Posted by: Bruno | April 30, 2009

The great Ulduar Cavalcade

So it’s been roughly 3 weeks since patch 3.1 came out with his breaking changes and the new content.More consequently, the new encounters were what we awaited, some were extremely disapointed that they wouldn’t be able to pug their way to the road toward free loot like Naxxramas was. Too bad for them.

Ulduar WAS one of the genuine hard instance follow up to the raids of the Eye of Eternity, The Obsidian Sanctum and the necropolis Naxxramas. Some may say that Blizzard WAS trying to weed out the more casual crowd from the hardcore with this follow up. Sadly, everybody was dreadfully mistaken.

Me and my guild, Kraklenheit Industries, have tried Ulduar on it’s day of release and we said “Wow, this IS hard.”. Three weeks later, the first four boss of the raid feels a bit like Naxxramas boss, kill, collect your stuff, moving on. Why has this terrible and disapointing feeling has came back so suddenly? Why has Ulduar became some sort of Naxxramas 2?

People complained the instance was too hard. That is why.

While checking the different things reported at MMO-Champion, a lot of blue posts are stating that they are changing the encounters difficulty to let more players see the incredible content of Ulduar. While I agree that at some point, Blizzard need a good business model to rentabilize a FREE content patch by making player access content, it saddens me to see that they are opening the flood gates for all the retards that are stucks in Naxxramas way of thinking. That is, “OMG DEEPEE ESS BLARARARARA AOE ‘N SHIZZLE” etc.

At some point, I was glad that the single fact that the whole Trash in Ulduar was enough to wipe a party, not because of a single mis-hap, but because they are genuinely hard. Some difficulty issues related with bugs, such as the Magma Ragers tornadoes that could do a push back just by looking at it was correct to adress too. But event there, they lowered HP of some of the trash, lowered their potency to hand our asses to us. In other word, they became just as easy as Naxx trash.

I want fight where sacrificing DPS to help the survivability of the raid, where you have to be smarter than the average Joe to get through something. Not this easy bullshit. I am well aware there are hard mode. But I find it sad that it seems the real hard fights are the one you have to ad optional dangers to have a real challenge through.

Posted by: Bruno | March 25, 2009

A final trip to Ulduar?

It has been a while since I did something on this. Wheter I’ve been very occupied with many things and projects or I was just plain lazy about it.

The new World of Warcraft content patch is coming along quite soon. I’ve been looking at the changes made to the paladins for quite a while and all I could see that required me to do an uproar is the fact that some of the class main features got base lined, some of the mechanics got simplified and in general, I do not quite know what to think of these changes. I’ve always played on the retribution side of things with Sérafin and some of the problems I see is the PVE viability dwindling once again due to issues related to PVP. The items in Ulduar looks great and have the much needed improvement from the lackluster Tier 7.5 said bonus.

They seem to emphasize onto many stats which my character has no relation on but they seem to do some important theorycrafting. Whatnot, trying to make stuff they implemented not too long ago interesting to everybody. Another thing, I am worried wheter this game will offer something that is enough Mind Blowing to make me play the game once again. So far, Wrath of the Lich King brought the much needed makeover and the much less final fantasy-ish look to the game and a more gritty and medieval look. It has brought magic for… 10 levels and poof, back to the end game yadi yappin.

It’s not that I do not consider the fact that they are working their asses off to feed content to 10 million players, but the fact that this content is mind boggingly easy to do, I do not consider it interesting nor fun. After my what should be 10th full clear of the Naxxramas 25-man instance, I consider that they should tune the encounters so that at some point, we should have fun playing this game. I’m tired of doing daily quests. Where’s the lore? Where’s the insanity of Anqiraj envents? All I see is none of that in WotLK.

Wheter Blizzard takes a hints that we are tired of easy stuff to do and would like to feel some kind of challenge or that Ulduar delivers the much needed magic WotLK promised, this should be my final trip into Blizzard’s MMO.

Posted by: Bruno | February 9, 2009

Giving Conventions a Second Chance

So New York Comic-Con kicked in yet another season of convention of all sorts. You can observe that almost every states of the USA has one, big or small. Sadly enough, I cannot afford going to any of them. Especially the San Diego and the New York Comic-con.

Though, as I look at the Canadian and less-expensive-to-travel-to options, I am less than interested to go than the big Comic-Cons. Several reasons has pushed me to believe that these convention will irremediably suck. Just a feeling, I know. But when I looked at the horrendous line-up for Montreal own Anime/Comics conention, OTAKUTHON (Or whatever it is spelled like) of 2008, I was wondering if that thing was whort paying 45 dollars to go. Especially when the "invité d’honeur" is a somewhat celebrity of a scourge polluting YouTube, Animé Music Vidoes.

Let me transgress here and state what this guy had ultimately given me the fatal blow to my intelligence and made me turn back. I have, for a while, regarded AMV’s as a small threat to the world. Then the YouTube revolution started and the infection spread across the world. I regard AMV makers as pathetic excuses for film cutters. They use Adobe Premiere cut and paste, effects, to make something out of many bits of Animes, staples music they find fitting (which are most of the time, extremely bad music) and then goes around and bask at their glory. We could compare that kind of people to forum trolls. Most of the time, these horrible people dual-class being basement dwellers. So to have a troll as honored guest was for me, the final insult, I’d rather give 45 dollars to charity than nourrish the false hope of a social inapt.

But back to the topic, the vistas offered as convention are most of the time rather… Expensive. Anime North, for exemple, is the biggest and most probably, most interesting anime convention all around Canada, it happens in Toronto, not too far from Montreal and includes billions of interesting people, celebrities and reknown artists. Problem is, lodging in Canada’s Metropolis is extremely rough and expensive, especially during convention times. I can tell, I went to Blizzcon which litterally sold out Anaheim for the week-end.

So yes, you might think that I will not go to a convention this year. That I will keep on bitching on how we lack real stuff here in Quebec. But then again, I’m thinking about Otakuthon a second whirl. I hope and seriously hope that their line-up for this year will be good and that the panels will be actually worth it.

But y’know, you can make pigs fly with hopes…

Posted by: Bruno | January 16, 2009

End Game Content

For the past month I’ve been playing World of Warcraft with much attention, gathering minerals, cutting gems and building the wealth of the guild all together with friends, mostly farming.

There was, of course, the punctual raid that came along to see that our time to shine was right. We did perform extremely well through the Lich King’s Naxxramas with little hindrance, exception given to the server slowly dying due to the mass of people creating a new plague called Death Knights.

But as we went on, a slow lingering and bothersome feeling came to grow inside me. I am getting bored of it. The usual creation of an ALT (alternate character to what I ‘m use to play) is usually a sign that there is not much to be done anymore except start over with another character.

Though I am not calling quits just yet, since the looming patch 3.0.8 is coming with much awaited goodies such as modification to the paladin skills and the forbearance debuff and mining will only require a single tick. And soon enough, the new raid will appear, called Ulduar. I wonder how the elite guilds will react to this.

But I just wonder, after we went through this content, will this feeling of boredom will come back, and if it really does, will I quit?

Posted by: Bruno | December 15, 2008

Tutorial: jQuery Tooltip

A while ago I’ve been asked to do some kind of tooltip for picture, some kind of bubble overing over an image using jQuery. I of course tried the easy way and went through unnecessarily complex and rather useless plug-ins for jQuery. I won’t mention them for the sole reason they’re a litteral pain to manage and use. But did I managed to do the said tooltip with a very minimal amount of work and a little sprinkle of ingenuity.

It’s a very simple way to get awesome result, but I couldn’t do it if it wasn’t for the code I found on an article of CSS Globe written by Allen Grakalic. You can view his article following the link here.

The script needed for having a tooltip over every link is available here:

For this you will need to include the jQuery framework and the little modified script I have devised into your page

< script type="text/javascript" src="yoursite/jquery.js" ></script><!-- jQUERY FRAMEWORK -->
< script type="text/javascript" src="yoursite/tooltip.js" ></script><!-- TOOLTIP SCRIPT-->

Then you will have to initiate the jQuery tooltip with the it’s own function inside a jQuery(document).ready(function(){    })  clause:


Finally, coat your tooltip with some CSS, the tooltip’s id is #tooltip and you will need 2 important properties: position:abolute and display:none

Once done, the rest of the insertion is VERY simple. All you have to do is insert the “tooltip” class and write whatever you wish to display into the title of the link.

<a href="#" class="tooltip" title="FOO BAR">Foo Bar</a>

Whatever the link’s lenght (An image, a long text link, whatever else), the tool tip will gently fade in. For a example and a basic source code, visit this link.

Posted by: Bruno | November 24, 2008

Throttle the north, gauge your clients.

For when I thought that this was only a myth, that’s the kind of thing that would only happen in the US, I thought about bandwith throttles that some ISP in the states places around without warnings. This malignous way for ISP to save money under a banner of legitimacy of "letting the global pool of users enjoy the same speed" is true bullsh*t. Oh, and I mean it.

I wouldn’t make a case of this kind of practice, I would be against, but not be litteraly having my knickers in a twist right now if it was only of a wonderful day last week when I discovered the terrible truth about my ISP.

They were throttling us.

I tried to bring myself to not see what I previously saw on many web site. But my ISP, Bell Canada, has been going on this thing for a good year before anyone would take notice. Of course, most of the time, I would blame my blasted wireless for anything related to speed issue. I changed my router, everything was fine. I started playing my games online, I simply noticed an unreal latency problem. Once again, I blamed the wireless. I could strike more than 30 kbps on BitTorrent, the wireless again. I had a guinea pig for everything speed related…

What made me raise an eyebrow is when I recently reformated my computer, I could download my drivers at around 700 kbps at 8pm, and weirdly enough, at the same hour, I would get a ping of 900 ms (which is slow as damn snail on a game) in World of Warcraft. Keep in mind I started playing with no download active on my computer or on my network of computers. Then the magical "Wait a minute" popped and investigated on that.

My wireless has been working fine, my internet is running on steroids, why can’t I play my game, have my ventrilo chat opened and not suffer hideous lag? The answer was that I was being throttled.

I won’t hide it, I download a lot of stuff when the time is needed. But whenever I know I’m near my download limit, I pull the plug and let the account cool down for a while until I can go at it again. What purges me is that I’m considered a bad downloader and get my speed cut off instead of being charged extra fees for my downloads. That’s just not saying everything on the contract.

Sadly for me, the restriction is only on peer-to-peer softwares, World of Warcraft and Ventrilo are sadly considered into that category.

I consider those business pratices to be falacious and illegal. The CRTC, the organism that monitors everything that is information related in Canada, saw something fishy too. Until the last judgement let them "reshape" their services as they go, without any warning from the company to the client.

I cannot say how much I am furious about such thing, all I know is that, as far as I’m concerned into this whole mess, Bell lost a potential client for their Internet Services.

Posted by: Bruno | November 17, 2008

MySpace ain’t mine.

I’ve been working on some project on the MySpace platform for some time now. If you don’t know what a MySpace is, probability are that you’re older than 20 years old or something. MySpace is simply the very first social network of it’s kind, bolstering everything from fashion to music, it has been a rocket for many artists to be known or for people to let out a shout about what they are. The site gives you the ability to have friends, leave comments on the page, even blog. It’s litteraly a swiss knife of it’s kind.

The only thing that is extremely reprmandable of the website is the chance to “customize” your “space” as you like. The tools given to work with this are fairly user friendly and are straight forward. Then come the professional having a job to customize the space. The interface has to be considered a CMS (Content Management System) that take litteraly what your write and puts it up on the website.

As of first, my experience went along with checking up the useable feature of the website and seeing if there was a way to make it quickly. As I scurried around, I noticed to things. MySpace tries to be like FaceBook by installing and monitoring applications that comes and go. Another thing, modules, are supprosed to be an easy way to rearrange your site on the fly. The only main problem going with that is that you have to go with MySpace‘s default modules. You cannot create, you can barely edit the modules. All you can actually do is go with what MySpace offers.

After looking and searching, I discovered that the only way to make MySpace show what YOU want is to litterally bypass what the website implemented in the HTML and the CSS. The “fairly easy” interface is now rendered completely useless and the difficulty grade of the task risen up a hundred fold. Unless you have Firebug handy and a lot of CSS skills, you cannot work a MySpace page as you want.

It as been a very frustrating yet enlighting experience to work with this kind of environment, thus pushing the site to the limit hoping the MySpace ban hammer wouldn’t fall on me while I was happily throwing a hammer in the fundations of the very webpage. As it goes, I was no pioneer and I’m not the first one to blame the “customizablity” of MySpace.

What I would like to see is the ability to create new modules for Myspace, the ability to be able to build application without being a developper of some sort and being able to have easy yet readable content on the webpage. For now, MySpace is NOT a viable platform to work with, simply because you have to tear it appart and build it over.

Posted by: Bruno | November 6, 2008

From Flash Advocate to jQuery Evangelist

jquerylogoThere was once a time where I believed that the only way to do spiffy interface and cool looking websites was to use Flash and put it everywhere that seems to fit for that kind of overhauling. I was planning complete web-based flash modules that would be a probable computer killer or something like that. Then my friend Yannick introduced me to jQuery, a simplification of JavaScript that helps animating your web page without using external plug-ins.

In it’s whole, jQuery is a revival of JavaScript. The language was slowly dying due to malovolent uses of the code that made the major browser makers (most notably Microsoft) block the crap out of JavaScript. People turned to other alternatives to create some more intuitive stuff via PHP or .NET. But basicly, JavaScript was slowly dying. Of course, a lot of people will argue with me that AJAX is the actual revival of JavaScript. I can agree at some point with them, but the true redemption came of the simplification of JavaScript via jQuery.

What is jQuery?

jQuery is a simplification of JavaScript and DOM. It uses simple queries to do various stuff such has making stuff fading in on your page, move colored blocks or litterally make your page alive without even thinking about inputing an external plug-in such as Flash or anything like it. The only thing you actually need is the framework library, which is open source and freely distributed on .

jQuery’s advantages

  • jQuery is lightweight and doesn’t require any client based download to run
  • It’s very easy to implement jQuery on a website and will not interfere with scripts already in place.
  • Animating and tweaking your interface is much easier with commands that control the element of the page you wish.

    For example: If I want to make a division of my web page fade in with the ID fubar, I simply type $(#fubar).fadeIn();

  • jQuery is Cross Browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari)
  • It’s CSS 2 and CSS 3 compliant, the code does some of the work, but the rest of beauty factors comes from CSS, you have comple control over what happens on your website
  • jQuery is W3C compliant
  • Can be used with AJAX
  • Many plug-ins available to help you in your animating

jQuery’s disadvantages

  • It relies on JavaScript to work, if blocked, the jQuery will NOT display at all
  • Overstuffing jQuery in a website can often occasionate a slowdown in the machine
  • jQuery is open source, but some of the plug-ins , even though free, are not. Look if the plug-in your about to use is editable
  • Some plug-ins are not very well documented or very well programmed

I often explain how jQuery is actually changing the internet, some believe me, some other think I’m a crack pot. But when you got on their site and see the big players who uses the script right now, you can only be suprised by how incredible that thing has became in only two short years. Even Microsoft is now using it.

But don’t get me wrong, jQuery cannot completely cover Flash, it a lightweight solution to Flash, but it doesn’t posses the bazillion of feature that flash offers, you cannot create web based game with jQuery and some effects aren’t as developed has you could actually input them in Flash. For myself, I believe that Flash and jQuery should coexist in a page to bring the user experience to a great summum.

jQuery is definitely here to stay and most certainly will continue to change the internet all over.


jQuery’s website –

Posted by: Bruno | October 20, 2008

Blizzcon in a nutshell

So a week as gone and so has my Blizzcon adventure.

No live feed like I’d hope I’d do, no impression, nothing. I partly blame this on the fact that I was extremely busy trying the new WoW patch preparing everybody for Wrath of The Lich King and the lack of wireless network on the event also made me rage.

I should, by no doubt, do some indepth thing but… that’s not going to happen! Instead, the magical bullet list will fill in for my lack of writing skills and I kind off not want to write as much as I would about this event.

  • Plane trips are fun when you go off the ground but when your going down, the PAIN in the ears is litterally unbearable, true story.
  • Blizzcon is huge, very huge.
  • The fact that we had to wait 4 hours for each of the demo litterally turned me off them and I basicly wandered around and took photos. I did assist to the conference held, because I was there for the conference, not the 15 min playthrough of some game. But as I went through, at some time, Wrath of the Lich King demo kiosk was empty and went for a try. I didn’t went deep in the game, wanting to keep the gaming experience to when I would install the expension at home. Mater of fact, I spent more time talking with the kind Blizzard employee about knick-knacks of the upcoming expension and not play the game. All I know is that even an epic flying mount can’t save you from long flight time.
  • Dun dun duuuun Starcraft II is know a trilogy, at least, the trilogy itself won’t be necessary to play the multiplayer.
  • Dates? Nope, no dates on Blizzard’s Diablo III and Starcraft 2.
  • The new MMORPG from Blizzard is not named at the moment, it is not stated WHEN it will be out.
  • Included with the bear mount card was the beta key for Blizzard’s mystery game. YAY!
  • The goody bag included a hand sanitizer, which I found usefull yet I haven’t used it. I usually keep my hand clean and fanboy sweat free.
  • QQ n00b tissues where my favorite from the goody bag
  • I got a Murloc Plushie that goes Mgggrrrlgl when you press it’s chin
  • The LV80 Tauren Chieftain show was INSANELY good. Felt good to be horde.
  • Video Game Live travelling orchestra went and displayed how good they where by playing all the greatest songs from Blizzard game, and … Oh WAIT? Even the video game pianist came to do a Warcraft II Medley… Wow…
  • Disneyland California is a complete Rip-Off
  • Combos are snack/poison of the 21st century.

For photos of my adventure:

Now if you excuse me, I’ll go enjoy my paladin before they nerf the class (if you can call that a nerf)

Posted by: Bruno | October 7, 2008

Conventions and Water Temples

First of all, the Blizzcon business. I am yes, going to Blizzcon, the all Blizzard event covering the new expension pack for World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and Diablo III and most certainly the mystery MMORPG (World of Warcraft 2). There will be a certain coverage of my experience, I will try, at least, to set photos of all the days I will be traveling to Anaheim and show your the adventure that is Blizzcon, my very first geek convention. Of course, there will photo and impressions, feel free to comment along the way, they will be on the flickr page, which the link will be posted as there will be photos to be seen.

That being taken away, I often ponder about some game design choices in some of my favorite game series I play. More specifically RPGs and Adventure/performer ones. In all games, they seem to have a moment of the adventure that goes into the bowels of all the elements possible to see, from fire to water and every single kind of dungeon/temple/level whatever it is, there’s a different pace for each levels. I don’t have a problem with that kind of lack of originality, I kinda like it except for one thing.

Once a player is acquainted to some of the more, let’s say, “dynamic” elements, he finds himself confronted by it’s big blue enemy… The water. I don’t know what game designer usually associate with “water temples” but it always seems that this term seem to be with “chore”.

I go into The Legend of Zelda, hallmark of water temples worth of curses and every time, the puzzles are slow, terrible, and pretty much nerve wracking. After exploring 3 of the iteration of the series, they do not make exception, every time the game’s puzzle in THAT particular area seems to drive one to insanity. They often show what you usually need right of the start or create the need for such tool right at the beginning but to get to that tool, you have to go thru a world of hurt, puzzles and yes, insane frustrations.

Though I have to admit that the rewards of such dynamism stopping chores are usually pretty great. Epic fights, overly useful item around the rest of the game and most probably the accomplishment of never having a reason to go back there ever again once it’s cleared.

Yet again, I still question why does this application of such pain is related to water, I’d love to see a level which is fast paced, incredible, and hot blooded in the water.

Screw the underwater “beauty” of the thing, I’m not there to play Jacques Cousteau, I’m there to rip some ass and save the world!

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