderful and totally worth the money and your time.

Mostly across US and Europe, many video game magazines gave really positive reviews but it did not get the the results of Origins. Some gave it titles and awards like: Editor's choice award, Best RPG of the decade, Greatest game experience and things like. Others stated they had many sleepless nights playing this game and they feel no regret about it.

On the other hand there were many magazines and reviewers who were not pleased as much as the people in the above paragraph. Some said that the area of setting was way too small, there were no noticeable characters, the combat system has been simplified too much and they created it to attract more new players in Dragon Age without respecting the old hardcore players, or at least do something to connect those two parts more smoothly. Others said that with all the improved polish the basics still need some work. My opinion on this is that a lot of old timers got really disappointed with the simplified system, I am not happy with it either.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Top 10 SNES Games

Here is a list of the top 10 best SNES games ever, From the golden age of my childhood

10 - 
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting - This game probably made it to number one on any best SNES games list that was created by someone who loves fighting games. It is arguably the best fighting game for the SNES. With the addition of the Super Turbo feature, this game took the Street Fighter series to a whole new level.

9 - 
EarthBound - Although not very successful in the United States, EarthBound was extremely successful in Japan. It was praised there for its humorous depictions of American culture (can't imagine why it sold poorly in the US) and parody of the RPG genre. Since then, it has become a cult classic.

8 - 
Final Fantasy II - By some, the graphics were considered outdated at the time of release. But FFII was praised for its length and bonus content and shipped over 1.28 million copies within five years of its initial release. It is considered one of the best Final Fantasy games and a great Final Fantasy game for the SNES.

7 - Mega Man X - This game was the second series for the Mega Man franchise and debuted on the SNES. It was intended to give a new image for the Mega Man series and it did. The game spawned over half a dozen follow-up games as well as another series, Megan Man Xtreme, and a spin-off series, Mega Max X: Command Mission.

6 - 
Chrono Trigger - Considered by some to best the best RPG of all time on the SNES, Chrono Trigger has also made the number slot on many other overall lists as well. Its primary competition in the RPG category comes with the Final Fantasy series, specifically Final Fantasy III. But Chrono Trigger is definitely one of the best games of all time on any console.

5 - Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - A hybrid game that was part adventure and part role-playing game, the Super Mario RPG was the final Super Mario game on the SNES. It has received very good reviews since its release and was consistently featured in many "best game of all-time" lists.

4 - Super Mario World - This is often considered the best platform game for the SNES. The Super Mario series is the captain of platform games and Super Mario World is no exception. It was the best selling game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System with over 20 million copies sold worldwide.

3 - Final Fantasy III - Probably the best game of arguably the best RPG series of all time, Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy III had great 2D graphics, an incredible soundtrack, and was a massive success in both Japan and the United states. The game appealed to both hardcore RPG players and newcomers to the RPGs.

2 - Super Metroid - Although the Metroid series did not originally reach the commercial success that some of its counterparts did, Super Metroid was given near-universal acclaim upon release. It is considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best, 2d action adventure game ever.

1 - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - This game may not be number one on every list of the best SNES games ever, but for any fan of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System it absolutely must make the list. Both the Zelda series and the character of Link remain some of the most popular game icons in video game history. The game is considered to be one of the greatest video games, of any console, of all time.

Do Violent Games Desensitise Children to Violence?

Over recent years there have been many arguments proposed by those who are not in favour of computer games or video games, or have concerns about either the amount of time spent playing such games, or the nature of the images and scenes watched by those playing them. One of the common arguments put forward is that computer and video games , through the nature of violence and graphic horror, are desensitizing children to violence and horror in the real world. There argument is that by watching vivid and repeated images on the screen of violence, aggression, killing and other physical attacking, the children or young people playing the games will start to accept this level of violence, or way of interacting with those around you, and in the real world, be more likely to be aggressive, or produce an aggressive or violent response to a given stimuli.
This argument, however popular it may be, is deeply flawed, and in truth holds no water at all. There have been many studies that have demonstrated that there has never been, and is not today, any measurable correlation between the amount of video gaming a person plays and any violent characteristics in the real world.

One explanation for why this may be the case can be found not in humans, but in a wide variety of other animals - in particular apes and other primates. These primates will frequently take part in what we call play fighting. To an outsider it can look and sound quite frightening, with expectations of blood, injury or even death. However, what the observer will also notice is that once the fight is over, both parties happily walk away completely uninjured and none the worse for wear. More than likely they'll be related or good friends within the family or group. This is quite different to genuine fighting, for perhaps defence against an intruding group, or a fight for leadership, when injuries might be suffered. These primates know the difference between play fighting and real fighting, and no matter how active it may appear, they both know and follow the rules of play fighting within that environment.

Children follow the same behavioural paths as primates, in as much as they know and understand the difference between fighting and aggression on screen, within a play environment, and such behaviour in the real world. In particular, primates and humans (some would argue that they're the same thing!) are very good at being able to catalogue and separate behaviours in this way, and that no matter how aggressive a child may be in game, they understand that it is just a game, and mentally apply a different set of rules.

This ability is almost certainly hereditary, since if our ancestors, primates, didn't have the ability to understand the difference between play fighting and real fighting, the chances that we would have evolved this far is somewhat unlikely.

The Legend of Zelda: A Short History

The Legend of Zelda series is always about the same basic thing; a young boy, Link is called upon to accomplish a quest that his name sake, the great hero of Hyrule (at some unspecified time in the past) undertook. Said quest usually involves being tossed randomly into a situation of battle (often times as a young child) only to meet the princess of the realm, Zelda and uncover a plot by Ganondorf to take over and destroy the realm by getting his hands on the Triforce, an ancient remnant of Hyrule's Goddesses. Link always kicks enormous amounts of ass and becomes the great hero of the realm. The story's usually the same, with whatever goofy humor Miyamoto decides to throw in there and the few variations of gameplay.

And the gameplay is the key to all the Zelda games. The famous dungeons, usually 7-10 of them throughout the game, are notoriously well crafted, difficult without being impossible and almost always incredible beautiful. The time and energy put into the Zelda games usually produces lavish, monstrous games that rewrite how the genre is played. And that is why it's the greatest franchise of all time.

It's impossible to build a chronology for the games, as they are never specifically linked, but there are a variety of little details that give out some information as to how these break down.
The Legend of Zelda, released in 1986 for the NES, created and established the dungeon actioner genre and introduced us to the cast of now well known characters. The story involves Link being called upon to defeat Ganon, already in his pig form, after retrieving the triforce pieces that Zelda scattered throughout the land.

Zelda II: The Adventures of Link was released the next year and involves the same Link only a few months later. It's considered by most to be at the end of the chronology as it is never referenced in other games. Moreover it gives cause for all of the princesses being named Zelda. A Zelda of many generations before was put to sleep for her transgressions against the King by hiding the triforce, so the prince decreed that all princesses of the realm would carry the name Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was released for the SNES in 1991, making the great leap to 16 bit, the only game from the sequence to appear on the console. This game occurs earlier in the Zelda chronology, revolving around Link's first attempt to retrieve the Master sword and defeat Ganon, still in pig form. It also makes first reference to the origins of Ganon, that is Ganondorf the thief, who stole the triforce and attempted to overtake Hyrule, and the Seven Sages who seal of the Golden Land from him.

With most of the Zelda games, shortly after a main sequence game, a spin off or sequel, something lighter is released not involving Ganon. In 1993, Link's Awakening was released for the Gameboy as just that, a quest for enlightenment after defeating Ganon.

It wasn't until 1998 that the next true Zelda game was released, and boy was it a game. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is considered by many as the greatest video game ever made. I tend to agree. Chronologically, it's the first in the series, taking place when Ganondorf is still human, a thief from the desert in the west. He steals the triforce, which shortly after breaks apart because of his impure intentions. Link's quest involves finding and putting the triforce back together and enacting all of the seven sage's seals. This game more or less invented the genre as we know it today. Autojumps, aiming, analog controls, fully 3D environments, and the sheer scope of the game make it a classic without peer.

Majora's Mask does the whole side story thing again. It's about Link's return to youth after the events of Ocarina, in which he's robbed and drafted to help stop the moon from destroying another world.

Wind Waker, released for the Gamecube in 2003, takes place hundreds of years after Ocarina, after the land of Hyrule has been destroyed and is underwater. We meet Ganon as a pig once more, and discover that Link and Zelda are both reincarnations of their Ocarina counterparts. This game took a sharp turn from previous games, still extremely well made, but alienating many fans, with it's cel shaded graphics and fetch quests. The game took as long as any previous Zelda to complete, but half of that time was spent sailing from island to island, floating around the great Hyrule sea. It could be....frustrating at times.

And that brings us to the newest entry, the big Wii release game, Twilight Princess. The newest Zelda takes place a few decades after the Ocarina of Time, this time our Link is an adult, living on his own in southern village as a wrangler. It's the darkest and most mature of the Zelda games and along with its Wii controls, it manages to be the most breathtakingly cinematic of the games as well. Ganon first appears as pig, but reverts to Ganondorf at the end. Easily the longest of the Zelda games, Twilight Princess introduces tons of new elements, not the least of which is the chance to play as a wolf various times throughout.

The Legend of Zelda series is a long running Nintendo tradition, the kind that will never fade away, if only because of the fierce loyalty of its fans. These games are masterpieces, every one and never once has Nintendo let its fans down. We'll just go ahead and pretend The CDi games never existed (they weren't Nintendo anyways).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dungeon Fighter Online

Dungeon Fighter Online is an MMORPG arcade-style PC game developed by Neople in Korea. In South Korea, it is released as Dungeon & Fighter and in Japan, as Arad Senki. Dungeon Fighter Online is extremely popular in Asia because of the PvP aspect of the game. Dungeon Fighter Online PvP Leagues have been televised in Korea and is still being televised. It was also featured in World Cyber Games 2009. Although there are various versions of Dungeon Fighter Online, in this article, we'll be focusing on Dungeon Fighter Online published by Nexon in North America.



Dungeon Fighter Online has six different classes and each of those classes has 4 subclasses each (except for Priests, which has 3 subclasses). The six classes are: Slayer, Fighter, Male Gunner, Female Gunner, Mage, and Priest. Not gonna go into too much detail so I'll just give a brief introduction to each of the classes. Slayers are melee attackers that usually use swords. They are very balanced class overall since they have good attack damage, defense, and speed. They have a lot of intricate combos that they can perform very easily. Fighters are very close-range melee attackers. They use short-ranged weapons like tonfas, boxing gloves, gauntlets, etc. Although they lack range in their attacks, they compensate that with their extremely high attack damage.



Male Gunners are like the "archers" of MMORPGs. They can attack their enemies from far away with their guns. They are agile, but they lack defense, which means that they can be killed with a few combos. Players that should play male gunners must be able to evade attacks well. Female Gunners are just like male gunners except that female gunners are just faster and have less HP. Most of their skills are similar to the male counterparts, but there are a couple of differences. The major difference is that female gunners are extremely slow when throwing the G14-Grenade skill, which makes them a lot more vulnerable in PvP. So most female gunners tend to be offensive rather than defensive like the male gunners because female gunners lack defensive skills.



Mages are extremely small female casters. Because of their small stature, they rely on magic to attack their opponents. Although they lack physical attack strength, their magic attack strength is the highest out of all classes. Another thing these mages lack is defense. Their defense is very low, which makes them extremely fragile. However, Dungeon Fighter Online has decided to give mages a chance to win in fighters by giving them a skill called Mana Shield. Mana Shield absorbs certain percentage of the damage taken and reduces the mage's mana points instead of health points. Priests are muscular melee class fighters. They are the largest class in terms of stature (but not the tallest) and they wield weapons like scythes, crosses, and totems, which are almost as big as the priests themselves. Because they're so large, their speed is a bit slower than most of the other classes, but they compensate for this through their high health points, which allows them to tank through many hits to go in for the kill.





Now that I've described the classes, I want to discuss the gameplay of Dungeon Fighter Online. There are two different aspects to the game, much like other MMORPGs. The two aspects are Player vs Environment and Player vs Player, more commonly known as PvE and PvP. Let me explain PvE of the game first since it is what you'll be doing until you're high enough level to PvP. One different thing about Dungeon Fighter Online compared to other MMORPGs is that Dungeon Fighter Online has a system called Fatigue Points. All players in Dungeon Fighter Online have 156 Fatigue Points and the player consumes one each time he goes into 1 room of a dungeon. After using all the Fatigue Points, players can no longer dungeon. And dungeons are where players can gain EXP to level up. Each dungeon has monsters, a boss, and specific quests that players can fulfill for extra EXP. In these dungeons, players can party with other players (with maximum of 4 players in one party) to defeat bosses of higher levels.




When a player has used up all of his Fatigue Points, he will usually turn to PvP. PvP aspect of Dungeon Fighter Online is what makes this game so popular in Asia. PvP is extremely addicting and many players love to PvP for hours on end. PvP is extremely difficult to master and has a high skill ceiling ingame. To be able to PvP well, the player must have a well-thought out PvP build, learn all skill timings, learn all skill timings of other classes' skills, have extremely efficient combos, and have fluid movements.



Well, I hope you found the article to be helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask questions



Check where I place DFO on our Top 10 MMO Review

Top Free iPhone Games

The Apple iPhone was a revolutionary device when it was released in June of 2007, and it is still arguably the best phone on the market today. One aspect of the iPhone which is surprising to many people is the robustness of its portable gaming capabilities. With its full multi-touch display, its "accelerometer" which can detect which way the device is being held and moved, and 3D graphics, the iPhone has proven itself to be a major competitor to both Sony and Nintendo in the portable gaming market.
There are tens of thousands of free games in Apple's App Store, but most of them are either really bad, or they are merely "demo" games of a higher priced paid version. However, there are definitely some real gems if you are willing to mine for them. Here are some of the top free iPhone games to help get you started.

1. Tap Tap Revenge II
If you've ever watched someone play Guitar Hero, then you know the basic concept of this game. Instead of a guitar, you "tap" on the screen to the beat of your favorite music. You can rack up a high score by tapping many notes in a row without missing any.

2. Sol Free Solitaire
This is a simple solitaire game like you might find on your Windows PC. Actually, there are many solitaire games like this one on the iPhone, but Sol Free Solitaire stands head and shoulders above the rest. The graphics are clear and crisp, and the cards are extremely responsive to the touch of your finger as you drag them from pile to pile.

3. Real Racing GTi
Real Racing GTi is a full-fledged arcade racing game which several years ago could only be found in a mall arcade or on a home console. The graphics are top-notch and realistic, and the smooth controls lets you feel like you are really in a race car. There are three game modes: quick race, time trial, and cup championship. This is undoubtedly the best arcade racer on the iPhone.

4. Chess with Friends / Words with Friends
These are two games from a company called NewToy. What makes these games unique is that they can be played over any length of time. Chess with Friends is (obviously) a chess game, and Words with Friends is a variant of Scrabble. After you make your move, you can turn the game off and go about your daily business. When your friend has made their move - hours or days later - you can open the game and make your next move. Simple gameplay, elegant graphics, and their inherent social nature have made these games extremely popular.

5. TapDefense
This is a popular game in the "tower defense" game genre. Tower defense games have become popular as simple online games. A swarm of enemies come out of an entrance and head in a line toward an exit which you must defend by constructing a series of towers to defend the exit. Although there are a multitude of games like this in the App Store, TapDefense is unique because it is not only top-notch, but also free.

6. iBowl
This is another social game. If you've ever played bowling on the Nintendo Wii with your friends, then you might be able to imagine what this game is all about. You throw your bowling ball by literally swinging your arm, and the iPhone tracks your arm's movement. Your friend across town (or across the world) can watch your ball roll down the lane, and then they can take their turn. It's a fun and competitive game for people who like to play games without pushing a lot of buttons.

The House Of Vidya

I would like to give a shout out to a great friend of mines video game stream

 House Of Vidya!

Its a great site, one I have spent more then my fair share of time watching instead of playing a game myself. Give it a look. Its worth it =]

Donkey Kong Country Returns!

This will be nostalgic for some of you more mature gamers, plus a completely new joy for the next generation.This particular Donkey Kong video game was redeveloped for the Nintendo Wii system.
Remaining in keeping with the original side-scrolling scenes, nevertheless introducing fresh technological know-how to create 3-d situations, this specific variant of Donkey Kong Country will certainly be a most popular for all in the household.

A new feature for the game is that it now has been modified so that two persons can play the game at the same time, 1 participant as Donkey Kong, while the other gamer is Diddy Kong. Operate singularly, yet together to gather bananas! This permits gamers of diverse skill-sets to play the game alongside one another. In more difficult parts of the game, Diddy can merely sit on Donkey Kong's back and will also be taken on through the stage. Brand new stages as well as obstacles have been designed which makes the action innovative and fun. When a player voyages thru the jungle, look for concealed objects as well as puzzle parts to realize added bonus points.
Taking in the technological innovation of the Wii system, you may use both the Wii Remote or Nunchuck, or even a laterally oriented Wii Remote. Carry out different activities utilizing the controllers in several ways.

The story plot of the video game is that the characters in Donkey Kong Island were inspired by some wicked Tikis to rob all of Donkey Kong's deposit of bananas. The players role is to aid Donkey Kong and his partner, Diddy Kong to secure their return! Players have to go throughout the tropical island by means of swings on convenient vines, sitting on mine buggies, as well as striving to stay clear of, evade or combat various adversaries in addition to predicaments en route.


Pros
Many more mature gamers mentioned just how much they loved the childhood adventure of Donkey Kong, with its scenarios as well as heroes, yet just how the developments in visuals and also technological innovation have not ruined the overall game in any way, but have only made the fun better yet.
Other folks mentioned the simplicity of the control buttons, the style and artwork of the levels, along with the more challenging stages which can be demanding yet not aggravating.
There's an Auto Play possibility that can conclude a stage if you discover it to be very complicated, which can be a a valuable thing when you get stranded on a level and cannot proceed.

A very important thing for newer participants will be the Super Guide which, if you need, can take you step-by-step through the stage, demonstrating exactly how to finish it, and you then may imitate it and attempt to finish the stage by yourself.

Cons
A few grumbles came from experienced gamers with regards to the absence of some of the old classic characters from this release, for instance, King K, Enguarde and Squitter, and even Kremlings.

Some other folks could not appreciate the co-op aspect of the game. In the first Donkey Kong, you are able to swap between Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong roles, and a lot of consumers believed that it ought to have stayed like that. In this variation, in the 1 player setting, you are unable to handle Diddy whatsoever.

A nicely overhauled vintage, Donkey Kong Country returns using brand-new visuals, features, controls as well as plot, although all the same it retains lots of the favorite elements of the video game. You are going to be challenged, and definitely will relish in hrs of enjoyment as you fight to stay master of the jungle!

Patch 4.1 Release Confirmed

Patch 4.1 will soon be upon us, and it’s high time we dig into the meat of this patch to digest the new content, features, and official patch notes. The rise of the Zandalari is happening soon on a realm near you, so make sure you’ve read up on the new level-85 Stranglethorn quest line, as well as the updated dungeons of Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman -- now suitable for five level-85 players with an average item level of 346 or higher. All-new epic gear, rare mounts, pets, and other interesting treasures await you, should you be able to rise to the challenge of the Zandalari!

If you’ve found yourself waiting in dungeon queues longer than you’d like, we have a new system, Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms, you should know about. The Dungeon Finder will be offering an additional incentive to players of underrepresented class roles. With this feature we hope to get you into the action faster.

We’ve also built a new Guild Finder feature into the game interface and plan to expand upon its functionality in upcoming patches. Whether you’re a player looking for a guild, or a guild leader looking to recruit, this system facilitates those activities. We’re continuing to update, improve, and adjust the Guild Advancement system and want to make sure you’re given the tools to find and maintain a fun guild.

If you’re already tackling content with your guildmates, you’ll probably be interested in the upcoming Guild Challenges. By completing dungeons, raids, and Rated Battlegrounds in guild groups, you’ll attain new achievements, accrue gold for the Guild Vault, and earn guild experience above the current daily cap. We plan to introduce more Guild Challenges in future updates.

Now, without further ado, here are the official 4.1 patch notes.

World of Warcraft Client Patch 4.1



Rise of the Zandalari

The days when great troll empires stretched across ancient Kalimdor are long past. Millennia of war and internal strife have stripped these nations of their power, lands, and glory. As Azeroth recovers from the destruction of the Cataclysm, the world's divided troll populations face a bleak future. These dark times have spurred the trolls of the Zandalar, the historically wise and scholarly tribe from which all trolls originated, to take drastic action. They have embarked on a bold crusade to save their race by uniting trolls into a single mighty empire. With the Zandalari's aid, the fallen capitals of the Gurubashi and Amani nations—Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman—are already rebuilding, replenishing their forces for a bloody campaign to expand their territories.

Yet Vol'jin and his Darkspear trolls are not aligned with the Zandalari. They have sworn to stand with their Horde comrades—and even work with the Alliance—should the trolls ignite a new war on Azeroth. Soon, Vol'jin might be forced to act on his promise, for if the Gurubashi and Amani are left to their own devices, the world will know the legendary strength and savagery of the ancient troll empires once again.

Guild Challenges

Built into the Info panel of the guild user interface, Guild Challenges are weekly tasks guild groups can tackle for additional guild experience, achievements, and gold. At the top of the guild user interface Info pane, a new Guild Challenges section is displayed and broken into three categories: Dungeons, Raids, and Rated Battlegrounds. Any guild group will qualify for Guild Challenges credit and there is a set number of times each challenge can be completed per week.

Guild Finder

Guild Finder is a new system designed to enable easier and faster guild recruitment. Guild leaders and players who are looking for a guild to call home will use the Guild Finder to meet one another and begin communications that can lead to a prosperous membership. Whether you're a guild leader looking to fill your ranks or a player looking for a guild that meets your strictest requirements, the Guild Finder provides an easy way to make new friends!

Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms

A new system intended to lower queue times, Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms offers additional rewards for queuing as the currently least represented role. To be eligible for the additional rewards you must solo queue for a random level-85 Heroic in the role that is currently being Called to Arms, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss. Every time you hit these requirements (there is no daily limit) you'll receive a goodie bag that will contain some gold, a chance at a rare gem, a chance at a flask/potion, a good chance of receiving a non-combat pet (including cross faction pets), and a very rare chance at receiving a mount.

General


  • Conquest Points are now purchasable from the Valor Quartermasters at 250 Conquest Points per 250 Valor Points.
  • Honor Points are now purchasable from the Justice Trade Goods vendors at 250 Honor Points per 375 Justice Points.
  • Justice Points are now purchasable from the Honor Trade Goods vendors at 250 Justice Points per 375 Honor Points.
  • Resilience scaling has been modified for linear returns, as opposed to increasing returns. Under the new formula, going from 30 resilience to 40 resilience gives players the same increase to survivability as going from 0 to 10. Resilience now scales in the same way armor and magic resistances do. A player with 32.5% damage reduction from resilience in 4.0.6 should see their damage reduction unchanged in 4.1. Those with less than 32.5% will gain slightly. Those with more will lose some damage reduction, increasingly so as their resilience climbs.
  • A dead player can now be resurrected by targeting them using the Party or Raid Frame even if they have released. No more hunting for corpses.

Achievements

  • A new feat of strength with an associated title, "the Camel-Hoarder", has been added for players that have bested Dormus and obtained the Reins of the Grey Riding Camel -- because there must always be a Camel-Hoarder.

PvP
  • The following Battleground achievements have been permanently removed from the game, as they do not function correctly with the achievement tracking system: Guild Gankin' in Gilneas, Guild Gulch, The Peak of Perfection, The Perfect Guild Storm, Storming the Beach.

Rated Battlegrounds
  • The achievements to win 100 rated Battlegrounds have been renamed to "Veteran of the Alliance" and "Veteran of the Horde", and now award those titles.
  • Achievements to win 300 rated Battlegrounds have been added, awarding the "Warbound" and "Warbringer" titles to the Alliance and Horde respectively.

Arathi Basin
  • The achievement "We Had It All Along *cough*" now requires the player to win Arathi Basin by 50 points or less, up from 10 points or less.

The Battle for Gilneas
  • The achievement "Jugger Not" now requires the player to win The Battle for Gilneas by 100 points or less, up from 10 points or less.
  • The achievement "Out of the Fog" requires the player to defend 2 bases in a single battle, down from 3.
  • The achievement "One Two Three You Don't Know About Me" requires the player to assault 2 bases in a single battle, down from 3.
  • The achievement "Not Your Average PUG'er" now requires 10 total flag defenses, down from 50.
  • The achievement "Battle for Gilneas All-Star" now requires a single flag assault and flag defense in a battle, down from 2.

Achievements Bug Fixes
  • The guild rated Battleground title achievements should now properly be awarded.
  • Valor and Conquest Points are displaying the correct values when tracked for achievements.

Classes: General

  • All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit the target. This includes Pummel, Kick, Mind Freeze, Rebuke, Skull Bash, Counterspell, Wind Shear, Solar Beam, Silencing Shot, and related player pet abilities.
  • Several persistent ground effects now display different visuals for hostile and friendly players. The following spells have the same visual effects for friendly players, but new alternate visuals for hostile players: Ring of Frost, Consecration, Desecration, Wild Mushroom, Flare, Ice Trap, Power Word: Barrier, Smoke Bomb, and Hand of Gul'dan. As a general rule, the alternate effects have a red tint or hue indicating they are created by an enemy player.

 Death Knight (Talent Calculator)
  • Dark Simulacrum now works on numerous additional spells in dungeon encounters.
  • Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

Blood
  • Blood Shield now only works while in Blood Presence.
  • Death Strike self-healing no longer generates threat.

Frost
  • Blood of the North (passive) now permanently converts both Blood Runes into Death Runes. There is no longer any proc interaction with Blood Strike required to activate Death Runes.
  • Frost Strike now deals 130% of weapon damage, up from 110%.
  • Howling Blast damage has been increased by 20%. To compensate, the area-of-effect splash now does 50% of the single-target damage, down from 60%. The net result of this change leaves the area-of-effect damage roughly the same as 4.0.6 numbers. In addition, Howling Blast now has a facing requirement.

Unholy
  • Desecration no longer triggers when an applicable strike hits a snare-immune target. This is primarily to avoid unnecessary spell effect clutter during boss encounters.
  • Rage of Rivendare again applies 15/30/45% additional damage to Plague, Scourge, and Festering Strike, up from 12/24/36%.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Raise Ally is now Glyph of Death Gate, and makes Death Gate cast 60% faster.

Death Knight Bug Fixes
  • Runeforging no longer displays a skill-up UI element.

 Druid (Talent Calculator)
  • Lacerate bonus threat has been removed and replaced with increased initial damage done.
  • Efflorescence has a new spell effect.
  • Enrage no longer increases physical damage taken.
  • Lifebloom's bloom effect has been reduced by 20%.
  • Prowl has a new icon.
  • Savage Defense has been redesigned slightly. Instead of a single charge absorption, it now places an absorption effect on the druid absorbing up to 35% of the druid's attack power (modified by mastery, if applicable) in damage and lasting 10 seconds. There are no longer any charges on the effect.
  • Stampeding Roar's duration has been increased to 8 seconds, up from 6. The movement speed effect has been increased to 60%, up from 40% and is no longer cancelled by cancelling shapeshift form.
  • Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6, and is now on trainable at level 18 (training cost has been reduced). In addition, the bonus threat from this ability has been removed and replaced with increased damage done.
  • Swipe (Cat) damage has been doubled.
  • Thrash bonus threat has been removed and replaced with increased damage done.
  • Druids now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Tranquility.

Balance
  • Starsurge damage has been reduced by 20%.
  • Solar Beam is now more responsive when enemies move into or out of it.

Feral
  • Berserk is no longer on the global cooldown.
  • Feral Swiftness now also causes Dash and Stampeding Roar to have a 50/100% chance to instantly remove all movement impairing effects from the affected targets when used.

Restoration
  • Gift of Nature (passive) also reduces Tranquility's cooldown by 2.5/5 minutes.
  • Efflorescence has been redesigned. It creates a healing zone at the feet of a Swiftmend target, but this healing zone now restores health equal to 4/8/12% of the amount healed by Swiftmend to the three most injured targets within 8 yards, every 1 second for 7 seconds. This periodic effect now also benefits from spell haste, but the individual ticks cannot be critical effects. In addition, Living Seed is no longer a prerequisite talent for Efflorescence.
  • Malfurion's Gift now reduces the cooldown of Tranquility by 2.5/5 minutes.
  • Nature's Swiftness now also increases the healing done by the affected nature spell by 50%.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Rake is now Glyph of Pounce, which increases the range of Pounce by 3 yards.

Druid Bug Fixes
  • The troll druid models for Flight Form and Swift Flight Form has slimmed down to be more in scale with other druid flight forms.
  • Druids should no longer have UI issues after leaving a vehicle.

 Hunter (Talent Calculator)
  • Deterrence no longer requires a melee weapon to be equipped.
  • Explosive Trap now has a new spell effect.
  • Master's Call now has a new spell effect.
  • Multi-Shot damage has been increased by 250%.
  • Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter's level, rather than 3 levels below.

Pets
  • The Feed Pet ability now instantly heals 50% of the pet's health. Cannot be used in combat. Requires diet-appropriate food.
  • The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets.
  • Bloodthirsty no longer generates Happiness.
  • Carrion Feeder no longer restores Happiness.
  • Guard Dog no longer causes Growl to generate additional Happiness.
  • Summoned pets now start with 100 focus, up from 0.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Mend Pet is now Glyph of Lesser Proportion, which decreases the size of the pet slightly.

Hunter Bug Fixes
  • Hunters will no longer automatically acquire a new target if the current target dies in the middle of a cast.
  • Aimed Shot and Steady Shot should no longer start casting Auto Shot on a new target when the "Stop Auto Attack" option enabled.
  • Auto Shot now automatically turns off until reactivated once Freezing Trap is cast on an enemy player.
  • Deterrence: The area damage of the paladin ability Hammer of the Righteous will no longer hit hunters with Deterrence active.
  • Distracting Shot and Multi-Shot are now properly 40-yard range.
  • Intervene (Tenacity pet ability) range has been increased so that the pet will properly intercept attacks.
  • Multi-Shot now properly has a 1-second global cooldown.
  • Scatter Shot's disorient effect should no longer sometimes be broken by the hunter's Auto Shot.

 Mage (Talent Calculator)
  • Arcane Blast cast time has been reduced to 2.0 seconds, down from 2.35 seconds. In addition, the stacking effect of Arcane Blast now increases the damage done by Arcane Explosion, and Arcane Explosion does not consume that effect.
  • Arcane Explosion damage has been increased by 30%.
  • Arcane Missiles damage has been increased by 13%.
  • Blizzard damage has been increased by 70%.
  • Frost Armor has been reworked:
    • It now reduces physical damage taken by 15%, instead of providing 20% additional armor.
    • The Chilled proc from Frost Armor can no longer proc Fingers of Frost.
    • The attack speed slow from the Chilled proc is now 20%, down from 25%, but it also affects ranged attack speed.
    • Frost Armor also no longer increases Frost resistance.
  • Frostbolt damage has been increased by 10%.

Arcane
  • Arcane Barrage damage has been increased by 13%.
  • Improved Arcane Explosion now also reduces the mana cost of Arcane Explosion by 25/50%.

Fire
  • Combustion no longer has a global cooldown.
  • Ignite is no longer triggered from periodic critical effects.

Frost
  • Fingers of Frost bonus damage applied to Ice Lance has been increased to 25%, up from 15%.
  • Ice Barrier base damage value has been increased by approximately 120%. In addition, the benefit from spell power has been increased by approximately 8%.
  • The root effect from Shattered Barrier now shares diminishing returns with the root from Improved Cone of Cold.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Frost Armor (new glyph): Frost Armor also causes the mage to regenerate 2% of maximum mana every 5 seconds.

 Paladin (Talent Calculator)
  • Righteous Fury now persists through death.
  • Word of Glory now has a 20-second cooldown.

Holy
  • Aura Mastery: This ability no longer increases the benefit granted by Crusader Aura.
  • Illuminated Healing shield duration is now 15 seconds, up from 8 seconds. In addition, Illuminated Healing has been increased to provide 1.5% effect per mastery, up from 1.25%.
  • Walk in the Light (passive) removes the cooldown of Word of Glory.

Protection
  • Divine Guardian cooldown is now 3 minutes, up from 2.
  • Grand Crusader will now generate a charge of Holy Power if the Avenger Shield it procs is used within 6 seconds.
  • Sacred Duty can now be activated by Avenger's Shield in addition to Judgements. The effect now lasts 10 seconds, down from 15.

Retribution
  • Divine Storm now generates 1 point of Holy Power if it hits (i.e. successfully lands on) 4 or more targets.
  • Sacred Shield's internal cooldown has been increased to 60 seconds, up from 30.

Paladin Bug Fixes
  • Avenger's Shield can no longer be blocked.
  • Judgements of the Just debuff can no longer trigger talents and other effects.
  • Seal of Truth: Fixed a tooltip error that stated swings at targets with Censure fully stacked dealt 9% weapon damage. They actually dealt 15% damage and the tooltip has been updated accordingly.

 Priest (Talent Calculator)
  • Divine Aegis duration has been increased to 15 seconds, up from 12.
  • Dispel Magic can only be used on the casting priest as a baseline effect.
  • Priests now innately have 100% pushback protection from damage while channeling Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope.
  • Holy Fire damage has been increased to be approximately 30% higher than Smite.
  • Inner Will and Inner Fire now last until canceled.
  • Mind Sear damage has been doubled.
  • Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.

Discipline
  • Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.
  • Atonement now works with Holy Fire in addition to Smite.
  • The direct damage portion of Holy Fire can now trigger Evangelism.
  • Power Word: Barrier's cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes, up from 2, and its effect has been reduced to 25%, down from 30%.
  • It is now possible to remove Weakened Soul effects that were a result of another priest's Power Word: Shield through Strength of Soul.

Holy
  • Absolution (new passive) enables priests to use Dispel Magic on up to 2 harmful effects on friendly targets.
  • Chakra now lasts until canceled, up from 1 minute.
  • Holy Word: Sanctuary healing done has been increased by 35%. In addition, it has a new spell effect.
  • Surge of Light can now also trigger from Binding Heal.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Divine Accuracy now also affects Holy Fire in addition to Smite.

Priest Bug Fixes
  • Surge of Light is now being applied to Smite at rank 1.

 Rogue (Talent Calculator)
  • Recuperate base effect now heals 3% per tick, up from 2%.
  • Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.
  • Tricks of the Trade now has a 100-yard range, up from 20.

Combat
  • Improved Recuperate now adds 0.5%/1% to the health restoration effect of Recuperate, down from 1%/2%.

Subtlety
  • Cheat Death now reduces damage taken by 80% while in effect, down from 90%. Its internal cooldown has been raised to 90 seconds, up from 60.
  • Nightstalker now reduces the cooldown of Stealth by 2/4 seconds, and instead of negating the movement penalty from Stealth, it adds a 5/10% movement speed bonus (stacking with other effects) while Stealthed.

 Shaman (Talent Calculator)
  • Fire Nova has been redesigned and decoupled from shaman Fire totems. Instead, it now pulses the Fire Nova effect from each target that is afflicted by the shaman's own Flame Shock debuff. It now damages all enemies except the target hit by Flame Shock. The ability's cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10.
  • Grounding Totem cooldown has been increased to 25 seconds, up from 15.
  • Magma Totem now lasts for 60 seconds, up from 21.
  • Stoneclaw Totem's area-of-effect threat pulse no longer affects critters.

Elemental Combat
  • Earthquake is no longer a channeled spell. It now has a 2-second cast time, lasts for 10 seconds, and has a 10-second cooldown. Its damage has been reduced by 40% from its channeled version.

Enhancement
  • Improved Fire Nova has been redesigned and replaced by a talent called Seasoned Winds. When an enemy spell cast is successfully prevented with Wind Shear, the shaman gains magical resistance (in an amount equal to what a protection totem/aura would grant, stacking with such buffs) to the spell school(s) of the interrupted spell (except for Holy spells), lasting 10 seconds.

Restoration
  • Cleansing Waters now has a 6-second internal cooldown.
  • Deep Healing now benefits all heals, not just direct heals.
  • Earth Shield healing done by Restoration shaman has been reduced by 20%.
  • Nature's Blessing has been improved to 6/12/18% bonus direct healing on Earth Shielded targets, up from 5/10/15%.
  • Spirit Link Totem (new talent) reduces damage taken by all party and raid members within 10 yards by 10%. This lasts 6 seconds, and every second it is active the health of all affected players is redistributed among them, such that each player ends up with the same percentage of their maximum health. This counts as an Air totem and has a 3-minute cooldown.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Grounding Totem: The increased cooldown of Grounding Totem applied by this glyph has been reduced to 35 seconds, down from 45 seconds.

Shaman Bug Fixes
  • The tooltips for shaman healing spells are now displaying correct values when points are distributed into any rank of the Spark of Life talent.

 Warlock (Talent Calculator)
  • Dark Intent: The friendly target of this ability now receives 1% (stacking 3 times to 3%) periodic spell damage and healing bonus instead of 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%). The casting Warlock still receives 3% (stacking 3 times to 9%).
  • Rain of Fire damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Seed of Corruption damage has been increased by 20%.
  • Soulstone can now be used in combat to resurrect a targeted dead player.

Affliction
  • Haunt damage has been increased by 30%.
  • Shadow Mastery (passive) has been increased to 30%, up from 25%.
  • Unstable Affliction damage done when it is dispelled has been doubled, but this damage can no longer be critical.

Demonology
  • Mana Feed now restores more mana (four times as much) when the warlock is using a Felguard or Felhunter.

Pets
  • Doomguard's damage has been increased by 50%. The Doomguard is intended to be the best guardian for single-target damage, and the Infernal the best when there are multiple targets.
  • Lash of Pain (Succubus) damage now scales with level, reducing the damage done at lower levels such that it will deal 50% damage at level 20, and 100% damage at level 80 and above.
  • Shadow Bite (Felhunter) damage and effect has doubled.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Soul Swap now increases the cooldown of Soul Swap by 15 seconds, up from 10 seconds.

 Warrior (Talent Calculator)
  • Charge and Intercept no longer have diminishing returns on their stun effects.
  • Colossus Smash now ignores 50% of a hostile player's armor (PvP), but continues to ignore 100% of a non-player character's armor (PvE).
  • Heroic Throw is now available from trainers at level 20.
  • Heroic Leap is no longer on the global cooldown, similar to other warrior movement abilities.
  • Inner Rage is now available at level 56.
  • Intercept now has a 1.5-second stun, down from 3 seconds.
  • Pummel is now usable in all stances.
  • Rallying Cry (new ability) is available from trainers at level 83. It temporarily grants the warrior and all party or raid members within 30 yards 20% of maximum health for 10 seconds. After the effect expires, the health is lost. It has no cost, no stance requirements, and is not on the global cooldown. It has a 3-minute cooldown, but also shares a cooldown with Last Stand.
  • Shield Bash has been removed from the game.
  • Spell Reflection cooldown has been increased to 25 seconds, up from 10.
  • Whirlwind now has its cooldown reduced by 6 seconds when it deals damage to 4 or more targets. The Whirlwind effect caused by Bladestorm remains unchanged.

Arms
  • Improved Hamstring now reduces the global cooldown on Hamstring by 0.25/0.5 seconds in addition to its current effects.
  • Juggernaut no longer adds 2 seconds to the Charge stun, but instead lowers the cooldown of Charge by 2 seconds (to 13 seconds total without the glyph).
  • Lambs to the Slaughter now causes Mortal Strike to refresh Rend in addition to its current effects.
  • Strikes of Opportunity value per point of mastery has been increased by 10%.

Fury
  • Precision (passive) now increase auto-attack damage by 40%, in addition to the 3% hit it offers currently.
  • Unshackled Fury now only grants 2 base points of mastery, down from 8.

Protection
  • Shield Mastery no longer affects the cooldown of Spell Reflection, however, it now allows Shield Block to proc a second aura that reduces magic damage by 7/14/20% for 6 seconds.
  • Gag Order now applies to Pummel and Heroic Throw, giving these abilities a 100% chance to silence the target for 3 seconds. In addition, Gag Order lowers the cooldown of Heroic Throw by 30 seconds.

Glyphs
  • Glyph of Spell Reflection reduces the cooldown of Spell Reflection by 5 seconds, up from 1 second.

Dungeons & Raids

Rise of the Zandalari
  • Zul'Aman is now a level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon. Players with a minimum average item level of 346 or higher can access this dungeon via the Dungeon Finder.
  • Zul'Gurub is now a level-85 5-player Heroic dungeon. Players with a minimum average item level of 346 or higher can access this dungeon via the Dungeon Finder.
  • Both Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman exist in a separate tier in the Dungeon Finder above the current level-85 Heroic dungeons. Players can randomly queue for either dungeon by selecting the Rise of the Zandalari setting.

Dungeon Finder
  • The Dungeon Finder now attempts to avoid putting damage-dealing classes with the same armor type in a group.
  • Players will now get bonus rewards 7 times per week (while earning less than 980 Valor Points) instead of once a day when using Dungeon Finder.
  • When there is only 1 player left in a Dungeon Finder group, they will now be able to queue for replacements as long as they queue within 2 minutes or stay in the dungeon.
  • The Dungeon Finder: Call to Arms will now identify which class role is currently the least represented in the queue, and offer them additional rewards for entering the Dungeon Finder queue and completing a random level-85 Heroic dungeon.
  • The least represented class icon will show within the Dungeon Finder to indicate the role that is eligible to earn the bonus reward.
  • Players must queue solo with the currently indicated least represented class (by the system) and complete the dungeon up to and including the final boss in order to be eligible for the bonus reward.
  • The bonus reward will be displayed to eligible (system identified as least represented) classes within the UI.
  • Once the dungeon is completed the eligible player will receive a Satchel of Exotic Mysteries (account bound) with various potential rewards including: gold, rare gems, non-combat pets, and (very rare) mounts.

Blackrock Caverns
  • Aura of Arcane Haste now has a clearer visual on the bearer of the aura.
  • Bound Flames in the Karsh Steelbender encounter no longer create Lava Pools when they are killed.
  • The Short Throw ability used by Twilight Sadists has had its range reduced to 10 yards.

Blackwing Descent
  • Atramedes
    • Searing Flames now causes a 6-second cooldown on Modulation.
    • Searing Flames no longer increases Sound on players.
    • Players should no longer be able to avoid the first period damage tick of Searing Flame, and Searing Flame now ticks every 2 seconds. The damage of Searing Flame has been increased to compensate for it ticking less frequently.
  • The Bile-O-Tron 800 in the Chimaeron encounter is now more resistant to being knocked offline many times in rapid succession.
  • Flash Bomb (Golem Sentry ability) now has a more clear warning visual.
  • Magmaw now triggers a raid emote when summoning Lava Parasites.
  • Maloriak
    • Maloriak now has a brief windup before beginning to channel Arcane Storm, slightly increasing the amount of time players have before the spell begins to deal damage.
    • Further improvements have been made in the Maloriak encounter to avoid Flash Freeze targeting the tanks.
  • Nefarian's End
    • The damage of Shadowflame Barrage has been reduced by 15% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).
    • The damage of Tail Lash has been reduced by 20% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).

The Bastion of Twilight
  • Dragon Siblings
    • Blackout can now be dispelled on Heroic difficulty.
  • Cho'gall
    • The health of Blood of the Old God on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered by roughly 20%.
    • The health of Darkened Creations on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered by roughly 20%.
    • The corruption gained from Corruption: Accelerated on 10-player Heroic difficulty has been lowered slightly.
    • Knockbacks and Deathgrip can now be used to interrupt players that are converted by Cho'gall.
  • Sinestra
    • Twilight Slicer is now less likely to target two healers at once.
    • Wrack will avoid jumping to tanks.

Deadmines
  • Ragezone cast by Defias Blood Wizards now only increases damage dealt, no longer increasing damage taken.

Dire Maul North
  • The Gordok Courtyard Key in Fengus's Chest is now replenished after several seconds.

Grim Batol
  • Bleeding Wound damage from General Umbriss has been lowered by 20%.
  • Malignant Trogg now moves more slowly.
  • The Encumbered damage bonus from Forgemaster Throngus has been reduced by 50%.
  • Invoked Flaming Spirits should prefer non-tank targets to fixate on.
  • The Twilight Flame Patch from the Twilight Drake has been removed.
  • The cooldown portion of the Twisted Arcane buff cast by Azureborne Seers has been removed.

Halls of Origination
  • Temple Gardian Anhuur should now properly go into his shield phase at 33% even if he was channeling his 66% shield phase.

Lost City of Tol'vir
  • Soul Fragments that spawn during the High Prophet Barim encounter should now perform an emote when they merge with the Harbinger of Darkness.

The Mechanar
  • The Cache of the Legion now unlocks when Gatewatcher Gyro-kill is gyro-killed.

The Stonecore
  • The patrol path of the Stonecore Bruiser before Ozruk has been reduced.
  • Ground Slam now has a pre-cast visual on the ground in front of Ozruk. In addition, Ground Slam's damage and radius have been reduced.
  • High Priestess Azil's Seismic Shard now has a more obvious warning visual.

Stratholme
  • Postboxes no longer require keys to open, because really, who locks their postboxes anymore when they're all undead? It's just people sending coupons for brains anyway.
  • The Postmaster now spawns when 3 of any postbox are opened.

Throne of the Tides
  • Gilgoblin Hunters' Poisoned Spear direct and periodic damage has been reduced.
  • Gilgoblin Aquamages' Tsunami damage has been reduced.
  • Visual effects during the Lady Naz'jar have been improved for clarity.
  • Blight Beasts summoned during the Ozumat encounter now deal less damage with Aura of Dread.

Uldaman
  • The Staff of Prehistoria is no longer required to open the door in the Map Room.
  • Baelog's chest has been given new loot. If it's grey it's good, right?

Vortex Pinnacle
  • The Air Nova ability triggered when a Gust Soldier is killed has had its knockback effect reduced.
  • Altairus now spawns closer to the center of his platform, away from the edge.
  • Temple Adepts and Ministers of Air now wait 2 seconds before starting a spell cast when they are first engaged.

Wailing Caverns
  • The maze section has been removed to make the overall dungeon more accessible and quicker to complete. Nearby creatures and bosses have been adjusted to compensate.

Zul'Farrak
  • Troll Cages no longer require the Executioner's Key to open.
  • The gold amounts awarded for the following encounters have been substantially reduced: Flame Leviathan, Magtheridon, Gruul the Dragonkiller, Doom Lord Kazzak, and all encounters in Karazhan.

Dungeon & Raid Bug Fixes
  • The tooltip for the Luck of the Draw buff now dynamically updates based on how many stacks are present.
  • The tooltip for Stolen Power during the Nefarian's End encounter now displays the correct bonus percentage.
  • Drake vehicles now properly animate when attacking in the air.

Guilds

  • The criteria on many of the profession-related guild achievements has been significantly reduced.
  • The Guild Perk, Cash Flow, no longer prints out text to the Chat Log. Instead, the daily amount deposited is shown in the Guild Vault Money Log. In addition, players can view the weekly contribution in a new window at the bottom of the Money Log.
  • Two new custom guild tabards have been added as Guild Rewards. The tabards are account bound and offer a bonus to gaining guild reputation.
  • The Reins of the Dark Phoenix, purchased from the Guild Vendor, has had its art improved. It's now less transparent and indisputably more awesome.
  • The amount of guild experience rewarded for rated Battleground guild group wins has been dramatically increased.
  • Players are now rewarded guild experience for Honorable Kills in the field.
  • Players are now rewarded guild experience for Battleground wins in Battleground brackets up to level 80.
  • Arena teams are now awarded guild experience for wins. The entire team must be members of the same guild to earn this experience.

Guild Challenges
  • These challenges can be found in the Info pane of the guild UI.
  • Guild Challenges fall into three categories: Dungeons, Raids, and Rated Battlegrounds.
  • Each challenge can be completed a set number of times per week. Guild groups participating in level-appropriate Heroic or normal difficulty dungeons and raids, or rated Battlegrounds, will automatically qualify for challenge credit.
  • Each time a Guild Challenge is completed, the guild will be awarded experience and gold deposited directly into the Guild Vault, as well as the opportunity to earn all-new achievements. A popup or "toast" will be displayed to confirm a Guild Challenge has been completed (similar to achievement alerts).
  • Guild experience earned via Guild Challenges will be awarded above the daily cap. The experience cap will move forward relative to the amount of experience obtained through completing Guild Challenges (similar to rested experience for characters).
  • Guilds already at the level cap will be awarded substantially more gold in place of guild experience.
  • Gold rewards are deposited into the guild bank once the guild reaches level 5. The text for the Cash Flow guild perk has been updated appropriately.

Guild Finder
  • A new Guild Finder button will now appear on the Micro Menu for guild leaders, as well as players without a guild.
  • A Guild Interests field allows players to form a guild around common interests: Questing, Dungeons, Raids, PvP, and Role Playing.
  • An Availability field allows players to note whether or not weekdays or weekends are better for playing.
  • The Class Roles field allows players to indicate the role or roles they are capable of, and willing to fill.
  • A Comment box is also available for supplying additional information.
  • Once a player has filled out the Guild Interests field, the Browse Guilds tab allows them to find guilds actively recruiting via the Guild Finder. Guilds listed here are displayed according to common interests.
  • The Requests tab tracks all recruitment requests submitted by an unguilded player, or submitted to the leader of a selected guild.

Items

  • The PvP Horde and Alliance trinkets have a new spell effect.

Account Bound Items
  • Many "Account Bound" heirlooms are now labeled as "Battle.net Account Bound", meaning that they can also be traded or mailed to characters that are on different World of Warcraft accounts under the same Battle.net account.
  • Mail sent to characters on the same Battle.net account now arrives instantaneously, as it does for the same World of Warcraft account.
  • Mailing account-bound items to characters of the opposite faction on the same Battle.net account will now correctly translate faction-specific items to their appropriate equivalent.
  • All trade goods available for purchase with Honor or Justice Points from the associated commodities vendors have had their prices reduced by 50%.
  • Maelstrom Crystals are now available for purchase with Honor or Justice Points from the associated commodities vendors.

Item Sets
  • The current damage-dealing death knight 4-piece raid set bonus now also grants increased attack power when Killing Machine triggers, as well as when the death knight gains Death Runes).
  • The current Holy paladin 4-piece raid set bonus now grants 540 Spirit for 6 seconds after casting Holy Shock.
  • The current healing priest 4-piece raid set bonus no longer requires a target to be under the effects of Weakened Soul for the priest to receive the Spirit bonus. Instead the benefit will be granted each time the priest's Penance spell heals a target.
  • The caster shaman 4-piece PvP set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Grounding Totem by 3 seconds, up from 1.5.

Item Bug Fixes
  • Players are now properly seated on stone drake and wind drake models.
  • Stone drakes no longer clip into the ground when attacked.
  • Many pieces of crafted epic armor have had sockets added.
  • Furious Gladiator's Greatsword (and other swords with the same model) no longer disappear when wielded.
  • Random enchantment items (of the bear, of the whale, etc.) no longer use obsolete item modifiers such as attack power or spell power.

Professions

  • All major cities will now have every type of profession trainer and their associated trade supply vendors.
  • New Cooking and Fishing Dailies have been added to Darnassus, Ironforge, Thunder Bluff, and Undercity.

Alchemy
  • Flask of Steelskin now grants 450 Stamina, up from 300. The Mixology bonus for alchemists remains at 120 Stamina.

Archaeology
  • Seven new rare items have been added.
  • Players now have a much smaller chance of getting a dig site for a race for which they have completed all rare finds.

PvP

  • The rate at which Honor Points are earned has been doubled.

Arenas
  • Arena matchmaking can now extend beyond a team's Battlegroup.

Battlegrounds
  • Battleground raid leaders can now move players from other realms among raid subgroups.
  • The Focused Assault and Brutal Assault buffs have changed.
    • After 3 minutes of both teams having the flag, both flag carriers will get Focused Assault, which increases damage taken by 10%.
    • Every minute afterward, an additional stack will be applied to increase damage taken by an additional 10%.
    • After 7 minutes, Brutal Assault will be applied in place of Focused Assault. In additional to the damage debuff, this debuff also caps the player's movement speed at 100%. The damage taken debuff works the same and will add 10% to the debuff up to a maximum of 100% damage taken.
  • Arathi Basin
    • Arathi Basin is now available as a 10v10-player rated Battleground.
    • Flags should now cap in 7 seconds, down from 8.
  • The Battle for Gilneas
    • Flags should now cap in 7 seconds, down from 8.
    • Graveyard Changes
      • Players who die at a control point that they own will now be teleported to the next closest graveyard, instead of the one at which they died.
      • If a player's team owns the Mine and Waterworks, and dies at Waterworks, they will be teleported to the Mine.
      • If an Alliance player's team only owns Lighthouse, and dies at Lighthouse, they will respawn at their base.
      • If a Horde player's team owns Waterworks and Mine, and dies at Lighthouse, they will respawn at Waterworks.
  • Twin Peaks
    • Graveyard Changes
      • Players will now only spawn at their base graveyard when they die in the enemy base.
      • Defending players will respawn at the middle graveyard.
      • Midfield players will respawn at the middle graveyard.
      • Attacking players will respawn at their base graveyard.
  • Warsong Gulch
    • The graveyards outside both bases have been lowered in elevation and are no longer on the same plane as the main flag room entrances to either respective base.

Quests & Creatures

  • A handful of quests have been added to Northern Barrens to provide more level 18-20 content. Look for new quests at Nozzlepot's Outpost and Darsok's Outpost.
  • Loot from the creatures Garr, Julak-Doom, Mobus, Akma'Hat, Xariona, and Poseidus has been adjusted to be commensurate to their rarity and invested effort.

Quest Bug Fixes
  • Agatha is now always present to provide quests for newly created undead characters.
  • Players properly sit on Bastia's back during the quest "To the Cliffs" on the Lost Isles.
  • There should no longer be phasing issues during the quest "Detonation" in Redridge Mountains.
  • "Blackriver Skirmish" in Grizzly Hills now awards Honor Points.
  • The vehicle for the quest "Tailgunner!" in Uldum now aims in the correct direction.

Races

  • The gnomish racial ability, Escape Artist, is no longer affected by the global cooldowns triggered by other abilities.
  • The human racial ability, Every Man for Himself, has a new spell effect.

Race Bug Fixes
  • Worgen females have learned how to laugh out loud.

User Interface

  • Like the Focus Frame, the character Unit and Target Frames can now be unlocked and moved to one's content.
  • Spells bound to a key now start to be cast when the button is pressed down by default, instead of waiting for the key to go up. This is an option that can be turned off in the Interface menu under Combat. Mouse clicking has not changed and operates on mouse click up.
  • Targets and focus targets now display on the mini-map.
  • Moved Video and Sound to a new "Options" screen.
  • Added a network category to the new Options screen and included the two network checkboxes.
  • The Network category contains the options "Optimize network for speed" and "Enable IPv6 when available". "Optimize network for speed" will be enabled by default, and will send packets more frequently at the cost of higher bandwidth. The higher bandwidth may lead to disconnects for some players who have limited bandwidth. Players getting disconnected frequently should try unchecking this box.

Visual Settings Updates
  • Removed the red bar preventing the overall graphics slider from going to ultra based on computer specs.
  • When a player moves the overall slider to a setting that would have previously been prevented, any option that can't go as high as that setting will get the warning icon with a tooltip explaining why it can't go higher. For example: a player sets the overall slider to Ultra and the water setting can only go to Fair. The water setting would automatically switch to Fair.
  • Support for DirectX 11 can now be found in the Advanced tab of the Options screen.

At the login screen:
  • Moved the "Reset User Options" button from the popup window that appears when clicking Options to the actual Options window.
  • Clicking Options now goes directly to the Video tab of the Options screen.
  • Removed the now-unneeded popup.

The New Features (!) Option screen has been updated:
  • Cast action keybinds on key down (Combat)
  • Pick Up Action Key (ActionBars)
  • Nameplate Motion Type (Names)
  • Graphics API (Advanced)
  • Network category


all around, looks like a great patch. I'm excited over the BoA gear being cross realm transferable. I'll be doing a review of the new ZG/ZA instances when they go live. So stay tuned! 

-patch notes from blizzard