Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to spot a WoW Phishing scam...

I'm getting so much spam from the account hackers nowadays, I don't think I would even read a legitamate email from Blizzard!

Since I've got so many examples, I thought I'd go through the obvious signs that your email is a scam.

1) You get a email from blizzard stating that it has been reported that you are attempting to sell your account. Please verify details.

Now I can 100% guarantee you, that if Blizzard thought you were selling your account, they would immediately freeze/ban it, and no amount of verifying or emailing will get them to unfreeze it. Believe me, I've been there (And I was trying to sell my account, so my own damn fault...)

2) The email asks for your password/secret question and answer.

Blizzard will never ask for your password. This is an immediate red flag that should stand out for you. Besides, they wouldn't ask for your password, they would ask for a copy of your ID, and your account name, to verify you are the account owner.

3) The email states that you have requested recently to change your password, if this was not you, please login to the following website [link] and login to change your password again immediately.

*sigh* such a clever trap. The website you click on might look like the Wow official one, but it's not. You can check the website URL to confirm (And I think there's even clever ways of masking this as well). If you right click on the link and copy/paste it as is, you should see that it's something phishy, like www.worldofwalcraft.com (notice r replaced with l or something similar).

4) If ever in doubt, check for grammer/spelling mistakes, check the sender address (The real one, sometimes the real sender can be masked with a pseudonym), and check the link they send you.

Rather log into the *real* website, using the bookmark you already have, or google it, and then you'll immediately see if your account's password has been changed, or if your account is under suspension. If not, then the email is fake, and you can safely ignore it!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

King's Bounty - Armored Princess

Have I mentioned how much I love Steam? This was also on sale over the holidays, and I didn't hesitate to get me a legal copy of this awesome game. The sequel is very similar to the previous offering, with a few tweaks.

For me it was a no-brainer for the Steam special, but it looks like it’s too similar to the original to recommend unless you want more of the same.


Slightly negative review

Positive review

Improvements to the last game:
- Flying available in the middle of the game, allows player to travel between islands quickly
- Can choose to allow weaker mobs to flee rather than fight.
- Dragon seems to be powerful and more flexible than the original spirits of rage
- Smaller Islands split up different units and themes into smaller sizes, apparently improving the flow of the game.

Reviewers mentioned :
- The difficulty is still high, and if you run out of mobs to kill you could get stuck at the bosses, unable to fight them and unable to level any further.
- It’s also not much different from the original to really shine, but it’s still good fun
- Not as “mad-as-bat-cheese” crazy as the original
- Holy crap what is the princess *not* wearing :D


So we picked up the GOTY edition from Steam for a few dollars over the holiday season. I've always preferred it to Oblivion, it just holds a special place in my heart.

I've installed and can recommend the following mods:
- Morrowind Visual Pack 3 - didn't notice a huge improvement, but the detail on flowers and buildings seem crispier. I'm a bit blind to resolution improvements, so check it out yourself.

Edit - I figured out why this wasn't working. The Morrowind default libraries were a newer date than the mod overrides, and Morrowind always loads the most recent ones. I used an application called "Touch" to make the morrowind modified dates older than the mod. Once working, it makes a big difference!

- Morrowind NPC Makeover - Amazing mod, highly recommended. A bit of a pain to get working, but it really turns the truly ugly, contorted, flat faces into true 3D textured and detailed faces. The creator has even gone so far to create unique faces for almost every NPC.

Edit - at one point I couldn't get this to work. I managed to fix it by enabling all the required prereq mods, which it explicitely tells you not to do. *shrug*

- Morrowind Sounds - I can't remember the exact name, but it's a mod that adds some atmospheric sounds to the towns and outdoors areas. Very nice, and easy to install.

Mods I don't recommend:
- Morrowind comes alive - This mod was supposed to make cities feel more alive by adding all sorts of characters to the cities, inns, bandits along the road etc.

I was killed twice in a row by thugs in the city, at level 1, so I wasn't too impressed. It was also a hassle removing the mod after I had installed it, but probably unrelated.

In addition, it apparently also increases the difficulty of various critters in the world (Since I noticed a major difference fighting slaughterfish, mudcrabs etc), and also adds NPC companions that can assist you in your adventures (but usually get in the way and cast friendly fire AOE effects that usually kill you).

Next time I'll read the comments more carefully....

Multiplier leveling tips for Morrowind:
- Ignore the FAQs that say misc skills only add up to maximum 2x (4 points) to the multiplier. I leveled athletics and Unarmed which were misc skills, and I managed to get the full 5x multiplier. If this rule was in affect, I'd only get maximum of 4x or maybe 2x multiplier.

- Trained skills do contribute to the multiplier, it was added back in a "recent" patch.

- To get a 3 x 5 multiplier for Endurance, Speed and Strength:
* I leveling Athletics by a lot and Unarmored by a few points. This came pretty much naturally as I was running around and didn't have decent armor on my legs/feet.

* I leveled endurance by equipping medium armor and using a spear for all my first fights. I also trained spear a bit since this is a retarded weapon. Medium armor is a Minor skill, I got about 6 points towards leveling from it.

* I leveled acrobatics and long blade by jumping around after I reached Balmora, and attacking a few wildlife/ghosts with an enchanted long blade. LB is a Major skill, acrobatics is a minor, and I got 3 of acrobatics and 1 LB skill to level me.

I trained Block and Axe 3 times each to ensure I hit the highest multiplier.

Unfortunately as I was sleeping, an assassin attacked me, and I responded with my long blade, getting another level point as I killed him. I've heard this is a bad thing... but I'm not sure why yet. Stupid assassins...