Welcome back to the second edition of Pandaren Ponderings. Last week I took a look at the Pandaren race. This week I’ll cover the new class introduced in Mists of Pandaria, the Monk. Lets go over the basics, shall we? Monks are available to almost every race in the game. The only restrictions are no Worgen and no Goblins. For those not counting that leaves the 11 remaining races to get their Monk on.
Monks are a cloth/leather wearing melee-based class. A true hybrid; they can Tank, Heal or DPS. Lorewise they follow the theme of Asian combat monks, not the stuffy old man in a brown robe stereotype. The reason for this is simple, the class is being “taught” to the other races by the Pandaren. The Monk has three specs which are as follows Brewmaster (Tank), Windwalker (DPS), and Mistweaver (Healing). I’ve always been a tank first and foremost, except for that 2 week stint of role experimentation when I first began playing, but we’re not going to talk about that. (Ed: Ahh, Brad’s college experimentation years.) So as such I’ve spent the most time on beta with a Brewmaster Pandaren Monk. It has been awhile since I played with him so I’m sure a lot has changed, but I still have a fairly accurate idea of how the core class mechanics work.
Recently I had a chance to play Funcom’s new MMO The Secret World (TSW henceforth) during their free to play one month celebration weekend. The results were beyond my expectations to say the least. I had heard about TSW almost 2 years ago via a co-worker; I saw the video and brushed it off, after all it was just a teaser anyway. Somewhere between then and now I lost track of the title altogether, it slipped through the cracks with me I suppose. Fast forward to a week or so ago I saw a story on one of the many game news sites I follow that there was a free weekend coming up. I was already visiting a friend to get some games (legally) that I can’t download myself because of bandwidth restrictions. I asked him to pop it on my hard drive as well to give it a test drive. Come this past Friday I created an account and jumped in.
It is official: The Extended Cut DLC for Mass Effect 3 will be releasing next week on June 26th. The waiting is up and now we get to see what this DLC has in store for us. BioWare had the following to say about the DLC:
The Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut is a downloadable content pack that will expand upon the events at the end of Mass Effect 3. Through additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes, the Extended Cut will include deeper insight to Commander Shepard’s journey based on player choices during the war against the Reapers. The Extended Cut will be available to download at no additional charge on June 26th on Xbox 360 and PC and PlayStation 3.
This is great news for anyone who was distraught over the controversial ending to M<ass Effect3 earlier this year. The Internet turned insane within days of the game’s release as many fans started seeing the ending to one of the greatest sci-fi trilogies and realizing it wasn’t exactly what they wanted it to be.
Well come June 26th in North America (July 4th in Europe for the Playstation 3) we’ll be able to see what BioWare decided constitutes an extended ending to this amazing series. The best part of it is that it won’t cost us anything as the DLC is completely free on all platforms. It will however clock in at around 1.9 gigabytes of space, which I know might be a potential deal-breaker for at least one of our writers.
Looking forward to jumping into an older character and experiencing the new endings immediately? Well BioWare has an explanation of how to do that as well [SPOILERS]:
[SPOILERS] To experience the Extended Cut, load a save game from before the attack on the Cerberus Base and play through to the end of the game. The Extended Cut endings will differ depending on choices made throughout the Mass Effect series, so multiple playthroughs with a variety of different decisions will be required to experience the variety of possibilities offered by the new content.[END SPOILERS]
My only big gripe with the news of this DLC is that June 26th is the same day that Dawnguard for Skyrim releases. Looks like next Tuesday is going to be a potentially busy day.
Come the week of June 26th, make sure you stop back here for my impressions on the DLC. There’s also a good chance that I will be tweeting either during breaks in conversation, or more likely as soon as I finish the DLC. Finally, we will not be discussing the DLC on our podcast next week due to a special guest making an appearance. More information on that later. (I know I keep teasing that, but had trouble figuring out when would be best to announce it.)
Prior to a week or so ago when I completed Diablo III, I couldn’t tell you the last game I finished. When I was younger it was no problem at all for me to knock out a game, but not so much anymore. It seems to have become a trend with my gaming more often than not. I can’t exactly put a solid reason on why this is either. Maybe its part of growing up and getting older, as well as being more responsible now that I have kids. Maybe I’m getting worse about intensely focusing on one thing for an undetermined amount of time when it comes to my leisure activity. Again I can’t be sure what the exact cause is and it seems highly likely that its really a combination of multiple things, but I just don’t seem to finish games any more.
The most recent example I can toss out is Mass Effect 3. Yup. I said it. I write for a site whose name is based on a highly popular ME character and I haven’t finished the series. Put your pitchforks and torches away; I am getting to it. Really. In fact it is sort of a personal goal I hope to get out of this article is getting myself to finish one of the great sci fi gaming stories of our era. I love the series. Its wonderful. I even got up early on release day to pick up my copy because I managed to miss the preorder for the CE, drove the hour drive to my local best buy where a friend who works there told me they had some unreserved CE copies but I needed to be there early if I wanted to get one. All this with a 4 year old and an infant in tow. If I don’t like this series then I have some seriously deep issues that need looking into after going to that much trouble.
I just for whatever reason stopped playing it a few days in. Not for any particular faults or even spoilers; I have in fact managed to remain spoiler free on this one despite many friends having already completed the story including the other members of our site. That all said, I plan to soon join the ranks of those who finished it within the next few weeks or possibly sooner depending on real life and such. If for some reason I don’t manage this then I place the blame solely on Blizzard. Oh yes that’s the other contributing factor. Blizzard games are my weakness. I always come back to them. I “run” a small community of friends who play Blizz games together which basically makes me the guy with the GM tag in WoW and the one with admin rights on internet based gathering areas. I’m really a figurehead, nothing more. So let’s all hope I can put down D3 and the WoW Mists beta long enough to finish a round of ME3. Besides, I have plenty of others on the back burner as well. Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Portal 2, Borderlands, Bioshock 1 & 2, Halo ODST & Reach, Skyrim, and on top of those I just picked up Humble Indie Bundle V last week. So there you have it friends. I have a problem of not finishing my games. What about you? Do you have issues knocking out games the way you used to or have any helpful suggestions or tips for those of us with backlogs larger than we would like to admit?