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Posts with tag 2008

All the World's a Stage: 2008, year of the living roleplayer

So there I was, celebrating the New Year, when I realized just how long All the World's a Stage has been around. It's grown from an idea in the back of my head, to a pet project, into a full-fledged resource for roleplayers -- and it's still growing! Even after 68 weeks-worth of content, there's still so much to write about! It goes to show, if there's a topic you love, you should really write about it, because doing so makes you love it even more.

Now, looking back on this year of writing, it strikes me that some things have changed, while other things have stayed the same. Some articles seem just important and relevant to today's concerns as they were when they were written, and many feel like they could use a bit of updating.

Just about a year ago, for instance, All the World's a Stage took a look at "The past, present, and future of roleplaying," which addressed the popular conception at that time that "RP is dead." We don't hear that so much anymore, do we? It seems many of the roleplayers have gradually been shifting around since then, grouping up into small communities on their old servers, or else transferring to a very few realms with a good reputation for roleplaying. Recently, I just transferred over to a new server and was thrilled to see how many roleplayers were hanging around the streets of Dalaran. RP isn't dead at all -- it's just got itself together now instead of being scattered all over everywhere. Congealed, as it were.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Lichborne: The 2008 Death Knight year in review


Welcome to first 2009 installment of Lichborne, the WoW Insider Death Knight column.

Welcome to 2009, which I am, completely arbitrarily, declaring the year of the Death Knight. Sure, Death Knights were first announced back in 2007, but 2008 was when they took shape and showed up in playable form, and 2009 will be the first full year that they've been on the live servers. Let's look back then, at 2008, and see some of the milestones in the creation of my favorite new class and yours.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Totem Talk: 2008, a Shaman Odyssey

Right now, as I type this I'm imagining Conan O'Brien's old "In the Year 2000" bit, which they kept doing way past 2000. This really has nothing to do with the shaman class, except that it's funny to imagine an orc in Earthshatter holding a searing totem to his face and doing it. Hey, it's New Years, I was up late, you're going to have to accept that my already tenuous grip on reality is a trifle frayed today.

2008 was an interesting year for shamans. When we covered 2007 for shamans, the general consensus for the class was that it needed some work. Now, a day into 2009, did it get the work it needed? Wrath of the Lich King has really only been out for over a month, but it (and the patch preceding it) more or less dominated the year for every class, shamans included. However, the year started off with another big content patch which more or less dominated everything up until the release of Wrath, namely Fury of the Sunwell. It's fair to say that most shamans didn't get to raid Sunwell (although they were in demand for Sunwell raiding guilds, which we'll discuss) but almost any shaman who was level 70 could do the various Sunwell dailies, get to exalted and pick up a nice necklace or three as well as various other pieces for your offsets.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Wrath of the Lich King

Encrypted Text: From brute to assassin, 2008 in review

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. In this special edition, we cover the top 10 changes of 2008.

We've been through a lot in 2008. I hit 70 on my current Rogue last January, and so I have paid keen attention to the patch notes and blue posts right alongside many of you. I was excited to reach the level cap on my blood elf; Rogues were at the height of their power. Season 3 and Season 4 of the arena season saw us demolishing every non-healing class in representation. None even dared to consider rivaling a Rogue with a pair of Glaives in any DPS contest.

However, due to Blizzard's hesitance to drastically change any balance issues before WotLK's release, we essentially had one PvE spec (20/41/0 Combat) and one PvP spec (20/0/41 Shadowstep). While there were always Rogues experimenting on the fringe with new specs, 90% of Rogues fell into one of these two buckets.

Both were brute force builds, designed to smash things with very slow maces or swords; and not even very creatively with that. We excelled in the arena due to our mobility and infinite energy pool, we ruled in PvE due to the overbudgeted weapons and leather in the Tier 6 dungeons. There was no finesse, no grace, no elegance outside of flashy moves (like vanishing a Death Coil). We were around to spam Sinister Strike until the boss died and spam Hemorrhage until the Druid finally ran out of mana.

WotLK has fixed all that. Read on as we cover the top 10 changes that helped us move from mindless button smashers into the deadly swans we have become.

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Filed under: Rogue, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text, Wrath of the Lich King

Blood Pact: How the mighty have fallen, 2008 in review


I wasn't kidding the last time I wrote about the decline of Warlocks in the game. It's pretty palpable in major cities like Dalaran, walking around and seeing a glut of Death Knights crowding the mailbox and only the occasional Warlock summoning her Dreadsteed to cruise the cobblestone streets. It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy (or sulfuric and crackly, you know) whenever I read an emote from Necrosis. I think it should be a point of pride. The class has fallen off the radar, and the sad part is -- nobody misses us.

How did we get here, though? What happened between the class' popularity or should I say notoriety, from early this year to now? I mean, 3.0 happened, right? Blizzard buffed the class, with all three specs having a unique feel and playstyle. The class has never been more viable... on paper. I mean, Warlock DPS is competitive in PvE and that's the plain truth. It's a different game now. All classes can DPS in Wrath, and if they're played right, they'll do incredibly well. This means that playing a Warlock is now seriously hard work.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Wrath of the Lich King

Priests: 2008 the year of change

That year flew by really quick, didn't it? Last year, I remember I was working my way through Tempest Keep (Kael'Thas even). 2008 brought in a complete set of additions and changes for the Priest class across all 3 specs.

So, shall we get down to Priest class changes? Ranked in no particular order, we'll go over a few of the changes and the impact they had on the current game.

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Filed under: Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Undead, Trolls, Priest, Draenei, Blood Elves

New Year's Eve in Azeroth tonight


Yes it's the end of another year, and it's time to celebrate! Just in case you're not out and about partying this evening, Azeroth is enjoying New Year's Eve as well, and the good news is that you can drink all you want with no hangover at all! This evening in the capital cities, there'll be kegs and holiday food to eat, and fireworks will light up the sky every hour (starting around 6pm server time, if this year is the same as years past). Plus, all the guards in Booty Bay are taking their annual night off, so there'll be PvP aplenty down there. And there are two quests in the game, one for each faction.

Enjoy the holiday and stay safe, whether you're in the World of Warcraft or elsewhere tonight. From all of us at WoW Insider to all of you, thanks for making 2008 great, and here's to an even better 2009.

Filed under: Events, WoW Insider Business, Virtual selves, Blizzard, PvP, NPCs

Breakfast Topic: The end of 2008

Today is the last day of 2008 and, consequently, the last Breakfast Topic of the year. The biggest thing to happen to World of Warcraft players this year is Wrath of the Lich King. Captain Obvious golfclaps. There were also some monumental patches and WWI and BlizzCon were pretty cool, too. But these were Blizzard's accomplishments. For the last day of the year, let's talk about what we, as players, accomplished and also what we didn't do this year, but wish we had... perhaps to prepare our in-game goals for the next year.

My biggest accomplishment in WoW was discovering the class in which I am having the most fun ever since playing the game in open beta: the Mage. I only wish I had discovered how much I love playing her much sooner, so that I could be farther along in the content on what is my new favorite character. Instead, I am 2 years behind, hanging out in the Outland with all the Death Knights.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Breakfast Topics

World of Warcraft's top five political contributions of 2008


With World of Warcraft having the combined worldwide population of a small country, and the combined US population of a small state, people have been finding various ways to infuse their politics into the game. This can only be seen as a natural occurrence – people will naturally want to bring their out of game ideals into the game to express themselves.

We've covered various politically and socially minded groups in the past here and there. And with the end of the political season we've seen an increase in the number of political expressions in WoW.

Let's take a look back at the top five politically and socially relevant WoW thing-a-ma-jigs on the net in 2008.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

Year-ending WoW Insider Show live this afternoon


Our podcast will be live once again this afternoon (3:30 pm eastern), and since it's been a relatively slow week with the holiday and all, we're going to spend today's show looking back at the top 10 posts of the last year. Co-lead Dan O'Halloran will be on board with us, as will Adam Holisky, and unless Turpster is still in too much of a haze from his holiday festivities last week, he should be around as well. Should be a great time.

If you want to join us, feel free -- we'll be live over on Ustream at 3:30pm Eastern (and I've also embedded the feed right after the break on this very post). As always, you can email us as well, at theshow@wow.com (and that's also the place to send your intros, as we said on last week's show -- we've gotten a few amazing ones already, so you'll hear our first one on the show today). And if you do stop by the show, make sure to save some time to stay afterwards, as we've been doing a quick, exclusive aftershow after we stop the usual recordings.

We'll see you this afternoon for the very last WoW Insider Show of 2008, and a look at the most popular posts on the site over the last 12 months.

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Filed under: Podcasting, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

Blizzard: Wrath will be out in Q4 2008


In an uncharacteristic display of candor, Blizzard CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime confirmed during a conference call that the much-anticipated Wrath of the Lich King expansion will be released between October to December of this year. Shacknews quotes Morhaime saying, "we have said that it will be coming out this year," referring to earlier speculation stemming from a Vivendi press release. "I can tell you it's not coming in the July to September quarter," Morhaime states, and mentions that Beta testing "is going very well".

The confirmation of any release date is uncommon practice for Blizzard, whose common response to such questions is "when it's ready." Apparently, Blizzard is confident that Wrath of the Lich King will be ready within the year. From the polish that can be seen in the current Beta, this doesn't seem far from the truth. In the same conference call, Morhaime also discussed competing MMOs, the status of ongoing development (that is to say, very little information), and how World of Warcraft has been refined as a game over the past four years.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

It's 12:01 a.m.: Do you know where your beta key is?

The rumor mill has been flying lately that on July 3rd we'll see the first invites go out for the closed beta. Well, it's 12:01 a.m. on July 3rd now, and that means Beta Watch 2008 can begin.

All of this beta rumor stems around a German Assistant Community Manager by the name of Gnorog telling the German gaming site Allvatar that the closed beta was going to be starting on July 3rd. It was "fueled" a little bit more in that Bornakk did not come out and deny the July 3rd date, something that they have regularly done before.

Another small indication that something is changing is that the Wrath of the Lich King forums have seen several sticky post removed. They normally do this only when new information is about to come out to replace said sticky posts.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. And if you do happen to get into the beta, feel free to drop us a tip. Happy waiting!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Worldwide Invitational 2008 contest signups begin

http://eu.blizzard.com/wwi08/contest.xml

The date of the World Wide Invitational in Paris creeps ever closer and closer. Of course, the biggest thing we're looking forward to is all the new WotLK information courtesy of the playable WotLK demos and Developer panels, but the contests should be pretty fun too. If you're planning to enter one of them, the signups are beginning.

Submissions for the fan art and machinima contests are being accepted via web form from now until June 17th, so that leaves you a little under one more week to finalize your submission. As for the dance and costume contests, registration will be open from June 16th to June 20th.

Remember, some of the contests are only open to certain European countries, so check the rules to make sure you're eligible -- and remember, if you're not, you may be eligible for the contests at Blizzcon 2008 instead. Good luck with your entries, and we'll see you in Paris!

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Contests, BlizzCon, Worldwide Invitational

Worldwide Invitational 2008 to offer more tickets

If you wanted to head to the City of Lights this summer to check out the World Wide Invitational this year, but missed the first round of tickets, you're in luck. Blizzard has announced that they will be selling another round on the official WWI website some time next week. If you're still interested, keep an eye out for it!

The World Wide Invitational will take place in Paris, France on June 28th and 29th, and will include developer panels and multiple contests, including fanart and machinima contests, as well as a playable version of WoTLK -- essentially, it's a European Blizzcon. Be sure to check out all of our previous coverage on the event, and stay tuned for all the latest news as we get closer to the date.

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, News items, Worldwide Invitational

Blizzard Worldwide Invitational 2008 announces machinima contest

Not to be out done by the recent flurry of convention announcements, The Blizzard World Wide Invitational 2008 is throwing out an announcement or two of its own. Today, they are officially announcing a Machinma contest. There will be two categories, one for movies, and one for TV Commercials for WoW items. Online submission is open from June 9th to June 16th. You can check out the contest details (Including the prizes, of course) here.

If Machinima isn't your thing, but you're still creative in other arenas, the announcement also mentions that they will reveal more contests in the near future.

At the moment, the official terms suggest that the contest is open only to Europeans, but if that pans out, I'm certain American Machinimists will get a crack at things at Blizzcon 2008.

Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Worldwide Invitational

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