fifa15guide – Ronda Rousey Says She Played World of Warcraft With Vin Diesel

Ronda Rousey on Conan

Rejoice, nerds: The blood elf rogue you’re raiding with in World of Warcraft could, in fact, be famed MMA fighter and noted babe Ronda Rousey.


On Conan last night, Rousey opened up about her WoW habit. It wasn’t a stretch from her 19-year-long Pokemon hobby, she said. At first, she started off as a night elf hunter. Later, none other than Vin Diesel suggested that she switch to a Rogue. This is our reality.

“Every night after filming [Furious 7],” Rousey remembered, “we’d go over to his place and set up computers on other sides of the room and be like, ‘Okay, we’re gonna go to this dungeon.’”

We already knew Ronda Rousey played World of Warcraft. In February, Rousey was featured in a UFC “Embedded” video in which she shows off her WoW character. “On my off days, I’ll play World of Warcraft and drink coffee and hang out with my dog,” she says, perfect and endearing. Be our friend.

(In 2014, Diesel posted a video of himself playing WoW but has not been outspoken about the game.)


Rousey mused to Conan that, on WoW, people don’t know who she is. So she could have “genuine interactions with people, and they’re nice just because.”

Conan, for his part, had no idea what Rousey was talking about, continuing his method act of being totally oblivious about video games. Have you checked out Kotaku dot com, man?

World of Warcraft Guild Forgets To Screenshot Raid Boss Kill, Starts Drawing Them In MS Paint on fifa15guide

When European World of Warcraft guild Wiping with Enthusiasm missed capturing a screen of its Elerethe Renferal kill during the Mythic Emerald Nightmare raid, their guild leader started documenting their progress using MS Paint. And that is how art is born.


Looking through the comments on Kordusain’s Reddit post showing off Wiping’s non-wiping moments, capturing key World of Warcraft moments using the world’s most advanced stick figure drawing program is something of a tradition. That said, the Street Fighter flair added to Wiping’s raid paintings lends the work a flair others lack.

Plus, Paint offers a level of detail and explanation that screenshots lack.

Wiping with Enthusiasm completed the Emerald Nightmare on Mythic difficulty this week, so the series draws to a close, the vile lord Xavius falling to what looks like a Raging Demon Hunter.

Hopefully the trend continues on whatever adventure Wiping goes on next. They’ve finally got me interested in raiding, if only for the pictures.

fifa15guide – The Best Esports Plays Of 2016

In 2016, esports experienced even more highs and lows than the previous year. That’s what it means to be growing. But while the industry surrounding competitive gaming continues to expand on the backs of enthusiastic investors and hype-men, it’s important not to forget why anyone actually watches it in the first place: the people playing are really damn good.


Beyond the pageantry and rivalries, the shout-casters and sponsors, the reason esports exist at all is because putting top talent into tense situations where it feels like everything is on the line turns out to be a magnificent way to bring out the best in competitive games. Unexpected triumphs, brilliantly orchestrated defeats, all combine to add an extra layer of drama and artistry to games that would otherwise feel hollow and incomplete.

With that in mind, here’s our selection for some of the best plays in professional gaming we witnessed in 2016.


Blizzard’s collectible card game has always been criticized for the outsized roll that RNG (random number generation) can sometimes seem to play in pivotal games. But those moments of unexpected good fortune (or bad if you’re on the receiving end) are also part of what make the game so exciting to watch. Without that added bit of surprise, Hearthstone wouldn’t quite be a card game anymore. One of those moments occurred during the quarterfinals of the Hearthstone World Championship. Pavel “Pavel” Beltukov, who would go on to win the tournament, seemed to be spinning his wheels against William “Amnesiac” Barton in the latter part of game six. But just when his opponent seemed ready to send Pavel packing, a scene straight out of Maverick occurred.


He drew Babbling Book, a card that summons a random spell, and one which in this case just happened to grant Pavel the perfect spell to completely turn the game around: Polymorph. With it, the young Russian was able to neutralize the biggest threat on the board and effectively reset the game in his favor. The kicker? Babbling Brook was one card in particular that Amnesiac had decided not to include in his own otherwise very similar deck build, meaning it took some foresight and planning on Pavel’s part to induce fortune to smile upon him.

Rocket League

In only the second ever Rocket League World Championship, FlipSid3 Tactics placed first after a series of great plays from both sides. But nothing they pulled off managed to come anywhere close to some of NRG’s finer moments. In a two-strike combination play that left many people’s jaws on the floor, SadJunior and Jacob connected for a moment of pure brilliance during the first game between the two teams. What looks like one player coming up to block the other’s shot is actually a coordinated effort by one teammate to redirect the other’s shot at the last second to make it practically impossible to block.


While the teams for the Overwatch World Cup were mixed between pro players and popular streamers, the event was still one of the game’s biggest to-date, taking place at BlizzCon 2016 in a year that has in many respects belonged to Blizzard’s latest hero-based FPS. And South Korea, the team that went on to win the tournament, did not disappoint. Their dominance culminated in a lopsided grand finals that left Russia choking on their opponents’ fumes. Even among champions, however, it was Won Hyoup “ArHaN” Jeong’s Genji who was star of the show. In perhaps his most stunning play of the tournament, ArHaN linked up with an ultimate from his teamamate’s Zarya to completely obliterate the U.S. in match two of the quarterfinals. Beyond just individual skill and strategic awareness, Overwatch is a game about linking up with teammates to unleash deadly combos, something that’s hard enough in 2D mobas like Dota 2 and League of Legends, let alone the complex 3D environments perceived in limited first-person views.

StarCraft II

This year ByuN Hyun Woo became the first team-less player to win the South Korean StarCraft league. He did so against a series of great opponents, including across five matches in the grand finals vs. Kim “sOs” Yoo Jin. StarCraft is not nearly as prone to big moments as other esports. Known for champions who excel in part by being able to out-click and out micro-manage their opponents, Blizzard’s long-running real-time strategy game is about accumulating small advantages over time and then combining them to overwhelm the opponent. However, in a series of four spectacular games after conceding the first to SoS, ByuN showed early-game skirmishes around the edges of players’ bases could be as tense as any other competitive video game. By game four, after scarecly five minutes had passed, ByuN was already imposing himself upon SoS with a Liberator that managed to wrack up eight kills before being shutdown, all while repelling his opponent’s attempt at a counter-attack.

Smash Bros. Melee

Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma, arguably the best Melee player in the world for 2016, almost didn’t win this year’s EVO. His Swedish rival, Adam “Armada” Lindgren, looked to be on his way to maintaining his status as #1. But then Hungrybox came from behind to win the first set in a dramatic finish that paved the way for his eventual victory. Nintendo’s Melee is quick and technical, but moments like the one at the end of the first set’s fifth match show just how elegant it can appear when all the pieces fall into place. On the brink of death, Hungrbox manages to land a six-hit combo in the span of a few seconds that sends Armada flying off the stage. You can see from his reaction immediately afterwards that even Hungrybox can’t believe what he just managed to pull off.

Watch the health meter in the top right.

World of WarCraft

Competetive World of Warcraft PVP doesn’t always get a lot of attention, but the grand finals at this year’s BlizzCon were really something to see. In a stellar seven game series that could have seen either team go on to win it all, it ended up being Splyce who took home the trophy. That was thanks to tremendous plays, including healer Simon “Boetar” Heink who manged to escape death more than once. Positioning obstacles between himself and the enemy team, Boetar managed to hold on for dear life thanks to slim margins that, after all the numbers were crunched, went ever so slightly in his favor, allowing Splyce to rally and counter-attack for the win.

Street Fighter V

Before Du “NuckleDu” Dang become the first American to win the Capcom Cup tournament for Street Fighter, he was fighting his heart out in the Capcom Pro Tour’s North America Regional Finals. His determination and recent form carried him all the way to the tournament’s grand finals to face one of the “five gods” in the Japanese Street Fighter scene: Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi. NuckleDu seemed to have Tokido’s number the entire series, but especially in the fourth game of the first set, the young American appeared to be playing the game a split second ahead of his opponent. NuckleDu closed out match with grace, nearly breaking Tokido’s guard in the process. Moments later, desperate to create something, Tokido attempted to go on the offensive only to be countered with a jump uppercut into a Guile’s Special Attack.

League of Legends

There were a lot of great games at this year’s Worlds Championship, but nothing that quite that the simplicity of Kim “PraY” Jong-in’s arrow in the semifinals on the side of ROX Tigers against the eventual champions, SK Telecom T1. A blind Ashe Arrow fired at 32:37 somehow finds SKT’s Duke, striking the player and preventing him from teleporting back to defend his team’s base. ROX won the game, and despite losing the series, managed one of the most stunning (literally) wins in the entire tournament.

Dota 2

This year had a lot of great Dota 2 matches, but nothing can overshadow what occurred at the end of game three of the grand finals of Ad Finum vs. OG. In a marathon of a game that went on for over 75 minutes, it was a few seconds of daring, in a match full of gutsy moves, that helped the all Greek team stop the grand finals from being a blow-out. The match ended when one of AD Finem’s players traipsed into the enemy base using an invisibility buff to evade detection. Thanks to Earthshaker’s attack bonuses, it was just enough to secure victory for the underdogs. While it was not the best Dota 2 play this year in terms of technical execution or skill, it was hands-down the most breathtaking.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Olkesandr “S1mple” Kostyliev is one of CS:GO’s best players, and even if he hadn’t gone and gotten it tattooed on his body, S1mple’s stunning no-scope double-kill against Fnatic during the ESL One Cologne major would have been an easy choice. Falling down from a platform on de_Cache like Neo straight out of the Matrix, the young Ukrainian managed to drop his opponents with casual ease, as if he’d Groundhog Day-ed the entire moment a million times before. It was on the back of clutch plays like this one that Team Liquid was able to survive the Swedish opposition and go on to become the first North American team to make it to the finals of a major CS:GO tournament.

This list is long but could have been even longer. Be sure to add your picks for esports plays of the year in the comments below.

A Brand-New Unofficial Vanilla World Of Warcraft Server Launches This Saturday –

Having successfully resurrected the popular Nostalrius vanilla World of Warcraft servers following last year’s Blizzard shutdown, Project Elysium gives players a chance to take a fresh stab at old school player-versus-player with a brand new vanilla PVP server. It’s going to be so crowded.


World of Warcraft has come a long way since it launched back in 2004, and while plenty of players are happy with the latest official developments from Blizzard, many feel that the game was at its best during the first couple of years, back when things were much more difficult and complicated. When Blizzard shut down Project Nostalrius in April of 2016, the popular free-to-play vanilla fan servers had some 150,000 active users spread between two servers.

After Blizzcon 2016 came and went without a Blizzard announcement about official vanilla servers, Project Elysium brought the two Nostalrius servers back, and now it’s expanding. Saturday, January 7 marks the launch of the Elysium PVP server, a completely fresh start for folks who enjoy their leveling with a side of getting ganked. The server is scheduled to go live at noon Eastern time on Saturday, after which point the project’s ability to handle a massive influx of players will be put to the test.

The free-to-play fan servers are definitely not Blizzard-sanctioned, so play at your own risk. Knowing that a shutdown notice could come at any time is part of the excitement.

Check out the Project Elysium website (via Eurogamer) for info on what you’ll need to do in order to play some old school World of Warcraft this weekend.

World Of Warcraft Now Has A Secret Cow Level –

The cow level has been ensconced in gaming lore since the hoary old days of Diablo, when it was a ridiculous rumor, and Diablo II, when Blizzard gave it life. It’s a gag that evolved into a rallying cry, a reminder of good times long-passed. Now, as part of Diablo’s 20th anniversary, it’s been added to World of Warcraft.


According to players on the WoW subreddit, reaching the cow level involves killing treasure goblins throughout the Broken Isles. Here’s what it looks like, courtesy of Wowhead:

Cows! If you can’t watch the video, rest assured that they’re everywhere, mooing and dying, as cows do.

Killing the Cow King will get you a twelve-string guitar item that plays the Tristam theme from Diablo. If your nerdy youth was spent in the warm, sporadically moo-ing embrace of Blizzard games like mine, you probably just got embarrassingly excited about a glorified button that plays an MP3 file.


Seriously, though, who kills the Cow King? The event runs until January 11.

fifa15guide – Eric Bailly hopes to play with Victor Lindelof at Manchester United

Jose Mourinho is frustrated that Eric Bailly will miss the West Ham match to be in camp with the Ivory Coast on time.

Eric Bailly said he’d relish the chance to play alongside of Victor Lindelof at Manchester United should the club make a move to bring the defender in from Benfica during the winter window.

Lindelof, 22, was linked with a move to Old Trafford in December, with sources at the club saying they hoped to fast-track a move for the Sweden international.

However, Jose Mourinho said he isn’t panicking to make a January purchase to offset the loss of Bailly while he’s away on international duty with the Ivory Coast at the African Nations Cup.

“I hope to play with him. Hopefully he will help us,” he told Fotbollskanalen in Abu Dhabi after the Ivory Coast’s fightback 2-1 win against Sweden in a pre-ANC friendly.

“He is a very good player. He has great qualities and will certainly do well if he comes to us.”

Man United defender Eric Bailly said Benfica’s Victor Lindelof would be a welcome addition at Old Trafford.

Bailly admits the possible arrival of Lindelof would add to competition for first-choice places in the United back line, but thinks it’s ultimately a win for the club to land another young talent.

He said: “We have many good central defenders — Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones — but I hope I get to play with Lindelof.

“I don’t have a guaranteed place and I know I have to be good to play. We’re all fighting to play. I think we have done well. We have done our best.

“The day we get to play, if it comes, we must take advantage of that opportunity. I think we would fit well together.”

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha — making his Ivory Coast bow — assisted on the winning goal against Sweden, while Bailly watched on from the bench ahead of their tournament opener against Togo on Jan. 16.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

fifa15guide | FIFA expected to approve expanded, more lucrative World Cup on Tuesday

The FC panel weigh the pros and cons of an expanded World Cup as FIFA prepares to finalise a 48-team format for 2026.
With FIFA set to decide the fate of future World Cups in January, the FC crew voice their concerns about a 48-team format.

FIFA is set to make the World Cup bigger and richer, even if the price to pay is lower-quality football.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino hopes his ruling council will agree on Tuesday to expand the 2026 World Cup to 48 nations, playing in 16 groups of three teams.

A decision could be delayed if some council members demand to know exactly how many qualifying places each continent will get before agreeing to scrap the 32-team format. The current format has been successful, popular and profitable since 1998 and is locked in for the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar.

The prize of 16 extra places, with the biggest increases to Africa and Asia, has “overwhelming” support from FIFA’s 211 member federations, Infantino has said.

The promise of extra funding from FIFA could be secured by an expected 20 percent rise in rights fees paid by broadcasters and sponsors.

“Financially, the 48-team format is the most appealing or successful simply because the sporting element is prevailing and every match is important,” Infantino said two weeks ago. “The decision should not be financially driven, neither in terms of revenue or costs … but the driver should really be the development of football and boosting football all over the world.”

World Cup champion Germany are not in favour. They argued that diluting the number of European and South American teams — which have won all 20 titles since the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930 — could “strengthen the imbalance” seen at some tournaments.

“The [German football federation] fundamentally believe that the current 32-team format is the best option,” president Reinhard Grindel said last week. Germany have no delegate at Tuesday’s meeting, though Grindel is set to join the FIFA Council in May.

FIFA acknowledged the risk of lower standards in a research document sent to members last month, as first reported by The Associated Press.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is hoping his ruling council will agree to expand the 2026 World Cup to 48 teams.

The “absolute quality” of football, defined by high-ranked teams playing each other most often, is achieved by 32 teams, FIFA said, citing 10,000 tournament simulations made to reach that conclusion.

Still, before Infantino’s election last February, he promised voters more World Cup places and increased funding.

FIFA expects $5.5 billion in income tied to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, though 25 of 34 sponsorship slots are unsold. The research document predicted the equivalent of $6.5 billion in revenue from a 48-team tournament in a “16×3” format, which would send two teams from each group to a new round of 32 knockout bracket.

All 80 matches would play in an exclusive time slot. Currently, 64 World Cup matches have 56 broadcast slots because the eight four-team groups play their last matches simultaneously.

FIFA predicts organising costs for 16×3 rising from $2 billion to $2.3 billion, giving a potential profit rise of $640 million.

Though a 16×3 World Cup would still need a maximum of 12 stadiums, the demand for 16 more top-quality training camps and hotels suggests FIFA would look for 2026 hosts with existing capacity.

A North American bid from two or three of the United States, Canada and Mexico is currently favoured in a contest that could start within weeks.

Five options are open Tuesday, including staying with 32 teams.

Infantino campaigned last year on a 40-team promise, in either eight groups of five teams or 10 groups of four teams. Neither impressed voters in recent regional meetings of FIFA member federations.

When the FIFA leader first proposed 48 teams, it included an opening playoff round. The 16 winners would join 16 seeded teams in a traditional 32-team group stage.

FIFA members disliked “one-and-done” teams going home before the “real” World Cup kicks off. It would also stretch to a 39-day event with more short-notice travel for fans.

Africa and Asia could be the big winners, and FIFA hopes new teams would include another Iceland, Wales and Costa Rica — overachieving teams and feel-good stories at recent tournaments.

Still, hapless Tahiti was outclassed at the 2013 Confederations Cup, conceding 24 goals in three games.

“The goal of expanding the FIFA World Cup,” it has told members, “is to further advance the vision to promote the game of football, protect its integrity and bring the game to all.”

Folka Part 3 –

Part 3 of this exciting short story from Nika Harper is now live!

The bear within Bolverk had awoken and he lumbered through the cold forest, hands and feet digging into the icy soil. The rites spoke of primal living, of natural existence, and shouldering the cruelty of desperation. Living at all costs was what mattered. Bears were built to withstand the harshest and worst winters, to flourish in the verdant summers. They could sleep through the cold months if the land had been kindly, but Bolverk shared the winter nights and days with the less fortunate and more hardened kind. His kind.

The rites of the berserk were strict and secret. Every few years, or any time as desired, they reconnected with the ursine spirit within them through trial and distance. Bolverk was wrong to keep any thoughts in his mind, wrong to use words in any capacity, but ever so rarely they crept back in.

The Ravens were temporarily absent of their captain. To what would Bolverk return?

Back to the woods, if all was gone. The Ravens were motley and not of his creed, nor of his capability. A finer bunch he could never find, but no fellowship among them. Bolverk was not the man to create it. He did not nurture, he enforced. The wind bit at his shoulder, an aching twinge from the scabbed arrow wound, making the cold feel deeper. That foolish girl. He broke the rites when he spoke to her. He should have chased her where she stood. That was the true way.

More land passed beneath his legs. Walk on until varl instincts were left behind.

Brigands held no interest to him, their presence only spoke of trouble elsewhere in the civilized world. Bears do not pick fights when there is naught to gain. Bolverk stayed high in his tree, watching the thin-skinned ones communicate and trek so inefficiently through the cold. Bears do not bother with talk, and Bolverk did his best to keep his ears full of the forest and not words.

But words crept in.

“Aye, the only smoke we’ve seen for days.”

“Across an entire valley, and we’re supposed to trust it?”

“Rotten yox stew is not as satisfying as it once was,” they bickered back and forth.

“Whether a camp or a home, our packs will be filled.”

To think, bears were the ones noted as savages.

Their talk grew distant as the sun hit peak in the sky. Off to make waste of their own kind. A putrid thing, civilization, rotting in its own juices.

A gust stung his cheek, his shoulder prickled with the fresh memory of the arrow. Unlikely it was the girl’s homestead that was the target of the brigands. They were a shoddy sort in any case. If she was any evidence, her family was a strong clan and would benefit from the supplies they gathered from the lowlives headed towards them.

The wind bit his new scar. He leapt down from the tree, cushioned by the crisp snow.

A bear does not use words, just instinct. Bolverk’s arms and legs followed the path cleared by shuffling human feet. He pushed out thoughts and followed the scent of battle towards a distant smudge of smoke on the side of the valley.

Folka Part 3 -

Folka Part 4 –

The finale of this shot story series about Folka from Nika Harper


Folka heard the yox’s long moan outside and sighed. It had a tendency to free itself from the barn and yowl, trapped in the cold. Yox are not intelligent, and this one was nearly as old a family member as herself. Her boots were conveniently by the door and she trudged into the dim night.


Though, it was not as it seemed. Immediately Folka was aware that she was weaponless as she watched her yox get dragged through the crunchy snow. There must have been three thieves, their shadows barely visible in the night, and sounds from the barn suggested more. Folka had nothing with which to attack, but that’s never stopped a lumberer from fighting. Though the preference was strategy, she had learned to be resourceful. This would not be the first time it saved her.


Without even a grunt, she ran toward the stolen animal, eyes searching for something to grab and swing. The figures had stopped shuffling away and stood ready, when—


An enormous bulk dashed into them first, bowling into the mass and leaving deep gashes in the ice-crusted snow. It was impossible to tell the ruckus from itself, all screams and growls and the yox’s wails. Folka did not slow her pace, but leapt into the fray, twisting the first arm she saw and releasing leathery reins from its grip. It was mayhem and the yox reared back, the yoke catching a brigand in the gut and Folka in the face. Her blood joined the others in the moonlight, splattering on a sword she wrenched away from the wielder, hearing the pop of his wrist breaking under her force.


The barn was not in great repair before the night began, and Folka saw the shadow just before the roof crashed down by her side. Groaning, the rest of the structure could not hold as remaining brigands slammed open the doors and fled.

The white beast was upon them in an instant. Wood creaked, snapped, and the walls folded forward, toppling around the struggling figures. Dropping everything, Folka reached out her arms to stop a falling door–

And slammed it onto the outstretched heel of a brigand, causing him to drop his sword mid-thrust. Reactively, she hefted the barn door and crashed it to the ground, sending a flimsy buckler skidding across the ground. At her side, the white creature kept its stance ready to charge. But there was no longer anything to fight.


A trail of blood, dragged limbs and ripped clothing signaled the departure of the thieves, faster than Folka could bother to chase them, fast as it all began. She dropped the door deep into the snow and pushed past the beast to reclaim her yox, but death had claimed it first. Damned shame. The bear-varl, panting and familiar, was looking at her, then his eyes searched the glowing, empty windows of the house. His voice was hoarse as she remembered, the voice of an animal. “Where is your family?”

“I am all my family.”

The night smelled like pine and iron.


He huffed into his beard, “Your nose is broken.”

Folka held his stare, “I didn’t notice.”

The bear-man stood, taller than the home in which she lived, “You pretend to be so strong.”

“Why would I pretend? What would I pretend for? The trees don’t care. The sky does not care. I bring down the forest whether it believes me or not.”

She felt she owed him no thanks nor explanation. His appearance was a boon, but it did not save her yox nor her livelihood. At least there was good meat to be had, and she would get another animal somehow.

He stretched his arms and tossed a tightly-bound leather package to her feet. Folka didn’t need to open it, she had made it herself. It contained a cloth and salve, but she had no intention of using it, just as he had not. Folka had fought her brigands with a broken nose, and did not find it as difficult as the town stories said.

The land was frozen around them, so the yox would keep until morning until she was ready to prepare the meat. But dinner was on, and the warmth of the house beckoned her. Gathering an extra log for the fire, she walked back to the open door of the house. The bear-man had not moved, still surveying the night that held no other disturbance. He looked feral and fearsome, but something in him had placed him there. The gods may be dead, but their work was ever an enigma.

“I’ll finish cooking the stew,” she called out the door, “don’t leave the door open long.”


Folka walked back into her modest family home, remembering how many people it once held around the table, remembering the ordinary sound of living. A hulking shadow appeared at the door and for the first time in a year, she fetched two plates for the table.


Folka Part 4 -