Nintendo’s New Console: ‘Nintendo Switch’

Nintendo Switch Console

Nintendo announced their new console this morning! Previous codenamed “NX”, the ‘Nintendo Switch’ releases March 17, 2017.

As many of us predicted, the new system will be a combo handheld/traditional console. The Nintendo Switch features removable handles or “Joy-cons” which can connect to an optional Pro Controller (of sorts) for use during couch play.


When on the go, the handles of the Nintendo Switch disconnect and can slide onto to tablet resting in the “Nintendo Switch Dock”. This takes the entire system on the go.

Players can use the “joy-cons” in many different ways: Connected onto the tablet for mobile play, on a Pro Controller, one in each hand akin to the wiimote and nunchuck, or split them apart for even further multiplayer

Nintendo is once again going the route of “different” over simply sticking with what has traditionally been … well… successful and fun. Looking at the joy-cons, and the system as a hole, it almost looks cheap. I haven’t held the Switch in my hands, but I don’t get a sense of quality from all these moving parts. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

Nintendo's New Console: Nintendo Switch

The graphics capabilities in the Nintendo Switch are powered by a custom NVIDIA Tegra processor.  “The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards,” said NVIDIA when they made the announcement. Just how “based on” we’re talking here, or what that truly means in terms of power, remains to be seen.

I noticed no mention of a touch screen. I’m betting there isn’t one. I’m okay with that, though, as I felt like it would be one gimmick too many.

I like the idea of taking my little tablet-console-thing on-the-go to Graev’s house and playing local multiplayer with both consoles. I think there’s opportunity for expanded software growth beyond the Wii and Wii U now that motion and touch are likely out of the picture. Good old fashion gaming… with a mobile twist? Maybe?

I confess myself slightly disappointed by their lack of traditional console, but will keep an open mind.

Gears of War 4 – Cross Play is here!

Graev and I picked up Gears of War 4 and are currently working our way through the campaign. It’s really, really good. I don’t want to focus on any of the gameplay itself. What I want to focus on here is more of the cross play experience.

When Microsoft announced their big push toward “play anywhere,” I was extremely pleased. For the past 10 years I have been wanting PC and Console players to merge. Some games have tried, almost all have not. Developers of hardware and software alike have cited a litany of reasons. Now, I hope that’s over.

Gears of War 4 allows for co-op campaign and Horde mode cross play. It works flawlessly.

At first we couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Graev was on his Xbox One and I was on PC, but I wasn’t getting his invites. Then I found an Xbox app on my computer and suddenly the experience was merged. His invites came in like they do when you’re on Xbox and someone invites you. From there, the entire experience was utterly seamless.

Taking things a step further, if I use the Xbox app on my computer I can essentially communicate and interact in every way I can if I was on an Xbox instead. It’s great.

Here’s the one downside: You can’t play competitive multiplayer modes where PC players would be fighting against console players. Microsoft has said this is currently “temporary,” but I won’t hold my breath. I think they’ve left it out of Gears on purpose — to have no ‘negative’ perceptions of cross play among the early impressions.

Whether or not PC is truly the master race doesn’t matter to me right now. I’m just glad that I can play games with Graev on my PC if I choose, and he can be on his Xbox if he chooses. It’s time for Sony and Nintendo to start moving in that direction.

Our thoughts on Gears 4 coming soon…

KGC & Friends Clear Emerald Nightmare!

Emerald Dream Cleansed

KGC & Friends finished up Emerald Nightmare this weekend!

We were able to beat Xavius on our first night of attempts (about an hour and a half).

The boss who gave us the most trouble was definitely Cenarius. We spent two nights of attempts on him while trying to figure out some of his mechanics. Luckily, once figured out the fight seemed to go pretty well.


Earlier bosses were more about figuring out some mechanics, but also how to raid together and use our classes properly. We struggled at first with how many healers we would need, how many DPS, etc.

Overall, our group was did quite well for the amount of time we put in. As a casual raiding group, we put in 4 hours a week (2 hours each on Sunday and Monday) from 4:30pm-6:30pm pacific. That’s not a lot of time at all.

Each day we progressed, and I saw people learning to play both their classes better as well as playing better together. That’s what progressing through boss content is all about!

One highlight of the evening for me was being able to bring my Druid in for Xavius. We needed a little more than two healers, so I was able to squeeze out a drop of usefulness.

Emerald Nightmare Impressions

The raid itself delivered nicely. Blizzard has been teasing the raid for years saying they want to make sure they do it justice.

Emerald Nightmare definitely delivered atmospherically. I like how different parts of the world were represented. Mulgore definitely takes the prize.

Emerald Nightmare Legion Raid

Bosses looked ‘okay’ to me. None of the bosses made me go “OH WOW COOL!” except for maybe the first boss who is a dragon comprised of swarming bugs.

Mechanically the raid was good. Several new mechanics were introduced — some a little wacky — but overall straight forward.

Looking for a Raiding Group?

KGC & Friends are looking for more! We have need for DPS to join our ranks. If you’re looking for a dedicated team that will clear Normal Mode weekly and now progressing into Heroic, please join our Discord and message Keen.

Healing and DPS are pretty great too…

Following up on my last post where I talked all about how I love Guardian Druid tanking, apparently I really enjoy all of the specs for a Druid.

I grabbed my Balance and Resto artifacts, and I’m having a great time.

I’m tanking Mythic+3’s on my Druid, and Healing/DPS Mythic+1’s already. Pretty incredible rate of advancement on my Druid.

My decision is made: I won’t be playing Hunter as my main.

Druid will become my new main, with Boomkin spec replacing my Hunter’s slot as a ranged DPS in our raid, with my Heals being an “as needed” spec for the team. My Druid’s ability to tank is more than enough to casually fill in tank spots as needed…. though main tanking is definitely something I’ll jump in and do if the team ever lost a tank.

I’m happy that I actually enjoy my class.

One feature of WoW that made this all possible is how the gear works. Swapping from Healer to Tank, all I have to do is replace my jewelry. My armor changes main stat when I change specs!

Artifact power is still holding me back a bit. I’m well into Guardian spec, but only 13-15 on my other two. I’m really trying to focus my world quests on AP, hoping to progress enough to catch up.

Tanking is Grrrrrrreat!

I want to give you guys a quick update with where I’m at with my characters in WoW.

Tanking in Legion as a Druid

My Druid reached level 110, and I’ve been bursting through dungeons with relative ease. I feel like as a Druid I am really great at tanking. I definitely take damage, but it’s consistent damage. My health rarely spikes and I have only come near death maybe twice in all of the dungeons I’ve done.

What I like most about the Druid tank is my ability to DPS. I feel like I really pull numbers when groups of mobs are pulled.

My defensive capabilities have proven exceptional thus far. In Halls of Valor someone accidently pulled an entire side of the tavern area, and I was able to hold the entire 10’ish mobs on me and stay pretty much half health or above. Yes, my healer was exceptional (a random PUG), but my self-healing and defensive cooldowns helped a ton.

My iLvL is at 823; just two points away from LFR and Mythic! Wow that went fast. I feel like I geared up way faster than my Hunter, but I’ll credit that toward getting gear above 850 such as my 860 trinket from the world boss this week.

Questing as a Tank: Easy Mode

Tanking and gearing up aren’t the only things easier as a tank. I’m also having a really easy time questing and completing world quests. I can pull 2-3x what my Hunter can take on and come out without a scratch.

Generally speaking, I kill slower than my Hunter. But killing 10 things at once as a Druid means I’m ending up killing more mobs over time, with no chance of death and no downtime.

Suramar, for example, has been a breeze. My Hunter is always having to feign or watch out for something that hits him hard enough to kill him. My Druid just runs in and swipes his way to victory.

Roadmap for Bewear the Druid

As I mentioned before, I’m almost at LFR level. I’m going to keep doing LFR and random heroics (soon Mythics) to gear up… then I think I may actually main my Druid. I think what I’ll actually end up doing is healing in raids with our team to allow more people to DPS. That will probably not be for another week, though.

My Hunter is at 855’ish iLvL. Not bad, and I’ll probably raid with him on Sunday/Monday if my Druid isn’t able to gear up a bit more.