Blizzcon 2017 Thoughts

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World of Warcraft Classic — I’m really surprised they announced this since all the Vanilla WoW kids seemed to have given up a while ago. Once Legion came out most WoW players on the bandwagon stopped caring about Nostalrius since all they wanted was content and the guys who were on the bandwagon just for the hell of it weren’t going to play to begin with. The small fringe groups of Vanilla WoW fans stopped playing WoW altogether or moved onto another private server. Even the ones pushing for Vanilla WoW servers in my group of friends stopped talking about it well over a year ago and they were never really into WoW to begin with. Blizzard didn’t really talk much about this and based on what they said I’m sure it is a fair bit off. Just to be clear I’m all for this I just prefer new content. Everyone looks back at these expansions with rose tinted glasses but every single expansion had its shares of pros and cons. I’ll for sure give it a try when it comes out.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth — I was a little sceptical and still am about this. Anyone who’s been following BlizzCon for a while can tell you the whole “Bringing the War Back to Warcraft” line is a bit cursed. The last time we heard it we got Cataclysm which had its ups but also had a lot of downs and Warlords of Draenor which mostly had downs but some ups. I blame Blizzard for WoD. Not WoDs fault it didn’t have any content and garrisons were a bad idea for the same reasons they didn’t end up putting player housing in Vanilla way back. I’m just saying I’m sceptical of Battle for Azeroth. A really good opening cinematic that got my heart pumping isn’t enough for me to be satisfied. All the following coverage just kind of looked ok to me. Legion has been awesome and I think we will look back at it as one of the best expansions. Compared to that this looks lukewarm so far. That being said I am really liking what they are doing with the amulets which are pretty much replacing our artifact weapons. I still think artifact weapons are far more interesting but I understand the reasoning for cutting down 2 to 4 weapons into one amulet. Even though you lose a lot of epic flavour with it. Little quality of life improvements like this are nice, just the overall epic scale doesn’t seem to be there.

P.S. Only 3 new sub-races per faction? Still no Red Orcs?…sloppy Blizz, sloppy…Upright orcs though, so thanks for that.

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Diablo — ?

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Starcraft 2 — If you’re a consistent fan of the RTS genre or Just Starcraft in general then there seemed to be some good updates to the game. Blizzard is adding in the expected quality of life improvements and it seems to be more accessible to new players. It also looks like they are making the base game free to play which is pretty cool. None of this will get me playing but I can see returning players and new players going back to the game over this.

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Hearthstone — I personally quit Hearthstone a few months back to focus on Magic The Gathering and their upcoming Online CCG. Nothing against Hearthstone, just my TCG/CCG interests are taken up by Magic The Gathering.  I told myself Knights of The Frozen Throne will be my last Hearthstone expansions for the foreseeable future and with Kobolds and Catacombs…that statement hasn’t changed. Lol, that being said I will come back to Hearthstone to play the new single player “Dungeon Run” content. It is this contained adventure where you don’t even have to build a deck till you enter. You don’t have to worry about buying anything and you just have a good time playing. Pick a class, get some cards and build your deck as you play through the Dungeon Run. I see it a lot like you’re a new player in World of Warcraft and you are entering your first dungeon. You always find new solid upgrades as you go through. Great addition to Hearthstone to keep players like me coming back. What do I think of the new Kobolds and Catacombs expansion? My feelings are /shrug ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ couldn’t care less.

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Overwatch — Man what a surprise from my least favourite Blizzard game. I mean it still is my least favourite Blizzard game even though Blizzard seems to want you to hate Diablo the most. But damn does it look good. I don’t like Overwatch from a fundamental gameplay level. I find it remedial compared to almost every other shooter on the market. Which is exactly why it’s popular. You can be trash and still be useful and improve quickly simply by paying attention a little more. I mean I get why people like it. Everything from Blizzcon 2017 makes me get it even more. I mean how cool were some of those maps and the Reinhardt cinematic? I don’t even like the game but that cinematic got me thinking of getting a Reinhardt tattoo. The new hero Moira is a really interesting take on a healer. Her style and gameplay look really fun. She comes off as a more skill capped healer when compared to others like Lucio and Mercy. Cant go AFK and get MVP on Moira. The new Blizzard World map looks amazing. They said that in the world of Overwatch that Blizzard exists but in that universe they naturally have nothing to do with Overwatch itself. So Blizzard World is an Overwatch map but is themed after the other Blizzard games. Might be hard to follow but it’s a great addition regardless. Not bad Overwatch, not bad. Might just have to pop in the disk again sometime.

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Heroes of the Storm — Another surprising turn of events. I have been kind of done with Heroes of the Storm for a few months now but Blizzcon won me back. A whole bunch of new interesting hero’s like Honzo and Alexstrasza, reworks and quality of life improvements. Fine Blizzard fine. It seems I haven’t paid you enough through this game so I’ll give you some more over the coming months. The single thing that got me the most interested was their new ranking system. Its a new take on their current MMR system but instead of wins and loses counting for a large part of your MMR they seem to be focusing more on you and the hero you pick. If you play a difficult hero and play that hero well and also win you will jump up higher in your MMR. Same goes for if you play an easier hero and don’t perform well and lose, you will go down further in MMR. So winning and losing still matters but you can still move up in MMR as long as you are performing the best you can. They also showed how this leads to much fewer matches you need to play to get placed where you belong. This isn’t the exact numbers but it was something like 240 matches down to 190 matches with the new ranked system. They also said that number should go down further after its officially implemented in December.

Blizzcon 2017 MVP — Overwatch followed closely in 2nd by Heroes of the Storm.

Blizzcon 2017 Loser — Diablo (I mean really. Surprised?)

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College Street Bar Hopping Review

Sneaky Dee’s

Sneaky Dee’s is a place me and my friends frequent when we go down to drink on College street. Its usually the bar we end on but we decided to start on it this time because we had a huge craving for Buzz Amber. Buzz Amber is my teams favorite all round beer of choice. I secretly still prefer Guinness overall but Buzz Amber is a tie or very close second. We discovered Buzz Amber at Sneaky Dee’s the first time we went drinking on College street. It was the last bar of the night that time and we just asked for something cheap and left it up to the waiter. The moment we tried it we loved it. Its a very smooth dark beer. Very easy to drink and not notice how drunk you are getting. If any of you are ever at Sneaky Dee’s I highly recommend trying it.

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Mullins

This was the first time we went to Mullins. My friend saw it on the way when were meeting up. We decided to give it a try after Sneaky Dee’s and we loved it. It wasn’t busy and there wasn’t any loud annoying music playing. The whole side of the place was one big window they left open. It was nice having the breeze flow into the bar. The people working there were also very nice. We asked them for what they would recommend as the drink of choice to represent the Mullen. They brought us 2 pints of Guinness. I cant complain. My favorite beer at a really nice comfy open window bar. Will visit again for sure.

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Touche

I’m more of a whisky, vodka, beer kind of a guy so things like martinis throw me off a bit. But we were trying new things and said what the hell it looks nice lets give it a try. We quickly noticed how “datey” the place was which made me and my friend laugh at the situation. We got our seats and went up to the bar and I asked for something that looks good in a picture but isn’t a girl drink. The bartender laughed and thought for a second. She told us that would be a “Caipirinha” which is a Brazilian drink. Me and my friend agreed after drinking it that its simply an alcoholic lemonade. We liked it but the overall place wasn’t our style. If you are looking for a place to take a date but want to be on the fancy side or you’re a fan of martinis I recommend Touche. If you are not one of these than I would say keep looking.

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Ryoji 

So we are walking and by this point you have to understand we are pretty drunk. We see Ryoji across the street and decide we should go over. We get inside and see how nice the place is. I mean its very pretty and out of all the places we went to it has the best lighting. As you can probably tell from looking at the pictures. We asked the waiters what they would recommend and they both said different drinks. We said we will get one of each and try it. Now again we were drunk so we forgot to get the names of the drinks written down but we both agreed we liked the drink in the shorter glass more. It had this slightly grassy taste that went down very smooth. The other one was more of a sweet and sour flavor. We didn’t hate it but we wouldn’t order that drink again. Over all great place. We plan to go back there to try the food next time.

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Smokes Poutinerie

Remember how before when we crossed the street to get to Ryoji. Well we are even more drunk now and we are stupid in general. We had completely forgotten we crossed the street. So we continue down the street and start seeing stores we are sure we passed on the opposite side of the street. Now again let me remind you we are very drunk now and also very stupid. We start to talk about how its such a dumb idea to double up the same store on the same street. We go on about how bad of a business idea that is. on the second store we saw that doubled up I got suspicious. One store on the same street doubling up, ok. Two stores on the same street? No somethings not right here. It wasn’t till we hit the 4th store I realized we are walking backwards on the opposite side of the street.We walked for a solid 8 to 10 minutes in the wrong direction before I realized we went the wrong way. We couldn’t stop laughing at how dumb the situation was and then had to speed walk all the way to Smokes. -_-

Now that all that’s^ out of the way. Lets talk about Smokes Poutinerie. What can I say? Its the best poutine in the city if you ask me. My friends would agree with that statement. What you see photographed down bellow is the triple pork poutine. Just writing about it now is making me salivate. I think if I was able to without getting fat I would eat this every day. I mean just look at it. Do I need to say anymore? Do yourself a favor and get some poutine at Smokes Poutinerie. Unless your a vegetarian. I mean they do have vegetarian options but meh. Its just not the same.

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Track & Field

I’m going to say right off the bat this place is not my style. Musics to loud, drinks were on the more expensive side. The crowd was very young and hipster. I just wasn’t able to feel comfortable there and relax. I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb. That being said. If you are a fan of the whole hipster type stuff than you would like this place. Also if you’re a single guy between 20 and 25 its a good place to go since it was filled with girls. Again not my scene but it is someones scene. Everyone there seemed to be having a good time. My friend overall didn’t mind it but he really liked the music. The dj was playing a lot of pretty cool old school music. As a dj myself I cant be to impressed about downloading a best of 80s track list and playing it. The good music alone doesn’t validate the place for me. Your results may very. Oh and we forgot to write the name of the drink we got here as well. It was alright…I wish I can say more but I was pretty drunk by this point and it wasn’t that memorable of a drink to begin with.

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The Emmet Ray 

We were so drunk by this point I couldn’t function as a photographer. Hence why I don’t have many good pictures of the Emmet Ray here. I was so drunk I knocked my glass of whisky over on the table and didn’t want it going to waste so I drank it off the table. >:P Yea I was pretty drunk. My beard smelled like Glenfarclas 12yrs for the rest of the night. That being said the Emmet Ray is one of if not my favorite bar on College street. The live jazz band always playing quality jazz at the back of the place alone is worth a visit. The whisky selection is simply amazing. Over 230 different kinds of whisky. If you are a fan of whisky this is a place you got to go to.

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Back to Sneaky Dee’s

After whisky at the Emmet Ray we decided we had to go back to Sneaky Dee’s for one last round of Buzz Amber to close off the night. We did just that. All in all it was a great night. Would do this again for sure.

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All shots taken by me using a Sony a6000 with a 35mm Canon FD vintage lens. Lastly a special thanks to my friend Arash for coming along and helping me drink.