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The Earthbound is a guild focused on team work, communication, and community building (in no particular order), usually in MMOs but also in other games. We are currently active mostly in WoW (Tichondrius, Horde side).

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Keeping up

Izark, Mar 20, 14 3:17 PM.
Greetings all,

We keep trucking a long.  A lot of new games are releasing soon or a lot of big updates expansions launching: Diablo 3, Elder Scrolls Online, Wildstar, housing in Star Wars, Warlords of Draenor.  Not to mention Titanfall and a new Batman Arkham later this year.

Recently in WoW they've opened Siege of Orgrimmar up to cross-realm so if you find yourself on Dragonmaw, or elsewhere, get a hold of me and we'll find a time to defeat Garrosh, Ahead of the Curve achievement + mount = always a good thing.

Diablo 3's patch 2.0 update is also really good.  If you have D3 and gave up after your first time through it's a good time to revisit with the bonus XP.  The systems have been refined in a way that makes playing enjoyable, the three best changes are the clan/communities feature, the new loot system, difficulty change based on your  number of play throughs (no more inferno etc), paragon system revamp, and lastly dynamic difficulty.  Ok, that's more than three but trust me, the game is a much improved experience.  Also look up The Earthbound in D3.  It let's you see when others get legendaries which is cooler in D3 than it is in WoW (I guess raiding/pvp purples would be the closest comparison).  I have to say the legendaries in D3 are somewhere between an epic and legendary item in WoW.  The clan experience functions mostly the same as a guild in WoW.

Hope you're all well and my time will be constrained in the following months, work has picked up quite a bit.

P.S. If any one is looking for a game and you can pick up Brutal Legend on sale, do it.  The gameplay isn't revolutionary but if you like Jack Black + heavy metal + good fantasy story... the game will blow your soul. In a good way, obviously.

Happy Holidays and Diablo 3 News

Izark, Dec 16, 13 8:22 PM.
Happy Holidays Everyone!

You may think of this next news as partly a continuation of day 2 of Blizzcon with a Diablo focus.  Blizzard has begun a PTR and closed beta for Reaper of Souls.  I, out of curiosity, fired up the PTR of Diablo 3 and have been playing for 2 days now.  The experience is quite a bit different (read much improved) for a game that is essentially the same.

Leveling, difficulty, paragon levels/points, loot, crafting, the map (not the overlay), random procs, guilds/communities, and some animations have changed to various degrees.

Let me begin by saying I will not play Diablo 3 (live) until it is patched.  That is how much I like version 2.0 of the game.

Leveling and difficulty (very different):
No more playing the same story over and over to reach max level!  Instead of difficulty unlocking after defeating Diablo (over and over and over) you can select 3 difficulties from the outset.  Increasing the difficulty increases experience point gain and gold drop rate.  Once you have one level 60 character you can unlock the 4th difficulty.  The final difficulty level is unlocked when one of your characters reaches 70.  PTR does have character copy available, FYI.  Additionally, I've completed Act II and am currently level 42 on my Wizard on the first play through of the story. Overall, it's a much better experience.  At the highest difficulty (only) there is a monster power type system to further increase the difficulty if desired.  I appreciate the fact I can start out as a hardcore level 1 named YOLO on 5/5 difficulty if I have a 70.

The speed and difficulty I don't think are final.  On Expert (3/5 on the difficulty) I'm not having much of a challenge but have died a couple of times.  Also I've only completed Act II.  All this said the mobs now scale in difficulty as you level/gear...  Through Act I it seemed too easy and towards the end of Act II there were 1 or 2 tricky fights but the rest were fairly straightforward.

Paragon levels (very different):
There are 4 tabs, each tab has 4 abilities that can be upgraded.  This is welcome.  You can choose to increase intellect or strength, for example, in the Core Tab OR instead put points into Magic Find in the Adventure Tab.  Additionally, multiple characters can contribute to the total.  So if you have two level 60s and unlock a paragon level then both your 60s will be able to allocate that point for each respective character.  For example, I have 3 Paragon points to allocate and on my Wizard I allocate all 3 to intellect.  When I login on my other 60, say it's a monk, I may put those 3 points into Magic Find.  In other words each character's paragon points are separate yet they all contribute to the pool available.  If you're curious it would take over 800 points (i.e. levels) to max the system... this seems to me to be a little like the customization that existed in Diablo 2.  This type of system is what most people missed when comparing Diablo 2 customization to 3's non-existent customization with cookie-cutter talent appeasement.

Technicality, Hardcore and normal modes' paragon pools aren't completely shared.  As I understand the current implementation, paragon levels earned on Hardcore go towards Hardcore AND normal mode paragon pool.  The opposite is not true.  This makes sense otherwise people would play their normal toons and load up the paragon points then go on their hardcore character and deck them out with stats.  This would cheapen the experience if you could play a toon with unlimited deaths to enhance a character that only has one.  One note if a hardcore toon dies the paragon points are not lost.

"Loot 2.0" (about damn time, very different):
This might be the greatest change of them all.  First, not nearly as much crap drops and gold also drops in respectable sums.  White/Gray drops are now somewhat useful, thank you Blizzard (see crafting).  When loot does drop it's not nearly as frequent and no more getting a shit ton of drops for another class.  Additionally, when the gear does drop it's not a level 50 Barbarian sword with 200 intellect (seriously Blizzard WTF!).  Now items have stats that are in a more appropriate range and type.  No more items that are a high item level but with a relatively low value for a primary stat either.  Blizzard has streamlined stats by breaking them down into 3 categories: Toughness, Damage and Healing.  It's very easy to compare two items and determine which is superior.  When compared green means better by X%, red means downgrade nothing revolutionary but a decent quality of life change.  It's important to mention that attack power and other stats didn't disappear they are taken into account in one of the appropriate categories.  Additionally there are more unique effects on gear so sometimes an item that may not be a straight damage upgrade yet it may have an effect that makes it more enjoyable to use (run speed increase, cool down decrease, or lightning spells do X% more damage).

Crafting (updated):
Is a lot better in my opinion.  White and grays can be disenchanted or broken down (however the Blacksmith does it) into Common Material and is used in nearly every recipe!  Additionally, some of the mats are now used across Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting which is welcome.  I'm not max level on either profession but the change feels better.  Harder for me to describe this change but coupled with Loot 2.0 crafting items doesn't feel like a wasting of time.  The most I had to craft an item to get a set of stats that was an upgrade across the board was 3.  This is a big win over the old system.

The (new) Map:
When you hit M a parchment map is displayed and it shows you where your location in the act with lines connecting every waypoint; the old list has been removed.  It makes it seem that I'm actually in a world and I exist somewhere in it.  Previously I just felt like I was in a long hallway connected by the occasional light from a door or floor.  It's a very simplistic visualization but so much better than the list and although it's strictly a cosmetic change it is most appreciated.  Once you unlock a waypoint you can always fast travel to it no matter where you are as long as you're not in combat by using the map... pretty sweet.  Boss areas are denoted by the Diablo Skull symbol on that map. 

Random procs/power ups (bonus change):
So you've just mowed down a couple mobs and out of nowhere a yellow glowing orb is resting on the ground... that's not health.  The buff is called Nephalem something-or-other but more importantly it makes you awesome.  Its bonus damage effect also varies.  One time it may give you a chance on hitting a mob to strike another mob with yellow lightning via chain lightning.  Other times it might do a small AOE explosion... also it stacks for more awesome.  Find the horde's of demons and make 'em pay!  One explosion or yellow arcing lightning bolt at a time.

Animations (bonus change):
Nice touchups with how the red orbs drop.  They actually appear to fly from a mob as it's dying witch looks quite smooth in action.  They no longer fall right at their feet.  Sometimes they fly at your character and other times away.  I don't know how the logic works but it's another small polishing touch.  I can't remember if the orb size used to vary but it does now so you can tell when you're getting a "bigger" vs "smaller" orb heal.

Guilds/Communities (pleasant surprise):
Feature from WoW but it's cool to see when people get gear, talk and organize without having to be in a group.  The communities feature is nice in that it lets you seek out people although I haven't experimented with it.

Most of these tweaks aren't revolutionary in their own right but when they're all added together this feels like a much different game.  It also makes me think Diablo wouldn't have had nearly as much post launch bitterness or bitching and moaning had it released in this state.  If it was this good then the devs could have spent proper time focusing on PVP instead of how to fix the end-game (for over a year).  Overall 2.0 is a welcome addition.  

We have a guild on the PTR "The Earthbound."  Look it up if inclined, tag is EB.  I'm Izark the Wizard guild of 1 as of this writing.

Adventure mode is not in the PTR; Crusader can be selected but not playable (PTR is not the beta).  Transmog and reforge are expansion features via the Artisan merchant.  Regardless, confident I'm picking up the new D3 expansion.

As a parting thought this also makes me look forward to Warlords of Draenor even more as we'll be getting these "tertiary" type stats on our toons.  Think of run speed increase as an example of the fun we can look forward to.  Also if you're on PTR contact me.

Blizzcon Highlights - Day 1

Izark, Nov 8, 13 8:40 PM.
From Blizz's feed: the new WoW Expansion: "Warlords of Dreanor" was announced.  Heroes of the Storm received a cinematic trailer and was demoed live.  More info on Diablo but not too many new details.  Hearthstone will be playable on Android and iOS (including the iPhone).  In addition, Hearthstone will go open beta next month.  Wow list below, spoilers to follow.  

Day 2: Highlights from the WoW movie to come, Diablo 3 details/Crusaders, WoW systems/raid panel, Diablo 3 Q&A.

* Spoilers *

Garrosh escapes and somehow goes back in time and stops everyone drinking the demon's blood.  Rediverts the Outland Portal from the past and brings the Iron Horde to present Azeroth.  

  • Notable features: 
  • Level 100
  • Pure PvP Zone, not Wintergrasp 
  • New PvP progression:
  •         Random drops to enhance gearing, weekly quest to upgrade gear, new "Score" method
  • Garrisons (Farm meets player housing), upgradeable can be moved in the world
  • Minions (think SWTOR that you send on missions,dungeons, raids or mining)
  • Garrison professions --> limited access to other professions via garrison
  • New Inventory system: heirlooms, "Toys" BOA like mounts/pets
  • No mention of new races, classes or professions

New Mumble Server

Izark, Sep 9, 13 10:35 PM.
Hello all,  given our recent problems we've changed our Mumble hosting provider to Typefrag.  See the updated server information, top right column on the the main page.

Here's hoping our Mumble woes are behind us and thank all of you for your patience regarding the matter.

Den or myself will need to be on to register you... if we're not on hangout or you may use the old server until September 23rd at which point we will no longer have access.

Life Lessons

Denngar, Aug 4, 13 3:39 AM.
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