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Posts with tag Anniversary

Breakfast Topic: How are you celebrating WoW's 9th anniversary?

World of Warcraft's 9th anniversary is being celebrated right now -- and anyone who's played the game for a while can't help but feel a bit nostalgic for days gone by. You may not have played since launch, but chances are you've been playing for a while, and an anniversary like this is a time to look back and remember the time we've spent playing.

For my part, I haven't been playing quite since launch, but I jumped in pretty early... and I have to admit that looking back and thinking I've spent nearly nine years on a single video game seems huge. I'm not sure if a nine-year gaming streak is something to be celebrated, but I'm still here playing... and maybe I'll take this week to revisit raids and dungeons long-forgotten, for laughs more than for loot. But what about you, readers? How are you marking WoW's 9th year?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blizzard teases new mount reward

New hippogryph mount
Blizzard just posted this image of a new hippogryph mount and refers to it as a "reward" which means we can probably rule out it being a purchasable pet store item. There are absolutely no hints on what it will be rewarded from, but I've got a few ideas.

World of Warcraft's 9th anniversary is on November 23. Could we be looking at a reward for logging in during the anniversary? The last time we saw a reward like this was for the 5th anniversary when everyone received an Onyxian Whelpling pet. The only thing working against this theory is the last 3 anniversaries have just been feat of strength rewards. The more likely possibility is a new Recruit-A-Friend or Scroll of Resurrection mount. It could even be an in-game reward, but for what?

Let the speculation begin.

Filed under: News items

World of Warcraft's peculiar time dilation

World of Warcraft's peculiar time dilation
When you've been playing a game as long as some of us have been playing World of Warcraft, you get some unusual moments of realization. One of them occurred to me recently, when talking about the upcoming 9th Anniversary of the game this November 23rd. The person I was talking to said "Yeah, my mom showed me how to play, I used to fish for her on her hunter" and it came out that said person was 21 years old, and that she has been playing the game since she was thirteen. She has effectively grown up in Azeroth, at least part time - nearly half of her life has been spent playing this game.

Meanwhile, with each expansion the game has lost some players and gained others - there are people who started playing in Cataclysm and even people who started play this year (I know, I've met quite a few of them) and many of them have no idea how to even go about absorbing all that happened in those nine years. To people who've played all along, it all happened - it's part and parcel of the game, it's history we experienced. But to new players, the sheer volume of it all can be daunting - I've had players comment with disbelief when told about 40 man raiding, who don't really grasp just how many times class mechanics have been changed and revamped and altered. One healer simply couldn't grasp the concept of an out-of-combat resser, a healing character who stood back out of range of boss fights and resurrected people who died over and over again. For me, the trippy part of that conversation was reading a 21 year old relate stories of Molten Core to this newer player and realize they were stories of what she was doing in grammar school.

Of course, for me WoW is a game I discovered in my 30's. My early thirties, come to think of it, and now I'm well out of that decade. So we're all aging, but the proportion of time we spent playing the game is different - for me WoW is just one of many games I've played, and certainly not almost half of my lifespan.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

World of Warcraft turns 7 years old next week

World of Warcraft will celebrate its seventh anniversary next week on Nov. 23, 2011, and all players who log on during the festivities will earn a feat of strength and a cool Celebration Package. This Celebration Package has an on-use effect that will shoot off fireworks, put a cosmetic-only tabard on your character, and grant a 7% experience and reputation bonus while active. That's a pretty sweet deal for logging on and having a fun time during the anniversary.

We had heard about a potential tabard item for the anniversary a few months back during the datamining of patch 4.2, so this reward isn't unexpected, but it's still very welcome. The Baby Blizzard Bear and Onyxian Whelping were awesome rewards back in the day, and I love getting cool, fun items each year. The return of anniversary gifts is a welcome change.

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The OverAchiever: New achievements in patch 4.2

Every Thursday, The OverAchiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, pet biscuits make us happy ... for a little while, at least.

We're going to take another break from our Mountain O' Mounts series to examine upcoming achievements in patch 4.2. We got an avalanche of news on these last Friday via MMO-Champion's datamining efforts on PTR build 14117, and they all look pretty nifty.

There are 16 achievements associated with the new Firelands/Mount Hyjal daily quest area, on which I have very little information right now, so we're going to examine those later. However, that still leaves us with new pet, legendary, dungeon, and anniversary achievements.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Blizzard 20-year anniversary retrospective video now online

Blizzard turned 20 years old this year, and we have been given a wonderful treat by Blizzard's founders -- the story straight from their mouths. Are you interested in Blizzard history? I sure am.

Mike Morhaime and Allen Adham lead us through a 20-year retrospective about the foundation and formation of the company, their trials and tribulations, and how we got to the Blizzard of today from two guys in the same computer architecture class. The video is absolutely fascinating. Check it out at the Blizzard Entertainment 20-year anniversary site.

Filed under: Blizzard

World of Warcraft turns 6, but no free pet to be awarded

World of Warcraft turns 6 years old next week, and just like in 2008 and 2009, players who log in during the anniversary celebration will be awarded a feat of strength. Blue poster Daxxarri broke the news yesterday night on the official forums:

World of Warcraft's 6th Anniversary!
World of Warcraft turns six on November 23rd, 2010! It's been a truly incredible six years, and we'd like to thank you all for joining us on this momentous occasion. To celebrate, players that log into the game between the dates of November 30th and December 14th will receive a feat of strength added to their Achievements. We look forward to another great year ahead and many more to come!


But what about that free anniversary pet?

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Filed under: News items

New anniversary interviews in Blizzcast 12 and on the minisite

Blizzard continues to update their minisite -- the latest newness is the posting of a new Blizzcast, in two parts. In part one, Karune of the Starcraft community team interviews Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo, and Samwise Didier about the history of Warcraft as a whole (it's celebrating the 15th anniversary as well this year), and part two has our friend Nethaera talking to J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan about the game itself. As is usual with the official podcast, there's not much new information here (especially if you've already read through some retrospective press), but both interviews are worth a listen (and/or a read through the transcript) if only to hear these guys all in a room together, joking around about old times.

Elsewhere on the site, they've started posting written interviews as well. The first one is with Shane Dabiri, former lead producer on the game, and there are faded-out spots for J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan as well. The other spots aren't revealed yet, but they're supposed to be interviews from the "community," so it'll be interesting to see who those turn out to be. Blizzard, anytime you want to chat with me about the history of World of Warcraft, just drop an email!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

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

Two pieces celebrating the 5th anniversary

Blizzard's onslaught of fifth anniversary press continues. As we said on the podcast last week, Turpster and I both are kind of "meh" about the whole thing at this point -- just how much can you read/hear about how the game has changed over the last five years? But just in case you're still interested, here's two good pieces from two big publications about WoW's 5th birthday. First up, Prospect magazine has a piece by Tom Chatfield about "the world's most famous computer game" -- he plays with his wife, and says that the game represents quite a few things he's enjoyed. It's diverse, all-encompassing, lets you act out (or show off) your fantasy self, and constantly rewards rather than punishes. It's this brilliant game, he says, which has allowed gaming a "bridgehead" into the mainstream. Interesting.

Even moreso, here's another article from The Guardian that tags on to the whole "video games equal art" argument, using Blizzard's MMO as exhibit A. Writer Sam Leith compares the game to a cathedral, not only for the fact that the art and look of Azeroth will match up against any stained glass, but also because, like an old European cathedral, the game has so many functions and purposes. It's a social space, full of ritual and traditions. It's full of stories and emotion. And it's the creation of many over a long period of time. You might not think you'd ever have heard an MMO compared to the cathedral at Chartres, but the comparison is apt. When you think about it that way, it's no surprise that Blizzard is expecting many more years out of this game.

Thanks to everyone who sent these in!

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

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

WoW's 5th anniversary: Our writers' memories

We at WoW.com are a sentimental bunch. I always privately thought that, but now I've got the sort of ironclad proof beloved by canny blackmailers everywhere. In the weeks before WoW's 5th anniversary, a backchannel team discussion sprang up on our memories of the game and the players with whom we've had the great privilege of playing, and we decided to collect them here in honor of WoW's birthday.

Some of us are hardcore gamers with lots of experience with other games. For others, WoW was their first (and in some cases, only). Most of us raid, and some of us PvP or theorycraft. A few of us are nuts for hardware arguments, but others are surprised to discover that WoW does not actually play on our toasters. Many of us are pretty easygoing in our approach to the content; others would sell their grandmothers up the river for a server-first. One among us hates warlocks, and everyone else just hates rogues (unless you're Chase).

But we do share one thing in common, and that's that we love the game no matter what we're doing while playing it -- and we hope you do too. From all of us at WoW.com, happy birthday, World of Warcraft!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Features, Classes, Interviews

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

One year of Wrath

Rufus on Livejournal reminds us that one year ago as of November 13th, Wrath of the Lich King first came into our lives. That means it's been one full year since we had our launch events, since death knights first became free of the Lich King's control, and since we first stepped foot in Dalaran. It's the one year anniversary of our arrival at Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord, the addition of Inscription to the game, and the first fights in Strand of the Ancients and Wintergrasp. If you add in the pre-Wrath patch 3.0.2, you can add in achievements, barbershops, and a whole bunch of other changes.

It's almost unbelievable how much has been added to the game in just the last year, though of course, considering that most of these things were actually announced way back at BlizzCon 2007, we've been living with them a little longer than that. And of course it's not over yet: we're currently standing on the doorstep of Icecrown Citadel, about to finish the fight over Arthas' soul that was started way back in Warcraft III, and there are rumblings under the earth of a whole new threat. Who knows what the World of Warcraft will look like a year from now?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

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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