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Posts with tag 5th-anniversary

World of Warcraft 5th Anniversary mosaic finally complete

It looks like the fans followed through, after all, and we finally get to see the Battlecry mosaic much sooner than I'd previously thought. The completed mosaic reveals a truly awesome piece of art by Wei Wang depicting all the current faction leaders. By awesome I mean truly mind-blowing, and Blizzard has high resolution versions of both the mosaic and the actual painting available for download in different versions. The full mosaic, for example, can be viewed in all its 14400 x 6150 pixel glory. Arguably the best version is the dual screen wallpaper which shows the most detail, although there are also much smaller versions for mobile phones.

The Battlecry mosaic is comprised of 20,000 player-submitted pictures called out by Blizzard as part of the World of Warcraft 5th Anniversary celebration. Each section of the multi-part mosaic unlocked various content over the past few months, which included sneak peeks at conceptual art and even a piece of the game's musical score. The final artwork is arguably the best and coolest rendition of all the faction leaders so far, including a dual-wielding Magni Bronzebeard in armor that's significantly different from what he's wearing in-game, which may or may not hint at a possible model change come Cataclysm. Congratulations to all the fans who contributed to the mosaic!

Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

What's taking the Battlecry mosaic so long?

When the World of Warcraft Anniversary mini-site was unveiled last November, one of its features was a photo-mosaic dubbed the Battlecry which would unlock little art goodies each time a certain milestone was reached. The Battlecry mosaic called for player submissions to submit their pictures with a logo of their favored faction, with a modest goal of 20,000 player-submitted pictures in order to reveal the final artwork created specially for the event.

It's come along rather smoothly, and some really cool player pictures have been submitted, with the seeming abundance of Horde-aligned pictures prompting us to ask where the Alliance pride was. But what really surprises me is how long the whole project is taking. When the site was launched, one of the first questions that actually ran through my head was how long it would take to fill up the whole mosaic. With over ten million active players, you'd think getting to 20,000 would be easy. Out of ten million, that's like a drop in a bucket. But after almost two months of the site being active, we're still only at 32% of the goal. Why?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

A lack of Alliance pride

Larisa makes an interesting observation about the Battlecry mosaic that's being assembled over on Blizzard's website. There certainly are a lot of Horde symbols there, and not quite so many Alliance symbols. The best information we have access to actually says that Alliance outnumber the Horde, and ancedotally, we know that's probably true. So why aren't the Alliance representing?

Now, it could just be specific to this outlet -- perhaps Horde players spend more time online, or have more free time in general, and thus have the knowhow and chance to submit their pictures. But this issue has come up before (on our podcast as well): while many Horde players are ready to jump in and shout "For the Horde!" at a moment's notice, not so many Alliance players are as open about their allegiances. As Larisa asks: where's the faction pride?

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP

Listen to the WoW Insider Show today at 3:30pm Eastern

Our podcast (which is nominated for a Podcast Award, by the way -- this is the last time we'll ask you to vote for us over there, since voting ends on November 30th) is headed back to the virtual airwaves as usual, and this week we're bringing two new voices into the mix. We'll welcome not only C. Christian Moore, informally known as Colby, to the show (he's the new author of our PvP Blood Sport column), but also Kelly Aarons, informally known as Cadistra, both of WoW Eh and our brand new comic here on WoW.com. Should be a lot of fun -- they'll chat with Turpster and I about the biggest stories of the past week, including Pilgrim's Bounty and some superfast cooking leveling, the game's 5th anniversary and what things were like back when it all began, and this GDKP system everyone's using, as well as other player-created looting systems.

Sounds like a full show (and that doesn't even include answering your emails and our other silliness). It all kicks off at 3:30pm Eastern/8:30pm GMT this afternoon over on our Ustream page (or on your iPhone or iPod touch, or just after the break if you want to do it that way) and if you are listening live, don't forget to show up a little early for the pre-show, and stay a little later for the aftershow. Hope to see you this afternoon!

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Filed under: Podcasting, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, WoW Insider Show

Blizzard celebrates the WoW anniversary

The good folks at the Orange County Register got invited to Blizzard's official WoW anniversary party that took place last Thursday on their Irvine campus, and their report is now posted. It sounds like quite the event -- lots of free food and beer, head honchos regaling employees with their tales of the early days, and Rob Pardo suggesting that just like geek culture helped define this game, this game might help define geek culture going forward.

The picture gallery included with the piece is a good browse, too -- you can see all of the Blizzard heavyweights hanging out together, and the great spread set up on the campus. The Register's also been asking Blizzard about their memories of the game -- they've got more memories from Samwise, launch day stories from Shane Dabiri, and some thoughts from Pardo and Frank Pearce (who, strangely enough, at first didn't believe that Blizzard belonged in a hardcore niche market like MMO gaming -- he didn't want to make "a game that never ended," he says). All good stuff. Congrats once again to Blizzard on five years, good to see they celebrated in style.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Galleries

The early days of the World of Warcraft

It's been five years since this game launched, and it's changed so much that you might have forgotten what life was like back then. But thanks to the magic of the Internet, those times are saved in clear HTML. Let's dig up some memories of the early game.

It's interesting to think what Blizzard was like before World of Warcraft. Today, the two are almost synonymous -- while they have two other major franchises (and one secret IP hiding in the works), it's almost impossible for anyone to think of Blizzard without thinking of WoW, and vice versa. The company has become almost solely defined by what they've done with this game. But of course, before the release, that wasn't the case.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling

Breakfast Topic: Five years

Today is November 23rd, and that means it's the fifth anniversary of the release of World of Warcraft. That's a long time! Especially in the high-risk world of MMOs, where a bad launch can mean your whole game is doomed, or a sudden change in gameplay can make your whole audience rear up on its hind legs at you.

Thankfully, Blizzard has made WoW a living, breathing document, a world that constantly changes and evolves to match its players, which is what makes it so accessible. Throughout dozens of patches, tiers upon tiers of raid bosses, waves of dailies, faction grinds and honor grinds, legendaries and greens, WoW has managed to keep growing and growing along with its subscriber count. And of course, you've been there, too. Maybe not for the whole five years like some of us, but everyone's experienced the game in their own way.

So what about you? How long have you been with the game? What's your favorite memory of "growing up" in WoW? Will you keep playing for another five years?

Happy anniversary, everybody. Here's to five more!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW's 5th anniversary celebrations have begun

The celebrations have started in Europe and Oceania, anyway! Players in these regions have started to receive their Onyxian Whelps in the mail, along with a letter welcoming them to a new year in Azeroth and a feat of strength upon logging in. This probably means that those of us in the United States (and Canada and whatever other magical lands are in the region) will be getting ours tomorrow. Considering Pilgrim's Bounty also starts tomorrow, it's kind of exciting! It really is a holiday in Azeroth.

The screenshot above comes from Enduser of Ghostlands EU. Since most of us here at WoW.com are US players, we're in dire need of screenshots! If you have any, please send them our way along with your character name (if you want credit for it) so we can add them to a gallery!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Europe

WoW Fifth Anniversary Sweepstakes

If you're a resident of the United States, Canada, or New Zealand, kindly whack yourself on the head as a show of solidarity for other players who don't qualify for the World of Warcraft Five Year Anniversary Sweepstakes. If you are a resident of the aforementioned countries or are some Asian or European or Other-Unqualified-Country-an willing to subject themselves to a little geek envy, then read on. Our favorite game turns five this November 23, 2009, and to celebrate, Blizzard is giving away a whole bunch of swag every week for the next four weeks.

Essentially, as long as you're a player whose account is active when they pull your name out of a kodo-skin hat and hasn't gotten into trouble for breaking the EULA, you're automatically entered in the sweepstakes. Players qualify for certain prizes depending on how long they've been playing the game. Check out the list of prizes and player eligibility after the jump.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Contests, Hardware

G4 talks to Blizzard about five years of WoW

We are quickly approaching the fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft's release (my calendar has it on the 23rd of November), and G4 has gotten a head start on celebrating -- they sent Morgan Webb over to Blizzard headquarters to talk to the team, including Tom Chilton, Alex Afrasiabi, and Jeff Kaplan, about what things have been like in the last five years since WoW's launch. There's nothing super groundbreaking in here, but there is lots of reminiscing about the game's early thinking -- Chilton talks about how dual specs were never even considered as an idea (until they, you know, were) and what things were like in the early post-launch days. Pretty stressful, sounds like.

Afrasiabi talks about how the quest team puts together and tracks all of the game's quests (he mentions both Metzen and the game's historian as the "lorekeepers" of the game), and the fact that they've put together "millions of words" of story and background lore for the game at large. He specifically talks about Cataclysm and replacing questlines, and says that if something does get removed from the game, they're hoping to replace it with something better, but most "fan favorites" will stay. And finally, Jeff Kaplan looks back on the early game itself, from unfinished zones to broken balance to launch day exhaustion. G4 teases something about the next MMO project, but all he says is that he can't talk about it. Oh well -- if we can't look forward, at least we get a nice look back from the folks at Blizzard who've been there since the beginning. You can see all four of the videos after the break.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Quests, Lore

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