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  • NathanTB
  • Member Since Mar 26th, 2009

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Blizzard announces 2010 Global Writing Contest winners {WoW}

Oct 20th 2010 9:14AM Last year when they did this contest they actually drummed up the ire of the story-writing community with a few things:

-Some very draconian rules about "rights" to the story that essentially said that authors could not re-post them elsewhere despite if they won the contest or not.
-Only posting the full extent of the winning entry, and only putting up excerpts of all the runner-ups/honorable mentions.
-Excluding a number of very large areas from competing by default - for example, I could not submit because I live in Maryland.


They ended up conceding under the pressure and saying that writers were free to post their full stories anywhere, but it is a funny reminder - Blizzard owns everything you write that's vaguely set in the Blizzard-verse. I guess it doesn't matter if you just write for fun, but it really seemed to upset some people at the time.

Breakfast Topic: What you hope survives the cataclysm {WoW}

Nov 4th 2009 9:23AM Stalvan Mistmantle.

Favorite chain ever.

WoW Moviewatch: Ashes to Ashes {WoW}

Oct 19th 2009 1:11PM I loved the video itself. -Especially- that it had no voice acting, as I usually think that's a bad choice to go for. Very cinematic, dreamy type of sequence... makes me want to get into machinima creation myself if I could just find the tools for it.

Unrelated note and nothing to do with the creator of this video (which was quality)... I really hate the Ashen Verdict idea. The Ebon Blade and the Argent Crusade are completely at odds in methods, it really bothers me to think that they've just "found" some mythical middle ground that lets them be led jointly. Their uneasy alliance idea always sat better to me.

Researching virtual economies to learn about real ones {WoW}

Oct 6th 2009 2:24PM I once read a very interesting article for an MMO game then in development that's now largely defunct called Atriarch.

They essentially argued that -all- MMO economies are flawed, because of the nature of the game, and the fact that money does not fluctuate, it simply increases.

If you look at it this way... on day 0 of a server's birth, the total amount of gold that's available in the world is at exactly 0 (imagining a world with no transfers, of course). No players have camped mobs, trained professions, vendored trash. But after the first day and going forward, thousands of players have swarmed the world, killing mobs that magically reappear moments later with fresh supplies of copper that did not exist before. Every second of every day, the total accumulation of gold in WoW is escalating, and the only thing that really curbs it are the occasional massive gold sinks and repair bills, which can easily be recouped by grinding for more gold that didn't exist previously. The supply of gold isn't reduced by the Auction House, it's simply rearranged from one person to the next. As more money exists players charge more for goods, pay more for goods, etc.

The general gist of the article was that Atriarch was going to "solve" this by implementing a finite supply of money in the world, and gradually phasing in more; to basically make the economy exist before players set foot inside.

*shrug* I don't know if I made much sense, but it's pretty clear in my head. Most MMOs I'm aware of - not a good way to observe trends in a real world economy.

All the World's a Stage: How WoW and Warhammer treat RP servers differently {WoW}

Aug 3rd 2009 12:01PM I think there are a couple things Blizzard could do to help RP servers, if they were so inclined (note, I don't think they are). A couple of them I think have been pointed out already.

Reduce the number of RP servers - as it stands right now, every time a new server opens up you get a flood of RPers to that server because their old server has become diluted with non-RPers, which in turn spreads thin the pool on that server.

Have representatives who are specifically versed in the rules and standards for roleplaying servers, whose jobs are to try to moderate those servers. I've read in the past that this is impractical because a) GMs run in a rotating pool specifically to keep them from getting too familiar with certain players/servers and not acting fairly and b) GMs actually generally -dislike- being assigned to roleplay servers because of the sheer quantity of tickets that come in for things like name violations. However, I think that could be substantially limited by...

Placing a lockout on RP servers for 24 - 48 hours from first character creation. Basically, your first toon on an RP server, you can't play them for at least a day. Anybody who legitimately wants to be on an RP server, that isn't a huge deal. I'll just roll an alt and goof off a day. But if you're somebody who's just clicking the first low population server you can find, you're probably not going to wait 24 hours for your new main when a PvE server is just as handy.

More ideas for player housing {WoW}

Jul 24th 2009 2:46PM So here's the Catch-22 of it.

You can't have player/guild housing incorporate features that would depopulate the world on a whole - giving access to, say, portals, mailboxes, banks, etc, regardless of how big a gold sink it is to get them, eventually turns world content empty. Why go to the Stormwind bank when your guild just pooled 30,000 gold to build their own? Blizzard has made a big move towards making content visible, even to people with minimal play time.

But at the same time, I doubt the player base on the whole would be interested in going after housing if there -wasn't- that incentive, something to get out of it, like a quick portal to Dalaran or a bonus to your stats. Think about it, honestly. As average-Joe-non-RPing-player... would you be interested in pouring time and money into something with absolutely no benefit? Guessing randomly, I'd say maybe 20% of the player base would stick with it after the initial release, unless Blizzard gave so much customization control that it became a game into itself. The time/reward ratio is not favorable - Blizzard would be spending months programming a feature that either makes their old content useless, or is little more than a novelty.

Somebody else made an awesome suggestion though - in-game player/guild ships, be they airships or just normal sailing vessels. Let's even take it one step further - a custom city. In the expansion, each race gets its own bare island on a grid, Sims style. Players or guilds commit their gold, and can pick out of a collection of building/unit choices. In the Northeast corner of Hordes and Caicos, player X has bought a watchtower, accessible by any player. Guild L, Z & Y have pooled together and purchased a flight path. To control overcrowding and keep it active, there can be world combat - the Alliance island launches random attacks, wipes out 30% of the land, players get a marginal refund through the Goblin-underwritten insurance policy, and start to build up again. Or random world events - you know that Naga attack is coming eventually, but you just don't know when or where!

All the World's a Stage: Guild themes {WoW}

Jul 20th 2009 9:36AM You know, I can't say that this article in itself, which I read as "different roleplaying guilds have different themes and you should find the one that's right for you!" was really much more than a bit of an exercise in the obvious...

But it makes me think that a great recurring article for wow.com would be a series of profiles on the RP servers themselves, not just general concepts of the act of roleplaying. Active guild bios, server events, off-realm resources... it could be very handy for people who are looking for a guide on a server to start with, transfer to, etc.

Obviously, you can't expect the wow.com writing staff to play on all RP servers to the point that they're personally familiar with the atmosphere of that server, but I think with reader input it could be very useful - I know there are a few people on Thorium Brotherhood right now who are actively trying to compile guild listings, I'm sure most of the Cliff notes you'd need could be received very quickly. Maybe start with one server you know, then pick the next one and at the end of the article ask for feedback specifically on that server.

The only downside I could see, really, is the inevitable deluge of comments bashing a server from anyone with a grudge about their experience, eh?

WoW Moviewatch: Valley of the Damned, Episode 01: Forbidden {WoW}

Jun 10th 2009 4:24PM I have a question - is there a working version of WoW Map Viewer that someone can link me to? I'm interested in trying my hand at machinima creation, and while I guess it could be as simple as logging in and trying to find an empty area, if I want to do it, I'd love to be able to do it with the tools that people whose work I admire use.

Ask a Lore Nerd: Holy Warriors {WoW}

May 12th 2009 1:14PM So this inspired a question from me.

What -is- the Light, really? Is it a sentient entity, or is it basically just another type of emotionless mana pool like Frost or Arcane, where the power can be manipulated by any user, as long as they have the discipline necessary? Are Elune, and to a lesser extent the Earthmother, the Loas, etc. really different entities or sources of power entirely, or are they the same thing viewed through the eyes of different races with their own unique creation myths associated?

It might diminish my chance of being replied to if I answer my own question, but I'll throw out my theory for the sounding board. I adhere to the emotionless mana pool/multiple creation myths for one source of power philosophy. What that means, in my mind, is that anybody who had the proper training and discipline could effectively control the powers of the Light. For example - Arthas. In WC3, Arthas makes decisions that one might consider morally indefensible well before he actually loses his power over the Light. Is this because the Light decided not to forsake him for an extended period, or simply because he maintained enough control that he could still use the Light, until finally he lost his grip completely as his discipline laxed? Ditto for the Scarlet Crusade.

Ask a Lore Nerd: Holy Warriors {WoW}

May 12th 2009 12:49PM I might be completely off the mark on this...

But how about this - other races generally don't have Paladins-in-name, because Paladins are a social construct of humanity? In the aftermath of a devastating war with another looming on the horizon, some human Priests decided that they needed to train in the art of war, to become more rounded and useful to their race. They engaged in a specific regimen of training under a specific ideology, and when they decided they were done, they were something that hadn't been called as such before.

Other races don't have many Paladins because Paladins embody a cultural development for humanity. If other races find something they admire in that dogma and decide to develop in that way themselves there's nothing stopping them, but it's kind of like that white guy from the Michigan suburbs who goes to the black Southern Baptist church - he stands out. Because he wasn't raised or targeted to be in that atmosphere.

Other races just don't have Paladins because culturally they haven't been brought into the mindset of adhering to the specific rituals and beliefs that would cause them to be considered a Paladin in the Human sense. With that said, does that mean that there aren't individuals of other races who might fit in the typical mold of what could be considered a Paladin? Of course not - the virtues of righteousness, reverence, honor, etc. that Paladinhood espouts are beyond racial lines. Night Elves probably have soldiers who have many of the idealized qualities, but they probably wouldn't consider themselves Paladins because their worship is focused on a different entity (or the same entity under a different name, but that's up to debate).