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Filed under: Polls

WoW in the running for Game of the Decade

2009 is coming to a close, and with it, "the aughts," which means we're about to get flooded with list after list of the best of the decade. It's been a raucous ten years for gaming (some, including me, might call it the best ten years in gaming so far), and Crispy Gamer is the first to step up and try to pick the best games we've seen so far. In their Game of the Decade showdown, World of Warcraft is still in the running, up against Bioware's legendary Knights of the Old Republic RPG, as the latest post has readers trying to pick the final four choices. If you think our game is more deserving than KotOR (note that this isn't the MMO, it's the old RPG with your friendly meatbag hater droid, HK-47), you can vote for WoW over on this page until Tuesday at 6pm.

KotOR is a great game, but as a decade-defining game, I'd have to think WoW will pull that one off. After that, though, there's some tough competition: BioShock and Half-Life 2 are up against each other, Halo and Left 4 Dead are facing off in another bracket, and Super Smash Brothers Melee and Shadow of the Colossus (which I guess I need to go play now) are the challengers in the third. I have to say -- as a "Game of the Decade," BioShock and Half-Life 2 are definitely in competition, but if you want to pick a game which has really defined both the online and casual gaming movements of the last ten years? We'll have to see what the readers choose, but I'd have to think World of Warcraft is your game.

[ via BlizzPlanet and kyleorl ]

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

Breakfast Topic: Did you meet your Brewfest goals?


Brewfest was over. It was fun. It was extended. But now it's gone.

I was able to get my Brewmaster title this year and caught it on video. I also enjoyed a couple of events with the It came from the Blog guild. Because we had Achievements this year, I find that the event was more fun than previously. But now I must admit that I'm Brewfested out.

Were you able to accomplish all of your Brewfest goals? Did Coren give you the gear you wanted? Answer our poll below and then tell us your goals and challenges in the comments.
Did you meet your Brewfest 2009 goals?
I am a Brewmaster and got all the gear I wanted.5368 (34.8%)
I am happy with my Brewfest gear, but did not get Brewmaster.1802 (11.7%)
I am Brewmaster, but nothing good dropped for me.3606 (23.4%)
I fail at Brewfest.2196 (14.2%)
Brewfest fails (I didn't participate.)2466 (16.0%)

Filed under: Polls, Events, Breakfast Topics, Achievements

Conclusions from the WoW.com faction transfer survey


Last week I posted a poll to try and figure out some of the numbers behind the newly implemented faction transfers, and now that we've got quite a few votes in there, it's probably a time to look at what we got and see if we can make any sense of it. The most conclusive data there is the answer above: about 18.6% of our reader polled said that yes, they had made a faction transfer already. That sounds high to me -- maybe it's because WoW.com readers know about the faction transfer service that more of them may have taken advantage of it. But if it's true that 19% of players did take advantage of the transfer service, then 570,000 of the around 3 million US players have switched factions, making Blizzard $17.1 million in gross revenue alone, just in the last week since it's opened.

The other questions were a little hairier -- I tried to ask people not to answer if they didn't fit the criteria for each question, and there's no way to tell for sure that's what happened. Also, lots of people wanted to see the answers without voting, and unfortunately, our voting system doesn't allow a clear way to do that (I have since checked with our tech guys, who say that the solution we came up with, voting without choosing an answer, did not affect the poll). But after the break, we can try to suss some conclusions out of the data anyway.

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Polls, Realm Status, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Cataclysm

Survey: Figuring out the faction transfer numbers


I've been thinking about this ever since the faction changes went live: obviously, Blizzard will never actually release the numbers on how many server transfers or faction changes they do, just because they are notoriously guarded about the information they release, not least because riots are pretty easy to incite on the forums (imagine the reaction if Blizzard officially said that Alliance was the more popular faction). But I wonder nevertheless: how many players have transferred their characters over from one faction to another already? And lots of people seem to think that the vast majority of transfers are Alliance to Horde (not to mention I've heard many anecdotal stories of people flooding back to the Horde), but is that true?

Obviously, we don't have access to all of Blizzard's audience, and our polls are definitely much less scientific than the data Blizzard gets to look at (you better believe they're tracking transfers and faction and race choices with a close eye, just as they're tracking server populations 24/7), but just for the heck of it, we'll ask. After the break, we've got a few polls designed to give us a very general look at how transfers are playing out so far. There's a lot of anecdotal experiences flying around since transfers went live, but I'd like to know, a little more objectively, just how things are panning out.

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Realm Status, Blizzard, Factions, Cataclysm

Did you finish the Fire Festival?


That hot time of the year, the Midsummer Fire Festival, has now ended. Once again the denizens of Azeroth go about their humdrum lives without any brilliant fires and spirited naked flame-ladies dancing to and fro on the bridges of Ironforge. Life is boring. The Ice Stone Has Melted.

But alas, not for I and my tabard! After a good half day of solid grinding I trekked my Paladin throughout the dunes of Kalimdor and the lush forests of the Eastern Kingdom, extinguishing the flames of the bastard Horde and honoring those of the blessed Alliance. All was done well, so say we all.

It didn't take long though for me to realize that I didn't want to do this on more than my main. However I found myself exerting as much discipline as possible to finish the dailies every day on my dual boxing Recruit a Friend alts, pulling in about 50% of a level each day just from the daily quests alone. It was quite a nice XP bump.

All in all I accomplished with the Fire Festival I wanted to, and it wasn't too bad of a time. Although I can definitely wait a year to extinguish another flame.

Did you accomplish everything you wanted to with the Fire Festival? Are you satisfied?
Did you finish the Fire Festival?
Yes, I did everything I wanted with the Fire Festival.7585 (63.2%)
No, there were still things left for me to do!4422 (36.8%)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Achievements

Returning to Azeroth the long way around

Ethic at Kill Ten Rats has a post up about something that a lot of you have probably been through: more and more I'm hearing about people returning to the game. I've been playing ever since I signed up a few years ago, but that's really only because I'm writing about it -- I'm pretty ADD when it comes to games, so left on my own, I probably would have walked away from WoW a long time ago. But Blizzard is really good at bringing players back by tweaking the game in exactly the way they woud like. I feel like if I had left, I would have definitely come back in for a while, if not with Burning Crusade than definitely with Wrath.

Of course, Ethic's issues aren't really with deciding to return or not: he's having more issues actually trying to get his old accounts back. There's a laundry list of rules and limits to contend with, between dealing with having or not having the expansions, the limits on the Scroll of Resurrection program and the trial accounts, and dodging all of Blizzard's various limits on how to start and use new accounts to the game. Man -- if I had left and was planning on coming back, and I read Ethic's post, I might not even bother.

But quite a few people have come back, and I'd guess that even though there are confusing things about trying to find your way back into the game, a good number of you have done it. I'd like to know, so here's a poll: how many of you have left and come back, and how many times?

Have you returned to the game?
Nope, been here since the beginning.3191 (37.5%)
Left and never looked back!302 (3.6%)
Left once, back for now.2205 (25.9%)
I've quit twice so far.1382 (16.3%)
I've quit more than twice and keep coming back for more!1424 (16.7%)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Are patches too fast, too furious?


Content patches have been coming rather quickly as of late. With the exception of the long-awaited Patch 3.1, which only felt long because Naxxramas was ridiculously easy, Blizzard has been throwing a salvo of patches our way in a fast and furious fashion. In fact, Blizzard has been relatively quick to issue hotfixes and minor patches these days when they notice this or that class rising above others. Death Knights were an exception but that can be explained away by the newness of the class.

But compared the the old pace, it seems as though Blizzard is delivering content faster than ever. Zarhym has even uncharacteristically told a poster "your presumed time lines are way too inflated," when the poster speculated that 3.2 won't be out until the end of the year and Icecrown released around May of 2010. I'm actually quite confident that Blizzard will announce the next expansion during BlizzCon, if not a release date. So while a lot of top guilds have cleared Ulduar and are working on hard modes and completing them, there's strong evidence that a majority of the player base is just getting started with the whole thing. What's your take on Blizzard's patch production policy?

What do you think of the pace of patches in Wrath?
They're too fast, we haven't even cleared Naxxramas!2451 (21.6%)
They're too slow, we've already got Algalon on farm.795 (7.0%)
Pretty fast, but we're catching up on everything.3711 (32.7%)
Slower than we'd like, but at least we've got dailies.1283 (11.3%)
Just about right. We're just clearing Ulduar now.3103 (27.4%)

Filed under: Patches, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Choose my adventure with WoW.com profiles

We're all still slaving away on WoW.com, finding bugs and filing feedback. To help that process along, we're going to try a little experiment. I'm going to level a character from level 1 to level 80, and all of it will be documented on my WoW.com profile. The hook is that you guys are going to decide most aspects of this character, such as race, class, and talent spec.

Such things will be determined largely via polls right here on the front page of WoW.com, where I'll be giving weekly updates on my progress along with what I've learned about the class and the world and any other observations I might have. If you want a little more detail on the process such as where I'm going, what I've done, and any other little notes I make via the Adventurer's Note feature, you can follow that on my profile. If you don't dig our profiles portion of the site, hey, no problem. You'll still get weekly updates right here on the blog until I'm level 80.

There are two polls: Race and Class. I will play whichever choices are the most popular. If the chosen race can't actually be the chosen class, I'm going to go with whatever is the most popular class that I can actually play as that race. The polls are below, and there's a little more information behind the cut underneath them.

Update: Polls will remain open so those who voted can still see the results, but as of May 22nd, Gnome Warlock won the polls and the adventures have begun.
What race should I play?
Orc1525 (8.7%)
Tauren1955 (11.1%)
Troll1804 (10.3%)
Forsaken1963 (11.2%)
Blood Elf1880 (10.7%)
Draenei1903 (10.8%)
Human1435 (8.2%)
Dwarf1255 (7.1%)
Gnome2373 (13.5%)
Night Elf1485 (8.4%)

What class should I play?
Warlock2326 (13.3%)
Mage1730 (9.9%)
Priest1771 (10.1%)
Druid1735 (9.9%)
Shaman2526 (14.4%)
Rogue1874 (10.7%)
Warrior1993 (11.4%)
Paladin2064 (11.8%)
Hunter1508 (8.6%)

Read more →

Filed under: Polls, Features, Leveling, Classes

Breakfast Topic: How far into the content are you?


I hit level 80 after only finishing a handful of quest zones in Northrend. Since then I've been running Heroics and dabbling in Naxx raiding. But this week I decided to go back to solo questing for a bit and started the much-loved Sons of Hodir introductory quest line. Now, I see what everyone is talking about. It's a quest chain not to be missed.

While I was questing away in Icecrown, I had some guildies running Ulduar 25, others running Outland 5-mans, a few in Battlegrounds and a low level alt or two stuck in the old world. And this got me thinking, just how far are you, gentle readers, into WoW? Are you slow and steady, experiencing all it has to offer? Or are you downing Freya on your 6th level 80? Cast your vote below.
How far into WoW are you?
On my first character leveling in the old world.496 (2.3%)
Leveling through Outland.414 (1.9%)
Leveling through Northrend.1203 (5.5%)
Running Heroics in Northrend.1871 (8.5%)
Running in 10-man raids in Northrend.3886 (17.7%)
Running in 25-man raids in Northrend.9693 (44.2%)
Working on an alt.2604 (11.9%)
Left the game, but still read the site!1760 (8.0%)

Clearly I can't cover every option in this simple poll, so if one of these choices doesn't explain your situation adequately, cast your vote by leaving a comment below.

Filed under: Polls, Breakfast Topics

Martin Fury: What would you have done?

Everyone is in a furor over the Martin Fury/Karatechop controversy -- and we've had a few requests already to poll you guys on exactly what you think about it, so here you go. The story, as we've ascertained, is that Karatechop got the item by way of a low-level guildie (who'd been receiving items after he'd had his account hacked), "didn't even contemplate a ticket," and had the guildie bring the item into normal Ulduar with him. They downed Ignis with it, and after that proceeded out of the instance, flipped it to Heroic, and used the item thirteen more times, completing even some world first hard modes with it.

So the question is: what would you have done? Lots of players say they wouldn't have touched it, and that it was clearly an item they shouldn't have had. Others say that Karatechop and his guild did what anyone would have done -- it was Blizzard's mistake and they were just taking advantage of it. We'd like to know, so here's a poll: what would you have done if Martin Fury showed up in your mailbox?

What would you have done with Martin Fury?
Not touched it at all, it's not my item4626 (16.7%)
Played around with it a bit, maybe killing mobs a few times in the overworld7991 (28.8%)
Saved it for future use, in Icecrown or elsewhere2781 (10.0%)
Headed straight for PvP and rocked Wintergrasp3168 (11.4%)
What Karatechop did: rolled through progression content9202 (33.1%)


Of course, Karatechop eventually got banned for what he did, but answer that question under the premise that he didn't necessarily know that at the time. And there's another question here: lots of players say that they are surprised Karatechop and his guild didn't open a GM ticket right away -- clearly Blizzard didn't mean to send him the item, and he should have contacted them to get it back. But others aren't so sure. The second question is: no matter what you did with the item, would you have told the GMs about it?

Would you have opened a ticket when you saw the item?
Yes12219 (48.6%)
No12910 (51.4%)

Filed under: Items, Polls, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Poll For The Day: Which class does Blizzard hate the most?

The patch 3.1 changes have not been sitting well with some players. Death Knights are up in arms about their nerfs, and Mages are feeling as rejected as ever.

And Warlocks? Who plays those anymore. I received a free level 70 Death Knight in exchange for deleting mine. True story.

All kidding aside, I personally don't think Blizzard has it out for any one class. But I know that many in the community don't share my feelings. And while nerfs are never personal (aka, Ghostcrawler doesn't say "That damn Holisky, just because he posted this article we're going to nerf Shamans!"), they are often taken quite personal by the player base.

So for today's important poll (all polls are important after all): what class does Blizzard hate the most?

What class does Blizzard hate the most?
Death Kngihts1145 (3.6%)
Druids2169 (6.9%)
Hunters2528 (8.0%)
Mages4291 (13.6%)
Paladins2728 (8.7%)
Priests2083 (6.6%)
Rogues3227 (10.2%)
Shamans3609 (11.4%)
Warlocks6255 (19.8%)
Warriors3493 (11.1%)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion

Guessing on the patch 3.1 release

bridges_squares wants to know, and we're getting really, really close, so let's finally go out on that limb, shaky as it may be: when's the patch coming out? Turpster predicted it would be this past Tuesday on the WoW Insider Show last week (since Noblegarden and the equipment manager got delayed, he figured they wanted to hurry for a release), but obviously no dice on that one. And on the other end of things, April 26th is the date we're told Noblegarden will start, so it's a pretty good guess we'll see the patch by then.

If you follow that line of reasoning, that just leaves the next two Tuesdays, April 14th and 21st. And since we had rolling restarts last week, it seems like maintenance this week will bring us the patch on Tuesday, the 14th. But of course there are other factors in here: the PTR should go down before the patch comes up, and since the PTR it still up, we be waiting until the 21st. Also, just because Blizzard said Noblegarden on the 26th doesn't mean they won't delay it again, so we may still see the patch on the 28th or after that. And Tuesdays are usually when the live realms get patched (Fridays are usually when the patch the PTR, in my experience), but technically they could do it anytime, right?

So let's do a poll. I'm going to go with Tuesday the 21st (since there's no sign of the PTR going down yet), but when do you think patch 3.1 will drop? And no, "when it's ready" is not an option -- we'll just assume (hopefully correctly) Blizzard will make sure of that anyway.

When will patch 3.1 get released to the live realms?
April 14th5668 (34.7%)
April 21st7401 (45.4%)
Sometime the week of 4/12 - 4/18, but not on a Tuesday301 (1.8%)
Sometime the week of 4/19 - 4/25, but not on a Tuesday379 (2.3%)
April 28th or after that2562 (15.7%)

Filed under: Patches, Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

Relic beats Activision-Blizzard in developer showdown

Here's an update, albeit slightly unexpected, from The Escapist's big "March Mayhem" tournament that we reported on a little while ago. They were pitting Relic Entertainment up against Activision-Blizzard in a developer vote-down, and apparently, after a tie and a little ballot box stuffing, Relic, not Blizzard, has emerged out on top. Quite an upset in a number of ways -- Relic was seeded #12 in the bracket, and Activision-Blizzard was seeded as number one (the bracket also included Harmonix, Infinity Ward, and another big MMO developer, Mythic). In fact, Relic also went on to beat Harmonix, and is now facing Bioware for a spot in the final matchup.

Is it fair to say, then, that the mighty have fallen? Blizzard was (and still is, for the most part) held in high esteem as a developer -- most of the games they've released in their vast history aren't just hits, they're classics. But even commenters here on our site felt that the "Activision" on the front of the dev's name was distasteful: Blizzard's new owners don't demand as much respect as the studio itself does. And Blizzard has definitely changed lately. Some might say that the developer that allowed Diablo 2 players to play for free on Battle.net (which, to be fair, has had its own issues) isn't the same company that's planning to sell Starcraft II three different times.

And let's not forget that, ballot-stuffing or not, Relic has moved on to beat Harmonix, and still has a chance to win it all, so it could just be that they have a much bigger fan following than anyone expected. But does a loss like this mean Blizzard has fallen from their fans' grace?

Has your estimation of Blizzard raised or lowered since they joined up with Activision?
Raised496 (5.0%)
Lowered6207 (62.0%)
About the same3304 (33.0%)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: The titles of Patch 3.1


Patch 3.1 is a hefty content patch that will introduce a massive new raid zone, the Argent Tournament, as well as Arena Season 6. Of course, along with all those are new Achievements and consequently, titles. Some of the titles have been around since the Beta, where the realm's first Level 80 of a particular race was awarded an 'of the <major city>' title. This was widely criticized and Blizzard pulled the titles long before Wrath went live, but are now set to return with the Argent Tournament. Soon, dedicated players can append an affiliation with their favorite racial cities for all to see.

Of course, there are more titles that are coming with the next content patch, and yesterday it was revealed that the titles for the Ulduar versions of Undying and Immortal were going to be Champion of Ulduar and Conqueror of Ulduar respectively. Is it just me or does Champion/Conqueror of Ulduar not have the same 'oomph' as being Immortal or Undying? First of all, Champion and Conqueror are both existing Horde PvP titles, which lessens the impact. Secondly, the cool factor of 'the Immortal' and 'the Undying' are just off the chain as well as being perfectly appropriate for the Achievement.

There are also the Celestial Defender and Death's Demise titles for realm first Algalon and Yogg-Saron kills in their hardest modes. I think those are much cooler, but are about on par with, uh, Magic Seeker. Sometimes, titles just don't roll of the tongue very nicely. We usually ask for your opinion on these, and we're doing the same today for Patch 3.1's batch of titles. In fact, we're putting up a poll to get your take on all the titles of Patch 3.1. Click on a radio button to kick off your day!
What do you think of the new titles in Patch 3.1?
Awesome! I can't wait to become The Conqueror of Ulduar!644 (8.3%)
Champion and Conqueror AGAIN?1725 (22.2%)
I'm pretty happy with the city titles.1737 (22.4%)
The only thing that matters is THE INSANE!3652 (47.1%)

Filed under: Polls, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Did you accomplish what you wanted during the Love festival?

For better or worse, the Love is in the Air festival is over. Though there was much wringing of hands over the drop rate of the Bags of Candies, the location of Red Roses and enforced hour downtime between Pledge looting, many players managed to procure the title "Love Fool." Others are busily scribbling hate mail to Blizzard about how they are never going to get their Violet proto-drake because of this. (Pro tip: We're not Blizzard so please don't send it to us. Really. No, really.)

I managed to snag my title early Sunday evening after finally getting my last candy heart and then shamelessly /shouting in front of the Ironforge Auction House to mend broken hearts. This is the first festival I've achieved a title though I can't tell you why I chose this one. Probably because there was no PvP involved. Which will take me out of the running for the Children's Week achievement that involves no less than 2 PvP activities.

Enough about me. Did you get what you wanted out this event?
Did you feel the Love?
Yes - got everything done I wanted to3194 (25.0%)
Yes - but I wish I had more time1813 (14.2%)
No - I tried, but couldn't accomplish everything3404 (26.6%)
No - It was a disaster and should have never gone live1461 (11.4%)
I don't bother with such things as seasonal events when there is much killing to be done!2918 (22.8%)

Filed under: Polls, Events, Breakfast Topics, Achievements

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