Friday, May 30, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Tilting Windmills Shopping

Tilting Windmills Shopping

Welcome simadores!

A fine shopping experience awaits you in the shadow of Eira Summit's grand old windmills. Refresh your body & spirit in the all-over beauty parlor, or get a makeover from head to toe! Dine, slap-dance, or play some cards. There's so much to do, you may never do it all, but it's fun to try! This lot has a dining room, outdoor patio cafe, clothing & jewelry store, makeover salon with sauna & masseuse, book store, parlor game store, even outdoor roller skating. Easily accessable restrooms top off this perfect lot--perfect for a sim's vacation!

Tilting Windmills Shopping

You need all the expansions but none of the stuff packs to make this lot work in your game. As usual, this lot was made with only Maxis content. I hope this can fit into your Three Lakes Vacation Destination, but if not, you might want to consider making that Eira Summit one now!

There are more screenshots of this lot in my Flickr photostream.
Windmills Shopping Plaza

Download Tilting Windmills Shopping here. Have fun and do something different this weekend!

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Flash Vulnerability Warning

Blue Drysc warns us about a vulnerability in Adobe Flash that, according to an Adobe Security Bulletin, could allow an attacker to "take control of the affected system." Drysc says:

"A recent vulnerability has been discovered in popular web-content delivery program Adobe Flash, and it could potentially be used to target World of Warcraft players and accounts. The newest available version of Adobe Flash, version, does not contain this vulnerability, and we recommend that everyone upgrade their Flash player as soon as possible by visiting the download page at the link below."
Protect yourselves, simadores, and I'll be back in a few with the latest Freebie Friday!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Please Be Kind

Please don't post offensive notes in the Smooth-Move city comment box. Comments will roll off the page in a few days, but I can't remove them.

I have no control over that box and if offensive comments are posted there I will have to remove my links to it. It's a shame because I like Smooth-Move as a city mascot for my blog, but I won't keep it if people can't control themselves. Remember: Think first, THEN post! Young people may read this blog and visit Smooth-Move. But readers must know that once you click off my blog, it's out of my hands, and the internet is wild and woolly, and not always kind. Thank you.

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The Sims 2 FreeTime Patch Available

Maxis has put up the FreeTime patch again for download with a LOT of patch notes. Will it fix whatever bug bugs YOU the most? Take a look and find out.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Sims 3 - New Concept Art

From Snooty Sims comes some curious concept art for The Sims 3. Looks like some shelves, a bush in a cage, and a relationship flow chart. Also, information about the Ikea Stuff Pack preorder items in case you are into that sort of thing.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spore Terraforming How To

Thanks to Spores Illustrated, here's a great link to a site called Sporenormous and a very detailed terraforming FAQ. It's not too early to learn how to play Spore, and Sporenormous reviews the tools, atmosphere types--everything you need to get your planet from barren to burgeoning. Have a look.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online -- Refuge from WoW

Wife Beard

I've never gotten into a Blizzard beta (and boo to the Warhammer people, because I never got in there, either), and I'm pretty sure I won't be testing any stages of World of Warcraft's WotLK, either. However, I was a beta tester for Lord of the Rings Online, and I have no real idea why I never signed up. It's a really fun game, lots of eye candy, and continues to have a great community. Plus, it's cheap.

Anyway, they sent me an email as a former tester to try to lure me back, and I tried it again. It was just as much fun as I remembered. One of the things I really like about it are these scenes that you solo play through alongside the major characters, kind of like the Caverns of Time in World of Warcraft, but you do it every so often as your character grows in level. I don't really know much about Lord of the Rings lore (beyond reading the books as a kid), but I really liked the Warcraft games, and if I had been able to fight with Thrall when I was a lowbie, I would have been messing myself.

So, I signed up (only days before Medicine Man got sick. Oh well. I never claimed to see the future.) and I'm looking forward to the PvP--you get to play a LotRO monster, like an orc, spider, or wolf, and attack players! W00t! So, I guess I'll be spending more time in LotRO and less in Azeroth until WoTLK comes out. Yeah, it's not perfect, but it's nice to read forums with respectful players congratulating each other on their accomplishments instead of calling eachother "welfare epiced-out scrubs."

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

New Spore Creature Creator Video from IGN

Jason Ocampo, Editor-in-Chief of the IGN PC Team, walks us through his copy of the Spore Creature Creator, which will be available in only 23 more days ( still has their $5 Pre-Order Bonus deal available). I don't think the Creature Creator could be any easier to use, and I am looking forward to it so much!

Go watch!

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Shameless Advertising of My Cafe Press Store

Just an FYI in case you are a subscriber and haven't been to the blog site in awhile: I have opened up a Cafe Press store. So far there's only a couple of items--a "Sorry your guild sucks" mug and a "Forgive me. I have simmed." T-shirt--but I'll add a few more things later on this week. All profits will, for awhile, go to Medicine Man, my cat. I can't promise that he made up the slogans himself but he tried very hard. If you hate this post because it's shameless promotion, please don't blame Medicine Man, he's only a cat. And how many cats do you know that try to pay for their own bills, anyway?

And you know why I start so many sentences with and? It's because there's nothing wrong with it and one time someone told me that it was wrong so it's my small protest against "The Man" (even though it was a woman). Maybe I should say I'm sticking it to "The Woman" so as to be more correct and also to not offend anyone. I'll have to think on that one. What a pickle!

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Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Coldsnap Orchard Bed & Breakfast

Coldsnap Orchard Bed & Breakfast Layout

Medicine Man went to the vet today. No, his name really isn't Medicine Man but being a famous cat, he needs to have his identity protected. The problem is, when you spend all your money on drugs--from the doctor--you might still be famous, but you end up poor. So, anyway, my poor famous cat was seen by his vet today and he should be okay, but everything is so expensive. I mean, surgery should be like, a nickel. Right? They're only taking your guts out. Putting them BACK should be the expensive part. They've got you over a barrel then.

I'm kidding. My cat isn't famous. But wouldn't that be cool if he was?

Well, back to the download. This modest but cheerful bed & breakfast on a disused orchard offers a dining room, coffee service, bar, swimming pool, a fish pond, and your choice to stay in one of two pleasant suites. Or book the guest cottage and have your honeymoon here!

Coldsnap Orchard Bed & Breakfast

You must have all of the expansions through FreeTime (but don't need any of the Stuff Packs) for this download to work. Part of my Eira Summit Vacation Destination. By now, if you're using the Three Lakes Vacation Destination, it's getting a little crowded. I've deleted some tree stands and rocks on mine to make these downloads fit. Yes, I play with all these downloads, too! But if you have any trouble with any of them, please email me or post about it in the comments. Or both!

Download Coldsnap Orchard Bed & Breakfast here.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend! I'll probably continue posting daily since it seems like there's always tons to post about. See you again soon!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Unplanned Wrath of the Lich King Preview

I don't know how many of you know about this, but, for those of you who like to see new content early, you might want to stop over at Looks like someone at Blizzard put up the alpha client publically for a short time, and a few clever and quick people were able to snag it before the link was removed. If you want to see videos of some of the areas under development, like the new battleground or Caverns of Time: Stratholme, check out the wiki.

Besides the videos and screenshots, there are also goodies posted like class talent trees for all classes up to 80 and lots of new information on the Death Knight.

Bear in mind it's all spoilers over there, so you have been warned!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Karaoke Contest for "Pocketful of Sunshine"

Fans of riches, fame, and Natasha Bedingfield, clear out your windpipes and get ready to yodel. The Sims Onstage is hosting a contest for the best karaoke singer of "Pocketful of Sunshine" in Simlish. The website explains:

"The entry with highest points will be awarded first place and win the newly released Stuff Pack - The Sims™ 2 Ikea Home Stuff, Pocketful Of Sunshine full length CD and a poster signed by Natasha Bedingfield!"
Since you have to have the highest points to win, you might want to get started right away. The contest runs until June 13, 2008.

Also, the Community Interview with Natasha Bedingfield page is still asking for questions to be submitted. It's been promising that someone will ask them "during our interview with her next Tuesday" for a few weeks now. Not sure when it will end, so get your question in if you haven't already.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Arena Gank Squads and Mindbending Blues

Wigglebutt Hero of the Horde

Remember my post about Death Knights? I pointed out how, in that interview, Tom Chilton (aka Kalgan) made an odd remark about arenas and ganking? Here's the quote from Kalgan:

"It will also be a lot of fun in arenas where you could pull a guy right into the middle of your gank squad."
I added [sic] to that comment because it made no sense. "Ganking" means one player or group destroys players that don't stand a chance to fight back due to level differences, low health, poor gear, or anything that makes the ganker way more overpowered than the gankee. Aren't we supposed to be matched up fairly in arenas? Isn't that especially what the new system is supposed to be designed to do?

Yesterday, Blue Community Manager Bornakk, aka the guy on the right, made this increasingly confusing post to "clarify" how arena team and personal ratings will be calculated for Season 4. It houses such doublespeak as this:
"The adjustment to a team’s personal rating can vary based on the average personal rating of the other team while team ratings will always adjust based directly on the team rating of the other team."
If I know one thing about writing, it's this--if you can't explain something simply, it's likely because you can't figure it out yourself. Clever level 1 alt Enginee warns Bornakk that s/he sees right through this smokescreen of a system:
"This system facilitates and encourages GRIEFING.... They can, anytime and over and over, reset average PRs to 1500, 1600, 1900, whatever they wish...and beat up on teams 100s of rating below them for kicks. There is zero, nada, negative repercussions to resetting PRs, no downside. So instead of searching the empty Outlands for someone to gank, they can grief teams."
Bingo! So this is what Tom Chilton meant by arena ganking. I finally feel like I am on the same page as the Blizzard developers. And I mean that sincerely, no snark. World of Warcraft is constantly changing--some might call it evolving, some might say devolving--as it's an ongoing MMO. So, the question that comes about in the end is always: Are these changes acceptable to you?

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Monday, May 19, 2008

New Will Wright Interview by 3sat

Spore Screenshot

Spores Illustrated alerts us to an English interview with Will Wright on a German site for a television station called 3sat. Unfortunately, its format is mp4, which some have trouble opening.

For anyone having problems opening mp4 videos, here is a solution. I used this guide at (scroll down to "The Easiest Method" and their software VLC for Windows (they also have links to the Mac and Linux versions at the end of that section). I'm not endorsing this software and it's use at your own risk--I'm not responsible! But it's what I used to open the mp4 and watch the video (plus it's free). If you still can't view the video and want to know what it's about, read on.

[Spoiler Alert! If you want to watch the vid yourself, don't read below!]

Back to the interview--it starts at about 1:50 into the video and runs to the end (14 minutes or so). Will talks about Nasa wanting games to get people interested in space sciences. He showed them Spore as a way to get people exposed to astronomy in a "toy galaxy." Nostalgic about SimCity and The Sims user communities, Will explains how he wants the communities to fit right into Spore--Spore uses all player generated content, and the ways to access it and blog or YouTube about it (is YouTube a verb yet?) fit perfectly into the game.

An open world within the game is the biggest change to games that he's seen since he's started working in the industry--games used to be "on rails" where you had to get x to do y and follow a preset track. Now players are given a lot more freedom. Most of the games created by the games industry aren't about contemporary reality, and Will feels they need to be to get widespread appeal. The Wii is his example--it reaches a new demographic because it makes games accessable to new gamers. If the user forgets about the controls, she will become immersed in the game--so, no awkward brainwave helmets for Will! He also pointed out that good games are malleable and can mold around the player--you can make the game become about yourself and your interests. When asked about the internet's utility for games, Will agreed that online is a great tool, but it's not the only thing that matters.


In closing, here is a link to probably my favorite cartoon (about Spore) in the whole world!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Sims 3 - No More Hamster Cage

The Sims 3 Is Coming!

No, I'm not talking about womrats in The Sims 3 (I don't know if it will have womrats or not). Several days ago, I read this very enlightening article at called "Prototyping The Sims 3". It seems:

"That came from a phrase Matt [Brown, design lead] used - during The Sims 2, they referred to the Sims as hamsters with jobs. There's a little hamster cage, and they have a little job.... I always thought that was incredibly limiting," Humble continues."

So did I. That's probably why I spend more time designing things for The Sims 2 than playing it. The repetition--which, sadly, feels like a punishment and casts a long shadow over other games I like, too, like World of Warcraft--is something a lot of gamers can't get over, and makes you want to stop playing, sometimes for good. I always wanted The Sims to be more like a "wind-'em-up-and-watch-'em-go" simulation, where I could interfere but didn't have to (like Black & White, which was an incredible game).

It looks like I might get my wish. After creating a series of imaginative prototypes, the designers for The Sims 3 removed most of the micro-management systems from the game and created a relaxing town full of unstable sims for you to laugh at or nurture as you see fit. Hooray! Check out the full article--it really gives great detail as to how a game like The Sims 3 is developed.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Old Murray Manor Hotel

Old Murray Manor Hotel
Long before there was an Eira Summit, there was a Murray Old. Murray Old was old enough to see the invention of the telephone. He hated it. Why? Because when the first phone books came out, he was listed as Old Murray. Everyone he knew made fun of him. And even people he didn't know made fun of him. People would call him from all over the county to ask him how old he was. It got old fast. Real old. Real fast.

But Old Murray would have his revenge.
Not Interrupting, Am I?
Especially on the pool players. Especially them.

Old Murray Manor no longer houses Old Murray. What you will find here, however, is fine dining, ballroom dancing, and the highest quality hotel suites on the mountain. You'll also find a lavish game room, a health spa, outdoor ice-skating, fishing, and a gift shop. You'll never want to leave--just like Old Murray!

No matter how I tried (and I tried many, many--too many!--different ways), I can't get the lot to package with Old Murray's ghost inside. The gravestone vanishes from the lot, and if you call the Grim Reaper to ressurect Old Murray, he will say that there are no dead sims in the neighborhood. But since so many people seem to have nothing but trouble with their ghosts, maybe it's for the best. Old Murray will remain haunting my computer, but you can make an Old Murray for your manor the same way I did. Here's how:

1. Install the Old Murray Manor Hotel.

2. While still in the Lots & Houses menu (F2), click on the Old Murray Manor Hotel lot you placed and choose to Enter Lot.

3. Open up the cheat menu by holding down Ctrl, Shift, and c. Type (or cut & paste) changelotzoning residential into the window and hit enter.

4. Save the lot.

5. Go back to the main Neighborhood (main as in the base one, like Pleasantview or Strangetown) for this Vacation Destination.

6. Make a sim named Old Murray. Note: Be sure to pick a good outdoor outfit for him because he will change clothes as he enters the manor if his grave is kept outside.

7. Give Old Murray enough money to buy the hotel. I think it's about 466,000 simoleons, but it's okay if you go over. You won't be playing him for long. (Hint: Use the motherlode cheat.)

8. Buy the Vacation Home Old Murray Manor Hotel.

9. Send Old Murray there to die.

10. When he gets to the Vacation Home Old Murray Manor Hotel, kill him however you like. The Tombstone of Life & Death works great for this. Put the gravestone wherever you like. The wooded area behind the pond is probably best.

11. Open up the cheat menu by holding down Ctrl, Shift, and c. Type (or cut & paste) changelotzoning hotel into the window and hit enter.

12. Save the lot.

When you go back to the Neighborhood, it should say that the Old Murray Manor Hotel is a hotel, not a vacation home. You did it! If you didn't do it, go back over the steps to see where you went wrong. If you're really sick creative, you can make and off his whole family! Make up whatever legend you want about your manor--it's yours now, after all.

Bear in mind this is a large lot. Lesser systems may not be up to the challenge of rendering this leviathan. You might want to install Paladin's Service NPC Fixes to improve the housekeeper and bellhop with this one, in case the elevators break down.

Check out more screenshots of this hotel on my flickr slideshow on this blog (clicking on it will take you to my flickr photostream).

Download Old Murray Manor Hotel here!
Whoops! Forgot to mention for any new readers that the Eira Summit Vacation Destination lots require all the expansions up to and including FreeTime, but none of the Stuff Packs. Goodnight! See you tomorrow.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Alien Wallpaper Invades Internet

Maybe it's more like a nectarine bird. I don't know what the creator was thinking. No matter. Chicken is easier to remember, I guess. So let's call it the Spore Chicken. This wallpaper, made from the Spore Fansite Kit, is my gift to you. Yes, there is still a Freebie Friday tomorrow. This is just something special I made for myself, and I'm sharing it with you. I hope you like it!

Spore Chicken Wallpaper
Spore Chicken Wallpaper 1920x1200 (wide)
Spore Chicken Wallpaper 1600x1200
Spore Chicken Wallpaper 1280x960 (or 1024x768)
Spore Chicken Wallpaper 800x600

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SecuROM, The Sims 2, and Spore

Spore fansites everywhere, like Spore Universe and Spores Illustrated, posted this email last week by Caryl Shaw--aka MaxisLucky:

Hey Spore Fans -

We wanted to let you know that we've been hearing your concerns about the online authentication mentioned earlier this week. I didn't want to head into the weekend without getting back to you with some information about how Spore is planning on using this new system.

A few things we wanted you to know:

-- We authenticate your game online when you install and launch it the first time.

-- We'll re-authenticate when a player uses online features, downloads new content or a patch for their game.

-- The new system means you don't have to play with the disc in your computer. And if you are like me, always losing discs, this will be a huge benefit.

-- You'll still be able to install and play on multiple computers.

-- You can play offline.

We do hope that players will play online - sharing creatures, buildings and vehicles with other players is something that is unique to Spore and one of the coolest features of the game. Every day, when I play the Creature Stage, I get to see wacky and awesome new creatures from my Buddies on the team coming over the hill at me and I can't wait to see what happens when our creative, passionate community starts sharing their creations.

I'd love to write more - but I need to get back to work. We've got a game to finish. :-)


caryl d shaw (aka MaxisLucky)
online producer
What prompted that was a rumor on the Gaming Steve forum that SecuROM (which would be installed with Spore) had to do some kind of check online every 10 days or Spore would stop working. This was the case with Mass Effect.

On Friday, Shacknews posted an article that EA has responded to users complaints by removing the 10 day check requirement. But some users hate SecuROM so much, they have made a forum called SecuROM Must Be Destroyed, and they won't rest until it's no longer installed with EA products. Simmers should know that The Sims 2 products Bon Voyage, FreeTime, Deluxe, Double Deluxe, H&M Stuff, Teen Style Stuff, and Kitchen & Bath Stuff all install SecuROM. Spore will, and likely, The Sims 3 will, as well. If you feel strongly about the SecuROM issue, contact EA ( to let them know.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Get Ready for Blizzcon 2008 This Fall

Blizzard issued this press release yesterday announcing Blizzcon for 2008--to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center October 10–11.

From the press release:

"BlizzCon will offer a wide variety of activities to help all attendees get the most out of the two-day event. In addition to serving as a gathering place for the different Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, attendees will be able to enjoy:

  • Hands-on play time with upcoming Blizzard Entertainment releases
  • Discussion panels with Blizzard Entertainment developers
  • Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
  • Areas and activities devoted to licensed products such as the World of Warcraft® Trading Card Game
  • Costume, machinima, and character sound-alike contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise based on the Blizzard Entertainment franchises
  • A silent auction
  • More exciting activities to be announced
Tickets for BlizzCon will go on sale in the next few weeks at a price of $100 USD per person. As the event draws closer, further details will be announced on the official BlizzCon website:"

Since I live on the East Coast, I won't be attending (unless there's some kind of major change for me between now & then), but I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun for those who can go. You might even get a chance to hear about their Top Secret project in development (see the jobs marked Top Secret?) rumored to go by the code name Hydra.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Death Knights: The Dark Knights of Azeroth

Wrath of the Lich King

Shrouded in mystery, the Death Knights--Blizzard's first World of Warcraft hero class--will be available to play in the upcoming Northrend expansion Wrath of the Lich King. And, like the superhero Batman, they will have endless utility while at the same time being as scary (and nutty) as grandma's fruit cake. Or, perhaps, grandma herself.

Ten Ton Hammer has a great article up about Death Knights which includes lots of details about this new class from Tom Chilton, aka Kalgan, Blizzard's co-lead designer.

Excerpts from the article:

  • The Death Knight is an anti-caster tank. “They’ll be fully capable of tanking creatures on the more common level, like the heroic dungeons and five person instances,” Chilton said. “But where they’ll really shine in the raid scenario is in tanking casters.”
  • Chilton said, "If you have a level 55 character on your account, it unlocks the ability to create a Death Knight.” Chilton also mentioned that the Death Knight can come from any of the races.... “You’ll be limited to one Death Knight per server that you play on,” Chilton stated. “Players will be able to make multiple Death Knights, but they’ll have to do so over multiple servers rather than just one."
  • [Chilton said,] “You’ll start off in a new area created specifically for Death Knights. They’ll have their own quests and you’ll go through that quest line to learn how to play as the class along with picking up some early abilities, gear, and learn a bit of the storyline behind the class.”
More excerpts about Death Knight abilities:
  • The vast majority of a Death Knight’s abilities use runes and are represented by the three pairs of colored symbols that have replaced the energy / rage / mana bar.... An example is the “Death Coil” ability (which Chilton described as iconic to the class), which requires runic power and unleashes it all causing up to 600 shadow damage to a non-undead enemy target or healing up to 900 damage on a friendly undead target.
  • Another finishing move we saw...consumes all the runic power but grants the Death Knight immunity to stun effects and significantly increases their armor for 12 seconds.
  • The Death Knight uses a rune to surround the Death Knight in an anti-magic shell, which absorbs 75% of the damage from the next spell and transfers that into runic power.
  • The “Mind Freeze” ability...interrupts casting.
  • A runic power ability called “Strangulate”...flushes all of the Death Knight’s runic power, silences an enemy for a maximum of five seconds...causing a bit of damage.
  • The iconic “Death and Decay” ability...casts an area effect damage spell and his[sic] a chance to fear some of the targets within the area.
  • The Grip of Death...pulled an opponent directly to the Death Knight, bringing him face to face with the horrid fighter.... “That Grip of Death ability is one of the Death Knight’s primary taunt mechanics,” Chilton said. “It will also be a lot of fun in arenas where you could pull a guy right into the middle of your gank squad.”[sic]
  • Players will be able to use knockback maneuvers – along with pull maneuvers.
  • The Death Knight can also root enemies in place using the “Chain of Ice” ability, which wraps his opponents in icy chains.
  • Death Knights also have the ability to raise their own ghoul guardians to fight alongside them... So if a friendly player you’re grouped with dies, you can actually cast “Create Dead” on their corpse and that player will have the option to play as the Death Knight’s ghoul.... The Death Knight can also use the Death Pact ability to slaughter his own guardian and gain a bit of health back.
  • The Death Knight can also summon their own “Death Charger” – a horse that functions similarly to the Warlock and Paladin abilities to summon mounts.
  • Players will have three different “Presences” to choose from while they’re fighting: the Blood Presence for maximum DPS, the Frost Presence is the tanking aura, and the Unholy Presence for the PvP style of gameplay.
Go to Ten Ton Hammer to read the whole article because it's worth it. There are many more details there about Death Knights than in my outline here.

Warcraft players then assaulted the Blizzard forums over the weekend with countless posts about Death Knights. Beloved Blue Nethaera insists that Blizzard will "make sure the Death Knight is balanced in with everyone else," though these abilities do seem a bit overpowered (particularly the "arena ganking" one). Some players have been expressing concern that their characters are held up in too much crowd control lately--especially in arenas--so it's interesting to see Blizzard give this class even more abilities to make you lose control of your character. Also, I'm picturing the combination of Death Knight with certain racials to be arguably overpowered, like Blood Elf (racial aoe silence) , Night Elf (racial stealth), or Dwarf (racial stoneskin). Strange that you can be a death knight Dranei but not a warlock Dranei. I thought this was because the Dranei were so good that they could never be corrupted. Maybe that will be explained.

I don't mean to nitpick about a class that isn't even finished yet. Okay, I admit I'm still a little bitter that Blizzard took away never implemented priests' Summon Champion, yet they are giving Death Knights an ability to drag people to them. Perhaps Summon Champion will be in game for level 80's. Or perhaps I will be the only priest in a game full of Death Knights! I don't even want to think about that.

There's a lot of miscellaneous stuff that still has to be ironed out. No word yet on the fleshing out of the talent trees. No word yet on what level Death Knights will start with their professions. Nathaera explains: "At this point, we haven't shared what we may be doing with the Death Knight class in regard to how professions will be handled with them. When we have more information we can share on this, we will."

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I love Dark Legacy Comics. This one had me laughing so hard, I had to show you. It's so true.

I don't know what Thalassian sounds like to the bad guys Allies, but I imagine that's probably close. Yeah, that's right. I call the Warcraft Alliance "bad guys." I also have been known to shout for help in the Warsong Gulch flag room because, "There's a MAN in here!"

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Amazon Offers $5 Spore Creature Creator Bonus

The Spore Creature Creator
Via Spores Illustrated and Terraspore--and, of course--comes a notice that is offering:

"$5 Spore Creature Creator Pre-Order Bonus
Pre-order Spore Creature Creator and receive a gift certificate of $5 towards a future purchase of Spore. See details. Offer good while supplies last."

From the See details page:
"How to Qualify for Your $5.00 Promotional Certificate:

* Add Spore Creature Creator sold and shipped by to your Shopping Cart.
* Click the Proceed to checkout button and place your order.
* Important: All purchases must be made before 11:59 p.m. PT on June 16, 2008 [emphasis mine], and while supplies last.
* If you do not cancel your order or return Spore Creature Creator, we will add a promotional code to your customer account by June 20, 2008, redeemable for $5.00 off Spore offered by The promotional code will be added to the customer account with which you placed the order."
If you have an interest in this offer (and I sure do!), please consider using one of my associate links for the Creature Creator on this page. I've already pre-ordered mine. Can't wait for it to arrive!

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The Sims 2 Apartment Life Screenshot Released

Apartment Life - First Screenshot
Update June 05, 2008 - Apartment Life will be released August 26, 2008. Preorder today! Looks like the creature will be a witch. Check out my flickr photostream for more screenshots!

MaxoidShannon has released a screenshot from Apartment Life for us to ogle:

"I was playing The Sims 2 Apartment Life the other day and thought you might like to see a sneak peak at some of the cool new objects. Check out the ceiling!!!"
The ceiling looks just like the one I see daily, so I admit, I'm not that worked up about it. But the painting and the mirror stand out as new, and I like the layout of the apartment. Since there's no gameplay in the screenshot, I can't guess about new interactions. I've been working on my own list of interactions that would make Apartment Life feel real. Some of them include:
  • Mrs. Crumplebottom taping hostile notices to sims' doors and car windows.
  • Packages being delivered to the wrong apartments. And never being returned.
  • Dog do regularly appearing on the tiny patch of green you call a lawn--even if none of your neighbors have dogs.
  • Werewolves really need to make an appearance in a big way because I can never make a flanking werewolf and it would be pretty cool to have one in my neighborhood--er, apartment.
Okay, that last one was just a gripe. But seriously, werewolves. Who doesn't love 'em? They're like giant puppies. Everyone loves puppies. Even Mrs. Crumplebottom loves them--for dinner. (You know, I think if I ever saw her really eat a puppy in the game, I would wet myself laughing.)

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Maflika Camping - Eira Summit

Maflika Campsite

Greetings Simadores! Today I bring you a new addition to your Eira Summit (or Three Lakes) Vacation Destination–Maflika Camping.

Maflika Camping

Made famous by the traditional campground song, “Maflika Yopped-Da Himla Crails,” this camping has it all: dining, washrooms, fishing and swimming (seasonal), and even local sporting events (if you like axe throwing). Not to mention comfy tents to get a good night’s sleep. Though nothing’s ever two tents at Maflika! Get it? Two tents? Ha, ha! Ha, ha! Hurrrrrr….anyway, I’m calling it Camping not Camp Ground because this is supposed to be Alps-like or something and Camping is the international word for Camp Ground, or so I have read. If you want to get a better view of it before downloading, there are more pictures on the flickr slideshow on this page.

I want to thank all of you great visitors from all over the world for stopping by. This post is a copy of Friday's post from the old blog to get everyone caught up and on the same (web) page. All posts will be made on this blog from now on.

This lot needs all the expansions (but none of the stuff packs) installed.

Download Maflika Camping here.

Ghosts? Here? Nah.

Ho, ho…this sim says he’s camping because he saw a ghost up at Old Murray Manor. He must be scared to want to spend the night outside with the werewolves instead of inside with the ghosts.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Destination Found!

This is where I will be moving the blog next week. I hope you found it okay! I will be able to have polls, edit the layout in detail, and have links to and any other places where my work is sold. Simply put, I can do all of the things I want to do here easily.

Please bookmark this blog and return often!

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Ask a Question to Natasha Bedingfield @

A blurb on leads to this Community Interview with Natasha Bedingfield--and the following notice:

Our Sims team will be interviewing...Natasha Bedingfield! She's recorded her smash hit "Pocketful of Sunshine" in Simlish and is taking questions from our community! Here's your chance to submit and possibly have one of your questions answered by Natasha during our interview with her next Tuesday.

Next Tuesday meaning May 13, 2008, I assume, but it doesn't say. Well, what are you waiting for? Follow the link and ask away! Your question might get picked.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Maxis Wants YOUR Help! Troubleshooting FreeTime Patch

From the keyboard of MaxoidDrea:

As most of you know, we had put out a patch for FreeTime but had to recall it because of installation issues. Some of you were getting an error with the objects.package when trying to install the patch. We're currently trying to troubleshoot this issue and need your help. If you had an issue with the objects.package while installing the patch, we've provided the below FTP instructions. It would be a great help if you could provide us this file so we can look into the issue and make the correct fixes to the upcoming patch.

We appreciate your help! [Emphasis hers.]

Personally, I did not have problems with the old patch, and it is installed in my game. But if you would like to help Maxis, now is your chance! Details in her post on BBS.

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EA-Land -- AKA The Sims Online -- Shutting Down

Via EA-Land Blog » EA-Land Drawing To A Close and Snooty Sims:

It is with mixed emotions that today we are announcing the EA-Land experiment will soon draw to a close. Since 2002, EA-Land / TSO has attracted a very special group of players (of which you are one) and we certainly appreciate your participation in the EA-Land community. The lifetime of the game has drawn to an end, and now we will be focusing on new ideas and other innovative concepts in the games arena. We’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in this online community as a unique experience in the virtual world.

I've never played TSO, but it seemed like a fun idea, and it's too bad it has to go. Hopefully, something even better will come along to replace it. You never know.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Sims 2 Apartment Life Expansion

Update June 05, 2008 - Apartment Life will be released August 26, 2008. Preorder today! Looks like the creature will be a witch. Check out my flickr photostream for more screenshots!

Looks like the next expansion pack for The Sims 2 will be Apartment Life according to MaxoidDrea at - Forum BBS.

Here's a little video someone made that shows the teaser MaxoidDrea is talking about.

What will be included in this pack? Apartments, maybe? Ha, HA!

Update: Found some more info at Snooty Sims which gives clues as to what the expansion will deliver (excerpts from an EA survey):

The following is a list of features that may be included in a new apartment life themed expansion pack.
- Ability to move four single family households into one apartment building
- Asking your neighbors to baby-sit
- Different living experiences based on the surrounding communities impacted by rent and noise
- Experiencing living with an unruly roommate
- Owning a helicopter
- Learn to Breakdance
- Learn a new life skill: fire prevention

If it's anything like my apartment, the neighbors above will stomp and stumble repeatedly, play music that makes the stored glasses clink together, and vaccuum at 1am. Stay tuned!

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Eira Summit Visitors Center

Eira Summit Visitors Center

Another week has flown by. This post is a little later than usual because I had to catch up with some housework. Aha! You thought I was rich and had a maid, didn't you?! AHAHAHAHAAAA! No.

Eira Summit Visitors Center (multi)

This Freebie Friday is the first entry of a Bon Voyage Vacation Destination series: Eira Summit. Eira means snow (I think. I hope!) in Welsh (maybe?), and it sounded romantic and snowy-destination-like, so I went with it. You can make your own Vacation Destination and call it Eira Summit if you want to add these entries to it piece by piece (it'll take several weeks to get them all finished and up for downloading). That way, you can place the sights-to-see where you want them. You can also place these lots in your Three Lakes Destination for your favorite neighborhood, since they fit the forest theme.

You will need all the expansion packs (but you don't need any fun packs) installed for this lot. Only Maxis objects were used for this lot, no recolors.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you what this lot has! There's everything a sim needs except a bed--but they can order coffee to help stay awake. They can fish, check out an old tree ring, read about whatever it is sims read about, buy new clothes & change, buy souvenirs, play a little chess, and even barbeque. There's speakers so they can slapdance, and there are restrooms and a snack bar, too.

Google Fight turned up more than twice as many entries on the web for Visitors Center than for Visitor Center, so that settled the question (for me, anyway) of which was right.

Next Friday there will be another great lot for Eira Summit, so be sure to visit again!

Download Eira Summit Visitors Center here.

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