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Filed under: Interviews

15 Minutes of Fame: So an Irish tauren walked into a pub ...

15 Minutes of Fame An Irish tauren went into a pub
How does Battlefield Barrens and the Siege of Orgrimmar relate to 12th-century Irish history? You'd have to ask Allen Tatman, energetic GM of Ná Clan Cáilte on Blackwater Raiders (US-Horde) and owner of Paddy Malone's Irish Pub in Jefferson City, Mo. The enthusiastic WoW fan has managed to cross-pollinate his Irish heritage with his passion for World of Warcraft and his Irish-flavored business. His enthusiasm has lured patrons and employees alike to Azeroth and steered fascinated Americans to Ireland on his guided Wylde Irish Tours. His imaginings about his tauren character have evolved into a full-fledged novel, and he's already toying with ideas for a prequel.

But back to the connections between Siege of Orgrimmar and Irish history -- how does that all work? We'll let Allen Tatman tell the tale amidst his own (something for which the Irish are renowned, after all).

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Fitness Plus WoW: Companies seek new ways to market to the gaming community

The worlds of fitness and gaming haven't always been thought of as a natural fit. But with gaming now solidly dug into the adult demographic, we can crunch contentedly on our Cheetos without fear of silly stereotypes. We're not shocked to be called in with an alt to fill in for the off tank, who's dialing back for a couple of weeks before running in his next 10K. We're not surprised to learn that a guildmate is a high school soccer player, a 45-year-old yoga teacher, or an active duty soldier who whips out beastly chin-up sets alongside beastly DPS.

Being a fit gamer may no longer be an eyebrow-raising novelty, but gamers haven't exactly become a prime target for fitness company marketing. Yet fitness and gaming have gone hand in hand so long for one WoW player that he's managed to nab a sponsorship from a fitness company anxious to tap into the gaming community. Bodybuilder and WoW player Bajheera of Darkspear (US) is pumped up at the prospect of connecting with his growing YouTube audience about not only gaming but fitness as well. "Merging fitness and gaming on the channel is natural for me," he explained to WoW Insider. "I am definitely encouraging gamers to get active and interested in fitness and am doing my best to encourage fitness-related companies like my sponsor Cellucor ... to reach out to gamers looking to incorporate fitness into their lives. So I am definitely interested in cross-promotion and have been making an effort to bring the fitness and gaming together."

Bajheera reports that the twist is building a surprisingly positive response. "[The company] is excited about what they've seen so far and are planning on marketing campaigns/products intended for gamers," he notes. Will we see this sort of cross-genre marketing more frequently in the future? Bajheera spots us through some insights.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

School's in session at in-game Lore-ytime with Lessons in Lore

School is in session! No, we're not trying to plant the seeds of pre-Halloween nightmares featuring Darkmaster Gandling in your poor, Scholomance-addled brain. We're actually inviting you to come learn about the lore of Azeroth right inside the game itself. With comedy. Yes, it's a thing!

Gather 'round with other lore fans at weekly Lore-ytime sessions by Lessons in Lore, a wry retelling of some of WoW's great stories created by a spunky husband-wife team on Earthen Ring (US-Horde). The team earned their chops with their irreverent and frequently musical presentations at Dragon Con, but you might recognize Chad and Megan more readily as NPCs: Warden Chadrick and Watcher Megana on the Timeless Isle.

Watcher Megana says:


Can you believe this place? There's so much to learn and discover! I'm going to fill up books and books with all my findings here.

But it's just so much information, I don't know how anyone could possibly read through it all. Chadrik thought we could write it up as a song, but that's silly...right?


Players click:

A song?


Watcher Megana replies:


Yes! A song about the lore and all the lessons we can learn from it all. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

But...we're still working on it. Chadrik seems easily distracted lately. Is there something on my tabard?

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

A day in the life of Blizzard Historian Sean Copeland

A day in the life of Blizzard Historian Sean Copeland
If you've spent any time at all on the Timeless Isle, you may have noted and even completed the daily lore quiz from NPC Senior Historian Evelyna, a member of the Timewalkers who is accompanied by Historian Llore and Historian Ju'pa. What you may not have known is that these NPCs represent three invaluable members of the Blizzard Creative Development team: Senior Historian Evelyn Fredericksen, Historian Justin Parker, and Historian Sean Copeland. Together, the three represent a powerhouse of encyclopedic knowledge from each of Blizzard's franchises.

That's all well and good, but what exactly does a Historian at Blizzard do with their day? What does being a Historian entail, and what do they do with all that knowledge they've crammed in their brains? The folks over at Blizzard Entertainment were kind enough to let us find out. Read on as we pick the brain of Historian Sean Copeland about lore, historians, and the unusual job of keeping track of all things Blizzard.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews

Ability Powered gnome builds resource node for disabled gamers

Ability Powered gnome builds resource node for disabled gamers
Sometimes the news tips themselves hit the nail right on the head:

She's known by many on our realm as Short but her character is Azraela. She has been guild leader of Quel'Dorei's Realm first level 25 guild since she founded it in BC.

Why I'd like to nominate her has nothing to do with guild leading though. She's disabled like others you have covered before, and like past stories, it doesn't stop her from raiding, PvP, or any other part of the game.

What impresses me about Short is her concern for other disabled gamers. She recently started a YouTube channel called AbilityPowered where she covers tips on making WoW highly accessible. I asked her about it one day and found out since she started raiding not only is she disabled but she had raid-led colorblind, deaf and hearing-impaired raiders. She said she's had to adjust raiding assignments to make anyone with impairments more successful for years and is hoping it'll help other gamers do the same. I think she's pretty special.


Promising lead? After checking out Ability Powered Gaming, we'd have to agree -– this is one inspiration-powered lady. A resource node for disabled gamers that's matter-of-factly sprung from a welcoming guild intended for one and all ... Meet crusader for disabled gamers, community leader, and Ability-Powered gnome Short/Azraela.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW Insider talks 5.4 with 3D artist Fanny Vergne-Vicente

WoW Insider talks 54 with 3D artist Fanny VergneVicente
Patch 5.4 is here, and those that aren't gallivanting around the Timeless Isle have likely already taken their first steps into the Siege of Orgrimmar. The boss fights are exciting enough on their own, not to mention the awesome loot waiting to be found in the depths of the newest raid. But what many players don't think so much about is the raid itself. I'm not talking about the bosses or the mechanics of the encounter, but the actual bits and pieces that make up the space in which we're destroying all those new bad guys.

We've had plenty of developer interviews leading up to patch 5.4, but Blizzard was kind enough to give us an interview of a different sort. 3D artist Fanny Vergne-Vicente is one of the many artists at Blizzard that helped put together the Siege of Orgrimmar raid from the ground up, designing textures for everything you'll see while you're merrily murdering Garrosh -- the walls, floors, spikes, and everything else that makes the encounter come to life. We had a brief chat with Fanny about just what a 3D artist at Blizzard does, and what it was like bringing the Siege of Orgrimmar to life.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews

15 Minutes of Fame Followup: Coming to terms with a self-confessed WoW addiction

It's been just over a year and a half since student filmmaker Anthony Rosner released IRL, a short film documenting the inexorable slide into the throes of a World of Warcraft fixation that nearly derailed his life. His tale of falling head first into Azeroth only to triumphantly fight his way back to a thriving lifestyle and university degree has garnered more than a million views via YouTube, film festivals, TV, and the internet. This month, Rosner has released IRL 2.0: In Moderation, a retelling of his experience that brings viewers back to the place where it all started: Azeroth –- in more moderate doses.

Rosner's creative light shines more brightly than ever here on the far side of his journey through a hobby that for some players can become a suffocating influence. The skills and experience Rosner acquired in film school sparkle in this more polished presentation. Since WoW players will be checking out IRL 2.0 this week as it makes the rounds on the internet, we reopened our conversation with Rosner to find out what's changed since we last touched base and how he and Azeroth have finally managed to come to terms.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Player sweeps all three Stranglethorn Fishing winning spots in one day

Hunter sweeps all three Stranglethorn Fishing winning spots in one day
Relatively few WoW players will ever experience the alignment of timing and luck required to nab a win at the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. Contestants vie for only three prize-winning places that award a handful of coveted items including unique fishing trinkets and baubles and an experience-boosting account-bound ring. The weekly tournament tests anglers' efficiency and resolve with a race to the turn-in in neutral Booty Bay. Particularly on a PvP realm, a win can be less about catching 40 Speckled Tastyfish than surviving the combat on the way to turn them in.

So it was a great surprise to everyone involved when early this summer, Nirad of The Underbog (US-PvP) snagged not only first place in the tourney but also second place and then third as well -- all in a single day. "The contest wasn't a ghost town event," Nirad says. "I was killed once and had to avoid seven or eight Horde. I fished around Yojamba Isle and Grom' gol Base Camp, as well as inland. I set my hearthstone to the inn and teleported in all three times. I stealthed to hand in the quests all three times, as there were 5 or 6 horde immediately around the NPC you hand in the quests to. Later I heard that a number of Horde were also at the entrance to the tunnel heading into the city to keep people from running in."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

TradeChat interviews Dave Kosak

Panser of TradeChat has posted the video of her interview with WoW Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak about what's to come in patch 5.4. Covered topics include things to look forward to on the Timeless Isle, Wrathion's legendary quest line (including some discussion on the legendary cloaks themselves), the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, flex raiding, proving grounds, and the much-anticipated noodle cart scenario. You can watch it embedded above or head on over to TradeChat's Youtube channel to check it out there. September 10th is only two weeks away, folks!


Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard livestream today at 1:30 pm Pacific time with Legendary

Patch 5.4 is just around the corner and plenty of Blizzard developers are doing the rounds of interviews. Today, at 1:30 pm Pacific time, World of Warcraft's Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas and Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street are going to be on Gamebreaker's Legendary livestream. We'll be watching, so you should, too.

Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Tom Chilton talks mistakes and successes in WoW design

quest tracker in action
In case you hadn't heard, Gamescon is going on over in Germany, and Blizzard has a good chunk of representatives over there giving interviews, showing off Hearthstone, and talking about all kinds of stuff. If you're familiar with Blizzard interviews, one thing that becomes apparent over the years is the way they're willing to talk openly about design decisions that they consider to have been a mistake.

You may remember the furious storm in a teacup that accompanied the statement that the implementation of Arena PvP was, in retrospect, something they regretted. Well, over at PCGamesN they've got a similarly candid interview up with Lead Designer Tom Chilton about the limitations of questing, dailies, and secondary professions.

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Filed under: News items, Interviews

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao
The Burdens of Shaohao, a six-part series released earlier this month, was met with resounding praise across the board from players and devoted lore fans alike. The sweeping tale of the last Emperor of Pandaria was unlike anything we'd ever seen before from Blizzard -- a stunning, gorgeous piece of animated, narrative storytelling featuring artwork by Laurel Austin. While we've seen narrative tales in the form of cinematic-style storytelling, this is the first time we've seen anything of this nature.

We sat down with Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson and the director of Shaohao, Doug Gregory to discuss the piece and how exactly it all came to be. While we were originally supposed to have lead editor Lucas Merino on board as well, he was unable to attend the interview as he and his wife received a special gift shortly after the release of Shaohao -- a healthy baby boy! Despite Lucas' absence, we had a delightful time discussing the film, its development, and the possibility of future projects in the unique style of Shaohao.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

All-pandaren guild rolls its chi into action

Allpandaren guild rolls into action
In today's Mists of Pandaria era, you'd think there would be a pandaren-themed guild on every street corner, especially on roleplay realms. Oddly, that's not the case. Is it that the pandaren haven't captured the imagination of players in the same way other races and classes have, or are players simply more pragmatically focused on personal playstyles and achievements?

Keeping the faith in this time of rugged individualism is Faithful of the Ways, an all-pandaren guild on Emerald Dream (US-Alliance). Coming together just recently, the guild has already fully leveled with players drawn by the idea of honoring the pandaren roots and lore. Support from the realms other RP guilds has helped Faithful of the Ways carry pandaren principles throughout the land.

"The Faithful is one of the few one-race roleplaying guilds on Emerald Dream," says Zhiang Liu, the group's GM. "There has been talk of a lack of open roleplay on the server, and the Faithful serve to counteract that 'hole,' if you would. While we are based in Pandaria, we are primarily roleplaying everywhere we go in Azeroth. We've been to the Blue Recluse, Ironforge, Dalaran. We've even roleplayed in the middle of a raid. It doesn't matter what we do or where we go -- we always seek to turn it into an epic adventure."

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Filed under: Interviews

Patch 5.4, flexible raids, dailies and more with Tom Chilton

Patch 5.4 is nearing completion, and soon we'll see the Siege of Orgrimmar and the fate of Garrosh Hellscream on live servers. But 5.4 has much more to offer than the raid itself -- we'll have plenty of other content to play through as well. Featuring new pets, new mounts, a new raid difficulty and much, much more, patch 5.4 is shaping up to be a substantial addition to an already massive expansion.

We had the opportunity to chat with Lead Game Designer Tom Chilton regarding all of the above, as well as plenty of other topics of contention in regards to both patch 5.4 and Mists of Pandaria as an expansion. Read on to hear what he had to say about Flexible raiding, the upcoming Connected Realms feature, the future of daily quests and the challenges of creating a raid out of a capital city.

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

World-ranked brawler shares secrets of Brawler's Guild success

Persistence pays for worldranked WoW brawler
How do you achieve a #2 world ranking in something without having any idea you're busting through every mark of achievement to set a blistering, world-record pace? You enjoy the process too much to even notice –- at least, that's how things went for champion brawler Lubricatèd of Eredar (US-Horde). The undead assassination rogue's rise to the top of the ranks was built not on a drive to set new records but on a burning desire to own a cool mount.

"I had been trying for the mount from Galleon basically since launch with no luck, so I saw reaching rank 10 as a way that I could earn the mount without having to deal with the low drop chance of Galleon's mount," he explains. "I was already rank 8 with all rare bosses down the afternoon that patch 5.3 went live, so I went directly into the arena and started queuing up for the new fights."

When the dust on the arena floor settled, Lubricatèd had nabbed himself not only that cool mount but also the number two slot in the world for the Brawler's Guild. We chatted with Lubricatèd about his winning strategies, what it was like to discover he'd torn up the charts, and his top tips for players new to the Brawler's Guild.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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