The REAL Darkmoon Faire

Darkmoon Faire Jacksonville 2013

For those who are not familiar with what the REAL Darkmoon Faire is, it’s the monthly World of Warcraft Trading Card Game tournament held around the world to locate the best players.  The winners from each Faire then compete at the end of the year to see who becomes the World Darkmoon Faire Champion for 2013.  There are lots of prizes to be won, including Macbooks, iPads, iPods, rare mount loot cards, travel vouchers, playmats, deck boxes, boxes of cards, card packs and much more.

The first Darkmoon Faire event for 2013 happened this past weekend in Jacksonville, Florida, from Friday, January 11th to Sunday, January 13th.  This is the first time that the Faire has arrived in my city, so I was pretty excited to check it out.

The last TCG event that I attended was a Sneak Preview tournament at a local gaming shop for the Drums of War expansion back in November of 2008.  Back then, the TCG was owned by Upper Deck Entertainment (UDE).

Since that Sneak Preview, that local gaming shop stopped hosting WoW TCG events due to lack of attendance/interest.  The game itself went through a big change and was acquired by Cryptozoic Entertainment (CZE), who has done a really good job with it.

Chewy and I used to play the TCG quite a bit when it first came out, but we couldn’t find others that were interested to try it, so we quit playing.  That hasn’t stopped me from collecting it though, lol.  I have near-complete sets since the first set, Heroes of Azeroth, to the most recent, War of the Ancients.

I asked Chewy if he wanted to check out the Faire and he said sure and we decided to go Saturday afternoon.  We planned on hanging out there for a couple of hours, as it was NFL playoff weekend and our teams were in the hunt (Go Ravens/Niners!).

So Chewy arrived at my house around 1pm and after gathering my stuff, we went outside.  We stood in my driveway for a couple of minutes when Chewy turned to me and said:

Chewy:  What are we waiting for?
Arvash:  I’m waiting for the portal to appear to take us to the Faire.
Chewy:  …
Chewy:  This isn’t Mulgore…
Arvash:  Oh, you’re right…

So instead we hopped into my epic Honda mount and headed towards Downtown Jacksonville, where the Faire was located.  The event was held on the third floor of the Hyatt, with numerous signs directing us to our destination.

Conference Sign

Once we arrived at the front gates, er, doors, we were greeted by some familiar faces, Silas Darkmoon and Burth.

DMF Sign

Inside were other Fairegoers, already competing in events such as Sealed Deck tournaments, Swiss Round Packs and of course, the main Darkmoon Faire event, the pre-constructed deck tournament.

DMF

I wanted to enter into the Beginners Tournament, cause it was a long time since I last played, but we had just missed it and the next one didn’t start until Chewy and I had planned to leave.  Cryptozoic had demos of their other games on hand, including the Big Bang Theory and The Walking Dead.  We decided to try their most recent release, the DC Comics Deckbuilding game.

from Cryptozoic

from Cryptozoic

This was our first time trying out a deck building game.  You’re given a small starting deck of 10 cards and you basically “purchase” cards from the playing field using the valor points found on said cards.  These purchased cards then get shuffled into your deck, where they can be later used as you draw more and more cards as the game progresses.  The game ends once all cards on the field has been purchased or all villains have been defeated (purchased).  You play as one of several DC heroes and the object is to earn as many Victory points as you can.  Each card is given a Victory point amount based on the type of card.  Equipment and Allies are worth a moderate amount, whereas Villains give out the highest point value.

We played with a Cryptozoic employee, who explained the rules of the game as we went along and another Fairegoer.  They played The Flash and Wonder Woman, respectively, with Chewy playing Green Lantern and me as Superman.  I ended up winning our demo game, racking up the most Victory points, thanks to all the villains I defeated.  I mean, it’s Superman, who’s gonna really beat him, right?  =)

DC Game 1

DC Game 2

Afterwards, we went around and checked out what else the Faire had to offer.  Lucky for us, we stumbled upon a familiar face, Aegwynn, the Guardian of Tirisfal!

Christina Sims as Aegwynn

Lol, actually, it was Christina Sims in an amazing costume.  You might remember Christina for her other awesome outfits, like Alexstraza and the female Monk from Diablo 3.  She is also a great TCG player, I witnessed her taking out poor, hapless Fairegoers who thought they had a chance of defeating her.  Maybe it was a good thing I didn’t bring my own deck, to save myself the embarrassment, lol.

from Cryptozoic

from Cryptozoic

from WoW Insider

from WoW Insider

from WoW Insider

from WoW Insider

After watching Aegwynn/Christina pound noobs into the ground, I spotted another familiar face, can you guess where this person is?  Hint: It’s the person in the far left in red.

DMF3

Can’t see it, huh?  Well, it’s none other than Michael Sacco of WoW Insider fame!  I believe he was doing press coverage of the tournament, updating the website with results and making additional commentary.  I remember an old article on WoW Insider, where he talked about working with the TCG.  He’s got a pretty good gig going on there, working for two of the biggest WoW-related products that I enjoy.  Here’s a close-up pic from the Cryptozoic website in case you can’t see him in my shot, lol.

from Cryptozoic

from Cryptozoic

And here are some additional photos I took of the event.

DMF2

Gobby Sign

Dranei Sign 1

Dranei Sign 2

DMF Table Sign

One thing I did accomplish while I was at the Faire was to update my league status for future WoW events and tournaments.  Like I said earlier, it was a long time since my last TCG that I was still rocking my UDE membership.

UDE Membership Card

So I went ahead and rejoined the league (for free) and got me a spiffy new card.  Moar dragons!

Cryptozoic Membership Card

Also for signing up, I got a cool new priest deckbox, featuring Dark Pharaoh Tekahn from the Tomb of the Forgotten expansion.

Dark Pharaoh Tekahn Deck Box

And that was pretty much it for the Faire.  I didn’t get to spend as much time there as I wanted to, but I also wasn’t prepared game-wise for it either.  Maybe the next time the Faire roll around here, I will have freshened up my skillz and will finally compete against others for a shot at the World Championship title.  Oh, and also take on Christina Sims in whatever character she shows up as next time, lol.

The next two Darkmoon Faires will be held in Venice, Italy, in February and Dallas, Texas, in March.  Check it out if you live nearby those two areas.

Oh, there is one person I wanted to meet that I didn’t see at the Faire, though.  I wish Jeremy Feasel was there so I could Roshambo him, South Park-style, for that freakin’ Darkmoon Eye!  That bastard!

Panda Play Day One – Shadow Rising Realm Firsts!

Last night was a pretty fun start to the expansion.  Chewy and I got to quest together for a couple of hours in the Jade Forest and by the end of the night, I was a couple of bars into 86, about to head to the Valley of the Four Winds.

As with every expansion, it was a night of firsts.

My first pet battles and pet battle achievements:

My kitty was clawing everyone up and it was funny to watch my Soul-Trader punching stuff in the face!

My first rare mob kill: Aethia, a Jinyu who used water-based attacks.  My NPCScan alert scared the crap outta me locating this guy, I forgot I had my speakers turned up high, lol.  He dropped some blue quality leather pants that were BoP, boooo. =P

My first exalted reputation in Pandaria: the Forest Hozen…..although this doesn’t count toward the achievements, hahaha.

My first encounter fighting my giant self thanks to those pesky Greenwood tricksters.  They like to copy you, make themselves bigger, or copy you AND make themselves bigger:

But a more impressive first was not one of mine, but one for our guildies, Zug.  Zug and a handful of others started right at launch and pretty much played straight through, non-stop.  I still think he’s a robot or at least half android, this guy is a beast!  He had a couple of Alliance camp him as he was pushing those last bars into 90.  But Zug, like a boss, did what he does best and got shit done.

I believe Zug got to 90 in less than 20 hours.  Impressive feat, sir!

Another guildie making the push to 90 yesterday was Fayle, our Fayleless leader.  Being an older model robot than Zug, he still managed to achieve his feat in the early hours this morning.

Well done, sir!  Congrats to the both of you!

UPDATE:  Slice just got [Realm First! Level 90 Priest]!  And I believe that he did it as Disc, impressive indeed!  Congrats yo!

Mists of Pandaria Cinematic Trailer now out

From the Blizzard website

Blizzard has released the cinematic trailer to Mists of Pandaria today.  Go ahead, have a look.

Pretty awesome trailer, good job again Blizzard!  I like the bit of humor they added to the trailer, something I don’t remember seeing in any of the other, more serious ones.  I can sense that this is gonna be a fun expansion, ripe with laughs, jokes and of course the srs bzns, lol.  What does the big guy think of his own performance?

So do I, Chen…so do I.  =)