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What's taking the Battlecry mosaic so long?

When the World of Warcraft Anniversary mini-site was unveiled last November, one of its features was a photo-mosaic dubbed the Battlecry which would unlock little art goodies each time a certain milestone was reached. The Battlecry mosaic called for player submissions to submit their pictures with a logo of their favored faction, with a modest goal of 20,000 player-submitted pictures in order to reveal the final artwork created specially for the event.

It's come along rather smoothly, and some really cool player pictures have been submitted, with the seeming abundance of Horde-aligned pictures prompting us to ask where the Alliance pride was. But what really surprises me is how long the whole project is taking. When the site was launched, one of the first questions that actually ran through my head was how long it would take to fill up the whole mosaic. With over ten million active players, you'd think getting to 20,000 would be easy. Out of ten million, that's like a drop in a bucket. But after almost two months of the site being active, we're still only at 32% of the goal. Why?

The slow start might be attributed to the fact that submissions need to have the minimum resolution of 1024x768 pixels, a requirement inadvertently left out of the site in the first few days. Many of the first submissions might not have made the cut, and players who already submitted images that didn't conform to the minimum resolution might not have known and didn't bother to submit again. Another possible barrier might be the need to include a Horde or Alliance symbol -- the site originally suggests that players print out files of the logos which could be downloaded from the Battlecry page. Players without their own printers might've hit a snag, although a quick look through the submissions show that most players found creative ways to include their respective faction logos, either through an image editor such as Photoshop or actual items such as a J!NX shirt or paint on a car.

It's also very likely that the submissions are screened to prevent any unsavory pictures making their way to the mosaic, although the presence of multiple identical photos tends to counter that. One of the problems with submitting to the mosaic is the uploader sometimes doesn't inform the submitter if the file went through successfully, sometimes prompting multiple submissions (which make their way to the gallery). These little hiccups aside, we've still only got a little under 6,500 out of 20,000 submissions in this contest.

Considering the Warcraft Twitter account has over 68,000 followers and their Facebook account has amassed over 93,000 fans in just one month, I find it rather disappointing to see that a mere six thousand people have submitted to the Battlecry mosaic. Is submitting a picture really that difficult? Are players finding it hard to include a Horde or Alliance logo in their pictures? Could it be that players aren't comfortable sharing pictures of themselves? Or is Blizzard taking longer feeding the player submissions through their photo mosaic software?

Whatever the case, I'm personally disappointed that it's only at 32% of the 20,000 goal considering the number of players who supposedly play the game. With the mosaic barely a third of the way done after nearly two months, this might mean we'll only get to see the rest of the artwork by April or May. That's no fun at all. The mosaic is likely to be the complete and fully-lit painting of the background image in the Battlecry page, which depicts Varian Wrynn, Thrall, and what appears to be the various faction leaders. From the visible painting of Thrall and Varian, one can guess that the whole artwork is possibly another masterpiece by Son of the Storm Glenn Rane. How can players resist unveiling all that awesomeness?

Have you submitted your player picture to the Battlecry mosaic? Do you plan to? Given the speed of things, it looks like the mosaic needs all the help it can get, although another batch of submissions have come in featuring players over the holidays. One of the coolest things about this project for me is getting to see all the different kinds of players who play this game from all over the world from all walks of life. I'm particularly amused with the fact that Chinese players even have a distinct fingerprint logo on their submissions. Let's do our part to reveal that artwork. Download the Horde or Alliance logos on the Battlecry page and let your own battle cry be heard!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

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