K/D Empire

We’re not user friendly, We’re GAMERS!

Description

We are trying to set up underground gaming tournaments for you to truly have a place to display your talents.

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SheepHead Gaming

We run local CoD, Smash, Street, Marvel, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Our links include 

Www.Sheepheadgaming.com 
And 
Facebook.com/Sheepheadgaming

Our tournaments are primarily 2-3 Saturdays a month with our most popular event SX3 (Salty Slug Saturday)
Held the second Saturday of every month.
Current games under SX3 Include the following;
Super smash bros. MELEE
Super smash bros. PM
Ultra Street Fighter 4
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

Our CoD events are not set yet so looking at our sites directly would be the best way of finding out.

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Hellraiser

Hello, my fellow Gore Hounds!  I’m going to preface my first review with a little background about myself as well as my take on horror and how I will be doing my reviews.  My name is Forrest, I am a Reno native and all around horror nerd.  I’ve been a horror fan since I first saw “The Exorcist” when I was 11 (without my parents knowledge, of course).  Instead of overwhelming terror that would surely scar a 11 year old kid, I found myself fascinated with the entire aspect of such a unique piece of cinema.  From that day I’ve been watching, collecting, and researching everything I can about the horror genre.  But what is my personal take on horror?

 

For all intensive purposes horror is not genuinely revered in the world of Hollywood.  They are easy vehicles for actors and actresses to break into the industry without the worry of major studios butting in.  Some of today’s biggest actors started in low budget horror like Viggo Mortensen, Jennifer Aniston, and even Kevin Bacon.  Beyond some highly esteemed classics like “The Exorcist” or “Silence of the Lambs” horror movies have always been regarded as low budget, grind house schlock films put together for pure shock value.  It is true, more times than not, but that’s what brings us horror nerds together.  We love all aspects of horror, its characters, outlandish stories, the music, the atmosphere, and last but not least…the lovely, lovely gore.  No other genre of film shows what a truly creative mind in makeup can do than horror.  Sure, special effects makeup crosses into all genres of film but horror gore is where the masters make a name for themselves.  Smith, Savini, Nicotero, Baker, Winston, effects houses like KNB and ADI, all legends in the horror industry.

 

So, as I begin my journey reviewing horror movies I decided to review a mix of the classics and also newer films that have been hitting the theaters.  As a dedicated horror fan I always go into a movie with an open mind.  In my opinion most if not all films I have seen have some sort of redeeming quality about them.  This ultimately brings me to how I will be reviewing horror films.  Instead of giving an all encompassing “grade” or “score” I will break down what I believe are important aspects of a horror film.  They will be:

Story

Atmosphere

Cinematography

Acting

Special Effects

Originality

These 6 topics will be rated on a scale of 1-10 with a small recap and my personal opinions on each one.  I feel this will give you a better understanding of what my views of the film are rather than, “I give this film 2 thumbs up”.  A better review will help form better opinions.  With that said, I ask that you please bare with me as I’m not a writer by trade.  I am just a horror fan spreading the horror love with fellow nerds.

 

Now onto my first review, my personal favorite of all time…HELLRAISER

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HELLRAISER

 

In the mid-80’s a young English fantasy/horror writer named Clive Barker was starting to make a name for himself.  When his first books, “The Books of Blood” were first  published in the United States, horror legend Stephen King was quoted as saying, “I have seen the future of horror and his name is Clive Barker.”  In 1986 he released his classic novel, “The Hellbound Heart” which became the basis for Hellraiser.

 

The premise is pretty straight forward with a couple unique twists.  A man named Frank has exhausted all experiences of worldly pleasures, only to seek out a puzzle box.  This puzzle box turns out to be a key, a gateway to a unique dimension of Hell.  A place where pleasure and pain exist in unison, guarded and watched over by the Cenobites.  When Frank does succeed in solving the puzzle box his flesh is ripped from his bones and he vanishes into the hellish dimension.  We learn that Frank is the brother of a man named Larry who has a wife, Julia and daughter, Kirsty.  Larry, the boring, straight arrow of the brothers fails to evoke any form of passion from his wife whom we come to learn had an affair with Frank.  The protagonist of the story, Kirsty despises the way Julia treats her dad and refuses to live with them.  Larry and Julia move into an old family house which we find out was Frank’s last place of residence and coincidentally the place where he solved the box.  When Larry injures himself on a rusty nail, the dripping blood on the wooden floor of the attic proves enough to resurrect Frank’s earthly body.  Julia discovers Frank and subsequently works to fully regenerate him by bringing men into the attic for Frank to feed on.  Frank has almost made it out of Hell and they do not take very kindly to that.

 

What I enjoy most about this movie is it’s originality.  While the story itself is pretty cut and dry, it’s the background layers that are unique.  For the first time we see sadomasochism worked into a very original horror movie adding in supernatural and religious undertones.  Order, chaos, pain, pleasure, angels, demons…it’s all here.  When it comes to the Cenobites themselves their screen time is kept pretty minimal but when they are on screen it’s a sight to behold.  Clad in black leather, their flesh twisted and scarred, they are one of the most unique visual spectacles when it comes to horror movie characters. Then, there is Pinhead himself.  Only called “lead cenobite” in the credits he may be the most interesting, unique, and complicated horror movie villain ever created.  In an era dominated by hulking, mindless killing machines or campy, wise cracking bad guys we have a aristocratic, eloquently spoken creature who’s existence is ruled by order.  It was pretty amazing for its time and to this day he is revered in horror culture as one of the greatest horror movie icons ever created.

 

In the end, “Hellraiser” stands out as one of the most unique and original horror movies in recent decades.  Although slightly flawed in some ways it isn’t because of style or substance but rather a lack of experience from the film crew and director.  It never detracts from the movie but rather elevates it in a way I don’t think a big studio or a veteran crew could ever do.  It is a classic and it deserves that title.  Now for my breakdown…

 

 

Story : 7/10

Nothing new is brought to the picture in terms of the story between the human characters but the underlying plot of seeking otherworldly places for pleasure and pain is certainly unique.

 

Atmosphere : 7/10

A very haunting, bleak and miserable world.  Our major sets are limited to a old, broken down house and a dark, cold attic.  It’s claustrophobic, it’s dirty…you can almost smell it through the screen.

 

Cinematography : 5/10

At times brilliant, at others pretty rudimentary.  Actors are sometimes placed on awkward marks and some camera pans and tilts can be a little rough. When it’s great is when the Cenobites make an appearance or things in the real world start to go very, very dark.

 

Acting : 6/10

I have to give it to the cast, they do a great job considering the source material.  Doug Bradley (Pinhead) and Claire Higgins (Julia) stand out the most as they are both intensely dedicated to their characters.

 

Special Effects : 9/10

Some of the goriest in the business.  Too many memorable scenes to break down but the two stands out are the resurrection of Frank and the infamous, “Jesus Wept” scene.  They will stay with you forever.  The makeup effects for the Cenobites themselves are just so amazingly unique and well known.  Classic, well done practical special effects that hold up to this day.  On a side note, my admiration for the wardrobe department for the Cenobites outfits.

 

Originality : 10/10

This movie has it in spades.  While a lot of what makes this movie special was touched on in the review I will add that I have yet to see another horror movie that has made as much an impact on me as “Hellraiser”.

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2014 Zombie Crawl

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The thing about the re-animated dead is, they can’t WAIT to return! The Reno Zombie Crawl will shuffle, slide and lurch back into downtown on Saturday, October 25th! We’ll be making announcements about participating bars, entertainment and whatnot starting in August, so keep your eye out!

See you soon!

http://renozombiecrawl.com/

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2014 Superhero Crawl

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The first and largest superhero crawl in the WORLD returns August 2014 for an 8th year with more bars, more specials and more supes!

Main Details

• Date: Saturday, August 9th
• Start Time: 8pm (crawl goes all night)
• Start Location: Harrah’s Plaza Under the Reno Arch (map)
• 21 Bars! All within walking distance to downtown!
• No cover at the clubs!
• Tons of specials! $3 drink specials and $3 beer specials at EVERY BAR!
• Win cool stuff! We’ll have 40 tickets to give away for the Reno Comic Con coming in November!

How to Participate
Just purchase a Superhero Crawl cup and that’s your ticket to the crawl! With it you get access to the specials, contests, free entry into the clubs and more! Cups are on sale now at Junkee Clothing Exchange and other locations including online!
Start Location: Harrah’s Plaza

http://superherocrawl.com/

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Geek Rivalry

Over the years, much has been made about rivalries in the Geek community. Star Trek versus Star Wars. Lord of the Rings versus Harry Potter. Dungeons & Dragons versus Magic the Gathering. Ironically, a lot of the people who play up these rivalries are the same people that love San Francisco 49ers and hate the Seattle Seahawks. While some of the rivalries are stronger than others, for the most part the “cool” kids have tried to pigeon hole us as “nerds.” But, in my experience, Geeks are so much more than their different passions. For the most part, the rivalries have been blown way out of proportion.

Speaking personally, I love Science Fiction. I love Science Fiction in all it’s many forms. I love Star Wars. I also love Star Trek. I try to avoid arguments over which is better, but now if someone sucks me in I offer an alternative view that I’ll share with you. Star Wars and Star Trek have a symbiotic relationship with each other. Despite the stark differences in the two franchises, they need each other. If you look at the history of the two franchises, you’ll see what I mean. In 1966 Star Trek revolutionized how Science Fiction was viewed. With timely allegories and (for it’s time) advanced special effects, Star Trek captured the imaginations of people of all ages. Star Trek gained a cult following and has since gone on to multiple movies and television shows, not to mention all of the other products that we ravenously consume. But if you look at the Star Trek franchise in the 1970s, the future was extremely uncertain. But in 1977, a little movie called Star Wars was released and caused a global frenzy. Science Fiction was more popular than it had ever been. And because of Star Wars, Star Trek was able to make a come back, releasing the first movie in 1979. Without Star Trek, who knows if Star Wars would have ever happened. And without Star Wars, Star Trek may have died out completely.

The idea that Star Trek and Star Wars need each other can be expanded out to much more. Neither franchise may have existed without Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. And those may not have existed without authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs or HG Wells. And this is just Science Fiction. This doesn’t touch on any of the other genres or groups that see constant rivalry (DC versus Marvel, anyone?).

Rivalries may exist between franchises and fans, but who does that serve. The only positive point that I can see is that of competition. Competition breeds innovation and forces us to either improve ourselves or tear down others. As Geeks, we should support those artists and creators that work to improve themselves and their works. Let’s support good quality work, so that others are forced to bring up their quality to match.

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It’s All Fun & Games at RAGECon Even Though a Gingerbread Man Lost an Eye: A Review of the First Annual RAGECon Tabletop Gaming Convention

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By Christine E. Boston

 

The Reno Area Gamers’ Extreme Convention (RAGECon) premiered on June 27 at a downtown Reno casino, Circus Circus, and overall, it appeared to be a relatively seamless maiden voyage for the con.  RAGECon was the brainchild of Jeff Jones, Ashley Andrews, and Randy Andrews who conceived of a local gaming convention in the hopes of bringing together tabletop gamers from all over northern Nevada and the adjacent areas.  The con featured a variety of tabletop games, including miniatures, card games, and board games galore.  Many local and international gaming companies donated games for participants to play and potentially win; local vendors put up shop for the weekend, promoting their products and businesses; local groups and organizations organized and ran several games and tournaments, and panelists wowed the audience with their knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics.  And as the saying goes, if you build it they will come, and come they did.

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Attendees were introduced to old, classic games, such as Munchkin, Settlers of Catan, and Carcassonne, as well as new, yet to be premiered games, including Run For Your Life Candyman, a twist on the classic Candyland where gingerbread meeples were decapitated, maimed, and generally torn limb from limb; Transylvannia: Curses and Traitors, a semicooperative fantasy board game involving everyone’s favorite supernatural villains: zombies, vampires, and werewolves; and Euphoria, a futuristic dystopian game of Orwellian influence.  These and many other games were played throughout the main area of the con.  Games were available to borrow in the extensive gaming library, which was regularly utilized, but options to play scheduled games were also present for those who were unfamiliar with either the game or other gaming enthusiasts.  All of the games were a hit amongst both young and old gamers, allowing everyone to have fun and many to forge new friendships.

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Also in the main area of the con was the vendor area.  Local gaming stores such as Merwin’s Game Shoppe, Comic Kingdom, Games Galore, Heroes Games and Hobbies, and Nerdvana were on hand selling games and gaming wears, while Indie Press Revolution and PerkRPG by Buddy Wagner were their promoting their businesses and services.  The vendors, however, did more than just fill a room.  They offered great conversation and networking opportunities to game enthusiasts who are interested in entering into the industry, looking for new games to try, and wanting to add to their collections.  In fact, the volunteers at Nerdvana of Carson City were integral in assisting run the con as they stepped up and helped RAGECon organizers and volunteers as needed, which freed many of them to enjoy the con while also running it, and Cody Laux of Comic Kingdom donated half of the games that were available in the gaming library, providing tons of fun for all participants.

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But board games were not the only things available for participants to play.  Miniatures and other RPGs were available.  Games such as Warhammer 40K, Heroclix, and Malifaux were run throughout the main area as well as in the Casino Ballroom, while the Magic the Gathering, Pathfinder, and Dr. Who RPGs were run primarily in the Casino Ballroom.  This area was separate from the main area of the con and a little difficult to get to, but I like to think of it fondly as another gaming aspect of RAGECon.  No one was expecting to have to participate in a scavenger hunt while at RAGECon, but those who did were handsomely rewarded with fabulous RPGs.

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And those who scavenged a little further were marveled and awed by the amazing panel discussions available on the fourth floor of the con.  Panel discussions on how to improve your DMing skills, breaking into the game production industry, and stereotypes of Indigenous groups in gaming were just some of the topics discussed at the con.  Unfortunately, it is not clear if it was the lack of enthusiasm for the topics or the unintended scavenger hunt of finding the panel room that deterred many from attending these panels, but for those who did go they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the information the great panelists provided.

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Overall, I give RageCon an A- for its first run.  The hiccups at the con were minor and centered on slightly annoying as many gamers gave up on trying to find their way to the Casino Ballroom and panel discussions, causing them to miss out on amazing opportunities available to them, but the opportunities, whether fully taken advantage of or not, the enthusiastic and helpful volunteers, and dedication of the organizers showed through it all and everyone had a smashing good time (and not just during the Smash Up game either).  Many of us are anxiously awaiting next year’s con, and those interested in helping out should keep up with the website (http://www.rage-con.com/) as planning for round 2 will begin early next year.              IMG_20140628_135150451 IMG_20140628_135244810

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Guild Wars 2: Bringing the RPG back to MMORPGs

By Jenny Foxx, October 2012

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I’m what you would call a veteran MMO player. In fact, at one point, I had retired. After thirteen years of running dungeons and raids, grinding and questing – I thought I’d had enough. From EverQuest to World of Warcraft to Star Wars: The Old Republic (and everything in between) it started to feel like all these games were doing was patching. For the last few years it was terrible cycle of attempting to fix one broken aspect while effectively ruining three others. I couldn’t get comfortable. I spent a lot of time complaining about it and not a lot of time embracing the changes. I finally gave in and put my spell book down for good.

 

It was going great. Extra time with my family, no late night raids, no hours of theory crafting to be the best of the best – and then ArenaNet came along and presented a game that shut me up and had me right back in front of my monitor.

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Guild Wars 2 launched on August 28th, 2012. I had heard a lot about it already from my online cohorts, but was determined that I wouldn’t get back into another MMO. I started watching some of the beta videos that had been posted and reading up on the races and professions. I found myself getting excited again. Guild Wars 2 does have a lot of the standard MMO qualities that I enjoy. And just like every other game before it, blew me away with its undeniably gorgeous graphics and better-than-before combat systems. But this game? This game is different – in all the right ways.

For this gamer, the narrative story aspect and single player capabilities really drive this game in the direction of your standard RPG. From everything down to the choices you make on your character shaping your story, to the way your abilities are learned and progress makes me feel like I just picked up an epic single player game. Couple that with the dynamic world events, and thus far, it seems that a large amount of the progress can be made without ever being in a group. I will qualify that and say that I am not yet at the end game stages (I’m holding fast to my ‘I’m going to play this casually’ promise), but most of the gamers I have spoken with have had no argument.

Guild Wars 2 has thus far answered so many ‘Why can’t they just-‘s and ‘Would it be great if-‘s that I’m tempted to call it the Final Fantasy VII of the new age MMOs. Bold statement, I know. Will it get old? Will the end game hold our attention? Are all these changes from the normal routine enough? I can’t answer that yet. I can say though, with certainty, that ArenaNet has successfully problem-solved some of my most major complaints in this industry. Here are the five most predominant things I noticed that had me hooked by level ten:

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  1. The World Map and Travel:

Perhaps one of my favorite things is the fluidity of the world map. In nearly every game I have ever played, you start in one area and after five levels travel to another, another by level 15, and by the third or fourth place you have seen your map looks like a child’s game of Memory. Random spots are unlocked, none of them touch, and it takes an enormous amount of time to get back and forth from one to the other. Here, we have continuity of your story and map. At times, you don’t even realize you have changed areas. It guides you seamlessly from one recommended zone to the next, all the while collecting waypoints at various outposts and towns for you to quick travel to. That’s right, I said quick travel. For a nominal fee you can open your map from anywhere in the world, select a previously visited waypoint, and arrive there as fast as your computer will load the area. So far, that averages about three seconds. No coaches, no mounts, no ungodly runs back to a town just to spend six minutes on a flight path heading three zones over to find what you need.

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  1. Questing Redefined

There are no quests. There, I said it. They have renamed them ‘events’ and put the kibosh on your old school quest log. Sure, you are technically doing the same thing – performing a task for a citizen in whatever township you are near, but you are doing so in a very different manner. No longer are you forced to reach each quest hub, collect a handful of quests, and venture out into surrounding areas. No more quest chains that take you back and forth to the same spot five times. Instead, as you get near an area with something that needs to be done, you receive a notification in your event list. It tells you what to do, you do it, and you are rewarded. You never even have to go back to anywhere and turn it in. These dynamic events are not specific to your character either. As other players contribute to the cause, your completion meter also increases. The more you participate, however, the higher your rewards. Some of these are marked on your map as an empty heart icon. These are called “renown hearts,” and mark the location of a one-time story driven event. Once completed, the heart will fill in with color, and you will not have access to that event again. Unlike the other triggered events which are repeatable. And for the completionists out there – don’t worry about wasting time for no reward to go and collect all the renown hearts in lower level areas. Your level will always be scaled down to the appropriate one, keeping events challenging, and the rewards great.

 

Now, they did not completely eliminate the idea of a quest chain. Sometimes, they do have follow up events, like little checkpoints, but they update as you go, carrying you through the map in one trip. There are some that will inform you that they are group quests and will require you to have some others help you along. So far this seems not to be an issue, as most areas of the map were populated as I went through them. That could change though. As players make their way to the end game, it is pretty standard that the starting areas become more and more desolate. Arguably, the best change here is the lack of a quest log. Instead of limiting the amount of tasks you can have active, GW2 drops the event when you are too far away to complete it, but saves your progress for the next time you return. Only kill half the minotaurs invading Wayfarer Foothills? No problem, they will still be there the next time you visit and they will only ask you to kill the ones you missed.

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  1. The Collectables Screen and Making Crafting Fun

The lack of bag and bank space is always an issue for any adventurer. GW2 has sought to ease the pain of having to go to town and empty your bags every 20 minutes by adding a Collectables tab to your bank. Any item that is deemed a crafting material can be right clicked and added to your tab – from anywhere in the world. A separate bank for crafting materials? Yes, please! I’ve only been asking for that for, I don’t know, eight years? And here’s the real kicker for me. Every character you have can collect all of the resources – mining, harvesting, and logging – and deposit them. And every character can access them. Your entire bank, similar to the one in Diablo 3, is shared throughout your account. Going one step further than Blizzard, GW2 allows you to craft from this tab, never needing to pull materials out and clog up your precious bag space.

Now about making crafting fun – hard to believe, I know – let me say, it isn’t for everyone. There are a couple of neat changes to this area, in my humble opinion. One is the discovery pane. Yes, you do still get your basic recipes when you chose your craft, but they are mostly patterns to make components. Much like in Minecraft, you take those components, open up your discovery pane, and mix and match until you learn to make something new. It does have a built in elimination system, so you will never waste materials learning the same recipe twice, and as you add items to the proverbial pot, it will tell you how many possible combinations remain. Secondly, while you can only have two active crafting skills, you are able to switch to another for a fee, and will not lose any leveling progress in the dropped skill. Essentially, one character could master them all.

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  1. Everyone is a Healer, No One is a Tank

The battle system is another area where GW2 shines as a traditional RPG. Gone are the predetermined roles of each class. Gone are the hours of waiting for a healer or a tank to log on for your dungeon party. Everyone does everything, all the time. Each class has a dedicated action button for their personal healing spell, and there is no taunt mechanic. There are other abilities throughout the classes that heal players close to you, so not all is lost. Essentially, what ArenaNet has done is dissolved the notion that these games require what we gamers call ‘the holy trinity’ – a tank, healer, and dps combo. This is an idea and system that carried over from the original Guild Wars, which I will admit, I did not play. It is new to me, and I love it. ArenaNet did release the information (2011 MMORPGITALIA) that there are threat mechanics in place to determine who the monsters attack, quelling accusations that there is no way to control a fight without these roles. Most of it involves an AI system, where each type of monster will act accordingly and based on many factors.  This means that any group of five players can complete a dungeon together. Sure, there are bound to be favorable combinations, but nothing is impossible. The reality is that all players are in control of how their fights work.

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  1. Here – Have Some Free XP!

Last but not least, one key point that most games have introduced through the years, but that ArenaNet offers us from launch – everything gives you experience. There are a handful of little goals to achieve in every area that all earn you experience as well. Vista points to climb to, areas of interest to explore, and yes – even collecting waypoints. From gathering resources, to PvP, to crafting – you are always getting some experience out of whatever you do. In fact, you can hit the level 80 cap without ever killing a single beast. Each crafting discipline awards you exactly ten levels worth of experience. There are eight disciplines. Provided you have the materials gathered on other characters, or the funds to purchase them all, you could train and max out each discipline and get your character to level 80, without ever leaving town.

 

All in all, I’m one impressed gamer. All the textures and intricate scenery aside, this game is a lot of fun. I never feel like I am standing around accomplishing nothing, which was a chief complaint near the end of my Warcraft days. I have yet to feel like I can’t complete an event, and though I have had groups for a portion of my time in this game, my solo track record is equally as good. People are saying this could be the next World of Warcraft. Only time will tell. It is natural for an MMORPG to come out and steal the show for a few months. Those that make it last years and years – those that fail often last only a few months. If I were a gambler, I’d put money on seeing this game through into the over five year range. Guild Wars 2 is based on the same MMO foundation that makes all these successful games work. I find it to be different enough though; that I believe it could work better.

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