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Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories


Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
The World outside Warcraft
Blizzard's fantasy title World of Warcraft is everywhere these days, perhaps the only title to really pierce the veil between MMOs and mainstream media. For some massively multiplayer online gamers, WoW is the end-all be-all of titles out there. Can over 11 million people be wrong?
Is World of Warcraft a religion?
Just when you thought you had heard it all, MMO gamers are now being called religious zealots. According to Theo Zijderveld, a grad student at the University of Colorado, gamers who experience online worlds "like World of Warcraft and Second Life" are doing so to transcend their physical bodies and "realize a new identity in cyberspace".
Scott Jennings puts a cap on the whole "Fixing MMOs" thing
Tom Chick pointed out five things that are broken with MMOs (interesting because he doesn't really like MMOs). Scott Jennings responded by saying not all MMOs are WoW. Tim Dean then supported Tom's original statements, offering ten ways to fix MMOs.
WAR population numbers revealed, but what do they mean?
When Mythic Entertainment released Warhammer Online on September 18, 2008, it quickly became the fastest selling MMORPG ever. A month after release, they announced WAR had registered 750,000 players and people were buzzing that it may actually make a noticeable dent in World of Warcraft's armor. But as the expression goes: good things usually don't last.
Official Champions DevBlog: Design Director Bill Roper on Storytelling
If you're interested in following the insights straight from the team make sure to follow our very own Champions Developer blogger, who will be doing the honors of posting your bi-weekly dose of DevBlog goodness.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories


Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
Is World of Warcraft a religion?
Just when you thought you had heard it all, MMO gamers are now being called religious zealots. According to Theo Zijderveld, a grad student at the University of Colorado, gamers who experience online worlds "like World of Warcraft and Second Life" are doing so to transcend their physical bodies and "realize a new identity in cyberspace".
Other hero classes were considered for World of Warcraft expansion
The latest official podcast of World of Warcraft, BlizzCast Episode 7, features talk about a wide range of topics in the context of Wrath, but one thing that stands out is Brack's mention of hero classes, and the difficulty in narrowing down to one hero class for release from a pool of 29 hero classes that were complete.
The Lich King's casual decree: No geek left behind?
Sean "Gamers with Jobs" Sands, a self-described casual gamer, claims that he and 10 million or so other casual gamers have achieved what competing MMORPGs have so far been unable to; they ruined World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft makes up half of Activision/Blizzard's earnings
What really makes their bottom-line work, though, is apparently the mightiest MMO on the planet. According to an analyst at the firm, World of Warcraft is backing a full half of the company's stock price. That is, above and beyond the actual revenue the game pulls down the game is responsible for $400 million of the company's share price.
Mythic announces the first live expansion to Warhammer Online!
Massively.com recently had the chance to speak with Warhammer Online Executive Producer Jeff Hickman. Mr. Hickman laid out for us the much anticipated 'bombshell' news for their PvP-focused MMO: an entire expansion being released over the next few months as live events.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories


Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
TNT's Leverage is 'For the Horde'
I love Leverage. The show is appealing on a number of levels, but the producers obviously know the demographic one of its characters attracts. The man in the snazzy suit above is Aldis Hodge, playing the part of Alec Hardison - resident geek and computer/technology expert. And, apparently, a member of World of Warcraft's Horde.
The Lich King's casual decree: No geek left behind?
Has Blizzard has adopted a "No Geek Left Behind" policy with WotLK? Has Blizzard made WoW so easy that it has diminished any real sense of risk, reward, or adventure? The casuals are left without any sense of awe inspired by the unattainable and the hardcores will burn through the content so quickly Blizzard may find it difficult to keep up with them.
The race to 80 in Wrath of the Lich King analyzed
The dust has had time to settle over Azeroth since the launch of World of Warcraft's latest expansion Wrath of the Lich King, and most semi-active players who stick to a main character will probably have hit the new level cap of 80.
Behind the Curtain: What keeps you going?
This week, I have been mostly killing Baron Rivendare. I'm now sitting with 65 kills under my belt, with no Deathcharger to show for it. We are not amused, and are now convinced that Blizzard hates us. Precious. Sss.
SOE unveils more on its free-to-play WoW Killer
Join us as we talk about their Diablo-style combat, their deep pet system, the role of innovation in 'kiddie' games, and a bit about their extensive collections system. We'll even get a sense of when Beta for this novel project will begin! Read on through below the cut for the full details.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories


Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
Azeroth shall not be contained to two dimensions
Yes, that's right, now you too can wear goofy glasses in front of your PC monitor and feel as if the whole world of Azeroth is jumping out from the screen and into your computer room, all thanks to NVIDIA.
GamerDNA and Massively offer up Death Knight data goodness
Back in October, we ran a couple of articles that gave you a snapshot of the kind of person who played the various classes in World of Warcraft. Now that the Death Knight class has been out for nearly three whole months, we figure the flavor of the month kids have had their turn at bat, and the real fans of the new class are settled in.
The Digital Continuum: Checking in with Warhammer Online
It's been a while since Warhammer Online was released and in that time we've seen a lot of crazy stuff happen. Namely, Wrath of the Lich King launched, became the fastest selling PC game of all time and rocketed World of Warcraft into an even high number of subscriptions.
Know Your LotRO Lore: The Race of Man
If you've been following along with Know Your LotRO Lore for the last few weeks, you're probably caught up with a basic understanding of how Middle-earth was created, and the origins of most of the Free Peoples. Now it's time to get educated on the race of Man in Middle-earth. Of course this term is not gender-specific, as it can refer to both male and female humankind.
First Impressions: Cartoon Network's Fusion Fall
Cartoon Network's MMO, FusionFall, is definitely a strong first entry into the market. With the Cartoon Network stars as the basis for their IP, and many industry names involved in the project, the hopes have been high. The story is set in a future version of Cartoon Network's own variant of Earth, where the characters are now teenagers - and a bit more anime-styled than their counterparts we know from TV. The premise is that Planet Fusion, a big nasty greenish planet-devouring ball of space-muck run by a terribad guy named Fuse, has come to snack on our beloved home.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories


Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
GamerDNA and Massively offer up Death Knight data goodness
The sample for today's column is a little more than 500 people, all of whom were active WOW players before the launch, and now continue to actively play their Death Knight. "Actively" as measured by playing sessions – just having one of the new class in the character list isn't enough to count here. Read on to see how the Arthas' legions stack up!
'Beat World of Warcraft' a game developer resolution for 2009
GameDaily has put together a short piece titled "Game Developers Resolutions for 2009", which is essentially a look at the state of the industry and how they think it can improve. While the piece focuses on video games in general, it does fire a shot at the MMO industry specifically -- namely its dominance by one company, and one title.
Analyzing WoW's growth by the numbers
When you get down to the nitty gritty numbers, World of Warcraft's growth has stayed fairly consistent over the last three years or so. This of course is after the initial boom in 2005, and thanks mostly to a continued schedule of expansions the last two years. But where will it go from here?
Class balance in a post-WotLK World of Warcraft
Class balance is always a touchy subject, depending on the class a person plays. But WoWRIOT has put together an impressive look a class balance in a post-WotLK World of Warcraft. After looking through much of the post, we're pretty impressed with its accuracy and overall take on current class balance, especially as it pertains to arena and PvP.
World of Warcraft tops most played list of 2008
Nielsen Research has published its January through October numbers about the top 10 PC games and top 10 consoles by amount of time played. Once again World of Warcraft tops the charts. In fact, WoW has more time played than the other nine titles listed - combined.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories


Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
Massively's picks for the best of 2008
Massively doesn't hand out awards. We're not the Oscars, we're not the Emmys. What we are, though, is a bunch of opinionated MMO bloggers. Like it or hate it, 2008 was an enormous year for our favorite genre of games. We took a poll among the staff of the site, taking stock of an entire year in gaming. What follows are our picks for the best, the most surprising, the games that we just can't wait to play.
The WoW vs. WAR debate makes Top 10 list of video game rage
Alec Meer of Rock, Paper, Shotgun recently put a new twist on the 'top 10' lists that are cropping up at year's end -- a sort of top ten of gaming rage as expressed on the intertubes. Much of this list is focused on single-player titles and the industry itself, but Meer's 'Orc vs Orc' (#8 on the list) caught our attention.
Fill out your "WoW Code" to show your Azeroth pride
If you've ever woken up in the morning and said to yourself, "Gee, I'd like to appear nerdier today," then do we have the story for you! Scare your real life friends and confuse even the staunchest gaming nerd. Use "WoW Code" in your forum signature!
Player Consequences: Movie Magic and MMOs
Video games have quickly grown into one of the most popular forms of entertainment in this day in age. Almost everyone under eighteen plays them and developers are getting better at making games that appeal to older generations. Still, there are other forms of media that enjoy more mainstream awareness.
Behind the Curtain: Multiple MMOs
Is one MMO ever enough? Lots of people play more than one MMO. Among the staff here at Massively, you would be hard pressed to find a writer with only one active subscription. Ever the exception however, I am a one-game kind of guy.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories


Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
Employers screening WoW players during recruitment?
Would you consider your MMO-gaming habits to be detrimental to your performance as an employee? Lucky for us, we here at Massively are kind of expected to be invested in the MMO world, but it seems that it may be best to keep your playing a secret when looking for other lines of work.
FCC Commissioner blames WoW for college drop-outs
According to FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, online game addiction - namely World of Warcraft - is "one of the top reasons for college drop-outs." And here I was thinking it had something to do with decreased funding for education or lowered standards for college admission.
The Digital Continuum: Microtransaction stigma
There's been a lot of news about microtransactions this week, and because of that I felt it was as good a time as any to discuss the topic. Are they good or bad, useful or useless and are they really the future of the MMO industry?
Raph Koster on whether torture in videogames is evil
Debate over what is considered 'right' and 'wrong' in terms of behavior in a videogame has become commonplace in recent years. Virtually any mass media commentary on the myriad evils of Grand Theft Auto or the 'Debbie Does Dallas in Space' view of Mass Effect drives this point home.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories

Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
MMOGology: Can Wrath keep us entertained?
My World of Warcraft guild is fairly casual - so why do we already have level 80s? Despite our relatively casual nature, five of our members hit 80 just two weeks after Wrath of the Lich King's release. There's already talk of running Naxxramas in the not too distant future (perhaps next Sunday A.D.). I know that's not record speed, but holy crap!
The New York Times logs back in to World of Warcraft
The online gaming industry -- actually, the world -- has been changed by World of Warcraft. The game has become a cultural phenomenon played by 11 million people, so it's gotten quite a bit of mainstream media attention -- that is to say, it's not just a geek thing.
Wrath of the Lich King breaks all previous records at GameStop
We weren't kidding when we said Wrath of the Lich King would be the biggest MMO expansion the industry has ever seen. This is reaffirmed in a recent article at Ars Technica written by Ben Kuchera, who writes, "This isn't a game as much as it's a juggernaut of money-making power..."
Blizzard deal with in-game ad firm does not mean ads for WoW
Despite a recent multi-year partnership between Massive Inc and Activision/Blizzard, the in-game advertising firm will not be adding in-game advertising to our favorite games. "Massive understands and respects our stance against advertising that might detract from gameplay or offend our players," stated Blizzard COO Paul Sams.
SOE launches Station Cash microtransaction system in EQ and EQII
Sony has announced that Station Cash is now available in EverQuest and EverQuest II. Station Cash is the SOE microtransaction platform allowing players to purchase in-game items from the virtual marketplace for real currency.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories

Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
Bartle calls Blizzard out on torture quest in Wrath of the Lich King
Richard Bartle, co-creator of the first multi-user dungeon MUD, has expressed his displeasure with Blizzard over a Wrath of the Lich King quest -- titled, "The Art of Persuasion" -- that involves the torture of a character for information.
Richard Bartle responds to "torture quest" issue
A few days ago we ran a report on Richard Bartle's take on a torture quest in World of Warcraft, the Art of Persuasion. Since then, the discussion has exploded and some have taken Bartle's quotes out of context. Because of this, Bartle has created a follow-up post to clarify some of the points that may have been misinterpreted.
World of Warcraft Molten Core raid for ATARI becomes reality
Earlier this year, Blizzard won the prank wars with Molten Core, a faux ATARI game based on World of Warcraft's Molten Core raid complete with eight directions of movement, glorious 2D graphics and, yes, sound. We bet you thought that was just a joke, and that everyone would have forgotten about it after a week had gone by, but guess what? It's back, and this time it's real!
The Digital Continuum: Moria or Wrath?
Standing in the tiny store, I found myself at a crossroads. I'd put a lot of thought into this, but now that the decision was starting back at me, it seemed much more daunting. The question kept repeating in my head, "Do I buy Wrath, or Moria?"
Comparing the expansion launches for WoW, EQ2, and LotRO
GamerDNA is doing its level best to answer these sort of weighty questions by datamining the heck out of their userbase. We have some hard-and-fast metrics, as a result, exploring these exact issues.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features

Last Week on Massively: WoW-related stories

Our sister site Massively covers many different angles of the MMO universe - it's not all just World of Warcraft over there. Which is not to say we don't love WoW! Our weekly roundup will try to give you a look at the best WoW-related content on Massively from the last week. You can click on the links below or subscribe to a special WoW-only Massively feed to follow our ongoing coverage of your favorite game.
Behind the Curtain: Why we play World of Warcraft
There's never a bad time to take a look behind you and examine your past. This is as true for MMOs as it is for anything else in life. With Wrath of the Lich King now up and running, we at Massively were wondering about some of the reason people have stuck with the game thus far.
Massively Speaking Podcast Episode 32
Massively Speaking Episode 32 works through a heaping helping of Wrath-related discussion, as more World of Warcraft conversation is had in the span of 50 minutes than really should be possible.
Numbers support players returning to World of Warcraft
Following the flood of numbers, our friends over at GamerDNA have just come out with their own Wrath reports, based on their member data from anywhere between a few days to a few months before Wrath's launch. As expected, there was an increase in the number of returning players, out to experience all that Wrath has to offer.
Massively checks in on The Agency with Lead Designer Hal Milton
Join us as we talk over the current state of The Agency's development with the animated and always-interesting lead designer Hal Milton. Hal shares with us a bit of insight into what they're currently working on, give us a few fun facts to chew on, and makes us actually look forward to next year's summer con season. We didn't think anything could do that. Spy social engineering at work!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Features